By Patrick Brewer, Lead National League Writer
As the trade deadline looms ever closer it is once again the time of the year to start speculating as to what teams will be selling, what teams will be buying, and who could be traded. This article will take a look at all fifteen National League teams and split them into two groups: the buyers and the sellers. Beyond that we will have the buyers in most dire need, the buyers with the least need, the definite sellers, and the sellers who may be reluctant to start making moves. For each team that should be buying, the focus will be on what their most immediate needs are and who some possible trade partners could be to help meet those needs. On the seller side, the focus will be on what players should be traded and what teams could be interested in making trades for their services.
Definite Buyers With Most Need
These are the teams that are in the most need of acquiring some outside talent in order to boost their playoff hopes. Without some acquisitions, these teams may find themselves on the outside of the playoff picture looking in.
1. New York Mets (47-42), 2nd place in the National League East
Of all the teams in playoff contention in the National League the New York Mets are the team that is most clearly in need of a boost to help their playoff hopes. The Mets got off to a great start this year, winning 15 of their first 23 games and showing the Washington Nationals that they meant business in the National League East. While the pitching staff has only improved with the call ups of Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz, the offense has completely fallen off a cliff. For the month of June the Mets ranked 28th in wRC+ only finding themselves ahead of the Mariners and the White Sox. The Mets pitching staff has proven themselves to be more than capable of keeping them in playoff contention but without some sort of offensive upgrades this team will have no chance of keeping up with either the Washington Nationals in the NL East or any team in the NL Wild Card race in the long-term.
Needs: Offense, Outfield/Infield
The most clear need for the Mets is offense in general. In terms of specific positions the Mets could use upgrades at third base, shortstop, or second base with the poor production from those positions and the injury problems of David Wright. The Mets have gotten decent production from their outfield but it wouldn’t hurt them if they got some sort of upgrade in the outfield. This move would help greatly on offense whether it be a starter or another bench bat.
Trade Fits: Milwaukee Brewers, Cincinnati Reds, San Diego Padres
The most immediate trade fit that comes to mind is one that has been the most frequently discussed by both the Mets organization and by many baseball writers: Aramis Ramirez of the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers will most likely become sellers sooner rather than later and Ramirez is a player within both the Mets budget and a guy who could produce sufficiently for the Mets until David Wright returns (if he returns). Another possible candidate for trade from Milwaukee that the Mets have shown interest in is Jean Segura. The Mets, who are in the market for some offensive help in the outfield, could find an interesting trade partner in either the Cincinnati Reds or the San Diego Padres, for Jay Bruce or Justin Upton respectively. Bruce would be a cheaper and more sensible option for the Mets but a player of Upton’s caliber could push the Mets over the hump and get them to the playoffs. Another possible fit, along with nearly every team in the league, is Ben Zobrist. He could improve the Mets on the infield and provide some innings in the outfield all while providing a good offensive upgrade.
2. San Francisco Giants (46-43), 2nd place in the National League West
Seemingly every year the Giants find themselves in a similar position at the trade deadline. They are always hanging around near playoff contention near the deadline and seem to always make one or two moves that pay huge dividends in the run to the playoffs. If the Giants hope to return to the playoffs, and perhaps repeat as Champions, they are in definite need of another one of these kinds of trades. The Giants are just not good enough as currently constituted and need a few upgrades to bring themselves back to playoff glory.
Needs: Outfield, Pitching
The Giants are most clearly in need of some outfield help and some pitching help. With the injuries to both Nori Aoki and Hunter Pence, the Giants are left with Angel Pagan, Justin Maxwell, Brandon Belt, and Gregor Blanco getting the majority of the playing time in the outfield. None of these guys have really been anything special this year and the Giants could certainly use some help holding down the fort until both Aoki and Pence find their way back from injuries. Despite getting Matt Cain and Jake Peavy back from injury to go with Madison Bumgarner, Chris Heston, and others, the Giants are still in need of some more reliable arms and could certainly make a trade to add some much-needed depth to their rotation.
