Gonzalez the choice to be headed elsewhere

Our ESPN experts weigh in with their thoughts on which big-name player is most likely to be traded.

Originally Published: July 23, 2003

The question: Which big-name player is most likely to be traded?

Peter Gammons
Juan Gonzalez. If he refuses to go, then it would be J.D. Drew.

Tom Candiotti
Juan Gonzalez stands out the most to me. It's clear what Rangers GM John Hart wants to do -- unload salary. Gonzalez has a no-trade clause in his contract, but I can't see why he would want to finish the season in Texas. I wouldn't be surprised to see him wind up in Kansas City. Gonzalez has said he's not opposed to staying in the AL, but the team must play on grass. And K.C. is a contending team that fits the bill. Or perhaps Boston? Fenway Park certainly has grass, and the Red Sox are trying to keep up with the Yankees in the AL East.

Joe Morgan
If the Rangers can find a buyer for first baseman Rafael Palmeiro, I think he'll be dealt. While he and teammate Juan Gonzalez are the biggest run-producers available, I'm not sure how likely a trade is for either of them. Both have no-trade clauses, and Gonzalez has already exercised his clause this season to veto a deal to the Expos. Both are also free agents when the season ends. The Rangers want to make room for young players like first baseman Mark Teixeira, so even if Palmeiro is not traded, I don't think he'll be with the Rangers next year.

Tony Gwynn
This is a tough question, because a lot of GMs want to make a move to help their clubs, but they don't want to eat big contracts. Plus, you need to factor in no-trade clauses. So, with that disclaimer, I'll say Juan Gonzalez (who has veto power). The names I'm hearing the most are Gonzalez and Rafael Palmeiro. I've also heard there's a lot of interest in Aaron Boone of the Reds, because he can play shortstop and third base. For teams that need help with pitching, the hot names are Denny Neagle and Jeff Weaver. But with Neagle, will anyone assume his big contract?