MLB Trade Rumors: Prince Fielder and 10 Stars Who Could Still Be Traded
Another front-line starter moved teams Sunday, adding fuel to the fire that will hit a full-on burn this week with the MLB trade deadline set for Saturday.
The Los Angeles Angels swooped in and stole Dan Haren out from under East Coast suitors like the Phillies and Yankees.
Now Haren, among the National League leaders in strikeouts even in the midst of a comparatively off year with the struggling Diamondbacks, will solidify an Angels staff trying to close a seven-game gap against the Texas Rangers.
The A.L. West has owned the headlines thus far when it comes to big trades, with Cliff Lee landing in Texas.
With another big name off the wish list, who are the most likely players to move over the next week, and where are they going?
Honorable Mention: Ty Wigginton
The Orioles All-Star is a commodity because of his versatility. He can play first, second, or third base and is strong in the outfield as well.
Wigginton has been in a world-class slide since the beginning of June, as his average has dropped from .282 to .249 and he has just three homers and 17 RBI in that stretch.
Still, Wigginton's low salary and his ability to play so many positions make him an asset.
The Rangers, Rockies, and Twins have all looked into Wigginton specifically for second base.
WHERE HE IS AUG. 1: The Rockies. The team really wants Dan Uggla, but will fall back to Wigginton.
10. Kevin Gregg
The reliever has taken over the closer role in Toronto and has already matched his 2009 save total with the Cubs (23) while lowering his ERA a full run (4.72 to 3.72).
Even better, he's lowered his ERA over the last month and looked dominant for a far-from-dominant team.
Gregg's ego is perhaps his biggest asset. He has the closer mentality, but has shown he has no problems being the set-up guy.
That has opened up his trade value significantly, with plenty of teams looking for the eighth-inning bridge guy.
WHERE HE'LL BE AUG. 1: The Tigers. They're in the hunt for Scott Downs, but lose out on him, so they turn to the guy who took his job. They need the guy to get to Jose Valverde and allow them to rest the prized closer with little falloff.
9. Matt Capps
He's already put together his third straight season with 20 saves or more and has been a pleasantly dominant closer for the Washington Nationals.
Capps has said he would love to stay put in Washington, but Drew Storen is the closer of the future.
Plus, Capps has almost been too good to stay in D.C. He's up for arbitration and is likely headed to a $6 million payday, more than Mike Rizzo wants to pay for a guy that had a 5.80 ERA in 2009.
WHERE HE'LL END UP AUG. 1: The Twins. Jon Rauch has been way more consistent in the closer role than anyone would have predicted, but if Minny is going to be October tough, they'll need a clean bridge to the ninth and a nice safety valve in case Rauch falters.
8. Jorge Cantu
It's still hard to believe that this guy fell off a cliff in 2007 and was likely headed to the Northern League.
Cantu has been such a dependable bat with Florida over the last three years that there is talk the Marlins may even want to keep him as a building block.
He's the NL Ty Wigginton right now. He has plenty of versatility around the diamond, but he's been in an even worse slump in July with just four RBI and zero dingers. His average has gone from .289 in mid-June to its current .260.
WHERE HE LANDS AUG. 1: The Rangers. They apparently still have the credit line to take on salary and Cantu is just the right fit. He began his career in the American League, so there will be no league-switching anxiety.
7. Joakim Soria
The Royals had a big-time trade chip in David DeJesus until he busted up his wrist banging into the outfield wall. He was likely to land the team some solid prospects but is now likely staying put in a cast.
The attention has turned to their marquee reliever over the last week as teams get more and more desperate for proven back-end arms.
Soria was seen as unavailable, but the Royals are sending out different messages now to the contenders.
He has been as dominant as ever, saving all 27 Royals victories (we jest) with a 2.25 ERA and 1.20 WHIP.
WHERE HE'LL LAND AUG. 1: The Yankees. They're the one team that isn't going to be afraid to pay a set-up guy that can be the heir apparent to Mariano Rivera. Plus, they've hinted that they're willing to give up a blue-chip prospect like Jesus Montero to make the deal happen.
6. Aramis Ramirez
Ted Lilly has been the one Cubs player that everyone has talked about for a trade, but could Chicago be willing to move its starting third baseman?
He's been plagued with injury problems but is showing he's 100 percent healthy with a .361 July thus far with nine homers.
Ramirez won't come cheap, literally. He's still owed $7 million this year and $14.6 million next season on a player option he will likely pick up.
