The headline pretty much says it all. So, let's get cracking on 11Alive Sports' listing of the 15 most attractive assets for the MLB trade deadline (July 31).

Given recent history, there's bound to be a surprise or two, regarding prominent players being secretly available for the right price. But our countdown effectively targets the esteemed veterans (some still in "arbitration" mode) most likely to get moved over the next 21 days.

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It goes without saying: The first-place Braves (50-39, 1/2-game lead in the NL East) should have sincere interest in a handful of players listed below, including the trade market's best starting pitcher (Jacob deGrom), most prolific infielder (Manny Machado) and top closer (Brad Hand).

All stats run through July 8.


STATS: 5-4, 1.79 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 142/29 K-BB

CONTRACT STATUS: Unrestricted free agent in 2021

POSSIBLE SUITORS: Brewers, Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Cubs, Mariners, Braves

SKINNY: The free-falling (and prospect-needy) Mets should have zero motivation to keep deGrom for the foreseeable future, despite two more seasons of team control (arbitration).

At 30 years old, the right-hander will never possess greater trade value than these final weeks of July; so why not hold a very-public auction for deGrom's services, demanding at least three touted prospects in return, plus one major-leaguer under team control?

Simply put, for the teams with realistic odds of advancing far in the playoffs, deGrom would be an a game-changer within the championship chase.

Of his 18 seasonal starts, deGrom has surrendered four or more earned runs just once.


STATS: 21 HR, 60 RBI, 43 runs, 7 steals, .313 batting, .382 OBP, .943 OPS

CONTRACT STATUS: Unrestricted free agent in 2019

POSSIBLE SUITORS: Diamondbacks, Braves, Brewers, Angels, Red Sox, Dodgers

SKINNY: Here are a few things to celebrate:

**For the month of July (small sample size), Machado has zoomed out of the gate with batting average (.375), on-base percentage (.464), slugging rate (.625) and OPS (1.089).

**The Orioles visited SunTrust Park last month. During that three-game set, Machado developed a keen understanding of the ballpark, accounting for one homer, one triple and three runs.

**Machado could be a beast immediately after a trade. For his career, Machado owns monthly career bests during August with homers (33), RBI (102) and batting average (.310). Young Manny (just 26 years old) has also performed well in other categories during August, citing runs (89), on-base percentage (.335) and slugging rate (.540).

**Whoever trades for Machado should probably comply with his request to remain at shortstop. Granted, there's a substantial gap in playing time at third base vs. shortstop, but check out these career splits:

3B——715 games ... .279 batting, .327 OBP, .472 slugging, .799 OPS, 95 OPS+

SS——138 games ... .299 batting, .368 OBP, .552 slugging, .920 OPS, 124 OPS+


STATS: 21 HR, 50 RBI, 55 runs, 6 steals, .218 batting, .374 OBP, .846 OPS

CONTRACT STATUS: Unrestricted free agent in 2019

POSSIBLE SUITORS: Yankees, Cubs, Dodgers, Brewers, Braves, Angels

SKINNY: Don't laugh, but the Nationals—one of baseball's most talented squads, on paper—are steadily entering seller territory, in advance of the July 31 trade deadline.

That's the price to pay for underachieving throughout the year, even though the Senior Circuit doesn't have a dominant team.

How bad are things? At the time of this writing, eight National League teams have better records than Washington (45-44); and the Nationals just gave up 22 hits to the Marlins on Sunday.

Back to Harper: His batting average may be subpar, but every playoff contender could certainly benefit from the kid's elite-level marks with runs scored and on-base percentage.

Plus, it would behoove the big-market clubs to acquire Harper now, with hopes of convincing him to re-sign before the season comes to an end ... although given the track record of super-agent Scott Boras, Harper will inevitably go to the highest bidder in December or January.

But that's a different worry for another day. Eyes on the prize.


STATS: 3-4, 4.24 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 76/26 K-BB

CONTRACT STATUS: Unrestricted free agent in 2022 (team options for 2020-21)

POSSIBLE SUITORS: Brewers, Dodgers, Yankees, Braves, Phillies Cardinals, Indians

SKINNY: Archer (DL stint-abdominal strain) will be activated this week, with the potential of registering two outings during the seven-day period.

Presuming good health moving forward, this essentially gives the right-hander five showcase starts for MLB scouts, prior to July 31.

Not that Archer needs more time to convince other teams of his worth.

Of his seven previous starts, dating back to May 1, the 29-year-old hurler allowed two or fewer runs six different times; and with an eminently doable contract of $24 million over the next three years, Archer could be one of the most attractive final pieces on the trade market.

Only one question remains: Will the Rays be motivated sellers over the next three weeks?


