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Pretty good theater, huh? Two weeks ago, ESPN Insider polled 15 baseball executives on how the deadline might play out on a 1-10 scale, and they predicted the activity would merit a "5." Now that Carlos Lee, Bobby Abreu, Greg Maddux, Julio Lugo, Austin Kearns and a passel of Indians, Royals and Pirates have changed teams, the impact might be more in the "7" range.
Does the deadline spell the end of significant activity? Recent history suggests it might. Last year, major league teams swung four deals in August -- with Jose Cruz Jr., Matt Lawton, Todd Hollandsworth and Deivi Cruz changing teams. That's two Cruzes and four marginal players, for those keeping score at home.
The one true August blockbuster in the past five years came in 2003, when San Diego acquired Brian Giles from Pittsburgh for Oliver Perez and Jason Bay. That was the exception to the rule.
"You can't go into August banking on picking up someone to plug a hole that existed before Aug. 1," White Sox assistant general manager Rick Hahn said. "You still scour the wires and talk to your scouts and other clubs. But it's not as if that extra month is going to give you the opportunity to make an upgrade. And even if you make an acquisition, there's a limited window where a guy can make an impact on your club."
Consummating a trade of any magnitude will be more challenging now, because players can't be dealt without clearing waivers first. Once a player passes through waivers, his current team is free to try and trade him to any of the other 29 clubs.
If the player is claimed, Team A can simply step aside and lose him to Team B. (Welcome to Kevin Towers' recurrent nightmare of 1998, when he claimed Randy Myers to block him from going to Atlanta and got stuck with a $13 million contract). If the two clubs decide they want to work out a trade, they have a 48-hour window to make it happen.
We could go on with more fascinating details about the waiver process, but that's probably not why you clicked this link. Here's a look at some players who still have a chance to move in the next few weeks:
Green is also signed for $9.5 million next year, a hefty amount given the Diamondbacks' youth movement and the surplus of outfield talent in the system. Arizona easily could go with an outfield of Carlos Quentin in right field, an Eric Byrnes-Jeff DaVanon platoon in center or left, and Chris Young or Scott Hairston at the other spot next season.
Green has a no-trade clause that allows Arizona to deal him to only three clubs -- the Padres, Giants and Angels -- without his consent. There are some procedural hoops to jump through, but he might be flexible if it's clear the Diamondbacks have no place for him. Bobby Abreu's no-trade clause covered 29 teams, and the Phillies still found a way to send him to the Yankees.
St. Louis was mentioned in Green speculation before the deadline, but the Cardinals lacked the interest and/or resources to make it happen. At least general manager Walt Jocketty knows what it takes to acquire a high-priced outfielder in August: Two years ago, he helped St. Louis' postseason push by acquiring Larry Walker in a trade with Colorado.
Ortiz might be the most marketable commodity of the group. He's making $2.5 million on a one-year deal, and he has the versatility to pitch in the bullpen or as a swing man if need be. Armas has good stuff, along with a checkered medical history and a penchant for running up big pitch counts and taxing a pen
For all the rumors about the Mets pursuing Hernandez, New York GM Omar Minaya was always more interested in a power arm than a guy who slings it up there at 85 mph. Hernandez also has knee problems and a $7 million salary next year, and the Nationals have given no indication they're willing to assume any of that money.
"His stuff isn't even close to what it was before," the executive said. "His arm action is bad. His location is bad. I wasn't impressed at all."
New Royals general manager Dayton Moore moved Elmer Dessens, Tony Graffanino, Matt Stairs, Mike MacDougal, Denny Bautista and Jeremy Affeldt in his effort to reshape his club and look to the future. But Redman, the Royals' resident All-Star, is still around.
You get what you get with Redman -- a 6-foot-5, 245-pounder who relies on his changeup, nibbles at the corners and gives left-handed hitters trouble while getting torched by righties. Redman's rate of strikeouts per nine innings has declined from 7.13 to 3.86 over the past three seasons. That's not a positive trend.
Redman is a free agent in November, so at least he brings no contract baggage. The consensus is that Kansas City would be doing him a favor by getting him out of the American League and sending him to the NL, where his mediocre stuff would play better.
But Klesko also told the paper that he's not even sure he wants to play in 2007. He might be joining Vinny Castilla on the almost-retired list shortly.
Still, Borowski could be a nice fit for a contender looking for a solid setup man. He's a tough-minded veteran who wouldn't be fazed by the prospect of pitching in a race. That's why the Marlins won't move him unless they can get something of long-term value in return.
"We love Joe," said Dan Jennings, Florida's vice president of player personnel. "We don't look at him as just an older guy on a young club. He's very valuable to us and what we're doing. He keeps the pressure off the kids at the end of the game."
LaTroy Hawkins, one of baseball's best setup men three years ago, is averaging 3.97 strikeouts for every nine innings, and the league is batting .302 against him. "He seems fairly cooked," said an AL front-office man. And the Rangers preferred Wells to Baltimore's Rodrigo Lopez, which tells you all you need to know about his market value.
Joe Randa, supplanted at third base by Freddy Sanchez, most likely will play out the string in Pittsburgh with Jeromy Burnitz. Sean Casey, now with Detroit, exhausted the Pirates' quota of get-out-of-jail-free cards.
Other names that might be coming to a transactions column near you: Javy Lopez, Ray King, Arthur Rhodes, Reggie Sanders, Glendon Rusch, Jason Johnson, Guillermo Mota, Damaso Marte, Corey Koskie, Jose Vidro, Matt Herges, Wes Helms, and Scott Schoeneweis, Justin Speier and Bengie Molina (if the Blue Jays continue to fade).
Jerry Crasnick covers baseball for ESPN Insider. His book "License To Deal" was published by Rodale. Click here to order a copy. Jerry can be reached via e-mail.