Coming to the end of July, teams begin to build up trade talks to enhance their roster to make a run towards the playoffs. Every year potential playoff contenders display interest in potential trade products to augment to their team.
This year, teams like the Orioles and the Tigers hope to get back on track by making a move before the deadline to get into the playoffs. In the National League, the Mets and Cubs are attempting to get their hands on someone before the deadline to finally make their pursuit into the playoffs.
I have made a list of 10 possible trade prospects and where they could be headed according to rumors or needs from certain teams.
1. David Price Age: 29 Most Likely Destination: Tigers
There have been many rumors and talks between the Tigers and teams about sending Price to another team, but I do not think it is possible. Practically any team could use a starting pitcher, but few teams are going to be willing to give up enough for Price. His salary is fair, but with a 2.30 ERA and a 9-3 record, teams would have to give up too much for him. It is definitely possible he leaves, but I doubt it.
2. Cole Hamels Age: 31 Most Likely Destination: Dodgers
Cole Hamels has been on the market for almost three years, and he has never left Philadelphia. However, this year it seems definite. The Phillies are the worst team in baseball, and Cole Hamels is easily their best pitcher. Several playoff contenders such as the Dodgers, Cubs, and Yankees have strong interest in him. With his contract situation, I doubt the Cubs are willing to pay his salary for a pitcher with a losing record.
The Dodgers and the Yankees definitely have enough money for him, but I think the Dodgers will make the strongest charge to get him. Kershaw, Greinke, and Hamels will be hard to beat.
3. Yoenis Cespedes Age: 29 Most Likely Destination: Tigers
Cespedes has been on three different teams in less than two years. Cespedes has been playing well this season (.287/.319/.488) in Detroit, but that could cause problems for the Tigers trying to get rid of him. Cespedes is a big target for many franchises, but his salary is a bit expensive and teams might not be willing to give up enough for him. Several teams need big hitters, but Cespedes is not being dealt this year’s deadline.
4. Justin Upton Age: 27 Most Likely Destination: Mets
The Padres seem to be putting everyone on the market because of their sub-par start this year. One of those men is Justin Upton, and several teams have shown interest in him. The Mets have been trying to find big hitters to obtain before the deadline, and Upton would be their guy. He is not batting exceptionally well, but he has been putting up good enough numbers for the Mets to make a strong move to get him.
5. Craig Kimbrel Age: 27 Most Likely Destination: Blue Jays
This might be one of a stretch, but the Blue Jays are desperate for relievers. They have switched up their closer several times, and their pitching is the only aspect of their team that keeps them out of the playoffs. The Nationals have shown interest, but Storen has pitched extremely well for them so it does not make much sense to me. However, Kimbrel going to Toronto makes sense.
6. Carlos Gomez Age: 29 Most Likely Destination: Orioles
Carlos Gomez has brought interest from several teams going into the deadline. However, the Orioles might be the only team that makes any move to get him. He has been much worse this year than previous years by not being able to get on base and steal bases well. Although, the Orioles have needed a stealing threat for some time now, and they would be willing to get Gomez. Even Coach Buck Showalter has said he thinks they can win with the roster he has now; Dan Duquette would beg to differ.
7. Chris Davis Age: 29 Most Likely Destination: Brewers
I think there is going to be a Gomez-Davis swap between the Brewers and the Orioles. Davis is a free agent next year, and they will not be able to afford his contract with the other free agents they have next year. He has been hitting the ball much better than last year which could benefit the Brewers much better than Gomez.
8. Matt Wieters Age: 29 Most Likely Destination: Orioles
Matt Wieters will not get traded at this deadline. Even with the Orioles backup, Caleb Joseph, playing terrific for the team this year, Wieters is too valuable to the Orioles. They might be able to trade him at the end of the season for a better deal or end up giving him his money that would approximately $12-$15 million a year. The Orioles best bet is to hold him for the rest of the season and see what happens in the offseason.
9. Johnny Cueto Age: 29 Most Likely Destination: Royals
This is a prime position for teams to pick up Cueto from the Reds for several reasons. He still has a reasonable contract, he is not picking as well as he was before, and the Reds do not want him. Cueto is the perfect bargain to get for anyone needing a starting pitcher. Out of all the teams, the Royals will make the strongest move to get him. The Royals have been in strong talks with him already, it is just if they can get it done.
10. Yasiel Puig Age: 24 Most Likely Destination: Dodgers
There have been rumors that the Dodgers trade Puig, but that seems impossible. He has high potential and ability to succeed in the league. Teammates have complained about his attitude and lack of work ethic, but the Dodgers have said they do not want to trade him. He might be traded during the offseason, but not before the deadline at least.