Found July 28, 2013 on Taking Bad Schotz:
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As this year’s baseball trade deadline nears, there are certain players that will be on the move and be sent from mediocre teams to contenders in hopes of being the final piece of the puzzle in terms of a championship squad. Here are your top five players that I expect to be on the move by July 31st’s deadline. 1. 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A game into the second half of the season the Phillies were at 49-48 and in an awkward position. Were they contenders or pretenders? The next seven games might have made that decision easy for GM Ruben Amaro as the Phillies have lost all of them! They sit six games under .500 and nine and a half games out of both the NL East and Wildcard races. The Phillies do have several desirable players on their roster that certain contenders could use down the stretch. One of those men is starting pitcher Cliff Lee. The southpaw is once again having a stellar season as he boasts a 10-4 record with a 3.05 ERA, but was recently scratched from his Saturday start because of a stiff neck. Now any injury isn’t a good thing, but I don’t think a stiff neck will scare away any teams. Some possible landing spots for Lee are the Red Sox, Braves, Dodgers, Indians, and Cardinals as they are all reportedly looking for starting pitching. With Lee does come some baggage, and by baggage I mean $25 million owed to him over each of the next two seasons, and a club option for 2016 worth $27.5 million. In the end, I do think Lee gets dealt to the Red Sox because of how good their division-foe the Rays have gotten starting pitching wise. With the Rays having four great pitchers in Price, Moore, Hellickson, and Archer the Red Sox will be forced to keep up the pace, and the only way they can do that is by adding a pitcher of Lee’s caliber. 2. Alex Rios OF White Sox Photo Credit: Calos Osorio/AP Photo With the White Sox experiencing another disappointing season they will be sellers around the deadline. That means outfielder Alex Rios should be changing uniforms any day now. The Rangers are the favorite to land Rios as they are looking for a corner outfielder, especially if Nelson Cruz gets suspended for the Biogenesis scandal. The 32-year-old Rios is signed through 2014 with an option for 2015. His contract includes an escalator if he’s dealt, which pushes his 2014 salary to $13 million. His 2015 option would be worth $14 million with a $1 million buyout. Rios could be the guy that pushes the Rangers over the top as a legitimate contender. 3. Michael Young 3B Philadelphia Phillies Photo Credit: MICHAEL PEREZ/AP The Phillies third baseman could be part of their massive fire sale. Surprisingly, Texas seems to be very interested in a reunion. Young is having a decent year as he is hitting .278 with seven homers and 31 RBIs, but the Rangers could use a utility man. Joining Texas in the Michael Young sweepstakes are the Red Sox and Orioles. For the Orioles he would be the everyday DH along with relieving infielders to give them off days. On Boston it would seem Young would man third base primarily while Iglesias would slide over to short and replace the mediocre Stephen Drew. In the end I predict Young lands in Baltimore. 4. Jake Peavy SP White Sox via pcwalls.net Peavy isn’t having the best season, but the fact that he is available makes teams interested in his services. Peavy’s pedigree alone is enough for contenders to want him. The Braves, now without their ace Tim Hudson, are certainly in the market for an ace-type pitcher like Peavy. The Orioles surprisingly are scouting Peavy’s games even though they have already acquired a starting pitcher in the last couple of weeks. I would go after Peavy with caution because of his mediocre 4.28 ERA this season and his career postseason ERA of 12.10. In the end the right hander will be dealt, and at this point I would guess Atlanta lands him. 5. Chase Ultey 2B Philadelphia Phillies Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE The last cog in the fire sale in Philadelphia is Chase Utley. Now Utley is interesting because it appears he cannot handle playing second base for a whole season without getting hurt. This would mean an AL team would be ideal to go get him. I have yet to hear one rumor from this team, but the Yankees should be interested in Utley. They could DH him or play him at first and with Utley’s left-handed swing, Yankee stadium’s short left field porch would become his best friend. I have no sources on this rumor, but it would very interesting if in the next couple of days the bombers give Ruben Amaro a call. So all in all it seems to me that the Phillies and White Sox will be the biggest sellers come Wednesday. The Dodgers, Yankees, Braves, Orioles, Rangers, and Red Sox all will be looking to improve their squads in hopes of making a championship run. -Huberman
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