The MLB trade deadline is July 31, just a week away. All the rumors are circulating around about who is going where, and everyone has their own sources. Well, let’s take a look at five hitters and five pitchers who could be on the move.
1. Marlon Byrd
Shocker. Marlon Byrd is on the trading block yet again. Everybody thought 2013 may have been a fluke, but Byrd continues to hit really well in 2014. He has 19 homers and 58 RBI on a bad Phillies team that is trying to rebuild. With those numbers and a favorable $8 million owed to him next season, it’s almost a lock that he gets dealt. There’s plenty of contending teams that can use an outfielder with power, and Byrd should not cost more than a prospect or two. Expect Byrd to be traded before the end of the month.
2. Ben Zobrist
Ben Zobrist is a serviceable player who can play many positions. Many teams will try and acquire him before the deadline. The 33-year-old would be a perfect fit for the Reds, which need someone to fill in for the injured Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto. They need some production on offense if they want to get to the playoffs. Zobrist can move around and play different positions and can also be a valuable bat off the bench. His contract at $7.5 million next season makes him pretty affordable as well.
3. Matt Kemp
The Dodgers may have trouble finding someone to take a risk on Matt Kemp and his contract, but he wants to go. Kemp has been unhappy with his playing time and wants to be an everyday center fielder. The issue is that the 29-year-old is owed a ridiculous $107 million remaining on his contract through the 2019 season. It’s hard to see anybody taking on that deal unless the Dodgers take on at least half of that contract. With his injury problems and inability to cover as much ground in center field, it will be tough to find a fit for Kemp. But a change of scenery could make a huge difference.
4. Alex Rios
The Rangers have been the worst team in baseball this season. They already traded away Joakim Soria. It makes no sense for them to keep Alex Rios, who has a $13.5 million club option for next season and a $1 million buyout. That turns into $14 million and a $2 million buyout if he is traded. The potential expiring contract will appeal to a lot of teams that need a bat in the outfield. He’s also a solid fielder with a good arm. The Rangers are in rebuilding mode so they should do all they can to trade Rios and get prospects in return. A return to the Blue Jays would be a perfect fit.
5. Dayan Viciedo
Dayan Vicideo is not a game-changing player, but he’s got some power, with 12 homers this season and 25 in 2012. The White Sox are sellers right now and should be looking to deal Viciedo and get a prospect in return. His contract is also very affordable at under $3 million. It would be surprising to see him remain with the White Sox past the deadline. He could have some value, especially in a smaller ballpark.
6. David Price
The Tampa Bay Rays need to figure out whether they believe they are legit playoff contenders or not. If they aren’t, they should trade David Price because it’s hard to imagine they could afford him in the off-season. If they found a suitor now, they could bring in some top prospects and much-needed help in a subpar lineup. Price’s trade value is very high right now with his success in July. Three of his four July starts have been shutouts. The Mariners and Cardinals are the teams most interested in Price.
7. Bartolo Colon
Bartolo Colon has been atop the list of players with a chance of being traded. It would make perfect sense for the Mets because they can get rid of the $10 million that would be owed to him in 2015 and use that for some hitting. Colon has had a very nice season thus far and can help plenty of playoff contenders in the final months. The Mets could also keep him as a veteran presence in a young rotation next season. It would make more sense for them to trade him before the deadline because his value is at its highest right now, especially after coming seven outs away from a no hitter in Seattle Wednesday.
8. Jonathan Papelbon
The Phillies should be in somewhat of a fire sale mode at the trade deadline. Chase Utley wants to stay and they should keep him. They should keep Cole Hamels because they need that ace in the rotation. Other than that, they should be listening to all offers that come their way. Jonathan Papelbon has a big contract that the Phillies should want to get rid of before the deadline.
9. Cliff Lee
The Phillies should take almost anything back in return for Cliff Lee at this point. Lee has so many injury concerns and doesn’t look like the same pitcher he once was. The $25 million owed to him next season is way too much for the Phillies to hold onto. The Phillies should be on the phone with the Yankees to see if they’ll take the 36-year-old off their hands.
10. John Danks
The Yankees are already rumored to be in talks with the White Sox for John Danks. The lefty is 8-6 with a 4.35 ERA and is a serviceable middle-of-the-rotation starter. He’s on a non-contending White Sox team that could use some prospects in return. The issue with Danks that makes the Yankees the top option is his contract. The southpaw has nearly $34 million left on his deal through 2016, which is a ton of money to take on. If it’s not the Yankees, somebody that needs a starting pitcher should make a move for for the 29-year-old.