Unlike in years past, professional baseball teams in the USA now must complete all inter-team trading by the end of July 31st instead of August 31st.

Wheeling and dealing abounds all across the land as winning teams try to fill in the remaining pieces to the puzzle that will take them to the World Series, while those teams of lesser fortune are looking to see what they can get for the talent they still have.  As expected, some very interesting scenarios are evolving.

Actually there are several different ways that a player trade can be accomplished.  The simplest being a straightforward player for player trade-off. One team might be in need of a catcher while the other may be looking for some help in the bullpen.  So, a one for one exchange happens.

Of course there will always be considerable amounts of cash changing hands in all of these deals.  Usually it is all up front, usually. Then teams might be willing to trade future MLB Draft picks to get a player they need now.  It’s a bit like mortgaging their future prospects, but sometime the need for talent now will outweigh worrying about the future.

One of the deals we see go down more often these days is a exchange for an established everyday player for one or two or even three players from a teams’ minor league system.  This way the traders will at least have a chance to have seen their prospective players in action before committing heavily to them.

Analysts look at this season from two different angles.  Who needs what and who has what to trade?  It is common in the baseball world to call players ‘pieces’, however, no disrespect is ever implied there.

Naturally the sports speculators are out in droves, each with his or her own version of how the last weeks before the trading deadline will work out.  It’s all just guesswork really.  Some of these folks might have an inside line to what one or two teams are doing, but no one actually knows how it will all work out.  But opinions still abound.

It’s not hard to pick out who will be the sellers.  Just look at the MLB standings.  The teams down at the bottom of each division will most likely have something to offer come trading time. The Miami Marlins flounder at the very bottom of the National League while the American League is home to some pretty awful teams this year.  Detroit, Baltimore, Kansas City and Toronto will all be contacting potential buyers, if they have not already done so.

As usual, pitchers are in the spotlight when it comes to trade talks.  Big names like Madison Bumgarner, Marcus Stroman, Robbie Ray, Will Smith and even Noah Syndergaard could end up on the trading block before it’s all over; although the asking price for any of these guys is going to be pretty steep.

Other clubs are going to be looking for some hitting power.  Someone who gets on base a lot and scores a lot would be ideal.  High up on the list of possible candidates is Yasiel Puig, Whit Merrifield, Nicholas Castellanos, Luis Urias, Justin Smoak and the ever popular Hunter Pence.

The powers that be running each MLB franchise will be working overtime for the next few weeks trying their best to trade for great value while giving away something they don’t really need anyway.

Many more articles will be written by the speculators about how all the trading will work out. Some of the trades will be done during the final hours before the deadline.  So, we will all just have to wait and see how it works out and who ends up where before gearing up for the remainder of the MLB season this year.