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6 most likely to be traded and where they'll go

Machado deal may be a catalyst to a busy couple of weeks
MLB.com @RichardJustice

Manny Machado's trade from the Orioles to the Dodgers means that we can return to our regularly scheduled programming. He wasn't holding up every other potential trade, but let's just say a lot of general managers signed off a lot of telephone calls with: "We should touch base after this Machado thing is resolved."

Now it's settled, and with 13 days until the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, other dominoes could fall quickly as teams position themselves for a sprint to the finish line.

Manny Machado's trade from the Orioles to the Dodgers means that we can return to our regularly scheduled programming. He wasn't holding up every other potential trade, but let's just say a lot of general managers signed off a lot of telephone calls with: "We should touch base after this Machado thing is resolved."

Now it's settled, and with 13 days until the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, other dominoes could fall quickly as teams position themselves for a sprint to the finish line.

Seventeen of 30 teams are within 5 1/2 games of a postseason spot as baseball comes out of the All-Star break on Thursday night with a Cardinals-Cubs game at Wrigley Field.

Here are six players who could suddenly become hot commodities in the post-Machado trade discussions. (The list originally had seven, before the Indians acquired reliever Brad Hand from the Padres on Thursday morning.)

1. Orioles closer Zach Britton
The O's should have gotten the hang of things by now after listening to offers for Machado and Britton for the past 12 months. Even the teams bidding for Machado could turn their attention to Britton, because he could upgrade every contender. He has looked more and more comfortable since returning from the disabled list on June 12. The impending free agent begins the second half having made seven straight scoreless appearances.

2018 salary: $12 million
Contract status: Free agent after this season
Front-runner: Astros
Keep an eye on: Red Sox, Mariners, Indians, Brewers, Braves

Video: TEX@BAL: Britton K's Gallo to record the save

2. Royals super utility man Whit Merrifield
OK, Kansas City does not want to trade Merrifield. Because he won't reach the open market until after the 2022 season, the Royals will only do it if an offer overwhelms them, which is probably what's going to happen. That's the value of someone with an .812 OPS and the ability to play anywhere on the diamond.

2018 salary: $570,000
Contract status: Under team control for four more seasons
Front-runner: Phillies
Keep an eye on: Brewers, Giants, Indians, Braves

Video: Merrifield's 5-hit game highlights his strong week

3. Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas
Moustakas played in 31 postseason games for Kansas City in 2014-15, and he may flourish if a trade puts him back on a contender. With the Royals having two highly regarded trade chips, look for general manager Dayton Moore to play the market for max value.

2018 Salary: $6.5 million
Contract status: Free agent after this season
Front-runner: Braves
Keep an eye on: Yankees, Red Sox, Nationals

Video: KC@MIN: Moustakas belts a solo homer to right field

4. Blue Jays starting pitcher J.A. Happ
Happ is an experienced veteran left-hander in the final year of his contract and is possibly the best available starting pitcher. He also has had a tough couple of weeks, which will not help his value. But the demand for starting pitching should make Happ easy to move.

2018 salary: $13 million
Contract status: Free agent after this season
Front-runner: Mariners
Keep an eye on: Yankees, Nationals, Brewers

Video: 2018 ASG: Happ retires Cain to secure the AL's win

5. Rays starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi
In nine starts since returning from Tommy John surgery, Eovaldi's performances have ranged from excellent to tough. He allowed eight runs in 2 2/3 innings in his last start before the All-Star break, but in three outings before that, he'd allowed two earned runs in 19 innings. Given the market, Eovaldi should be an easy match with a contender. 

2018 salary: $2 million
Contract status: Free agent after this season
Front-runner: Giants
Keep an eye on: Yankees

Video: TB@NYM: Eovaldi adds 7th K to close 4 perfect innings

6. Padres reliever Craig Stammen
Including Hand, GM A.J. Preller held a couple of nice chips in a pitching-starved market. Stammen has value, not as a closer, but as a multi-inning reliever who can deepen any bullpen. He's not having his best month, but plenty of teams like him. 

2018 salary: $2.25 million
Contract status: Signed through 2019 season
Front-runner: Braves
Keep an eye on: Yankees, Mariners

Video: CHC@SD: Stammen K's Schwarber, the side in 7th inning

Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice.

Zach Britton, Nathan Eovaldi, Brad Hand, J.A. Happ, Whit Merrifield, Mike Moustakas, Craig Stammen