Optimistically speaking, each day that passes hopefully brings us closer to the end of Major League Baseball's lockout and all that entails. Namely, the start of spring training and the reopening of the offseason markets.

For the trade market, we've come up with a list of the top 10 players who are likely to be traded in 2022. For some of them, it might even be a "sooner rather than later" scenario.

Please note that this list is not the same as our one for players who could wind up on the block by the trade deadline. The likelihood of them being traded is more so defined by the word "could," whereas this list leans closer to "will."

We'll count them down in order of how desirable they are as trade targets based on their talent, age and contract status.

10. 1B/RF Garrett Cooper, Miami Marlins

Age: 31

2021 Stats: 71 G, 250 PA, 9 HR, 1 SB, .284 AVG, .380 OBP, .465 SLG, 129 OPS+, 1.1 rWAR

Contract Status: 2nd-Year Arbitration-Eligible

To our knowledge, there haven't been any actual reports that the Miami Marlins will be shopping Garrett Cooper. But as TC Zencka of MLB Trade Rumors noted in December, he sure looks like a trade candidate.

Though Cooper has a 117 OPS+ for the last three seasons, that's over a modest sample of 212 games. He's fought a near-constant battle with injuries, including an elbow sprain that required season-ending surgery last July.

In theory, such things make Cooper a candidate to serve as the Marlins' everyday designated hitter in 2022. But the team has other options (i.e., Brian Anderson, Jesus Sanchez and Lewin Diaz), and the list will only grow if general manager Kim Ng finds the additional outfielder she reportedly desires.

Because Cooper is north of 30 and limited defensively, he won't be worth a king's ransom if the Marlins do make him available. But especially considering that the number of everyday DH roles is about to double, at least one club might see him as an upside play.

9. SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Texas Rangers

Age: 26

2021 Stats: 158 G, 677 PA, 8 HR, 20 SB, .271 AVG, .312 OBP, .357 SLG, 85 OPS+, 3.7 rWAR

Contract Status: 2nd-Year Arbitration-Eligible

According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, the possibility exists that the Texas Rangers will trade Isiah Kiner-Falefa before spring training gives way to the regular season.

Though not quite a guarantee, the idea passes muster for two reasons: The Rangers recently added a far better shortstop off the free-agent market, and they may soon also find a better option for third base from within.

The former is of course Corey Seager, who bumped Kiner-Falefa from short to the hot corner as soon as he signed his 10-year, $325 million contract. Health permitting, the other is Josh Jung. He's an offensively gifted prospect who we ranked as baseball's No. 25 talent at the end of the 2021 season.

Though Kiner-Falefa has the feeble bat of a utility infielder, his Gold Glove-winning defensive ability at shortstop would be wasted in such a role. As to the potential market for him, Grant and SNY's Andy Martino identified at least one interested party in December: the New York Yankees.

8. CF Kevin Kiermaier, Tampa Bay Rays

Age: 31

2021 Stats: 122 G, 390 PA, 4 HR, 9 SB, .259 AVG, .328 OBP, .388 SLG, 104 OPS+, 3.4 rWAR

Contract Status: $12.2 Million Salary (2022), $13 Million Team Option/$2.5 Million Buyout (2023)

Kevin Kiermaier has been manning center field for the Tampa Bay Rays on a regular basis since 2014, yet it's come to that point where the Rays have to consider offloading him to save money.

This is according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. In January, he reported that Rays president of baseball operations Erik Neander even called Kiermaier before the lockout to inform him of trade talks.

For now, Kiermaier is still penciled in as Tampa Bay's everyday center fielder. Yet the Rays have our 62nd-ranked prospect, Josh Lowe, standing by to take that role. When he does, he'll make a fraction of what Kiermaier is set to earn in 2022.

Despite questions looming over Kiermaier's bat and injury history—the latter of which includes arthroscopic knee surgery in November—the three-time Gold Glover is still an impact player on defense. Per Matt Gelb of The Athletic, the Philadelphia Phillies were interested prior to the lockout.