Every MLB Team's Most Likely Trade Deadline Deal
It doesn't get much better than the MLB trade season.
Not every team will pull off a swap between now and the deadline, but there's no question that everybody is at least looking. All the non-waiver trade business must be completed by July 31, which makes now the perfect time to take a look around the league and figure out what the most likely deal is for each of the 30 clubs.
There are lots of questions to be answered between now and the deadline, but none are more pressing than where David Price will end up and if Matt Kemp's time with the Los Angeles Dodgers is running out.
The Houston Astros Will Sell High on Chad Qualls
Chad Qualls has pitched so effectively for the Houston Astros in 2014 that the reliever "is now someone that teams are asking about," according to Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe.
The Astros won't get anywhere near the same haul that the San Diego Padres received for closer Huston Street. Still, the fact that Qualls is pitching on a two-year, $5.95 million deal means that the club is in line for an excellent return.
The Los Angeles Angels Will Do Nothing at All
It sounds like the Los Angeles Angels are closed for business.
General manager Jerry Dipoto told Jim Bowden of ESPN and SiriusXM that the Angels "are not likely to do any more deals unless there is an injury to a starter." Even if there is a health issue in the rotation, landing a starter will be nearly impossible.
Following the Huston Street deal, what was already a thin minor league system is now completely depleted.
The Oakland Athletics Will Find an 'Upgrade' at Second Base
As the most well-rounded team in baseball, it's not easy to find a position that the Oakland Athletics need to improve.
The most logical spot to add a player would be at second base. Big league executives have told ESPN's Jim Bowden (subscription required) that GM Billy Beane "continues to be aggressive in his search to upgrade at second base."
Daniel Murphy of the New York Mets is a top option to consider.
The Seattle Mariners Will Add an Outfield Bat
With the lowest team OPS in the American League, the Seattle Mariners seriously need to add a bat.
The easiest way to do so would be to acquire a corner outfielder via a trade. Josh Willingham of the Minnesota Twins, Dayan Viciedo of the Chicago White Sox and Marlon Byrd of the Philadelphia Phillies have all been tabbed as potential targets by Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
Whether any of those outfielders would prove a substantial enough improvement to keep pace in the furious AL West is a legitimate question.
The Texas Rangers Will Ship out Joakim Soria
When a team is 22 games out of first place, a lockdown closer is an unnecessary luxury.
That's exactly the situation that the Texas Rangers and Joakim Soria find themselves in. According to Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports, the Detroit Tigers have expressed an interest in the 30-year-old right-hander.
Soria is the most likely Ranger to get traded before the deadline, but he certainly won't be the only one. Alex Rios, who becomes a free agent at the end of the season, is another player to watch out for.
The Chicago White Sox Will Send Dayan Viciedo to a Contender
The Chicago White Sox roster is littered with trade chips.
As Scott Gregor of the Daily Herald argues, one of the players with the highest odds of being dealt is left fielder Dayan Viciedo. What makes the Cuban such an ideal trade piece is that he has a ton of power, which is one of the most elusive tools in baseball. This season, the 25-year-old has gone yard 12 times and also added 19 doubles.
The Cleveland Indians Will Consider Moving Asdrubal Cabrera but Ultimately Won't
There hasn't been much trade talk surrounding the Tribe.
The most discussed move has been the idea of shipping out Asdrubal Cabrera, who is set to become a free agent agent at the end of the season. According to Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports, the San Francisco Giants have checked in on Cabrera and utility man Mike Aviles.
As Morosi points out, the infielders would only become available if Cleveland drops out of the playoff race. Right now, that's not happening, as the club is two games out of the second wild-card spot. The most likely outcome is that the trade deadline will pass quietly in Cleveland.
The Detroit Tigers Will Land a Bullpen Arm
The Detroit Tigers bullpen has created plenty of debacles in 2014.
