The 2014 MLB non-waiver trade deadline is scheduled for Thursday, July 31, but the rumors surrounding the biggest names in the league have already enveloped the sport and created a serious buzz.
With top stars like David Price, Cole Hamels and Chase Headley reportedly on the trade block, the interest from teams across the league could shift the balance of power if one of the rumored deals comes to fruition.
Here are the latest trade rumors surrounding some of the most recognizable players in MLB.
Seattle Mariners Still Interested in David Price?
There is no doubt that the Seattle Mariners already have their ace in Felix Hernandez, but adding a bona fide star like Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price would give them a one-two punch as good as any in the league.
According to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports 1, Seattle has serious interest in Price and utility player Ben Zobrist in a possible pre-deadline trade:
Mariners are having ongoing trade discussions with Rays regarding David Price and Ben Zobrist, sources say. No deal imminent. @FOXSports1— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 17, 2014
Price is having a very solid year, boasting a 3.06 ERA, a 10-7 record, 173 strikeouts and a 1.04 WHIP, and the Mariners would love to add him as a complement to Hernandez at the top of the rotation.
At 52-46 this season thus far, it is clear that Seattle could also use another consistent bat in the lineup (like Zobrist), but adding a pitcher too could make the Mariners a legitimate postseason threat in the American League.
Philadelphia Phillies Open to Trading Cole Hamels?
The Philadelphia Phillies have the payroll of a team that could contend for a World Series each year, but aging players across the roster indicate that a rebuild is right around the corner. One veteran who could be dealt is starting pitcher Cole Hamels.
According to a report from Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe, Philadelphia may be shifting into seller-mode before the deadline, and the Boston Red Sox may be interested in acquiring Hamels:
The Red Sox sent their top pitching scout, Eddie Bane, to watch Hamels before the break. The Phillies have scouted the Red Sox’ major and minor league teams all season. One major league source said if the Phillies get a taker on the full contract and they get three top prospects, he’s gone, and Hamels, according to another major league source, wouldn’t mind.
Despite an abysmal lack of offensive support from his teammates, Hamels is still putting together a solid season. While his 4-5 record is lackluster at best, his 2.83 ERA, 115 strikeouts and 1.17 WHIP make him a viable option for any team looking for an anchor in the rotation.
The move from the National League to the American League could be a bumpy transition at first, but Hamels has shown great composure throughout his career and could be the key to getting a team on the cusp of contending into the World Series.
Toronto Blue Jays Kicking Tires on Chase Headley?
One of the names drawing the most attention as the trade deadline approaches is San Diego Padres third baseman Chase Headley, and the team showing the most interest in his services has been the Toronto Blue Jays.
In a separate report from Morosi, Toronto has been very interested in bolstering the offensive depth with the San Diego corner infielder:
There is no doubt that Headley has struggled this season, racking up a lackluster .229 batting average, seven home runs, 32 RBI and an on-base percentage of .296, but he would be better protected in the Blue Jays lineup.
Instead of being pitched around by every team in the league as one of the only viable hitters on the Padres, Headley will find ample opportunities to regain his offensive rhythm in the American League.
This would be a smart addition for Toronto.
*Stats via MLB.com.