With the NBA and NHL free-agency periods slowing down considerably, sports fans with a hunger for transactions need a new source of entertainment.
Enter the MLB trade deadline.
With the All-Star break behind us, the trade market should start to really heat up. Below, we'll take a look at some of the most recent rumors.
The San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Angels Might Be Making a Deal
But which player will be involved?
While many Angels fans might be clamoring for Ian Kennedy, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that is unlikely to happen:
Kennedy would certainly be a nice addition to the starting rotation. The Padres hurler is currently 7-9 with a 3.47 ERA, a 1.19 WHIP and 133 strikeouts in 124.1 innings pitched.
But Huston Street remains the more likely target. And for what it's worth, he would love the chance to join the Angels, as he told Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times:
In the hours before the All-Star game, Huston Street dressed in the uniform of the San Diego Padres. The Angels are trying to put a halo on him, soon, and Street would be thrilled to join them.
"I would love it," he said.
Street cited the chance to "play with guys like Albert Pujols and Mike Trout" as well as to play for Manager Mike Scioscia. Street broke into the major leagues with the Oakland Athletics from 2005-08, when the Angels won the American League West three times in four years.
"I was probably too young to realize how good he was at the time," Street said of Scioscia. "That's one of the best managers, maybe, of all time. If I went there, I'd have a real chance to win."
And the Angels, who need a closer, would likely love to add him to the roster. Street has been excellent for the Padres this year, with 24 saves, a 1.09 ERA and a 0.76 WHIP. And with the Angels 1.5 games back of the Oakland Athletics, they certainly should bolster the bullpen.
Will Jonathan Papelbon Be on the Move?
According to Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com, a trade taking the closer to the Los Angeles Dodgers could be in the works:
One of the snafus in any deal involving Papelbon could be the small matter of his $13 million salary next year or the $13 million vesting option he takes into 2016.
Sure, Papelbon has been good this year—he has 22 saves, a 1.21 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP with two blown saves—but if Papelbon indeed gets moved, the Phillies might have to eat some of his salary.
It remains to be seen if they'll be willing to do so.
Seattle Mariners Combing the Market
The Mariners are right in the thick of the playoff hunt, and they are also right in the thick of the potential trade market, as they've reportedly been sniffing around some of the top players who could be made available.
Jon Morosi of Fox Sports has more:
David Price seems to be the subject of trade talks quite regularly. He's one of the American League's better pitchers, so it's hardly surprising the Tampa Bay Rays have held out on moving him to this point.
One would guess the team would need to be blown away with an offer and feel it is completely out of the running to reach the postseason.
Ben Zobrist is an interesting target for the Mariners, however. The versatile player isn't having one of his better offensive seasons, hitting .266 with six home runs and 24 RBI, though he's starting to heat up. A May trip to the disabled list didn't help.
But if Marlon Byrd doesn't happen—and given the big contract the Phillies signed him to this offseason, it might not—Zobrist is a very intriguing target for the Mariners.