The MLB season is quickly approaching the halfway mark and with it, the July 31 trade deadline.
Trade rumors have hogged the headlines over the past week, and more than a few teams are making regular appearances in those reports.
Baseball bettors should beware of clubs about to push the plunger and blow up their roster – along with 2013’s aspirations. Players on the trading block are focused on where their next paycheck is coming from, not the next pitch, and teams can take a nose dive as the deadline draws closer.
Here are four MLB clubs who could be swinging the wrecking ball over the next month:
Philadelphia Phillies (38-42, -9.05 units)
The Phillies have been on dynamite watch around this time in each of the past three seasons. An aging roster and massive payroll haven’t produced results and Philadelphia sports fans don’t have much patience left for the franchise. Honestly, this team should have been blown up back in 2011.
Cliff Lee continues to be the big name floating around, even though the Phillies brass denies trade talks. Also cracking the rumor mills are Jonathan Papelbon, Chase Utley, Chris Young, Carlos Ruiz, and even Roy Halladay – the latter four are all free agents this winter.
Chicago White Sox (32-43, -11.92 units)
Everybody in the American League Central has a shot at the division crown this season, with Minnesota only six games back in fourth place. Everyone but the White Sox that is, according to the trade buzz coming out of the Southside.
With Chicago nine games back of the lead, it appears that the ChiSox are willing to clean house with the exceptions of starter Chris Sale and veteran slugger Paul Konerko. According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, a fire sale could include names like Alex Rios, John Danks and Alexei Ramirez.
Chicago Cubs (33-44, -7.14 units)
The Cubbies are still in rebuilding mode in Year 2 under wiz kid Theo Epstein and a deconstruction of 2013’s foundation appears to be on the way, starting with ace Matt Garza. The right-hander has improved his stock with three straight solid outings and is on the radar of just about every contending club in the bigs.
Chicago is also dangling carrots like Scott Feldman, Kevin Gregg, Carlos Marmol, David DeJesus, Nate Schierholtz, and Alfonso Soriano this month. The Cubs’ July schedule has them on the West Coast for a good chunk of the month.
Milwaukee Brewers (32-45, -15.46 units)
You’d have to be drunk off your ass to be betting on the Brew Crew right now. Milwaukee has been blitzed by the injury bug all season, fielding a different lineup almost every night. Ryan Braun is out with a bum thumb and who knows what suspensions lay ahead for him in the MLB’s ongoing PED investigations.
The Brewers pitching staff could stand for a good implosion, currently touting a collective ERA of 5.00 – second worst in the majors. Ace Yovani Gallardo is their biggest card in the deck when it comes to making moves. From the sounds of it, Milwaukee is on the fence about whether or not to pack it in. But with 11 of their next 17 away from home, where the Brewers are 13-22, the decision could be clearer by mid July.