The greatest lock in baseball this season (even more so than Mike Trout winning AL Rookie of the Year) is that Wells will clear waivers. He has two years and $42 million left on his contract after this year. Yet, it’s possible the Angels could deal Wells if they pay down enough of his salary; he is back on the active roster, which is a start.
Perhaps the most stunning non-move of last year’s non-waiver trade deadline came when Bell, then a free-agent-to-be, stayed put in San Diego. How ironic would it be if — after signing a three-year, $27 million contract with the Marlins — he’s traded before the end of this season? It’s possible, given his (and the Marlins’) struggles. Here’s a look at some other players who could change teams this month.
— Jon Paul Morosi
Shaun Marcum, Brewers
Marcum could return to the Brewers’ active roster by the middle of August, after missing a number of weeks with an elbow injury. He will be highly motivated for two reasons: He wants to improve upon his performance in last year’s NLCS, and he wants to position himself for free agency this winter. To do that, he needs to stay healthy — and be dealt to a contender.
Carlos Lee, Marlins
The Marlins acquired Lee from Houston at the beginning of July. By the end of the month, they were trying to trade him. So it goes for one of the most mercurial franchises in pro sports. If Lee hits in August, he could fit with a contender that needs right-handed power. He’s a free agent after this season.
Kyle Lohse, Cardinals
Lohse has quietly put together one of the best seasons of any NL starter. He’s also coming up on what could be a lucrative free-agent payday. He’s earning an $11.875 million salary this year; the prorated portion is manageable enough that he could be claimed on trade waivers. Keep an eye on the Dodgers and Rangers as possible fits if St. Louis falls from contention.
Lance Berkman, Cardinals
A hero of the Cardinals’ run to the world title last year, Berkman was barely mentioned as a trade candidate leading up to July 31. But with the Cardinals sitting in third place in the NL Central in early August, it’s possible that the defending champions will become sellers by the end of the month. If that happens, keep an eye on Berkman. He’s a free agent after this year. At $2 million per month, he’s reasonably priced.
Matt Garza, Cubs
The Cubs probably would have traded Garza before the July 31 deadline, if he hadn’t come down with a triceps injury late in the month. The Blue Jays remain interested, for 2013 as much as 2012. There’s a good chance Garza will be claimed on waivers if he shows that he’s healthy, but the Cubs still could work out a deal with the claiming club.
Alfonso Soriano, Cubs
Sure, his contract is regarded as an albatross. But it’s starting to wind down. Soriano's a lock to get through waivers — $36 million left after this season — and the Cubs are willing to pay down enough of the deal to move him. In the midst of his best offensive season since 2008, Soriano’s trade value is at a relative high point. He’s also playing reliable defense in left field.
Josh Johnson, Marlins
Johnson stayed with the Marlins past the July 31 non-waiver deadline, despite interest from the Rangers, Red Sox, Blue Jays and Reds. Reasons included his spotty performance this year and concerns about his long-term health. But his contract is reasonable enough ($13.75 million this year and next) that he could be traded if his performance stabilizes.