Trade Fits: Oakland Athletics, Milwaukee Brewers, Cincinnati Reds
There are quite a few teams that the Giants could see as willing trade partners. With their needs for both outfield/bench depth as well as pitching depth, the Giants could see the Oakland Athletics as a good trade partner. This is all contingent on if the A’s see themselves as sellers at the deadline but if they do both Scott Kazmir and Ben Zobrist would be interesting options for the Giants should they decide to go for it. It seems unlikely the Giants have the prospect depth to acquire both of these players but they have made good trades happen at the deadline consistently in recent years. Both these players would fix the Giants weaknesses and perhaps again make them favorites for a wild card spot or perhaps even a division title. Another interesting option for the Giants in terms of outfield depth is the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers are clearly floundering this season and could be an interesting option with Gerardo Parra seemingly on the trade block. He would be a good speed fit for the top of the Giants lineup. A final option to consider for the Giants at the trade deadline is the Cincinnati Reds and Mike Leake. The Giants need some more reliable depth in their pitching staff and, despite his struggles this season, Leake could provide a decent rental option for the Giants this year.
3. Chicago Cubs (47-40) 3rd place in the National League Central
Seemingly every year the Cubs find themselves well out of contention and they sell off any good pieces they have. For once this year the Cubs see themselves as a contender and will finally put themselves in a position to be a buyer at the trade deadline. The Cubs have no shortage of young and talented position players but could still use a few upgrades around the diamond. They lack enough offense and enough pitching and could use upgrades at both positions.
Needs: Left Field, Pitching
The Cubs have surprised the league this year with their position in the Wild Card race. The Cubs are a very good team with a lot of young talent. However they do have some important weaknesses that have been brought to light as the season goes on. With a lot of young talent in the infield that is clearly not an issue. On offense the issue for the Cubs has been a lack of production from a few of the outfield positions. Both Chris Coghlan and Jorge Soler have struggled this season and the Cubs could definitely use an upgrade in left field to help out Coghlan, perhaps in some sort of platoon. On top of that the Cubs do need some help in both their starting staff and in their bullpen, both of which have had their share of issues this season. If the Cubs can sure up their outfield and their pitching, they may be a substantial threat to make it to the World Series out of the national league.
Trade Fits: San Diego Padres, Oakland Athletics, Philadelphia Phillies
In recent weeks, the most obvious trade fit for the Chicago Cubs has been the San Diego Padres. The Padres are lining up to be sellers and have players that could be traded at all the positions that the Cubs need help at. The main option would be Justin Upton to fill the offensive hole the Cubs have in left field. A cheaper option the Cubs might pursue from San Diego would be Will Venable, who would provide good defense as well as a good left-handed option off the bench. On top of Upton, the Padres and Cubs have been linked to names such as James Shields, Tyson Ross, and Andrew Cashner. The Cubs have their eyes on a few of the Padres pitchers and the Padres definitely have their eye on a few of the Cubs young prospects. Beyond San Diego, Oakland is another good trade fit for the Cubs. The Cubs, similarly to the Giants, could attempt to swing a trade for both Scott Kazmir and Ben Zobrist to meet both their needs in one trade. Kazmir would provide some pitching strength behind Lester, Arrieta, and Hammel while Zobrist could seem time at both left field and second base and provide depth at a variety of other positions. Finally the Cubs could be interested in either Ben Revere or Jeff Francoeur of the Phillies for cheaper outfield depth options. Past that they could also still be in the market for Cole Hamels if they want to go all in or Aaron Harang if they want a cheaper option in the starting rotation. Beyond starters they could also look to the Phillies for a guy like Jonathan Papelbon if the Cubs wish to solidify the back of their bullpen.
Definite Buyers with Less Need:
These are the teams that could trade for some minor pieces to make their team all around more efficient but the need is not as great as the teams discussed above. These teams are either likely playoff teams regardless of any possible trades or are perhaps minor fixes away from playoff contention this season.
