From the fallout of this year's first major trade, it becomes necessary to take stock in what the market has left to bear for the other teams looking to make some improvements in a push towards the post-season. With Jason Hammel and Jeff Samardzija now in the Bay area, the rest of baseball has at least an idea of what the market is for players and prospects during the next few weeks.
Though the list of players available is extensive, and certainly includes a decent number of players who are being discussed in the privacy of front office board rooms, here's a rundown of the five best players still available on the market:
Though the top end of the pitching market has been lopped off at the knees, the head still remains. If there is a single team that is rejoicing over the Oakland/Chicago trade outside of their respective cities, it is Tampa Bay.
They have the best available starting pitcher. Likewise, they have no incentive to trade Price this month, giving them all of the necessary leverage in negotiations.
Additionally, Price is having one of the best seasons of his career, striking out over ten batters per nine innings with just twenty walks in 139.2 innings.
With another year of team control available after 2014, David Price is going to command quite a bit if Tampa does indeed pull the trigger and move him.
The last season and a half has been a mild disappointment for Headley and the Padres. After seeking a long-term deal that saw negotiations turn sour and somewhat contentious, Headley now appears to be unmoored from the club and destined to find a new home at some point in the near future.
With half a year left on his contract, Headley has all the indicators of a change-of-scenery player, just two seasons removed from a breakout 2012 in which he hit .286/.376/.498 with 31 home runs and 115 RBI.
Some enterprising persons would say that a team like the Royals, and the chimaeric atrocity that has been Danny Valencia and Mike Moustakas, would take a long hard look at a guy like Headley. Though, to be fair, Moustakas has hit .242/.303/.455 since his recall, which puts him firmly in replacement-level territory.
Headley will have his suitors, and there's a lot to suggest that he's a strong breakout candidate this season and beyond.
If there is one type of player that major league managers can't get enough of, it is scrappy, versatile players. It also helps if those players are productive, and Zobrist has been for quite some time.
Tampa finds themselves in the enviable position of having a pair of desirable trade pieces, though their inclination to trade Zobrist is best described as "tepid" in most circles.
After coming back from an injury, Zobrist has performed exceptionally, and currently has a .268/.350/.411 batting line. He spends most of his time at second base, where he excels defensively, bur can play left or right, and probably third. He could fit a lot of roles for a lot of teams, but the value he brings to others he brings to the Rays themselves.
The Mets are eight games back in the NL East, which is or more or less the de facto state of the organization. Daniel Murphy is the kind of player that might fly under many people's radars, but given his consistent production and the fact that he is winding down on arbitration eligibility, the sensible idea would be for the Mets to move him for something that might possibly help them rebuild for the future, something they seem to be doing perennially and without end.
Rios had developed a reputation as an on-again, off-again player, never finding much consistency from year to year while he was in Chicago. Over his time with the Rangers, however, Rios has managed to find a decent amount of chemistry that has led to continued to success.
He is currently hitting .305/.344/.440 and could be a nice upgrade for teams looking at an outfielder, though his defensive liabilities might make him an intriguing option for a team who needs a designated hitter as well.
With an option year left, Rios has some extended benefit past the 2014 season, and if his production stays at the same level it has over the past two seasons, he could be a beneficial (if not overwhelmingly productive) player for many teams around the league.