Now that the usual flurry of late-spring trades is over, the next phase of trading will occur this summer, when contenders are looking to supplement their rosters with players from teams that have realized they aren't going to win this year.
MLBTR's Tim Dierkes recently previewed trade candidates for the National and American leagues, so we have a sense of which players will become available. But when will the trading start in earnest? Let's look back at recent seasons to determine when sellers start selling.
In 2008, the selling began in earnest in early July when the Indians sent C.C. Sabathia to the Brewers on July 7th. Not to be outdone, the Cubs acquired Rich Harden from the A's the next day, adding a second elite starter to the NL Central and considerable drama to the playoff race.
The Pirates started selling early in 2009, when they sent Nate McLouth to Atlanta on June 3rd. It wasn't until later in the month that the Indians sent Mark DeRosa to St. Louis and the selling continued.
Last year, the Indians were involved in an early trade again, though it wasn't with a contender in this case. They sent Russell Branyan to Seattle on June 26th, nine days after the selling began. Arizona made the first of their many trades on June 15th when they dealt Conor Jackson to Oakland. The major trades began in early July when the Mariners sent Cliff Lee to the Rangers on th 9th.
It only takes one team to get things started early, but recent history shows that we should expect the sellers to start selling after the June draft and before the All-Star break.