All the talk this time of year is about contenders and pretenders, buyers and sellers, but the reality of the situation is that every team in baseball is always looking for ways to improve. Essentially, everyone is a buyer and a seller—because you’ve got to give up something of value to get what you want.

Another thing that we talk about a lot is value, but that’s probably the most subjective term out there. If we’re being completely honest, a player’s value on the trade market—say someone like Chicago’s Jeff Samardzija—isn’t wholly dictated by his contract status or his statistics, though both play a part.

A player’s value is ultimately dictated by what another team is willing to pay to acquire him, whether it be by way of an in-season trade or as a free agent after the season. Nothing more and nothing less.

Sometimes that’s enough to get a deal done, sometimes it’s not. With that in mind, we bring you this week’s look at potential trade ideas based on the latest the rumor mill has to offer.

It’s important to remember that the teams we’d classify as buyers won’t be the only clubs in the running to acquire a given player’s services, so the packages proposed are not only geared toward being fair to both sides, but also to ensure that the seller takes a buyer’s offer over the competition’s.

Additionally, keep in mind that these proposed deals are only ideas and pure speculation. Unless otherwise noted, there’s no indication that any of them have actually been discussed.

Begin Slideshow