FEATURE
Seven Players Likely to be Traded Before the Deadline
2034 is shaping up to be another buyer's market.
by CAVE DAMERON
Ivan Torres, SP, Seoul Phoenix

Two years left on contract, $6.3M and $21M team option

While the Seoul Phoenix organization might resemble a flaming dumpster more than a flaming bird, there is still some hope for the rebirth of the Korean franchise. That hope comes in the form of last year's MVP Ivan Torres, who is putting up even better numbers so far this year. With two years left of team control, Torres will command a king's ransom, and will give a much needed boost to Seoul's 6th-worst farm system. Throw in the always reliable Bruce Johnston and Seoul could put itself back on the map — and the top of the farm system rankings — with just one blockbuster deal.

Jorge Rosas, RP, Fargo Rage

Final year, $6.4M

Fargo signed Rosas to a 1 year, $6.4M deal in the offseason, expecting him to bolster the bullpen in their push for the franchise's first playoff appearance in 5 years. Instead they find themselves 8.5 games back from the final wildcard spot, with Rosas and Steve Jackson being the only bright spots on an otherwise awful pitching staff. Rosas has handled the move to the bullpen better than anyone expected, and any playoff contender — and its fans — would love to have him.

Alfredo Verdusco, 1B/DH, Washington Nationals

Final year, $13.5M

Having a down year by his standards, albeit with a BABIP 80 points lower than his career average, buyers would have to be banking on Verdusco regressing toward his stellar 141 career wRC+. He's on pace for 38 HRs this year, and would give any contender a nice boost in power. If Verdusco can revert to his usual form against righties, he could end up being the difference between a team winning and losing a playoff series.

Rick Boyle, C, Everett Hawks

Two years left, $18M and $16M player option

Having a bounceback year so far after a disappointing 2033, Boyle is a very good offensive catcher who at least won't kill his team defensively. Everett will most likely need to retain some or all of his remaining two years to maximize the return, although the Hawks have never been shy of doing just that. Boyle will be batting above .300 and refusing to strikeout for a contender come August.

Christian Belloli, LF/DH, Everett Hawks

Two years left, $1.9M and $4.8M

Belloli has always been a good hitter against righties, and he's always been a bad hitter against lefties. He's taken that to the extreme this year, posting a 141 OPS+ against righties and a -20 OPS+ against lefties, which surely must be the largest difference for any batter. Belloli is a warm body in a corner outfield spot, but he can carve out a spot for himself in a DH platoon, or as a RHP killer off the bench.

Antonio Barrera, RP, Disney Magic

Final year, $3.56M

Barrera might not have the strikeout numbers of a top reliever, and he's having by far the worst year of his career, but he'd make a fine middle reliever for any playoff team. If he can get his HR and walk rates back down to his career averages, he could be even more than that, anchoring a bullpen in a setup or stopper role.

Ramon Rojas, SP, Texas Stars

Final year, $2.5M

While Texas isn't completely out of the playoff picture just yet, one or two more bad weeks might have the Stars looking to sell. Rojas, starting full time again after three years spent in the bullpen, is having by far the best year of his career. He's cut down on his walk rate significantly, and has maintained his always stellar HR rate, on his way to 1.7 WAR through his first 12 starts. Whether he can maintain this pace for an entire season (and whether he can keep his arm from falling off in Texas' four man rotation) remains to be seen, but Rojas would make a fine addition to any contender's staff.