MLB Trade Rumors: Every Team's Player Who Could Be Traded in Waiver Moves

Kerry Miller@@kerrancejamesCollege Basketball National AnalystAugust 7, 2013

MLB Trade Rumors: Every Team's Player Who Could Be Traded in Waiver Moves

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    He didn't go anywhere before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, but it's still possible that Justin Morneau could be leaving Minnesota before the end of the month.

    Waivers give contenders another opportunity to add that missing piece for the final month of the season, while also letting teams nowhere near the playoffs find out if anyone is willing to help them get rid of some bloated contracts.

    Every once in a while, those two goals coalesce into one beautiful trade.

    Let's take a look at every team's player most likely to be moved via waivers, as well as the contract that each team is praying someone else will claim.

    *Unless otherwise noted, all statistics are courtesy of Fangraphs and are accurate through the start of play on Tuesday, August 6.

Los Angeles Angels

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    Most Likely to be Moved: Howie Kendrick ($9.1 million in 2013, $9.7 million in 2014, $9.85 million in 2015)

    I have no idea what the Angels' self-imposed salary "cap" might be for 2014, but I do know what they spent this season. Excluding the $32.6 million they're paying Vernon Wells, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana to play for other teams, the Angels are shelling out $118.2 million on their 2013 roster.

    They've already committed to $107.9 million in 2014, but that only accounts for nine playersnone of which are Mike Trout or Mark Trumbo, who figure to make a little more money next season than the roughly half-million they each made in 2013.

    Somehow they need to cut some costs. Josh Hamilton, Albert Pujols, Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson are each signed at least through 2016 and are each making at least an average of $18 million per year through the end of their contracts. Doesn't seem likely that anyone will volunteer to take on any of those payments.

    Kendrick comes with a steep price tag, but quality middle infielders don't grow on trees. If the Royals are still close to the playoffs in a few weeks, they might at least balk at upgrading from the Elliot Johnson and Miguel Tejada combo at second base.

    I could also see the Cubs grabbing Kendrick if they've had their fill of Darwin Barney's lifetime .252 batting average.

    Other Possibilities: Trumbo ($540,000 in 2013, slated for arbitration in 2014)

    If they can't find the room in the budget to pay both Trout and Trumbo next season, they could potentially look to move Trumbo right now and let another team worry about how much money he'll make during offseason arbitration hearings.

    Contract They're Praying Someone Claims: Joe Blanton ($6.5 million in 2013, $7.5 million in 2014, $8 million club option in 2015)

    The best part of the waiver trading period are the times when a team puts in a claim for a player and the player's current team owner laughs uproariously and all but offers to help pack the player's bags.

    If an opposing team puts in a claim for Blanton, the Angels probably wouldn't even ask what they're willing to offer in return, but rather simply ask where to sign. Blanton's remaining contract is almost identical to Hisashi Iwakuma's, but he's barely providing the Angels with an Edinson Volquez amount of production.

Oakland Athletics

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    Most Likely to be Moved: Seth Smith ($3.675 million in 2013, slated for arbitration in 2014)

    Smith had a couple of promising years as a fourth outfielder and frequent pinch-hitter with the Rockies, but hasn't shown any sort of improvement in his nearly two years in Oakland.

    In the month of July, he went 7-for-56 at the plate with a grand total of one RBI, causing his batting average to creep downward into the vicinity of last season's disappointing .240 clip.

    In addition to his struggles, he's clearly the odd man out in Oakland's outfield. With Yoenis Cespedes, Coco Crisp, Josh Reddick and Chris Young all healthy and clogging up the playing time, Smith is getting most of his at-bats at DH, and is only batting .230 while filling that role.

    Someone is bound to at least be intrigued by the opportunity to add him as a platoon guy or as a left-handed bat off the bench.

    Other Possibilities: Coco Crisp ($7 million in 2013, $7.5 million club option in 2014)

    In addition to Oakland's already overloaded five-man outfield, their second-best prospect (Michael Choice) is an outfielder batting .304 at Triple-A with 14 home runs on the year.

    Cespedes certainly isn't going anywhere, and Reddick's terrible season in advance of an arbitration negotiation might mean the As can sign him for a lot cheaper than they would have a year ago. That leaves Crisp, Young, Smith and Choice battling for the final spot in the outfield.

    Even if they also move Smith, I would think they will at least entertain trade offers for Crisp.

    Contract They're Praying Someone Claims: Chris Young ($8.7 million in 2013, $11 million club option in 2014)

    Young is batting .193 on the season. Barring some sort of miracle, it will be the sixth time in his seven big league seasons that he fails to bat .250.

    Batting .240 with 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases wasn't so bad, but now that he's batting .200 and struggling to stay healthy through an extremely back-loaded contract, he's becoming a real liabilityespecially to a team with Oakland's minimal payroll.

    If someone makes a claim on Chris Young, he'll be on the move.

Houston Astros

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    Most Likely to be Moved: Erik Bedard ($1.15 million in 2013, 2014 free agent)

    At the end of the day on May 1, Bedard had an exorbitant 8.20 ERA.

    In the three months since then, he has a 3.42 ERA over 84.1 IP with a K/9 of 7.9.

    Meanwhile, Bud Norris' numbers between May 1 and when he was traded to Baltimore were 3.84 ERA in 96.0 IP with a K/9 of 6.4.

    Yet, did you hear a single rumor involving Erik Bedard at the trade deadline? Even though his 2013 salary is 38% of Norris' salary and he's nearly four years older than anyone else on Houston's roster?

    At $1.15 million, he's the most expensive Astro remaining, yet would become the cheapest starting pitcher on virtually any other roster. If he keeps pitching the way he has been (without getting injured), I would bet anything he's pitching for a different team in September.

    Other Possibilities: Wesley Wright ($1.025 million in 2013, slated for arbitration in 2014)

    Wright hasn't pitched particularly well this season, and I believe he's the only member of the team that has actually been around since before 2010.

    Nevertheless, the 28-year-old left-hander is the second-most expensive player left on a team that has made no qualms about cutting every cost possible.

    Even though left-handed relievers like Scott Downs, Joe Thatcher and apparently Marc Rzepczynski were moved at the deadline to fill a need for a contender, there's inevitably someone out there who could use Wright's services.

