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The end of July is usually a hotbed of trade rumors around the majors, with star players’ names being floated around in trades. However, since last year’s inclusion of a second wild card playoff spot, more teams have been hesitant to ship away their top talent because they still see a glimmer of hope.
I believe no longer will we see many big name trades, but instead more one-year rental type players and role players being moved. The only teams that will be selling are teams decidedly out of playoff contention. At the moment, the main sellers look to be the White Sox, Mets, Cubs, and the Brewers. The four of these teams have entered rebuilding mode and have quality pieces that can be moved to contenders in exchange for young talent. Many would classify the Marlins as a seller but with Ricky Nolasco already traded, and their offseason super sale, there isn’t much left for the Loria’s to put on the market.
The White Sox main commodity to be shopped is pitcher Jake Peavy. The former Cy Young winner has his fair share of injury woes, but has solid stats on the year (7-4 4.19 ERA 69 SO). He would certainly be a great fit for a team in a playoff hunt and in need of an arm. I look for the Yankees, Red Sox, Giants or Rangers to move on Peavy. Also look for Paul Konerko to be mentioned in rumors. A big bat with an expiring contract is always desirable.
Next we look at the Mets. The Mets have two players that can help any contender in closer Bobby Parnell and outfielder Marlon Byrd. Teams like the Detroit Tigers need a power arm in the back of the bullpen. Byrd is having a career year and is top ten amongst NL outfielders in home runs, RBI and slugging percentage. Look for the Mets, who are rebuilding, to add young prospects in exchange for these proven veterans. The Mets also have a plethora of young pitching prospects and money to spend. They may pull a shocker an try an add a star-power outfielder.
The next team looking to sell is also in rebuilding mode; the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs, much like their cross-town counterparts, have a desirable quality starter on the block in Matt Garza. Garza is a top three starter for any team and a contender will pay the premium for him. Teams rumored to be interested on Garza are the Yankees, Orioles, Rangers, Dodgers and one “Mystery NL Team.” My gut says Garza goes to Baltimore.
Lastly we come to the Brewers. Milwaukee has some good young hitters in Gomez, Segura and Braun, but lacks young pitching. They have a surplus of quality bullpen arms, however. Look for Francisco Rodriguez, John Axford, or Jim Henderson to be moved for a starting pitching prospect.
The way the deadline is handled now has changed and I believe there will be many more buyers rather than sellers. Look for many if not all of these players to be moved as teams look to position themselves for the stretch run.
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