The Mid Summer Classic is in the book as the second half of the 2015 Major League Baseball season picked up action on Friday night. While the action has been in full swing we expect the action to pick up as teams fight to climb back into the playoff picture. These next two weeks will be key for a number of teams around the game to determine whether or not to be buyers or sellers at the deadline.
As we look at the American League currently at least eight teams are in play for the playoffs with as many as ten on the doorsteps. This includes all five teams in the American League East as the Boston Red Sox recent play have pulled them within seven games of the first place New York Yankees.
Over in the National League the same type of picture could play out as eight teams in contention with a few other teams knocking on the door. This includes three teams in the National League East as well as three teams in the National League Central. Depending on an early second half run the Arizona Diamondbacks and Cincinnati Reds could play themselves back into play.
This leaves as few as 14 teams in play to be sellers with a chance that could increase. That being said here are a few players that could be traded before the July 31st trade deadline.
Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies: The Phillies recently hired Andy MacPhail to help turn this club around like he helped do in Baltimore. That being said MacPhail shipped out high priced players such as Eric Bedard and Miguel Tejada. If the Phillies can find someone to take on Hamels as well as Ryan Howards contract a deal will get done.
Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles: This is a long shot since the Orioles are still in contention but a 3-10 stretch before the break followed by another loss to open the second half has the team heading in the wrong direction. The Orioles could look to add some depth for next years ball club with a trade of Davis. On the other side the team could keep him, offer him a qualified offer and hope Scott Boras turns it down so the team could land a pick in next years draft.
Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati Reds: Cueto is just one player that could be dealt from this team that has struggled for most of the season. The list of teams that could be interested could include the Los Angeles Dodgers who have some solid caliber prospects in the minors. Others on this team that could be dealt include Mike Leake, Alrodis Chapman and Jay Bruce to help rebuild for the future.
Carlos Gomez, Milwaukee Brewers: The Brewers outfielder is under team control through next year at just eight million dollars. This could be key for a team looking to give up young talent to win now. One team that could be in play is the Baltimore Orioles but the question is whether or not they have enough talent in the minors with both Hunter Harvey and Dylan Bundy hurt.
Other names to monitor include James Shields, Justin Upton, Wei-Yin Chen, Jonathan Papelbon and Ben Zobrist.