    Should he make it down to Cleveland in the waiver order, I'm sure they wouldn't mind doubling down on cheap lefties for their bullpen.

    Contract They're Praying Someone Claims: None

    Bedard and Wright are literally the only Astros making more than $510,000 this season.

Toronto Blue Jays

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    Most Likely to be Moved: Emilio Bonifacio ($2.6 million in 2013, slated for arbitration in 2014)

    Bonifacio entered the 2013 season with a career BABIP in the vicinity of .330, having finished each of the previous five seasons at .312 or better.

    Entering play on Wednesday, his BABIP is sitting at .269, causing his average and on-base percentage to plummet well below career norms. His walk rate is way down and his strikeout rate is a little elevatedso there's more than just a bit of bad luck going on herebut he isn't normally anywhere near this bad.

    Because of his positional flexibility and speed on the base paths, someone will at least express an interest in acquiring him. Adding guys headed towards arbitration can be a bit of a turn-off to some GMs, but not when that player is having the worst season of his career.

    Other Possibilities: Rajai Davis ($2.5 million in 2013, free agent in 2014)

    This was a stronger possibility before Melky Cabrera landed on the disabled list, but if he's back before the end of August, don't be surprised to see Davis on the move.

    The Blue Jays are already going to have their hands full with re-signing Josh Johnson and dealing with Colby Rasmus' arbitration figuresnot to mention the $7 million bump in salary that both Mark Buehrle and R.A. Dickey will be getting next season.

    Re-signing Davis is somewhere near the bottom of their priority list, and if someone else is willing to offer them something in exchange for the right to "first dibs" at those negotiations, it's at least worth answering the phone call.

    Contract They're Praying Someone Claims: Buehrle ($12 million in 2013, $19 million in 2014, $20 million in 2015)

    His ERA has improved in each of the past three months, so this doesn't look quite as awful as it did when he finished April with a 6.35 ERA. But still, $39 million for two years of a soon-to-be 35-year-old soft-tossing left-hander in arguably the best-hitting division in baseball?

    If I didn't know any better, I'd think that entire Josh Johnson and Jose Reyes trade from last November was just a means of Miami making sure it didn't have to deal with the back end of this bloated contract.

Atlanta Braves

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    Most Likely to be Moved: Gerald Laird ($1.5 million in 2013, $1.5 million in 2014)

    Owners of the rare OF/C combo in Evan Gattis, the Braves are one of the few teams that could reasonably afford to trade their backup catcher without worrying about finding another one.

    If they move Laird and get into a real pickle with injuries, they also have Christian Bethancourt as one of baseball's top prospects at catcher.

    (From July 10 through August 1, Bethancourt was 20-for-59 with four home runs and four strikeouts, so that's a pretty fine worst-case scenario)

    Considering how expendable he is to Atlanta and how badly contenders like Cincinnati and St. Louis could use another catcher, the only thing seemingly standing in the way of a Laird trade is whether or not Atlanta would be willing to help out a potential playoff foe.

    Other Possibilities: None

    Dan Uggla's contract ($13.2 million 2013-15) is pretty ridiculous, but I somehow doubt Atlanta is trying to start Paul Janish or Tyler Pastornicky at second base for the rest of the season.

    Contract They're Praying Someone Claims: B.J. Upton ($13.05 million in 2013, $14.05 million in 2014, $15.05 million in 2015, $16.05 million in 2016, $17.05 million in 2017)

    Maybe instead of B.J. Upton, they should start calling him B.R. for Buyer's Remorse.

    They knew they were getting a poor batting average and a high strikeout rate, but both have been much worse than advertised and he's nowhere near his normal home run and stolen base totals to make up for it.

    For a team like Atlanta that really strives to keep its payroll below $100 million, this contract might hurt for a long time.

Milwaukee Brewers

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    Most Likely to be Moved: Kyle Lohse ($4 million in 2013, $11 million in 2014, $11 million in 2015)

    Brewers GM Doug Melvin said the team had no interest of moving Lohse at the non-waiver deadline this past week.

    If they have any intentions of moving him before free agency in 2016, though, the time to strike is now. Once the offseason hits and his annual salary increases by 175 percent, they're going to be stuck with two more years of 35-year-old Lohse.

    His 3.23 ERA and generous price tag for the rest of this season might be enough to entice another team to dive in for this season and wait until 2014 to worry about Lohse's 2014 salary.

    Other Possibilities: Michael Gonzalez ($2.25 million in 2013, free agent in 2014)

    There should be a good number of left-handed relievers that are readily available on waivers, but only Colorado's Josh Outman ($675,000) would seem to be an option for the National League at a better price.

    If teams are willing to pay the extra price but not willing to go as high as San Francisco's Javier Lopez ($4.25 million), Gonzalez does have a career ERA of 3.02 and a 10.3 K/9 that would fit quite nicely into any team's seventh inning plans.

    Contract They're Praying Someone Claims: Rickie Weeks ($11 million in 2013, $12 million in 2014, $11.5 player option in 2015)

    I know players on the disabled list can't be traded during this waiver period, and I'm assuming the same for players serving 65-game suspensions. Provided getting out of Ryan Braun's contract isn't an option, removing Weeks from the books would be a good Plan B.

    Weeks signed his current four-year contract in February 2011, just a few months removed from hitting 29 home runs and batting .269 for the Brewers. He still has maybe 60 percent of the same home run ability, but the average has gone into the tank over the past two seasons.

    With Scooter Gennett already in the majors and ready, willing and able to take over the everyday job at second base, all that's left for Milwaukee to do is push Weeks out the door.

St. Louis Cardinals

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    Most Likely to be Moved: David Freese ($3.15 million in 2013, slated for arbitration in 2014)

    Matt Carpenter is having an incredible season, and arguably should have been the starting second baseman for the National League in the All-Star Game.

    Thing is, Carpenter came up through the farm system as a third baseman. He's a great utility guy who's getting by just fine at second base, but you have to think the long-term plan is to move him back to the hot corner.

    If they move him back to third base right now, it opens up a spot for Kolten Wong to come up and play second base every day.

    Perhaps you're of the school of thought that you don't tinker with a lineup that's going to the playoffs, but Freese hasn't shown any of the power that he did over the past two seasons, and his batting average has dropped below .275.

