It's already June 18th, and the Major League trading deadline is just over six weeks away.
Some teams like the Mariners and Nationals are clear sellers willing to move potentially helpful veteran players for prospects. Others, like the Dodgers, Angels, and Red Sox, sit on the edge of playoff contention, needing another piece or two to try and compete for a championship.
Who might be on the block? And who would be interested? Let's take a look.
Ty Wigginton always seems to be on the block. That's probably because he's a useful bat but not a core player, and has spent most of his career on non-competitive teams.
Wigginton is having one of the best offensive seasons of his career so far, hitting .279 with a .366 OBP and 13 home runs already. He's cooled off a bit, and his defense leaves something to be desired, but he's got to be in the back of some teams minds. If they can't get a top tier corner infield option, Wiggington would be a nice backup plan.
DeJesus has been a solid player for a very long time. He hits a little and plays very good defense in left field. So far this season, DeJesus is having a career year.
To date, he's hitting .331 with a .403 OBP, and while he only has five home runs, he has 21 doubles and three triples. His SLG is around .500. The only real issue with DeJesus is his center field defense. He's a very good defender in left and right field but has struggled in center. The way he's hitting and fielding right now, he's certainly a reasonable corner outfield option. But if he can't play center field, and the Royals don't seem to think he can, that does hurt his value.
I've always been a DeJesus fan, as I think he's a very underrated player, with a solid skill set. The way he's playing this year some contending team is going to call the Royals up and ask about DeJesus. The Red Sox make a lot of since given their outfield injuries.
Guillen, like Wigginton, seems to always be on the block no matter where he is. That might say more about his clubhouse presence than his somewhat-valuable bat, but he keeps getting Major League jobs.
Though he's been a below replacement-level player for a couple of years, Guillen is actually playing well so far this season, hitting just .266, but slugging .475. His .354 wOBA isn't great for a right fielder, but it's above average.
Some team could see what Guillen has done with the bat, and decide he's worth a shot. He wont command as large a package as DeJesus, but a team like Giants or Padres who desperately need a middle of the order bat could come calling.
The Indians should be one of the biggest sellers this trading deadline, but without much to sell, it's hard to see them being to active. Kerry Wood, though, could be a solid addition to a contending bullpen.
The 33-year-old former phenom made a nice transition to the bullpen in 2008, and was one of the best closers in baseball that year. But after a poor 2009 season, his value isn't what it once was.
Still, Wood throws hard and strikes guys out, so he'll probably end up with a contender down the stretch. The Angels have the worst bullpen ERA in the American League, and Wood could be a solid addition to the back end of their bullpen.
It seems pretty ridiculous what the Mariners gave up for Cliff Lee right now, given how well he's pitched over the first couple of months of the season.
After a complete game shutout on Friday night, Lee has made ten starts, averaging just under eight innings a star, with 67 strikeouts to just four walks. With a 2.55 ERA and 1.90 FIP, he's been arguably the American League's best pitcher since making his first start, several weeks into the start of the season.
Lee could potentially bring in a tremendous package of prospects for the rebuilding Mariners. The Yankees seem like a potential destination for the 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner, but given their deep rotation and mediocre farm system, the Mariners might look somewhere else. The Dodgers, Angels, Red Sox, and Reds are among Lee's potential landing spots.
Adam Dunn is one of the most underrated hitters in baseball, but in the National League, can give away a substantial portion of that value in the field. To an American League team though, he could be very valuable.
The best way to describe Dunn's offense? Consistent. From 2005 to 2008 he hit exactly 40 home runs each season. Last year, he hit 38. A career .251 hitter, Dunn's average has been a bit better in Washington, as he hit .266 last year and is hitting .284 on the season. He also walks upwards of 100 times a year.
For a team like the Yankees looking for a DH, Dunn could be a very attractive option. I doubt he ends up in the National League, but you never know.
Who leads the National League in saves? Matt Capps. Yeah, Nationals closer Matt Capps, with 20 to go along with a 3.16 ERA in 32 appearances this season.
Capps struggled last season, but before that, he was one of the better young closers in baseball. Several teams in need of bullpen help—the Angels, Red Sox, Reds—could take a long look at Capps.
