With Memorial Day in the books, baseball fans can look forward to the summer months, pennant races and the highly publicized trade market. Entering play on May 28, an astounding 90 percent of teams—27 of 30—sat within six games of a postseason berth.
Over the next few weeks, though, some of them may fall off the pace. By July, that number could drop to around 20. Yet even if two of every three teams are alive and in the midst of a race when the All-Star break arrives, words like parity and competition will permeate throughout baseball's annual mid-summer gathering.
Before that moment arrives, the pivotal month of June must commence. Every year, this is when trade rumors heat up and scouts divert time and energy away from the amateur draft and toward the respective farm systems around baseball.
As nine of every 10 teams in baseball look to keep pace in the respective postseason races, incremental upgrades and additions could separate a fourth-place club from the team that ultimately wins a pennant. When injuries or poor performance arise, the teams with depth—in the form of a call-up or potential trade bait—will stand the best chance of thriving throughout the long season.
The time for meaningful rumors has arrived. Here is what you need to know about the latest rumors and banter around the game right now.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs, unless otherwise noted. All contract figures courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts. Roster projections via MLB Depth Charts.