STATS: 1-4, 2.91 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 64/15 K-BB, 24 saves

CONTRACT STATUS: Free agent in 2022; team option for $10 million in 2021

POSSIBLE SUITORS: Indians, Red Sox, Braves, Athletics, Astros, Mariners

SKINNY: The Padres were supposed to part ways with Hand before last year's trade deadline; instead, they decided to hold tight on one of baseball's best closers.

Smart move, at least for this survey.

Hand easily stands as the highest-ranked closer in this countdown. In fact, he's the only reliever here ... which should help San Diego get top dollar with any pre-July 31 auction.

Interested teams would benefit in the long run, as well. Counting the club option for 2020, we're basically looking at a $21 million commitment for Hand over the next three seasons. A certifiable bargain in today's baseball market.

Since May 1, opposing batters are hitting at a meager .200 clip against Hand. The on-base percentage doesn't clear .280, as well.


STATS: 16 HR, 62 RBI, 40 runs, .290 batting, .357 OBP, .864 OPS

CONTRACT STATUS: Unrestricted free agent in 2020

POSSIBLE SUITORS: Any team with a playoff pulse

SKINNY: Consider Lowrie to be this year's version of Ben Zobrist, the highly productive, Swiss Army knife-like asset who helped the Royals win the World Series title in 2015.

Since May 1, Lowrie has accounted for 10 homers, 35 RBI, 27 runs and an on-base percentage of .337.

Throw in the slick-fielding prowess at three infield slots ... and he could be a true difference-maker during the playoffs.

The only lingering drama: At 50-40 overall (6 1/2 games out of the wild card), the Athletics aren't locks to become sellers at the trade deadline.


STATS: 15 HR, 55 RBI, 49 runs, .301 batting, .352 OBP, .871 OPS

CONTRACT STATUS: Unrestricted free agent in 2020

POSSIBLE SUITORS: Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Indians, Angels, Mariners, Cubs, Cardinals

SKINNY: The Tigers would be foolish not to solicit offers involving Castellanos, who's under team control for another full season (arbitration).

Castellanos leads Detroit in homers, runs, hits, doubles, RBI, batting average, slugging and OPS; and yet, that wasn't enough to garner a spot on the American League All-Star team.


As a bonus, Castellanos has improved his fielding acumen in right field. For playoff sake (with another team), he also boasts positional versatility, which cannot be underrated when championships are on the line.


STATS: 17 HR, 56 RBI, 39 runs, 3 steals, .254 batting, .309 OBP, .777 OPS

CONTRACT STATUS: Unrestricted free agent in 2019

POSSIBLE SUITORS: Yankees, Diamondbacks, Indians

SKINNY: Stop me if you've heard this one before: There's a limited market for Moustakas, given the positional depth at third base and the general skepticism of Moose replicating last year's tally of 38 homers.

However, the Yankees might have a special need for Moustakas relocating to first base, thus solving their big problem at that spot.

(Apparently, Greg Bird, Brandon Drury and Neil Walker might not get the job done during the MLB playoffs.)


STATS: 4-8, 4.28 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 106/39 K-BB

CONTRACT STATUS: Unrestricted free agent in 2019

POSSIBLE SUITORS: Phillies, Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers, Astros

SKINNY: Hamels would likely need a superb finish in the coming months for that prospective suitor to pick up next season's $20 million option (don't hold your breath).

Hamels wasn't particularly sharp in Saturday's outing vs. Detroit, allowing three earned runs (seven total) in the shortest start of his career (less than one inning).

That aside, the southpaw would still be an appealing option for the stretch run, given his natural talent, playoff experience and sublime rates with strikeout-to-walk (2.72/1), K/9 (9.3) and walks per 9 innings (1.8).


STATS: 6-5, 3.76 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 90/47 K-BB

CONTRACT STATUS: Unrestricted free agent in 2019

POSSIBLE SUITORS: Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox, Yankees, Brewers

SKINNY: Consider this to be a Buyer Beware warning to prospective trade partners:

During the month of June, covering five starts, Gonzalez posted dreadful numbers with ERA (8.44), WHIP (1.69), opponents' batting average (.311) and opponents' OPS (.975).

In a vacuum, these numbers would make Gonzo a toxic asset for interested parties.

However, the above debacle represents a stark departure from Gonzalez's cumulative stats for April and May (10 starts)—6-2 record, 2.10 ERA, opponents' batting average of .228.


STATS: 4-0, 3.51 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 56/10 K-BB

CONTRACT STATUS: Unrestricted free agent in 2021

POSSIBLE SUITORS: Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs, Brewers

SKINNY: See the above stats with Zimmermann? Not bad.