4. Los Angeles Dodgers (51-39), 1st place in the National League West
The Dodgers are still the class of the National League West despite quite a few injuries that may eventually start to catch up with them. The Dodgers have lost two starting pitchers for the year, both Hyu Jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy, and have also lost some position players for significant amounts of time including Yasiel Puig and Carl Crawford. With these injury problems, and despite being in a good position in the NL West, the Dodgers could still be in the market for some potential upgrades at the trade deadline. Of the teams with almost guaranteed playoff spots, the Dodgers are the one in the most need of some deadline upgrades.
Needs: Pitching, Pitching, Pitching
More than anything else the Dodgers definitely need some help with their whole pitching staff. The losses of both Ryu and McCarthy were a big blow and have left the Dodgers in a position where they have to rely on Mike Bolsinger and Carlos Frias for consistent innings, which has been a bit of an issue for them. They clearly should be in the market for some starting pitching upgrade, whether it be a solid top of the rotation starter or a more cheap back-end option to eat up some innings. Beyond that, the Dodgers have a bit of a thrown together bullpen that has lacked the needed consistency outside of closer Kenley Jansen. The Dodgers could be in the market for one or two back-end arms to help solidify what has been a bit of a shaky bullpen over the course of the season.
Trade Fits: Philadelphia Phillies, Oakland Athletics, Cincinnati Reds
For the Dodgers it seems fitting to focus on their starting pitching and the options that they have in the trade market. First off is the Phillies and Cole Hamels. Hamels has long been on the trading block and has long been linked to many teams across the league although the Dodgers have not really been one of them. With the injuries to both McCarthy and Ryu, and the likely impending free agency of Zack Greinke, the Dodgers could really use another power arm behind Kershaw for the next few years. Hamels could fit that bill if the Dodgers are willing to part with one or more of their top prospects. A cheaper option from the Phillies they may also consider is Aaron Harang or reliever Ken Giles to improve their bullpen. Past the Phillies the Oakland Athletics and Scott Kazmir are another option for a Dodgers team starved for pitching. Kazmir is perhaps a cheaper option for the Dodgers, in terms of both money and prospects, and would provide nearly the same value as Hamels with a smaller contract in both dollars and years. Finally the Dodgers could really push their chips all in for this year and attempt to acquire Johnny Cueto from the Reds. One of these big pitcher upgrades would almost certainly vault the Dodgers to the favorite in the National League and would make them a dangerous team in the playoffs.
5. Washington Nationals (48-39) 1st place in the National League East
Prior to the season the Washington Nationals were the easy favorite in the National League East. Despite the Mets making a big push closer to contention, the Nationals are still the class of the East and should be able to hold on to their position at the top. Despite this the Nationals could still make a few small upgrades in order to perhaps better their position to make a deep playoff run once they do get into the playoffs.
Needs: Bullpen, Outfield
Of all their needs the Nationals most clearly need some help in the outfield, with the injury to Jayson Werth, and some help at the back-end of their bullpen. Michael Taylor has been good replacing Werth but with an injury to Denard Span, the Nationals could use some more help to solidify their outfield position until both Werth and Span are ready to return some time in August. Beyond that the Nationals bullpen has struggled this season and could be in need of some further upgrades. Whether this is a closer or a cheaper middle reliever remains to be seen. Another interesting situation to watch on the trade front is what the Nationals will do with impending free agent Ian Desmond.
Trade Fits: San Diego Padres, Oakland Athletics, Cincinnati Reds
The most logical fit for the Nationals in terms of trade partners could be the San Diego Padres. The Nationals may be interested in quite a few of the Padres tradable assets and do have some decent prospects that could make a trade happen. The Nationals could go with the cheap option and perhaps pursue Will Venable and/or Joaquin Benoit to fix some of their weaknesses in the outfield and the bullpen or they go the expensive way and pursue Craig Kimbrel and/or Justin Upton to really push all their chips in for this season. Either way the Nationals will be upgrading their roster and may put themselves in a position as the top team in the National League. Beyond the Padres, the Oakland Athletics may once again be a good fit for the Nats. The Nats may be interested in either Ben Zobrist to help both in the infield as well as the outfield depth, or they could even go after former National Tyler Clippard who would solidify the back-end of the Nationals rotation. A final option could be the Cincinnati Reds and the services of either Mike Leake or the more unlikely option of Aroldis Chapman. This would be a real all in move by the Nationals and may be enough to win them a World Series.
