3 Most Intriguing Trade Candidates: AL Central


Teams around the majors are on full alert, armed with new information gleaned at the GM Meetings last week in Las Vegas. Who has what needs, what free agents might go where, and who's available on the trade market. It's all swirling around front offices now, as we continue our look at top trade candidates around baseball. 

Today, the American League Central. 

Amed Rosario, Cleveland Indians

Rosario has had a couple of nice seasons in Cleveland, but with only one year of team control left, the Guardians could pivot and do what they usually do before a player enters his contract year: trade him. Certainly, Rosario's value has never been higher (well, at least since he was a top 10 prospect in baseball five years ago). He hit .283 with 11 homers and 26 doubles as well as an MLB-best nine triples. 

In addition, the Guardians have plenty of highly-regarded middle-infield prospects on the way. Teams in need that miss out on the superstar free agent shortstop sweepstakes could come calling for Rosario. 

Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals

After a 48 HR, 121 RBI season in 2021, the Royals gave the 11-year veteran a 4-year, $82M contract. They might be re-thinking that after the 32-year-old had a down season, for him, in 2022, with only 22 HR and a .757 OPS. 

But what makes a possible trade of Perez even more likely is the fact that the next generation of Royals backstops arrived in 2022, with MJ Melendez coming up to blast 18 home runs in just over 400 at-bats. At eight years younger than Perez, and the Royals rebuilding, it might just be time to hand over the keys of the catching duties to Melendez.

The only caveat here is that Perez can veto any trade proposal by way of his 10-and-5 rights.

Lucas Giolito, Chicago White Sox

"I do think that teams are asking about Lucas Giolito," said MLB Insider Jon Heyman at the GM Meetings last week. The White Sox starter had a disappointing season in 2022 with a 4.90 ERA and a WHIP of 1.435, allowing a lot of hard contact.

He's also entering his final year of arbitration before becoming a free agent at season's end. And while his trade value could be down right now, he had established himself as one of the better starters in the AL the previous three seasons, so there's bound to be a team in need of starters, with deep pockets (looking at you, Los Angeles Dodgers) who would be willing to bring him in during his contract year. 

Trade Candidates from the AL East can be found here. 

Trade Candidates from the AL West can be found here. 

 Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports