The Washington Nationals and the Philadelphia Phillies have been tied in the standings for weeks, and both teams have some legitimate arguments for the NL East title.
But, given the uncertainty of their playoff position, the Nationals and Phillies have both made the bold move of trading away their top prospects for a draft pick, while the Mets and Brewers have also been rumored to be shopping some of their farmhands.
And, as it stands now, the only thing separating them from the rest of the NL West is their payroll.
The teams in the West have combined to spend $9.7 million more than the rest, and are both looking to add to their payroll in the coming months.
But with the deadline for trade proposals approaching this week, we decided to dig a little deeper into the trade market and see which teams are the most active right now, based on the amount of players they have available and the projected future salary cap hit.
The first thing we found was the most significant addition to the trade front: The Kansas City Royals have reportedly already made their intentions known regarding their outfield prospects, which would give them more leverage in negotiations for their top draft picks in 2019.
The Royals have made the most aggressive moves to acquire players from other teams since the 2017 season, and while they are still the team to beat in terms of talent in the outfield, it’s likely that the club will continue to move for high-quality prospects in the near future.
The other team to look out for as the market heats up is the Los Angeles Angels, whose outfield prospects have been underwhelming for a while.
But the Angels have a few options on the trade table in 2019, with two outfield prospects that could be worth a look, including two outfielders that have had a rough start to their careers, including Nick Castellanos and Alex Reyes.
The Angels could also look to acquire more of the kind of pitching they have lacked this season.
With the Angels still looking to make moves this offseason, it would make sense to take a look at the options for the future.
And for all of these teams, you can get a better sense of the types of players that they are interested in, as well as the projected salaries of the players that are available in the future in the following charts.
And if you want to dive deeper into some of the other interesting names, the team with the highest projected future payroll is the Mets.
The Mets are looking to acquire several players in the 2018 draft and a first baseman in 2019 with top-10 prospects.
The team has a solid farm system that will be in the market for outfielders to pair with Zack Wheeler and Yoenis Cespedes, who will both be arbitration eligible at the end of the season.
But that farm system isn’t the only reason the Mets have interest in acquiring outfielders in the past, as they also have interest to add a starting pitcher in 2019 as well.
The outfield prospect that is the most intriguing prospect for the Mets, as we’ve written before, is outfielder Luis Castillo.
The 21-year-old Castillo was acquired by the New York Mets in the trade for Matt Garza last year, and he has continued to develop into one of the top players in baseball.
The former first round pick from Venezuela was traded to the Phillies last year for outfielder Nick Swisher, and although he is now in the middle of his contract, he has shown that he can play both outfield spots in the minors.
In addition to playing in right field, Castillo has also played right field in the minor leagues, and has been extremely effective there.
The Phillies are a team that has a strong farm system, and there are a number of players on their 40-man roster that could benefit from playing in the big leagues.
So, if the Mets are interested, it makes sense for them to get a few more outfielders as well in the 2019 draft, and then it makes more sense to add one more outfield player in 2019 after that, as the team will have plenty of outfielders on their roster.
But as the deadline approaches, it will be interesting to see if the Phillies and Mets make moves at the trade deadline.
Both teams are expected to make some moves at this point, and if the teams do, the next few weeks will see many more interesting trade scenarios.
What is your favorite trade to trade?