With the MLB Trade Deadline approaching, the most frantic few weeks in baseball are about to unfold. As always, several high-profile players could be headed to new destinations to help out a team that desperately needs an upgrade. Take a look at some players who will probably be headed elsewhere:
David Price, SP
With the recent reports that David Price will be made available for trade, he suddenly becomes the top available pitcher, if not overall player. Wherever he lands, he becomes an immediate impact in their rotation. He could be a No. 1 starter on most teams and will help a team’s chances immensely right away. His move to the trading block may shake up the entire trade deadline period.
Cole Hamels, SP
The Phillies’ ace is signed through 2018 with an option for 2019, so wherever he lands, he will be spending at least a few guaranteed years in that location. That adds to much of the appeal, as he’ll help any team for more than just the remainder of the season. He’s arguably been as good as ever this year with a great 3.02 ERA, although his team hasn’t given him much support. Hamels has been linked to potential trades on several teams since well before the season, and it’s only a short amount of time until its official.
Jonathan Papelbon, RP
As the Phillies hold baseball’s worst record, Jonathan Papelbon has stated his desire to play for a real contender. If he gets his way, he will be dealt elsewhere, and he’s been very good this year, despite being 34. He has been a perfect 16-16 in save opportunities with a 1.72 ERA, but that’s one of the lowest amount of saves for any premier closer in the MLB.
Johnny Cueto, SP
Since 2011, Cueto has maintained an ERA below 3.00 and is definitely worthy of near-elite status in the MLB. But with this season as the last on his contract, a team looking to make a late post season run will certainly vie for his help. A team that needs another strong pitcher will look his way, as he provides plenty of skill and depth.
Jeff Samardzija, SP
There’s little doubt that the Chicago White Sox are not completely satisfied with the performance Jeff Samadrzija has put up so far this season. After posting a 2.99 ERA last year with the Cubs and A’s, his ERA has skyrocketed to 4.33 this season. However, many still believe that he has dominant stuff and could help to deepen a rotation for a potential playoff team this year.
Scott Kazmir, SP
For a team looking for a solid, veteran presence with an efficient deal, Scott Kazmir certainly provides those qualities, as he posts some of the best numbers of his career. With Price, Hamels, and Cueto as the biggest names on the market, Kazmir should require less in a trade with the A’s. If he continues pitching as well as he is now, he could end up being one of the better deals this July.
Ben Zobrist, Utility
Very few players are as versatile as Ben Zobrist, and that’s what makes him a top trade deadline candidate. He can fill in at almost any spot and provides a pretty solid bat in the lineup. If a team is looking for somebody to help bolster their lineup, Zobrist might be one of the better players because of his consistency. 2015 is his last year on his contract, and he can fill a hitting or fielding hole on teams wanting to push into the playoffs.
Yoenis Cespedes, OF
Like David Price, Cespedes becomes a major player available with recent reports of his availability. He’s having one of the best seasons of his career and is being sought after aggressively by several teams interested in an outfielder. The Tigers can get a lot of value out of their two high-caliber trade chips if they ultimately decide to part ways with them.
Justin Upton, OF
There’s a strong chance that Justin Upton ends up on yet another team, after being traded to the Padres during the offseason. The Padres are almost certainly out of playoff contention in the strong NL West, so they may be looking to push Upton for their future. In the last year of his contract, he’s hitting for solid power and great speed. He would provide a playoff-contention team with a nice bat in the outfield.
Cameron Maybin, OF
Maybe leaving San Diego was a blessing, as Cameron Maybin is having the best season of his career by a significant amount. He is batting just under .300 with eight homeruns and 16 stolen bases. Maybin has certainly been one of the league’s biggest surprises and all of a sudden makes for an interest trade candidate with a contract set to expire in 2016 with an option for 2017.
Adam Lind, 1B
For the past three seasons, Adam Lind has been playing exceptionally and has already belted 15 home runs this year. He’s a very cost effective, veteran option that can produce well if a team has a need for a first baseman or designated hitter. He ranks in the top 10 on offense for first basemen and will help add value at the position.
Jay Bruce, OF
The Reds are way out of the division race at this point, and it looks like they are going to be sellers within the upcoming days. He would add decent power to a lineup, although he won’t add too much. He’s probably not the difference between making the playoffs and missing out, but he could be extra depth or a slight upgrade in a depleted outfield.