As the free-agent dominoes fall this offseason, it is still important to consider which players we might see wearing different uniforms next season.
How robust the trade market is depends on what happens in free agency and the status of a potentially bitter labor dispute between players and team owners looming at the beginning of December.
But either way, expect deals at some point.
Teams with good players who don't make sense for their current state will shop around for a better fit. And in some cases, it might be time for a player to move on, whether or not the pastures are greener on the other side.
New York Yankees SS Gleyber Torres
It did not work out for Gleyber Torres at shortstop with the Yankees. He was their plan at that position, but his performance over the last two seasons hasn't measured up to what's in front of the team in free agency.
Torres has declined since entering the majors with back-to-back All-Star seasons in 2018 and 2019. He slugged .480 in '18 and .535 in '19. But since then, Torres is slugging .366.
If the Yankees intend to sign Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Trevor Story, or even Marcus Semien or Javier Baez, Torres could be expendable.
Sure, the team moved him to second base at the end of last season, and he could be salvageable there, but Torres has three more seasons under team control, and the Yankees can still sell him as unrealized potential at just 25.
Chicago White Sox DH Yermin Mercedes
Yermin Mercedes plays for a bona fide playoff team stuck in place. The Chicago White Sox have just one playoff win in the last two seasons, losing in the AL Wild Card Round to the Oakland Athletics in 2020 and then the ALDS to the Houston Astros last season.
The White Sox have not been to the ALCS since winning the World Series in 2005, so how do they go from good to great? It's a question that the front office has to be asking itself, considering the core is set with Tim Anderson, Jose Abreu, Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert, Yoan Moncada and a very good pitching staff (third-highest rWAR among starters; fifth-highest among relievers).
Dealing Mercedes may not be what gets the franchise over the hump, but the 28-year-old could probably use a change of scenery after hinting at retirement not long after a sublime start to the season.
If the White Sox can sell Mercedes' April performance, when he posted a whopping 1.113 OPS, there should be a market for their designated hitter, who's under team control through 2027. Perhaps in the National League if they adopt the DH in the new collective bargaining agreement?
Baltimore Orioles OF/1B Trey Mancini
A Trey Mancini trade would be an emotional dilemma for Orioles fans who appreciate his story after he returned from colon cancer.
Baltimore has to decide whether the 29-year-old aligns with its rebuild. Mancini has been adamant about wanting to remain with the franchise, but he can become a free agent at the end of the 2022 season when the Orioles do not project to be much better than in 2021.
To that end, could they trade him now while still affordable and allow the next team to decide whether to invest past 2022? Or is Mancini expected to be there if and whenever Baltimore finally turns it all around?
Of Mancini, B/R's Erik Beaston wrote this Nov. 3.
"Paired with breakout star Cedric Mullins, they would be a combination that could help spark the O's back into contention in a loaded AL East and form the foundation of the organization for years to come.
"Letting him walk not only adversely affects the team's overall quality but it also creates the impression that the team would rather save money than field a competent team. Not that Baltimore fans don't already feel that way."
Even if nothing materializes, Mancini's name is bound to come up. He is a free agent after 2022, when he is projected to make $8 million and should be looking for a big pay day for 2023.