There is no shortage of MLB trade rumors to keep fans of even the most dilapidated franchises entertained through the hot month of July.
Basement-dwelling teams are looking to stockpile assets for the future or possibly clear payroll, while the teams at the top of the heap want to solidify their rosters for the playoffs.
This makes for an interesting dynamic in many teams' negotiations, as there is still plenty of baseball to be played, and a franchise's fortunes can turn on a dime.
With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the latest buzz surrounding the top players around the league.
Cardinals Showing Interest in David Price
"The Cardinals have shown interest but would want a financial commitment, according to a major league source."
Price's one-year, $14 million contract is up at the end of this season, per Spotrac, leaving him completely available to any team in the running for one of the best pitchers in the game in his prime years.
This desire for commitment makes sense for the Cardinals. While other teams may be content to rent Price for the stretch run and then woo him in the offseason, St. Louis has been a contender for many years now and would look to utilize Price's unassailable talents in the long term.
Even if Price is reluctant to sign with a team on a long-term contract, there may never be a better time to grab the 28-year-old lefty, per ESPN Stats & Info:
David Price leads the majors in both K and IP pitched. His ERA has improved each month, now at 0.85 in July. pic.twitter.com/f3lARUTrtx— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 20, 2014
Of course, Price's impeccable performances have aided a startling Rays turnaround, which may make them reluctant to sell. However, they would be hard-pressed to sign Price in the offseason. Fox Sports' Jon Morosi made an interesting point about the revival in Tampa Bay:
So, about the David Price trade market . . . The Rays have the second-best record in MLB this month (behind only the Angels).— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 21, 2014
With the phenomenal Adam Wainwright already in the fold, the Cardinals' potential acquisition of Price would perhaps rival or even top the Los Angeles Dodgers' one-two pitching combo of Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke.
Blue Jays Interested in Chase Headley
The Padres are once again looking like sellers this season, as they have very little chance of making a run in the competitive NL West with a 43-55 record on the season.
According to Morosi, a prominent AL East team is talking to the Padres about acquiring third baseman Chase Headley:
The Blue Jays certainly need reinforcements, as players like Brett Lawrie, Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion are all currently on the disabled list.
Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos was unequivocal in his statements regarding the team's ability to make a possible trade.
"We can add players, so we have the ability to have that dialogue at any time," he said, via MLB.com's Jamie Ross. "I don't see any reason why we won't be able to add players, and obviously players make money; no one plays for free."
Headley is having a down season, hitting .229 with seven home runs and 32 RBI. Still, this is the same player who hit 31 home runs just two seasons ago, and a change of scenery always has the potential to do a ballplayer some good.
The Blue Jays are struggling to put up runs, with just 52 RBI and a team on-base percentage of .315 for July, per MLB.com. They need to add a jolt to the lineup and improve roster depth if they are to hang with the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East.
Teams Interested in Tommy Milone
The Oakland Athletics made a blockbuster deal with the Chicago Cubs early in July, trading a handful of prospects for starting pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel.
This move has, of course, had a trickle-down effect in the organization, displacing Tommy Milone. According to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, this has piqued teams' interest in the lefty hurler:
Teams naturally are calling the Athletics about left-hander Tommy Milone, who is stuck at Triple A despite producing a 3.55 ERA in 16 major-league starts this season. Milone lost his spot in the rotation after the A’s acquired Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, but the team is reluctant to move him, knowing he might be needed due to injury or ineffectiveness.
As Rosenthal noted, the Athletics want to keep Milone around as an insurance policy, but it can be tough for a pitcher to face such a demotion after performing so well. He's a victim of circumstance in this situation as the A's make an aggressive push for a World Series this year.
Trade talks may need to involve a bit of posturing, as Milone's status as a Triple-A pitcher could drive down any bargaining power or leverage general manager Billy Beane might have.
To make matters worse, Milone has given up seven earned runs in nine innings in the minors this year, per Baseball-Reference.com. This could also hurt the team in any potential negotiations.
The Athletics could use Milone as a means to bring back some talent in the farm system, as they traded away the likes of Addison Russell and Billy McKinney in the deal with the Cubs.