6. St. Louis Cardinals (56-33), 1st place in the National League Central
The St. Louis Cardinals have once again shown themselves to be the cream of the crop in the National League Central. Even with a season ending injury to Adam Wainwright and a near season ending injury to Matt Adams, as well as a less severe injury to Matt Holliday, the Cardinals still find themselves at the top of the National League Central. Out of all the teams in playoff contention they seem to be in one of the best spots going into the All-Star break with a smaller need for upgrades at the trade deadline.
Needs: First Base, Outfield, Pitching
The main needs for the Cardinals are at the positions that have been most affected by injury. Matt Holliday is due back from his injury immediately following the All-Star break and both Jason Heyward and Randall Grichuk have been generally good this year while getting a majority of the playing time. However the Cardinals could use an outfield upgrade off the bench to help out Peter Bourjos. Beyond that, it seems pretty clear that the Cardinals will definitely be in the market for a first baseman to platoon with Mark Reynolds given his struggles against right-handed pitching and the injury to Matt Adams. Finally the Cardinals may be in the market for some pitching to help to further soften the blow of losing Wainwright as the season progresses.
Trade Fits: Milwaukee Brewers, Philadelphia Phillies, Colorado Rockies
With most of the Cardinals needs being because of injuries to their usual contributors, the Cardinals may not make many moves at the deadline and may attempt to wait out those injuries. One intriguing option that they may go for would be first baseman Adam Lind of the Brewers. The Cardinals will likely be without Matt Adams for a majority of the rest of the season (if he comes back at all this season) and Lind would be a good left-handed platoon option next to Mark Reynolds. The Cardinals could also perhaps be a fit for Gerardo Parra as a left-handed option off the bench to back up the Cardinals various outfielders. If the Cardinals really do get desperate for first base help, and it doesn’t work out with Adam Lind, the Cardinals could attempt to go after Ryan Howard. A far more sensible option from the Cardinals for a trade with the Phillies would perhaps be outfielder Ben Revere or pitcher Aaron Harang. Finally the Rockies could go for perhaps a cheaper option than either Lind or Howard at first base and attempt to make a trade for Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau.
7. Pittsburgh Pirates (53-35), 2nd place in the National League Central
Of all the teams in the National League with hopes of contention, the Pirates seem to be the team with the least need. Or at least the team that has avoided injury the most and has maintained almost their complete opening day roster. The Pirates are a pretty complete team overall and perhaps could acquire some minor fixes at the trade deadline to make them even more competitive for a World Series title.
Needs: Outfield, Pitching
Despite being one of the most complete and healthy teams in the league, the Pirates could still use a few upgrades. One thing that they wouldn’t mind upgrading is their outfield. Starling Marte has struggled with injury lately and Gregory Polanco has struggled to stay consistent. The Pirates could use another outfield bat either to come off the bench and get at bats or even perhaps get some consistent starts. All around the diamond the Pirates are a pretty balanced team and another outfielder may help put them over their proverbial playoff hump.
Trade Fits: Philadelphia Phillies, Cincinnati Reds
The most immediate fit that comes to mind is the Phillies. The Pirates have been linked to the Phillies with interest in both Jeff Francoeur and Ben Revere as possible back up options in the Pirates outfield. Perhaps the Phillies could even find pitching help with a cheap option such as Aaron Harang to fill out a strong Pirates rotation led by Gerrit Cole, A.J. Burnett, Francisco Liriano, and Charlie Morton. Another possible trade partner could be the Reds who have an outfielder in Marlon Byrd that they are willing to part with. He could provide a good right-handed bat off the bench and could get some playing time as a backup in all three outfield positions. The Pirates, other than the currently injury plagued Cardinals, could be the most complete team in the National League and the team that is least active at the deadline.
