Long before the July 31st MLB trade deadline rolls around, teams are considered buyers or sellers. Nobody stands (or should stand) pat.
Buyers are looking for that one piece that can vault them to a playoff spot, and hopefully a world championship. Sellers realize this isn't their year or they are some distance away, and they look to add some talent for the future at the expense of winning meaningless games now.
Here are five teams off to awful starts (some expected, some surprising) who will DEFINITELY be sellers at the deadline. Unless something changes.
Philadelphia Phillies (11-21, 5th in NL East)
It wasn't expected for the Phillies to be competing in 2015, and they are living down to those expectations. The bottom feeder of the National League East, the Phillies have a ton of talent that they can move at the deadline.
Cole Hamels, man of the hour
The big prize this summer is clearly Cole Hamels, vaulting whichever streaking team that grabs him into probable favorites. The Phillies are asking for a lot, certainly, but some team will bite. How could they not?
Other pieces to watch: Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Aaron Harang could all be moved by general manager Ruben Amaro as well.
Milwaukee Brewers ( 11-21, 5th in NL Central)
Firing a manager 25 games into a season is a telling sign as to what a team might do come July. The Brewers replaced Ron Roenicke with Craig Counsell, and Counsell is 4-3 since taking over. Despite that, reports have surfaced that the Brewers front office has been calling other teams, letting them know that veteran players are available.
Kyle Lohse, Aramis Ramirez and Matt Garza are all supposedly available. As time moves on, more could become available. Teams could ask about Ryan Braun, Jean Segura and Jonathan Lucroy, but one would think those three seem like pieces that the Brewers want to build around.
Texas Rangers (13-18, 4th in AL West)
The Texas Rangers have had quite the past few seasons. Injuries have plagued their ability to win for long stretches. The Prince Fielder-Ian Kinsler swap hasn't played out the way the Rangers brass envisioned it.
The Rangers have a number of big contracts that they could look to offload to other teams, like Elvis Andrus. With a shortstop market as slim as it is, Andrus is sure to garner interest from a number of teams.
Colorado Rockies (11-17, 5th in NL West)
The Rockies got off to a surprising start, going 5-0 to start the 2015 season. It looked as if they had finally put it together. Their high-octane offense is one of the more impressive lineups in all of baseball, but their pitching leaves much to be desired to say the least. If the slide continues, the same names will pop up in trade rumors.
Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki are at the top of the list of guys that the Rockies could move. They have both stayed healthy to start the season, and that was seen to be a key for the Rockies to have success. It hasn't played out that way, and maybe finally ownership will move these guys, hitting the full reset button.
*Oakland A's (12-21, 5th in AL West)
Clearly a surprise addition to this list, but things haven't gone well for the Oakland A's. Being 5th in the AL West means that Billy Beane could try to shake things up once again. Injuries to the starting rotation have hindered the A's ability to get any winning streak started.
If that slide continues, Beane will waste little time readjusting his roster, and gaining under-control talent in the future. That could make Beane and the A's both buyers and sellers.
They could sell high on guys like Ike Davis and Scott Kazmir, while building around Marcus Semien and Brett Lawrie. The A's find themselves in the middle ground, but Billy Beane has a history of working himself out of that trouble and could easily prove his club's inclusion on this list as a bit too bold. We'll see.