With New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes unwilling to engage in contract talks until the season ends, speculation has been popping up about the potential for Reyes to be moved prior to the trade deadline.
Should the Mets be offered a suitable exchange for the MVP candidate (batting .354), Reyes will likely look to demand a contract that eclipses $100 million, regardless of where he lands.
As is customary with America's pastime, Reyes will undoubtedly end up landing in one of the few locations that can logically afford him.
Though Reyes would be an excellent acquisition for a weaker team looking to turn things around, he is simply too expensive to end up anywhere but with one of the following teams.
There are few clubs in baseball that would have been willing to offer Jeter a three-year, $51 million contract at age 36.
Alright, maybe there isn't a club willing to use such extensive funds on rapidly declining talent. But the Yankees owed it to him, right?
Regardless, it's not like appeasing the fan base by re-signing Jeter came with some devastating financial hit. The Yankees are one of only a couple teams that don't have to weigh decisions based on dollar value.
Naturally, that is why we are talking about them.
Sure, acquiring Reyes would greatly displease Jeter and some of his teammates, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't be the right move.
Jeter has lost speed in pretty much every aspect, with a slower bat to blame for what is currently a career-low .256 average.
Jeter's clock may be ticking faster than the Yankees might have predicted (I think they simply chose to ignore it), and, with Reyes still a ripe 28, baseball's batting leader clearly has a great deal left in the tank.
Given the opportunity, the Yankees wouldn't hesitate to give Reyes one of the fatter contracts in the league (especially if they could lose Jeter in the process), but it's hard to imagine that the Mets would be willing to deal their superstar to their crosstown nemesis.
Speaking of nemeses.
The Philadelphia Phillies have been laying waste in the NL East for years now. At 53-32, this season is looking no different.
The Phillies are also dealing with a Jeter-like situation.
Going into this season, it was widely believed that shortstop Jimmy Rollins' best years were behind him.
Despite being adamant about proving naysayers wrong, Rollins is averaging just .253, while posting more than a strikeout per game.
Although Philly has the best rotation in baseball, they are in the bottom half of the league for batting average-leaving their lineup as a source of skepticism.
Reyes would be the perfect fit for a team that knows how to utilize speed to the best of its ability.
The Phillies have shown no qualms in regards to shelling out cash, and the opportunity to lock down Reyes for the foreseeable future would be something to jump on.
Naturally, the Phillies would need to provide a juicy offering to get the Mets to give up their marquee player to their chief rival (even if it is the final year of his contract).
Categorize this one under financially possible but less than likely.
You didn't think we were gonna pass by the Boston Red Sox, did you?
Even though the reasons for replacing Jeter or Rollins with Reyes are sensible, both remain experienced players that are more than capable of the rising up to the challenge come postseason.
With Jed Lowrie and Marco Scutaro, the Red Sox have yet to find a shortstop that brings the kind of offensive reliability that would fill out an already stout lineup.
The Sox have been flipping between Lowrie and Scutaro for quite some time now, and while both have proven somewhat viable, acquiring Reyes would push Boston up to being the team to beat.
While New York and Philadelphia would be two of the most devastating destinations for a Mets fan already dealing with the loss of their perennial All-Star, Boston could end up providing the type of playoff performance to soothe sorrow after another year of mediocrity.
While Red Sox fans sit and drool at the thought of having the second and third best base stealers in the league on their team, I'll move on.
What's interesting about the LA Angels is that they have the talent(with Howie Kendrick, Maicer Izturis and Erick Aybar) to move the infield around.
The Angels could choose to include any one of these players in a trade for Reyes, while likely having the skills to fill in any leftover holes.
You'll notice that I am basically moving down the list of top MLB salaries by team, but that is the situation in baseball. Not many teams have the resources to belt out a $100 million-plus contract like it's no thing(while losing some building blocks, of course).
The Angels haven't been as strong as they usually are this year, and acquiring Reyes would make LA's lineup look suddenly lethal.
This is another lineup that would greatly benefit from the scrappy mentality instilled by head coach Mike Scioscia.
Given the fact that the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Twins, and LA Dodgers are all gasping for air in their current situations, we are going to move away from from the downward financial trend of Reyes suitors.
There can't be many teams in the history of the league that have had the kind of success with an abysmal offense than what the San Francisco Giants have managed to do in recent years.
Currently 10 games over .500, the Giants have the sixth-worst batting average in the league. Thanks to solid rotation, they have been able to overcome it.
But can the Giants pull the kind of the run that they did last year with this lineup? It's difficult to imagine.
Only one players is batting over .300 for San Francisco (Pablo Sandoval), and nobody on the team has reached double-digits in home-runs.
With .216 Brandon Crawford currently holding it down at shortstop, it's hard to think of a team with a greater necessity for talent in the lineup, let alone the position.
The Giants have the pitching pieces to be more than relevant come postseason, but making the commitment to add some offense to the lineup would probably be a wise choice.
If San Francisco has the treats to please the Mets, this would be the kind of spot to make an intelligent financial sacrifice.
In mentioning the flaws in young Brandon Crawford's game, I almost forgot Ramon Santiago.
Batting .212, Santiago is one of a few hiccups in the Detroit Tigers lineup that are worth addressing as we approach the deadline.
The Tigers have spent the last couple years compiling a lineup with a somewhat strong middle, but one that is far from solid throughout.
With the acquisition of Victor Martinez, the Tigers a big bat to back up Miguel Cabrera, but the lack of production from players like Santiago and Ryan Raburn remains a major cause for concern.
If the Tigers could swing Reyes, they would quickly become one of the strongest lineups in the AL.
Still, the Tigers have several problems that could use addressing in regards to the rotation, and according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com, the Tigers have not been actively pursuing Reyes.
One more big bat could push the Tigers over the top offensively, but with such a heavy price tag, Tigers fans might have to keep dreaming.