The MLB trade deadline is almost here, and there are a number of big names that are still considered to be on the trading block. This could lead to a flurry of action over the next few days.
There will certainly be a number of MLB trade rumors that will be reported during this time. Some of these reported rumors could eventually become deals.
Included here are some of the latest rumors, as well as some additional analysis about what a possible trade could mean for the teams involved.
Things have not gone according to plan for the Philadelphia Phillies this season, and they are sitting in last place in the National League East. This could lead to big changes for the Phillies.
Buster Olney of ESPN has said that it is very possible that the Phillies could be the biggest sellers at the deadline this year.
Shane Victorino will be very popular over the next few days. Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly says that there are a number of teams that will be in pursuit of Victorino. The Phillies should get at least one solid prospect, as well as an additional piece back, if they choose to deal him.
Hunter Pence could also be on the move, according to Jason A. Churchill of ESPN (Insider required). Churchill mentions that the San Francisco Giants could be a fit for Pence. He would be a huge addition to their lineup and provide them with the offensive help that they need.
The Oakland Athletics have been one of the best surprises in baseball this year, and they know that they need to make a move or two in an effort to reach the playoffs this season.
Jason A. Churchill of ESPN (Insider required) has suggested that A.J. Griffin could be enough for the Athletics to land Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar.
This might be a mistake for the Athletics, since Griffin is the type of pitcher that can have an impact for them for a number of years. Escobar is a good shortstop, but he does have some attitude issues.
When the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired Wandy Rodriguez, Kevin Correia lost his spot in the starting rotation and was sent to the bullpen. Now, Correia has essentially asked for a trade, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
This does not mean that the Pirates will trade Correia easily. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports is saying that the Pirates have a high price tag on Correia. Pittsburgh should be looking for a player that could make an impact in the majors this year, since they look like they will be a playoff team.
Brandon League is set to become a free agent after the 2012 season, and the Seattle Mariners would be smart to try to get something in return for him at the trade deadline this year. His value has dropped significantly after losing his role as the Mariners' closer at the beginning of this season.
The San Francisco Giants are interested in bringing in League to bolster their bullpen, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Moving to the National League could be exactly what League needs to be successful again.
Jason Vargas has put up some pretty good numbers for the Seattle Mariners this season, and he has certainly caught the attention of a number of teams around the league.
One of those teams is the Baltimore Orioles, according to Jason A. Churchill of ESPN (Insider required). Other teams after Vargas include the Los Angeles Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals, according to Churchill.
Baltimore would be a good fit for Vargas because they desperately need starting pitching, and Vargas is not a pitcher that will cause them to bankrupt their farm system.
With the way that Geovany Soto has performed this season, there is certainly a chance that he could be a non-tender candidate based on the fact that he would be due a raise from his current $4.3 million salary.
The New York Mets have inquired about Soto, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. This could say a lot about what the Mets think about Josh Thole. Matthew Cerrone of Metsblog has questioned if Thole will be a long-term option for the Mets at catcher.
Soto could be a great low-risk/high-reward player for the Mets, and they should try to go after him.
The trade market for relievers is getting smaller and smaller. Huston Street just signed a two-year extension, so he is off of the market.
That likely leaves Jonathan Broxton as the best relief pitcher available. It is getting more likely that Broxton will be traded, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN. The Texas Rangers are in on Broxton, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
Broxton could be a key piece for the Rangers, and he might be the player that the Rangers need to finally push them over the top and enable them to win their first World Series in franchise history.
The Minnesota Twins already dealt one of their best trade chips when they sent Francisco Liriano to the Chicago White Sox, but that does not mean that they are done making moves. They still have a few players that could be of interest.
Jason A. Churchill of ESPN (Insider required) believes that Matt Capps is the most likely Twin to be moved. Among the other Twins that could be available, according to Churchill, are Denard Span, Justin Morneau and Josh Willingham.
Minnesota would be smart to try to deal some of its pieces in order to acquire at least a few prospects that could help them as early as next year.
Even though the Cleveland Indians are still very much in contention for a playoff spot, they are open to dealing some of their major-league players. Jayson Stark of ESPN has stated that the Indians will be listening to offers for outfielder Shin-Soo Choo.
Choo would be an outstanding fit for the Reds and could help them reach the playoffs this year. Based on the Indians' asking price, Zack Cozart could be a fit. The Reds could then replace him with Didi Gregorius.
The Tampa Bay Rays could get a huge return for James Shields if they trade him before the 2012 MLB trade deadline. While teams have certainly been interested in Shields, it seems as if there has not been much traction on any deal.
There could be a good reason for this, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Heyman says that teams are beginning to question whether Shields is actually on the market. The Rays want more than the Milwaukee Brewers got for Zack Greinke, according to Heyman.
Tampa Bay should try to sell high on Shields, since he has been a mercurial talent over the past few seasons. At times, he looks like an innings-eater, while on other occasions, he has looked like a Cy Young candidate.