Why these hitters will headline the deadline

The major league baseball trade deadline is just a week away (July 31 at 4 ET). Yesterday we looked at the available pitchers, and today we examine the hitters likely to be moved before the deadline.

Highest WAR Among NL 3B
Since 2010

Chase Headley

Why trade him?

Headley is relatively young (28), the San Diego Padres are in rebuilding mode, and he reportedly has many suitors around baseball. Though he’s affordable, the Padres may be interested in making room for prospects on the way up.

Why acquire him?

Headley is one of best regular third baseman in baseball and is not a free agent until after the 2014 season. He’s also been much more productive away Petco Park, hitting .307 with a .869 OPS on the road over the last two seasons compared to a .251 batting average and .692 OPS at home.

B.J. UptonUptonB.J. Upton

Why trade him?

B.J. Upton is a free agent at season’s end, and there’s some question as to whether the Tampa Bay Rays would re-sign him.

Why acquire him?

Upton is having one of the worst seasons of his career to this point, but his combination of moderate power and speed is rare. He is just one of three players to have at least 150 stolen bases and 90 homers combined since the start of 2007.

Justin Upton vs Pitches on Inner Half
Last 2 Seasons

Justin Upton

Why trade him?

Upton finished fourth in the NL MVP vote last year but has yet to put together back-to-back star-level seasons. He’s owed $38.5 million from 2013-15, and the Arizona Diamondbacks could get multiple future/present contributors in a deal.

Why acquire him?

He has been regarded as a potential superstar since he was drafted, and his age (24) makes him appealing to contenders and rebuilders alike. However, he has struggled this year, and one issue has been his inability to turn on pitches on the inner half of the plate. After hitting 22 homers on those pitches in 2011, he has just two in 2012.

Shane VictorinoVictorinoShane Victorino

Why trade him?

Victorino is a free agent at the end of the 2012 season, and the Philadelphia Phillies are 14 games out of first place in the NL East and 11 back of the NL Wild Card.

Why acquire him?

Though he has struggled this year, Victorino has been among the most productive center fielders in baseball since the start of 2007. His WAR of 20.1 during that span is behind only Curtis Granderson among center fielders.

On Monday, the Florida Marlins traded second baseman Omar Infante and right-handed pitcher Anibal Sanchez to the Detroit Tigers for right-handed pitcher Jacob Turner and two minor leaguers.

Omar Infante

Why did the Marlins trade him?

Infante was one of the few players on the Miami Marlins roster who was not a) a long-term piece or b) too expensive to move. He helped the Marlins add an asset or two for 2013 and beyond.

Why did the Tigers acquire him?

Lowest OPS From 2B
This Season

Infante is very affordable (owed $8 million for the rest of 2012 and 2013 combined) and has continued a multi-year trend of increasing his power output. His Isolated Power was just .084 in 2009 but has steadily risen to .155 in 2012, above the MLB average for second baseman (.126).

As you can see in the chart, the Tigers clearly needed offensive help at second base. Infante is a huge upgrade for a team with the worst OPS by second basemen this season at the time of the deal.