Some of the players going into the 2019 Major League Baseball All-Star Game in one uniform may be wearing a different one come August 1.
Specifically, we think there are nine All-Stars who could be moved ahead of the July 31 trade deadline. These are players who are obviously talented yet who potentially have more value to their clubs as trade chips than as everyday workers.
Guys like Max Scherzer, Anthony Rendon, Mike Minor and Brad Hand would have been worth considering several weeks ago. But now that their teams are firmly in contention, not so much.
As for the nine players who did make the cut, we'll begin with the least likely to be traded and end with the most likely.
Zack Greinke, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
The Zack Greinke Trade Watch marches on.
Sure, he's an All-Star with a 2.73 ERA and a 7.2 strikeout-to-walk ratio. And sure, the Arizona Diamondbacks' 46-45 record puts them only 1.5 games behind the Philadelphia Phillies for the National League's second wild-card spot.
Just like they did in 2018, however, the D-backs have faded since getting out to a strong start. They're 26-32 since May 5. Arguably the best thing for them is to pivot off contending this season and stock up for the future.
To this end, a Greinke trade would mean jettisoning some of the remainder of his six-year, $206.5 million contract and potentially also getting younger, cheaper talent in return.
Trouble is, the 35-year-old ace can block trades to half the league, according to The Athletic's Zach Buchanan. That includes two teams that reportedly have interest in him: the Phillies and New York Yankees, USA Today's Bob Nightengale told Doug & Wolf (h/t Arizona Republic). Speculatively, he might demand more guaranteed money in order to waive his no-trade protection.
That would add yet another complication onto what already figure to be immensely complicated trade negotiations. And that's assuming there even are negotiations, as the D-backs may throw caution to the wind and go for October glory.
Jose Abreu, 1B, Chicago White Sox
Hypothetically, at least, now is the best time for the Chicago White Sox to trade Jose Abreu.
The 32-year-old first baseman is slated for free agency at the end of the season. And while the White Sox have achieved a halfway-decent 42-44 record, it's not quite good enough to signal the end of their rebuild.
Meanwhile, Abreu can still hit. He was at his best between 2014 and 2017, but the .838 OPS and 21 home runs he has this year were good enough to get him to the All-Star Game.
However, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said this about Abreu on MLB Network (h/t Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors) in May: "He's been here throughout the early stages of this rebuild, and it's certainly very likely that he'll be here for the more enjoyable stages that lie ahead of us."
For his part, Abreu told Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune that he doesn't expect a trade. Indeed, he hopes to stay in Chicago for "a very long time."
Perhaps the right offer would get the White Sox to budge. But all things considered, their idea of the "right" offer for Abreu might be too much for interested parties.
Sandy Alcantara, RHP, Miami Marlins
The Miami Marlins are a respectable 23-24 since May 17. Yet in the big picture, they're still a last-place team with the No. 23 farm system in MLB.
Hence why they're open to drastic measures on the trade market, up to and including dealing from their young and talented starting rotation.
"I think you look at ways to get better," Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said, according to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. "I think you look at where we are organizationally, and we've said our pitching is a little bit ahead of our position players."
Pitching-needy contenders may call about Sandy Alcantara, who's the Marlins' lone All-Star representative by way of a 3.82 ERA through 17 starts.
Of course, the right-hander is only 23 years old and under the Marlins' control through 2024. They'll presumably only move him if a team offers an exorbitant package of prospects.
That might happen, but it's not likely. If interested parties don't scoff at the fact that Alcantara only made it to Cleveland because somebody from Miami had to go, they might take issue with his unspectacular peripherals. To wit, he's struck out only 70 batters in 101.1 innings.
Felipe Vazquez, LHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
There probably isn't a contender in MLB that wouldn't love to add Felipe Vazquez to its bullpen.
The 28-year-old left-hander is throwing about as hard (98.1 mph) as Aroldis Chapman, and all that velocity has gone toward a 2.11 ERA and a career-best 14.1 strikeouts-per-nine rate through 35 appearances.
What's more, Vazquez has a team-friendly deal that's guaranteed through 2021, plus $10 million club options for both 2022 and 2023. Assuming he stays on his current trajectory, he'll be worth all that and then some.
However, Pirates GM Neal Huntington threw cold water on Vazquez speculation during a recent radio interview on 93.7 FM The Fan (h/t Adams): "Our expectation and anticipation is that Felipe will be closing out playoff games, be it this year or in the future with us."
This could be a smokescreen, but the Pirates' 44-45 record counts for more in the NL Central than it would in any other division. They're only 2.5 games out of first place.
The Pirates may only listen on Vazquez if they fall flat coming out of the All-Star break. And even then, they wouldn't need to accept anything less than their asking price.
Kirby Yates, RHP, San Diego Padres
More so than Vazquez from the Pirates, relief-needy contenders might have better luck prying Kirby Yates from the San Diego Padres.