The trade deadline is a few weeks away, so the rumor mill is about to heat up. To prep you for the coming trade season, we're providing a primer on who the top available trade targets could be as get closer to July 31st.
Players up the middle are always a commodity. If you're looking for a difference maker in center this month though, it may be a little difficult.
Probably not available, but it couldn't hurt to ask
Shane Victorino – Ruben Amaro is stubbornly sticking to his guns and not wanting to trade Victorino. But let's talk facts for a minute. The Phillies are 13 games out, 11 games under .500, and the 31 year-old Victorino is having a terrible year and is hitting free agency after the season. Victorino is the best center fielder on the trade market right now, and it makes sense to at least try to extract some value from him. If the Phillies hold on to him and he walks, they'll get a draft pick, and that's all folks.
Peter Bourjos – Bourjos is coveted by a number of teams, and the Angels have a slight glut of outfielders at the moment. Bourjos is a phenomenal defender, but not too hot with the bat. Obviously, the Angels aren't undervaluing Bourjos in that regard, and will look to extract the most possible value from him if the's going to get moved. I don't think he will, though.
Chris Young – Now this is interesting…Young has been terrible since coming off the DL in mid-May, and is actually losing playing time to Gerardo Parra. With prospect AJ Pollock also waiting in the wings, it would make sense for the Diamondbacks to deal Young before he slips even further.
Denard Span – He was almost dealt to the Nationals last year, and Span might be on the market again…but I don't think so. He's roughly league average among center fielders with the bat, but is a fantastic defender. The Twins have an excess of players like him in the minors, so if a team wants to trade the world for him, why not? Just don't trade him for relievers like the Twins did when they traded Wilson Ramos for Matt Capps…
Take my (overpaid and/or ineffective) center fielder, please!
BJ Upton – He'll be a free agent this offseason, is having a bad year, and is making a good bit of money (especially for the Rays). Desmond Jennings is right there, waiting to move from left into center. But the Rays are still in contention in the AL East, and they've been devastated by injuries this year. Andrew Friedman and company know what they're doing though, and if they trade Upton, you'd better believe that it's not going to be for scraps.
Coco Crisp – Crisp has been a flop this year for the A's, OPSing just .600 in a crowded Oakland outfield. Yoenis Cespedes isn't going anywhere, Josh Reddick is a blossoming star, Seth Smith has impressed this year…that leaves Crisp, who's making some money and not producing at all for the A's. Dealing him would make a lot of sense.
Something is better than nothing
Andres Torres – The Pagan-Torres swap hasn't worked out well at all for the Mets, and Torres has been injured and has lost a lot of his luster. The 34 year-old isn't helping the Mets win now, or in the future. He looks like he's a fourth outfielder for the rest of his career.
Nyjer Morgan – You know, the Beast Mode stuff last year was a little entertaining while Morgan was producing and the Brewers were winning. Now, they're losing and he's playing awful. Carlos Gomez is better than him in pretty much every facet of the game, and Norichika Aoki is as well. If some team wants to experience his insanity first-hand, go ahead and let them.