The 2011 MLB season is less than halfway over. We still have the All-Star Game, the trade deadline and the playoff run ahead of us. Heck, players on one-year deals still have more than 50 percent of their service time remaining.
But that hasn't stopped us from looking ahead to this winter's free-agent market and contract extension negotiations.
For players who are due to cash in after the season, every move they make is publicly scrutinized through the lens of how it will affect his payday. Consistency, durability, perceived effort—meaningless though these June games may seem, what happens now could ripple through to when contract negotiations begin in November.
As baseball's third month comes to a close (that was fast, wasn't it?), here's a look at all the hottest contract buzz about some marquee names who could strike gold on the free-agent market or gain long-term stability after the season.