Next up, check out the numbers from his previous six starts: 3-0, 1.22 ERA, 34/5 K-BB, .163 opponents' batting average, .193 opponents' OBP.

So, why does Zimmermann rank so low on this countdown? He's owed approximately $54 million over the next two-plus seasons; and the Tigers might not be willing to absorb more than half of that figure.

Of course, if Detroit general manager Al Avila gets the green light to eat a sizable portion of Zimmermann's remaining contract, the right-hander should be easy to move before July 31.

At this time of year, you can't put a price on experienced talent riding a hot streak; and right now, it's hard to poke holes into Zimmermann's current groove.


REDS-ONLY STATS: 4-3, 3.86 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 40/12 K-BB

CONTRACT STATUS: Unrestricted free agent in 2019

POSSIBLE SUITORS: Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox, Mariners, Astros, Cubs

SKINNY: Harvey's redemption-arc story in Cincinnati has gone under the radar; and maybe that's a good thing.

In New York, things obviously got too hairy for the one-time Mets savior, who eventually had difficulty living up to the Dark Knight moniker.

Of his last five starts with the Reds, Harvey holds formidable tallies with ERA (2.48), opponents' batting average (.241), opponents' on-base percentage (.299), K-BB rate (20/5) and opponents' slugging rate (.277).


STATS: 6 HR, 33 RBI, 55 runs, .298 batting, .346 OBP, .758 OPS

CONTRACT STATUS: Unrestricted free agent in 2021 (team option in 2020)

POSSIBLE SUITORS: Dodgers, Phillies, Cardinals

SKINNY: First, let's assume that no team will pick up Castro's $16 million option in 2020.

This essentially creates a path for Castro serving as a relatively inexpensive placeholder at second base or shortstop for the next 14 months.

Second, let's give the Marlins credit for being a lot better than the experts were predicting in March. Even after purging their high-end outfield trio of Giancarlo Stanton (traded to Yankees), Christian Yelich (traded to Brewers) and Marcell Ozuna (traded to Cardinals), the Miami franchise (37-55 overall) has evolved into a tough out for opposing teams.

Now for the reality check: The rebuilding-from-scratch Marlins won't be a playoff contender for at least two more years. In that vein, it makes no sense to keep Castro for the duration of his contract.

Especially since Castro currently ranks among the league leaders in hits and runs scored.


STATS: 4-7, 4.72 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 70/25 K-BB

CONTRACT STATUS: Unrestricted free agent in 2019

POSSIBLE SUITORS: Brewers, Dodgers, Yankees

SKINNY: Has Estrada proverbially jumped the shark with his trade value? It's a fair question to pose with the 34-year-old pitcher.

From 2012-16, Estrada posted a cumulative ERA of 3.66, while averaging 137 strikeouts/44 walks per season.

In the aftermath, the right-hander owns pedestrian tallies with cumulative ERA (4.90) and WHIP (1.36).

On the plus side, and it's a big positive, Estrada boasts a sparkling ERA of 2.90 in his last six starts, covering all of June and July.

If anything, that should be the Blue Jays' major selling point over the next few weeks.


STATS: 10-5, 4.44 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 115/34 K-BB

CONTRACT STATUS: Unrestricted free agent in 2019

POSSIBLE SUITORS: Yankees, Cubs, Cardinals, Mariners, Diamondbacks

SKINNY: Here's another case of, Thank goodness the trade deadline isn't today!

Happ has been gutted in his previous two starts, surrendering 13 earned runs over 8 1/3 innings. This wretched run coincides with Happ's head-scratching selection as an American League All-Star.

Yes, it's required that at least one Toronto player represent the club in the Midseason Classic.

But how does anyone, on any level, justify Happ's selection over Tampa Bay's Blake Snell ... who received the ultimate snub on Sunday night, despite the all-world tallies of 12 wins, a 2.09 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 132/44 K-BB and 10.2 K/9 rate?

In hindsight, to guard against the Happ-Snell comparison, Yangervis Solarte would have been a less embarrassing All-Star pick for the beleaguered Blue Jays.


STATS: 5 HR, 16 RBI, 22 runs, 2 steals, .234 batting, .333 OBP, .757 OPS

CONTRACT STATUS: Unrestricted free agent in 2019

SKINNY: Injuries have essentially ruined Donaldson's chances of getting dealt before the trade deadline.

It might also hinder Donaldson's odds of landing a contract of $20 million-plus per season, given his age (turns 33 in December).

On the plus side, a healthy Donaldson could certainly get hot at the right time. For 2015-17, the Auburn product averaged 37 homers and 100 RBI.