MLB Trade Rumors: Odds of Each Team's Top Trade Chip Getting Dealt in July

Joel ReuterFeatured ColumnistJuly 18, 2012

MLB Trade Rumors: Odds of Each Team's Top Trade Chip Getting Dealt in July

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    Less than two weeks from the 2012 MLB trade deadline, the rumor mill continues to swirl but we have yet to see any serious action on the trade market.

    That will likely change in the days to come, as Cubs starter Ryan Dempster could be moved by the weekend and that could start a domino effect of sorts according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.

    As sellers look to deal their valuable veteran pieces and buyers decide whether or not to move their top prospects, several key players will change places before July 31.

    So here is a look at each team's top trade chip and my take on their odds of being moved before July is up.

Baltimore Orioles

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    Trade Chip

    2B Jonathan Schoop

    Overview

    The Orioles have put themselves in a position to be buyers this season after a solid first half, and they could certainly stand to upgrade their starting rotation.

    However, they won't be moving top prospects Dylan Bundy or Manny Machado in any deal they make according to Jayson Stark, and rightfully so.

    That leaves second baseman Jonathan Schoop as their best potential trade chip, as the 20-year-old entered the season as the No. 82 prospect according to Baseball America after a breakout season last year.

    He's hit .252/.309/.405, 11 HR, 37 RBI, 47 R in his first taste of Double-A this season, and with Brian Roberts future in question the Orioles could be hesitant to move him, but he is by no means untouchable.

    Odds He Is Dealt

    30 percent

Boston Red Sox

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    Trade Chip

    RF Cody Ross

    Overview

    The Red Sox are an interesting case this year at the deadline, as the team has already made the equivalent of two big moves in getting back outfielders Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury. Starter Clay Buchholz is also once again healthy, and offseason acquisition Andrew Bailey should join the bullpen at some point in the second half.

    Despite all of that, the Red Sox are still in the market for starting pitching. The trouble is, they'd prefer to keep top prospects Matt Barnes, Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley and they don't have much in the way of impact prospects beyond those three.

    If they decide to go all-in on someone like Cole Hamels then all bets are off, but my guess is they stand pat and hope the recent additions can push them over the top.

    However, because of the two outfielders returning, they now have a log jam in the outfield and Scott Podsednik, Daniel Nava, Ryan Sweeney and Cody Ross will all be fighting for at-bats. With a one-year deal and solid pop from the right side, Ross has the most trade value of that group.

    Odds He Is Dealt

    20 percent

New York Yankees

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    Trade Chip

    CF Mason Williams

    Overview

    The Yankees' fourth-round pick in 2010, Williams made a name for himself last season with a .349 BA, 3 HR, 31 RBI, 42 R line in Rookie League ball.

    He entered the season as the No. 85 prospect according to Baseball America, and he impressed early this season to earn a promotion to High-A at the age of 20.

    With pitching prospects Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances struggling, Williams may be the most coveted player in the Yankees' farm system right now and his name will no doubt be brought up if the team decides to make a run at a top-tier starting pitcher.

    Odds He Is Dealt

    25 percent

Tampa Bay Rays

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    Trade Chip

    SP James Shields

    Overview

    An anemic offense has left the Rays 9.5 games behind the Yankees in the AL East, despite a 3.71 ERA as a team that ranks third in the American League.

    Granted the Rays are still in a position to make a run at a wild-card spot, but regardless of whether they are classified as buyers or sellers at the deadline the team is reportedly willing to listen to offers for starter James Shields.

    After a third-place finish in AL Cy Young voting last season, Shields' numbers are not as strong this season at 8-6 with a 4.44 ERA, but he is a frontline starter nonetheless.

    The team has tremendous pitching depth, and could help fill one or more of the numerous holes in their lineup by moving the 30-year-old Shields.

    Odds He Is Dealt

    50 percent

Toronto Blue Jays

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    Trade Chip

    OF Anthony Gose

    Overview

    The Blue Jays' starting rotation has been decimated by injuries this season, as Kyle Drabek underwent Tommy John surgery and both Drew Hutchinson and Brandon Morrow are both on the 60-day disabled list.

    That has left the team targeting pitching at the deadline, specifically those under control beyond this season according to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports. Wandy Rodriguez and Matt Garza in particular have been named as targets.

    The team has a deep farm system, and should be able to put together an intriguing package of prospects for any potential target. 

