MLB Trade Deadline 2012: 10 Big-Name Players Sure to Be Dealt

Derek Gerberich@@thexsportsxguyCorrespondent IJune 18, 2012

MLB Trade Deadline 2012: 10 Big-Name Players Sure to Be Dealt

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    The 2012 MLB Trade Deadline is July 31st. 

    Yes, that's in six weeks.

    While it seems like the MLB season has just gotten underway, the reality is that GMs across the league must start evaluating whether their teams are contenders or pretenders.

    And that's when the trades begin to fly.

    What follows is a look at ten big-name players who are most likely to be traded before this season's deadline.

1. Ryan Dempster

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    As reported by Buster Olney, Ryan Dempster is most likely the first of a slew of Cubbies that will be dealt during Theo Epstein's rebuilding process.

    The right-handed hurler is in the middle of a career year (2.11 ERA) and would be a valuable addition to any contender's staff.

    Interested suitors include both the Dodgers and Red Sox.  Dodger scouts were in attendance during Dempster's most recent seven-inning shutout performance, which naturally came against the Red Sox themselves.

2. Matt Garza

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    Speaking of the impending Cubs fire sale, enter pitcher-that-can-help-win-my-team-a-World-Series No. 2.

    Matt Garza currently boasts a solid 4.04 ERA to go along with a 1.12 WHIP and strikes out nearly a batter per inning.

    The Dodgers look to be the front-runner as of now, and will most certainly nab Garza if they miss out on Dempster.

3. Cole Hamels

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    The Philadelphia Phillies currently stand at 31-37, which places them dead last in the National League East—a full nine games behind the Washington Nationals.

    With Roy Halladay, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard adding injury to insult, the Phillies have to be considered sellers heading into the July deadline.

    Throw in the fact that ace lefty Cole Hamels is set to be a free agent at the end of the season, plus the endless amount of suitors that would be lined up if the Phillies decided to deal—and you have the perfect trade recipe.

4. Cody Ross

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    With the arrival of rookie Will Middlebrooks, all of the Red Sox trade talk has centered around aging veteran Kevin Youkilis. 

    Problem is, his play of late has reflected one adjective in particular—aging.

    Scouts have been left with a sour taste in their mouths after recent scouting of Youk, and with the $12 million contract that he comes with, many feel like he's just not worth a trade.

    Enter Cody Ross.

    The Red Sox have both Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury set to return in the coming weeks, and with his play so far this season, Ross have proven to be a far more valuable asset than Youkilis.  Additionally he comes with just a $3 million price tag, which could certainly garner interest from teams across the league.

5. Carlos Quentin

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    The hapless Padres activated free-agent-to-be Carlos Quentin from the DL two weeks ago and watched him crush opposing pitching to the tune of a .404 batting average, along with six home runs and thirteen RBI in just 52 at bats.

    With numerous contenders in search of a right-handed bat with power, Quentin's value will never be higher.

    The Tigers have shown the most interest so far, and Quentin would surely be an upgrade over Delmon Young.

6. Jeff Francoeur

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    Batting just .274 with just 5 home runs and 18 RBI through 237 at bats, Jeff Francoeur has become the topic of possible trade talks in Kansas City.

    With Royals top outfield prospect Wil Meyers waiting in the wings, Francoeur is an expendable asset who could provide a valuable veteran presence for a contending team down the stretch.

    Stay tuned.

7. Alfonso Soriano

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    Yet another selling piece of Theo Epstein's overhaul effort, Alfonso Soriano has garnered a bit of trade value this season by smashing 12 home runs to go along with 41 RBI over the first 60 games.

    The Orioles have reportedly shown interest in the veteran 36-year-old, who would give them another power option to slot at DH—and wait for it—possibly help the Birds make a late season playoff push.

8. Huston Street

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    With the mass amount of chaos surrounding this year's closer carousel around the league, a proven arm at the back of one's bullpen has become a valuable commodity.

    Huston Street is a valuable commodity indeed.  Street, who was just recently activated off of the DL, currently owns a sparkling (1.35 ERA, 0.75 WHIP) stat line across 13.1 IP while striking out 16 batters.

    With Street scheduled to become a free agent at the end of 2012, the Padres will surely be trying to move him before the deadline, and the list of interested teams should be filled.

9. Zack Greinke

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    With the Brewers slipping back in the National League Central Race, and All-Star pitcher Zack Greinke due to be a free agent at the end of this season, it's no surprise that Greinke is in the middle of trade talks yet again.

    With a dazzling 95 strikeouts in just 85 IP to go along with a 3.10 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP, Greinke would be the best starting pitcher available should the Brewers decide to become sellers.

    The only limiting factor on his list of suitors is his anxiety issues of the past, and some experts fret over whether he would be able to handle the pressure of pitching in a big city.

10. Edinson Volquez

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    Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that Edinson Volquez does indeed look like a trade candidate for the Padres, which is not surprising given the state of the team, and the potential arm that Volquez could provide for a contender.

    With the Padres looking to be sellers at the deadline, packaging Volquez alongside either Quentin or Street, could be a viable option that should yield a strong group of young talent in return.