Subsequently, the most probable addition for the Tigers before the deadline is a late-inning reliever. Joaquin Benoit of the San Diego Padres and Joakim Soria of the Texas Rangers are two of the relievers on Detroit's "short list," as Jon Paul Morosi explains in a video on Fox Sports.
While the Tigers have one of the worst farm systems in baseball, Morosi notes that the club has the chips to land either Benoit or Soria.
The Kansas City Royals Will Acquire a Right-Handed-Hitting Outfielder
The Kansas City Royals need help in right field and at the designated hitter's spot.
According to Andy McCullough of The Kansas City Star, the Philadelphia Phillies' Marlon Byrd would be the "best option." With Byrd, though, there are complications. As McCullough reports, the team would likely need to pick up the veteran's $8 million option for 2015 to convince him to waive his no-trade clause.
That's where Jonny Gomes of the Boston Red Sox enters the equation. Making just $5 million this season, Gomes would represent a much more economical option for the Royals. The outfielder, who has tagged lefties to the tune of a .317 average, has been linked to the Royals by Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.
Of course, Gomes could end up becoming unavailable if the Red Sox continue their climb back into playoff contention.
The Minnesota Twins Will Trade Kurt Suzuki to a Contender
The 2014 season has been a career year for Kurt Suzuki.
The All-Star is batting .305 with 18 doubles for the Minnesota Twins. That means that the backstop, who is set to hit the free-agent market this winter, has never had a higher trade value. With Yadier Molina on the shelf, the St. Louis Cardinals would be an ideal landing spot for the veteran. Even if he doesn't end up in St. Louis, now is the perfect time for the Twins to move Suzuki.
The Baltimore Orioles Will Add A.J. Burnett from the Philadelphia Phillies
One of the top priorities for the Baltimore Orioles will be to shore up the club's struggling rotation before the deadline passes. The acquisition of A.J. Burnett would do just that. The right-hander for the Phillies appears to be available on the trade market, according to Randy Miller of NJ.com.
As Miller notes, Baltimore would be an ideal geographical fit for Burnett, who has a home in Maryland. Another benefit of dealing for the right-hander is that the O's would likely be able to make a trade for Burnett without parting with top prospects like Dylan Bundy and Hunter Harvey.
The Boston Red Sox Will Deal Jake Peavy but Still Remain in the Playoff Race
Winners of seven of the past 10, the Boston Red Sox are slowly getting back into the race in the underwhelming AL East.
Despite their rise, Jake Peavy could still be on his way out of town. As Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe notes, the Red Sox scheduled their post-All-Star break rotation to have Peavy pitch last. Abraham speculates that the decision was made to maximize the amount of time for the front office to work out a potential trade.
If Peavy does get dealt, the Red Sox could then plug Brandon Workman into the rotation spot vacated by the veteran.
The New York Yankees Will Bring in Another Outfielder
If GM Brian Cashman wants to be aggressive, the player that the club should be going after is Cliff Lee.
In the weak AL East, the addition of Lee would be exactly the kind of move that would keep the New York Yankees afloat, even with 80 percent of the Opening Day rotation out due to injury. However, acquiring the veteran left-hander from the Phillies is far from likely.
A more realistic move would be to add an extra bat to the outfield without putting a dent in an already understrength farm system. Lou DiPietro of the YES Network suggests Josh Willingham of the Twins as a potential fit.
Adding the 35-year-old wouldn't be an inspiring move, but there's a chance that Willingham could be revitalized by a change of scenery. Plus, as he's set to become a free agent at the end of the season, Willingham shouldn't cost much to acquire.
The Tampa Bay Rays Will Cash in on David Price
The Tampa Bay Rays sure are making it interesting.
The club has roared back into postseason contention and now sits just six games out of the second wild-card spot. That run has put the brakes on talk of David Price leaving town via a trade before the deadline. While a Price blockbuster might not materialize before July 31, it still remains the most likely move that the Rays could potentially pull off.
