MLB Trade Scenarios: 10 Teams Guaranteed to Be Sellers by Trade Deadline
Spring training camps are opening all across Major League Baseball, and hope always springs eternal with the beginning of a new season.
Unfortunately for many teams, those dreams can be dashed early in the season, prompting them to use their veteran talents and trade pieces to get younger and rebuild for the future.
Every year, these "sellers" are essential trade partners for the teams looking to get over the hump and make their teams title contenders.
It may be early, but here's a look at 10 teams who could be in selling mode come the trade deadline in July.
With the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Texas Rangers both powerhouses in the AL West, the Oakland A's likely be out of contention early.
Billy Beane is known for wheeling-and-dealing his top talent for younger prospects.
This winter alone, Beane dealt top pitchers Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonalez, as well as former Rookie of the Year closer Andrew Bailey.
If they A's falter early, look for Beane to break out his "Moneyball" strategy and deal some of his most tradeable assets.
Trade Assets: Brett Anderson, Dallas Braden, Josh Reddick
Toronto Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays would be a competitive team in almost every division in Major League Baseball.
Unfortunately, they reside in the AL East, where they have been stuck behind the likes of the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays the past few seasons.
The Blue Jays have had talented rosters, but they don't have the payroll to compete with the likes of the Red Sox or Yankees.
This season will be no different.
With a talented Rays pitching staff, loaded Red Sox lineup, and a balanced Yankees squad, the Jays will have a tough time keeping up in the AL East.
The Blue Jays could use some of their more valuable chips to continue piling up talent to try and compete with the powerhouses in the future.
Trade Assets: Rickey Romero, Adam Lind, Kyle Drabek
Chicago White Sox
The Chicago White Sox had a disappointing 2011 campaign, with overpaid stars underperforming enormously.
In 2012, they will have to compete with the likes of the Detroit Tigers and an up-and-coming Cleveland Indians for the AL Central crown.
The White Sox have huge contracts on the books, including Adam Dunn and Jake Peavy, who didn't provide much of anything in 2011.
However the White Sox do have some tradeable pieces and GM Kenny Williams has shown he is willing to make big deals.
If they fall out of the race early, look for Williams to unload some key players for a youthful rebuild.
Trade Assets: Gavin Floyd, John Danks, Gordon Beckham
New York Mets
The New York Mets have been the laughing stock of the NL East the past few seasons and 2012 may be no different.
The Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies and Miami Marlins seem poised for a tight race for the East crown but the Mets lack similar talent and depth.
After losing star shortstop Jose Reyes in free agency, the Mets failed to obtain a big-name player and bring the Mets back into contention.
Mets fans will have to suffer through yet another disappointing season. They must unload some of their big-salary players and replace them with prospects who can help rebuild the Met system.
Trade Assets: David Wright, Johan Santana, Jason Bay
After finishing in the cellar of the NL Central in 2011, the Astros still have a bleak outlook for 2012.
A new ownership could want to break up the remaining pieces from the dismal team as they prepare for a move to the American League in 2013.
By maximizing returns on their more talented players, the Astros can move to the AL with a clean slate and a handful of good prospects in 2013.
Trade Assets: Wandy Rodriguez, Brett Myers, Carlos Lee
Kansas City Royals
Just like the White Sox, the Kansas City Royals face an uphill battle in the AL Central.
The Royals haven't been in contention in years, as they have had to compete with the Minnesota Twins, Tigers and White Sox.
The Royals have some talented young players, including Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas, that can be used as trade bait to help veteran teams.
Although the Royals probably won't compete in 2012, they can still improve for the future.
Trade Assets: Joakim Soria, Alex Gordon
The Seattle Mariners may suffer the same fate of the Oakland A's, as they will be overshadowed by the Angels and Rangers in the AL West this season.
The Mariners already have started to trade away their most valuable players, as they traded Michael Pineda to the Yankees in return for the highly touted Jesus Montero.
If they Mariners can't keep up with the two top teams in the West, look for them to keep on trading some of their most valuable pieces.
Trade Assets: Ichiro, Justin Smoak
Theo Epstein has his work cut out for him in his first season as the Chicago Cubs GM.
He is taking over a team that has seriously underperformed the past couple of seasons and has a handful of huge contracts he must deal with.
Epstein has not been afraid to pull the trigger on big deals in the past and could break up the Cubs in 2012 to start fresh and build the team the way he wants to for the future.
In Boston, Epstein had talented farm systems and will surely look to emulate that in Chicago. That is, if he is willing to eat some major money remaining on their contracts.
Trade Assets: Matt Garza, Alfonso Soriano, Marlon Byrd
The 2011 Baltimore Orioles were much improved under manager Buck Showalter, but not competitive enough to really compete in the AL East.
The Orioles ruined Boston's season, ending the Sox's playoff chances on the last day of the season, but that may have been the only real highlight of the season.
Baltimore has already dealt pitcher Jeremie Guthrie this offseason and more trades could happen before the July 31st deadline.
Trade Assets: Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, Luke Scott
San Diego Padres
The San Diego Padres were one of the most active teams in the offseason, acquiring Yonder Alonso, Edinson Volquez and Carlos Quentin via trade.
However these moves alone will not be enough to make the Padres contenders in 2012, making additional moves probable.
The Padres could use some of their recently acquired players for younger players come July.
Either way, look for the Padres to be sellers by deadline day.
Trade Assets: Chase Headley, Edinson Volquez, Jason Bartlett