    I'm not saying they should put Freese on waivers and get whatever they can for him. But if someone makes a legitimate offer that gives them a chance to call up and start a top prospect while avoiding an arbitration-based salary amount for Freese in 2014, it's something they'd be foolish not to consider.

    Other Possibilities: Jon Jay ($524,000 in 2013, slated for arbitration in 2014)

    See: Freese, David. The only real difference is that Jay is even more of an offensive liability than Freese, and Oscar Taveras is an even more-highly touted prospect than Wong.

    The only rationale for not wanting to move Jay is in case Matt Holliday or Carlos Beltran need a few days off here and there.

    Not only is Jay's fabled-to-be-good defense not a good reason for continuing to play him every day, but it's not even true. Only Shin-Soo Choo has been a worse defensive center fielder.

    Contract They're Praying Someone Claims: Jake Westbrook ($8.75 million in 2013, $9.5 million mutual option in 2014)

    That 2014 option includes a $1 million buyout that would almost certainly be exercised, but it would still be nice to get this contract off the books.

    Westbrook is both congesting the payroll at nearly $9 million and unnecessarily keeping Michael Wacha and Carlos Martinez out of the starting rotation with his near-NL-worst 4.78 xFIP.

    He has the worst K/BB ratio among all starting pitchers, but as long as they're paying him, they're almost obligated to keep throwing him out there every five days.

Chicago Cubs

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    Most Likely to be Moved: Nate Schierholtz ($2.25 million in 2013, slated for arbitration in 2014)

    Between Schierholtz, Alex Rios, Hunter Pence, Marlon Byrd and Michael Morse, there were a lot of discussions about right fielders possibly being on the move at the deadline.

    In the end, Justin Maxwell to Kansas City was the biggest trade involving a right fielder.

    The supply is certainly still there, but we'll see what the demand looks like. He would have to pass through a lot of other National League teams to get to the Pirates, but they might be the best fit for Schierholtz.

    He ranks ninth in WAR among National League right fielders with at least 100 plate appearances. The highest-ranked Pirate on the list is Jose Tabata at #24.

    Did I mention there are only 15 National League teams?

    Other Possibilities: Dioner Navarro ($1.75 million in 2013, free agent in 2014)

    Rumored at the deadline to possibly be moving to St. Louis and nominated by yours truly as a potential deadline steal, Navarro might be the best combination of price and skill available on waivers.

    However, Navarro is better than Wellington Castillo (in my opinion), and the Cubs don't have anything resembling catching prospects in their farm system, so they might be pretty hesitant to give Navarro away.

    Contract They're Praying Someone Claims: Edwin Jackson ($13 million annually 2013-2016)

    Now that Alfonso Soriano is out of town, this contract stands out like an incredibly sore thumb in an otherwise surprisingly minimalist payroll for a big-market team.

    Usually with these shockingly large contracts, you can look back to when they were signed and see that the player was having a career year and almost understand what the team was thinking at the time.

    The Cubs signed Jackson to this four-year deal after he posted a nothing-special 4.03 ERA with the 2012 Washington Nationals. Even ignoring a below-average 2012, there were 200 games' worth of evidence over the prior decade to indicate that Jackson has no business being one of the 20 highest-paid starters in the entire league.

Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Most Likely to be Moved: Eric Chavez ($3 million in 2013, free agent in 2014)

    Chavez went through something of a rejuvenation over the first two months of the season, but has come back to earth since spending just about the entire month of June on the disabled list.

    Still, he entered play over the weekend with a .305 batting average for the season, which puts him into the upper echelon in that category among third basemenalbeit with less than half the sample size of most of his peers.

    If Brock Holt doesn't pan out for the Red Sox and they don't feel like trying to re-visit negotiations with Michael Young, Chavez could be a good alternative. Though, he would have to pass through just about every other team in baseball before even becoming an option for Boston.

    Other Possibilities: None

    Not only are the Diamondbacks still desperately fighting for a playoff spot, but most of the players who could potentially be expendable (Heath Bell, Jason Kubel and J.J. Putz, to name a few) have bloated contracts that no one would likely consider taking.

    Contract They're Praying Someone Claims: Bell ($6 million in 2013, $6 million in 2014, $9 million in 2015)

    Bell had an amazing run from 2009-2011, racking up 10 more saves than the next-best closer during that time while posting one of the lowest ERA among relief pitchers.

    It's been a long time since we've seen that version of Bell, but he's still getting paid like one of the best relief pitchers in the league.

    Coupled with J.J. Putz's salary ($6.5 million in 2013, $7 million in 2014) and considering Brad Ziegler is currently the closer, I'd bet the Diamondbacks are paying at least twice as much money to middle relievers as any other team.

Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Most Likely to be Moved: Chris Capuano ($6 million in 2013, $8 million mutual option in 2014)

    The chances of the Dodgers doing anything in waivers this season would seem to be slim to none, but it wouldn't be surprising to see them at least put Capuano out there to see if anyone bites.

    Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Ricky Nolasco and Hyun-Jin Ryu have firmly entrenched themselves as the four best starters in Los Angeles' rotation, and I would argue that Stephen Fife has done more than enough between the majors and Triple-A this season to have earned the fifth spot.

    Unfortunately, Fife is barely a blip on the Dodgers' payroll at $492,500 and can be optioned to and from the minors, so they're almost stuck with Capuano's 4.27 career ERA.

    Other Possibilities: Nick Punto or Skip Schumaker (Each making $1.5 million in 2013 and becoming free agents in 2014)

    Quite simply, there's no reason for the Dodgers to have two light-hitting and aging utility infielders who are batting roughly a combined .250 over the past two seasons. They should hang onto Schumaker and see if they can get anything for Punto, but both players could be movable.

    Contract They're Praying Someone Claims: Carl Crawford ($20 million in 2013, $20.25 million in 2014, $20.5 million in 2015, $20.75 million in 2016, $21 million in 2017)

    Between Crawford, Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp, the Dodgers have three outfielders making a combined $53.75 million this seasona number that will increase to $60.75 million by 2017 if nothing changes.

    However, Yasiel Puig has been more valuable than any of those other outfielders, and is signed for at least as long as the rest of them at less than one-fifth of Crawford's current price.

