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Ten Biggest Names on the Trade Block This Summer and Chances They are Dealt

by Photo of Sam Cohen

We review the chances that these ten studs are traded.

Ten Biggest Names on the Trade Block This Summer and Chances They are Dealt

With the trade deadline only a little more than a month away, hot stove talks have already started to heat up. From David Price to Jimmy Rollins to Matt Kemp, there are some serious studs on the trade block this summer. Last year was a was relatively quiet in terms of trades, but this year's market is far more interesting. There has been a lot of speculation about possible trades for the past few weeks, so let's take a look at the ten best players that are available to trade or could be available to trade and the percent chance that they are actually traded. The players are ordered by how likely they are to be traded.

Jeff Samardzija, Chicago Cubs: 95%

Year after year, Samardzija's name appears on the trade block. And year after year he ends up staying in Chicago. This year, however, feels different. The Cubs are, unsurprisingly, one of the worst teams in the MLB, so they will look to get some players that will help them in future years. The team would surely receive some very good prospects if they were to trade Samardzija, who has been one of the best pitchers this season with a cool 2.77 ERA. 

He has already received a lot of interest from teams around the league due to not only his talent but the fact that he wouldn't be just a rental player. Since he doesn't hit free agency until 2016, he would be able to help any contending team this year as well as next year. This will surely create a bidding war and it would make way too much sense for both the Cubs and for Samardzija, who has expressed his desire to be traded.

 

2) David Price, Tampa Bay Rays: 90%

Price's name has been involved in trade rumors for a long, long time, but the Rays have been competitive in recent years so the team felt that keeping Price could help them make a postseason run. Well, the Rays are playing terribly this year and now is the time for the team to deal their ace.

The Rays usually demand a lot in trades so the price for Price will be very high, given that the former Cy Young winner is one of the best in the game. Additionally, he is also under team control until 2016, which will only increase his value. The price for him will surely make some teams hesitant, but a David Price trade is pretty close to inevitable.

3) Jason Hammel, Chicago Cubs: 80%

Hammel has been great this year after a 2013 in which he was ravaged by injuries and poor play. He has a 3.02 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP, proving to be a solid investment for the Cubs. Last year, Scott Feldman pitched just about as well as Hammel has pitched this year and the Cubs got a solid return for Feldman. Look for them to do the same with Hammel this year, as he has pitched well enough for the Cubs to get some nice prospects in return.

The Cubs will probably end up trading Hammel for some prospects, but his market really depends on what happens with Samardzija and Price. Teams that are unable to get the two superstar pitchers or are simply unwilling to give up top prospects for them will turn to Hammel as a nice secondary option. It does seem likely that Hammel will have a new home by the end of July, though.

4) Seth Smith, San Diego Padres: 80%

After being a part-time player for the A's for the past few seasons, the Padres traded for Seth Smith thinking that he could be a solid every-day player. Good thinking, San Diego. 

The left-handed hitting Smith has been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise awful Padres lineup. With San Diego a long way from contending for a championship, dealing Smith would make loads of sense. He is 31, a free agent at the end of the season, and his value has never been higher. Teams in need of a left-handed outfielder would do well to get Smith. Some may be skeptical about whether Smith can keep playing as well as he has, but there will likely be a couple teams that are willing to pull the trigger and deal for him.

5) Alexei Ramirez, Chicago White Sox: 50%

It is hard to tell if Alexei Ramirez will be traded or not. He has a lot of value, as he is one of the top shortstops in the game at 32 years old. There is also a high demand for good shortstops, which only raises his value. His contract is tradable and he doesn't become an unrestricted free agent until 2017, so it makes sense that he is drumming up a good amount of interest.

The White Sox may be hesitant to trade Ramirez, as he has been such a good shortstop for them and they already have a bunch of good young players that could help the team contend in a couple years. But Ramirez's value is as high as it will ever be and it will be interesting to see if the White Sox capitalize on that value.

6) Joakim Soria, Texas Rangers: 40%

Another interesting story to follow is what the Rangers do in the next month. The team has been a staple atop the A.L. West for a few years, but with 11 important players on the DL, the team's year is all but done. Teams will be calling the Rangers to ask about closer Joakim Soria, who owns an unbelievable 1.80 ERA and 0.64 WHIP, but whether the Rangers desire to trade him is unknown.

If the Rangers trade Soria, they would be hurting their chances of contending next year, which is very possible. If they don't trade Soria, the team would be forfeiting the chance to get some good prospects, a chance that they might not see for a few years since they are unlikely to be sellers when the team is fully healthy. I think it would be smart for the Rangers to keep Soria and plan to contend next year, but it wouldn't be all that shocking if Soria is dealt.

7) Chase Headley, San Diego Padres: 25%

Headley broke out in 2012, finishing fifth in the MVP voting, but has not been the same player since. He had a disappointing season last year and has been dreadful this year, with a .204 average and a .288 OBP with only six home runs. 

I don't suspect a team will want to trade for a player who has been as bad as Headley has, but it wouldn't be surprising if the Padres dealt him for very little. He will be a free agent after this season, is unlikely to get a qualifying offer, and won't sign a long-term extension to stay in San Diego. All of that means that San Diego would do good to get any value for him rather than letting him leave and getting nothing in return. If the Padres can get anything for the struggling slugger, expect them to jump at the offer. The question is if teams will want to give up anything for the struggling third baseman.

8) Ben Zobrist, Tampa Bay Rays: 20%

There have been a few rumors about the Rays dealing the versatile Zobrist. The Rays are out of contention and Zobrist would make sense for just about every team given that he can play so many positions. He is only making $7 million this year and has a $7.5 million option for 2015 and has been the definition of solid year after year. The Rays could get a lot from trading Zobrist because of his contract, versatility, and the amount of teams that would be interested in acquiring him.

I just don't see it happening. Zobrist is a scrappy hitter, gets on base a lot, is a slick fielder, and he's a good teammate, qualities that the Rays always look for in players. He is their identity offensively and giving him up would be really difficult for Tampa Bay. This is also a team that believed they would contend for a championship this year, so giving up both Price and Zobrist seems unlikely.

9) Jimmy Rollins, Philadelphia Phillies: 15%

For a long time, Jimmy Rollins refused to be traded, which his contract allows him to do. But recently, he has stated that he is more willing to be traded if the Phillies decide to rebuild the team. You would think that any team in need of a shortstop would jump at the opportunity to get Rollins, who is still playing at a high level at age 35, right?

Wrong. He is set to make $11 million next year before becoming a free agent, a lot of money for a player his age. This damages his value greatly. The Phillies have also been reluctant to rebuild, even though they haven't been a good team in a while. If the team does decide to rebuild, the chances that they trade Rollins will increase, but there still won't be many teams willing to take on his contract.

10) Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers: 10%

The Dodgers' outfield is packed. With Kemp, Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier fighting for two outfield spots and mega-prospect Joc Pederson mashing the ball at Triple-A, the Dodgers would be smart to explore some trade opportunities. Crawford does not have much value given how often he gets injured, his declining skill set, and his absurd contract. Ethier could be dealt, but he also has a big contract and isn't a very good player anymore. Matt Kemp may have a $160 million contract that runs through 2019, but the 29-year-old star is still one of the more productive outfielders in the game. 

Most teams won't want to take on Kemp's contract given the amount of injuries he has endured and some inconsistent play at times, but there is a slim chance a team like the Red Sox, who are desperate for an impact outfielder, deal for Kemp. The more likely scenario, however, is the Dodgers waiting until the offseason to try and trade Kemp.

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