The 2013 MLB trading deadline is mere hours away, meaning a flurry of action and deals could be pushed through sooner than later.
As usual, there are plenty of buyers and even more sellers this summer—with out-of-contention clubs looking to dump high-priced veterans and expiring contracts onto teams looking for more firepower for a potential World Series run.
Let’s take a look at the latest buzz surrounding some of the biggest names on the block in Wednesday’s rumor roundup.
Cliff Lee Staying in Philly
The Philadelphia Phillies made it clear that they would be having a fire sale after losing eight-straight games leading up to the deadline, but ace Cliff Lee doesn’t figure to be part of that.
According to ESPN’s Jim Bowden, Lee is not going to be traded today and will stick with his current organization for at least the remainder of the 2013 season.
Cliff Lee is not getting traded today according to #source— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) July 31, 2013
ESPN notes that Lee is due $25 million for each of 2014 and 2015 seasons, plus a $27.5 million team option for 2016 and a buyout clause that would cost $12.5 million.
Should the Phillies trade Lee?
At age 34, Lee is simply seen as too costly to warrant that kind of contract from most competitors and it would have been tough for the Phillies to return proper value for their star left-hander.
Lee is having a fine season, as the 11-year veteran is currently 10-4 with a 3.05 ERA and 131 strikeouts in 20 appearances. He could have definitely helped a contender, but will instead languish in the City of Brotherly Love for at least a few months.
Alex Rios May Not Be Moving
The Chicago White Sox are in the process of gutting their roster, but may not be able to move outfielder Alex Rios on Wednesday.
According to ESPN’s Jayson Stark, the Texas Rangers and Pittsburgh Pirates—two of the more serious suitors for his services—have a “lukewarm” interest in acquiring the 32-year-old.
Rios is having a bit of a down year in 2013, hitting just .273/.324/.428 and has mashed just 12 home runs and 49 RBI in 400 at-bats.
The 9-year veteran can provide another big bat in a lineup and is a solid defender in the outfield.
Unfortunately, the Puerto Rican native is owed approximately $6 million for this current season and $12.5 million for next—along with a club option at $13.5 million for 2015.
Much like Lee’s contract, it is simply too rich for many of the smaller market suitors and could be a reason why the Sox struggle to deal him at the deadline.
Ian Kennedy Still on Block
Although potential replacement Jake Peavy is now with the Boston Red Sox, the Arizona Diamondbacks are still considering trading away right-handed pitcher Ian Kennedy.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports found that the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Angels are both intrigued about the possibility of bringing the 28-year-old hurler aboard.
Kennedy is having a tough season, going just 3-8 with a 5.23 ERA and 108 strikeouts in 21 appearances.
The Diamondbacks aren’t out of contention yet and could easily still capture the NL West crown, but could afford to bring in some future talent or current help at another position by trading Kennedy.
It’ll be interesting to see what the club does over the next few hours.