As the MLB trade deadline approaches on July 31, we are likely to see more trades come through as baseball’s previous waiver trade deadline that usually occurs Aug. 31 is no more.

Teams looking to make the final moves to push for the playoffs are now having to make their moves earlier than in previous years.

Recently, the Houston Astros acquired Justin Verlander from the Detroit Tigers after the July 31 non-waiver deadline, so deals like that will have to be wrapped up by then.

Teams also usually grab a speedy pinch runner or maybe a final bench piece during the waiver trade period, but again, that will have to be concluded prior to July 31.

At the point of this writing on July 18 as I will be out of the country for the next week and a half or so, five trades have been conducted even as far back as mid-June.

The first trade during the summer months occurred June 16 when the New York Yankees acquired slugger Edwin Encarnacion from the Seattle Mariners.

Then, on July 13, the Boston Red Sox acquired pitcher Andrew Cashner from the Baltimore Orioles for a pair of minor leaguers.

One day later, the Oakland Athletics acquired pitcher Homer Bailey from the Kansas City Royals for a double-A prospect.

The Royals weren’t done there as the next day, they acquired pitcher Mike Montgomery from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for catcher Martin Maldanado as the Cubs were forced to put all-star catcher Willson Contreras on the Injured List after an arch strain in his foot.

Now, with roughly two weeks ahead of the July 31 deadline there could be a plethora of trades that come in as teams further separate themselves from buying or selling.

Several teams seem to be in uncharted territory as they have to establish whether or not they will sell or buy, such as the Cleveland Indians.

Cleveland has struggled with outfield production and injuries have caused them to fall behind the first-place Minnesota Twins.

While Cleveland is still four games out, much has been made about the possibility of the Indians trading starting pitcher Trevor Bauer despite being tied for a wild card spot with the Oakland Athletics and holding a three-game lead over Boston for the final spot.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Cleveland buying but the rumors surrounding trading Bauer are odd.

That also goes for a Texas Rangers team that has seen its starting pitching be better than most perceived as rumors swirl around the possibility of the team trading their ace Mike Minor despite being five games off the final wild card spot.

Likewise, the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants have been rumored to sell at the deadline, while Arizona sits a half game out of the final wild card spot and San Francisco sits two-and-a-half games out.

Teams can ride hot streaks, but it is also hard to wait it out while competing against other teams for trade acquisitions.

Front offices are without a doubt talking with each other about different trades that can be made.

And, some teams that are currently not competing for wild card or division title could make a move that could better position themselves for the future as San Diego looks for an ace pitcher like they did last year.

Trade season is fun and it is currently upon us.