The introduction of the second Wild Card has changed the landscape of the MLB trade deadline.
More teams have a shot at making the playoffs, so fewer will view themselves as "sellers" and be willing to part with their star players.
This might mean that fewer notable deals happen, given the lack of potential trade partners, or it will simply mean that different trades are made as teams look for new clubs to deal with.
Deals between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox or the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds might seem unthinkable, but if there are no other deals to be made, they might make sense.
Dodgers RP Josh Lindblom for Giants OF Nate Schierholtz
As Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal tweeted on Wednesday, the Dodgers are in talks with the Philadelphia Phillies for Hunter Pence or Shane Victorino.
Along with the recent Hanley Ramirez acquisition and the Ryan Dempster rumors, that's a lot of activity for Los Angeles.
If they can't pull off a trade with the Phils, the Giants could be a possibility—although it would be for merely outfield help rather than a big-name trade. Rosenthal has said that Nate Schierholtz, who has lost playing time and is out of minor league options, is a decent target for other teams.
The Dodgers are already open to moving Lindblom, as ESPN's Jim Bowden tweeted.
Red Sox' Cody Ross for almost any Yankees pitcher
Even with the acquisition of Ichiro Suzuki, the New York Yankees still need outfield help.
The Red Sox have a glut of players to man 7, 8 and 9, and moving one could be a possibility. Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury aren't going anywhere (the former because of a bad contract, the latter because he's too valuable), so a right fielder is the only option.
Ross makes the most sense, as he has the most value and will be a free agent at the end of the season.
In return, Boston would want a pitcher—preferably a starter. Given how terrible their rotation has been, the Red Sox wouldn't need to be particularly picky. Almost anyone would be an upgrade.
Phillies' Shane Victorino for Mets' Ruben Tejada
Even though they have lost 11 of their last 12 games, the New York Mets are just seven games out of a wild-card berth.
That is still within striking distance if they get on a decent run or the Pittsburgh Pirates falter down the stretch.
The Phils will want either bullpen help or a young infielder, as these are their greatest areas of need. Philadelphia's offense has been terrible. This is a lineup whose on-base percentages look like decent batting averages.
Reds' Jose Arredondo and Logan Ondrusek for Cardinals' Rafael Furcal
The Cincinnati Reds might have a six-game lead on the defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals, but bear in mind that last year the Cards erased what on September 1 was an 8.5-game deficit. No lead is safe, especially in this weird 2012 season.
The Reds have gone about their business quietly but have the second-best record in the NL (behind Washington) and the fourth-best record in all of baseball (Washington, Yankees, Texas).
In The Washington Post, it was reported that Cardinals GM John Mozeliak has indicated his side will go after bullpen upgrades.
With CBSSports and Fox Sports reporting links to outfielders like Carlos Quentin and Shane Victorino, Cincinnati could be targeting an outfielder or someone who could lead off. The Cards won't part with Matt Holliday, Jon Jay or Carlos Beltran, but they could be willing to let shortstop Rafael Furcal go.
Orioles' Chris Davis for Nationals' Adam LaRoche
The Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles are first and second in their respective divisions. If that statement isn't a testament to how crazy this season has been, nothing is.
With shortstop Ian Desmond landing on the DL, the Nats will need help to replace him or back up Danny Espinosa. Baltimore utility man Chris Davis has appeared at four positions this year and even pitched a game in relief. He also has good power and an acceptable bat (15 HRs, .255 BA).
Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun has written that the O's are looking for a corner infielder, and LaRoche could be a good pickup.