It’s that time of year again when we hear ‘buyer’ and ‘seller’ in every other baseball story.
July 31st marks the non-waiver trading deadline and teams begin to analyze each plate appearance, each pitch thrown and each contract on the books. Some teams are in the hunt and must decide if they are willing to dump prospects for a rental player that could help them reach the postseason. Other teams are hoping that they can find a trading partner willing to take a huge contract off their hands while giving up some young prospects.
The rumors come and go so fast that it’s often tough to keep up with who might be going where, but here are some of the current talks between the movers and shakers.
One of the biggest names circulating is Rockies outfielder Matt Holliday. Two possible destinations for him are Oakland and St. Louis. Holliday is signed through 2009 so the price will be steep. Oakland may not be able to afford the price and unless the Cards were to send pitching the other way, their OF is plenty stocked right now.
Xavier Nady is more likely to be on the move and two teams that have been showing interest are Tampa Bay and Atlanta. Tampa Bay seems to have better options in house, but Atlanta could be a good fit. Jeff Francoeur hasn’t been hitting well and they could use some offensive help. If Atlanta starts to slip out of the picture, not only would the deal be off, but they could also begin shopping slugger Mark Teixeira. Teixeira will be a free agent after this year and the Braves probably can’t afford him, but if they hang onto him for the rest of the season, they could get draft picks as compensation if he leaves.
Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr. seem to be prime candidates to relocate, but it appears Griffey to Tampa Bay wasn’t true and there just doesn’t seem to be a market for the high-priced Dunn. American League teams don’t want a DH that bats .240 and National League teams are scared off by his defense.
There are several players that may or may not become available depending upon how the next couple of weeks shake out.
Ivan Rodriguez seemed to be playing his last games in Motown, but the Tigers are suddenly in the hunt and Brandon Inge going down, leaves Detroit needing Pudge in the lineup.
The Rangers could be looking to move Frank Catalanotto or Hank Blalock if they hit a losing streak this month.
Brian Roberts could also be moved if the Orioles find themselves on the outside of the playoff race. Roberts would be their biggest piece of trade bait, but closer George Sherrill has also been rumored to be heading to the Red Sox as a setup man for Jonathan Papelbon. The Red Sox rumors don’t stop there though.
Boston may also be looking at Joe Borowski, Chad Bradford, Rich Harden, Roy Oswalt, Brian Fuentes and C.C. Sabathia. Fuentes and Sabathia are in the middle of most trade rumors right now.
Fuentes could find himself out of the closer role and out of Colorado with the list of new teams growing daily. Along with the Red Sox, the Yankees, Rays, Cubs and Cards are also reportedly interested.
C.C. Sabathia would be the biggest deal to go down, if the Indians end up moving him. They apparently would like to resign the reigning Cy Young winner, but as they fall double digits back in the division race, things could change. The Phillies, Rays, Cubs and Brewers have been mentioned the most as possible trading partners.
Other arms that are rumored to be available are Joe Blanton, Huston Street, A.J. Burnett, Erik Bedard, Bronson Arroyo and Greg Maddux.