The Aug. 31 trade deadline is still nearly three weeks off, but let’s take an early look at some of the factors that will influence what might happen. Or won’t happen. It’s possible this year’s deadline will be a dud for several reasons: lack of talent available, more teams in the playoff race because of the 16-team field, teams unwilling to take on additional payroll and even the risk to teams of bringing in players from outside their bubble.
Here’s a look at the key elements leading up to the deadline.
Who is out of it?
In other words, who are the possible sellers? Well, right now almost every team is still in it. Even the Tigers and Orioles, who lost 114 and 108 games in 2019, are off to good starts. Given that a sub-.500 team could sneak into the postseason, any team hanging around .500 has a chance. The only two teams that can really be eliminated right now are the Pirates and Mariners. Along with the Orioles, they are the only teams with less than a 10% chance of making the playoffs, according to FanGraphs. And these teams don’t really have interesting trade candidates. Let’s move on.
Who are the pending free agents?
These players always are the first ones to consider in a…