The 2014 MLB non-waiver trade deadline is scheduled for Thursday, July 31, but the buzz surrounding rumored deals has gone up exponentially with the blockbuster trade involving Jeff Samardzija and the Oakland Athletics.
With stars like Chase Headley, Joaquin Benoit and Dayan Viciedo reportedly on the market, the trades that have been rumored could drastically shift the landscape of Major League Baseball moving forward.
Here are the latest MLB trade rumors circulating around the league right now.
Toronto Kicking the Tires on Chase Headley?
One of the most intriguing players on the trade block is San Diego Padres third baseman Chase Headley. At 30 years old, there is still plenty of life left in the veteran.
While Headley’s offensive numbers this year have dropped—his .217 batting average, six home runs and 25 RBI are awful, but the lackluster lineup around him has pitchers avoiding his power at all costs—he is still a force in the field and a viable every-day starter at the hot corner.
According to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, San Diego and the Toronto Blue Jays have already started the trade conversations:
Talks between Padres, Blue Jays on Chase Headley remain ongoing, source says. Toronto's need increased in light of Encarnacion injury.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 7, 2014
In a report from Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the New York Yankees could also be interested in Headley via trade as the deadline approaches:
yanks have liked headley in past (and frankly, could use 3B). but they arent strongly pursuing headley at moment.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) July 1, 2014
Headley has admittedly struggled during the 2014 season, but a change of scenery may be exactly what he needs. Being stuck in the aimless culture of the Padres will hurt a player’s confidence and moving to a club fighting for a postseason spot like Toronto would be ideal.
The Blue Jays have the assets to make the deal work, and the addition of a stellar third baseman like Headley could put the team over the edge in the AL East.
Detroit Interested in Bringing Back Joaquin Benoit?
After spending three seasons with the Detroit Tigers, relief pitcher Joaquin Benoit joined the San Diego Padres this offseason. He has racked up an impressive 1.23 ERA, 41 strikeouts and a 0.68 WHIP thus far in 2014.
As San Diego continues to fall out of contention, Benoit will continue to draw serious interest.
In a separate report from Morosi, Detroit appears to be one of the franchises most interested in reacquiring Benoit to bolster the back end of the bullpen:
Tigers interested in bringing Joaquin Benoit back via trade with Padres, sources say; 0.701 WHIP, 1.26 ERA this year.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 5, 2014
Whether it was the closer role or the setup role, Benoit filled any need the Tigers had during his time with the team. While he was inconsistent during his stretch in Detroit, he has shown his vast skills during his time with the Padres.
There is no doubt that trading for Benoit could be a bust if he doesn’t regain his elite form with the Tigers, but his talent and mental strength would help alleviate the pressure on the current cast of characters in Detroit’s bullpen.
Boston and Others Looking to Acquire Dayan Viciedo?
After defecting from Cuba, outfielder Dayan Viciedo signed with the Chicago White Sox and was greeted with serious fanfare. Unfortunately for the player and the team, he has not lived up to the lofty expectations.
Now may be the perfect opportunity for the Boston Red Sox or one of the other teams reportedly interested in trading for Viciedo to buy low on the prospect. At only 25 years old, there is still ample room for the player to grow.
According to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com, there are at least two teams in addition to Boston that are developing deals in order to acquire the Cuban star via trade:
Other teams have already approached the White Sox about him, including the contending Mariners and Giants, according to one major league source. The Mariners, the source said, would consider trading 23-year-old right-hander Brandon Maurer as part of a two-player package for him, so it's reasonable to expect that the Red Sox would have to be willing to part with one of their young arms (Brandon Workman, Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster) to acquire him.
There was serious hope for Viciedo after he blasted 25 home runs in 2012, but he regressed in each of the last two seasons, culminating in a lackluster .250 batting average, 10 home runs and 31 RBI thus far in 2014.
The risk associated with Viciedo is very real, but a team like Boston has the support system needed to help the still-developing prospect reach his full potential.
*Stats via MLB.com.