With 17 teams sitting no more than seven games out of a postseason spot as of Thursday, the five-week sprint toward the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline should see several race-changing moves.
As teams assess where they stand -- who will be buyers, and who will decide to sell? -- let's look at 10 players whose stock is on the rise.
Jacob deGrom, Mets
The Mets' ace delivered his worst start since mid-April last Saturday, so why would his stock be rising? Assistant general manager John Ricco said on Wednesday that "everything has to be on the table" for the Mets, meaning they'll listen to offers for both deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. Prying deGrom -- who has a league-low 1.69 ERA and is under control for two more years -- away won't be easy, but it seems it's possible if a club wants to overwhelm the Mets.
Potential fits: D-backs, Cardinals
Lance Lynn, Twins
After a dreadful start to his season (1-4, 7.27 ERA in eight starts), Lynn has righted the ship. In seven starts since May 22, the right-hander is 4-2 with a 2.40 ERA, holding opponents to a .607 OPS while allowing only one home run. If the Twins become sellers, Lynn -- who can't receive a qualifying offer this offseason -- could be one of the five best starters available.
Potential fits: Brewers, Yankees
Derek Dietrich, Marlins
Over his past 20 games, Dietrich has five home runs and an impressive 1.035 OPS, pushing his season slash line to .294/.347/.477. Dietrich turns 29 next month, and because he has two more years of arbitration eligibility, the Marlins can flip him to bring in more young players as they rebuild their system.
Potential fits: Brewers, Red Sox
Adam Ottavino, Rockies
The Rockies' 32-year-old right-hander missed two-plus weeks with an oblique strain, but he's pitched well since his return, allowing one run over 7 2/3 innings in six outings. In 33 appearances this season, Ottavino has a 1.00 ERA and a minuscule 0.694 WHIP, putting him in line for an All-Star nod. As Colorado continues to fall in the standings, Ottavino, DJ LeMahieu, Carlos Gonzalez and Gerardo Parra could all become trade candidates.
Potential fits: Indians, Brewers
Eduardo Escobar, Twins
The versatile infielder has been a force at the plate this month, posting a 1.005 OPS with 22 RBIs in June. Escobar strikes out too much and doesn't walk enough, but he can play second base, shortstop and third base and is owed only about $2.5 million for the rest of the season before becoming a free agent. He'll be an attractive piece if Minnesota decides to move him.
Potential fits: Angels, Braves
David Hernandez, Reds
Hernandez hasn't allowed an earned run in eight outings this month, lowering his season ERA to 1.63 in 22 appearances. The Reds signed him to a team-friendly two-year, $5 million deal, making his $2.5 million price tag for 2019 very appealing. Even in a reliever-rich market, Hernandez could be a solid late-inning addition to most contending bullpens.
Potential fits: Phillies, Angels
Joakim Soria, White Sox
Soria continues his resurgence, converting all seven of his save chances in June without allowing a run in 12 appearances. The 34-year-old right-hander has fanned 13 while walking just two this month, and if he continues to pitch well, he looks like a near lock to be dealt before July 31.
Potential fits: Astros, Cardinals
Shin-Soo Choo, Rangers
Choo continues to swing one of the hottest bats in the American League, extending his on-base streak to 40 consecutive games. Since June 16, he has hit in 11 straight games, slashing .378/.472/.600 with two homers and seven RBIs. Choo has an outstanding .941 OPS against righties, making him an ideal target for teams in search of a left-handed bat.
Potential fits: D-backs, Phillies
Kyle Barraclough, Marlins
Barraclough has been outstanding since taking over the closer role this month, going 6-for-6 in save opportunities. He's thrown 10 scoreless innings this month and has a 1.05 ERA in 35 appearances this season. Why would the Marlins trade Barraclough? Given his three years of control, the right-hander could bring back a nice haul of prospects as teams appear more willing to deal for players with years of club control.
Potential fits: Indians, Brewers
Ivan Nova, Pirates
Nova has been superb since returning from two-plus weeks on the DL with a sprained ligament in his right ring finger, going 2-0 with a 1.75 ERA in four starts. The 31-year-old righty is signed through 2019, owed about $13.5 million during that time. Nova could fill a mid- to back-end spot in a rotation.
Potential fits: Cardinals, D-backs