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MLB Trade Rumors: Latest on Teams Looking to Sell at the 2018 Trade Deadline

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJuly 19, 2018

Kansas City Royals' Mike Moustakas is congratulated after his solo home run off Minnesota Twins pitcher Lance Lynn in the third inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 11, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Jim Mone/Associated Press

Positives are hard to find for the bottom feeders of Major League Baseball. 

The trade deadline presents struggling franchises with an opportunity to recoup their losses and invest in their future by bringing in prospects in exchange for stars who can make an impact for contending teams. 

Most of the last-place teams in the American and National Leagues have already been mentioned in the rumor mill, and as contenders get more desperate to make additions, more speculation about potential moves will come about. 

Below is a look at the latest buzz surrounding teams that are expected to be sellers over the next two weeks. 

        

Baltimore Orioles 

Baltimore's first, and most important, order of business was taken care of Wednesday, as Manny Machado was shipped to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a quintet of prospects. 

Baltimore Orioles @Orioles

The Orioles have acquired OF Yusniel Díaz, INF Rylan Bannon, RHP Breyvic Valera, RHP Dean Kremer, and RHP Zach Pop from the L.A. Dodgers in exchange for INF Manny Machado. #Birdland

Since the only thing the Orioles have to play for is the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 MLB draft, they should be one of the top sellers at the trade deadline. 

The top target remaining on the roster of the fifth-place team in the AL East is Zach Britton, who is generating interest from a handful of teams.

According to MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli, interest is picking up in Britton with Machado off to Los Angeles: 

Brittany Ghiroli @Britt_Ghiroli

When Machado is officially traded, Orioles could move quickly on Britton. Interest in him has picked up steam.

In addition to Britton, Mychal Givens could be on the move, as MLB Network's Jon Morosi noted the Indians are among the teams that have discussed a deal for the 28-year-old pitcher. 

Jon Morosi @jonmorosi

Source: #Indians and #Orioles have discussed Mychal Givens, among numerous players, in recent trade talks. Cleveland is prioritizing controllable relievers comfortable with appearances of 4+ outs, and that describes Givens. @MLB @MLBNetwork

The Indians could also be in play for outfielder Adam Jones, as Morosi noted the AL teams have been in contact about multiple players: 

Jon Morosi @jonmorosi

Adam Jones to #Indians is among the viable trade possibilities as Baltimore and Cleveland continue dialogue on multiple players. Indians looking for a right-handed outfield bat. Jim Leyland raved about Jones’ leadership qualifies in @WBCBaseball. 🇺🇸 @MLBNetwork @MLB

With a rebuild in full effect with Machado out the door, it would be wise of the Orioles to dump Britton, Givens and Jones if possible in order to reload their farm system with prospects. 

By trading away most of the marquee names on their roster, the Orioles also give younger players an opportunity to gain experience in the majors, which could be a valuable asset two or three years down the road. 

        

San Diego Padres 

San Diego offloaded its top trade target Thursday, as Brad Hand was shipped to the Indians along with Adam Cimber in exchange for catcher/outfielder Francisco Mejia. 

San Diego Padres @Padres

OFFICIAL: The #Padres acquire top prospect C/OF Francisco Mejía from the Indians; send LHP Brad Hand and RHP Adam Cimber to Cleveland: https://t.co/4QkmsU09qn https://t.co/oCN6WsEQ5E

Although the Padres only got one player in return for Hand, who is under contract until 2021, they received one of the top prospects in baseball. 

According to MLB.com, Mejia is the No. 15 prospect in baseball, which gives the Padres nine of the top 100 prospects. 

Hand might not be the only player leaving the Padres before July 31, as they've received significant interest in Kirby Yates and some in Tyson Ross as well, per MLB.com's Mark Feinsand: 

Mark Feinsand @Feinsand

The Hand deal could be just the first of many for the Padres. A source says San Diego has drawn significant interest in RHP Kirby Yates, and to a lesser degree, RHP Tyson Ross.

Yates is 3-0 with 48 strikeouts in 39 appearances out of the bullpen, which is depleted after Hand and Cimber were sent to Cleveland. 

Ross could be an intriguing option for the teams in need of starting pitchers, but there will be concerns about his consistency, as he gave up 15 earned runs in his first two starts in July.

The 31-year-old hasn't picked up a victory since June 3, but his last outing against the Dodgers, in which he gave up three hits and two earned runs in 6.1 innings, gave potential suitors an insight in to what he can do on a winning team. 

The Padres already received an ideal return for their top trade target, so any other players they receive in potential trades for Ross and Yates are an added bonus to their haul. 

       

Kansas City Royals

Just three years after winning the World Series, the Kansas City Royals are languishing in the cellar of the AL Central at 27-68. 

While most of the stars from that squad have moved on, one key component remains on the roster, at least for now.

With Machado off the market, Mike Moustakas is one of the most intriguing players left on the trade market, and there's plenty of interest in the 29-year-old third baseman. 

According to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick, the Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves have interest in Moustakas, as well as the New York Yankees: 

Jerry Crasnick @jcrasnick

The #RedSox and #Braves are both interested in Mike Moustakas as a trade deadline acquisition, sources say. The #Yankees have already been mentioned as a potential landing spot. There's enough of a market for Moose that it's more likely than not the Royals deal him this month.

Moustakas has 19 home runs and 58 RBI in 91 games for the Royals, and if he continues on his current pace, he'll eclipse his career highs in both categories. 

The market for Moustakas will be established based on the right fit. For example, Philadelphia was a better fit for Machado since he could've filled a void at shortstop. If Moustakas were to be traded to the Phillies, they'd have to shuffle around their infield. 

The Braves, Yankees and Red Sox would be more natural fits for Moustakas, as they have holes to fill at third base.

There might be another Royals infielder on the move before July 31, as second baseman Whit Merrifield could generate some interest. 

Fancred's Jon Heyman reported before the All-Star break that the Milwaukee Brewers, Phillies and Red Sox were mentioned as potential trade partners with Kansas City. 

Merrifield is batting .307 with 109 hits, five home runs, 30 RBI and 17 stolen bases. As a well-rounded part of the lineup, the 29-year-old would be a nice addition to a contender, but unfortunately for the Royals, he would come at a cheaper price than someone with a higher profile than Machado or Moustakas. 

           

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from Baseball Reference

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