A WEEK remains until the non-waiver trade deadline.
We can just see the future a week from today ...
Peter Gammons, this year's J. G. Taylor Spink Award winner part way through his acceptance speech at Cooperstown next Sunday.
He'll pause, reach inside his jacket and announce a deadline deal.
So, who are the buyers and sellers?
Baltimore Orioles: They wanted a top-of-the-rotation starter (Ted Lilly?) to go with Erik Bedard, Daniel Cabrera, Rodrigo Lopez and Bruce Chen. Even moreso after sending righty Sidney Ponson to the San Diego Padres as long as first baseman Phil Nevin approves the deal.
They want a hitter for the middle of the order hitter (Nevin) but if Nevin says no, do they turn to Shea Hillenbrand?
San Diego Padres: Mission accomplished, acquiring a starter, if Nevin approves the deal.
Boston Red Sox: Looking for pitching, a starter and reliever. Would deal Bronson Arroyo to the Florida Marlins for A.J. Burnett.
New York Yankees: Looking for a starter, a centre fielder and finally a bullpen guy, preferably a lefty. They are chasing Eric Byrnes and Randy Winn.
Atlanta Braves: Although they have limited spending money, Atlanta is looking for bullpen help (Danys Baez) and maybe an outfielder (Raul Ibanez). They have prospects to deal.
Los Angeles Angels: Looking for a starter like Brett Tomko, Kip Wells or Kevin Millwood and a lefty reliever (Brian Fuentes, Ron Villone or J.C. Romero). They will deal prospects.
Texas Rangers: Need help both in the rotation and the bullpen. The loss of Frank Francisco and Carlos Almanzar left the club without true setup men. They'd also like to improve in right field as Richard Hidalgo has been a bust. They're after Burnett and Baez.
Washington Nationals: Already acquired Preston Wilson for Zach Day and J.J. Davis and signed Mike Stanton after he was released by the Yankees. The last potential piece to the puzzle would be a starter, a solid No. 3 or No. 4, preferably a lefty. GM Jim Bowden does not have a lot to move: Marlon Byrd, maybe Tony Armas and prospects.
Blue Jays: Have the money, after being given $20 million US extra for the team's payroll on Feb. 2. To date more clubs want Jays players (Miguel Batista, Ted Lilly, Gustavo Chacin and Shea Hillenbrand). Since Burnett is not going to the O's, the Jays will try to get back into the hunt along with Boston and the Chicago White Sox. Jays did talk to the Nationals about moving Vernon Wells early.
Chicago Cubs: Although they added Jody Gerut they still seek an outfielder/run producer, such as Adam Dunn or Austin Kearns. Also looking for a setup man.
Chicago White Sox: Sox realize they need a late-inning specialist because of Dustin Hermanson's back pain. They have no interest in either Eddie Guardado or Jose Mesa and think that Billy Wagner and Brad Lidge will cost too much. That leaves them with Batista. They also have interest in Jason Schmidt, Burnett and Lilly.
Los Angeles Dodgers: They need a bat -- Adam Dunn's bat. Outfield help like Ibanez.
Houston Astros: Want a bat (Ibanez) and a starter, but their minor-league system doesn't have a lot of prospects.
Cleveland Indians: Won't turn down a reasonable offer for Kevin Millwood and closer Bob Wickman, Bob Howry or Arthur Rhodes.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Will move potential free agents Mark Redman, Brian Meadows, Rick White, Daryle Ward and Matt Lawton along with arbitration-eligible Josh Fogg and Kip Wells.
St. Louis Cardinals: Could use an outfielder with Reggie Sanders out four-to-six weeks with a broken leg, as well as a lefty reliever. Cards are looking at Adam Dunn with Larry Walker's future uncertain. They could deal former No. 1 Adam Wainwright.
Kansas City Royals: They will listen to offers for relievers Mike MacDougal and Jeremy Affeldt and want a corner outfielder in return. Matt Stairs and Terrence Long could be packaged for prospects.
Minnesota Twins: Need offensive help at third and DH (Hillenbrand?). Kyle Lohse and J.C. Romero are the most tradable.
Tampa Bay Devil Rays: They could move Aubrey Huff, Julio Lugo, Eduardo Perez, Travis Harper and Baez.
Florida Marlins: Almost certain to trade prospective free-agent Burnett, but they will hold others among their 13 free agents, including outfielders Juan Encarnacion and Jeff Conine and shortstop Alex Gonzalez. Would love to get someone to take Mike Lowell off their hands. He is owed $18 million.
Seattle Mariners: They'll move Eddie Guardado, Jamie Moyer, Randy Winn or Ron Villone. They've talked to the Nationals about Moyer and Villone. Teams have inquired about starters Gil Meche and Joel Pineiro.
Cincinnati Reds: Joe Randa was dealt but Rich Aurilia and David Weathers are available.
Colorado Rockies: Would move Shawn Chacon, Dustan Mohr and Desi Relaford. They say no on Eric Byrnes.
New York Mets: They have been hovering around .500 all season. Given their so-so tendencies they might not know until the deadline. If buying, a bat to play first, a second baseman and bullpen help (Baez) are needed. If selling, expensive contracts could be unloaded: Mike Piazza, Tom Glavine and Mike Cameron.
Philadelphia Phillies: Unless the bottom falls out between now and July 31, they won't be sellers. They'd be afraid it would be viewed as an admission the season was over. If they trade, closer Billy Wagner has value. The Red Sox and Cardinals are interested. They might consider trading Ryan Howard --difficult since Jim Thome is injured. The Rangers have been scouting righty Vicente Padilla and Kip Wells.
Oakland Athletics: Eric Byrnes and Chad Bradford have been moved, while adding Jay Payton, Joe Kennedy and Jay Witasick. GM Billy Beane wants do be both and will react to other moves. They have a surplus in the outfield.
San Francisco Giants: Could be both. Want to move Ray Durham or Edgardo Alfonzo (both earn $7 million next year) and would trade free-agent-to-be Brett Tomko. J.T. Snow and Kirk Rueter also are available. The Giants are looking for young starters and a left-handed, run-producing bat.
Milwaukee Brewers: Satisfied where they are, but could move Ricky Bottalico.
Arizona Diamondbacks: Teams inquired about prospects Conor Jackson and Carlos Quentin. They are trying to improve their bullpen, but Brandon Lyon and Oscar Villarreal return soon.
Detroit Tigers: If they decide they are in the race, they still may not feel obligated to give up a young player for help. As a seller, Jason Johnson and Dmitri Young would be available.