There could be a few good outfielders on the market this July as well. The Milwaukee Brewers may not have a need in the outfield right now, but they might explore some of these options if there is value to be had in a deal.
Starling Marte, RHB, Pittsburgh Pirates
Starling Marte has been a model of consistency for the Pirates over his career. A real argument could be made that’s he a top-tier option for anyone looking to add at the deadline.
Marte has been an above-average hitter in all but one season of his career. His WRC+ in 2019 currently sits at 106. Marte has always hit for average, thanks to his elite speed, and has also been a solid power hitter for someone who plays the vast majority of his games in center field. His slugging percentage so far in 2019 is a career high .481.
On the bases, Marte is still a great runner. He’s stolen over 30 bases five times in his MLB career. In 2019, he’s stolen 13 thus far.
Defensively, Marte grades out as average in center field in most defensive metrics. However, when he’s played in left, he’s been a gold-glove caliber defender.
The Pirates have fallen back a bit in the playoff picture. Given that Marte is already 30, and has options taking him through the 2021 season, the Pirates might be wise to entertain moving him for a massive return. If they do, Marte could be one of the most impactful players to move at the deadline.
Yasiel Puig, RHB, Cincinnati Reds
Like Pittsburgh, Cincinnati has fallen well-behind the NL playoff race. That may make soon-to-be free agent, Yasiel Puig, available.
Puig is a valuable player thanks to his bat. Though his WRC+ is currently a career low for a season at 102 in 2019, Puig has still been solid with the bat thanks to .802 OPS. Puig is already just one home run shy of tying his mark from last season (23), and he has already stolen the third most bases (13) he ever has in a season.
Defensively, Puig’s capable of being well-above average to gold-glove caliber at times. He has an elite arm and can make incredible plays at times in the field.
Puig is a very good player and has been for a long-time already. Any contender in need of a corner outfield bat should seriously entertain getting him.
Nick Castellanos, RHB, Detroit Tigers
Nick Castellanos has been a very good hitter for several years running.
Castellanos has posted an OPS over .800 four consecutive Major League seasons. In 2019, he’s continued that success, posting a slash line .284/.342/.480. He has hit only 11 home runs so far this season, but he does have 34 doubles to go with that, a total that puts him on pace to tie or exceed his career best mark of 46 last year.
Defensively, he’s awful. Castellanos was a three WAR player just one season ago despite being, by virtually every defensive metric, the worst defender in baseball. He hasn’t been quite as bad in 2019, but he still grades out as well-below average in the field.
Any team acquiring him would be getting him for his offensive profile. Perhaps a move to first base is in the cards and would make the most sense for him defensively if an NL team gets him. He was a third baseman earlier in his career before being sent into the outfield which suggests he could be at serviceable at first. Regardless of the defense, though, Castellanos will be in demand.
Alex Gordon, LHB, Kansas City Royals
Alex Gordon is having a fine return to form in 2019. After dropping off offensively after the Royals won the 2015 World Series, Gordon has returned to a similar level of production in 2019 that he had back then.
Gordon’s slash line stands at a solid .278/.354/.439. His WRC+ of 108 is the highest rating he’s had since that fateful 2015 season. Gordon has never been a great power-hitter, but he’s always provided substantial value through his ability to hit for contact and draw walks at a high rate.
Defensively, Gordon has been a gold glove defender for most of his career. His metrics aren’t quite there this season, but he was among the leaders in DRS just one season in ago in left with 18 Defensive Runs Saved.
Gordon’s contract is a bit pricey, but is for all intents and purposes an expiring contract as his 2020 option is mutual. Given that the Royals are fighting for the top pick in the draft, both parties may want to look towards giving Gordon one last shot at competing for a title. He’s still a solid player.
Corey Dickerson, LHB, Pittsburgh Pirates
One last outfielder who could be available at the trade deadline is Corey Dickerson of the Pirates.
Dickerson is coming off of back-to-back seasons where he was really good. He was a 2.6 WAR player in 2017 for the Rays, and was a 2.7 WAR player just a year ago with the Pirates.
Though he just came back from injury, Dickerson looks like his old self in 2019. His slash line currently stands at .305/.364/.505, a line that exceeds either of the slash lines he had in each of the past two seasons. He doesn’t have jump-off-the-page home run power, but he’s posted an OPS over .800 in four of the past fives seasons. He has 15 doubles already in just 105 at-bats this year.
Defensively, Dickerson is at least average or better in left. He was, however, one of the best defenders in the outfield in baseball just a season ago, posting a DRS of 16.
With Dickerson approaching free agency after the 2020 season, Pittsburgh may want to entertain moving him now. He could land them a stellar return if they play their cards right at the deadline.