Major League Baseball's trade market is relatively weak this season, but that doesn't mean valuable pieces cannot be added to pennant-chasing squads.
There is value to be had, especially in the outfield. These players will cost more than normal because of the market's questionable depth, but you have to do whatever is necessary to keep the postseason in your team's sights.
Let's predict where this year's top available outfielders will land on deadline day.
Predicted Destination: Philadelphia Phillies
Philadelphia isn't a destination per say because Pence already plays there. He has been shopped aggressively by the Phillies according to Yahoo! Sports reporter Jeff Passan, but that doesn't mean he has to move.
In fact, he won't move. At least not until this year's winter meetings.
That leaves the Phillies in an easy position. They will keep one of their best offensive players because of his value to them and their inability to acquire a haul of top prospects from another squad.
I expect Pence to leave Philadelphia this winter, but there are too many moving pieces for a deal to get done before August 1.
Predicted Destination: Pittsburgh Pirates
FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported about the Pirates' interest early Monday morning.
I'm going to opt with the first part of that tweet. Pittsburgh needs to add a bat, and Victorino provides a simple solution. He's probably only a one-year rental, but his experience and on-base percentage would be welcome additions to the Pirate batting order.
CBS' Jon Heyman reported Monday as well, speaking to Philadelphia's steep asking price.
Pittsburgh, unless the deal includes a prized prospect, should pull the trigger on this one. They still rank 20th or below in several offensive categories, and Victorino would immediately plug a hole at the top of their order.
Neil Huntingdon knows he needs to make a move for the sake of his team and its desperate fanbase. It will take him up until the last minute, but he will get this one done.
Predicted Destination: Cleveland Indians
Choo is definitely available, but I can't see anyone meeting Cleveland's demands. FOX Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal tweeted on Sunday about the Indians' asking price.
Hearing Price for #Indians' Choo is a major leaguer - a good one - with less than three years service time. Choo free agent after 2013.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 30, 2012
That's certainly a high price, despite Choo's 30-30 capabilities. Because of the high price, ESPN's Buster Olney mentions Cleveland's doubtful approach to this situation.
Of course there are suitors. Choo is an underrated talent with four solid tools, but Cleveland isn't going to get what it's looking for. He will take the Indians to arbitration this offseason, and they will keep him for one more season.
Expect his name to pop up again next summer, but Choo will stay put for now.
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