    That said, I think the one player who will have to be included in any blockbuster deal will be outfielder Anthony Gose. Recently called up to replaced injured Jose Bautista in right field for the Jays, the 21-year-old is close to big league ready and profiles as a legitimate leadoff hitter type.

    Odds He Is Dealt

    45 percent

Chicago White Sox

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    Trade Chip

    OF Keenyn Walker

    Overview

    Expected to begin rebuilding this season and be sellers at the deadline, the White Sox have surprised this season and find themselves in position to contend for the AL Central title.

    The team has one of the thinnest farm systems in all of baseball and lacks a true top-tier prospect to pull off a blockbuster deal.

    They have already filled a major hole in acquiring third baseman Kevin Youkilis from the Red Sox, and much of what they decide to do at the deadline will depend on the health of returning starters John Danks and Phil Humber.

    Never count GM Kenny Williams out at the deadline though, and one piece that could be used to pull off a deal is last season's first-round pick Keenyn Walker who has posted a .392 OBP in Single-A this season.

    Odds He Is Dealt

    10 percent

Cleveland Indians

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    Trade Chip

    SP Jeanmar Gomez

    Overview

    The Indians have the rare issue of lineup that is too left-handed this season, with seven left-handed hitters and two switch-hitters in their everyday lineup.

    If the team decides to go after a right-handed bat such as Carlos Quentin, whom they are targeting along with a handful of other teams, they could build a package around right-hander Jeanmar Gomez.

    The 24-year-old was named by Indians prospect guru Tony Lastoria as the team's top trade target, and he is someone who could step into the Padres rotation immediately.

    He's 13-15 with a 4.81 ERA over 34 starts in three big league seasons, but has struggled to a 5.18 ERA this season before being sent down to Triple-A. He's looked sharp there in three starts, and still has plenty of upside, so he could be a good cornerstone of any package the Indians put together.

    Odds He Is Dealt

    25 percent

Detroit Tigers

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    Trade Chip

    SP Jacob Turner

    Overview

    Before the season began, a Tigers' package built around Jacob Turner to the Cubs for Matt Garza was a popular rumor, and Turner could once again find himself as a key trade chip.

    The 21-year-old made his big league debut last year, and entered the season rated as baseball's No. 22 overall prospect according to Baseball America.

    However, this season his strikeout rate is down (7.6 K/9 to 6.1 K/9) and his walk rate is up (2.4 BB/9 to 3.3 BB/9), and that was enough for Baseball America to exclude him from their Midseason Top 50 prospect rankings.

    Still, he is a young, advanced pitching prospect and would undoubtedly still be of interest in any deal the Tigers make to bolster their playoff chances in 2012.

    Odds He Is Dealt

    40 percent

Kansas City Royals

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    Trade Chip

    RP Jonathan Broxton

    Overview

    The Royals took a chance on Dodgers reliever Jonathan Broxton this offseason on a one-year, $4 million deal as he was coming off of an injury-shortened contract year.

    Signed as a setup man, he moved into the closer's role when Joakim Soria was lost for the season and he has saved 22 games with a 2.14 ERA so far this season.

    So far, the Royals have not decided whether or not they will move Broxton at the deadline, and they could in fact look to re-sign him at season's end.

    The Mets have understandably shown interest in the closer, as their bullpen has struggled this season, and they could be his eventual landing spot.

    Odds He Is Dealt

    60 percent 

Minnesota Twins

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    Trade Chip

    SP Francisco Liriano

    Overview

    Since his breakout 2006 rookie season, Liriano has had a roller coaster ride of a career, and this season has been no different.

    Over his first six starts, he went 0-5 with a 9.45 ERA before landing in the bullpen, and after five relief appearances he returned to the Twins rotation.

    In nine starts since his return to the rotation, he has been a different starter going 3-3 with a 2.83 ERA with a terrific 10.5 K/9 mark.

    That has been enough for the Angels, Red Sox, Yankees, Mets, Blue Jays and Braves to all show some level of interest in the free-agent-to-be.

    Odds He Is Dealt

    80 percent

Los Angeles Angels

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    Trade Chip

    OF Peter Bourjos

    Overview

    With an outfield of Mark Trumbo, Mike Trout and Vernon Wells from left-to-right, 25-year-old Peter Bourjos has been relegated to a bench role.

    He enjoyed a breakout year last year in hitting .271 BA, 12 HR, 43 RBI, 72 R with 22 steals and an AL-high 11 triples.

    With Hunter set to hit free agency at season's end, the team would no doubt like to hang onto Bourjos, but he does represent an intriguing trade chip.