These teams are going to be the teams that are obviously going to be selling and are expected to be sellers by the teams with needs.
1. Philadelphia Phillies (29-62), Last place in the National League East
Of all the teams in the National League, the Phillies are most obviously the team that will be selling come the end of July. More so than any other team the Phillies are most clearly completely out of contention this year, have the most tradable parts, and are likely on the cusp of a full-scale rebuild. The only holdup to potential trades is the inability of Ruben Amaro to pull the trigger on some potential trades. How he handles the trade deadline will be a very important part of the Phillies future and where the franchise goes next. The Phillies have a lot of tradable parts and many expect them to all be gone in the coming weeks.
Trade Pieces: Cole Hamels, Aaron Harang, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Carlos Ruiz, Ben Revere, Jeff Francouer, Jonathan Papelbon, among others
The Phillies definitely have no shortage of potential trade pieces as many of the left over parts from their previous run on top of the National League are still remaining. They have a few pitchers in Cole Hamels and Aaron Harang who really have no place on a winning team. They also have a few guys like Jeff Francouer and Ben Revere who have drawn some interest from a few teams. Beyond that the Phillies have a few expendable guys such as Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and Carlos Ruiz that they might not be able to give away even if they wanted to, which they obviously do at this point.
Trade Fits: Almost every team in both leagues
Cole Hamels– Hamels is obviously on the radar of quite a few contenders but the most obvious fits seem to be the teams in most need of pitching including the Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros, Chicago Cubs, and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Ben Revere/Jeff Francouer- The most obvious fits for either of these guys would be teams in need of outfield depth such as the Pittsburgh Pirates, San Francisco Giants, or Chicago Cubs.
Aaron Harang– Harang is basically a poor man’s version of one of the bigger starting pitchers on the market. He could be on the radar of teams like the San Francisco Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates, or even the Los Angeles Dodgers who may not be willing to spend on those other guys.
Jonathan Papelbon- Papelbon is a guy who has seemingly been on the trading block forever. The most logical fit for him would be teams such as the Toronto Blue Jays, Los Angeles Dodgers, or maybe the Washington Nationals.
2. Milwaukee Brewers (38-52), Last place in the National League Central
Aside from the Philadelphia Phillies, the Brewers have been the most obvious team that would be a seller come the trade deadline. Almost from opening day it was obvious that the Brewers were not going to be competing this season and that they would find themselves in this position. Other than the Phillies, and perhaps the Reds or Padres, the Brewers may have the most extensive pieces that can be used as trade bait.
Trade Pieces: Adam Lind, Aramis Ramirez, Gerardo Parra, Ryan Braun, Jonathan Lucroy, Jean Segura, Carlos Gomez
The Brewers have a lot of talent that they can trade away should they choose to pull the trigger and start their rebuild at this trade deadline. The most obvious options to be traded are Adam Lind, Aramis Ramirez, and Gerardo Parra, although the Brewers have some interesting options beyond these players in Braun, Lucroy, Gomez and Segura should they go into a full rebuild mode.
Trade Fits: St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets, San Francisco Giants
Adam Lind- St. Louis Cardinals are the team with the most need for a left-handed first base option and this would seem like the likeliest landing spot for Lind.
Aramis Ramirez/Jean Segura– The New York Mets are the team most clearly in need of both offensive help and help on the left side of the infield and both these guys fit the bill.
Gerardo Parra- The San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates are three NL teams in need of outfield help and could be good fits.
3. Colorado Rockies (39-49), Last place in the National League West
No one ever really figured the Rockies would be competing this season and once again they have put themselves in a position to sell. The Rockies franchise has been stuck in neutral for many years now and it may be time for the Rockies to once again go into somewhat of a rebuilding mode. The Rockies have some good young pieces such as Nolan Arenado to build around but definitely have some pieces from years past that need to go to move on with the future.