Both the St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles Dodgers have the trade chips to make highly compelling offers to the Rays.
The Toronto Blue Jays Will Acquire an Extra Bat
With Edwin Encarnacion, Brett Lawrie and Adam Lind all on the disabled list, the Toronto Blue Jays have been struggling to score runs.
To solve that problem, the Blue Jays need to bring in a bat, and Chase Headley should be the top option. According to Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports, the Blue Jays have discussed the possibility of trading for Headley with the Padres. The third baseman is hitting just .229 on the season, but he has been swinging at a clip of .323 in July.
The Arizona Diamondbacks Will Move Oliver Perez
With the Arizona Diamondbacks enduring a disappointing season, there should be plenty of veterans available on the trade market.
The player who looks to be the most likely to depart via a trade is Oliver Perez. As Jon Heyman of CBS Sports notes, the left-handed reliever has been "raising his value" as of late. The lefty has posted a 2.00 ERA on the season and 0.93 mark in his past 10 contests.
The Colorado Rockies Will Trade LaTroy Hawkins
With the Colorado Rockies owning the worst record in the NL, there's not much sense in holding onto closer LaTroy Hawkins.
The 41-year-old should draw some interest on the trade market considering his performance and contract situation. Hawkins has recorded 17 saves out of 18 opportunities and is making just $2.5 million this season.
The Los Angeles Dodgers Will Get Rid of Matt Kemp
Matt Kemp is becoming a problem.
The outfielder is not happy about his role with the Dodgers, as he explained via Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.
"I want to play every day, if it's with the Dodgers, if it's with somebody else," he said.
There's no problem with Kemp wanting to play all the time. That's what every player wants. The problem is that he's prioritizing his own situation over the team's. With the Dodgers locked in a race with the Giants, a distraction is the last thing that the team needs, and that's exactly what Kemp has made himself.
GM Ned Colletti will have to be highly creative in order to find a way to ship out the disgruntled 29-year-old. The more Kemp complains, the more necessary a trade becomes.
The San Diego Padres Will Trade Joaquin Benoit to a Contender
Joaquin Benoit has been generating a lot of interest on the trade block.
The right-handed reliever has been connected to the Detroit Tigers, Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Indians, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The Padres won't receive quite the same haul that Huston Street provided, but the return should still be impressive.
Benoit can pitch as either a closer or in a setup role and has been dealing for the Padres this season. The 36-year-old owns a 1.99 ERA in 40 games for San Diego.
The San Francisco Giants Will Bring in a New Second Baseman
Second base has been a black hole for the San Francisco Giants in 2014.
Veteran Marco Scutaro has been limited to just two games this season as he's dealt with chronic back problems. That issue has resulted in the team receiving negligible production from the position throughout the season.
According to Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe, the Giants have been making a serious push to acquire Chase Utley from the Phillies even though the veteran has the right to veto any trade. Cafardo also notes that San Francisco is in the conversation to acquire Ben Zobrist from the Rays.
The Chicago Cubs Will Deal James Russell
The Chicago Cubs have been getting calls for Starlin Castro, but they "do not plan to move" the shortstop, according to Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports.
While the 2014 NL All-Star appears to be staying put, the same can't be said about a ton of other players on the roster. The last-place Cubs have trade chips all over the place. Left-handed reliever James Russell "has drawn the most interest," per Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.
The Cincinnati Reds Will Trade for a Second Baseman
With Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto both on the sidelines, the Cincinnati Reds are in the market for some offense.
When asked about Ben Zobrist of the Rays, GM Walt Jocketty told Jim Bowden of ESPN and SiriusXM, "That's a good name that's all I'll say."
The switch-hitter would be a good fit. The versatile infielder could take over at second base while Phillips remains on the DL and then shift around the diamond when the veteran returns.
The Milwaukee Brewers Will Make a Deal for a Bench Bat
Milwaukee Brewers GM doug Melvin doesn't foresee any impact trades on the horizon, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Melvin explained to Haudricourt that one area of the squad that the front office could look to strengthen is the bench.
