While it's been quiet on the Major League Baseball trade front, if the approaching trade deadline and the rumors accompanying it are any indication, things are about to get a lot more hectic.
Teams are beginning to plant themselves firmly on either the seller's or buyer's side of the trade fence, and that is when players will begin to move.
Here are three guys who appear to be on the move.
A note on why writing about trade rumors near the deadline is risky: When I started this article, I had included Alfonso Soriano. However, that was right before he was scratched from the lineup of the Cubs game, and before ESPN reported there was a deal almost done that would send his right-handed bat to the Yankees. Sometimes rumors become reality quickly.
Jake Peavy, White Sox
Jake Peavy is turning in a solid year on the mound for a terrible team. Of course there are rumors swirling around him!
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports interest in Peavy coming from the Red Sox and Cardinals, and possibly the Diamondbacks. Focusing on the two teams stated with confidence, the Red Sox could use him the most.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals would be doing this deal because they love pitching. They have the third-best rotation in baseball, according to FanGraphs, when looking at WAR.
I don't know if either Boston or St. Louis wind up with Peavy, but he will go somewhere. He's gone 7-4 with a 4.19 ERA this season. While that ERA isn't going to get teams falling all over him, he carries a 3.77 FIP and a 3.65 xFIP.
Michael Young, Philadelphia Phillies
While I stated above that teams had begun to decide if they will be buyers or sellers, the Phillies are not one of those teams.
The Phillies are four games under .500 at 49-53, but they are just eight games back of the Atlanta Braves while in second place in the N.L. East.
It would appear that their upcoming slate of games against the Cardinals and Tigers will determine their trading fate.
If things go poorly during that stretch, interested teams should start launching offers for Michael Young. According to Jayson Stark of ESPN, the Phillies will place big names on the trade block with a bad run of play.
Stark singled out Young as the prime candidate in this scenario.
The Phillies won't have a problem finding a trade partner for the versatile seven-time All-Star.
Ken Rosenthal, of Fox Sports, reported that 12 teams have already made a call on Young.
Bud Norris, Houston Astros
Hey, look. Another good pitcher from a terrible team is on the trade block, and this team is even worse than the White Sox!
At just 34-67, the Astros need to explore every scenario, and the rest of the MLB certainly realizes this.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that interest in Norris is coming in from the Red Sox, Pirates, Phillies, Giants, Dodgers and Orioles.
He has just six wins, which is slightly alarming, until we remember that he is on the Astros.
For Norris, we must delve further into the stat line so as not to punish him for playing on this failing organization which has given him an average of, via Baseball-Reference, 3.3 runs per start.
He is averaging 6.24 strikeouts against 3.01 walks per nine innings, has a WHIP of 1.412 and a WAR of 2.2.
He also comes with a favorable contract.
Norris makes $3M and won't be free agent until 2015. Has appeal to teams looking for starter they can control. #astros— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 20, 2013
If I'm the Astros, I'm not trading Norris unless I'm overwhelmed with high-quality prospects. They just might get that deal.
All statistics, not otherwise noted, via FanGraphs.