MLB trade deadline: The 10 likeliest players to be moved in 2022

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 23: Willson Contreras #40 of the Chicago Cubs in action during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on July 23, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Cubs defeated the Phillies 6-2 in 10 innings. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 23: Willson Contreras #40 of the Chicago Cubs in action during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on July 23, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Cubs defeated the Phillies 6-2 in 10 innings. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 18: Andrew Benintendi #16 of the Kansas City Royals bats against the Oakland Athletics in the top of the third inning at RingCentral Coliseum on June 18, 2022 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 18: Andrew Benintendi #16 of the Kansas City Royals bats against the Oakland Athletics in the top of the third inning at RingCentral Coliseum on June 18, 2022 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Kansas City Royals OF Andrew Benintendi

Putting all of the COVID vaccine drama aside, Andrew Benintendi has emerged as one of the most valuable outfielders in the American League and also one of the likeliest to be moved at this year’s trade deadline.

Benintendi, 28, is enjoying the best season of his seven-year career, making the first All-Star Game of his career and hitting .322 through 91 games played. His power numbers are down (just three home runs so far) but he is an on-base machine that draws a fair amount of walks and picks his stolen bases wisely.

Benintendi is also a sharp defender in left, even if Baseball-Reference doesn’t love his play in the outfield this year. He is coming off of a season in which he won his first Gold Glove Award and has made himself in to quite the complete player that a bunch of teams would love to have down the stretch.

Other possibilities from KC: RHP Zack Greinke, OF Michael A. Taylor, UTIL Hunter Dozier, UTIL Whit Merrifield

Potential fits: Yankees, Padres, Brewers, Marlins, Red Sox

Oakland Athletics C Sean Murphy

Sean Murphy has quietly emerged as one of the better catchers in the game both on offense and defense. After finishing fourth in the AL Rookie of the Year voting in 2020, he regressed at the plate a bit in 2021 but did manage to win his first Gold Glove.

This year through 89 games, Murphy has 11 home runs, 40 RBI and a 117 OPS+, a career-high mark for him if the season ended today. He comes with a ton of team control (not a free agent until 2026) and has drawn rave reviews both at the plate and behind the plate for the rebuilding Oakland A’s, who should trade him now and capitalize on his rising value.

The team control is especially of note here, as Murphy could be had by teams that aren’t currently in contention. He has multiple years left and could be a piece that rebuilding/retooling teams add to have around for their next playoff push. His potential suitors will have much more variety than other rentals named here.

Other possibilities from OAK: OF Ramón Laureano, OF Tony Kemp, INF Elvis Andrus, UTIL Chad Pinder

Potential fits: Angels, Twins, Rays, Guardians, Marlins