So who’s available at the trade deadline?

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The non-waiver trade deadline is coming. July 31, as usual. After a slow beginning to crazy season due to so many teams being in contention or erroneously believing so, the rumblings are getting louder. It’s great fun, yes?

Over the next couple of weeks, we will obviously be writing individual posts for each of the trades that go down and a lot of the rumors that swirl. We’ll also, once trades start happening, put up a trade tracker so you can keep all the deals straight. But for now, let’s see if we can’t get a list of guys who are or who may be on the market.

This is a pretty expansive list, I think, as it includes guys like Josh Willingham who, just a few minutes ago, we noted probably won’t be traded. And it also includes guys — especially some pitchers — that no one may want. It further includes guys who haven’t had any trade heat around them but, man, they play for a team going nowhere, so maybe they SHOULD be dealt. Ergo, lots of Astros and Padres. It also includes a lot of Athletics because, in contention or not, the A’s like to deal people at the deadline.  This isn’t merely list of names being tossed around actively. It’s more akin to a list of possible dudes your team may reasonably inquire about and/or want.

Point is, never say never. Teams don’t do dumb things at the rate they did ten years ago, but it’s not impossible to think that someone would offer the Twins a ridiculous return for Willingham, making them change their mind. Or that someone may think that a Safeco-fueled half season by Kevin Millwood has rendered him not-Kevin Millwood.

Anyway, below is who we reckon to be on the market at the moment. If we missed some — and I’m assuming we did — let us know. Keeping track of this stuff is like herding cats, so the more herders the better.

Available bats:

Justin Upton
Carlos Quentin
Shane Victorino
Justin Morneau
Josh Willingham
Denard Span
Michael Cuddyer
Alfonso Soriano
Bryan LaHair
Chase Headley
Adam Lind
Mark Kotsay
Marco Scutaro
Chris Johnson
Chris Denorfia
Seth Smith
Jonny Gomes
Coco Crisp

Available arms:

Cole Hamels
Zack Greinke
Wandy Rodriguez
Matt Garza
Ryan Dempster
Francisco Liriano
Edinson Volquez
Brandon McCarthy
Bartolo Colon
Kevin Millwood
Huston Street
Jonathan Broxton
Rafael Betancourt
Francisco Rodriguez
Matt Capps
Grant Balfour
Bret Myers
Brandon Lyon

So, who did we miss? And who shouldn’t be here? Note: If you name someone who wasn’t originally on the list and should be, I will update it here.

Biden praises Braves’ ‘unstoppable, joyful run’ to 2021 win

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said the Atlanta Braves will be “forever known as the upset kings of October” for their improbable 2021 World Series win, as he welcomed the team to the White House for a victory celebration.

Biden called the Braves’ drive an “unstoppable, joyful run.” The team got its White House visit in with just over a week left before the 2022 regular season wraps up and the Major League Baseball playoffs begin again. The Braves trail the New York Mets by 1.5 games in the National League East but have clinched a wildcard spot for the MLB playoffs that begin Oct. 7. Chief Executive Officer Terry McGuirk said he hoped they’d be back to the White House again soon.

In August 2021, the Braves were a mess, playing barely at .500. But then they started winning. And they kept it up, taking the World Series in six games over the Houston Astros.

Biden called their performance of “history’s greatest turnarounds.”

“This team has literally been part of American history for over 150 years,” said Biden. “But none of it came easy … people counting you out. Heck, I know something about being counted out.”

Players lined up on risers behind Biden, grinning and waving to the crowd, but the player most discussed was one who hasn’t been on the team in nearly 50 years and who died last year: Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.

Hammerin’ Hank was the home run king for 33 years, dethroning Babe Ruth with a shot to left field on April 8, 1974. He was one of the most famous players for Atlanta and in baseball history, a clear-eyed chronicler of the hardships thrown his way – from the poverty and segregation of his Alabama youth to the racist threats he faced during his pursuit of one of America’s most hallowed records. He died in January at 86.

“This is team is defined by the courage of Hank Aaron,” Biden said.

McGuirk said Aaron, who held front office positions with the team and was one of Major League Baseball’s few Black executives, was watching over them.

“He’d have been there every step of the way with us if he was here,” McGuirk added.

The president often honors major league and some college sports champions with a White House ceremony, typically a nonpartisan affair in which the commander in chief pays tribute to the champs’ prowess, poses for photos and comes away with a team jersey.

Those visits were highly charged in the previous administration. Many athletes took issue with President Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric on policing, immigration and more. Trump, for his part, didn’t take kindly to criticism from athletes or their on-field expressions of political opinions.

Under Biden, the tradition appears to be back. He’s hosted the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks and Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the White House. On Monday he joked about first lady Jill Biden’s Philadelphia allegiances.

“Like every Philly fan, she’s convinced she knows more about everything in sports than anybody else,” he said. He added that he couldn’t be too nice to the Atlanta team because it had just beaten the Phillies the previous night in extra innings.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was later questioned about the team’s name, particularly as other professional sports teams have moved away from names – like the Cleveland Indians, now the Guardians, and the Washington Redskins, now the Commanders – following years of complaints from Native American groups over the images and symbols.

She said it was important for the country to have the conversation. “And Native American and Indigenous voices – they should be at the center of this conversation,” she said.

Biden supported MLB’s decision to pull the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to protest Georgia’s sweeping new voting law, which critics contend is too restrictive.