The All Star Game rosters have been announced and the Home Run Derby participants have been selected. There is a definitive line separating the teams considered to be the "buyers" or the "sellers" which means one thing; the trading deadline is approaching.
Contending teams will look to trade for players that will fill the holes in their grand scheme to ultimately win the World Series. Every year trade rumors surrounding certain teams and players circulate for a few weeks and predictions are made as to where players will ultimately end their seasons.
This year is no different, names have circulated and teams have even expressed their interest in certain players. Below is a list, in terms of percentages, the likelihood of players who's names have been circulating in trade talks are actually traded away.
Matt Garza, Chicago Cubs:
Garza is an interesting player. When he is not dealing with injuries, he is the ace of the Cubs rotation. Garza currently struts a 5-1 record with a 3.22 ERA.
While he plays for a mediocre Cubs team, if he agrees to a contract extension, he could potentially lead the Cubs to a playoff run in the future — that is, if he remains healthy. While a trade is possibility, don't be surprised if the Cubs sign him to a long-term deal.
Trade Likelihood: 45%
Trade Suitor(s): Baltimore Orioles, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Cliff Lee, Philadelphia Phillies:
The Phillies have played the first half of the season just as poorly as last season, but while they have dealt with the injury of Roy Halladay, and the awfulness that is Cole Hamels this season, the pitching staff gained an ace in Cliff Lee, whom many thought would live in the shadow of Hamels and Halladay this season.
Lee is 10-3 with a 2.86 ERA. The Phillies have been playing much better baseball of late, and are one of the few teams that are neither buyers or sellers at the deadline. Depending on whether or not general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. believes the Phillies are contenders or pretenders, then Lee will be dealt.
Trade Likelihood: 50%
Trade Suitor(s): Texas Rangers, Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox
Alfonso Soriano, Chicago Cubs:
Poor Alfonso. It seems as if every season, the Cubs wave the prized left fielder to teams that have enough salary space to take on what is remaining of his eight year, $136 million contract.
But thankfully for Soriano and the Cubs, the New York Yankees are in need of a power bat to make up for the multitude of injuries that they have suffered this season. Even at the ripe old age of 37, Soriano can provide much needed power for the Yankees, or any team that he may end up going to for that matter.
Trade Likelihood: 75%
Trade Suitors(s): New York Yankees, Texas Rangers
Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins:
The insanely powerful right fielder is without a doubt the best player on a very bad Miami team. Even though he is only hitting .246 with only 8 long balls, Stanton can heat up and hit upwards of 10 home runs in a week.
The possibility of a Stanton trade is one that would require teams to send at least a top prospect, and while teams may not want to give that much away, don't be surprised if Marlins owner, Jeffrey Loria decides to give him away for next to nothing like he did in off season with Jose Reyes and others. But chances are Loria isn't as stupid as to trade away a franchise player like Stanton.
Trade Likelihood: 20%
Trade Suitor(s): Toronto Blue Jays (might as well, right?), Texas Rangers
Jonathan Papelbon, Philadelphia Phillies:
Papelbon is another Phillies pitcher who's fate lies in the hands in Ruben Amro Jr. and whether or not he believe the Phillies to be a contender or not.
Papelbon is under a very large contract that doesn't attract many suitors, except those who need him, desperately. If the Phillies do decide to move significant players off the roster, Papelbon will surely be one of them.
He is an elite closer on a team that has been inconsistent all season. But like Cliff Lee, his fate will ultimately fall in the hands of Ruben Amaro Jr.
Trade Likelihood: 50%
Trade Suitors: Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers
By: Neil Shelat