Major League Baseball's annual trade deadline is inching closer by the day. While they're may not be a franchise-altering player on the market this year, the best teams in baseball will have no shortage of quality players to add in the hopes of pursuing that elusive World Series title.
By the time the dust has settled on the morning of August 1, expect these five moves--or non-moves--to have gone down and changed the power dynamic across the league.
Astros Trade Some Big Prospects For Trevor Bauer
Houston is blessed with three of the top prospects regardless of position in all of baseball in flamethrowing right-hander Forrest Whitley and a pair of slugging outfielders in Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez. Though the Indians are challenging the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central, a losing streak here or there could force them to sell, with the 28-year-old Trevor Bauer and his 3.65 ERA the most likely candidate to be moved. The Astros are the only team with the stockpile of top prospects and the need in their rotation to facilitate a Bauer deal.
Marcus Stroman to the Yankees
Trades between AL East teams, especially those concerning All-Star starters, don't happen very often. However, the Marcus Stroman rumblings on River Avenue have been picking up steam lately given the Yankees' substandard rotation and the Blue Jays' inevitable fire sale. Stroman's 3.25 ERA and his ability to prevent giving up home runs make him an ideal candidate to start meaningful postseason games in the Bronx.
The Mets Don't Do Much of Anything
Despite a team in shambles and a farm system that lacks the depth of others in their division, don't be surprised if front office boss Brodie Van Wagenen keeps things just the way they are out in Flushing. With Zack Wheeler on the IL, the Mets' most likely trade candidate might not be able to be moved, as he could be considered damaged goods. Considering that the Mets will likely be waiting on a ridiculous offer in order to offload Noah Syndergaard in any potential deal, Van Wagenen might not have a ton of tradable assets to offload at this deadline.
Will Smith, Tony Watson, and Madison Bumgarner Are All Traded
Even with the Giants dismantling the Colorado Rockies and finally climbing out of last place in the NL West, a fire sale should be, and likely still is, imminent. The Giants have a trio of left-handed pitchers that could fetch some nice prospects to aid their depleted farm system, with the All-Star closer Smith and still effective starter Bumgarner ready to help a team that is looking for that one missing piece that catapults them into the playoffs and beyond.
Robbie Ray and Matt Boyd Stay Where They Are
The left-handed starter market is ripe with options, but it doesn't mean that all of them are guaranteed to switch teams. Detroit's Matt Boyd and Arizona's Robbie Ray, both of whom sport sub-4.00 ERAs, have been kicked around the rumor mill for weeks now. Don't be surprised, however, if both of them stay right where they are, as Boyd's performance is nowhere near close enough to justifying the Tigers' asking price for him, while Ray could stay on an Arizona team making a little bit of a run on the NL West.