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Five International MLB Players Most Likely to be Traded

 Conor Liguori  |    May 30th, 2024 5:00pm EDT

Yusei Kikuchi has a meeting on the mound. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)

There comes a point when it’s time to move on. For these five international Major League Baseball players, a change of scenery could benefit all parties involved.  

  1. Kenley Jansen, RHP, Boston Red Sox (Curacao) 

Statistically, Jansen is one of the best closers of the last 20-30 years and is tied with Craig Kimbrel for fifth all-time with 429 career saves. However, he’s an impending free agent on a Red Sox team competing in a tough American League East division.  

Jansen, 36, may not be the reliever he once was, but he still holds a 30.7 percent strikeout rate in 2024, making him an ideal candidate for postseason contenders needing an extra reliable arm.  

Possible Fits: Chicago Cubs, Atlanta Braves, San Diego Padres 

  1. Ha-Seong Kim, SS/2B, San Diego Padres (South Korea) 

San Diego is trying to lower its payroll as much as possible, which started with trading superstar outfielder Juan Soto to the New York Yankees. All indications point to Kim not re-signing with the Padres this winter, as he won his first Gold Glove Award in 2023 and finished the season with a 5.8 WAR, 13th in MLB.  

Kim will not receive half the money Juan Soto does in free agency, but it will be a respectable amount for an underrated player. San Diego seems unwilling to open the checkbook, which makes Kim an ideal trade candidate.  

Possible Fits: Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, Tampa Bay Rays 

  1. Gleyber Torres, 2B, New York Yankees (Venezuela)

Torres enters free agency for the first time in his seven-year MLB career this offseason. However, he’s not having one of his better-hitting seasons. The second baseman’s OPS+ was 81 heading into Thursday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels, indicating he is hitting 19 percent worse than the average MLB batter.  

He’s on a Yankees team that appears to be a serious contender this year but may be missing a small piece or two. If New York prefers, they could ship Gleyber to add a bullpen arm and a lower-tier prospect.  

Possible Fits: Milwaukee Brewers, Detroit Tigers, Miami Marlins  

  1. Luis Severino, RHP, New York Mets (Dominican Republic) 

Severino had a dreadful 2023 season with the Yankees. There’s no way to sugarcoat it. After signing a one-year prove-it deal with the Mets, the righty has shown last season was his outlier.  

 Unfortunately for Severino, the Mets are crumbling and sitting six games back of the third NL wild card spot. That makes Severino a prime candidate to be involved in a trade to a contender, not one centered around him. Severino’s 118 ERA+ may not blow anyone away, but he could provide valuable long-relief innings for a team in need.  

Possible Fits: Cleveland Guardians, Houston Astros, San Francisco Giants  

  1. Yusei Kikuchi, LHP, Toronto Blue Jays (Japan) 

Toronto will not finish first in the AL East division; it will have to fight for a wild card spot. If the Blue Jays’ record continues to nosedive, it may be time for a summer sale.  

That would likely include Kikuchi, who could help Toronto land a few prospects in return. The lefty will be a free agent at season’s end and can occasionally have stellar performances, including his eight innings of two-run ball against Minnesota on May 10. Kikuchi strikes out exactly nine hitters per nine innings.   

Possible Fits: Chicago Cubs, Kansas City Royals, Texas Rangers  

Honorable Mentions: Eloy Jimenez, OF/DH, Chicago White Sox (Dominican Republic), Aroldis Chapman, LHP, Pittsburgh Pirates (Cuba), Jose Quintana, LHP, New York Mets (Colombia), Frankie Montas, RHP, Cincinnati Reds (Dominican Republic), Max Kepler, OF, Minnesota Twins (Germany)  

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Conor Liguori