July 2010

Cody Ross to stay put?

Barring an offer the Marlins can’t resist, the club reportedly will not trade outfielder Cody Ross.

Ken Rosenthal of Foxsports.com reported on Saturday morning that the Marlins likely will keep Ross because they can’t find a deal they like. The Red Sox and Braves are possible spots for the outfielder.

Until the 4 p.m. ET deadline passes, however, don’t be surprised if situations change. A year ago, the Marlins and Nationals swung a last-minute trade that sent Nick Johnson to Florida for pitching prospect Aaron Thompson.

In recent days teams have approached the Marlins about Ross’ availability. A source on Friday said the club was “on the fence” on what to do with the outfielder.

The Marlins are hopeful to get into the playoff picture, and the source noted that the outcome of Friday’s game was factoring into their trade decision. Florida beat San Diego to improve to 52-51 on the season.

Independently, the Marlins are actively trying to land a big league-ready reliever — preferrably a left-hander — for the stretch run.

— Joe Frisaro


7/31 Zambrano & no-trade clause

Carlos Zambrano says he would waive his no-trade clause if the Cubs asked. There are reports that the Mets have inquired about the right-hander, who wants to get back in the rotation.

“I want to stay [with the Cubs],” Zambrano said Friday, “but I understand this is a business and whatever the Cubs want me to do — if they think I’m a problem here and they want to move me, it’s sad that I would move if they think I’m the problem,.”

What if Cubs GM Jim Hendry asked Zambrano to waive his no-trade clause?

“If they come to me and say they want to trade me, I would say, ‘Yes,'” Zambrano said. “If they ask me, ‘Hey, we want to trade you,’ I wouldn’t say no. I would say ‘yes’ because obviously when they put something on the table, it’s because they don’t want you or they think there are better players and they need to move you.”

Does Zambrano need a fresh start somewhere else?

“It’s up to me,” he said. “It’s up to me to behave myself to be good on the field to be smart and to change things around.”

However, FoxSports.com reports Saturday that the Mets offer of Perez and Castillo for Zambrano never had a chance and Big Z will not be moved.

— Carrie Muskat

7/31 Cubs: Lilly, Z & Riot updates

It’s decision day for the Cubs. The trading deadline is 2 p.m. MT. FoxSports.com says there are still four teams — the Dodgers, Twins, Tigers and Yankees — who are pursuing Ted Lilly. The lefty prepped on Friday as he normally would for his next start, which would be Monday at Wrigley Field.

“Teddy wants to stay here but he knows the game of baseball and he knows that something could happen,” Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. “It’s good to see they want to stay here. That speaks well.”

Lilly is trying to focus on pitching.

“We’re near the end of July and I only have three wins,” said the lefty, who is 3-8 with a 3.69 ERA. “I really want more than that.

“It doesn’t settle so well,” he said. “I’ve got 18 starts and I’ve got three wins. It’s bothersome. That’s what I’m here for is to go out and try to win.”

There’s also been some interest in Ryan Theriot, whose phone was loaded with messages from people, including his agent, wondering if he was pulled from Friday’s game because a deal had been made. It was simply a double switch. The Denver Post reported the D-backs have talked to the Cubs about a possible Theriot for Kelly Johnson swap.

Less than 24 hours after he was activated from the restricted list, Carlos Zambrano also is getting some action. Big Z told reporters Friday in Denver that he would consider waiving his no trade clause if the Cubs wanted to move him. According to SI.com, the Mets offered Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo for Zambrano but the Cubs said no. Big Z still has a lot of money remaining on his contract ($6.4 million this year; $17.9 million in 2011; $18 million in 2012).

— Carrie Muskat

Rays on verge of acquiring Qualls from D-backs

NEW YORK — The D-backs are on the verge of completing a deal that would send reliever Chad Qualls to the Rays in exchange for a player to be named later, according to a baseball source.

The D-backs will not have to include any cash in the deal with the Rays picking up the roughly $1.6 million Qualls is owed for the rest of the season.

Arizona has actively shopped Qualls, who began the year as the team’s closer, but has struggled to find any consistency and is 1-4 with an 8.51 ERA in 42 games. The right-hander, who makes $4.185 million this year will be eligible for free agency at the end of the season.

The D-backs acquired Qualls along with Juan Gutierrez and Chris Burke from the Astros in December of 2007 in a deal that sent Jose Valverde to Houston.