    Someone has to go, and Crawford is the odd man out. Kemp is arguably still the face of the franchise, and Ethier's contract isn't quite as nauseating as Crawford's.

San Francisco Giants

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    Most Likely to be Moved: Javier Lopez ($4.25 million in 2013, free agent in 2014)

    Perhaps the best left-handed reliever available, Lopez has allowed just one home run in 116.0 innings pitched over the past three seasons with the Giants.

    The Giants and Lopez have a mutual interest in re-upping his contract for next season, but what's the harm in letting him pitch for a contender for two months and renegotiating in the offseason?

    Either way they would get him back in 2014, and they might be able to get something else in return by putting him on waivers.

    Other Possibilities: Hunter Pence ($13.8 million in 2013, free agent in 2014)

    If they were going to move Pence, you would think it would have happened at the non-waiver deadline, as they probably won't be able to get anywhere near as much of a return now as they could have a week ago.

    Still, it's an option, and they may have just recently admitted to themselves that they aren't making the playoffs this season—which would have kept them from aggressively pursuing any moves at the non-waiver trade deadline.

    Contract They're Praying Someone Claims: Angel Pagan ($8.25 million in 2013, $10.25 million in 2014, $10.25 million in 2015, $11.25 million in 2016)

    Now that Barry Zito's contract is finally, mercifully two months away from running its course, the Giants don't really have any bad contracts. Matt Cain is certainly expensive, but he deserves to be one of the highest paid pitchers in the game today.

    Pagan is the closest thing they have to a bad contract, but he's making peanuts compared to some center fielders, and it's not like the Giants have a plethora of other options in the outfieldespecially if they're letting Pence walk after the season.

Cleveland Indians

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    Most Likely to be Moved: Drew Stubbs ($2.85 million in 2013, slated for arbitration in 2014)

    It blows my mind that Stubbs is getting more regular playing time than Ryan Raburn. Aside from stolen bases, Raburn has been the better player in every way, shape and form. Yet, he has barely been given half as many plate appearances as Stubbs this season.

    With Stubbs headed towards arbitration and Raburn to free agency, they might have a decision to make in the offseasona decision they can avoid via waivers in the next few weeks.

    Perhaps Raburn is more likely to be moved, but Stubbs is the more logical player for Cleveland to consider parting ways with.

    Other Possibilities: Mark Reynolds ($6 million in 2013, free agent in 2014)

    Despite being tied for the team lead in home runs, Reynolds has the worst WAR among Indians batters. His home run potential entices teams, but his batting average eventually drives them away.

    It's hard to imagine the Indians have intentions of re-signing him next season, and they would frankly be better off for the rest of this season by getting rid of him and going with Nick Swisher, Lonnie Chisenhall and Mike Aviles at the corner infield positions.

    If a team is interested in a right-handed version of Adam Dunn at 40 percent of Dunn's cost, they might be willing to take Reynolds off of Cleveland's hands.

    Contract They're Praying Someone Claims: Asdrubal Cabrera ($6.5 million in 2013, $10 million in 2014)

    This isn't a terrible contract, but it's a difficult situation. Francisco Lindor is unanimously regarded as one of the 10 best prospects in all of baseball, and just so happens to play the same position as Cabrera.

    In theory, they could keep Lindor in the minors until 2015 and let Cabrera play out his contract, letting him walk as a free agent after the 2014 season.

    But, in the unlikely event that Cleveland tanks in the next few weeks and falls hopelessly out of the playoff race, they might investigate whether another team would be interested in paying Cabrera's $10 million next year to open up a spot for Lindor.

Seattle Mariners

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    Most Likely to be Moved: Oliver Perez ($1.5 million in 2013, free agent in 2014)

    Provided he's made available, Perez would be the most coveted left-hander in the American League.

    A rough stretch of games since mid-July has caused his ERA to balloon to above 3.00, but his price tag and strikeout ability make him one of the most valuable bullpen commodities.

    Considering Rich Hill's ERA is among the worst in baseball and Marc Rzepczynski's is even worse in a smaller sample size, if Perez happens to last all the way to Cleveland on the waiver wire, they'll probably do whatever it takes to get him.

    Other Possibilities: Raul Ibanez ($2.75 million in 2013, free agent in 2014)

    There isn't much of a precedent for 40-year-old power hitters, but the evidence that does exist isn't promising.

    Darrell Evans hit 34 home runs and batted .257 in the season that he turned 40. Though he played another two seasons, he combined to hit just 33 home runs over those 251 games while batting .208.

    Dave Winfield belted 26 home runs in 1992 before turning 41, registering a 3.8 WAR that season. Over the next three years, he had a combined WAR of -0.9 and his batting average plummeted in each successive season.

    Edgar Martinez hit 24 home runs in 2003 at the age of 40. In 91 percent as many plate appearances the following season, he hit 50 percent as many home runs and batted below .277 in more than 200 plate appearances for the only time in his career.

    Despite Ibanez's ridiculous training regimen (an article by Ken Rosenthal from his Bleacher Report days), bodies eventually break down.

    It would arguably be foolish to re-commit to Ibanez this offseason, and Seattle played its way out of playoff hopes by losing six of seven as July bled into August.

    I wouldn't recommend simply giving Ibanez away, but if they can get something younger in return, there's no reason not to let him chase 35 home runs for a contender.

    Contract They're Praying Someone Claims: Aaron Harang ($7 million in 2013, $8 million mutual option in 2014)

    Unless they're planning on unnecessarily keeping Taijuan Walker, Danny Hultzen and James Paxton in Triple-A for another season, Harang has absolutely no part in Seattle's future.

    Factoring in Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma and Brandon Maurer, he's no better than the seventh-best starting pitcher in the organization.

    There's no way they'll exercise that $8 million option next season, but it's still going to cost $2 million to buy him out if he's still on the roster at the end of the year. Unfortunately, his near-worst-in-the-majors ERA is going to be tough to convince another team to accept.

Miami Marlins

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    Most Likely to be Moved: Juan Pierre ($1.6 million in 2013, free agent in 2014)

    One year removed from batting .307 and stealing 37 bases, Pierre has taken a pretty big step backwards.

    Yet, he should have a fair amount of value on the open market as a reserve outfielder and pinch runner. He has only started one game for the Marlins since July 7, but he still has 20 stolen bases on the seasonwhich only 18 other players can claim right now.

