There is virtually always more rumors than action surrounding Major League Baseball's trading deadline.
For every trade involving a big name like CC Sabathia or Roy Oswalt, there are dozens of deals that either involve players of little consequence, or never come to fruition at all.
The 2011 season will be no different. There has been so much rumored action involving marquee teams like the Mets, Red Sox and defending champion Giants, that the actual trades that will inevitably take place are sure to pale in comparison.
Here are five GM's for (potentially) contending teams that will wind up standing pat, working with what they have and not making impact moves at the deadline.
I'll admit—this one is a reach, as the Mets have been by far the most-talked about team in the trade market.
They are struggling financially, and would like to get rid of Francisco Rodriguez and his massive contract. They will likely be unable to retain free-agent-to-be Jose Reyes in the offseason, and would do themselves well to move him now, while he still has trade value.
Even franchise cornerstone and well-documented good guy David Wright has been mentioned as a trade chip.
However, the Mets have been far from pragmatic in recent years, and logic should play little role in attempting to predict their moves for the future.
Yes, they would love to move K-Rod, but who outside of the Yankees and Red Sox (who both already have stacked bullpens) would be willing to pay him the millions he will be owed next season?
And as much as people like to talk about New York trading Jose Reyes, there is only one salient point here: Reyes is far and away the Mets most popular player. His tremendous (pre-injury) 2011 season is one of the only things keeping the team competitive, and keeping the fans from full-on revolt in the stands.
Despite the team’s claims that Reyes won’t get “Carl Crawford money,” I honestly believe that they will pay him whatever it takes. He has proved his worth to the team, and it’s not like they haven’t handed out ridiculous contracts in the very recent past (see: Perez, Oliver).
As much as the Mets have been rumored to be sellers at the deadline, they are still hovering within striking distance of a wild card berth.
The Giants have been rumored to be interested in virtually every offensive player available. They lost offensive anchor Buster Posey to injury, and have gotten disappointing campaigns from expected contributors Aubrey Huff, Miguel Tejada, Pat Burrell and youngster Brandon Belt.
On paper, they seem like a team that is guaranteed to deal at the trade deadline.
But Brian Sabean won’t bite, and here’s why:
He doesn’t need to.
The Giants won the World Series on the backs of their pitching staff. It would be stupid to give up any piece of their pitching puzzle for offensive help, but beyond that, it is unnecessary.
This season there has been much talk about the decrepit, broken-down, ineffective nature of the Giants offense. And it’s all true. But the part that people are ignoring is that the San Francisco lineup really wasn’t that much better last year than it is this year.
In fact, for the first half of 2010, they were equally bad. They just got hot at the right time.
Brian Sabean has thus far been unwilling to part with any amount of his organization’s pitching for offensive help, and there is no reason to expect this approach to be discontinued this season.
It seems that the White Sox are always in the hunt for a big name to add to their roster mid-season.
This year will be different.
GM Kenny Williams’ most recent marquee additions, Jake Peavy, Adam Dunn and Alexis Rios, have all struggled this season, and in fact are a large part of the reason the White Sox have stumbled as a whole.
I believe that Williams will stand pat at the 2011 trade deadline.
There must still be hope within the White Sox organization that the big bats of Dunn and Rios will come to life in the second half, and going back to the trade deadline, despite consistent failure, would unnecessarily risk disrupting chemistry and raising expectations for an already under performing club.
The Red Sox did their shopping in the offseason. Simply, there is no reason for them to mix things up now, especially with new acquisitions Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez finally looking comfortable in Beantown.
There has been a lot of talk about the Sox moving a utility infielder like Marco Scutaro, or an outfielder like JD Drew for some help in the rotation, especially with the well-documented struggles of John Lackey and Daisuke Matsuzaka.
But let’s just be honest; who is giving up a quality starter to get a rented JD Drew? Or Marco Scutaro for that matter.
Epstein also loves him some utility infielders, and trading Scutaro would be the equivalent of jettisoning positional flexibility for an end-of-the-rotation starter.
Add on the fact that the Red Sox have already tied over $50 million this season alone in starting pitching, and it seems unlikely that they will be on the hunt for more pitchers to pay.
The Reds are a team that could actually use a trade or two to take them to the next level.
Their offense is more than capable, but their pitching staff leaves much consistency to be desired. It seems as though adding a quality starter, even a rental, would help give Cincinnati a mid-season boost that could propel them to the postseason.
However the Reds have had the same needs for the past two years that do now, and have been unwilling (or unable) to work out a deal that would provide them with the upgrade they need.