Cueto will be traded at the deadline. (Image: Rant Sports)

We have officially entered July, so things are about to get very, very interesting in the world of Major League Baseball. The All-Star Game is less than two weeks away. Most excitingly, the trade deadline is July 31st. There are many notable players that may find themselves on different teams before the end of the month. Playoff contenders are in need of game changers at the plate and on the field, and as a result, rebuilding teams may be willing to move some younger pieces. Below I will analyze 10 big name players that may easily find themselves on a new team come July 31st.

Cole Hamels—SP, Philadelphia Phillies

Every season, we find an ace on the market come July 31st. Last year, it was David Price being traded from the Tampa Bay Rays to the Detroit Tigers. This year, the ace most likely to be traded is Cole Hamels. The Phillies are in dead last in the MLB overall standings, and are on the verge of rebuilding mode. Hamels still has three years and a team option remaining on his contract after this current season, so he could prove his worth in the coming seasons in addition to this season. I expect the Phillies to demand both major league-ready players, in addition to top prospects in order to facilitate a deal. A deal should be done, though, by July 31st.

Possible Trade Partners: Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox

Johnny Cueto—SP, Cincinnati Reds

Cueto won 20 games for the Reds last season while putting up a 2.25 ERA. This season, Cueto has been struggling to get run support, as he is only 5-5 with a 2.84 ERA. He will be a free agent at the end of the season, and it seems unlikely that the Reds will be able to afford to re-sign him. They may as well trade for some valuable assets as opposed to the possibility of losing Cueto to free agency in the offseason. The Reds will not be making the postseason this season.

Possible Trade Partners: Houston Astros, Los Angeles Angels, New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers

Clay Buchholz—SP, Boston Red Sox

Buchholz has frustrated Red Sox Nation for years because of his inconsistencies and propensity to injury. The Red Sox face an interesting decision next offseason, as the team holds a team option for both 2016 and 2017. The Sox just signed Rick Porcello to a long-term contract earlier this season, and also have Wade Miley under contract for a couple more years. Both Porcello and Miley are no better than a #2 or #3 starter on a good team, and Buchholz fits the same profile. Is he worth the money? Most likely not. The Red Sox may not trade Buchholz at the deadline, but should the right offer be on the table, they may pull the trigger.

Possible Trade Partners: Pittsburgh Pirates, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels, St. Louis Cardinals

Jordan Zimmermann—SP, Washington Nationals

The Nationals are in first place in the NL East, so why would they ever entertain trading Zimmermann? There are a few reasons for this. First, outside of Zimmermann, the Nationals rotation is stacked, when healthy. Without Zimmermann, the rotation could consist of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Doug Fister, and Tanner Roark. That’s not too shabby. Zimmermann’s contract is up at the end of the season, and after signing Scherzer to his monster deal this past offseason, the Nationals may not have enough money to spend on another starting pitcher with Strasburg and Bryce Harper’s contract extension possibilities looming in the near future. Zimmermann could generate a return to the Nationals’ offense this season, as the team has been struggling to get production out of their infielders. Injuries have also not helped the Nationals this season, as they have been forced to play many games without Jayson Werth, Anthony Rendon, and Ryan Zimmerman.

Possible Trade Partners: Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros, Toronto Blue Jays, Detroit Tigers

Scott Kazmir—SP, Oakland Athletics

Kazmir is an intriguing trade option for teams that are not in need of an ace. He may be the complimentary piece for a contender that needs one more swing pitcher for a playoff run (see Jake Peavy or John Lackey in 2014). Kazmir is a left-handed pitcher too, so he may appeal to a team that currently possess a right handed-heavy pitching staff. Additionally, Kazmir will be entering free agency this offseason, so teams will not have to taken on a lot of money, financially. I expect a contender to take a flier on Kazmir.

Possible Trade Partners: Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals, San Francisco Giants, Baltimore Orioles

Dan Haren—SP, Miami Marlins

Haren made news this past offseason, as he was part of a big trade that sent Haren, along with second baseman Dee Gordon, from the Dodgers to the Marlins. Haren makes his home on the West Coast and had made it clear that he did not want to leave, so many thought he would simply retire. Instead, Haren has posted a 6-5 record with a 3.38 ERA this season entering his start Wednesday night, which is his best ERA since the 2011 season. Haren, like Kazmir, will be a free agent at the end of this season and could be a nice addition to a team in need of one more starting pitcher for a playoff run. Haren would probably prefer to play on the West Coast.

Possible Trade Partners: Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels, San Francisco Giants

Jonathan Papelbon—RP, Philadelphia Phillies

Papelbon has been rumored to be on the move for a while now. Last offseason, he was mentioned frequently in trade conversations that had him going to both the Brewers and the Blue Jays, but he was never moved. He has expressed his displeasure with Philadelphia—both the city, and the team. He never should have left Boston. Regardless, he has really not forgotten how to pitch. He has not gotten many save opportunities this season since the Phillies can’t win any games, but in 29 appearances, he is 1-1 with 14 saves and a 1.82 ERA. He has postseason experience, and would be a good addition to any team in need of a late inning reliever.

Possible Trade Partners: Toronto Blue Jays, Detroit Tigers, Seattle Mariners, Chicago Cubs

Carlos Gomez—CF, Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers, like the Phillies, are at the very bottom of the MLB standings, and could be looking to rebuild their roster. Gomez is signed through the end of next season, and there is no guarantee that the Brewers will have money to re-sign him and commit $40-50 million combined with Gomez and Ryan Braun. Gomez has put up All-Star caliber numbers the past few seasons, but his numbers are down this season due to injury. Still, he can be a game changer offensively and defensively, as he is well-known for his powerful swing home run robberies. He can help a team this season, and most certainly, next season (for an $8 million bargain), as he looks to capitalize on a nice free agent contract.

Possible Trade Partners: Minnesota Twins, Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants, New York Yankees

Ben Zobrist—2B/OF, Oakland Athletics

Zobrist is one of the most valuable players in Major League Baseball due to his ability to play multiple positions on the diamond. He was traded to Oakland this past offseason and is in the final year of his contract. He is also a great hitter and can bat at the top of any contending team’s lineup instantly. Zobrist has played primarily second base and left field this season for the A’s, but teams can really use him anywhere. He can play shortstop in an instant, and can also fill in at first base or right field.

Possible Trade Partners: Kansas City Royals (2B), New York Mets (2B or SS), Washington Nationals (2B, RF, LF), San Francisco Giants (OF)

Ryan Howard—1B, Philadelphia Phillies

American League teams, especially, are always looking for one last hitter come July 31st, especially a hitter that’s left handed. With a designated hitter in the American League, some teams may have the flexibility to trade for a player to specifically be the designated hitter. Howard has one more year remaining on his contract after this season, and could fit nicely on an American League team. He’s also a native of St. Louis, and the Cardinals will be without Matt Adams until August or September. Howard is only hitting .225 this season, but he still has some pop in his bat.

Possible Trade Partners: St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Angels, Baltimore Orioles, Minnesota Twins