    According to Danny Knobler of CBSSports, the Angels have to some teams he is unavailable but have shopped him to others for bullpen help so there remains a chance he could be dealt.

    Odds He Is Dealt

    30 percent

Oakland Athletics

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    Trade Chip

    SP Brandon McCarthy

    Overview

    Despite a solid 46-43 start, the A's reportedly view themselves more as sellers rather than buyers at the deadline this year.

    They have some useful trade pieces such as Bartolo Colon and Grant Balfour, but their most intriguing chip would have to be ace Brandon McCarthy.

    The 28-year-old has gone 6-3 with a 2.54 ERA in 12 starts this season, but is currently on the DL with a strained shoulder.

    Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported that they are willing to move him once he is healthy, and while he certainly comes with some risk he has been terrific when healthy and could make a huge impact.

    Odds He Is Dealt

    50 percent

Seattle Mariners

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    Trade Chip

    SP Jason Vargas

    Overview

    While ace Felix Hernandez could be named here given the annual rumors surrounding his potential availability, he was recently named as one of the Mariners' untouchables.

    Not on that list, however, was No. 2 starter Jason Vargas who has already drawn interest from the Orioles and will likely be chased by at least a few other teams as a lower cost option than some of the top names.

    In the past three seasons, he's gone 28-32 with a 4.04 ERA as he has proven to be a durable innings eater and could certainly help a contender.

    Odds He Is Dealt

    70 percent

Texas Rangers

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    Trade Chip

    3B Mike Olt

    Overview

    The Rangers are already one of the favorites to win it all this season, and as their rotation gradually gets healthy again they have no clear-cut needs.

    However, that has not kept them from being linked to Phillies starter Cole Hamels and could also go after Diamondbacks right fielder Justin Upton as a Josh Hamilton replacement.

    The team is not likely to trade shortstop prospect Jurickson Profar for anything, and have indicated that they also won't trade Mike Olt or Martin Perez for a rental player.

    That could rule out Hamels, but going after someone like Upton could happen and any such package would likely start with Olt who has emerged as one of the best power-hitting prospects in all of baseball.

    Odds He Is Dealt

    25 percent

Atlanta Braves

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    Trade Chip

    SP Julio Teheran

    Overview

    The Braves entered the season with a level of pitching depth that rivaled any team in baseball, but injuries to Brandon Beachy and Arodys Vizcaino, youthful struggles from Randall Delgado and Julio Teheran and the early-season demotion of Jair Jurrjens left the rotation reeling.

    Ben Sheets recently joined the picture and pitched well in his first outing, but the team has been consistently linked to top-of-the-rotation guys as they look to make a serious postseason run this season.

    Depending on who they inevitably make a serious push for, Teheran could be the player that they build a package around and despite average numbers this season he remains a top young talent with ace upside. 

    Odds He Is Dealt

    20 percent

Miami Marlins

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    Trade Chip

    SP Anibal Sanchez

    Overview

    The Marlins have been a major disappointment this season after they ushered in the opening of their new ballpark by spending big in the free-agent market and pushing for a playoff spot.

    Buster Olney reported that if the Marlins do look to become sellers, they are willing to listen to offers on anyone and everyone on the roster.

    That said, some players are obviously more likely to be moved than others and Joe Frisaro of MLB.com lists Anibal Sanchez and Randy Choate as the most likely players to be moved.

    Sanchez emerged as a solid starter with back-to-back healthy seasons in 2010 and 2011 in which he went 21-21 with a 3.61 ERA and 180 strikeouts per season. He's not been quite as good this season, but the free-agent-to-be would still generate plenty of interest if made available.

    Odds He Is Dealt

    50 percent

New York Mets

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    Trade Chip

    SP Jeurys Familia

    Overview

    The Mets need some serious bullpen help if they hope to remain contenders through the summer, as they could look to add a couple arms to their 'pen.

    They won't be willing to move pitching prospects Matt Harvey or Zack Wheeler for a shot at contention this season, and infield prospect Wilmer Flores too is likely off-limits.

    However, they do have some intriguing prospects who could be used to land someone like Huston Street or Jonathan Broxton to close.

    Right-hander Jeurys Familia has been one of the Mets top prospects since he was signed as an 18-year-old, and while his numbers aren't overwhelming this season at Triple-A with a 7-5 record and 4.62 ERA he still has the sort of arm that any team would be happy to acquire.