    His pro-rated salary for the rest of the season is roughly $500,000. There are much more expensive and much less effective ways of solving late-inning base running woes. 

    Other Possibilities: Chad Qualls ($1.15 million in 2013, free agent in 2014)

    Sure, Qualls has a lower ERA than any other season in his career and is much, much cheaper than other relief pitchers on the waiver market.

    But in addition to that, you can't put a price tag on the unintentional comedic value he brings to the team.

    Contract They're Praying Someone Claims: Placido Polanco ($2.75 million in 2013, free agent in 2014)

    It's a stretch at best to say that they're dying to get rid of him, but Polanco is the oldest and most expensive member of the Marlins roster.

    His batting average isn't what it used to be, but if Alberto Callaspo was worth trading for, someone must be able to find a use for Polanco.

New York Mets

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    Most Likely to be Moved: Marlon Byrd ($700,000 in 2013, free agent in 2014)

    Byrd spent the days leading up to the non-waiver trade deadline as the most discussed Met, and that doesn't figure to change during the waiver period.

    Whether or not the Mets are willing to move him, one can certainly understand the speculations. Byrd has been the seventh-most valuable outfielder in the National League, and is costing next to nothing for a team that is 10 games below .500.

    Frankly, it's amazing that the Pirates didn't do more to acquire him at the non-waiver deadline. Should they start to stumble between now and August 31, they would likely make a play for Byrd to become their everyday right fielderif he actually lasted long enough in the waiver system to reach Pittsburgh.

    Other Possibilities: Bobby Parnell ($1.7 million in 2013, slated for arbitration in 2014)

    Teams don't often move successful closers in the middle of the season, but the Mets could potentially groom Jeurys Familia for the closer role next season and let LaTroy Hawkins blow saves for the rest of this year if someone blew them away with an offer on Parnell.

    If the Dodgers were desperate enough to sign Brian Wilson, they would seem to have more than a little bit of interest in adding Parnell as a middle reliever.

    Contract They're Praying Someone Claims: John Buck ($6.5 million in 2013, free agent in 2014)

    It would be much nicer to get rid of Johan Santana's $25.5 million in 2013 and $5.5 million buyout for 2014. Not only would no one in their right mind make that claim, but he's been injured all season and wouldn't even be eligible for waivers.

    With David Wright now on the DL and Frank Francisco having spent the entire season there, Buck is costing the Mets twice as much as any other healthy player on the payrollunless you count the $18.125 million they're paying Jason Bay to get designated for assignment by the Mariners.

    After batting .241 and hitting nine home runs in the month of April, Buck hit just five home runs while batting .214 over the next three months.

Washington Nationals

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    Most Likely to be Moved: Danny Espinosa ($526,250 in 2013, slated for arbitration in 2014)

    I'll be honest, I have no idea how the waiver process relates to the minor leagues.

    If he can legally be moved, though, Espinosa certainly seems to have fallen out of favor in the nation's capital. His batting average has never been his forte, but he understandably struggled more than usual this season while dealing with a broken wrist.

    If he truly has worn out his welcome with the Nationals, someone could be getting the equivalent of Kelly Johnson at a considerably lower price tag.

    Other Possibilities: Roger Bernadina ($1.2125 million in 2013, slated for arbitration in 2014)

    This is Bernadina's eighth season with the Nationals organization, but he has been unable to secure anything resembling regular playing time.

    With an already full outfield and Brian Goodwin perhaps ready to compete for a roster spot next season, it doesn't seem he'll be getting that playing time anytime soon.

    BernadinaA.K.A. the Sharkhas been a fan favorite for a few years, but Mike Rizzo has proven he has no problem showing fan favorites the door.

    Contract They're Praying Someone Claims: Jayson Werth ($16.6 million in 2013, $20.6 million in 2014, $21.6 million annually 2015-17)

    Werth has been the best-hitting National this season, but that's a ton of money over the next four seasons for an outfielder who's already 34 years old.

    Stephen Strasburg and Ian Desmond are headed towards arbitration this offseason and Bryce Harper's incredibly owner-friendly contract will inevitably increase by leaps and bounds in 2016.

    At best, there's an argument to be had over whether Werth is worth more than $20 million per season. There's no question, though, that they'd rather use that $85 million to keep the younger guys on the team as long as possible.

Baltimore Orioles

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    Most Likely to be Moved: None

    The most expendable pieces of the Orioles roster are either injured and not eligible for waivers (Nolan Reimold, Jason Hammel and Wilson Betemit) or way too expensive for anyone to even consider acquiring (Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis).

    Maybe they could move Steve Pearce ($700,000) or Steve Johnson ($495,000), but at those price tags it hardly even seems worth the effort unless someone specifically requests them.

    Other Possibilities: None


    Contract They're Praying Someone Claims: Markakis ($15.35 million in 2013, $15.35 million in 2014, $17.5 million club option in 2015)

    In 2008, Markakis batted .306 with 20 home runs and 10 stolen bases while making $455,000The Orioles rewarded his effort by increasing his annual salary by 2,412 percent, signing him to a back-loaded six-year deal worth $66.1 million.

    After posting a 6.1 WAR in 697 plate appearances in 2008, his total WAR from 2009-2011 was 6.1and encompassed 2,136 plate appearances. But, at least he was only averaging $7 million per season during those three years.

    Though his average salary has doubled for the final three years of his deal, the first 1.7 of those seasons haven't resulted in any sort of increase in production. If anything, he's actually gotten worse.

    I wouldn't say he's been terrible, but he certainly doesn't deserve to be making $3 million more than Adam Jones and Chris Davis combined.

San Diego Padres

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    Most Likely to be Moved: Mark Kotsay ($1.3 million in 2013, free agent in 2014)

    He's batting around .200 this season and has been a detriment on defense every year since 2005, but perhaps someone grabs him for veteran leadership and/or injury insurance.

    Other Possibilities: Chase Headley ($8.75 million in 2013, slated for arbitration in 2014)

    If they move him, it probably wouldn't be until the offseason. There's at least a chance he could be involved in a blockbuster trade before the end of the season, though.

