Updated: July 29, 2010, 11:14 AM ET

Keep up with ESPN's reporters and analysts as they track down all the latest news and information leading up to the trade deadline at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday.

Daily Rumble: Three who will get traded

Stark By Jayson Stark
As the chances of a Roy Oswalt deal by Saturday fade to black, we're going to do something revolutionary:

We're going to look at three players who, unless something changes, actually will get traded this week.

Jorge Cantu

OK, so he isn't the most magical name on the trade deadline marquee. What he is, is this: the most available bat you can acquire right this minute.

Rumblings and GrumblingsIn fact, Cantu could get traded as early as Wednesday -- which at least might remind a few general managers they're not required by law to wait until deadline day.

The Giants, Rangers and Rockies are all still chasing the 28-year-old Cantu. But if a deal happens fast, it won't be with Colorado. The Rockies were telling other teams Tuesday that they're waiting until Friday to assess where they are in the standings before they decide whether they're still buyers.

So that leaves the Giants and Rangers. And the Texas deal is trickier to make, because the Rangers, thanks to Chapter 11 complications beyond their control, can't take on any more payroll. Cantu has slightly more than $2 million left on his $6 million salary for this year, and Texas would want Florida to pay virtually all of that tab.

But for the Marlins to send money to somebody else's team -- a just about unheard-of phenomenon -- they're going to need a bigger package than they're asking for elsewhere. So Florida has told the Rangers they must add not just additional prospects but higher-end prospects or Cantu is going elsewhere.

And "elsewhere" would no doubt be San Francisco. The Giants have been linked to Prince Fielder and Adam Dunn, and they do prefer a left-handed bat. But the price tags on Fielder and Dunn have been much higher than the price on Cantu. So if the Giants get tired of waiting on other names, and the Marlins and Giants could agree on the pitching prospect who would be the centerpiece of this deal, it could happen fast.

Adam Dunn

With every day that goes by, it appears less likely that Dunn will sign an extension in Washington. And teams that have been in on him are getting signals that the Nationals are likely to trade him, although it might not happen until Saturday.

The White Sox are still the favorite in this derby. But a source told Rumblings that interest in Dunn was picking up as other clubs have begun getting the word that the probability of a deal is growing.

So he still could wind up with the second tier of suitors -- the Yankees, Tigers, Rays, Giants or Padres. But the price Washington is asking remains "off the charts," said an official of one club that checked in. So nothing was imminent as of Wednesday morning.

The Nationals also continue to field offers on Josh Willingham. But we're still hearing that unless they get an offer they can't turn down, they won't deal away both Dunn and Willingham. And the Nationals are so thin in the outfield, they'd have a difficult time trading Willingham in any scenario without getting an impact young outfielder back.

Ted Lilly

Lilly had a rough stretch just before the All-Star break. But he's done nothing but help his marketability since, with 24 strikeouts in 20 innings and a 1.80 ERA in three starts -- including 5 2/3 shutout innings in Houston on Tuesday.

The 34-year-old left-hander has more than $4 million left on his $13 million salary for this year. But the Cubs have indicated a willingness in recent days to take some of that money.

And that would be a key to getting a deal done with the Dodgers, whose interest in Lilly has appeared to pick up lately as their chances of getting Oswalt have dwindled.

The Cubs also don't seem to be operating from the same position of strength they were in a week ago. Back then, the Tigers and Mets were still pursuing Lilly aggressively. But both teams have had rough weeks and now seem to be reassessing.

So that would appear to leave the Dodgers as the best fit, although it's possible a team like the Twins or Yankees could be a late entrant. An official of one team that has spoken with the Cubs predicts: "They're going to move him. It's just a matter of when."

And now that Lilly has made his final start before the deadline, the answer to that "When?" question could be: Any time now.

Jayson Stark is a senior writer for ESPN.com. His latest book, "Worth The Wait: Tales of the 2008 Phillies," was published by Triumph Books and is available in bookstores and online. Click here to order a copy.

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