Soriano, Lee, Santana, Wells, Francoeur and 25 more who could be traded after July 31
Here's a list of 30 players who are likely to remain eligible to be traded after the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
As we all know by now, the July 31 trade deadline isn't a strict deadline for every single player. Some players, generally ones who are deemed to be worth less than their contracts, go unclaimed on waivers and thus remain available after the non-waiver trade deadline.
So trades can occure after July 31. And it's a long and esteemed list of players who still may go.
1. Alfonso Soriano , Chicago Cubs OF: The Los Angeles Dodgers are the first team to surface who want this fellow, and that's not right because he can still play. Put aside the "advanced" numbers claiming he's the game's best corner outfielder, but he can still hit, that's for sure. He has 18 home runs, and all have come since May 15. It's possible if he could be part of a Ryan Dempster package to the Dodgers, and in that case he would have to go before July 31 as Dempster won't clear waivers. But if not, he'll still be free, thanks to an $18 million salary through 2014. The Cubs would be willing to pay a significant portion in the right deal.
2. Cliff Lee . Philadelphia Phillies SP: Phillies higher-ups have told people they won't trade Lee, and it appears they certainly have no plans to do so. The Phillies see their trio of rotation stars as the cornerstone to the team, and if Roy Halladay doesn't come back from his current pitching issues, they would need Lee even more. He has a 21-team no-trade list, which doesn't include the Texas Rangers . The Dodgers are another team that might fit if they can't get Dempster, Matt Garza , Josh Johnson or James Shields . The $96 million to go through 2015 would prevent a claim, however.
3. Ervin Santana , Los Angeles Angels SP: Angels people want him to go, and in fact GM Jerry DiPoto is said to have suggested a trade for Santana last winter. (Owner Arte Moreno wanted to keep him then, but he surely sees the light now.) Santana is in the bullpen for now. While his 4-10 record and 6.00 ERA might discourage a few teams from considering him, a change of scenery might do him well.
4. Vernon Wells , Angels OF: The Angels can't possibly think Wells on the bench is good for anyone. They released Bobby Abreu before living with him as a bench player for too long. One of the worst contracts in baseball history.
5. Jeff Francoeur , Kansas City Royals OF: Terrific guy having a not-so-terrific year. No threat of being claimed.
6. Ramon Hernandez , Rockies C: The Colorado Rockies were willing to pay a portion of Hernandez's contract to trade him to the New York Mets , but the Mets had a lower number in mind. Veteran presence could still be of value.
7. Mark Buehrle , Miami Marlins SP: Typically backloaded Marlins deal makes a claim unlikely. He can still pitch, and may mind not so much trade after seeing the Marlins' surprise fire sale.
8. Jason Giambi, Rockies 1B: After he returns, someone might take him as a lefty pinch hitter, The Rockies would leave it up to him whether to deal him.
9. Joe Blanton , Phillies SP: Versatile and professional, but the $8-million salary always was an overpay.
10. Carl Pavano, Minnesota Twins SP: Will pass through waivers, but even if healthy it's hard to imagine a contending team taking him. Inexplicably, was beloved momentarily in the Twins' clubhouse. Personality issue.
11. Rick Nolasco, Marlins SP: Having a very mundane year surrounded by teammates having mundane (or worse) years.
12. Geovany Soto , Cubs C: Could provide veteran presence. Washington Nationals , Tampa Bay Rays or Mets could make sense.
13. Francisco Rodriguez , Milwaukee Brewers RP: The Brewers offered him to the Mets for an "organization" player (non-prospect) on the condition the Mets pay the $4 million remaining a couple weeks ago. There's less remaining, but K-Rod struggled with sudden overuse as a closer.
14. Justin Morneau , Twins 1B: Starting to get hot, so it's no guarantee he'd clear. The Dodgers have interest in him (and about 10 other hitters).
15. Matt Capps, Twins RH RP: Health issues have diminished value of the sometime closer.
16. David DeJesus , Cubs OF: He's had a nice bounce-back year, so he may not clear. On the border.
17. Kevin Millwood , Seattle Mariners SP: Could possibly help a team in need of a starter. Nationals might make some sense after the expected Stephen Strasburg shutdown.
18. Carl Crawford , Boston Red Sox OF: He doesn't fit in Boston and the strong suspicion is he'd do better elsewhere. Of course, with $100 million-plus to go and an elbow that likely needs surgery, this is the least desirable contract in baseball right now.
19. Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees 3B: Of course he's a Yankee. And he'll stay a Yankee because with five years left, no one will claim him.
20. Barry Zito , San Francisco Giants SP: He's shown himself worthy of being in the back-end of the Giants rotation this year (yes, that's an upgrade). But no one's touching that $18 million salary.
21. Dan Uggla , Atlanta Braves 2B: Scrappy player never misses a day, but is he ever making a lot of outs. Still popular as evidenced by All-Star selection, but he's about the No. 12 second baseman in the league right now. Being that he's on a contender, he's not very likely to be traded.
22. Jason Bay , Mets OF: Now down to .164, he's about to hit the bench for the Mets. Eventually, a release candidate.
23. Jason Marquis , San Diego Padres RP: Might be the only overpaid player on the Padres.
24. Heath Bell , Marlins RP: Fun guy, but giving him $27 million for three years wasn't the best idea.
25. Nick Blackburn , Twins SP: That 7.99 ERA looks more like the price of a cheap toy.
26. Chone Figgins , Mariners 3B: Remember when he was an All-Star? Yeah, awhile back.
27. Carlos Lee , Marlins 1B: Could be just passing through South Beach. Maybe the Dodgers can get him after all. Of course, he retains veto power over 14 teams.
28. Travis Hafner , Cleveland Indians DH: The contract that pays him $13 million this year and next means he has no chance to be claimed. Indians aren't sellers now, but they may be in late August.
29. Carlos Marmol , Cubs RP: He's doing a bit better lately. But oy, that contract! The $9.5 million for next year is a tough one to take.
30. Brandon League , Mariners RP: Hard thrower coughed up the closer's job this year. Makes $5 million. Still could help someone.
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