Trade Pieces: Justin Morneau, Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki, Nick Hundley
The Rockies have the same main trade pieces that they have had for the last few seasons. Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez are still the main trade pieces for the Rockies but both seem unlikely to be traded given their large contracts and the Rockies commitment to them. Beyond that, Justin Morneau may be another option that could be an interesting trade option should the Rockies decide to sell at the deadline.
Trade Fits: New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates
Troy Tulowitzki- The only team that has really been linked to the Rockies and Troy Tulowitzki are the New York Mets. It seems like an unlikely trade but the Mets may find themselves desperate and may pull the trigger.
Justin Morneau– The St. Louis Cardinals seem like the most obvious fit given the injury to Matt Adams and their need for a left-handed bat to platoon with Mark Reynolds against right-handed pitching.
4. Miami Marlins (38-51), 4th place in the National League East
The Marlins once again, similar to 2012, went from preseason favorite to huge midseason bust. And once again the Marlins should be sellers at the trade deadline given their struggles to compete in the National League East. The Marlins have not only been plagued by injury this season but have also been plagued by poor performance all around their roster.
Trade Pieces: Mat Latos, Dan Haren, Dee Gordon, Michael Morse, Brad Hand, Steve Cishek
The Marlins have quite a few pieces for possible trades but the main ones would be Mat Latos/Dan Haren and Michael Morse. Beyond that the Marlins could really take a risk and trade Dee Gordon while his value is at its highest for a better return if they do attempt to rebuild. They have no shortage of options in trades and will have a good amount of payroll going into the offseason.
Trade Fits: Any team Needing a Starter/Hitter
Latos/Haren- Many teams are in need of starting pitching. These include the Yankees, Royals, Astros, Dodgers, Cubs, etc.
Michael Morse- There are quite a few teams that could be interested in Morse. These could include the Nationals, Giants, Cubs, etc.
These are teams that may be reluctant to sell because they still think they are in contention, are weary of upsetting their fanbases, or even because they wish to maintain some of their assets.
5. Atlanta Braves (42-47), 3rd place in the National League East
The Braves are a team that clearly put themselves into complete rebuild mode in the offseason with the trades of several big pieces such as Justin Upton, Craig Kimbrel, and Jason Heyward. The Braves are considered reluctant sellers for our purposes because of the fact that they may not have very many pieces that they want to sell after the quasi-fire sale they had over the offseason. The Braves clearly won’t be competing this year but may be wary of making any more big moves during the trade deadline.
Trade Pieces: Cameron Maybin, Jim Johnson, Juan Uribe, Chris Johnson
The Braves dumped most of their biggest tradable assets in the offseason in Justin Upton, Craig Kimbrel, and Jason Heyward. Beyond that they have a few other interesting players that are doing well this season and do not really have much of a place in the Braves future plans.
Trade Fits: Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Washington Nationals
Cameron Maybin- It is unclear that the Braves will attempt to trade Maybin but if they do the Nationals could be a team willing to make that move.
Jim Johnson- The Dodgers or Cubs could both be interested in acquiring Johnson given their shaky bullpens this season.
Juan Uribe– The New York Mets should be interested in Uribe as a veteran presence who can provide both leadership to a young a team as well as provide some much-needed offensive help.
6. Cincinnati Reds (39-47), 4th place in the National League Central
The Reds were a team that had dreams of playoff contention before the season. Despite these delusions of grandeur, the Reds have found themselves near the bottom of the league and likely should be sellers as the trade deadline nears. The Reds were reluctant to begin the sale because of the hometown All-Star game but should no longer be reluctant as the trade deadline grows near. The Reds are in need of a rebuild and have a lot of good talent to trade in order to make that happen.
