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MLB: Top 15 International Prospects Most Likely To Be Traded

 David Polli - World Baseball Network  |    Jul 8th, 2024 9:20am EDT

The MLB trade deadline is almost upon us. Here are the top 15 international prospects most likely to be moved over the next month.

1. Ethan Salas, C, SDP – Venezuela. MLB #6 Overall Prospect

The number 6 prospect in all of baseball, the 18-year-old Venezuelan is the number one piece for the San Diego Padres to move at the deadline. A lefty catcher with good defensive attributes, Salas is already in high A ball. However, he is struggling at the plate and a decent way away from the majors. We know that Padres GM AJ Preller is unhinged, possibly on the hot seat, and loves to make big trades at the expense of his farm system.

Possible Landing Spots: Mets, Rays, Blue Jays

2. Samuel Basallo, C/1B, BAL – Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. MLB #12 Overall Prospect

Basallo, the No. 12 ranked prospect in baseball, is a luxury that the Orioles can afford to lose. The Orioles need some pitching help, an outfielder, and could use a utility infielder bat to legitimize themselves in a tight division race with the Yankees. With Adley Rutchman at catcher for the long term, Basallo would be a useful addition in a package for a big-time player like Luis Robert or Alex Bregman.

Possible Landing Spots: White Sox, Astros, Athletics, Angels

3. Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF, MIN – Santiago, Dominican Republic. MLB #27 Overall Prospect

The Twins have gone on tremendous winning streaks this season and seem pretty confident in their outfield. Rodriguez is an incredible bat currently dominating Double-A, so he could be used as ammunition for a big piece. The Twins need a second baseman, a starter, and bullpen help so names like Bo Bichette, Garrett Crochet, and Luis Severino come to mind.

Possible Landing Spots: Angels, Mets, White Sox, Blue Jays

4. Sebastian Walcott, SS, TEX – Nassau, Bahamas. MLB #73 Overall Prospect

As defending World Series champs, the Rangers are very doubtful to sell. With the middle infield of Seager and Semien locked up until 2028, Walcott has no true place in the lineup. We know the Rangers are willing to part with their top prospects for MLB star talent as they did last year, giving up Luisangel Acuna for Max Scherzer. Although the Rangers have underwhelmed this year and slumped as of late due to injuries, they have incredible talent, leading them to buy with prospects rather than sell. They could use a catcher to pair with Jonah Heim, an outfielder, and bullpen help.

Possible Landing Spots: Marlins, Rockies, Athletics

5. Starlyn Caba, SS, PHI – Bonao, Dominican Republic. MLB #89 Overall Prospect

Dave Dombrowski loves to fire away, and with the Phillies being arguably the best team in baseball, Caba seems like a surefire piece to go. Philadelphia has been connected to Luis Robert for center field help and could go after Mason Miller to lock down an anchor in the bullpen for the next couple years of postseason runs. Caba and his plus speed have been solid in rookie ball, so he could be a casualty of a Phillies World Series push.

Possible Landing Spots: Athletics, White Sox, Rays

6. Felnin Celesten, SS, SEA -Guaymate, Dominican Republic. MLB #92 Overall Prospect

The Mariners flat-out cannot hit this season. Luckily, their top 3 staff and lights-out back end of the bullpen have given them a 47-39 record, good for 1st place in the AL West. The Astros have been red hot lately, closing the gap on the Mariners. You know that they will make some kind of move for a bat, which could be to replace any player except for Julio Rodriguez, Luke Raley, Dylan Moore, and maybe Cal Raleigh. Celesten, the Mariners No. 5 prospect, is their top international prospect and very possibly could be moved with two shortstop prospects ranked ahead of him in the organization. Could Celesten make for Vladdy Jr. being sleepless in Seattle come August?

Possible Landing Spots: Blue Jays, Nationals, Angels

7. Everson Pereira, OF, NYY – Cabudare, Venezuela. Yankees #4 Prospect

The Yankees are known buyers at this deadline. They need infield help badly, as well as bullpen help. They won’t part with Dominguez or Spencer Jones as they both heavily play into their future plans, so the 23-year-old outfielder becomes expendable. He’s very close to MLB-ready, even getting some time in the majors late last season so he could pencil in at-bats for a rebuilding team’s back half of 2024.

