MLB Trade Deadline: Top 5 American League Sellers
For MLB teams in the pennant race, this time of year can't be any more exciting. The thought of adding big name players to help your team win their division has most fans on the edge of their seats.
However, for the teams that are out of the playoff race, it is a very sad time, as many key players will be traded. Some veterans who have contributed a lot over the years may be dumped at the deadline, just so a contender can rent them for half the year.
Here's a look at the top five AL teams who will most likely be sellers, and what they have to offer.
5. Toronto Blue Jays
Even though the Blue Jays are currently .500, they will probably be sellers, as they are already out of the playoff picture. They are certainly not a bad team, so they won't be looking to get rid of too many players.
The guy most likely to be traded is Edwin Encarnacion. The Blue Jays just can't seem to find room for him, with the recent emergence of Eric Thames, causing Jose Bautista to move to third base.
Encarnacion would be a solid pickup for a contender. He isn't hitting for as much power as he has in the past, with only seven home runs. His average isn't horrible, at .261, and because he's so versatile, some contenders may be interested.
Another solid player the Blue Jays may be looking to get rid of is Aaron Hill. Even though he's having a surprisingly bad year, he is still a good player. The .226 average and four homers aren't appealing, but it would be a smart move for someone to pick him up and hold onto him for a few years. He has hit for both power and average in the past, and any contender needing a second baseman would be smart to go after him.
Toronto may be looking to shop some pitchers as well, such as Carlos Villanueva, Jon Rauch, Jason Frasor, or Octavio Dotel. Villanueva would be a great pickup for a contender, as he is having an amazing year.
Jon Rauch seems to be traded every year around this time, and it wouldn't be a surprise if he is again this year. Octavio Dotel also seems to be on the move every year, and this year may be no different.
Toronto doesn't have a whole lot to offer, but you can't blame them for not wanting to get rid of some of their better players, seeing as how they are .500.
4. Baltimore Orioles
The Orioles had been hanging around .500 for most of the year, but recently took a huge nosedive to send them 20 games below. They are, without a doubt, sellers, and may have some good players to offer.
Derrek Lee has been a disaster so far in his first year with the team, and he could be moved.
It looked like J.J. Hardy would be a hot commodity, until the Orioles recently gave him a huge new contract.
Mark Reynolds is a very intriguing option at third, as it is not yet known if he'll be moved or not. He is having a typical year, hitting .221, but does have 21 homers. A contender would be smart to go after him.
The Orioles have a solid outfield, and it wouldn't be a surprise if they kept it intact. Adam Jones certainly isn't going anywhere, and Nick Markakis probably isn't either. Luke Scott could be traded, and would be a nice addition to a contender.
Vladimir Guerrero is currently on the DL, but could be a dealt. He would most likely only be used as a rental player.
Baltimore doesn't really have many pitchers to offer. Of their starters, Jeremy Guthrie is probably the only candidate to be moved, but he would most likely serve as back of the rotation starter if he went to a contender.
The Orioles don't have much to offer in their bullpen either. Koji Uehara would be a nice pickup for someone, as he is having a monster year. Kevin Gregg could be moved, but would probably serve as a setup man if he went to a contender.
3. Seattle Mariners
The Mariners had been over .500 and in the AL West race until very recently. They are currently on a 14-game losing streak, and well out of the playoff picture.
However, their offense is so bad that contenders may not want to pick up any of their hitters. Miguel Olivo could be an intriguing option at catcher, as he has 14 homers, but he's not hitting for average.
Adam Kennedy and Brendan Ryan are realistically the only decent hitters that a contender would want, and even they aren't great.
Chone Figgins has a .182 average, and that may scare teams away. Jack Cust isn't hitting for average or power, and nobody will likely want to pick him up. There has been talk that if nobody wants Jack Wilson, he could end up being released.
Even though Ichiro is not having a good year, teams would still love to get him. However, chances are that he's not going anywhere.
The Mariners have one of the best starting rotations in the game, but aren't looking to shop many of their starters. Felix Hernandez and Michael Pineda certainly aren't going anywhere. Erik Bedard is currently on the DL, but was having a great year before he got hurt. If Jason Vargas is moved, he would be a back of the rotation starter on a contending team.
Seattle's bullpen has a few intriguing options. Both Aaron Laffey and David Pauley are having great years, but a team would have to give up a lot to get Pauley.
It would be in Seattle's best interest to hold onto their pitching, and get rid of as much of their offense as possible.
2. Kansas City Royals
The Royals will have actually have some good hitters that contenders will be after strongly. Both Melky Cabrera and Jeff Francoeur are having great years, and both will almost surely be traded. Francoeur looks like the player he was in Atlanta, and Cabrera is surprisingly hitting for power.
Kansas City's starting rotation is a mess, and it will be interesting to see if teams go after any of their starters. The Royals will probably want to get rid of Kyle Davies, but it's doubtful that anyone would want him, as he has a 7.32 ERA. Jeff Francis could be a decent No. 4 or 5 starter for a contender.
Bruce Chen is having a great year, and if he is available, he would be a great pickup for somebody.
Kansas City's bullpen has been very good this year, and most of the pitchers in it are very young. However, one veteran that could be on the move is Joakim Soria.
After a horrible start, he has bounced back and is starting to look like the pitcher he has been in years past. If he is available, he would be one of the best pitchers on the trade market. However, it would be in the Royals' best interest to hold onto him.
1. Oakland A's
The only reason the A's are No. 1 on this list is because they seemingly dump the most talent of any team at the trade deadline every year. This year looks to be no different.
There is a great chance they'll trade their entire starting outfield. David DeJesus, Coco Crisp, and Josh Willingham would all be nice additions to contenders. Conor Jackson could be moved, and could be valuable to a contender because of his versatility.
Even though he's in his first year with the team, Hideki Matsui will probably be traded.
The A's easily have one of the best rotations in the game, and it looks like it could stay mainly intact. Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez certainly aren't going anywhere, and Guillermo Moscoso will be kept as well. It looks like the only starter that could potentially be traded is Brandon McCarthy.
The A's also have one of the best bullpens in the game, and some of the pitchers in it could be moved. Brian Fuentes has been somewhat of a disaster, and it would be a good idea for the A's to get rid of him.
Grant Balfour has been amazing in his first year with the team, and could be moved.
However, the two most likely candidates to be traded look like Michael Wuertz and Craig Breslow.
The A's seemingly dump their veterans for prospects every year, and so far, it hasn't paid off.