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6 MLB Stars That Could Be Traded in the Offseason

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 14: Francisco Lindor #12  of the Cleveland Indians warms up before the game against the Boston Red Sox at Progressive Field on August 14, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Red Sox defeated the Indians 5-1.  (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)
David Maxwell/Getty Images

The trade deadline wasn't too exciting outside of Zack Greinke getting dealt at the last minute to the Houston Astros, which means this upcoming winter could be chock-full of blockbuster deals.

Things can and will change when the offseason rolls around, and teams looking to contend in 2020 have to be willing to make a big splash on the trade market if they don't want to spend big in free agency.

So, who might be on the move? Here are six MLB stars that could be traded in the offseason.

6. OF George Springer, Houston Astros

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 01: George Springer #4 of the Houston Astros rounds the bases on his solo home run in the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on August 1, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)
Houston Astros v Cleveland Indians | David Maxwell/Getty Images

If the Astros decided to lock up George Springer, it wouldn't come as a shock. However, with Springer becoming a free agent in 2021 and their top prospect being outfielder Kyle Tucker, it's not out of the question they move Springer to address other needs, especially in the rotation since Gerrit Cole will be a free agent. The Astros aren't the Yankees from a payroll standpoint, so they can't pay everyone on this team. They need to free up some long-term money, which unfortunately means Springer becomes trade bait.

5. OF Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JUNE 25: Ryan Braun #8 of the Milwaukee Brewers hits a single in the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Miller Park on June 25, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Seattle Mariners v Milwaukee Brewers | Quinn Harris/Getty Images

The Milwaukee Brewers may have waited too long to do this, but they are in desperate need of pitching, especially in the rotation, and because they have arguably the worst farm system in baseball, they'll need to move a big league talent to get something of substance. That means Ryan Braun has to go. He still has two years of club control left at a reasonable price, and even at his age he's still an above league average player with some power.

4. LHP Robbie Ray, Arizona Diamondbacks

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - AUGUST 03:  Starting pitcher Robbie Ray #38 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches against the Washington Nationals during the MLB game at Chase Field on August 03, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Nationals 18-7. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Washington Nationals v Arizona Diamondbacks | Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Arizona did their best to trade Robbie Ray at the deadline, and you have to figure they'll do so once the offseason hits. Ray is a left-handed power pitcher that could fetch a nice haul, especially with the lack of starting pitching on the market. The Diamondbacks aren't going into a full rebuild, but they're turning this roster over to something new and younger. It'd be shocking if Ray isn't dealt.

3. OF Charlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 18:  Charlie Blackmon #19 of the Colorado Rockies follows the flight of a sixth inning solo home run against the Miami Marlins  at Coors Field on August 18, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Miami Marlins v Colorado Rockies | Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The Rockies probably didn't get close to moving Charlie Blackmon at the trade deadline, but they've vastly underachieved this year and are one of the worst teams in the NL. Something has to change, and using a player with a .985 OPS, who happens to be 33 years old, as trade bait could warrant a significant haul of talent, especially since he still has two years of club control (and two players options) remaining.

2. SS Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians

CLEVELAND, OHIO - JULY 09: Francisco Lindor #12 of the Cleveland Indians participates in the 2019 MLB All-Star Game at Progressive Field on July 09, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
2019 MLB All-Star Game, presented by Mastercard | Jason Miller/Getty Images

It's not a matter of if the Cleveland Indians trade Francisco Lindor, it's a matter of when. Lindor won't be a free agent until 2022, so they have time to hold onto him, but as the years go by the value goes down. Cleveland will have to semi-tear it down soon, so moving a star player who you won't be able to afford to keep around is the next course of action. After all, there were already rumors of this in the offseason as some reporters and writers were looking ahead to next year.

1. OF Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - AUGUST 18: Mookie Betts #50 of the Boston Red Sox runs to the dugout after scoring a run against the Baltimore Orioles during the third inning at Fenway Park on August 18, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox | Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Before you label this as crazy, think about it. Boston has already locked up some of their core players, including Xander Bogaerts, and with Mookie Betts becoming a free agent in 2021, it doesn't appear he'll sign an extension. So, instead of letting him walk without getting anything in return, trading him this upcoming winter might be the smart course of action, especially if Chris Sale is reevaluated in six weeks and his elbow requires surgery. If he can't headline the rotation next year and be his dominant self, the 2020 season will look similar to this season: underwhelming and disappointing.