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.
There are a lot of really good third basemen in the league…the problem is that most of them are really young, and not really trade bair at this point in time. I don't think it's going to be a very active market, but you never know.
Probably not available, but it couldn't hurt to ask
Chase Headley – Headley is far and away the best potential third baseman on the market…but are the Padres willing to deal him? It's going to take a lot for them to part with Headley, a franchise cornerstone at 28. Headley is a fantastic defender in addition to a great hitter, and he can become even more of a monster if he escapes Petco Park.
Trevor Plouffe – The Twins stink, and will look to sell off a lot of assets. But will Plouffe be one of them? He's still a pre-arb player, and his 19 homers in only 62 games lead all third basemen. But this power surge seems odd for a guy whose career high in homers is 23, set last year. Despite a BABIP of just .236, Plouffe is hitting homers on nearly 25% of his flyballs. That's not sustainable at all, and maybe there's some desperate team out there willing to give Twins GM Terry Ryan a mint for his third baseman.
Take my (overpaid and/or ineffective) third baseman, please!
Scott Rolen – Todd Frazier is younger and cheaper at third for the Reds, and Rolen is really struggling this year. Despite the Reds contending this year, it would make sense for them to deal the veteran away, even if it's just for cash. There's just no reason for them to stick with him.
Mark Reynolds – Let's see….the Orioles have Jim Thome to DH, Wilson Betemit to play third, and Chris Davis to play first. If they could just get another corner outfielder to move Davis to first on a full-time basis and stop screwing around with him in the outfield, they could part ways with the strikeout-happy Reynolds, who's lost his power stroke this year too, making him essentially a useless player.
Something is better than nothing
Jack Hannahan – Hannahan is solid with the glove, and after the injury to prospect Lonnie Chisenhall, he's more than a bench bat. However, the Indians have been splitting his playing time with Jose Lopez, who's got more going on with the bat. I don't think either player gets dealt, but Hannahan could be a decent bench bat for a team.
Chris Johnson - With the Astros just acquiring Matt Dominguez in the Carlos Lee trade, Johnson could be deemed expendable. He's not great anywhere, but again…bench bat? Why not?
Placido Polanco – He's pretty much done as a player, but maybe Ruben Amaro deals him off for a part that could be used in the future.