MLB Trade Rumors: 10 Teams That Will Make a Big Splash at the Deadline
The boys of summer are taking their annual break in sunny southern California—Anaheim to be exact.
They'll laugh with other big league players they don't often get the chance to converse with. They'll have their laughs, their deep conversations, and ability to forget about the chase for the playoffs, if only for a few days.
Those that aren't taking part in the festivities in Anaheim get a much needed break to lick their wounds and heal-up from injuries that kept them from performing to their highest abilities.
What the All-Star break also signifies is a two-week point before baseball's trading deadline.
A big name has already moved to a new home and several others are yet to make a move. There are teams that need to make a splash to stay in the race, and others that need to free-up salaries and rebuild for another race.
Here are 10 teams that will be making big moves before the trade deadline.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
The Los Angeles Angels watched as the Texas Rangers slipped under the radar and nab left-hander Cliff Lee from the grasp of the New York Yankees.
Now, you'd almost have to believe the Angels will have to respond, unless they think they're good enough where they are. But I doubt they have that thought.
The Angels are going to make a move before the deadline because they're not willing to let the Rangers have the "big deal" spotlight.
The Angels need a first baseman and it's going to come down to Prince Fielder or Derrek Lee with the team deciding on Fielder.
The Angels will also look for another pitcher to compliment team ace Jered Weaver. That guy could very well be Astros' right-hander Roy Oswalt.
San Francisco Giants
The Giants have their eye on one guy at the moment, and that's Brewers outfielder Corey Hart.
Though the two teams aren't close to a deal, the two sides were rumored to have met during Milwaukee's last visit to the Bay Area.
If they can't land Hart, there will be a host of other outfielders on their list. Seattle's Milton Bradley could be one, as could Tampa's B.J. Upton.
Another name to mention could be Arizona shortstop Stephen Drew, but it'll take giving up Jonathan Sanchez to get that kind of a deal done. So that's not likely.
Texas has made the biggest splash of the trading period so far by stealing Seattle left-hander Cliff Lee right out from under the New York Yankees.
While it might seem that they should be, by all rights, done dealing, I wouldn't be so quick to assume that.
According to Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com, the Rangers are apparently very interested in Cubs outfielder Xavier Nady.
Tampa Bay Rays
Tampa Bay Rays are still very much in the AL East hunt, but recently they've seemed more like sellers than buyers according to a lot of what's been written.
The team was active in the hunt for Cliff Lee before he went to Texas and could very well be in the hunt for Houston right-hander Roy Oswalt.
As far as the pieces they are willing to include in any deal before the deadline, names like B.J. Upton as well as pitcher Matt Garza are players the Rays are willing to part with.
While the Rays could look for pitching, they could also be in the hunt for Nationals first baseman Adam Dunn.
Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox have been suffering most of the season, with players dropping like flies.
Mike Cameron, Jacoby Ellsbury, and J.D. Drew were all bitten by the injury bug, and it will leave Boston looking for an outfielder or two at the deadline.
They could look to Kansas City for two of them, as the Royals could make both David DeJesus and Jose Guillen available.
Another guy the Sox could go after is Toronto reliever Scott Downs, according to WEEI's Rob Bradford.
The Cincinnati Reds were said to be one of the major players for Cliff Lee, but there was no indication just how close they came to landing him.
So, with Lee off the table, the Reds will still look for another starter, and could look at guys like Jake Westbrook, Ted Lilly, or even Ben Sheets. They'll also be getting Edison Volquez, Aaron Harang, and Homer Bailey back from the disabled list, so it's like making a trade, right?
New York Mets
The New York Mets, for a time, were said to be hot and heavy after Cliff Lee. That was, until Seattle asked for Ike Davis—then all bets were off.
Now, rumor has it the Mets won't go after guys like Roy Oswalt, but instead will turn their attention to current Cubs' left-hander Ted Lilly.
He makes sense for the Mets because he'd only cost them the remaining $5.5 million left on his contract. Another pitcher that could catch the Mets' interested is Indians right-hander Jake Westbrook.
FoxSports' Ken Rosenthal notes that the Mets have had interest in Octavio Dotel in the past. I don't see them going after him this time around unless they can't pry Lilly or Westbrook away from their respective teams.
The Atlanta Braves may make a splash in the trade pool, but it won't exactly be a cannon ball.
The recent talks have the Braves interested in Marlins outfielder Cody Ross, along with Milwaukee's Corey Hart, Washington's Josh Willingham, and Toronto's Jose Bautista, according to FoxSports' Jon Paul Morosi.
Ross seems to be the more logical choice for the Braves, especially with Hart flirting with the San Francisco Giants at this point and Bautista hitting below .240 at the All-Star break.
Chicago White Sox
After losing right-hander Jake Peavy to a season-ending injury, the Chicago White Sox will not become players in the arms race at the trade deadline.
One player they've already been linked to is current Houston right-hander Roy Oswalt. While Oswalt is a close friend of Peavy's, Oswalt has already been quoted as saying that he does not want to be traded to two different teams, one of those being the White Sox, the other being Detroit.
So, with that being said, the White Sox can either try to talk Oswalt into backing off those words or look at other avenues. They may look at Arizona's Dan Haren, Baltimore's Jeremy Guthrie, Oakland's Ben Sheets, or even Cincinnati's Bronson Arroyo.
While they look for pitchers, another player that they have been hot and heavy over is Nationals first baseman Adam Dunn.
While Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo continues to say that they are not going to trade Adam Dunn, according to Joe Crowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, the two sides had already exchanged names on a deal at the end of June.
However, that report was refuted by Rizzo himself, saying he hasn't spoke with White Sox general manager Ken Williams.
San Diego Padres
The San Diego Padres are arguably the most surprising team in baseball right now, and for no other reason than they're doing something no one expected they would be doing: Holding the lead in the NL West at the All-Star break.
That being said, general manager Jed Hoyer has already made it known that the team has the flexibility to take on payroll at the deadline and is looking for not only a starting pitcher to add to the rotation, but another outfielder as well.
Names that have been kicked around range from Baltimore's Jeremy Guthrie, Cleveland's Jake Westbrook, and Arizona's Edwin Jackson, just to name a few. Even Cliff Lee was on the team's radar screen for a while, according to FoxSports' Ken Rosenthal.
As far as outfielders are concerned, you can thrown a few names into the mix.
You can talk about names like Florida's Cody Ross, Milwaukee's Corey Hart, Chicago's Xavier Nady, Kansas City's David DeJesus and Jose Guillen, and I heard from a source in San Diego about a month ago that the team may "kick the tires" on bringing Milton Bradley back.
While Jed Hoyer and company have kept their cards close to their vest, we'll know in a few weeks which direction they're going to go.