Updated: July 31, 2010, 10:23 AM ET

Daily Rumble: Dunn going to AL -- somewhere

Stark By Jayson Stark
OK, now that we've gotten that pesky Roy Oswalt trade out of the way, let's turn our attention to the three biggest rings left in the Trade Deadline Circus:

Adam Dunn

As far back as Monday, Rumblings was suggesting there was a chance Dunn could wind up with the White Sox as part of a bunch of wheeling and dealing with Arizona that would land Edwin Jackson in Washington. And that remained a possibility Friday morning, though not as strong a possibility as some people were making it out to be.

Rumblings and GrumblingsThe part of that wheeling and dealing that's already happened was the trade that sent Jackson to the White Sox, with rookie right-hander Daniel Hudson and pitching prospect David Holmberg -- a former No. 2 draft pick -- ending up with the D-backs. But two sources with knowledge of those discussions told Rumblings there was only a remote chance of the White Sox turning around and spinning Jackson to Washington in a deal for Dunn.

However, another baseball man, a guy who has had many dealings with White Sox GM Kenny Williams, was skeptical of that talk, saying: "They really want the bat. Always remember this: Kenny's M.O. is to get Adam Dunn, not Edwin Jackson. Kenny lives to walk the red carpet."

Nevertheless, if that part of this trade falls apart, the White Sox could turn to Lance Berkman. And Washington still has lots of interest in Dunn, from the Yankees, Rays and Giants. The Yankees in particular seem to be monitoring these conversations unusually closely. But the Nationals hadn't lowered the price, from all accounts, as they headed into the final 27 hours before the deadline.

So there is still an outside chance Dunn could stay, and even a miniscule chance he still could agree to an extension. But our bet is that, by the time he flips his calendar to August, he'll be getting used to life in the American League -- somewhere.

Ted Lilly

With Oswalt, Dan Haren and Cliff Lee all packed up and shipped out, the Cubs have now positioned Lilly as the best starter left on this market. And with his next turn scheduled for Sunday -- aka the day after the deadline -- they'd love to hone in on a deal quickly.

The Dodgers still look like the best match. But (stop us if you've heard this before) their divorce-court subplot has made spending money a challenge. And Lilly has more than $4 million left on his $13 million salary this year. So the Dodgers, as they've done in the past, would want the Cubs to pick up most of that tab. And that's been a massive sticking point so far.

We keep hearing that the Tigers still aren't out, despite their precipitous drop in the standings over the past week. And the latest scuttlebutt is that there's a mystery team that has managed to keep its identity, and its interest in Lilly, out of Rumor Central so far.

Since it's unlikely the Cubs would make a trade with either the White Sox or Cardinals, that team would have to be another contender that is currently shopping one of its current starters for a bat and who would then replace the starter with Lilly. Padres? Giants? Rays? We'll keep skulking around on that front. But our guess is still that Lilly winds up in L.A. if the teams can ever divvy up their dollars to everybody's satisfaction.

Scott Downs

Is it really possible the consensus Best Bullpen Arm on the Market doesn't move at all? Increasingly, clubs that have spoken with the Blue Jays believe it is.


Even with a day left before the deadline, GM Alex Anthopoulos continues to take the same hard stance he's laid out for months: Downs is going to be a Type A free agent, so if somebody doesn't offer the equivalent of a first-round pick and a sandwich pick, it's no deal.

So unless the Red Sox want to trade him Casey Kelly, or the Yankees want to trade him Jesus Montero, or the Rays want to trade him Jeremy Hellickson -- plus another top prospect -- there's a great chance Anthopoulos won't back down.

What's more likely, say clubs that have spoken with Toronto, is that the price will dip on the other Blue Jays relievers on the market -- Kevin Gregg and Jason Frasor.

"If he offers Jason Frasor arbitration, just so he can get a [compensation] pick, the guy just might take it," said an official of one of those clubs. "And then he's got a $4 million setup man on his hands. So I bet he gets moved. The other guys -- I'm not so sure."

Remember, Toronto is a team that has dangled its bullpen crew for weeks now. So it's hard to fathom this deadline coming and going without any of them moving. But as Saturday afternoon nears, this has turned into another fun-filled game of Deadline Chicken. Can't wait to see who gets dropped in the fryer.

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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