Any team Cliff Lee gets traded to will be a better situation for the pitcher.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Was the small ripple created by the Conor Jackson trade to Oakland the beginning of a tidal wave of action this summer or an indicator that trading major stars would be difficult in 2010?
As we arrive at the middle of June, there are about a dozen names being bandied about in trade rumors, though only about half of them have true fantasy value.
The first problem is to determine which teams are going to be "sellers."
A look at the American League standings should make it clear that Baltimore, Cleveland, Kansas City and Seattle are obvious candidates to be ridding themselves of current salary for future potential. And White Sox GM Ken Williams has never been shy about making trades when he thinks they are warranted.
In the National League the Cubs have a lot of expensive and "mature" talent (read old) that would likely be better served contending for a title somewhere else. Milwaukee could be a seller if they don't turn it around soon as well as Arizona and Houston.
Let's look at some of those rumors and how they could effect your roster.
Cliff Lee, SP, Seattle, (98% owned) - Lee proved last year that he can go to a new team midway through the season (Philadelphia) and perform at a high level. With the Phillies he went 7-4 with a 3.39 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP down the stretch. Then in the playoffs he was spectacular going 4-0 with a 2.81 ERA and a 0.82 WHIP. He'll be courted by all the major contenders including both New York teams, Atlanta, Minnesota, St. Louis, Texas and the Dodgers. Any team he gets traded to will be a better situation with more offense than the Mariners and Lee should win more than he could the rest of the way in Seattle.
Paul Konerko, 1B, Chicago White Sox, (85% owned) - Konerko is one of the league's leading home run hitters with 17. He could certainly help a number of offenses, particularly in Anaheim where Kendry Morales is out for a long time. Beware if Konerko leaves the friendly confines of U.S. Cellular Field, one of the most hitter-friendly parks in the majors, that his numbers could drop.
Mark Buehrle, SP, Chicago White Sox, (49% owned) - After an inconsistent start, Buehrle has strung together a couple of quality starts. He's been talked about and the team has until July 6th before he becomes a "10-and-5" guy and trading becomes more complicated. Calling almost any other park "home" could be good for his ERA and WHIP.
Roy Oswalt, SP, Houston, (88% owned) - Despite a 5-8 record, Oswalt has pitched well this season. His ERA is 3.12, his best since 2006 and his WHIP is 1.08, his best effort in that category since 2001. If he were playing for a team with more offense (he's lost four games when he gave up two earned runs or less), he could easily be 9-4.
Lance Berkman, 1B, Houston, (75% owned) - Berkman, like Oswalt is a "10-and-5" guy and can control where he goes. He's said he'd like to go east which limits his possible destinations to Atlanta, Florida and the Mets in the National League and Toronto or Tampa Bay in the American League. None of those parks is a hitter-friendly as Minute Maid Park.
Carlos Lee, OF, Houston, (82% owned) - If the Astros are willing to part with Oswalt and Berkman, they might just as well unload Carlos Lee as well and start the rebuild process from the ground up. Despite a .224 batting average, Lee is still a feared hitter and could be a valuable fantasy property in the right lineup.
Ty Wigginton, 2B, Baltimore, (68% owned) - Wigginton's name has appeared in the rumor mill of late and as the only productive hitter in the Orioles lineup, could put up very good numbers elsewhere. He's tied for third among second basemen with 13 homers, third in RBIs (38) and fifth in OPS. Imagine how productive he could be in a Twins or Dodgers uniform.