One MLB midseason trade can make all the difference for a contender needing a push to the finish line. 

Just look at last year’s World Series representatives. The New York Mets fortified their lineup by acquiring Yoenis Cespedes, who has since hit 25 home runs in 78 regular-season games. While the Kansas City Royals weren’t as lucky to retain Ben Zobrist and Johnny Cueto, both rentals played instrumental roles in capturing the championship.

All three of those players entered free agency last offseason, a common trait for midseason trade candidates. When a team doesn’t see a realistic path to October, it moves players set to walk out the door in two months.

That’s not the case in all of the following scenarios. One popular option who has already built a second home on the rumor mill could finally get jettisoned with the added appeal of a 2017 club option.

Two more intriguing scenarios exist among former superstars enjoying rousing starts. These outfielders once battled in a contested MVP race, but their resurgences have gone for naught on otherwise deplete rosters. This could be the last chance either club has of moving its bloated contracts while netting a fair return.

Although the stove is on, the water hasn’t boiled yet. It’s too early to accurately identify every buyer and seller. Injuries, slumps and breakouts will also alter positional needs before July 31’s non-waiver trade deadline.

For now, it’s mostly all speculation on what could happen. But don’t worry, we’re not going to “Will the Tampa Bay Rays give up on Chris Archer?” or “What could the Los Angeles Angels get for Mike Trout?” levels of crazy. Staying in the realm of feasibility, let’s look at five possible moves that could rock the MLB landscape this summer.

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