Trade Pieces: Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, Jay Bruce, Marlon Byrd, Aroldis Chapman, Todd Frazier
The Reds may have the deepest roster of any of the sellers. They may have something for everyone with both offensive help as well as starting pitching/bullpen help to possibly sell. Cueto is obviously the cream of the crop with Bruce following behind but Mike Leake and Marlon Byrd could be cheaper options that many teams would be interested in. Past that the Reds could try to sell either Chapman or Frazier while their values are at an all time high should they want to go into a full-scale rebuild.
Trade Fits: Every team in contention in the National League
Johnny Cueto- Of all the teams that are in need of pitching in the National League, the Dodgers may be the team with the most need. Beyond that a few teams in the American League such as the Blue Jays and Astros have been linked to Cueto as well.
Mike Leake– Leake may be a cheaper option for teams who may not want to pull the trigger on an expensive pitcher like Johnny Cueto or Cole Hamels. These teams could include the Chicago Cubs or the San Francisco Giants.
Jay Bruce– Of all the teams in need of some offensive help the Mets seem to be the team in the most need of offensive help and Bruce definitely would fit the bill.
7. San Diego Padres (41-49), 4th place in the National League West
Of all the teams in the National League the Padres may have had the biggest hype coming into the season. Despite all the hype, the Padres have found themselves to be the biggest disappointment of the season so far. The Padres may be reluctant to sell given their offseason spending frenzy but selling off some impending free agents, and perhaps some more cost controlled pieces, is the best option for a franchise that has once again lost its direction.
Trade Pieces: Justin Upton, Will Venable, Ian Kennedy, Joaquin Benoit, James Shields, Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross, Craig Kimbrel
The Padres have no shortage of tradable talent but many around the league are unsure about what direction the Padres will go in at the deadline. It seems increasingly likely that impending free agents such as Upton, Venable, Kennedy, and Benoit are likely to be traded but it is less certain whether the Padres will trade even more players and go into more of a rebuild.
Trade Fits: Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Twins, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Mets
Justin Upton- Of all the Padres players, Justin Upton seems to be the one that is most likely to be traded. He will draw significant interest and the most likely options seem to be teams in need of outfield offense such as the New York Mets or Chicago Cubs.
Will Venable- There are quite a few teams in need of outfield help, including the Pirates, Giants, and Nationals, who all could call the Padres about Will Venable.
Ian Kennedy/James Shields/Andrew Cashner/Tyson Ross– All these guys have been linked to possible trades and the team most likely to covet any of their services is the Chicago Cubs. On the American league side the Padres have already drawn interest from both the Toronto Blue Jays and Houston Astros who are both in need of pitching to help their playoff causes.
8. Arizona Diamondbacks (42-45), 3rd place in the National League West
The Diamondbacks more than any other team in the National League are really hard to place on this scale simply because their season has been so puzzling so far. They have clearly shown themselves to have a more than capable offense but have had a poor pitching staff. They have made a few questionable trades, such as trading Mark Trumbo and Bronson Arroyo, that were clearly cost cutting measures. The Diamondbacks have positioned themselves well financially and seem to be preparing for some sort of offseason spending spree akin to the Padres last year. With that being said the Diamondbacks may be reluctant to sell at the deadline but they should end up selling given the few large contracts they can cut to open up room for more potential spending in the offseason.
Trade Pieces: Aaron Hill, Addison Reed, Jeremy Hellickson
It is kind of hard to predict what the Diamondbacks will do next given their erratic trading habits so far this season. With cost cutting measures in mind it seems that the D’backs will likely next try to trade Aaron Hill or Addison Reed who both have larger contracts and have found their roles on the team diminished. Hellickson is another guy that may find himself on the block given his struggles to find consistency this season for the D’backs.
Trade Fits: The New York Mets, Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros
Aaron Hill- Of all the teams that I could see going for Hill, the Mets seem to be the best fit. They are in need of an offensive weapon and he might be a better and cheaper option than either Aramis Ramirez or Troy Tulowitzki.
Jeremy Hellickson- Despite a poor season, Hellickson may draw some interest from a few teams in need of pitching such as the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League or the Houston Astros and Toronto Blue Jays in the American League.
Here’s to a great trade deadline!