    Odds He Is Dealt

    25 percent

Philadelphia Phillies

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    Trade Chip

    SP Cole Hamels 

    Overview

    There is no bigger name on the market this season than Cole Hamels, even if he could wind up re-upping with the Phillies on an offer that will reportedly be worth at least $120 million. 

    He amounts to little more than a rental player, as he will no doubt test the free-agent market at the end of the season, and could wind up re-signing with the Phillies even if he is dealt.

    It remains to be seen where the most likely landing spot for Hamels is if he balks at the Phillies upcoming offer, but teams like the Rangers, Angels, Yankees and Red Sox all have the high payroll and pitching need that could end in them pulling the trigger on a move.

    Odds He Is Dealt

    33 percent

Washington Nationals

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    Trade Chip

    SP John Lannan

    Overview

    After acquiring Gio Gonzalez and Edwin Jackson this offseason, former Opening Day starter John Lannan was left as the odd man out for the Nationals.

    That led to him requesting a trade back in April, but the Nationals opted to hold onto the left-hander as added rotation depth.

    He's by no means dominated in Triple-A this season, going 6-9 with a 4.89 ERA in 18 starts, but he is a low-cost veteran option for teams not looking to give up too much to bolster their staff.

    Odds He Is Dealt

    20 percent

Chicago Cubs

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    Trade Chip

    SP Matt Garza

    Overview

    The Cubs have a number of trade chips, and the trio of Ryan Demspter, Matt Garza and Alfonso Soriano rank among the most intriguing players on the market.

    Dempster is a sure thing to be moved, and could be gone by the end of the week and while he will should net a solid return, it is Garza who ranks as the Cubs best trade chip.

    Garza has increased value, as he is younger and under team control through next season. According to one report, Garza is viewed as a more valuable trade chip than even Cole Hamels or Zack Greinke.

    The Cubs asking price is high, as they are looking for two high-end prospects in the mold of the returns in the recent Gio Gonzalez and Ubaldo Jimenez deals.

    Odds He Is Dealt

    75 percent

Cincinnati Reds

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    Trade Chip

    SP Daniel Corcino 

    Overview

    The Reds farm system is thin right now, after they shipped off three of their top prospects to the Padres in the Mat Latos trade and called up catcher Devin Mesoraco.

    The team is hitting its stride right now, and looks like they should be in a good position to make a run at the NL Central crown this season.

    However, they aren't without holes as they desperately need some production out of the top two spots in the lineup ahead of the powerful trio of Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce.

    One prospect who certainly has trade value is 21-year-old right-hander Daniel Corcino, who has gone 7-4 with a 3.05 ERA in 18 starts in Double-A this season.

    Odds He Is Dealt

    20 percent

Houston Astros

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    Trade Chip

    SP Wandy Rodriguez

    Overview

    The Astros have already dealt Carlos Lee, and they will no doubt try their best to move the two remaining veteran pieces on their team in closer Brett Myers and starter Wandy Rodriguez.

    Rodriguez generated plenty of interest last season at the deadline, but the team's asking price was too high and he wound up staying put.

    He's due $13 million next season and has a $13 million option for 2014 with a $2.5 million buyout, so trading for him comes with a financial commitment.

    However, he has proven to be worth the money in going 36-35 with a 3.36 ERA over the past three seasons and has been terrific once again this season with a 7-7 record and 3.51 ERA.

    The Blue Jays are looking for controllable pitching, while teams like the Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox and Angels are all capable of taking on a big contract and need pitching so he won't be short on suitors.

    Odds He Is Dealt

    75 percent

Milwaukee Brewers

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    Trade Chip

    SP Zack Greinke

    Overview

    The Brewers went all-in last season in trading for Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum, and now both of those pitchers are set to hit free agency at season's end.

    According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports, at least ten teams have interest in Greinke and Hamels, and the Orioles and Braves were named as teams who prefer Greinke to Hamels.

    Milwaukee is reportedly willing and prepared to offer Greinke an extension close to $100 million, as they are not ready to simply let him walk, but with so many interested teams it seems more than likely that someone will make the Brewers an offer they can't turn down.

    Odds He Is Dealt

    70 percent

Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Trade Chip

    SP Jameson Taillon

    Overview

    The Pirates have a tough decision to make, as the deadline approaches. They have stockpiled a terrific farm system in the past few seasons and have a terrific young core that could make them contenders for years to come.

    However, they are just one game out of first place in the NL Central, and with the addition of an impact bat they could be serious postseason contenders.

