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Previewing the NL trade market

Updated: July 5, 2012, 9:26 PM ET
By Buster Olney

Anybody who has bought something in an airport knows there is a captive customer markup. The kid sitting next to you on the plane spilled his chocolate milk all over you, and as you wait for your connection, there's only one store where you can find another shirt -- and the prices are designed to gouge. There is just one or two restaurants, one place to buy electronics, one place to buy a book, and if you want to get anything, you will pay.

This is what it's like to be a general manager looking for help in the trade market right now. Some of the buyers want more sellers. "You need more volume," said one talent evaluator. "That's the only way to get the prices now. If you do something today, you'll overpay."

On the other hand, some of the sellers want more buyers, too. The Cubs might have the most attractive starting pitcher, in Matt Garza -- but the pre-deadline feeding frenzy hasn't really started yet. The desperation hasn't set in; the injuries haven't fully manifested. The leverage hasn't reached a peak yet.

But soon it will. Here's a menu on where National League teams sit in the trade market, according to evaluators and general managers.

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