The 70 first-half heroes in baseball
The list of first-half heroes include the expected (Roy Halladay and Ryan Braun), the unexpected (Tony Sipp and Terry Collins), the young (Clayton Kershaw and Starlin Castro) the old (Lance Berkman and Mariano Rivera), the spectacular (Asdrubal Cabrera), the clutch (Johnny Damon), the resurrected (Matt Kemp) and the truly heroic (Darrel Akerfelds).
Here is the full list of 70 first-half heroes ...
• Carlos Zambrano could be moved, but one competing GM said, "He's a No. 4 starter right, and what are they worth... maybe $6 million.'' So the Cubs would have to subsidize the remainder of his $18 million salary. Ryan Dempster's $14 million player option next year makes him a tough one to trade, as well.
• CC Sabathia will "definitely'' exercise his opt-out clause, surmised one competing executive. "That's why he put it in there,'' the exec said.
• One GM said the Astros aren't yet offering any financial relief to teams interested in their pitchers. They probably can hold to that stance when it comes to Wandy Rodriguez, but if they truly want to trade Brett Myers, who has a $12 million salary for 2012, they'd have to contribute to that pay.
• Brandon Lyon is out for the year after biceps and labrum surgery. His $15-million, three-year free-agent deal was one of the most ill-conceived free-agent contracts to begin with.
• One scout said he remains unconvinced Alexi Ogando will be a successful starter. Ogando started great, winning his first seven decisions before losing his next three.
• One GM said all that's available so far on the starting pitching market is "change of scenery'' type guys.
• The Rockies shored up second base with Mark Ellis. They also are interested in a starter and corner outfielder, two weak markets thus far.
• Despite the Dodgers' record, folks are saying Don Mattingly has been impressive in his first year managing. Hopefully, his check cleared.