By Todd Singer @breakingbadfish on June 25, 2014
With the MLB trade deadline just a month away, the rumor mill is going to start heating up very soon. With the addition of the second Wild Card, teams are a lot less likely to think they're out of it by the July 31 deadline, but that won't stop the contenders from making the rounds to look for upgrades. These teams have the best trade chips to offer, even if a few of them may not be looking to part with those chips at this time.
The Red Sox have one of the top farms in the league and also have the benefit of having several MLB-ready prospects at their disposal to entice prospective buyers. The Sox are stacked with young infielders including Garin Cecchini, Brock Holt, Will Middlebrooks and Mookie Betts, and have an enviable array of young pitching in Matt Barnes, Trey Ball, Henry Owens and Allen Webster. Any one of these assets could be on the move for an arm.
After being on a downward trend for several years, the Chicago Cubs have amassed one of the most impressive collections of young talent in the game. The Cubs figure to be sellers this deadline, and hope they can parlay Jason Hammel and Jeff Samardzija into big returns to add to their already burgeoning prospect list that includes Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Jorge Soler, Albert Almora and Arismendy Alcantara.
The St. Louis Cardinals' farm system is consistently one of the best in baseball and is the reason behind their continuous success. If the Cards want to go out and grab an arm or a bat at the deadline, they have a lot of resources at their disposal including pitchers Carlos Martinez, Marcos Gonzalez, Rob Kaminsky and Tyler Lyons, as well as outfielders Stephen Piscotty and Jon Jay.
When you're one of the richest organizations in baseball and you draft well, you end up with what the Dodgers currently have -- a stocked cupboard of trade assets. With top prospect Joc Pederson on the cusp of the bigs, the Dodgers could opt to dangle Andre Ethier or Matt Kemp to acquire more pitching. L.A. also has Corey Seager, Julio Urias, Alexander Guerrero, Zach Lee and Erisbel Arruebarruena to move in order to obtain a big name.
After many years of picking at the top of the draft, the Houston Astros have perhaps the most trade chips in all of baseball. Of course, the Astros are still finishing up their rebuild and, as such, they're likely to wait for their young players to evolve rather than dealing them away. But if they ever opted to make players like Carlos Correa, Mike Foltynewicz, Lance McCullers, Jr., Mark Appel or Jose Altuve available, teams would be lining up.
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