Major League Baseball’s trade deadline is less than two weeks away. Unlike in years past, teams will no longer be permitted to make deals after July 31 this season. As such, teams on the outskirts of the playoff picture will have to make a call: Do they buy, do they sell, or do they stand pat and let the winds of destiny guide them as they may? We’ll find out soon enough what the real general managers decide to do over the coming weeks.

In the interim, we decided we’d partake in a little role-playing exercise by highlighting one (very fake) trade that each team should execute ahead of the deadline. Before we get to the roster shuffling, let’s lay some ground rules, beginning with the most important: These trades are to be consumed as entertainment and nothing more. We’re not saying the teams are interested in these players, or that these deals are likely to happen. In some cases, we’re outright dreamcasting.

We also didn’t make an effort to include every big name or player likely to be dealt at the deadline, nor did we go through the trouble of trying to identify a worthwhile prospect return in every instance. Think of this as trying to provide the general outline of what teams should do at the deadline, with us leaving it to them to fill in the finer details.

Onto the nonsense.

Prospect watch