Zack Greinke could be a top target if the Brewers don’t sign him. Photo by: Kevin C Cox/Getty Images

The Trade Deadline for the 2012 MLB season is less then weeks away and while that may seem a long time, you can be sure front offices are working the phones, testing out ideas and inquiring about other team’s players and prospects. However, there’s a new wrinkle this time around. With the addition of one more playoff spot, there are theoretically more teams that will be buyers as the deadline approaches. Plus there are surprise teams like the Orioles and Nationals contending when it wasn’t expected of them. This means it could be a seller’s market, so let’s look at who some of these teams might make available. I’ll also have a Buyers article as the deadline gets closer and contenders solidify their positions.

Chicago Cubs
Looks like it’s going to be 104 years for the Cubbies. Theo Epstein has begun the rebuilding process and could trade veteran arms Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster because what team isn’t looking for pitching? Both starters have proven themselves as quality options in a rotation. Dempster was just put on the DL, but comes back with enough time to re-establish his value. It might be time to sell high on 1B Bryan LaHair before his hot streak fizzles out. OFs Alfonso Soriano and David DeJesus could be traded as well, but might not get much value.

Houston Astros
The ‘Stros were one of the teams that you would have expected to be sellers at the start of the season. Wandy Rodriguez is the top southpaw on the market and could get a decent return. Brett Myers is doing a solid job as closer and teams with uncertain situations at the back end will give him serious consideration. An AL team looking for a DH could inquire about Carlos Lee, though his high salary could be a roadblock.

Minnesota Twins
They could be the most active at the Deadline, given the volume of available pieces. The Nationals are looking for a CF and Denard Span could be a target. LF Josh Willingham has been one of the better value signings oft he offseason and could be turned into a decent or good prospect. 1B Justin Morneau is hitting again and could be a solid middle-of-the-order bat for a contender. Matt Capps and Glen Perkins are performing well and any contender is looking at shoring up its bullpen. Francisco Liriano is pitching with some consistency! Quick trade him before he loses it!

Oakland Athletics
This sure isn’t unfamiliar territory for Billy Beane. Bartolo Colon has cooled off recently, but could still be a backend starter for a contender. Plus I’m sure he was signed for the express purpose of being traded. OF Coco Crisp signed an offseason extension but now wants out. His poor hitting and contract are obstacles however. Brian Fuentes and Grant Balfour could add depth to some bullpens.

Seattle Mariners
The Ms will be contending…with Oakland for the AL West cellar. Brandon League lost the closer job, but is in the final year of his contract and teams will look at him for bullpen depth. Kevin Millwood was a nice value signing and is performing well, so the Mariners might look to get something out of it, like the As with Colon. Jason Vargas leads the team in wins, which on a non-contender makes him a trade candidate.

San Diego Padres
They want to keep Carlos Quentin, but it would sense to trade him for what they can get while they continue rebuilding. 3B Chase Headley could perform better away from Petco Park. Closer Huston Street is back and could get a decent return if he plays well coming off the injury.

Milwaukee Brewers
They’re still in contention, but are on this list because of Zack Greinke, who could be the top target if he doesn’t sign a new contract. Both sides are far apart on a possible extension, so if no agreement can be reached, the Brewers might be forced to trade him instead of possibly getting nothing in return. Considering his ability, they would expect a big offer in return.

Not totally a far-fetched idea, Hamels could be the most interesting name to follow as the deadline approaches.    Photo by: Nick Laham/Getty Images

Philadelphia Phillies
Now for what were previously far-fetched scenarios. They are trying to sign Cole Hamels, but should consider trading him if they can’t get that done by the deadline. They would certainly get a big haul in a trade given Hamels’ track record. If he is indeed available, this has the makings of the big splash the Dodgers are looking to make.  CF Shane Victorino could also be available if he doesn’t have a contract by July 31st and the Phils are still in the NL East basement.

Boston Red Sox
No the Sox aren’t sellers in the sense that they are out of playoff contention, but they must find a way to get rid of 1B/3B Kevin Youkilis. Rookie Will Middlebrooks has taken his spot at third and moving 1B Adian Gonzalez to the outfield to accommodate Youk is absurd. Even with the OF decimated by injuries and spots being held down by the likes of Darnell McDonald and Ryan Sweeney, the starters will find their way back, thus moving Gonzalez back to 1B and making Youkilis expendable.

Future Possibilities
The Blue Jays are hovering around .500 in the tough AL East and if they fall any farther may opt to capitalize on the revival of 3B/DH Edwin Encarnacion. Others they might trade are 2B Kelly Johnson and C JP Arencibia, the latter if prospect Travis D’Arnaud breaks through. Though they are at the edge of contention, Arizona might look to find buyers for OF Jason Kubel, 2B Aaron Hill or P Joe Saunders if they start slipping in the standings, though Saunders is the one mentioned most in rumors lately. If the Phillies truly fall out of contention they could also look to move RF Hunter Pence and P Joe Blanton as well. The Rockies are all but out of contention, but there’s no one that could get them much in return besides 1B/OF Michael Cuddyer.