The 2010 trade deadline is almost around the corner.
On July 31, 2010, teams will become buyers or sellers, contenders or pretenders.
Some teams will be gearing up to put themselves in a position for a run at a World Series championship, while others will begin their rebuilding process and look towards the future.
Will the elite pitchers that have been headlining the trade rumors find new homes? Will a surprising team step up and put themselves in a position to acquire a slugger to bolster a struggling offense?
These questions will soon be answered, but first, I present "MLB Trade Rumors: Five Bold Predictions For The 2010 Trade Deadline."
We'll find out soon enough if I'm right.
Despite multiple rumors that Roy Oswalt already has one foot out the door in Houston, the three-time All-Star isn't going anywhere.
Led by the New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Cincinnati Reds, and possibly the St. Louis Cardinals, there are plenty of teams that can use the services of Oswalt to make a run deep into October.
Teams dealing for Oswalt will have to take on some of the remaining $7-8 million of his 2010 salary, $16 million of his 2011 salary, and at least the $2 million buyout of his 2012 option year.
Although Oswalt will not come cheap, he still has plenty left in the tank to perform at the elite pitching level that we've seen over his 10-year career.
Although Oswalt has come to the realization that while in Houston he will no longer pitch for a World Series contender, Houston is his home.
In 2005, Oswalt was four wins away from wining that elusive World Series ring, but his heart will force him to stay in the Lone Star State.
The trade deadline will come and go, and the city of Houston will rejoice, because at least for a few more months, Oswalt will remain in an Astros uniform.
As of June 23, 2010, the Seattle Mariners are trailing the Texas Rangers by 13 games in the AL West division.
All signs point towards the Mariners trading Lee by the deadline in order to get prospects in return for the former Cy Young Award winner, because when the 2010 season is over, Lee will demand a major contract when he becomes a Type-A free agent.
And, most likely, Lee will not be returning to the Mariners next season.
Currently, his 2010 salary is $9 million, which for a pitcher of Lee's quality, is an extremely reasonable contract.
Any team that acquires Lee would be acquiring a lefty that is still at the top of his game, but Lee and the Mariners will not be parting ways by the trade deadline.
They have won five games in a row, and although they rank 11th in the majors in ERA (3.92), and 27th overall in strikeouts (433), the combination of Felix Hernandez and Lee are starting to form the lethal duo that everyone thought they'd be when the season began.
There's still plenty of time left for the Mariners to make up room in the division and the wild card. They certainly have the pitching to do it.
If the Mariners finish the season and pitcher Jason Vargas, who is 6-2 with a 2.66 ERA, leads the team in wins, the Mariners will not make the playoffs.
But my gut tells me that's not going to happen. Let's see how the next six weeks turn out, and don't be surprised if you see the Mariners move up a few spots in the division.
It's simply a matter of time until it happens.
The entire baseball world knows Carl Crawford will not be playing for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011.
The entire baseball world knows that the New York Yankees are going to sign Crawford in the offseason.
The entire baseball world knows Crawford will look great in pinstripes.
Before all of that happens, the Rays should at least acquire prospects for Crawford, before they lose him in the offseason, since they can ill-afford to sign him to the monster contract he's going to demand.
Makes sense to me.
How about you?
It's been a few years since Prince Fielder became the youngest player to hit 50 home runs in a season.
Now, the Milwaukee Brewers have a decision to make, since they're going to lose control of his contract at the end of the 2011 season.
Does Fielder stay or does he go?
Fielder will be demanding a major contract and the Brewers, being a small-market team, will be unable to sign the slugger to a long-term deal.
Therefore, the time is now to trade Fielder, but to whom?
It's no secret the Brewers will be demanding a package similar to what the Rangers received when they dealt Mark Teixeira in 2007. But many teams might be reluctant to acquire Fielder knowing how expensive it will be to sign him to a long-term deal, and knowing what it will take to acquire him in a deal before the trade deadline.
In my opinion, the Angels are the most obvious destination for Fielder, especially in the wake of Kendry Morales' broken leg, since they only need a first baseman until the end of the season.
A change of scenery will do wonders for Fielder, and he'll be joining a contender.
If I were Brewers GM Doug Melvin, a trade to send Fielder to Los Angeles should have been done already.
It's just a matter of time until Fielder is heading to the West Coast to finish the 2010 season, and when this happens, his season might even end with a World Series championship.
The Mets are in desperate need of a starting pitcher.
R.A Dickey is not this good, Mike Pelfrey will eventually come back to earth, and they will not acquire Jake Westbrook or Fausto Carmona from the Cleveland Indians. Nor anyone else.
They need help in the bullpen.
Nothing like having a closer that gives you a heart attack every time he's on the mound.
But Mets fans must realize this will be the team that takes the field after the trade deadline passes. This roster is certainly not good enough to make the playoffs, let alone win a World Series any time in the near future.
As the trade deadline comes and goes, Mets fans won't be happy GM Omar Minaya did nothing to improve an overachieving Mets team.
I don't blame them because I wouldn't be happy if I were a Mets fan either.
It could be worse. At least they have 1986.