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MLB Trade Deadline Primer- Top 10 Most Likely To Be Traded (Part One) - This Is Sports Zone
 
 

Today, This Is SportsZone is privileged to introduce our newest Guest Writer, who can also be seen on the Fan vs. Fan network site NFL Draft Insiders, please welcome Kristopher Daly.

With the All-Star game in the rear view mirror from lovely Minneapolis, we turn our attention to the final two weeks of July, in what can be the most pivotal time of the season around baseball as we approach the heralded July 31st trade deadline. General managers in both leagues will be working the phone lines feverishly to gather information on who might be the main buyers and sellers as the deadline quickly approaches.

With a new playoff format, adding an extra wild card to both the National and American league has changed the landscape of the traditional trade deadline process. Teams now who may have fallen out of their respective divisional races may still believe with a couple solidly played months of baseball that they could make a run at one of the wild card berths in each league. This causes a fluctuation in the trade market with more buyers than sellers leading to less than fair deals for mediocre talent(s).

At the other end of the spectrum, franchises such as the Texas Rangers, Chicago Cubs, Tampa Bay Rays, Philadelphia Phillies, and others with no legitimate shot at contention must make the decision to either completely rebuild and sell off veteran players for prospects, or continue to mire in mediocrity for yet another season.

Baseball. It’s a tricky business.

We can armchair GM all we want, but when it comes down to it, the trade deadline offers us a unique perspective on just how difficult it must be to run a franchise without alienating an entire fanbase by selling star players for unknown quantities.

Here’s the ten players that will and/or should be traded in the next two weeks:

1. David Price, SP-Tampa Bay Rays

prPrice is the best player conceivably on the trade market, as the rumors continue to fly out of Tampa on what GM Andrew Friedman will do with his prized left hander. 9.5 games out of the first, the Rays find themselves at a crossroad with Price. A free agent after the 2015 season, Rays management knows that they probably cannot afford to keep him long term with certain payroll restrictions.

Price, 28 is having another stellar season. At 9-7 and a 3.23 ERA, he leads all of baseball with 164 strikeouts. His value probably will never be higher, and it’s probably in the Rays’ best interest to deal him now before next year’s deadline where leverage then leans towards the buyer.

It’s a tough call on Price as the Rays have shown flashes in recent weeks lending hope to a possible run in September.

Possible destinations include Seattle Mariners, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago Cubs, LA Angels/Dodgers, and St. Louis Cardinals.

2. Martin Prado, 2b/3b/ss/OF-Arizona Diamondbacks

pradoThe Diamondbacks currently sit at 40-56, 13.5 GB of the first place Dodgers in the NL West. It was over before it began. It was has been a disastrous season from the get-go for Diamondbacks slugging star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and Co. The time is now for a roster overhaul. Tony La Russa was brought in to run the organization, and Manager Kirk Gibson might be jettisoned as well. Injuries to starters Daniel Hudson and Patrick Corbin during Spring Training haven’t helped either.

Prado, a key cog in the Justin Upton trade with the Atlanta Braves is a valuable trade chip for his versatility and professional approach he takes at the plate. He’s not hitting terribly this year (.275 Avg, 36 RBI) and probably could be had for the right price despite a high salary ($11 Million).

Look for fellow infielder, second baseman Aaron Hill to also be on the move come July 31st as the D’Backs look to rebuild around a promising farm system.

Possible Destinations include Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, LA Angels, Baltimore Orioles

3. The Entire Philadelphia Phillies Roster

images40XPRLNNSeriously. Sorry Philly fans, the run is over and I mean over. GM Ruben Amaro must face facts. The core that was so dynamic and won a championship in 2007 have now faded into oblivion. Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, who all basically came up together through the minor leagues now could all be dealt by the deadline. Several years ago, a statement like this would have been blasphemous. Sitting at 42-53 in last place in the NL East, (even behind the NY Mets) 2014 should be the end of the line for this current group of Phillies.

Starting pitchers, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and AJ Burnett could all have new homes by the time the calendar turns to August. It would be wise for Amaro to turn these three productive pitchers into exciting young prospects to re-energize what has become a barren farm system. Also look for; closer Jonathan Papelbon and starting outfielder Marlon Byrd to be on the move as well.

This trade deadline might mean more to the Philadelphia franchise than any other with eyes on the future. Amaro must strike gold and not sit on his hands waiting for a dramatic turnaround from the veteran ballclub.

Depressing days for the Phanatic await.

4. Starlin Castro, SS-Chicago Cubs

castro-s-083112-sg-06While the Cubs have languished in last place in the NL Central all season, they did however make the first aggressive move on the trade market, sending pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for a package of prospects. One of the prospects making his way to the Windy City from Oakland was shortstop Addison Russell, who is considered by many to be one of the top prospects in all of baseball. Many pundits believe acquiring Russell signaled that current SS Starlin Castro was now on the trade block.

Rumors continue to swirl Wrigley Field of the possibilities of a Castro trade to a contending team who needs middle infield help. Only 24, Castro has a world of talent but questions surrounding his work ethic and attitude have crept up in recent days giving teams pause for the high asking price he will command on the market.

It might be wise for GM Theo Esptein to sell high on the young shortstop.

Possible destinations include NY Mets, Boston Red Sox, LA Dodgers, Seattle Mariners.

5. Chase Headley, 3B- San Diego Padres

headeHeadley has been a name on the trade market for nearly two full seasons now. In 2012, Headley was an NL MVP candidate (.286 Avg 31 HR 115 RBI) , but his play since has been in rapid decline. So far this season, Headley sports a .226 Avg, 7 HR and 29 RBI) with a career low OPS of .646.

Many experts point to the fact Headley plays in perhaps the worst hitting ballpark in the majors, the infamous Petco Park, but he has shown the ability to hit well in the spacious park in the past.

With the Padres well out of the NL West race and wild card contention, Headley makes a prime candidate to be traded by July 31st. He has shown signs of life in recent weeks, and the Padres could use an influx of young talent.

Possible trade destinations include, Toronto Blue Jays, St. Louis Cardinals, Atlanta Braves, Seattle Mariners.   UPDATE: Traded to Yankees 7/22

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