    I know they just traded for Mike Olt and have Christian Villanueva in the pipeline, but the Cubs would be one of the first five teams able to claim Headley if he were made availableand their third base situation this season hasn't been pretty.

    With Aramis Ramirez nearing retirement age, the Brewers could also be interested in Headley's services. Between Jimmy Nelson, Johnny Hedwig and Taylor Jungmann, they certainly have the pitching prospects to pique San Diego's interest.

    Contract They're Praying Someone Claims: Huston Street ($7 million in 2013, $7 million in 2014, $7 million club option in 2015)

    Not only did the Padres fail to sell high on their closer at last year's trade deadline, but they made the mistake of re-signing him to a two-year extension on July 29.

    At the time, they were 17 games under .500. Within two weeks, Street and his unsustainably low BABIP were on the disabled list for roughly the 57th time in his nine-year career.

    As things stand today, the third-most expensive member of the team is an oft-injured closer who hasn't saved 30 games in a season since 2009 and is currently sporting a career-worst home run rate.

Philadelphia Phillies

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    Most Likely to be Moved: Michael Young ($6 million in 2013, free agent in 2014)

    Aside from Jake Peavy, Young was probably the most talked about person at the non-waiver trade deadline last week.

    If Cody Asche is able to do anything at the big league level, Young will almost certainly be leaving towneither as a salary dump on someone trying to block him from going elsewhere or in a trade with Boston, New York or Texas.

    Other Possibilities: Delmon Young ($1.25 million in 2013, free agent in 2014)

    This Young has all of eight home runs this season, but it's his eight postseason home runs with the Tigers over the past two years that could have other teams calling about him.

    His beyond sub-par defense and mediocre batting average should keep any non-playoff teams from wasting the time and effort to claim him.

    Contract They're Praying Someone Claims: Jonathan Papelbon ($13 million annually 2013-15, $13 million vested option in 2016)

    In each of his seven seasons with the Red Sox, he was pitching for a team that finished at least 10 games above .500. Since arriving in Philadelphia at the start of last season, his team has a record 10 games below .500.

    As such, you can almost appreciate his comments about the team failing to meet his expectations.

    Though, to be fair, if he had closed out all 26 of his save opportunities instead of blowing six of them, the team would be above .500 and at least marginally still in contention for the second wild card.

    Safe to say he isn't meeting Philadelphia's expectations either.

Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Most Likely to be Moved: None

    Other Possibilities: None

    Contract They're Praying Someone Claims: None

    Aside from perhaps Jose Tabata, I can't find a single contract that Pirates would want or need to moveand he doesn't even turn 25 until next week, so they're probably expecting a fair amount of improvement in his near future.

    For all of the hideous contracts we've encountered up this point, it's downright amazing that the Pirates have Pedro Alvarez locked up through next season at $700,000 per year and have Andrew McCutchen through the end of 2017 for an average salary of $10 million.

    Wandy Rodriguez ($8 million in 2013, $7.5 million player option in 2014) is easily their ugliest contract, but they can't even hope to do anything about that while he remains on the disabled list.

    They might be in play for a right fielder or shortstop from another team via waivers, but it doesn't seem likely that they'll be looking to move anyone for the sake of moving them.

Texas Rangers

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    Most Likely to be Moved: Colby Lewis ($2 million in 2013, free agent in 2014)

    It's now been more than a full year since we last saw Lewis in the majors, but he's on the way back.

    Unfortunately, as noted by Evan Grant, there's no room for him in Texas. Even if they booted Martin Perez from the rotation, Matt Harrison should be returning from back surgery not long after Lewis is ready the join the rotation.

    In order to avoid tinkering with the rotation twice in a span of a couple weeks, they could just put Lewis on waivers the moment they activate him from the disabled list.

    Kind of harsh, but some tough decisions are bound to arise when you have five pitchers vying for two rotation spots over the next month.

    Other Possibilities: Neftali Feliz ($2.9 million in 2013, slated for arbitration in 2014)

    If not Lewis, they're going to have to move some starting pitcher. Alexi Ogando seems like an unlikely option because he's the cheapest and arguably the most effective of the group.

    From the sound of things, the Rangers intend to use Feliz as a reliever when he makes his comebackwhich might not be until September and would completely nullify this waiver move as an optionbut they already have Joe Nathan and Joakim Soria as their late-inning relievers.

    At that point, $2.9 million and whatever he figures to make in arbitration might be too much to commit to a middle reliever.

    Contract They're Praying Someone Claims: None

    Though I think they'll eventually regret the decision to sign Elvis Andrus to a $120 million extension, nothing else stands out as a potentially dreadful contract.

Tampa Bay Rays

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    Most Likely to be Moved: Roberto Hernandez ($3.25 million in 2013, free agent in 2014)

    It certainly wouldn't make sense for them to move him right now, but once Alex Cobb and Matt Moore are back to full health, Hernandez would be the odd man out.

    Cobb, Moore, David Price and Chris Archer would be the preferred four-man rotation for the playoffs, with either Hernandez or Jeremy Hellickson as the fifth man until October.

    Of the two, Hellickson is much younger and much more worthy of considering re-signing, so why not commit to him now and let Hernandez walk?

    Factor in Alex Colome, Jake Odorizzi and Taylor Guerrieri as potential members of the starting rotation as early as next season, and there's really no chance of Hernandez coming back in 2014.

    Considering his ERA has just barely been better than 5.00 in 2013, it would certainly be odd if he was still starting games in Tampa Bay in September.

    Other Possibilities: Luke Scott ($2.75 million in 2013, free agent in 2014)

    The Rays have six active outfielders and one designated hitter on their roster, and Scott is the most expensive of them all.

    Kelly Johnson is arguably a better batter than Scott and is certainly more flexible as a fielder.

    They should move Scott if it gives them an opportunity to add another right-handed reliever in case Jesse Crain doesn't pan out this season.

    Contract They're Praying Someone Claims: None

    Not only do the Rays not have any terrible contracts, but they have Moore signed through 2019 and Evan Longoria signed through 2022 at prices that certainly seem like bargains at the moment.

    Unfortunately, they only have three players signed through 2014 (and two club options), so it should be an interesting offseason dealing with eight arbitration hearings and plenty of free agent negotiations.

Boston Red Sox

23 of 30

    Most Likely to be Moved: Johnny Gomes ($5 million in 2013, $5 million in 2014)

    Not sure he's actually the most likely to get moved, but he's certainly the most likely to be placed on waivers.

    At best, Gomes is a platoon player, but his splits this season don't even make sense. He's batting .260 vs. righties and .206 vs. lefties, even though he's a right-handed batter. And if the Red Sox are going to commit to an outfielder who only really excels against right-handers, it should be Mike Carp.

    Neither guy has an everyday job behind Jacoby Ellsbury, Daniel Nava and Shane Victorinoand it's not as if a spot will be opening up anytime soon with Jackie Bradley Jr. and Bryce Brentz likely to fill any upcoming vacancies.

    $5 million for a platoon-level outfielder is a lot of money for someone other than Boston to pay, though.

    Other Possibilities: Franklin Morales ($1.4875 million in 2013, slated for arbitration in 2014)

    They already have Craig Breslow signed through 2015, Matt Thornton has a club option for 2014 and they're not just going to let Andrew Miller walk away. It would seem they're all set on left-handed relievers in the bullpen.

    Clay Buchholz, Ryan Dempster, Jake Peavy and John Lackey are all signed at least through 2014, while Jon Lester has a club option for 2014 and Felix Doubront might actually be the best pitcher of them allmeaning they'll certainly re-sign him this offseason if at all possible. No dice in the starting rotation for Morales, either.

    If any team is looking to add a fifth starter or long-relief left-hander, he'll probably be available.

    Contract They're Praying Someone ClaimsDavid Ross ($3.1 million in 2013, $3.1 million in 2014)

    $3.1 million is a ton of money to commit to a backup catcher that you don't even need.

    Ross has been on the shelf with a concussion since mid-June, but should be going on a rehab assignment soon.

    His first two months of the season were far from fruitful. Through 75 plate appearances, he was batting just .185 and struck out 28 times.

    At 36 years old, he's a grizzled veteran compared to most catchers. Only A.J. Pierzysnki matches or exceeds him in age while bringing much of anything to the table for his ball club.

Cincinnati Reds

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    Most Likely to be Moved: Xavier Paul ($505,000 in 2013)

    Paul has shown so much promise in the minors throughout his career, but it just hasn't ever seemed to translate into the majors.

    In five seasons in the Dodgers farm system, Paul was profiling as a potential .300 hitter who could hit 15 home runs and steal 25 bases per season. But in 316 career games, he's batting .256 with 11 homers and 23 steals.

    Even after Ryan Ludwick went on the disabled list on Opening Day, Paul was never really given the chance to lock down a full-time job.

    If the Reds make him available through waivers, some other team will look at his minor league numbers and decide he's worth a shot.

    Other Possibilities: Jack Hannahan ($1 million in 2013, $1 million in 2014, $4 million club option in 2015)

    At this stage in the game, Hannahan is little more than a full-time pinch hitter, but the Reds need to keep him around just in case Todd Frazier gets injured.

    It'd be one thing if the Reds had any third basemen in their farm system anywhere near ready to make the leap to the majors, but they don't.

    Contract They're Praying Someone Claims: Jonathan Broxton ($4 million in 2013, $7 million in 2014, $9 million in 2015, $9 million club option in 2016)

    Broxton is getting paid like a closer, but he's barely sufficing as a set-up man.

Colorado Rockies

25 of 30

    Most Likely to be Moved: Josh Outman ($675,000 in 2013, slated for arbitration in 2014)

    Outman is cheap, left-handed and has an xFIP of 3.14.

    If the Rockies made him available, he would be like a drop of blood in the water during shark week for a contender like Cincinnati that could desperately use another left-handed middle reliever.

    Other Possibilities: Yorvit Torrealba ($1 million in 2013, free agent in 2014)

    If the Rockies had another catcher in the farm system worthy of a September call up, this would be a no-brainer.

    Wilin Rosario is clearly the catcher of the future, while Torrealba's veteran leadership would be better utilized on a team that isn't 10 games below .500.

    He might get placed on waivers, though, since the difference between Torrealba and a free agent like Kelly Shoppach would be massive for a team like St. Louis that could use a catcher, and negligible for a team like Colorado that is really only playing for draft position.

    Contract They're Praying Someone Claims: Matt Belisle ($4.1 million in 2013, $4.25 mutual option in 2014)

    We've certainly encountered worse contracts to this point in the article, but the Rockies are paying more than $8 million to the combined forces of Belisle and Rafael Betancourt.

    Whether Betancourt is worth that kind of money is debatable, but $4.1 million for a set-up man is a bit extravagant. Tyler Clippard and David Robertson are each making more than $3 million this season, but at least they both have a sub-2.00 ERA and are averaging better than a strikeout per inning.

    Belisle's ERA is hovering north of 4.00, and he hasn't averaged better than a strikeout per inning during any season of his career.

Kansas City Royals

26 of 30

    Most Likely to be Moved: Miguel Tejada ($1.1 million in 2013, free agent in 2014)

    Tejada is batting .292 at the age of 39, but still can't get regular playing time behind Elliot Johnson or Mike Moustakas—neither of which are batting better than .231.

    If they aren't going to use him everyday, they might as well find out if anyone else is willing to pay for his services. Chris Getz should be back from the disabled list before the end of the month, while Christian Colon figures to be a September call up who could further fill the gap left by Tejada's departure.

    Other Possibilities: Ervin Santana ($13 million in 2013, free agent in 2014)

    They certainly wouldn't let him go today. The Royals enter play on Wednesday just 4.5 games behind Texas for the second AL wild card and 8.5 games behind Detroit in the AL Centraland both of those teams endured pretty big blows from Monday's Biogenesis suspensions.

    If they fall further out of contention between now and the end of the month, they should at least put Santana on waivers and see if they can get something for him before he leaves town via free agency.

    Contract They're Praying Someone Claims: Jeremy Guthrie ($5 million in 2013, $11 million in 2014, $9 million in 2015)

    Similar to Santana, they wouldn't waive Guthrie while still in contention for the playoffs, but if they lose some ground, it would be great to see if they could push the $20 million left on his contract over the next two seasons onto another team.

    Guthrie hasn't been terrible, but he also shouldn't be making as much money in 2014 as Clayton Kershaw is making in 2013.

