With the MLB trade deadline almost one week away, the negotiations have picked up steam and rumors are flying all over the baseball landscape. There will definitely be a flurry of trades leading up to August 1st and here are five players that I can almost guarantee will be leaving their current team.

MLB Trade
(AP Photo/Al Behrman)

1. Jay Bruce-OF-Reds

Jay Bruce has to be traded this year, right? For the past four seasons his name has been a hot topic around the trade deadline but the Reds were always reluctant to pull the trigger. Well, this season is their best chance to trade the veteran outfielder and recoup solid prospects in return. Bruce is a free agent at season’s end with a $13 million team option for 2017, but only a $1 million buyout. He is having a great year slashing .263/.314/.844 with 19 HR and 66 RBI. He can immediately upgrade a teams OF depth and would serve as a power hitter in the middle of a team’s batting order. Teams like the Dodgers, Indians and Giants are reportedly in on the Bruce sweepstakes.

Predicted team: Cleveland Indians

2. Rich Hill-SP-Athletics

If he had stayed healthy throughout the first half of the season, Rich Hill would already be in another teams uniform. The veteran pitcher is having his best season as a pro, owning a 9-3 record with a 2.25 ERA and averaging 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings. On a minuscule one-year $6 million deal, his contract is very team friendly and the Athletics who are already out of the playoff race, could use solid prospects to reinvigorate their depleted farm system. The catch with Hill is his health. He missed his last start due to a blister on his finger but missed more time in the first half with a groin injury. If he shows he is healthy before the deadline he is almost guaranteed to be moved.

Predicted team: Miami Marlins

3. Aroldis Chapman-RP-Yankees

The Yankees have the best bullpen in the majors, it just hasn’t translated in the win column. With New York heading into the trade deadline as sellers for the first time in a long time, they have a chance to get a haul for some of their arms. Chapman and Andrew Miller are the two likely targets, but with Miller being controlled until the 2019 season, it would be wise for the Yanks to part with Chapman first. The former Red is a free agent at season-end and will command a hefty price tag on the open market.

Predicted team: Washington Nationals

4. Jeremy Hellickson-SP-Phillies

The soon-to-be free agent has had a turnaround season in Philadelphia owning a 7-7 record with a 3.84 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP in 20 starts. He will not cost a lot and while not a guarantee to see a lot of on-field success, he gives a team added depth in their rotation through the summer months into the fall. He is not a “game-changing” type move.

Predicted team: Baltimore Orioles

MLB
(Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports)

5. Jonathan Lucroy-C-Brewers

Similar to Jay Bruce, Jonathan Lucroy has been on and off the trading block for years. One of the best offensive catchers in the game, Lucroy can significantly increase any lineup he enters. With the Brewers going through a rebuilding phase they can significantly speed up that process by letting go of Lucroy for a host of prospects, but that will come at a cost for whichever team ponies up for Lucroy. There are at least six teams who are serious about acquiring the 30-year-old and with a favorable contract that only pays him $5.25 million in 2017 he can help teams beyond the stretch run in 2016. Keep an eye on the Indians and Rangers but I’m going with a dark-horse who has a history making trades with Milwaukee to land the heavily sought after catcher.

Predicted team: Houston Astros

 

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