As the trade deadline approaches, teams have a general understanding of what they need to upgrade before the playoff push begins. While there are tons of pitchers that are going to be available, and a host of first baseman to choose from, the market for second base is incredibly weak. There are eight candidates who have a realistic chance of being moved, but few have the ability to truly impact whichever team attempts to acquire their services.
Who are the eight candidates?
The team with the most depth, and movable pieces for the second base market is without a doubt the Arizona Diamondbacks. They have 50 percent of the players listed, while the Oakland Athletics come in second with 25 percent of the field.
Player fWAR Team
The Nationals figure to be involved with at least one of these players, as they've already been linked with five of them. Jon Morosi of Fox Sports reported that they've expressed interest in the "Diamondbacks surplus of of middle infielders", although he stopped short of specifically pinpointing one of the four. Nick Ahmed seems like the best option, as he's the only one with a positive fWAR. Washington has also been connected with Ben Zobrist, as he would give them depth at every infield position, while also being able to fill in for Jayson Werth until he's able to return to the outfield.
DJ LeMahieu and Brandon Phillips are the most intriguing names left on the list, although it's unclear if the Rockies would be willing to move their second baseman. He's in the midst of his best season in his short career, and is under team control through the 2018 season. In 270 plate appearances, he's posted a slash line of .316/.364/.408 and provided a lot of value defensively.
While LeMahieu would be easy to move if GM Jeff Bridich chooses to go that route, Phillips will be more difficult to trade. He's owed $27 million from 2016-2017, and just over five million for the rest of this season. He's on pace to set career lows in ISO and wRC+, but if the Reds were willing to eat some of his contract, a team like the Yankees might be willing to take Phillips. They're currently trotting out Stephen Drew on an everyday basis, and while he's shown a surprising amount of power in 2015, Phillips would still represent an overall offensive upgrade.
The trade market should start sorting itself out over the next couple of weeks, and while it's nearly impossible to predict how it's going to shape up, the one thing that is certain is that second base will be incredibly difficult for teams to address.