With the July 31 Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline looming, there most likely will be fireworks within the next week, as several teams could look to swing deals in an effort to load up for the stretch run.
Although there already have been a few significant trades, a few big-name players remain available, according to various reports. Let’s look at some notable players to keep an eye on as the deadline inches closer.
Sonny Gray, RHP, Oakland Athletics: Gray has been mentioned in trade talks several times over the last few years. The starting pitcher has had a good season thus far, posting a 6-4 record along with a 3.66 ERA and 85 strikeouts in 15 starts.
Yu Darvish, RHP, Texas Rangers: Darvish is healthy and pitching well, posting a 6-8 record, a 3.44 ERA and 9.7 strikeouts per nine innings over 21 starts. He’s set to become a free agent after this season and despite a recent winning streak, there are still a lot of teams in between the Rangers and the playoffs.
Justin Verlander, RHP, Detroit Tigers: The Tigers could become sellers, making Verlander a candidate to be traded. He’s had an up-and-down season, and he still has three years and a whole bunch of money remaining on his contract, though, so working out a deal won’t be easy.
Pat Neshek, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies: The Milwaukee Brewers and New York Yankees have been the teams most commonly linked to this reliever, and with the Phillies struggling as bad as they are right now, Philadelphia should become big time sellers.
Brad Hand, LHP, San Diego Padres: Hand has been linked to the Los Angeles Dodgers, among others, and he might be the piece that puts L.A.’s already unbelievable season over the top.
Justin Wilson, LHP, Detroit Tigers: The market for solid relievers is slowly dwindling, and Wilson is a guy many see leaving the Tigers, who figure to be sellers before the deadline.
Lorenzo Cain, Kansas City Royals: The Royals center fielder is having another good season. However, he might ride out the last year of his contract where he is, as Kansas City remains in contention in the American League Central.
Marcell Ozuna, Miami Marlins: Ozuna is one of the most powerful hitters in baseball right now, already with 23 home runs and 71 RBIs in 96 games. He’s coming off his second consecutive All-Star Game appearance.
Howie Kendrick, Philadelphia Phillies: With both his age and injury history factored in, a team needs to be willing to take a risk. Kendrick can get on base quite a bit, though.
Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates: Given his track record, it’s pretty crazy to see McCutchen’s name pop up in trade speculation. He had a brutal start to this season but since has improved significantly, so Pittsburgh might keep him around.
Jay Bruce, New York Mets: The Mets have been abysmal this season, but Bruce has been a bright spot. He has 25 home runs, 65 RBIs and a .263 average in 90 games.
Jed Lowrie, 2B/3B/SS, Oakland Athletics: There have been rumors swirling of a possible reunion between Lowrie and the Boston Red Sox, as he would be a valuable veteran piece capable of playing third base if Rafael Devers struggles upon being promoted.
Mike Moustakas, 3B, Kansas City Royals: Moose is a power-hitting third baseman in the prime of his career. That said, there still is a good chance he stays put given that the Royals have played better of late.
Josh Donaldson, 3B, Toronto Blue Jays: The former AL MVP has had a bad year by his usual standards. Perhaps a change of scenery could help. The last-place Blue Jays undoubtedly would land a good haul in exchange for the three-time All-Star.
Eric Hosmer, 1B, Kansas City Royals: Add this big first baseman to the list of Royals who might be on the move if Kansas City decides to sell off pieces.
Zack Cozart, SS, Cincinnati Reds: Cozart is in the midst of a breakout season offensively and plays excellent defense, making him a prime candidate to be traded by the last-place Reds with free agency looming this winter.
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