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Top 10 MLB Trade Deadline Candidates

Ryan Mayer

With reports stating that Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado is headed to the Los Angeles Dodgers, barring any last minute snags, the first big domino of the MLB Trade Deadline has fallen. With the All-Star Game behind us and just two weeks left before the July 31st deadline, let's take a look at 10 more guys who could be donning new jerseys by the end of the month.

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1) J.A. Happ, LHP, Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays are mired in fourth place in the A.L. East, 23.5 games back of the division-leading Red Sox and 14 games out of the second Wild Card spot. They fit the definition of sellers, and one of their most surprisingly valuable assets is the 35-year-old Happ. In his 12th major league season, Happ has posted a 10-6 record with a 4.29 ERA in 19 starts for the Jays prior to the break. The peripheral numbers suggest he's been slightly better than the ERA would indicate with a FIP of 4.02 and a WHIP of 1.193, which would be the second-lowest mark of his career. His contract is up after this year, and due to his more advanced age, he would likely not command as high of a price for any team looking to bolster their rotation. His former team, the Philadelphia Phillies, are reportedly sniffing around and could be looking to make multiple moves after missing out on the Machado sweepstakes.

2) Zach Britton, LHP, Baltimore Orioles

Britton just returned from injury last month, and, outside of two bad outings, has looked like his usual stellar self. Over his last seven appearances, he's allowed zero runs and just three hits while striking out six in seven innings of work. One of the game's elite relievers since 2014, Britton has already drawn interest from several contending teams, and's Brittany Ghiroli reported this week that the Orioles could look to move him quickly after the Machado deal is done.

3) Michael Fulmer, RHP, Detroit Tigers

Fulmer's numbers haven't been great this year (3-9, 4.50 ERA), but he could be the most attractive pitching option for a team looking to make a trade that has an impact now and in the future. Fulmer is only 25, was an All-Star last year and is just two years removed from winning the A.L. Rookie of the Year award. In addition, he's under team control through this season, becomes arbitration eligible in 2019 and wouldn't be a free agent until 2021. The Tigers are in the midst of a rebuild, and trading Fulmer could bring back a package of prospects that would help kickstart that process.

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4) Adam Jones, OF, Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles second appearance on this list, Jones, like Britton and Machado, is a free agent at season's end. The 32-year-old is putting together a respectable season hitting .275/.299/.423 with 10 homers and 36 RBI. At the very least, he provides a right-handed bat with the ability to play any outfield spot for a contending team in need. He hasn't been mentioned in many rumors to this point, but with the O's open for business, he could be on the move in the next two weeks.

5) Mike Moustakas, Kansas City Royals

The Royals re-signed Moustakas this offseason after the market for him (and all free agents) was colder than expected. A one-year $6.5 million deal with a mutual option at $15 million for next season, Moustakas is a pretty good bargain for any team looking for help at third base. Already, there are reports that the Red Sox are interested. The man known as Moose is hitting .249/.306./.466 with 19 homers and 58 RBI this season for the last-place Royals.

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6) Cole Hamels, LHP, Texas Rangers

The Rangers, like the Orioles and Royals, should be in full-on sell mode with their veterans come trade deadline time. Hamels hasn't pitched to his normal standard this season, with a 4.26 ERA that is actually not indicative of his overall performance. He also owns a 5.05 FIP and a 1.335 WHIP, which would both register as career-high marks. Those numbers do come with a caveat, in that Globe Life Park, the Rangers home stadium, has been Hamels' Achilles heel this season, as he owns a 5.83 ERA at home and a 2.93 ERA in road starts. He comes with a team option for next year at $20 million or a $6 million buyout, so the price tag isn't exorbitant. There's been some chatter that Hamels could be interested in a Phillies reunion, but nothing substantial yet.

7) Scooter Gennett, INF, Cincinnati Reds

The Reds utility man has been tearing it up this season in his walk year, hitting .326/.373/.521 with 16 homers and 63 RBI. Recently, Gennett said that he has been told the team would like him to be part of the longterm future. However, at age 28, with Cincy seemingly still several years from contention and top prospect Nick Senzel on the horizon, the Reds could move Gennett and get a decent haul in return. He'd likely be the second-best position player made available, behind Machado, if the Reds decided to go that route.

8) Brad Hand, LHP, San Diego Padres

Hand just signed an extension this offseason that locks him in through 2020 (team option for 2021), meaning the Padres would likely demand a fairly hefty price. The Indians and Yankees have already been reported to be interested in the lefty reliever who, like Zach Britton, has been one of the game's premier shutdown men out of the bullpen. Across 44+ innings this season he's allowed 15 earned runs while striking out 63 and walking 15. His age and affordable contract will likely have his name popping up several times in the coming weeks.

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9) J.T. Realmuto, C, Miami Marlins

The 27-year-old was the lone piece not moved in this offseason's fire sale by the organization, and he's currently in the midst of a career year. He's missed some time with injury, but in 69 games, he's hitting .310/.365/.536 with 12 homers and 45 RBI. He comes with more team control than most other guys on this list, as he's arbitration eligible beginning in 2019, but won't become a free agent until 2021 at the earliest. With the Marlins new ownership group just kicking off the organization's rebuild this offseason, they likely won't be competitive during Realmuto's prime, which could lead to him heading out of town before the deadline.

10) Asdrubal Cabrera, INF, New York Mets

The Mets have had a no-good, very bad season so far. Entering the year expecting to be in contention in the N.L. East and getting out to a red-hot start, they've sunk to the bottom of the standings since. Now, it's contemplating-trade time. Outside of a blockbuster involving one of their two aces (Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard), Cabrera is one of the most attractive pieces the team has available to trade. A free agent at the end of this season, Cabrera is hitting .281/.334/.490 with 17 homers and 52 RBI. Defensively, he's proven capable of playing multiple infield positions, and that versatility could be attractive to potential suitors.

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