Though it may seem like the season just started, the MLB trade deadline will soon be right around the corner. As usual, teams will use this as an opportunity to add that extra piece that can assist them in getting to the playoffs, or as an excuse to sell off a bunch of unwanted talent. Finally, some teams will sit back and do nothing, letting their current roster lead them to the postseason, or start their rebuilding phase in the offseason.
Typically, there are at least a few high-profile moves made during every MLB trade deadline - more so than in other sports - and this year should be no exception. With the mix of veterans who still have a chance to be productive for a contending team, and young players who could have their upside better utilized, there are plenty of trade pieces floating around in the summer months. Many teams will be vying for their services, and in some cases, be willing to pay a pretty hefty price.
It's been a season that has given us a fair share of surprises in the standings, meaning that some teams who were initially thought to have been buyers may want to stay put with the roster they have, and vice versa. Even so, there's no telling what general manager will pull the trigger on a deal, and ultimately, it isn't uncommon for some deals to come down in the last few hours before the 4 PM deadline on August 1st. These transactions could spark a postseason run for a team in need, or be the start of a rebuild that could eventually lead to one. Basically, the trade deadline is an important date for every team in baseball, regardless of the quality of their season record.
Ranked below are the top 15 bold predictions for the MLB trade deadline.
15 Nationals Will Trade Jonathan Papelbon
14 Cubs Will Trade For Bullpen Help
13 Ryan Howard Will Be Traded To An AL Contender
12 That Will Be The Only Move The Phillies Make
11 Yankees Will Try To Sell Big
10 Tigers Will Trade Either Justin Verlander Or Miguel Cabrera
9 Cardinals Will Buy Low For Wild Card Push
8 Indians Will Trade Big For Wild Card Push
7 Dodgers Will Try To Add Starting Pitching Help
6 Blue Jays Will Sacrifice Offensive Personnel To Upgrade Pitching
5 Red Sox And Orioles Will Stay Put
4 The Braves Will Sell Big, Trading Freddie Freeman
3 Astros Will Overrate Their Roster, Not Making A Move
2 Royals Will Sell Off Young Talent To Compete In Second Half
1 Angels Will Trade Either Mike Trout Or Albert Pujols
The Angels have been the definition of an enigma, seeming to always underachieve despite having some elite, dangerous hitters in their batting order. Clearly, what they're doing now isn't working, and they would be able to land a stellar haul for Mike Trout, who has proven himself to be one of, if not the best young hitter in the game. While trading a perennial All Star like Trout may seem counterproductive, the Angels need to find a way to upstart some young pitching prospects, in order to rebuild their roster. Trading Pujols may help as well, even though his value has clearly gone down from his prime. Still, the Angels would be able to land several minor league prospects from a contending AL team, which would be a better return than what Pujols has given them in recent years. It's doubtful that both of them are sent packing, but it has to be suspected that one of them will be on the deadline block this summer.
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