    They have been linked to Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton and Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin, and while both players won't come cheap they could make a huge impact for the Pirates.

    The team has some intriguing trade chips including outfielder Starling Marte and two of the top pitching prospects in Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon. They prefer to keep Cole to Taillon, as he is closer to big league ready, but Taillon could certainly make for a great starting point in any deal.

    Odds He Is Dealt

    15 percent

St. Louis Cardinals

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    Trade Chip

    SP Shelby Miller

    Overview

    With Chris Carpenter out for the season and Jaime Garcia on the shelf, the Cardinals are in the market for some starting pitching help.

    The team is not willing to deal anyone from their current big league roster, which could essentially put them out of the running for Zack Greinke and Cole Hamels, but they could target some second tier starters such as Edinson Volquez or Bartolo Colon.

    Making things more interesting, they could be willing to listen to offers for top pitching prospect Shelby Miller for the first time according to Joe Strauss of STLToday.com as he has struggled a bit at Triple-A this season and the organization has a number of quickly moving pitching prospects around him.

    Odds He Is Dealt

    10 percent

Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Trade Chip

    RF Justin Upton

    Overview

    Rumors have swirled since the Diamondbacks announced that they were willing to listen to offers for Justin Upton, as he has become the marquee bat on the market.

    The 24-year-old is having a down season, hitting .271 BA, 7 HR, 38 RBI but he still has the potential to be a franchise cornerstone and is just a year removed from a .289 BA, 31 HR, 88 RBI season.

    The Diamondbacks remain in "win-now" mode so they will be looking to acquire big league ready talent to bolster their chances this season.

    With Upton signed through 2015 and due $38.5 million over the next three seasons, Upton's value is incredibly high, but according to Buster Olney some baseball people are convinced that the Diamondbacks are intent on moving him.

    Odds He Is Dealt

    55 percent

Colorado Rockies

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    Trade Chip

    CF Dexter Fowler

    Overview

    Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd recently named Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer as untouchables, and while he said the team is likely to keep Dexter Fowler he did not lump him in with the other two.

    The 26-year-old is in the middle of breakout season with a .300 BA, 11 HR, 38 RBI line so far this season, as he has displayed terrific wheels in also leading the NL with nine triples.

    True center fielders are always in demand, and his value has likely never been higher, but the Rockies asking price could very well be too high for any team to bite.

    Odds He Is Dealt

    10 percent

Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Trade Chip

    SP Zach Lee

    Overview

    The Dodgers are looking to contend now, as their new ownership group seems willing to do what it takes to improve the team.

    Despite injuries to their two top hitters Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, the team managed to stay in the thick of things in the first half and they are currently just three games back in the NL West.

    Starting pitching and the left side of their infield are their main areas of need and they have been linked to the likes of Ryan Dempster (link), Cole Hamels, Shane Victorino, Jimmy Rollins (link) and Chase Headley (link).

    One thing seems for sure, the team looks ready to deal at the deadline. Their top prospect is starter Zach Lee, and he is by no means untouchable so if they deal for one of the big guns he could be on his way out the door.

    Odds He Is Dealt

    25 percent

San Diego Padres

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    Trade Chip

    OF Carlos Quentin

    Overview

    The Padres dealt for outfielder Carlos Quentin this offseason, and they look ready to flip the free-agent-to-be at the deadline as he is one of the top bats on the market. 

    After missing much of the beginning of the season, he got off to a hot start upon returning and has hit .266/.391/.516, 8 HR, 21 RBI so far this season in 36 games.

    According to Jon Heyman, a number of teams remain interested in the slugger, but as of now there is nothing in the way of a close deal.

    Odds He Is Dealt

    90 percent 

San Francisco Giants

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    Trade Chip

    CF Gary Brown

    Overview

    After dealing Zack Wheeler at the deadline last season for Carlos Beltran, only to miss the postseason and then opt not to re-sign him in the offseason, the Giants could be careful of moving any of their top prospects this year.

    If they do, center fielder Gary Brown represents their most valuable asset, as he burst onto the scene last year with a .336 BA, 14 HR, 80 RBI, 53 SB season at High-A.

    The 23-year-old has a .290 BA, 4 HR, 32 RBI, 26 SB line so far this year at Double-A, and he could see the majors at some point in 2013.

    Again, the Giants seem unlikely to pull off a major deal at the deadline this year, but if they do Brown represents their biggest trade chip.

    Odds He Is Dealt

    5 percent