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By Chris Ruddick, MLB Editor - Archive - Email
The calm before the storm
Jake Peavy Jake Peavy would look awful nice in the Boston Red Sox rotation.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - When Major League Baseball added another wild card team it really should have pushed the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline back a month.

While it's good to have so many teams still in the mix as Wednesday's deadline approaches, it has kind of watered down the day. Teams are a little more reluctant to become sellers knowing they may still have a shot at the postseason.

But even with more than half the league within single-digit games of a playoff spot, it is shaping up to be a pretty active day on Wednesday.

As always is the case around this time starting pitching reigns supreme and there are a few former Cy Young Award winners available: Chicago's Jake Peavy and Philadelphia's Cliff Lee.

If you had to bet money on which one is going place your money on Peavy, who would look awful nice in the Boston Red Sox rotation.

St. Louis and Oakland are also heavy in the starting pitching mix. The Cardinals seem like they would be an ideal fit for Lee, who can block a trade to 20 teams. St. Louis, though, is not on that list and has a plethora of young prospects to offer.

You have to think the Phillies would need to be bowled over in a deal involving Lee.

But, it's awful hard to break the bank for a pitcher who missed his final start before the deadline.

While Peavy and Lee are the big ticket items, other pitchers who could be moved on Wednesday include Houston's Bud Norris, the Yankees' Phil Hughes, Toronto's Josh Johnson and maybe even San Francisco's Tim Lincecum.

If starting pitching is need No. 1, then adding a reliever is 1-A.

Detroit was the team front and center to be heavily involved in the closer market. Well, the Tigers ended any suspense of them trying to acquire a big name like Philly's Jonathan Papelbon or Texas' Joe Nathan when it picked up Jose Veras from Houston on Monday.

A nice, solid pickup from the Tigers, Veras can assume a lot of roles in that bullpen. And why again did the Tigers need a big closer like Papelbon or Nathan? That wasn't the reason they lost the World Series last season was it?

With Andrew Bailey and Joel Hanrahan lost for the season Boston is still looking for a closer and could go the Nathan route. Although, you have to think Texas would be reluctant to deal him to a team it could be fighting for a playoff spot with.

Speaking of Nathan, the only reason the Rangers have put him on the market is because they desperately need a bat. In case you haven't noticed Texas is fading fast in the American League West and its struggling lineup could get another blow this week if Nelson Cruz gets a suspension from his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal.

Amazingly, should the Rangers fail to land a bat they may have to turn to a ghost from PEDs past in Manny Ramirez to fill Cruz's role. Funny how that works out, huh?

Texas may have a hard time finding a power bat. The cupboard seems to be a little bare in that regard, as teams like Baltimore and Pittsburgh are finding out.

Baltimore has reportedly reached out to Minnesota about Justin Morneau, who would also be an ideal fit for the Pirates.

The Chicago White Sox have a few pieces they can sell off like Adam Dunn or Alex Rios, but the player everyone seems to want, Paul Konerko, is apparently off limits.

Philadelphia could be an interesting team to watch. In addition to Papelbon and Lee, the Phils could also ship Michael Young and Carlos Ruiz out and may also listen on main stays Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley.

In the days leading up to the deadline you hear a million and two names. In the end, though, Scott Downs getting moved from the Angels to the Braves often winds up being the biggest deal made.

And as far as the Alex Rodriguez stuff goes, well, don't talk to me about the labor, just show me the baby. I'm tired of hearing about potential plea bargains and lifetime bans.

When you have something announce it.

Until then ... bleh.

If I'm A-Rod I walk away. Why put yourself through this? He's 38 and coming off a second hip surgery. Retire. Disappear for five years and enjoy your life with whatever model you are shacked up with these days.

Why does he need the stink of being suspended?

Of course, it's easy for me to say since I'm not the one walking away from over $100 million. Still, I wouldn't give Bud Selig the satisfaction.

Rodriguez is guilty. No doubt. He's the worst kind of cheat. Well, second worst if you count Braun. But MLB is going to have an awful hard time getting rid of him considering he's never failed a test.

By the way, in case you didn't know and why would you since nobody was elected by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Hall of Fame inductions were this past weekend.

Given the state of baseball with all this steroids nonsense, maybe it's time the Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball forgive Pete Rose? Most are in favor of it and let's be honest, it's going to happen at some point anyway.

Why not do it now?


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