MLB Trade Talk: Zack Greinke, 10 Stars We'd Be Stunned If They Aren't Dealt
One of the big events during baseball season is the trade deadline. Teams that have expiring contracts but are nowhere near contention are likely to let go of top talent.
In fact, there are teams willing to sell off the farm to have that talent for only half a season. For the players involved, this means that if they haven't signed a long-term deal by now, like Brandon Phillips and others have, then they could very well be traded.
Here are 10 players who seem like nearly a lock to be traded.
After 2011, I figured that Zack Greinke signing with the Brewers long-term would be nearly certain, especially since he wouldn't exactly be asking for Prince Fielder money.
Well, not only is he back to his 2009 ways, but also the Brewers have completely crashed and burned.
Without him, the starting rotation is awful, and the Brewers may just try to get what they can for Greinke, since he would command a lot more in the deadline-deal market than Shaun Marcum, who's much more likely to stay in Milwaukee for all of 2012.
The odds of Kevin Youkilis being traded went from next to zero when the season started to about 99.9 percent right now. The only reason it's not higher is because the Red Sox are at least .500.
That being said, they have Will Middlebrooks at third and are last in the division.
If trading Youkilis can give them some quality starting pitching, it will happen. Even if they can't, he's not going to stick around, plain and simple.
The Minnesota Twins are at the point where they have to cut off what's left of bloated contracts and start rebuilding. No one's going to trade for Francisco Liriano, and Joe Mauer's contract is impossible to shop.
That leaves Justin Morneau.
He still has enough power to be a serviceable DH, and if the Twins offered to eat most of the contract, I'm sure at least a couple of contenders would take a shot and hope that he's suddenly great, if only for two months.
I'm probably putting Morneau on the list a year early, but at this point, Minnesota's rebuilding is a matter of when, not if.
This situation is the opposite of Justin Morneau, player-wise. Morneau was a great player a few years back who's been struggling, while Bryan LaHair is a first baseman who has come out of nowhere this year.
Many teams would love a first baseman who's hitting .300 with 10 home runs already.
The Cubs have Anthony Rizzo in their farm system, so they're probably already in trade talks, trying to ship LaHair out while he's a hot item.
The whole point of a team like the Oakland Athletics bringing Manny Ramirez in is to hope that he has anything left so that they can get something for him.
If he plays well, there's a 100 percent chance he's traded. If not, they may just trade him to a team for cash.
Either way, there's no way I see him in Oakland in September.
The NL East is a tight enough race that I could see any team trying to make a big move.
If the Atlanta Braves are a few games out, they have pieces they can ship for talent.
Jair Jurrjens clearly does not fit into the Braves' long-term plans due to consistency issues, but when he's good, he's good enough and young enough that there will be teams willing to take him on if the Braves do in fact put him out there again at the deadline.
I've read several articles about Phil Hughes, all of them giving different suggestions. No matter what you think the Yankees should do with him, the point is that he has not met expectations.
If the Yankees are still in third place in July and the rotation continues to struggle, then they may send a player or two away to bring in a quality starter again.
Hughes would certainly be the most expendable of that group, since he's young enough to have value in the market.
When the Astros planned to make Brett Myers a closer for 2012, I thought they were morons. Turns out, I was too quick to judge.
While many contenders have struggling closers, Myers has been lights-out all season.
Suddenly, Myers is someone that the Astros could get some nice prospects for as they continue to rebuild, and since the closer situation is so bad in baseball, the Astros will get more than they would most years for a closer.
If Justin Morneau is too much of an injury risk, then the bat of Adam Lind would be a nice addition for any team looking for power.
It helps that his contract is team-friendly too, with 2014 to 2016 all team options.
The Blue Jays seem tired of Lind, demoting him recently and never being high on him despite his power numbers.
If trading Lind will help make them contenders and help them keep Edwin Encarnacion long-term, then of course they'll make the move.
For every person who thinks there's no chance that David Wright re-signs with the Mets, there's another who is convinced he will be a career Met.
No matter which happens, his journey this year is mirroring Jose Reyes' far too much for comfort.
Reyes had a career year and was out of the Mets' price range, and as a result, they got nothing for him. I can't see them allowing the same thing to happen with Wright, especially since he's been the NL MVP so far, or least sharing it with Matt Kemp.
If the Mets don't trade him, then they would have to be extremely confident in their ability to keep him long-term, and I'm not sure they have that confidence.