Previewing trade season in the AL
With 30 days now before the July 31 trade deadline, here's an early look at the AL landscape (for Thursday's look at the NL, click here):
Oakland Athletics: The Athletics traded Mark Ellis on Thursday, kicking in $2 million to complete a deal with the Colorado Rockies, and he figures to be just the first veteran to be moved. Josh Willingham, Coco Crisp, Grant Balfour and others could follow.
Minnesota Twins: A few weeks ago, rival executives were getting vibes from Minnesota that the team might be ready to talk trade -- but then the Twins went on a streak and cut their AL Central deficit in half in about three weeks. Since then, rival officials say, Minnesota seems to be taking a step back -- and hey, the Twins executives would have every reason to look at the Indians and Tigers and White Sox and believe that anything's possible.
There is a lot of theoretical interest in Michael Cuddyer, but the Twins would have to ask themselves whether trading the respected veteran would be worthwhile. Other clubs would probably want Minnesota to eat at least half of the $5.5 million owed to Cuddyer for the second half of the season, and even then nobody would part with a primary prospect for him.
To read Buster's take on the trade-season moves of the rest of the AL teams, including the Red Sox, Rays and Yankees, you must be an ESPN Insider.