Waiver-wire trade bait, deadline winners and losers and more notes
Bronson Arroyo and Adam Dunn will likely clear waivers, but are they worth it?
The Tigers, Cardinals and Red Sox are the big winners after the trade deadline
Roy Halladay, Kansas City and Milwaukee are the big losers
Several baseball executives are calling this the "softest deadline ever'' because they anticipate many more players than ever going unclaimed on waivers and thus remaining eligible to be dealt.
That makes sense considering the economy (and all the whining over the economy). Yet, just before the non-waiver trade deadline, one contending team was willing to take on the entire contract of Jake Peavy ($16 mil per) and one losing team was willing to take on all but $4 million of the contract of Scott Rolen ($11 mil per), and both acquiring teams gave up pieces of some value in the process.
So there will be no guarantees on the waiver wire.
Plus, there are always the Red Sox and Yankees, two big-market teams that have done spectacular jobs from a business standpoint as well as from a baseball standpoint, and those teams can afford to do whatever they want. Who's to say that Boston, if it remains behind the Yankees in the standings, doesn't block any viable starter -- maybe Doug Davis? Jon Garland? How about their old friend Bronson Arroyo? -- who hits the waiver wire? The Yankees need a No. 5 starter, and the Red Sox know it.
Here is a list of players connected to trade talks before the July 31 deadline and their chances to clear waivers and remain eligible to be traded ...
Likely to clear
1. Bronson Arroyo, Reds pitcher: He's a winner, but his other stats (WHIP, ERA), probably don't justify his salary. The Reds wanted the Yankees to pay the full $17 million freight through 2010. Realistically, they'd probably have to chip in a few million to make anything work.
2. Adam Dunn, Nationals slugger: That $12 million salary for 2010 should scare anyone off. He was traded after the waiver deadline last year, and it could happen again. Belongs in the American League, a place he has yet to play.
3. Jose Guillen, Royals outfielder: He said it himself. He "s----.'' At $12 million per, he sure does.
4. Aaron Harang, Reds pitcher: Like Arroyo, the former ace hasn't lived up to his high pay.
5. Adrian Beltre, Mariners third baseman: Slick-fielding third baseman hasn't produced to warrant his $13 million salary in Seattle. Very talented player could still help someone.
6. Aubrey Huff, Orioles 1B: He's slipped badly from last year's performance. Some see him as a DH, too.
7. Jason Giambi, A's DH. He'll clear: But he'll have to hit a lot better for anyone to be interested.
8. Melvin Mora, Orioles 3B: He's not happy with his diminished role, but he's earned it. A $9 million salary means no one would dare claim.
9. Miguel Batista, Mariners pitcher: Quirky, intellectual pitcher hasn't justified $7 million salary.
10. Juan Cruz, Royals reliever: For a while in winter, he looked like he'd be underpaid. Then he got $6 million for two years, and now he's overpaid.
11. Ty Wigginton, Orioles infielder: Solid backup is having only a so-so season in hitters' park.
12. Ron Mahay, Royals reliever: Not having his best year.
13. Willie Bloomquist, Royals utilityman: Going rate for utilitymen is less than his $1.5 million salary.
14. Lyle Overbay, Jays 1B: Power slippage means he should clear.
15. Willy Taveras, Reds outfielder: But with .279 on-base percentage, who'd want him?
1. Jon Garland, Diamondbacks pitcher: He'd be a worthwhile pickup. Though he has been mediocre, he is dependably mediocre. Possesses a rubber arm, completed game versus Mets Sunday night (yes, that still counts).
2. Doug Davis, Diamondbacks pitcher: Productive pitcher is seen by some as an NL type.
3. Gil Meche, Royals pitcher: Only four wins and an $11 million salary. But he has talent.
4. Alex Rios, Jays outfielder: Sixty million is a lot, but he can play. The Giants have money. You never know.
5. Carl Pavano, Indians pitcher: Lots of incentives make him a risk to claim. Also has 5.66 ERA.
6. Mark Hendrickson, Nationals reliever: Serviceable lefty relievers have value.
7. Jhonny Peralta, Indians infielder: Ho-hum season for a disappointing team.
8. Jamey Carroll, Indians utilityman: Useful utilityman could catch someone's eye.
9. Ron Villone, Nationals reliever: Started 3-0 but has settled into more Nats-like 3-5.
Unlikely to clear
(Although there's always an outside chance in a couple of cases that a trade could be worked out with the claiming team.)
1. Roy Halladay, Jays starter: Sorry, he's stuck.
2. Felix Hernandez, Mariners starter: Seattle got a lot of calls on him from teams (including the Tigers and Red Sox) that wondered whether the Mariners might worry about whether they could keep him long term. But he's one of the best in the game and gets claimed by many.
3. Heath Bell, Padres closer: Spectacular season and low salary means he's wanted by all.
4. Adrian Gonzalez, Padres 1B: Superstar player making 30 cents on the dollar. No shot he gets through.
5. Marco Scutaro, Jays SS: Breakthrough year bodes well for his free agency, though.
6. Chad Qualls, Diamondbacks reliever: Reliable type could help many.
7. Michael Wuertz, A's reliever: Very underrated pitcher is coveted by many.
8. Brian Bannister, Royals starter: Yankees tried for Bannister late, but K.C. decided they wanted to keep him, after all.
9. Josh Willingham, Nationals outfielder: One of the hottest hitters in baseball right now (.592 slugging percentage).
10. Gary Sheffield, Mets slugger: A couple of AL teams are interested, but he's getting only 400 grand from the Mets.
11. David Eckstein, Padres infielder: A bargain for 850 grand. Worth it for attitude alone.
12. Jason Frasor, Jays reliever: Having excellent season in Jays' 'pen.
13. Mark Teahen, Royals infielder: The Cubs are one of many who might take him.
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