David Bednar, CP for the Pittsburgh Pirates:
If you don’t already know, David Bednar has been one of the best closers in baseball so far this season. Bednar has a higher fWAR than elite closers Josh Hader and Edwin Diaz. He also has an elite 1.30 ERA for a rebuilding Pirates team that does not do him many favors with their lackluster offense. I expect the Pirates to try and swing a deal while Bednar is so hot since he does not match their timeline for contending. David Bednar is the type of player that any contending team could use and should see some serious consideration. The Boston Red Sox, the Toronto Blue Jays, and the St. Louis Cardinals are some playoff teams that need a closer or high leverage arm the most. These teams rank in the bottom half in many different reliever statistics and should be in the market for a top-level reliever like Bednar at the trade deadline. The team I would bet on to pursue him the hardest would be the Toronto Blue Jays, who have consistently had one of the worst bullpens this year.
Frankie Montas, SP for the Oakland Athletics:
Numerous playoff-contending teams have realized they are in desperate need of starting pitching. Frankie Montas is an excellent option for many teams and is one of the few leftovers from the A’s firesale that took place this past offseason. It was smart for the A’s to give Montas an opportunity to perform well and drive his price up. Montas has put up respectable numbers on a genuinely awful A’s team. He is top 20 for all starting pitchers in fWAR, and I expect some of his most prominent suitors to be the injury-ridden New York Mets, Minnesota Twins, and the Tampa Bay Rays. Montas is only 29 years old and is under contract control after this year as well. I expect the A’s to get a massive haul for Montas at this year’s trade deadline, and all the teams I listed before can offer acceptable deals.
Josh Bell, 1B for the Washington Nationals:
The Nationals are another team that is not going anywhere anytime soon. Josh Bell is one of the best hitting first basemen in baseball, which many teams would covet. He has a very respectable 135 wrc+ which would tie his best season in 2019. He also is batting close to .300 and is striking out less than ever. The only issue is that he is in the last year of his contract, so he is basically a rental for the rest of this season. There are many contenders to land Josh Bell, but the one that stands out is the Boston Red Sox. The biggest question mark in their lineup has been first base for a couple of seasons now, and Josh Bell makes too much sense for them to try and acquire him. To be fair, we said the same thing about Anthony Rizzo last year, so you never truly know. I expect Bell to be a substantial offensive piece for whoever is lucky enough to land him.