Ranking The Top 5 Starters On The Trade Market As Deadline Nears

With baseball on hiatus for the All-Star break for several days, it's time to take stock of who we'll be focusing on over the next few weeks as trade rumors ramp up in advance of the Aug. 1st deadline. 

As always, teams will be looking to bolster their pitching staffs, both starters and relievers. Let's rank the Top 5 starting pitchers who could very well be on the move.

1. Marcus Stroman, Chicago Cubs

The way he's been dealing this season, the All-Star is a prime trade candidate, particularly because he has an opt-out at end of the year ($21M), and it doesn't appear the Cubs are rushing to sign him to an extension. With a career-best 2.96 ERA and 1.11 WHIP, there's no doubt he'd be a two-month rental for any acquiring team. 

2. Lucas Giolito, Chicago White Sox

Across town, the free agent-to-be former All-Star has bounced back from a rocky 2022 with a solid season this year, with a 3.45 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. He's been a top 10 Cy Young candidate on a couple of occasions, and he will be in high demand. He's the top starter available. 

3. Eduardo Rodriguez, Detroit Tigers

The 30-year-old was off to a blistering start to the season with a 2.13 ERA through his first 11 starts. But he went down for a month with a finger injury at the beginning of June, and in his first start back this past week was blasted by the lowly Oakland A's for five runs in four innings. He, too, has an opt-out after the season, making him another risky pickup like Stroman.

4. James Paxton, Boston Red Sox

Will they or won't they? The Red Sox aren't sure if they'll be sellers as of yet, and who knows if they'll do something strange like last season when they were both sellers and buyers at the deadline. But if Paxton, who's made it all the way back from three full years of injuries, is on the market, he could bring back a nice haul for the Beantowners.

5. Jack Flaherty & Jordan Montgomery, St. Louis Cardinals

These two come as an entry, as they're both free agents after the season, and the Cards need to get something for them. Insider Ken Rosenthal calls them "as good as gone."

Photo: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports