Robinson Cano and Jacoby Ellsbury head the list of MLB players who will become free agents after the 2013 season, but there's a good chance neither of them are going anywhere—not in August or in the offseason. The Yankees aren't letting go of their rock, and Boston's a contender.
Here are a few guys who are likely to clear waivers and help out teams pushing for a spot in the postseason.
Ah, the Michael Young saga continues. The dirt on him seems stale at this point, but he's a necessary mention.
It appeared to be a three-team race between the Yankees, Red Sox and Rangers for the third baseman at the end of July, although "race" may be too strong of a word seeing as negotiations were at a standstill (blame Ruben Amaro Jr.).
According to Wallace Matthews of ESPN.com, New York general manager Brian Cashman "ran into a brick wall when he spoke to" Amaro around the deadline.
Jay Jaffe of Sports Illustrated has this to say about that:
Evan Grant of Dallas News wrote July 30 that while Young's "first choice" is Texas, the Yankees and Red Sox both have a better shot. And considering what happened with the Yankees at the deadline (and that really, the Yankees aren't in it), it would be wise for Boston to pursue him.
The Red Sox got very lucky with the Peavy deal. Other than Jose Iglesias, they didn't have to part with anyone significant. That's not to say that the Phils would receive Xander Bogaerts or Jackie Bradley for Young, but someone like Bryce Brentz should catch the eye of Amaro.
The Phillies have zero outfield depth in their farm system, and Brentz, when healthy, has tons of power and would thrive in Citizens Bank Park.
The cellar-dwelling San Francisco Giants have done a complete 180 since their shining 2012, and so Pence may be on the move once again (no, this isn't a gag).
Pence is having one of his typical seasons. Somehow, with his unconventional approach, the right fielder is batting a respectable .277/.323/.452—just a hair below his career numbers. He'll give you production and, as an added bonus, great clubhouse vibes. He's making a steep $13.8 million this year, so look for him to end up with a big-market team.
Around the trade deadline, the Yankees, Reds, Pirates and Rangers were all looking at Pence, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
While it's true that Pence is keen on staying with the Giants and the team would like to re-sign him, the right deal could still have him packing.
The Nelson Cruz-Biogenesis speculation has finally been confirmed, so the Rangers should be frontrunners for the right fielder.
Jaffe wrote that "the Rangers have the organizational depth to make a deal, particularly when it comes to position prospects, an area where San Francisco is lacking."
Someone like shortstop Luis Sardinas could easily go over to San Fran, seeing as fellow Rangers Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar are both quite young and quite talented.
Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times wrote that of all players that the Mariners would consider trading, Michael Morse would be first in line.
Morse is valuable not only because he's a solid bat (though streaky), but also because he can field several different positions or play designated hitter.
His line of .245/.300/.447 is less than impressive, but he's also hitting in Safeco, which never helps. He'd benefit by moving to a hitter's park—Yankee Stadium, for example.
The Yankees are desperate for bats. The prospect of trading with the Phillies was a good one but is proving to be unsuccessful, so if necessary New York will set its sights elsewhere. Morse has pop and could fill in at either first base or DH.
And Lyle Overbay isn't a guy you really want starting.