The 2012 MLB free agency period will be one of the most exciting that league has seen, potentially highlighted by Albert Pujols.
Before they become free agents, several players will be traded before the season is over. Some players, such as Jose Reyes and Prince Fielder, have trade rumors swirling around them. However, it appears unlikely either team will trade them.
Other players are almost locks to be playing for a different team come August 1st.
Here are five players in contract years who will be on the move this season.
Kyle Davies has had an abysmal season for the Royals, capped off by his first-inning injury Monday night against the Indians.
Kansas City’s youth movement is now, so come June 1st, Davies could be gone in order to make room for Danny Duffy or Mike Montgomery.
The Royals are sure to try and trade Davies, but if there are no takers, Davies will be cut and could catch on with another team in a long-relief role.
With Jed Lowrie playing so well and Jose Iglesias getting the call-up, there is no room for Marco Scutaro anymore on the Red Sox.
Boston will surely be buyers at the trade deadline, looking to possibly shore up the bullpen or even the rotation. Scutaro could be an enticing trade to a team looking to shed salary at the end of the season.
If Boston can find a buyer for Scutaro, he will be on the move by July 31st.
Pirates pitcher Paul Maholm has been a solid starter the past six season for Pittsburgh.
Maholm has a career 4.43 ERA, including a 3.60 ERA in 2011.
If a team like the Yankees or Cardinals needs another starter for the stretch run, Pittsburgh will surely be willing to talk about Maholm.
For the price of a couple of mid-level prospects, Maholm can be had.
Heath Bell has been one of the best closers in the baseball the past three seasons, saving 98 games for the Padres during that timeframe.
However, with Bell’s contract set to expire at the end of the year, San Diego will be inclined to move their closer.
Bell will be the biggest name on the market for relief pitchers, and the Padres will have no shortage of suitors.
A team like St. Louis, who can’t seem to settle on a closer, may come calling for Bell before the trade deadline.
With their ownership issue a mess and the team underperforming, the New York Mets are set to blow up their team and start from scratch.
Jose Reyes has been the hot name that has been rumored to be on the move, but outfielder Carlos Beltran is more likely to be shipped out.
Beltran has been injury prone as of late but has come around this season. He is currently batting .285 and has eight homers, including a three-home run outburst at Colorado last week.
His value is rising, and the Mets could be quick to move the former All-Star and rebuild their farm system.