Every year around this time, as players look forward to a few days off and the All-Star Game dominates the headlines, trade talk heats up. Early-season peaks and valleys have begun to even out, and teams generally have a better sense of whether they should buy or sell at the July 31st deadline.
In 2011, several big names have been offered up as possible trade bait. The question, as always, is where they will end up. Which teams will make big moves, and which will stand pat?
In recent years, teams like the Los Angeles Angels, Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees have been among those willing to spend money on significant acquisitions. But Angels owner Arte Moreno put speculation to rest about his team being active at the deadline this season. Ditto for Yankees GM Brain Cashman, who believes that the Yankees' internal options are as good or better than what they'd find on the market. The Sox are also limited in what they can do financially, and will probably make a series of smaller moves rather than pulling off a marquee deal.
So which teams will step up this year? Who will be wheeling and dealing at the deadline?