The beautiful thing about the start of the MLB season is that every team begins the year in a tie for first place and with the chance to reach the playoffs.
Once the regular season gets underway, a much clearer picture of who the contenders are begins to emerge. There are always a large number of buyers at the MLB trade deadline and they are very willing to talk with the teams that are sellers.
A number of players will not finish the season in the same city that they began it with. These trade acquisitions will be brought in for playoff pushes and the teams that deal them will be looking for prospects or young players in return.
The move to sign Jason Kubel signaled that Gerardo Parra, a Gold Glove outfielder, would be going to the bench for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Other teams took notice of this move and have reportedly asked the Diamondbacks about Parra. While the team does not want to move him, they may be overwhelmed by an offer at some point this year.
Jair Jurrjens had his name come up in multiple trade discussions this winter, but the Atlanta Braves decided to keep him in their starting rotation.
Atlanta has a number of outstanding pitching prospects in the minors, and when Julio Teheran is ready, the Braves may decide to finally deal Jurrjens.
Adam Jones has developed into a very solid outfielder and still has room to improve. He will become a free agent after the 2013 season.
The Baltimore Orioles considered trading him this winter and they may look to move him again during the year. They should be able to get very good value in return for Jones.
Under the leadership of Bobby Valentine, the Boston Red Sox will be contenders for the American League East title and will therefore be buyers at the trade deadline.
The Red Sox could look to bring in a pitcher if either Felix Doubront or Daniel Bard struggles in the starting rotation. Boston will need to give up a prospect like Brandon Jacobs in order to get the caliber of pitcher they desire.
It seemed like at some point this winter that Matt Garza would be traded away from the Chicago Cubs. His name came up in trade talks more than a few times .
However, a deal never materialized and Garza is beginning the year with the Cubs. They will likely see a lot of offers for him around the trade deadline.
The Chicago White Sox are not going to be in contention in 2012 and they will almost definitely be sellers at the trade deadline.
This could mean that the White Sox deal free-agent-to-be Gavin Floyd. The price tag on him was too high for teams during the winter, but if the Sox drop their demands, then he will be on the move.
After dealing a number of prospects for Mat Latos and trading Juan Francisco for J.J. Hoover, it is clear that the Cincinnati Reds are not afraid to move their prospects.
With a strong shot at winning the National League Central this year, the Reds will likely be looking to make improvements at the trade deadline and could deal Todd Frazier so that they can bring in the final piece that they need.
The past few seasons have been nothing but a disappointment for Grady Sizemore. Cleveland brought him back this year but he got hurt yet again.
If Sizemore is able to get in at least 100 at-bats before the trade deadline then the Indians may look to deal him to a contender.
The Colorado Rockies have a number of outfielders that they can rely on. Coming from a position of depth, the Rockies may choose to deal one, allowing them to address some of the team's other needs.
Charlie Blackmon has been in trade talks before and could be the outfielder that Colorado shops at the deadline.
After a competition in spring training for the last spot in the Detroit Tigers' starting rotation, Andrew Oliver was sent down to the minors as Drew Smyly won the job.
With Jacob Turner on the cusp of reaching the majors this year, it appears as if there is not room for Oliver in Detroit and the team could look to deal him.
Last year at the trade deadline the Houston Astros were trying to find a way to get rid of Wandy Rodriguez, but they were not able to find any takers.
If the Astros temper their expectations for what they want to get back for Rodriguez then they should be able to trade him.
There are a number of teams that would be interested in adding Bruce Chen to their starting rotation if the opportunity arose.
Since the Kansas City Royals have a number of young starters that could reach the majors this year, they may choose to deal Chen to bring in some more good young prospects.
Bobby Abreu almost found his way out of Los Angeles earlier this year but the deal that the Angels had with the Cleveland Indians never actually came to fruition.
With Mike Trout likely to come up to the majors later this season, Abreu will be left without a real role for the Angels and it is best if they deal him.
The Los Angeles Dodgers will have a chance at competing for a spot in the playoffs this season and they will look to add players at the trade deadline.
One of the areas that the Dodgers will look to improve is their starting rotation. Dealing outfielder Jerry Sands could bring in the pitcher that the Dodgers are looking for.
