The five teams that could create trade-deadline chaos

We’re exactly one week away from Major League Baseball’s trade deadline, which also means we’re on the brink of chaos. The trade deadline has a chance to be busy this season, especially because there’s a ho-hum free-agent class ahead, and teams have an even bigger incentive to find their difference-makers.

We know a few things already: The Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics and Miami Marlins are selling. Yu Darvish might be the most sought-after starting pitcher out there at this point, with Sonny Gray running a close second. Pat Neshek is attracting a lot of attention from teams that need bullpen help, but expect a number of relievers to move. The Mets could unload a lot of players — so if you need Jay Bruce in your life, now’s your chance.

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Anything – and everything — can change in the next week. Chaos will come from the teams that have tough choices to make. Or a lot at stake. If you’re rooting for chaos, there are five teams that should be more involved in the next week. That’s the topic of this week’s installment of my Open Mike video series, which is rolling above.

The Royals can bring us trade-deadline chaos, but will they? (AP)

Here they are in text form:

5. Houston Astros
The Astros and all their prospect riches have the means to make just about any deal they want. They could use another starting pitcher, so they’re basically the team holding the “Wild” card in UNO.

4. San Francisco Giants
The Giants are a mess, but they could clean things up by making a few keen moves at the trade deadline. There are different degrees of selling for S.F. How far they go determines how much chaos we’re in for. Might they trade someone like Hunter Pence? Can they find a suitor for Jeff Samardzija?

3. Detroit Tigers
This is where things start to get interesting. The Tigers have a lot of high-priced, aging talent — but it’s talent that could help other teams reach their World Series dreams. They’ve already traded J.D. Martinez. There are lots of rumors about Alex Avila. But what if they went a step further? Justin Verlander? Miguel Cabrera? Oh, the chaos is starting to rumble.

2. Toronto Blue Jays
Could the Blue Jays sell? They’re pretty bad and they’ve got a lot of desirable pieces, but … would they trade Josh Donaldson?! Or Marcus Stroman? It’s at least been talked about. That would bring us to full-blown chaos if either comes to fruition.

1. Kansas City Royals
The Royals are the team that holds the keys to super mega trade deadline chaos. They’re in a tough spot too. They were bad early, then got better and now they’re winners of five in a row and, at the moment, a wild-card team. Still, the Royals are about to lose Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain in free agency. Trading them could return a deep haul of prospects.

Conventional wisdom — and this piece by my cohort Chris Cwik — says the Royals should stand pat. See if they have one more postseason run in them. But if you’re rooting for chaos, you have to be rooting for the Royals to blow it all up and start feeding their stars to the Dodgers, Indians, Nationals and other contenders.

Not saying the Royals need to sell or that Kansas City would be happy about this, but the Royals are the team with the power to turn this whole week upside-down.

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!