The Major League Baseball trading block is heating up, right along with the temperatures outside. Names are being tossed around and deals put in place.
We are going to be "re-ranking" the top hitters on the market because earlier in the season, I wrote a piece about the biggest names available. Granted, that had pitchers as well, but now I'm going to put them in order and only focus on hitters.
Anyway, without further ado, here are the re-ranked top 10 hitters who very well might be on the move by the trade deadline.
Peter Bourjos is the odd man out with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. They simply have too many outfielders and are desperate for relief pitching. The obvious solution to that situation is trading the former in exchange for some relief.
Jayson Stark of ESPN reported this idea as well, but he also mentioned that there are very few strong bullpen arms on the market, as most teams seem to be looking for more help rather than trading it away.
Nevertheless, Bourjos is a quick outfielder who has a lot to offer if he is given playing time. This type of trade would be the best for him as a player and the Angels as a team.
Vernon Wells told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that he doesn't want to waive his no-trade clause, but I personally think that once he returns from the DL and realizes that he will not receive a lot of playing time, he will be more willing to move.
I can't blame him whatsoever for wanting to play, and he still does have enough power to entice teams to bring him in. That being said, his huge contract might hold potential deals back, but almost any trade could be a win-win scenario for Wells and the Angels.
Kelly Johnson is a power-hitting second baseman, which automatically makes him an interesting and attractive commodity. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that he will probably only be available if the Toronto Blue Jays end up falling out of the division.
Johnson doesn't hit for a high average, but obviously teams are willing to take that trade-off for his power. 2012 has not been his best year, so his value might be a little lower.
Regardless, if Johnson becomes available, there will be interest.
Denard Span is a fleet-footed center fielder who would definitely be valued on many teams. The Minnesota Twins are not desperate to deal him, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, but they would trade him for young starting pitching.
Span doesn't offer a lot of power, but he could be a solid piece at the top of the lineup. Also, he is relatively young, which would make this trade an investment in the future as well.
The Twins will probably be selling, and Span will likely be on the move.
This one is pretty unlikely, as the Philadelphia Phillies were the ones inquiring about Chase Headley, according to Jayson Stark of ESPN. Since we don't actually know if the Phillies are going to be buying or selling, Headley could very well stay in San Diego.
Nevertheless, Headley is a quality third baseman who can provide solid offense. While he doesn't provide a lot of power from what is typically a power position, he provides a high average and run production. That should be enough for sufficient interest to develop.
At the beginning of the season, Alfonso Soriano had trouble hitting home runs. That has not been a problem recently, as he looks more like his old self at the plate.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Soriano is seen more as a DH, so that will hurt his value.
However, Heyman also reports that if the Cubs are willing to eat most of his very large salary, he would be much easier to move. It is nice to see Soriano starting to hit for more power and potentially moving to a contender.
The Colorado Rockies said that they probably won't be moving Dexter Fowler, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, because they put a higher value on him than most other teams probably would. However, I am not so sure about that.
Fowler is basically a five-tool center fielder, and there are plenty of teams in need of a center fielder. If he was to be made available, the demand would be considerable, and other teams could very well be willing to meet Colorado's high requirements.
Bryan LaHair might not be the best on defense, but he can hit the ball very hard, and that will make him a valuable asset to some team. The Chicago Cubs definitely can use him, but they also have first baseman Anthony Rizzo coming through as a potential future star, and they need to make room for him.
Buster Olney of ESPN said that the Los Angeles Dodgers, among others, have scouted LaHair.
Power hitting is always in high demand, so the Cubs should be able to get a nice return for LaHair. He is a quality player, but the simple fact of the matter is that you can't play two first basemen at the same time. They have to eliminate the bottleneck somehow.
Edwin Encarnacion is finally crushing the ball. While the Toronto Blue Jays surely appreciate all of his production, as Jayson Stark of ESPN notes, he doesn't fit into the Toronto Blue Jays' long-term plan, as he is a free agent at the end of the year.
Stark also mentions that his price tag is so high that he would be very difficult to get, but with the immense power that he has demonstrated so far this season, there could very well be a team that will try to make a deal.
2012 has not been kind to the Philadelphia Phillies, and management may be approaching a full-on fire sale if it gets much worse. One of the main trade targets throughout all of the discussion has been Shane Victorino, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
Victorino is one of the fastest players in baseball, but he has recently shown that he is capable of hitting for quite a bit of power as well. He is a Gold Glove winner and has a solid arm for a center fielder.
If the Phillies do decide that a sale is in their future, Victorino will probably be among the first to depart, since he will be a free agent at the end of the season.
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