In 2009, Chris Coghlan took home the National League Rookie of the Year award, but since then his performance has declined.
The Miami Marlins could look to deal Coghlan this year if it continues to look like he will not fit into the team's future plans.
The Milwaukee Brewers have one of the weaker farm systems in baseball but they could move up a few spots in the rankings by simply making one move.
Should the Brewers be out of contention when the trade deadline rolls around they could make one of the biggest deals of the year, shipping out soon-to-be free agent Zack Greinke.
Last summer, the Washington Nationals tried to make a strong push for Denard Span but the Minnesota Twins did not come to an agreement with them.
While the Nationals will likely not pursue Span this year, there will certainly be other teams that are interested in him.
The New York Mets will need to make a very difficult decision to make this year. Should they put players around David Wright or deal him to get prospects in a rebuilding process?
The Mets will likely choose to hold on to Wright. However, they will likely try to deal Johan Santana. They might have a hard time moving him, however, because of his bloated contract.
The New York Yankees have already dealt one of their catching prospects this year. But even after trading Jesus Montero, they could still trade Austin Romine.
Dealing Romine would bring back the type of player that could improve the team's playoff chances.
It was once thought that Daric Barton could be the Oakland Athletics' first baseman of the future, but those days are long gone.
However, there are certainly teams that would be interested in having Barton on their roster. The Athletics should look to move him this summer if they can get a decent prospect in return.
While the Phillies have several injury issues to worry about right now, they should still be in contention to win the National League East.
Philadelphia may look to improve their bullpen during the season. They have a few internal options but if they choose to focus outside of their organization, Dominican prospect Maikel Franco could be their best trade chip.
This season could finally be the one when the Pittsburgh Pirates finish over .500, but even if they do, they will still likely be sellers this year.
Joel Hanrahan will be a free agent after the season and he will likely be the best reliever available before the trade deadline. Pittsburgh will get a great return for him.
Will Venable has the potential to be a breakout player in 2012, but he has shown promise before and failed to live up to it.
He could be one of those players that benefits from a change of scenery. The Atlanta Braves have reportedly had discussions with the San Diego Padres about him already.
Last season the San Francisco Giants traded highly touted pitching prospect Zack Wheeler for Carlos Beltran. It wouldn't be surprising if they elect for a similar swap in 2012.
Catcher Tommy Joseph would interest a number of teams and could be a trade candidate if the Giants are looking to bring in a big bat.
Chone Figgins has been absolutely miserable for the Seattle Mariners and the M's have to be praying that he can at least prove to be serviceable this year.
If Figgins is able to do this, then there is a chance that the Mariners could deal him. However, they will need to eat a large portion of his salary.
The defending champion St. Louis Cardinals will have a tough time trying to get into the playoffs this year after losing Albert Pujols, but they will certainly be in contention for a spot in the postseason.
Like several other teams trying to reach the playoffs the Cardinals may need to trade a top prospect to acquire the player that they covet. Trevor Rosenthal is that prospect.
The Tampa Bay Rays are fortunate to have the problem of having too many pitchers to plug into in their starting rotation. It is almost inevitable that one of them is dealt.
Wade Davis could be the pitcher who finds his way out of Tampa Bay. He was considered a trade candidate by some, including Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, this winter.
Outfielder Julio Borbon may be made expendable this summer once prospect Leonys Martin is able to prove that he is ready to reach the major leagues.
Borbon has already proven that he can be a starting outfielder in the majors, but he is sliding down the Texas Rangers depth chart and will start the season in Triple-A. Should Martin surpass him, Borbon is likely as good as gone.
It is hard to believe that Travis Snider is just 24 years old considering all of the starting opportunities he has gotten at the major league level.
He lost out on a starting job once again this year, making him a definite change-of-scenery candidate. The Blue Jays are not keen on moving Snider at the moment, but might change their tune a few months from now.
One of the teams that could be a big surprise this year is the Washington Nationals. They should be a buyer at the trade deadline if they are indeed making a playoff push.
First baseman Chris Marrero could be a trade candidate if the Nationals are looking to shore up their bullpen or starting rotation.