— Steve Gilbert

D-backs close to dealing Snyder

NEW YORK — The D-backs have agreed on a trade late Friday night that would send catcher Chris Snyder to the Pirates pending approval by the commissioner’s office according to a baseball source.

It is not clear what the D-backs would get in return or how much money is changing hands in the deal, but that is what would have to be approved by Major League Baseball.

Snyder is due $5.75 million next year with a club option worth $6.75 million for 2012 with a $750,000 buyout.

Snyder is hitting .231 with 10 homers and 32 RBIs in 65 games this year.

It’s been quite a change of direction for the club with regards to Snyder. Following the 2008 season, the club inked him to a contract extension and he looked like their catcher going forward.

A back injury, though, sidelined him two months into the 2009 season and Miguel Montero filled in for him and was so impressive with the bat that Snyder was relegated to a backup role.

— Steve Gilbert

Bay to DL signals status quo for Frenchy

The byproduct of Jason Bay’s assignment to the disabled list Friday is that the Mets can no longer afford to trade Jeff Francoeur for pitching. As long as Bay remains disabled, the Mets will need Francoeur to man right field for them, meaning they cannot deal him for anything other than another outfielder — and, barring a salary dump, there isn’t much point to that.

With Francoeur off the block, the Mets don’t appear primed to do much before Saturday’s non-waiver Trade Deadline. Unable to acquire one of the three top-flight starting pitchers available on the market, the Mets are hardly enthused with the prospect of dealing for a lesser starter — a Jake Westbrook, Ted Lilly, Paul Maholm type. And they — like every other team — have experienced sticker shock on the few quality relievers available.

For the Mets to make the playoffs, then, it appears they’re going to have to win with what they have.

–Anthony DiComo

Yankees moving on Kearns

The Yankees are reportedly moving to acquire Austin Kearns from the Cleveland Indians in a move that could bolster their outfield and bench for the playoff push.

Kearns was pulled from Cleveland’s game on Friday for a pinch-runner, fueling trade speculation. The New York Post reported that the Yankees would obtain Kearns for a player to be named later, while FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported that the deal has been completed. 
– Bryan Hoch

Rays Owner Has Gut Feeling

While being interviewed during the Rays broadcast Friday night,
principal owner Stu Sternberg said, “My gut is there might be a different uniform or two by tomorrow.”

Whether this means the rumored deal for Adam Dunn will happen before Saturday’s trade deadline passes is not
known. Dunn did say Friday that he would not mind playing DH. In the
past, most Rays trades have been for players that were not rumored to
be heading their way.

Sternberg could also have meant that the Rays intend to bring up a
player or two from Triple-A Durham, such as right-hander Jeremy
Hellickson or outfielder Desmond Jennings.

The Rays’ policy is to not comment about possible trades.

–Bill Chastain

Marlins pursuing relief help

The Marlins are actively pursuing Major League-ready bullpen help by Saturday’s Trade Deadline. Indications are the team is confident it will land an arm who can help for a final stretch run. 

It’s unclear if the team is shopping outfielder Cody Ross to land the big-league ready reliever. The Marlins primarily are in need of left-handed relief help. Taylor Tankersley is the lone lefty in the bullpen.

— Joe Frisaro

Bucs discussing Maholm with multiple teams

A baseball source has confirmed that the Pirates are discussing possible Paul Maholm trade scenarios with multiple teams. The Pirates still do not feel a need to have to move Maholm, but if another club meets its asking price, Pittsburgh will make a deal.

Recent reports have listed the Dodgers, Padres and Mets as teams interested in acquiring the left-hander before Saturday’s 4 p.m. ET Trade Deadline. Multiple sources have told MLB.com that no deal is imminent.

When asked to comment on specific rumors, Pirates GM Neal Huntington said: “We will not discuss any specific trade rumor.  We are working through various scenarios with various players and will make a move only if we believe the return to be compelling.”

Maholm, who is under contract through 2011 and has a clup option for 2012, doesn’t have the ability to veto a trade. He had this to say on Friday regarding the rumors:

“I’ve always said I want to be on a winning team. My first choice would be on the team that turns it around here. I’ve been in Pittsburgh my whole career and I love the fans, love the ballpark, and I think they deserve a winner. I want to be a part of that. But it’s not up to me. If they come in and tell me to go somewhere, I’m going. I don’t have a ‘no trade [clause].’ We’ll just see how it goes.”

— Jenifer Langosch