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.
Does your favorite contending team need help at second base this trade deadline? You better hope not because the pickings on this market are mighty slim.
Probably not available, but it couldn't hurt to ask
Kelly Johnson – A potentially nice value for several contenders, but he only becomes available if the Jays cease to be contenders themselves. Thanks to the existence of two WIld Cards, that is unlikely.
Darwin Barney – Barney is merely a stopgap for the Cubs, but he is also not arbitration available until 2014. That cost control could force teams into a situation where they would have to overpay for a guy that has no power and struggles to get on base. That seems like a bad combination, but given the market at second base, someone might get desperate.
Take my (overpaid and/or ineffective) second baseman, please!
Chone Figgins – Really, teams could slot him at several positions, but with a .521 OPS, why would anyone want to? Still, he can be a defensive repalcement and pinch-runner if someone is really desperate. Seattle seems to be reluctant to admit their massive financial misstep with Figgins, but at some point they have to cut their losses, eat his salary and hope they can get a bag of baseballs in return for Figgy.
Mike Fontenot – Fontent held own as a part-time fill-in for Chase Utley. But with Utley back and the Phillies looking like they are out of it, Philly could easily flip him for a low-level prospect.
Something is better than nothing
Yuniesky Betancourt – Scarily enough, he might not actually be available since Dayton Moore has an unhealthy mancrush on him. As maligned as Yuni is, he can contribute a tiny bit with the bat and isn't nearly as big a liability on defense when playing second base.
Chris Getz – If Yun not to your liking, his part-time partner at second could be, assuming the speedy Getz can get healthy before the deadline rolls around.