With the trade deadline fast approaching and nine of the 14 American League teams within six games of a playoff spot, the door is open for multiple trades between now and July 31, plus a few waiver deals in August. We're going to ignore the inevitable disappointment that hits every July when few impact deals are made. Instead, let's cook up five trades that could give a lift to this year's contenders.
A sample of 30-some lucky games aside, Endy Chavez isn't a championship-caliber center fielder. The Rangers' recent success and new 20-year, $3 billion(!) TV deal has turned the team into the high-revenue powerhouse it should have been all these years. That means they can afford to upgrade, and very well might upgrade, even if it means paying some serious bucks to do so. Beltran is in the final year of a seven-year deal that pays him $18.5 million this year, so even if he gets dealt right near the non-waiver deadline, he'll be owed about $6 million -- a sum that'll be too rich for many teams to handle.