There are many contenders in need of middle infield help like the Red Sox, Indians, and Brewers. The Indians will almost certainly make a move to shore up the second base position with the 26th worst OPS out of the second base position (.629) this season. Jason Kipnis is hitting .216 with 7 HRs and 35 RBIs. The Red Sox are not getting much more out of the 2B position. The Sox rank 20th sitting with a .659 OPS at Second Base. Eduardo Nunez has an inconsistent bat and seems to have no idea how to use a baseball glove. The Sox signed Brandon Phillips recently, but could certainly use some insurance. The Brewers have two struggling players splitting time at Second Base with Jonathan Villar and Hernan Perez.
The good news for these teams is that there are plenty of talented second baseman in the trade market. Jed Lowrie is hitting .290 with 25 doubles, 14 homers, 59 RBIs, and an .855 OPS. Oakland should be open to trading Lowrie as he is in a contract year. The Athletics are trying to contend soon but most likely not in 2018. Lowrie has been the 4th best second baseman in the MLB this season, trailing only Altuve, Baez, and Scooter Gennett.
Best Fits: Red Sox, Indians
Asdrubal Cabrera is a great trade candidate and will almost certainly get moved. Teams should have interest as he is hitting .283 with 15 HRs, 49 RBIs, and has an .814 OPS. Cabrera is 32-years-old and will be a free agent at the end of the season. Cabrera is a textbook deadline guy. He is over the hill yet still effective, a rental, and should be reasonably priced. He has a decently sized contract, making $8.25 million this season. The Red Sox may be inclined to strike a deal for the Long Island slugger. They appear to be looking for second baseman with versatility, Cabrera can play 2B, 3B, and SS. Boston could eat some of that contract, so they could give up lesser prospects. The Phillies are reportedly attempting the same strategy and could use Cabrera to upgrade their middle infield.
Best Fits: Phillies, Red Sox
Whit Merrifield has an interesting case to get moved. He will certainly garner interest with a .293/.362/.415 slash line. The problem is that he is already 29-years-old and is under team control through the 2022 season. The Royals could keep him as he is not able to leave anytime soon, though I still expect the Royals to move their surprisingly controllable asset. Merrifield has been linked the Brewers and Phillies most frequently
Best Fit: Brewers
D.J. LeMahieu is a movable asset that may or may not get traded. LeMahieu is a free agent at the end of the season meaning the Rockies have less than a month to decide on D.J.s future with the organization. LeMahieu is hitting .274 with 8 HRs, and 33 RBIs. He is a career .299 hitter and has eclipsed the .300 mark three times (2015-2017) including 2016 when he hit .348 in 146 games. LeMahieu is one of the best contact hitters in the game with a high batting average and low strikeout numbers. He has only one season of 100+ Ks, with 107 in 2015 when he still managed to hit .301. In this era of baseball, those strikeout numbers are hard to find. LeMahieu could find a home in a lot of different cities but may not go anywhere at all. The Rockies are 46-43 which puts them in 3rd in the NL West, only 3.5 games back. They are 4.5 games back of a Wildcard spot. LeMahieu’s destiny will be determined by the Rockies ability to contend. I hope the Rockies buy in and try to make a run while Arenado is still in his prime.
Best Fit: Rockies
Scott Neville – Head Baseball Writer – WTF Sports