The 2012 MLB season is still fairly young, and there are a number of surprising teams near the top of the standings. As the year goes on, there will be a much clearer picture of where everyone stands.
While teams continue to look to put themselves in a position to reach the playoffs, some will make deals to bring in players to improve their roster.
By the time the trade deadline arrives, it should be fairly clear who is a buyer and who is a seller. There are a number of teams that may be able to get some great deals this summer.
Edinson Volquez may not want to get too comfortable in San Diego even though he was just dealt to the Padres this offseason.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Volquez may be a potential trade candidate this summer. Whatever team acquires him could solidify their rotation if Volquez keeps up his current pace.
Carlos Quentin is another player that the San Diego Padres brought in that could be on the move. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports also believes that the slugging outfielder may be traded.
Quentin's trade value all depends on how he performs during the year following his offseason shoulder surgery. If he struggles, some team may be able to get a bargain buy and hope for a turnaround.
There are a number of teams that will be looking for relievers during the trade deadline, and a number of top-flight guys will be on the market.
While Seattle Mariners closer Brandon League will be an expensive commodity, a team can swoop in and get someone like Brett Myers for a cheaper package. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports believes that both League and Myers will be on the block this summer.
For teams that miss out on Brett Myers or Brandon League, there will certainly be other options for the closer position on the trade market.
Matt Capps could be the solution to a new team in need of some bullpen help, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The current Minnesota Twins closer should draw some interest as long as he holds onto his role moving forward.
If Peavy can keep up his outstanding early performance, he will be very hot, yet relatively inexpensive, commodity when the deadline rolls around.
The New York Mets could look to trade Johan Santana this summer if they fall out of contention in the National League East.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Santana will be a tough player to move because of his contract. But if a team is willing to pay a large portion of his salary, then it may be able to score a bargain.
There were a number of teams that looked at Wandy Rodriguez at the trade deadline last season, but ultimately, he stayed with the Houston Astros.
Rodriguez's inflated contract is an impediment to any possible deal, but the Astros could still look to deal him again this summer. However, Astros GM Jeff Luhnow told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that he has not yet really begun exploring possible deals for later this summer.
If the Astros do become sellers, Rodriguez will surely be one of their players on the block.
Another player that could possibly be dealt this summer if the Houston Astros have a fire sale is Carlos Lee.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports mentioned Lee as a potential trade target, but as with Wandy Rodriguez, none of the Astros players are officially on the block yet.
It seems like we have been hearing about Boston Red Sox prospect Lars Anderson for years even though he is only 24 years old.
According to Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe, the popular prospect could be on the trading block this summer. The Milwaukee Brewers or any other contender that is thin at first base would be wise to pursue an economical deal.
The Boston Red Sox called up Will Middlebrooks, one of their top prospects, to play third base when Kevin Youkilis was placed on the disabled list. Already with three HR and nine RBI in six games, Middlebrooks has looked great since joining the roster.
This winter, Alex Speier of WEEI did not see Middlebrooks being ready to handle the big leagues quite yet, and thus, he didn't believe that the Red Sox would trade Youkilis. However, if Middlebrooks can continue to hold his own against big-league pitching, "The Greek God of Walks" may find himself on the trading block.