It's June 20th and the Cubs are more than eight games out of first. A disappointing followup to a disappointing 2009 season. The Cubs have several valuable impending free agents. Derek Lee could be on the move.
After his MVP caliber 2005 season, Lee has been good but not great for several seasons. 2009 was a bit of a comeback year, as he hit over .300 with 35 home runs. He's struggled so far this season, but you know what you're going to get. A .300 hitter who walks and has adequate power.
The Angels lost Kendry Morales, and have been looking at potential first base options since. They could very well decide Mike Napoli is the long term solution at first, but if not, Lee would likely be their top July target.
Another impending Cubs free agent, Lee had possibly the best season of his career in 2009, with a 3.10 ERA and 3.65 FIP.
He hasn't pitched quite as well to start of the season, but his ERA stands at 3.42 and given his track-record, he could be a decent option for a team looking for a mid-rotation starter.
There are several teams in need of starting pitching help, and probably only two top tier options. For those teams that lose out on the Cliff Lee sweepstakes, Lilly is an attractive backup plan.
After Cliff Lee, Oswalt is probably the second-best starting pitching option on the market. One of the better pitchers in baseball over the past decade, he had begun to decline over the past few seasons. This season though, he looks back to his old self.
In 14 starts, Oswalt has pitched 92.1 innings with an 8.86 strikeout rate, his highest since his rookie year, a sparkling 3.12 ERA and a 3.28 FIP. Oswalt has said he'd like to be traded to a contender and should be near the top of some teams' wishlists come July.
Oswalt's contract is a bit of an issue, but he'll likely be less expensive than Cliff Lee, and as a potential No. 1 or No. 2 starter on a playoff team, should end up somewhere else down the stretch.
One of baseball's most underrated players over the past several years, Berkman hasn't been himself in 2010, hitting just .238 with only six home runs on the season.
Over the past ten years though, he's consistently been a .290-.300 hitter with a .400 OBP and 30-40 home run power. That kind of impact bat, and his versatility (he can play the outfield fairly well) give him a lot of value, and the Astros should look to unload him and restock their atrocious farm system.
Potential destinations include the Angels, Yankees, and Giants.
Prince Fielder is a free agent after the 2011 season. The Brewers are unlikely to compete this year or next, so Fielder could be on the move.
Fielder should command a tremendous package of prospects whenever he's traded. He's 26 years old, and already has two seasons of at least 46 home runs under his belt. While he struggled out of the gate this year, he's picked up the pace, and his .378 wOBA to date would better his 2008 and 2006 marks.
Whether Fielder is yet on the block cannot be said, but if he is, he'll attract a lot of interest.
Konerko is in his 14th season with the White Sox, but given their struggles so far this season, it seems unlikely they'll contend in 2010. Konerko, having one of the better seasons of his career in his mid-30s, could be moved.
Always a solid, underrated offensive force, Konerko is hitting .294 with a .396 OBP so far this season and 17 home runs. He walks a lot, doesn't strike out much, and hits for plenty of power. That's a nice combination from a solid defensive first baseman.
Like Lee, Dunn, and Fielder there are several teams looking for impact 1B/DH types, and Konerko could be on their list of targets.
The Diamondbacks are far out of contention, meaning Dan Haren could be on the move.
While Haren has a high ERA this season, that's mostly the product of bad luck. His batting average on balls in play sits at .344, and nearly 15 percent of flyballs off Haren have gone for home runs. Those numbers will normalize, and you'll be left with an ace caliber pitcher—Haren is sixth in the National League in expected FIP this season.
Given his track record and elite skill set, as well as his age, Haren could demand a huge package in return. But with an ERA of nearly five and his perceived inability to pitch in the second half, his price might not be what it once was. He's the kind of pitcher that any team looking for a front line starter would at least have to inquire about.
LaRoche was traded twice before last years trading deadline, and should be on the move again this season.
You know what you're going to get from LaRoche. A solid batting average and on base percentage and plenty of power. So far on the year, he has a .357 wOBA, matching exactly his 2008 and 2009 figures.
The D-Backs will likely look to move LaRoche and any team that misses out on the Konerko, Lee, and Fielder level guys could move on to a LaRoche or Wigginton.