As we inch closer and closer to Major League Baseball's trade deadline at the end of July, the rumors will start flying fast and furious.
There have already been a few rumors shot down in the last few weeks, including one that was about to send an ace to a team that wouldn't have any way of picking up his remaining salary because of their financial trouble.
Why some of these rumors get started is beyond me, but that's what makes baseball, and the trade deadline, fun. We can talk about players, possible moves that our teams should or shouldn't make, and how those potential trades could affect said team in the playoff race.
So who are the hot names making the rounds on the rumor sheets right now?
I'm glad you asked, let's get to it.
For those of you that have been keeping up on the rumor sheets, you know about the rumored deal that I teased on the opening slide.
Yesterday afternoon, an NBC source said a deal was in place between the Astros and Rangers to send Oswalt to Texas.
About a half hour later, ESPN's Buster Olney shot down the rumor and for good reason. With the Rangers' former owner Tom Hicks filing for bankruptcy, how would they ever pick up the $27M still owed to Oswalt?
That will show how there was never anything to this deal. But, that being said, he's still going to be a hot commodity for teams looking for pitching.
The Dodgers are also interested, but are not thrilled at this point at picking up the rest of Oswalt's contract.
The Chicago White Sox have been on the rumor sheets for at least the last month and a half.
According to several reports, the Sox could start trading off pieces beginning with first baseman Paul Konerko.
The Angels are in need of a first baseman after the freak injury suffered by Kendry Morales after breaking his leg celebrating his walk-off home run a few weeks ago.
Konerko makes sense for the Angels, so I'm not sure what the hold up is with getting a deal done.
Cliff Lee could be traded for the third time in less than a year if Seattle decides that they want to move him.
The Yankees and Red Sox, of course, have been rumored to be interested in Lee, but the Yankees have denied actually having any interest in the left-hander. Though, it may not stop them from making a deal before the deadline.
Another team that may get involved is the Los Angeles Dodgers, but they may not be willing to trade away what Seattle will require to make the deal. The Mets have also had discussions with the Mariners about Lee.
Carlos Lee might be another name that will make the rounds around the rumor sheets as the trade deadline gets closer.
Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle reported that the Astros may wait until the last minute to "blow up the roster."
If they do decide to do just that, teams could be calling about Lee's availability, especially those looking for a power hitting outfielder.
The Chicago Cubs might be looking for teams interested in a guy that they got into a bidding war over a few years ago.
Apparently becoming the highest bidder for Kosuke Fukudome hasn't turned out the way the Cubs had hoped and now they're looking to deal the outfielder.
The other team that was definitely interested in Fukudome at the time was the San Diego Padres.
There's no question San Diego would consider him especially knowing that they need another bat in the lineup, but Chicago is going to be looking for pitching—something general manager Jed Hoyer is reluctant to give up.
What will hold up any deal for the Cubs outfielder is his no-trade clause.
Indians right-hander Fausto Carmona could be an interesting name that might make its way around the rumor sheets as the next month and a half goes on.
His contract, not to mention his age (27), is not going to be a sticking point to any team that is interested in him.
He could be an attractive option for teams looking for pitching.
Derrek Lee is also a guy that teams could be interested in, especially the Angels, who are in need of a first baseman right now. But with Lee having a no-trade clause in his contract, it could hinder a deal being made.
Though Lee has not approached the Cubs and waived his no-trade clause, most think that he might if the right team comes calling.
Heath Bell, Mike Adams, Luke Gregerson, Ryan Webb, Joe Thatcher, and Edward Mujica.
The aforementioned list of players are all going to be asked about by other teams come the trade deadline.
The Padres need another bat in their lineup and the only way they're going to get that is if they give up pitching in return—something Padres general manager Jed Hoyer is reluctant to do.
However, regardless of what the Padres need, teams are going to be calling for the availability of each of their relievers.
David DeJesus could be an interesting name that could be thrown around in the next few weeks.
According to ESPN's Buster Olney, the Padres, Giants, Angels, and Reds could be interested teams if the Royals make him available.
The Rangers had a deal in place during the offseason last year that was going to send Mike Lowell to Texas, but the deal fell apart.
They are still known to be interested in him and the Red Sox would be all too happy to send him south. But with the financial problems being unsolved to this point, it's hard for the Rangers to do anything until the process is completed.