Teams expected to fold

The World Series of Trade Poker ... which teams are all in, raising, checking and folding?

Originally Published: July 21, 2004
By Sean McAdam | Special to

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    What they're showing
    MARINERS: The housecleaning has begun, with John Olerud and Rich Aurillia moved. The Mariners -- hopelessly out of contention, stuck in the basement of arguably baseball's deepest division -- should be dealing more (Randy Winn, Eddie Guardado, Joel Piniero), but aren't. Funny -- when they should have bought the last two seasons, they didn't. No that they should sell, they're not doing that, either.

    ROYALS: Allard Baird has already made his big deal, swapping Carlos Beltran in June. Third baseman Joe Randa could be attractive to some teams, but otherwise, there aren't a lot of veterans to move.

    ORIOLES: "If they put B.J. Ryan out there,'' said an executive from another team, "they'd be shocked at how much they could get for him.'' But they haven't. Lefty Buddy Groom could fetch a prospect, as could one of their young outfielders. Typically, however, Peter Angelos resists selling off.

    PIRATES: GM Dave Littlefield is sitting pretty. He's got the best starter not over 6-foot-9 on the market (Benson) and an experienced closer (Mesa) available. Benson will go somewhere by Saturday. Mesa, who's salary is far more affordable, may stay until August when some team gets really desperate for bullpen help.

    ASTROS: Another team that should be selling, but doesn't appear inclined to do much. What sense does it make to hold onto Beltran, a player they can't re-sign anyway? But Drayton McLane is committed to seeing this thing through and mindful of not wiping out the good will earned last winter (Andy Pettitte, Roger Clemens) by holding a summer yard sale.

    ROCKIES: Go ahead -- make them an offer. They've got plenty to move: Walker, Preston Wilson. Some recent cash infusion into the franchise has solved some payroll issues, but they'd still love to rid themselves of those two contracts. After dangling Jason Jennings earlier, they've decided to hold onto him. Shawn Chacon, on the other hand, might be available.

    DIAMONDBACKS: Along with the Pirates, could be one of the most active sellers in the next five days, with Johnson and Finley perhaps ticketed elsewhere. Then again, they're so bullish about their chances to re-load for next year and asking for so much for both, it's possible they could sit tight with both veterans.

    Sean McAdam of the Providence (R.I.) Journal covers baseball for