With Cliff Lee and Dan Haren off the market, here are my predictions for where the Top 20 big names will be suiting up after the July 31st MLB Trade Deadline. With it be with their current team of a new team.
We've been talking about Oswalt being traded for months now. It only makes since for him to be traded after all of the speculation and what Oswalt wants and doesn't want out of a trade and where he wants and doesn't want to go.
Interested Teams: Right now, the Phillies, Cardinals, Dodgers, and most recently the Rangers have been in on Oswalt.
Prediction: Oswalt will be dealt to Philadelphia. The Phillies have the prospects and money to get Oswalt. Although Oswalt would rather go to St. Louis, he has been adamant that his desire to play in St. Louis or his 2012 option of 16 million will get in the way of a trade. I see them acquiring Oswalt right before the deadline without having to trade Jayson Werth.
Right now, the hottest hitter on the trade market is Nationals first baseman Adam Dunn. GM Mike Rizzo would love to sign Dunn to a contract extension and keep Dunn. However, if no extension can be worked out, than Rizzo will be forced to trade Adam Dunn. And with only 4 days until the MLB Trade Deadline, Dunn will likely be moved.
Interested Teams: Right now, the only serious suitor for Dunn appears to be the Chicago White Sox. With the Yankees, Angels, and Rangers following.
Prediction: I think that Dunn to the White Sox will get done before the deadline. As I see it, this is the guy the White Sox have been looking for three years now: a left handed hitting power threat. A chance that GM Ken Williams will not pass up on.
The second best hitter on the market is Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder. Like Dunn, Fielder is a left handed hitting power threat. The Brewers are a team that are still wondering if they are buyers or sellers as they are only 8 games out of first place in the N.L Central. They currently are wondering whether to trade Fielder of outfielder Corey Hart come the July 31st deadline.
Interested Teams: Right now, the White Sox and the Giants are the only serious suitors for Fielder.
Prediction: I see the Brewers holding onto Fielder for at least the rest of the season. They would love to keep the "one-two punch" of Fielder and outfielder Ryan Braun together for a little while longer. I'm not ruling out Fielder being traded in the offseason.
Phillies outfielder Jayson Werth has also been involved in trade rumors this month. Werth is a power hitting outfielder that has played all of the outfield positions throughout his career. However, the Phillies would only deal Werth if they needed extra prospects to acquire a Roy Oswalt.
Interested Teams: Werth has drawn a strong interest as the Red Sox, Rays, Tigers, and Padres have all been in on Werth.
Prediction: At the end of the day, I just don't see a Werth trade happening and I see him staying in Philadelphia. If they were to trade Werth, they would bring up prospect Dominic Brown to fill in for him. However, with the recent injury to Shane Victorino, Brown may get called up to play for Victorino, not Werth. I think the Phillies would take a huge hit to their offense if they dealt Werth, who has been hot of late.
Another Brewer that has been involved in trade talk is outfielder Corey Hart. Hart has had a career year as he has already passed his career high for home runs which earned him his first All-Star selection. The Brewers are likely sellers and have talked with some teams about Hart. Hart, however is currently injured with a wrist problem, which has affected his trade value.
Interested teams: The Giants, Braves, Red Sox, and Rays have all been connected to Corey Hart.
Prediction: Because of his injury, Hart is likely to stay put in Milwaukee. It is very tough to trade a player when he gets hurt as teams don't know whether to take a risk on that player. For Hart's trade value, the injury could not have come at a worse time as he has not played in the last four days. Even when he was healthy, I still didn't believe the Brewers would trade him.
With the Astros selling at the deadline, the club could choose to move first baseman Lance Berkman. Berkman has had an average season as he is hitting .245, 13 HR, and 49 RBIs. However, the market for Berkman has been pretty quiet over the last few days. With Roy Oswalt likely leaving Houston, Berkman may make it two franchise players leaving.
Interested teams: The Rays and Rangers have been the only suitors for Berkman. The Yankees have checked in though.
Prediction: I see one franchise player in Oswalt departing, but not two; Berkman stays. I believe that the Rays could very well have Berkman without giving a lot up. But, they are reluctant to part with their young talent, which makes a big deal unlikely for Tampa.
Another Cubbie that is on the block is first baseman Derrek Lee. For Lee, its been a frustrating season as he has only mustered a .248 AVG with 11 HR and 44 RBIs, not your typical D-Lee numbers. The Cubs are sellers and could move Lee and pitcher Ted Lilly. But like Lilly, Lee has a no-trade clause, making it tough for anyone to acquire him.
Interested teams: The Angels and Rangers have rumored to have "strong interest" in Lee as a first baseman.
Prediction: With Lee having a no-trade clause and already rejecting a trade to the Angels today, I see Lee staying in Chicago and finishing the season with the Cubs. Lee has a a daughter who requires a lot of medical attention, which could play a factor in him staying. He rejected a trade to a contender, he obviously wants to stay.
It has been a known fact for weeks that the Cubs will move pitcher Ted Lilly, the question is to what team. Lilly has been the Cubs most valuable trade chip as he has posted a 3.69 ERA. Even though the velocity is down on Lilly's fastball, he is still one of the best competitors in the games and could be a nice 3 or 4 starter for a contending club.
Interested Teams: Right now, the Dodgers, Mets, Twins, and Tigers have been considering Lilly as an option.
Prediction: I do believe Ted Lilly will get dealt, and the Los Angeles Dodgers will be the one to acquire him. The key factor in the Lilly market is his no-trade list which includes the Mets and Twins. The Cubs are also willing to take on some of Lilly's salary, which helps a team like L.A. with not much payroll flexibility. Lilly will provide a nice compliment to Chad Billingsley and Clayton Kershaw.
Another possible trade chip is the league leader in home runs, Jose Bautista. Bautista has had a surprisingly great season as he was selected to his first All-Star team as he has a major league leading 30 home runs. With the Blue Jays likely selling, Bautista could be on the move as he can play all outfield positions and also play some third base.
Interested Teams: The Market hasn't been strong for Bautista, and right now there are no known suitors, but a team like the Giants or Red Sox could appear and snag him at the deadline.
Prediction: The indication around the league is that Bautista is likely to stay, so I think he's staying in Toronto. The Blue Jays will likely trade all of their available relievers (Downs, Frasor, and Gregg), but will likely keep Bautista and try and sign him to an extension.
Another one-year deal deal guy that is having a good year is Astros pitcher Brett Myers. It has been a good season for Myers as he has managed to put up an 8-6 record with an ERA just north of 3. With the Astros likely selling, Myers could provide a club with a quality 2 3 or 4 starter.
Interested teams: From what I've heard, the Cardinals, Phillies, Mets, and Padres have all been interested in Myers.
Prediction: Despite drawing heavy interest, the Astros will likely keep Myers due to the fact Roy Oswalt will likely be traded. Astros have reportedly told other clubs that Myers is "untouchable".
Part two which contains names like Scott Downs, Jorge Cantu, and Adam LaRoche will be up shortly.