5 MLB Aces That Could Be Moved Prior to the July 31 Trade Deadline

By Paul Shapiro
Washington Nationals  v Detroit Tigers
Washington Nationals v Detroit Tigers / Dave Reginek/Getty Images

With the MLB trade deadline less than a month away, it's time for playoff contenders to kick their rotations into gear and start targeting pitchers they could acquire in order to boost their chances of making the postseason.

With that in mind, here are five aces that could be on the move prior to the July 31 trade deadline.

5. Luis Castillo, Cincinnati Reds

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Luis Castillo is having his best season since making his debut for the Cincinnati Reds in 2017. Through 18 starts, he has a 8-3 record and a 2.29 ERA, despite pitching for the last-place team in the NL Central. Castillo would require a haul in a trade, but the young right-hander would provide a major boost to any team able to acquire the 26-year-old ace – both for the rest of this season and likely for years to come.

4. Marcus Stroman, Toronto Blue Jays

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Marcus Stroman's 5-9 record and 3.18 ERA tell the story of a good pitcher on a bad team. The Blue Jays are all but mathematically eliminated from the MLB postseason, as the team is 33-57 and 25.5 games out of first place in the AL East coming into play Sunday. It's only a matter of time before teams with playoff aspirations start calling Toronto about Stroman's availability.

3. Trevor Bauer, Cleveland Indians

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Trevor Bauer hasn't quite lived up to the hype as a trendy preseason Cy Young Award candidate, but has put together a solid season nonetheless. He has a 3.74 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP through his first 19 starts this year, and could be on the move before the trade deadline. With the Indians sitting 6.5 games out of first place in the AL Central prior to Sunday's game with the Reds, they could cut bait and get some a quality prospect or two in exchange for the electric right-hander.

2. Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants

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Despite not having his best stuff this year (5-7, 4.03 ERA), Madison Bumgarner has proven that he's just about as reliable a postseason arm as there is. His career 2.11 ERA and 0.89 WHIP in the postseason should make him a trade target for any team that expects to still be playing baseball come October.

1. Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals

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Max Scherzer has been one of the best pitchers in baseball for years now. The two-time Cy Young Award winner is putting together another solid season in 2019 with a 2.30 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. He's won seven straight starts and is as good as they come for any team looking to improve its pitching staff. Scherzer will garner a lot of attention if the Nationals are serious about moving him and the right-hander could be the difference between a playoff team and a World Series champion.

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