While the team hasn't been linked with him, one player the Brewers could consider is Chris Denorfia of the Padres. The NL West club is "likely" to ship out the right-handed hitter before the deadline, according to Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports.
The Pittsburgh Pirates Will Add a Bullpen Arm
It doesn't sound like the Pittsburgh Pirates will be making a big move.
GM Neal Huntington discussed the landscape of the trade market with Karen Price of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
"There's not a ton of players out there who are significant upgrades," he said. "There are some guys you think can be, so as a result asking prices higher than you'd like."
Based on Huntington's assessment, the most likely course of action for the Bucs would be to add a reliever, which is often the easiest position to acquire. The team has been linked to Joaquin Benoit of the Padres by Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
If Huntington decides to change his mind and make an aggressive move, the Pirates have the farm system to do just that.
The St. Louis Cardinals Will Acquire David Price
This is the deal that the St. Louis Cardinals need to make happen—assuming that the Tampa Bay Rays are willing to sell.
Even if it requires giving up Oscar Taveras, GM John Mozeliak has to find a way to bring the lefty ace to St. Louis. The one-two punch of Adam Wainwright and the lefty Price would immediately make the Cardinals the team to beat in the NL.
St. Louis has expressed an "interest but would want a financial commitment" before pulling the trigger, according to Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe.
The Atlanta Braves Will Add a Left-Handed Reliever
The Atlanta Braves are looking for a lefty.
The team has been scouting both James Russell and Wesley Wright of the Chicago Cubs, according to David O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Earlier this month, O'Brien argued that the team should also check in on Andrew Miller of the Red Sox. Miller has been piling up strikeouts for Boston with a 14.4 K/9 ratio.
The Miami Marlins Trade Away Steve Cishek
It's becoming increasingly apparent that there will be no dark-horse playoff run for the Miami Marlins in 2014.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Steve Cishek is starting to be mentioned in trade conversations, which could indicate that the team is shifting into "sell mode." With a 9.35 ERA over his past 10 games, the right-handed reliever has been terrible for the past month.
However, since he's arbitration-eligible this winter, Cishek will be an affordable and controllable option for a contending club looking to strengthen its bullpen.
The New York Mets Will Get out from Under Bartolo Colon's Contract
Sitting at 46-52, the New York Mets have been surprisingly competitive in 2014. As a result, a major fire sale is not necessary before the deadline. One player the team can afford to move is Bartolo Colon, who owns a respectable 8-8 record with a 4.12 ERA.
According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, "the phone isn't exactly ringing off the hook" with trade offers for the 41-year-old. Still, the Mets will be able to find a taker for the right-hander when a contender inevitably loses a starter between now and the deadline.
The Philadelphia Phillies Will Move A.J. Burnett
The Philadelphia Phillies are drowning in trade chips. However, nearly every single one of them is weighed down by major financial commitments.
The most noteworthy exception is A.J. Burnett. The right-hander makes $15 million this year and also has an option for 2015.* That's not exactly cheap, but it's also fair market value for a steady starter like Burnett.
*Note: Burnett has a $15 million mutual option for next season and a $1 million buyout. If the club declines his option, Burnett can trigger a $7.5 million option for next season.
The Washington Nationals Will Do Nothing at All
Considering that the team is tied for first place in the NL East, there has been a remarkable lack of trade buzz surrounding the Washington Nationals.
The most substantial speculation came earlier this month when Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports noted that the Nats are beginning to search for a replacement for shortstop Ian Desmond, who can depart as a free agent after the 2015 season.
With a loaded rotation and more than enough options in the starting lineup, the most likely acquisition for the Nationals would be a bullpen arm. Sure, Washington's bullpen has the third-best ERA in baseball, but a team can never have enough pitching.
If you want to talk baseball, find me on Twitter @KarlBuscheck.