Possible Landing Spots: Rockies, Marlins, Cubs, Athletics

8. Daniel Espino, RHP, CLE – Panama City, Panama. Guardians’ #5 Prospect

Espino is one of baseball’s most exciting pitching prospects. The Guardians’ top farm arm would have to yield a significant addition, considering Cleveland’s struggles in the starting rotation. However, he will be a topic in many discussions as the Guardians look to add to the most surprising contender in the American League.

Possible Landing Spots: Giants, Reds, White Sox

9. Diego Cartaya, C, LAD -Maracay, Venezuela. Dodgers’ #7 Prospect

Cartaya finds himself in a weird spot. The former #1 International prospect in the class of 2018 is now one of three catchers in the Dodgers’ top 8 prospects. The righty has struggled the last two seasons in AAA, and with Will Smith’s extension in the majors and Dodgers #1 prospect Dalton Rushing being prepped for his debut next season, the Dodgers will look to flip from a position of depth. The Dodgers have had reported interest in Garrett Crochet and could look to add one of the other top starters on the block.

Possible Landing Spots: White Sox, Reds, Tigers

10. Tsung Che-Cheng, SS, PIT – Pingtung County, Taiwan. Pirates’ #7 Prospect

The Pirates have an opportunity to make the playoffs for the first time in 9 seasons, and to capitalize on a very vulnerable NL Central, they will need to part with some prospect capital. With O’Neil Cruz looking to be a future star at short and Termarr Johnson coming up to be his partner in the infield, Che-Cheng is the odd man out. Pirates need a couple of solid bats to pair with their incredible bullpen and young stud rotation, so they could look to take multiple role players from a selling team in a single deal.

Possible Landing Spots: Diamondbacks, Nationals, Athletics

11. Yandel Ricardo, SS, KCR – Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Royals’ #8 Prospect

The highest-ranking foreign-born Royal prospect signed for 2.4 million dollars at 17 and projects as a high-ceiling player once he fills out his 6 ‘1 frame. The Royals are enjoying a great season, and while unexpected, the #8 KC prospect is right in the area of availability for the right addition. The Royals staff has been great, so maybe adding multiple bullpen arms would be what Ricardo would be traded for.

Possible Landing Spots: Nationals, Tigers, Mets

12. Won-Bin Cho, OF, STL – Seongnam, South Korea. Cardinals’ #10 Prospect

The Cardinals have a below-average farm system and an average team that is currently three games above .500 despite struggling bats and a weak back end of the rotation. Only six games behind the Brewers for the division and currently sitting in the 3rd Wild-Card spot, the Cardinals aren’t exactly getting younger, so it would be wise for them to make some moves. Without the elite prospects, Cho’s strong arm and raw pop could be a flier on which rebuilding teams would pounce. A reunion with Jordan Montgomery could be in the cards, as could fresh faces with Cal Quantrill, Andrew Heaney, or Aaron Civale.

Possible Landing Spots: Rays, Rangers, Rockies, Diamondbacks

13. Jhancarlos Lara RHP ATL – San Cristobal, Dominican Republic. Braves’ #13 Prospect

The Braves have a farm system loaded with MLB-ready starting pitching. That makes their #13 prospect, 6’3, 21-year-old Lara, available. The Braves lineup has been underwhelming without Ronald Acuna Jr, so outfield help is a must for Alex Anthopoulos. Guys like Taylor Ward, Joc Pederson, and Marc Cahna make sense for Lara and another Braves prospect to be packaged for.

Possible Landing Spots: Angels, Diamondbacks, Tigers, White Sox

14. Miguel Ullola, RHP, HOU – Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. Astros’ 20 Prospect

The Astros have shaken off their slow start and now stand at 43-41, three games out of the final wild-card spot. Given this team’s playoff experience and recent success, they are out of the seller market. It is doubtful that they decide to part with any of their top prospects, but a guy like Ullola could be shipped out to plug some holes. They have glaring holes at first base and starting pitcher.

Possible Landing Spots: Giants, Marlins, Diamondbacks

15. Cesar Lares LHP MIN – Maracay, Venezuela. Twins’ #25 Prospect

Lares is a soft-tossing, undersized lefty but possesses a great selection of offspeed pitches/breaking balls. The Twins would be smart to value him highly, banking on his fastball velocity going up, but he could surely be flipped for some volatile bullpen piece by this deadline.

Possible Landing Spots: Cubs, Marlins, Angels

Photo Credit: Ethan Salas #90 of the San Diego Padres bats during the ninth inning of a spring training game. (Photo by David Durochik/Diamond Images via Getty Images)

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David Polli - World Baseball Network