Major League Baseball’s Aug. 2 trade deadline is quickly approaching, and several big names already have circulated the rumor mill — veterans like Willson Contreras, Frankie Montas and Luis Castillo. There are also numerous trade candidates who are receiving less fanfare but could make a significant impact for a contender.

Here are five players who could make a huge difference in October.


Jun 24, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Washington Nationals first baseman Josh Bell (19) reacts after scoring during the sixth inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Bell, first baseman, Washington Nationals

It’s been a few seasons since Bell was an offensive force as the rising Pirates slugger who earned an All-Star selection in 2019. Like many, Bell had a tough time offensively in the shortened 60-game season in 2020. But in 2021, his first season in Washington, he started to look like the player many thought he could be, slashing .261/.347/.476 with 27 home runs and 88 RBIs.

This season, Bell is pushing for a return to the Midsummer Classic. The 29-year-old first baseman is hitting .319/.402/.507 with 11 home runs.

Bell’s obvious assets are his power and ability to hit from both sides of the plate. He’s also no slouch with the glove, playing an above-average first base, and could handle DH duties.

Potential fits: Red Sox, Giants


Jun 28, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Cincinnati Reds third baseman Brandon Drury (22) hits an RBI-double against the Chicago Cubs during the sixth inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Drury, infielder, Cincinnati Reds

The road back to the big leagues has been interesting for Drury. After thriving early in his career with the Diamondbacks in 2016 to ’17, he bounced around the majors with stints on the Yankees, Blue Jays and Mets.

After several injuries forced the Reds' hand, Drury got another opportunity in Cincinnati, and he has made the most of it. The 29-year-old has been one of the best offensive infielders in baseball this season, slashing .279/.337/.541 with 16 homers (tying his career high) in 64 games.

Drury provides defensive versatility and has experience playing the outfield. He’s no wizard at any position and has been a below-average defender at both second and third base, where he’s spent most of his time. But, being in the final year of his contract, he won’t be too expensive. And he is the perfect fit for a full-time or platoon role on a a team looking to make a playoff push.

Potential fits: Brewers, Guardians, Twins, Padres


Jun 26, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Royals left fielder Andrew Benintendi (16) dives home to score a run during the sixth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Benintendi, outfielder, Kansas City Royals

Not long ago, Benintendi was one of the most coveted young outfielders. He spent the last two years adjusting to life in Kansas City. This season, he has returned to being a key contributor at the top of the Royals’ lineup. He’s currently slashing .305/.370/.393 and leads the team in batting average, on-base percentage, OPS (.763) and hits (84).

Benintendi is still toolsy, which was one of his best traits when he got to the big leagues, and is still an above-average runner. He also has cut down his strikeout numbers significantly since he got to Kansas City. However, his power has declined as well.

The soon-to-be 28-year-old is an above-average defender in left field and would be a boost in any outfield.

Potential fits: Padres, Blue Jays


May 29, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Andrew Chafin (37) pitches in the seventh inning against the Cleveland Guardians at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Chafin, pitcher, Detroit Tigers

You’re unlikely to find many guys like Chafin in a big-league clubhouse. His personality has made him a fan favorite in every spot he’s been in. But fans also like him because he’s been so consistent as a reliable bullpen arm.

Last offseason, Chafin signed a two-year deal with the Tigers, and while things have not gone well in Detroit, the left-hander has still managed to produce a 2.95 ERA in 26 games.

Chafin has experience as a high-leverage reliever. And he’s effective against both right- and left-handed hitters, making him a valuable piece in any contender’s bullpen.

Potential fits: Mets, Phillies, Twins, Guardians


Jun 19, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Christian Walker (53) bats against the Minnesota Twins during the fourth inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Christian Walker, first baseman, Arizona Diamondbacks

Walker is a bit of an unknown for people who don’t get to watch him in Arizona, but he might be the best power hitter nobody talks about. There’s no wondering what he is there to do in the box. He’s looking to take pitchers deep and he does that with the best of them.

Walker, 31, is tied for third in the National League with 19 home runs, and you’ll rarely find a cheapy as he routinely hits titanic blasts. He’s currently on pace to surpass his career high of 29 homers in 2019. The burly first baseman isn’t going to ever hit for a high average, but he will take his walks and can hit in the middle of any lineup.

But maybe the most underrated part of Walker’s game is his defense. He has been the best defensive first baseman in baseball this season, with MLB bests in defensive runs saved (10) and outs above average (7) at his position, and he is well on his way to his first Gold Glove Award.

Potential fit: Red Sox

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