For me, June is the start of trading season (nd the Mariners and Diamondbacks apparently agree). I know it will still be a few weeks before we likely start to see serious movement from the other clubs, but it's never bad to start thinking ahead. So that's why we here at MLB Daily Dish have created the MLB Trade Deadline Power Rankings. The rankings list the team in order from most likely to buy to most likely to sell, with a clean break in between.
Let's get started.
These teams are buyers
1) Kansas City Royals - The Royals are the defending AL Champs and the pressure is on to repeat. Meanwhile, their pitching behind Edinson Volquez, Yordano Ventura, and Chris Young (what?) has been awful and is not likely to improve much.
2) Seattle Mariners - I can't believe they traded for Trumbo, but Jack Z is desperate, so I guess they probably won't be stopping there.
3) New York Yankees - On top of an awful AL East for now, the Yankees are in a prime position to buy and get a jump on the rest of the division. They could use another starter to slide in behind Michael Pineda, Adam Warren, and a hopefully recovered Masahiro Tanaka.
4) New York Mets - The Mets are desperate for respectability, and a playoff spot would do that for them. They have a clear need at shortstop, and a catching prospect to spare once Travis d'Arnaud comes back.
5) San Diego Padres - The Padres decided that they would make a run this year, and will need to acquire middle infield help and maybe a true center fielder to right their bad start.
6) Houston Astros - A huge surprise, but I buy the Astros as contenders. They could use help at first base and in the rotation. I wonder if Jeff Samardzija and Adam LaRoche would be good fits.
7) Los Angeles Dodgers - The Dodgers need rotation help with Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-jin Ryu down for the year. They have plenty of money to take on contracts, and aren't shy about making big deals.
8) Washington Nationals - The Nationals need help at shortstop, where Ian Desmond has been a disaster offensively and defensively, and at first base, where Ryan Zimmerman has been awful.
9) St. Louis Cardinals - They have the best record in baseball, but a glaring hole at first base and could use some rotation depth.
10) Tampa Bay Rays - The Rays are surprise contenders and they have a new front office team who will want to prove they can be just as smart and daring as Andrew Friedman was by upgrading the rotation and shortstop for a stretch run at the AL East title or maybe the second wild card.
11) Pittsburgh Pirates - The Pirates have designs on a wild card spot, have a stacked farm system, and need a better pitcher in the rotation than Jeff Locke or Charlie Morton.
12) San Francisco Giants - The Giants always seem to put together some deal by the deadline. The starting rotation could definitely use some help to replace whichever of the done-looking Tim Hudson or Ryan Vogelsong is left standing once Jake Peavy returns.
13) Detroit Tigers - The Tigers really could use some help in the rotation, and maybe a bat to back up at third base and designated hitter. And, of course, they always need bullpen help. Trouble is, Detroit doesn't have much to offer.
14) Atlanta Braves - Do they have the money to make another deal, after they acquired Juan Uribe? They definitely need bullpen help, and maybe a starter.
15) Cleveland Indians - Not nearly as bad as their record, and with clear areas they need to improve at third base, bullpen, and starting rotation. They may not have the prospects to make a deal, however.
16) Los Angeles Angels - They created a hole in left field when they dealt Josh Hamilton and they could use an upgrade at DH. Maybe a reunion with Torii Hunter is in order?
These teams are sellers
14) Minnesota Twins - A regression is coming, and I'm guessing the Twins understand that. Hopefully it will come in time for them to offload the surprisingly effective Mike Pelfrey, Blaine Boyer, and Torii Hunter on a contender
13) Texas Rangers - I have no idea how they are doing what they are doing. Yovani Gallardo, Colby Lewis, and Wandy Rodriguez will all be free agents this offseason, and should be dealt.
12) Chicago Cubs - Like the Twins, they're a big surprise, but they will be hard pressed to actually earn a wild card. They also have talent on hand to replace Dexter Fowler and Starlin Castro.
11) Baltimore Orioles - The next three are all AL East teams. At least one of these teams will not sell at the deadline, because they'll right their ship and be contenders in an atrocious AL East. I just don't know which one(s) yet. The incredible Darren O'Day, Chris Davis, Wei-Yin Chen, Steve Pearce, Matt Wieters, and Bud Norris are all free agents next year and could go.
10) Toronto Blue Jays - The Jays, as currently constructed really only have one more year in their window to compete, so they may just want to bring everyone back for one more bite of the apple. But Mark Buehrle, Marco Estrada, or Brett Cecil would be attractive targets.
9) Boston Red Sox - Well, this is not how the Sox drew it up this offseason. Mike Napoli has hit well for the last month. Clay Buchholz has been more Jeckyll than Hyde, but the Sox may be more inclined to pick up his option and try to lock him into a long term contract.
8) Arizona Diamondbacks - Trumbo is already gone, the trouble is they don't have much else to give away. Oliver Perez, I suppose. Maybe someone will want the underperforming Hellickson or Collmenter.
7) Colorado Rockies - I wish they could deal Troy Tulowitzki, but the injury risk means they won't get full value, and might be inclined to hold on.
6) Miami Marlins - Jeffrey Loria has said he wants his club to stay together, but he also expressed a lot of faith in Mike Redmond before tossing him overboard. Look for Martin Prado and Dan Haren to go, as well as Mat Latos if he can turn it around a little.
5) Chicago White Sox - Their attempt to rebuild quickly with big trades and free agents has fallen short. Jeff Samardzija is a foregone conclusion and Gordon Beckham will be a hot commodity if he keeps hitting. Maybe Adam LaRoche too.
4) Cincinnati Reds - Johnny Cueto will be gone before the deadline and will bring back a huge haul. Mike Leake is equally gone. Aroldis Chapman and Jay Bruce are both a year away from free agency, and could fetch a good price.
3) Philadelphia Phillies - Cole Hamels has been on the market for eight months now, and the Phillies are starting to talk about kicking in some money to go with him. They will literally take anything for Ryan Howard. Papelbon could go, and the club is already shopping left fielder Ben Revere. They have accepted their fate.
2) Milwaukee Brewers - Doug Melvin has already said he's open to dealing anyone not name Jonathan Lucroy. Aramis Ramirez is a goner if they can get anyone to take him. So are Kyle Lohse and Adam Lind. An interesting name might be Carlos Gomez, who is only under contract for one more year.
1) Oakland A's - If there's one thing Billy Beane doesn't mind, it's to break up a club that isn't winning (or even one that is). He'll have some really excellent pieces to sell off, too, in Ben Zobrist, Scott Kazmir, Josh Reddick, Ike Davis, and maybe Jesse Chavez.