Five big questions heading into MLB’s July trade deadline

With Major League Baseball's July non-waiver trade deadline set to pass at 4 pm ET on Wednesday afternoon, business finally started to pick up on Tuesday evening. In the first major deal of trading season, the Boston Red Sox acquired Jake Peavy from the Chicago White Sox in a big three-team, seven-player deal that included the Detroit Tigers.

Whether or not that gets the ball rolling for a busy Wednesday is yet to be seen. In all likelihood, Peavy will be the biggest chip moved at this season's deadline, so that will probably take the luster off the day for some. But there's still potential for numerous newsworthy deals, and there are definitely many questions that will need to be sorted out and answered — perhaps creatively — by several general managers around the league.

What are those questions you might be wondering? Stick around. We've got you covered.

Will the Rangers add or subtract?: The reliever market has been the most active so far with Jose Veras (to Detroit), Jesse Crain (to Tampa Bay), Scott Downs (to Atlanta) and Marc Rzepczynski (to Cleveland) deals already completed. Could Texas Rangers closer Joe Nathan be next?

Considering the market, Nathan's experience and the value he's built up this season, the Rangers are smart to dangle their veteran closer on the market to see if anyone bites, but Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says there's no traction for a deal right now. That could change in a matter of moments or even in August, but it sounds more and more like Nathan will still be a Ranger on Wednesday evening.

On the offensive side, the Rangers are bracing for news of a 50-game suspension for outfielder Nelson Cruz. Yahoo!'s Jeff Passan reports that could be official at any point over the next 72 hours, so they could ramp up their pursuit of an outfielder such as Alex Rios or Hunter Pence. Another possible addition is Michael Young, which leads us to our next item.

Will Michael Young get what he wants?: On Tuesday, Ken Rosenthal reported that Michael Young and his full no-trade clause would only accept a trade back to the Rangers. However, multiple reports have since stated that Texas would simply be Young's first preference, but if the Phillies can't swing a deal with them he'd consider the Red Sox, Yankees and others as possible destinations.

Not surprisingly, Young mentioned his family as factors in his reluctance to accept a deal outside of Texas:

There's no doubt the Phillies will try everything they can to move Young. That could even include threatening to take away his playing time — third base prospect Cody Asche was recalled on Tuesday. But the power still lies in Young's hands.

What is the starting pitching market beyond Peavy?: Milwaukee Brewers general manager Doug Melvin was unlikely to move ace Yovani Gallardo anyway, but you can officially scratch his name off the target list after leaving his Tuesday afternoon start against the Chicago Cubs with a left hamstring injury. He'll be examined on Wednesday, and a DL stint seemed likely based on his reaction.

Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also notes that Melvin has no intention of moving outfielder Norichika Aoki or starting pitcher Kyle Lohse.

According to Jon Heyman, the Red Sox were in pursuit on Cliff Lee on Tuesday but instead decided on Jake Peavy. That likely means Lee is staying put in Philadelphia. Meanwhile, with Arizona out of the Peavy sweepstakes, they're more likely to hold on to Ian Kennedy. That might leave Bud Norris as the next best pitcher to get moved, which could end up being great news for the Houston Astros as they determine their final asking price. His suitors are known to include Pittsburgh and Baltimore.

What, if anything, will the New York Yankees have up their sleeves?: Despite bringing back Alfonso Soriano last week, the Yankees realize they still need some reinforcements offensively. The return of Derek Jeter already helped them to victory on Sunday. Curtis Granderson is due back later in the week, which will provide another boost. But it's still not enough as evidenced by general manager Brian Cashman's strong play for infielder Alberto Callaspo on Tuesday.

The Angels ended up moving Callaspo to the division rival Oakland A's, which means the Yankees will have to move on to other targets. Those could include outfielders Hunter Pence and Alex Rios. It's also possible Cashman will be forced to get creative in finding a trade partner. As always, stay tuned because you know the Yankees won't go away quietly.

How will the impending Biogenensis suspensions impact the deadline?: The Detroit Tigers already acquired Jose Iglesias from the Red Sox to fill in during Jhonny Peralta's upcoming suspension. The Rangers are preparing for life without Nelson Cruz based on their targets. The Yankees are in the same boat with Alex Rodriguez. And according to Jeff Passan, there are several major league players the public doesn't know about that will soon be suspended, and those teams will be forced to react accordingly if it could jeopardize their playoff chances.

Biogenesis is the dark cloud hanging ominously over baseball that simply won't go away, but with clarity will also come complications for many contenders. We may get a good look at how those contenders plan on dealing with their complications in the next 24 hours.

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