As the MLB non-waiver trade deadline rapidly approaches, there is always considerable focus on the big bats, starting pitchers and back of the bullpen arms.
Playoff contending teams in need of a boost to their roster scour the bottom feeding clubs in hopes of prying top talent from them in order to propel themselves onward down the pennant stretch.
While there are the Carlos Beltran-type trades and the frenzied discussion surrounding pitchers such as Ubaldo Jimenez or Heath Bell, not everyone call pull of a deal of this caliber. Nor is every team in need of such a maneuver.
Occasionally, only a supplemental deal is necessary; a role player to step in and fulfill a need for his new team can be instrumental in helping a ball-club achieve success in their quest for October baseball.
These aren't always the headline-grabbing transactions that we expect around this time of year. Think back to 2004, and David Roberts, who played a small, yet incredibly significant role for the Red Sox in their curse-lifting run to World Series glory.
Jerry Hairston Jr. played an integral part in helping the Yankees return to baseball's mountaintop in 2009, after nine years of falling short of their ultimate goal of World Series victory.
Just last season, although it was after the trading deadline, the World Champion San Francisco Giants made a move that would turn out to be invaluable during the postseason, acquiring outfielder Cody Ross from the Marlins in a trade that seemed minor at the time it occurred. Ross would go on to perform brilliantly in the playoffs, helping the Giants bring home their first title since moving to the West Coast from New York prior to the 1958 season.
This year, as teams clamor for the big names in the trading market, there are gems to be unearthed, potential role players that could push a team over the top.
With the deadline approaching in only a few days, I'm taking a look at some players that I feel should be moved for one reason or another. Some of these have been rumored, and if so, I will reference the sources in which they have been. Others are speculation, players that are in situations where they, or their team, might benefit from consummating a deal to send them elsewhere.
In this piece, we'll focus on players with a valuable combination of speed and defensive skills. Some will be role players of the type mentioned earlier, while others may fit into the category of marquee attractions or high-profile targets. One thing for certain though, they will all possess the attributes quickness, base-stealing ability and defensive prowess.
Without further adieu, let's take a look at eight players that should be moved ahead of this weekend's rapidly approaching trading deadline.