    (Does anyone else find it weird that the three best starting pitchers in the Royals rotation are also the three pitchers who have given up the most home runs in the AL since the start of the 2007 season?)

Detroit Tigers

27 of 30

    Most Likely to be Moved: Ramon Santiago ($2.1 million in 2013, free agent in 2014)

    Omar Infante is on his way back from the disabled list, and no one needs three second basemen on their active roster.

    Infante is obviously the starter if healthy, and Hernan Perez is arguably the wave of the future. If they can dump Santiago's contract and .207 batting average and instead pick up a utility infielder to back up both Jose Iglesias and Miguel Cabrera for league minimum, it's at least worth exploring.

    Other Possibilities: Don Kelly ($900,000 in 2013, slated for arbitration in 2014)

    The Tigers have five outfielders, a full-time DH and Nick Castellanos as a top prospect in the outfield undoubtedly coming up during September call-ups.

    Kelly is averaging roughly one at-bat per game since the start of July, and that isn't going to improve any time soon. 

    Contract They're Praying Someone Claims: Victor Martinez ($13 million in 2013, $12 million in 2014)

    I took a lot of heat on Monday for arguing that the best way for Detroit to recover from the loss of Jhonny Peralta was to upgrade from Martinez at DH, but I stand by my claimespecially considering how much money Martinez is making until the end of the 2014.

    Sure, he's improved greatly since the All-Star Break, but is he really worth $25 million?

    There are only eight players who have made at least 50 appearances as designated hitters this season. Albert Pujols, Lance Berkman and Travis Hafner are all on the disabled list, and David Ortiz, Kendrys Morales and Billy Butler are all arguably better than Martinez.

    Martinez is probably better than Luke Scott in the DH hierarchy, but if the Tigers had that $25 million to invest elsewhere while putting Matt Tuiasosopo or Andy Dirks at DH, it wouldn't be the end of the world.

Minnesota Twins

28 of 30

    Most Likely to be Moved: Justin Morneau ($15 million in 2013, free agent in 2014)

    Trade rumors were swirling about Morneau last week, but he ended up staying put in Minnesotaperhaps because he batted just .175 in the month of July.

    If they wanted to re-sign Morneau to a 12th season with the Twins, sending him to a contender in a waiver trade wouldn't figure to have any negative impact on those offseason negotiations. It would give Morneau a chance to actually win a playoff series in his career and could give the Twins a fair amount of salary relief.

    The Orioles decided to dedicate the non-waiver trade deadline to upgrading their pitching staff, but they might still be in the market for Morneau's services dependent upon how Henry Urrutia hits the ball over the next three weeks.

    Other Possibilities: Mike Pelfrey ($4 million in 2013, free agent in 2014)

    After a simply dreadful start the to the season, Pelfrey has actually been a serviceable pitcher over the past two months. Since June 12, he has a 3.29 ERA over a span of eight starts.

    Considering his career ERA and xFIP in the vicinity of 4.50, it might not be a bad idea for the Twins to try to sell high on Pelfrey.

    Contract They're Praying Someone Claims: None 

    Unless you think the $23 million they're paying Joe Mauer annually through 2018 is too much, the Twins don't have anything resembling an ugly contract.

    If a team offers something in addition to salary relief for Josh Willingham ($7 million annually 2013-14), they would probably listen, though. 

    I'm not saying they're desperate to get rid of one of their best power hitters, but it might be good to improve their future and spend less money while opening up some room for their plethora of young outfielders to get everyday playing time.

Chicago White Sox

29 of 30

    Most Likely to be Moved: None

    Unless they plan on letting Gordon Beckham ($2.925 million) or Alejandro De Aza ($2.075 million) go in advance of their arbitration hearings, the White Sox don't have contracts that another team would accept. But, they sure do have a lot of contracts they'd love to renegotiate.

    Contract They're Praying Someone Claims: John Danks ($15.75 million annually 2013-16)

    Other Contract They're Praying Someone Claims: Jeff Keppinger ($3.5 million in 2013, $4 million in 2014, $4.5 million in 2015)

    Third Contract They're Praying Someone Claims: Adam Dunn ($15 million in 2013, $15 million in 2014)

    They Promoted Their GM To Executive Vice President Last October?Alexei Ramirez ($7 million in 2013, $9.5 million in 2014, $10 million in 2015, $10 million club option in 2016)

    The White Sox have six players signed to multi-year deals (excluding Matt Lindstrom's $4 million club option for next season), and Chris Sale is the only one that isn't an albatross.

    Unless someone comes to their rescue, they'll be paying $44.25 million to Danks, Dunn, Keppinger and Ramirez next season. That's an awful lot of money to commit to a combined 0.7 WAR thus far in 2013.

New York Yankees

30 of 30

    Most Likely to be Moved: Jayson Nix ($900,000 in 2013, slated for arbitration in 2014)

    Alex Rodriguez is appealing his suspension and both Derek Jeter and Luis Cruz should be back from the disabled list before the end of August.

    At that point in time, what use could they possibly have for the active player with the third-worst career batting average?

    Nix's $900,000 salary is 0.4 percent of the Yankees $228 million payroll, so it's hardly a cost-cutting measure. However, even with the 40-man rosters coming in September, a team only needs so many players on the left side of the infield.

    Other Possibilities: Eduardo Nunez ($533,300 in 2013)

    The rationale for getting rid of Nunez is almost identical to that for waiving Nix, though I would think that Nunez is the one they would rather retain.

    If nothing else, Nunez has been in the organization for eight years as opposed to the two years that they've been committed to Nix, but one of the two has to go.

    Contract They're Praying Someone Claims: Phil Hughes ($7.15 million in 2013, free agent in 2014)

    Aside from the dream scenario of getting out of the $119 million they owe Alex Rodriguez over the next four-plus years, I'd imagine the Yankees would love to get something in return for the eight years that they've put into wishing Hughes would amount to something.

    His best season came in 2009, when he struck out better than 10 batters per nine innings while spending the final four months of the season pitching out of the bullpen.

    As a starting pitcher, though, he hasn't panned out. Maybe he'll have better luck with his high fly ball rate in a more pitcher-friendly park, but it's hard to imagine him returning to Yankee Stadium for the bulk of his games for another season.