The Giants, Blue Jays, and Orioles could all use a corner man that could play first or third. He's a young 32 and a piece teams can clearly build around.
WHERE HE'LL LAND AUG. 1: The Cubs. The team is going to write off 2010 as a disaster and keep Ramirez in place with Starlin Castro for a revitalized 2011. Though there is a shot that Ramirez could be a rental, opting out of his deal at the end of the year to return to Chicago in a long-term deal. Still unlikely that he'd risk getting less than his option money for next year.
5. Dan Uggla
The Marlins second baseman has become one of the best slugging infielders in the game over the last four years, though he's still yet to break the 100 RBI mark.
His salary will go up once again next year, likely headed to the $10 million mark in arbitration.
That's money we're not used to seeing Florida pay on a consistent basis, but with a new ballpark coming, the team has of late said its more inclined to keep Uggla in town.
WHERE HE'LL LAND AUG. 1: The Twins. That's posturing for more prospects. The Red Sox want him but his whining about moving away from second base makes him unlikely in Boston (he'd be great in left field). The Rockies and Giants need his bat as well, but the fall of Orlando Hudson makes Uggla a necessity for the short term and long term.
4. Jayson Werth
The Phillies' weekend surge has fans of the Fightins thinking they just might still be a player in the division race.
Even if the division is out of reach, the Wild Card is still wide open. That will likely make the Phillies a buyer for an arm and a seller with Werth as a nice chip to deal.
Werth wants a big-time deal that the Phils are not excited to pay with prospect Domonic Brown just waiting for a roster spot.
His bat is going to look more and more attractive as the week moves on, with so many contenders one bat short of a solid lineup.
WHERE HE'LL LAND ON AUG. 1: The Red Sox. This is a big week for Boston, as it decides if it has enough weapons to be a wild-card contender. A middle-of-the-lineup masher is the one thing the Sox truly lack right now. Plus, they have the salary flexibility to keep him away from the Rays and Tigers, who are also in hot pursuit.
3. Adam Dunn
The Nationals boomer wants the world to know that for once he'd love to stay put in D.C. and be part of the excitement building with Stephen Strasburg and the Nats.
There's just too many reasons to deal him at this point. He can land the Nats a stud prospect in return for saving salary. It's just too much of a no-brainer to turn away from.
The problem is, according to ESPN and others, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo is acting like Dunn is Ryan Howard. He certainly has the power and has shown an ever-improving eye at the plate. But at 30, teams are not seeing it.
But with so much competition in the AL Central, he's going to be the prize that puts a team over the top.
WHERE HE'LL LAND ON AUG. 1: The Tigers. Losing Magglio Ordonez for six to eight weeks put Dunn at the top of the list. The White Sox seem hesitant to part with the prospects that Washington wants, leaving Detroit in the driver's seat.
2. Roy Oswalt
The Astros ace had a horrible outing Sunday, but at this point his 2010 numbers are almost a second thought. Teams looking at him see his skills and salivate. They're writing off the stats to disinterest.
Oswalt is garnering more and more attention as the other aces fall off the market. At the same time, teams like the Yankees and Dodgers are piecing together rotations at this point, so they're aching for a top-notch guy to eat innings and build confidence in the team's postseason hopes.
Whoever takes Oswalt is going to have to pick up his 2012 option. It's a high-stakes game of "Who's Willing to Part With Prospects" at this point in the process.
WHERE HE'LL LAND ON AUG. 1: The Phillies. The team isn't going to make the same mistake it made in dealing Lee. It has the prospects to burn and are in love with Oswalt's makeup. I'm still surprised the Yankees are reportedly backing out of the talks. They simply might not have the farmhands to compete. One team that does: the Twins. I just don't think they're willing to pay Oswalt's salary.
1. Prince Fielder
Five days ago, I felt like Fielder was staying put because his price would be too high and teams would shy away from his future asking price.
Now, with Magglio Ordonez going down, the mere movement by Detroit is forcing Chicago to go punch for punch. I think it has enough bats, but GM Ken Williams doesn't quite feel the same (and he's actually getting paid to know these things).
Williams is working on Dunn, but the Nats are not wowed by the offer. So he'll turn to Fielder, where the Brewers are looking for high-quality pitching prospects.
The likely problem: The Brew Crew view Daniel Gibson more as a No. 3 or 4 starter, not good enough to land their big bat.
WHERE HE'LL LAND ON AUG. 1: Milwaukee. How's that for teasing you? I still don't see a team making a good enough offer to make a deal happen.