- Jim Bowden, Baseball, Insider
General managers have had three months to evaluate their teams and have a pretty good idea by now how good their team is and what their chances are of making the postseason. Besides their current records, they'll look at a triad of other factors:
1. Players that had subpar first halves who they expect to improve in the second half.
2. How much injuries have affected their record and what impact their disabled players will have when they rejoin the team from injuries.
3. What type of impact their minor league prospects could have in the final three months of the season.
When they're done factoring those in, they'll decide whether they want to be sellers, buyers or just plain traders at the trade deadline. The two wild-card berths in each league (which keep more teams in the playoff race in June) and the fact that teams that trade for elite free agents-to-be don't get draft-pick compensation if that player leaves have certainly lowered the number of sellers and the value of players traded. Also, competitive balance is at an all-time high. For these reasons, the number of teams willing to sell here at the end of June is at an all-time low.
But that will steadily change. For now, there are only two definite sellers, the Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers, but that list will grow quickly in the coming weeks. In fact, I expect approximately 10 teams will consider themselves sellers -- or at least strongly consider it -- a month from now.
With that, here's an early glance at this year's top 10 potential sellers and, more importantly, what they have to sell:
Definite sellers now