July 2010

Red Sox checked in on Brewers’ Edmonds

The Boston Red Sox recently called the Brewers to inquire about the availability of outfielder Jim Edmonds, who still wasn’t sure as of Friday afternoon whether he wanted to be traded to a contender.

Out of respect for Edmonds’ career and his contributions to the Brewers this season, general manager Doug Melvin promised Edmonds that he would run a trade by the player before striking any deal. 
“I’m still thinking about all that’s going on,” Edmonds said. “I might have more later, maybe even later today. I’m kind of kicking it around: Should I or shouldn’t I? If something comes up, what should I do?
[Doug] basically told me that if he heard anything, he would come to me. That’s what we talked about. There’s been some rumors out there.”
Edmonds worries about how his lingering right Achillies injury would affect a trade. He has started only one of the Brewers’ last seven games. 
“I don’t know if that would squash it,” Edmonds said. “I don’t know if it would even come up. There’s a lot going on right now behind the scenes, and we’ll know more as the day goes on. It will be interesting. [A trade] is still not beyond the question.”
– Adam McCalvy

Cody Ross still available

The Marlins aren’t going to force anything, but for the right price, they will trade outfielder Cody Ross by Saturday’s 4 p.m. ET Trade Deadline.

The Braves and Red Sox remain teams interested in Ross, who is batting .272 with nine homers and 52 RBIs.

Several other clubs could be in the mix, and the Marlins are on the fence of which direction to go with the outfielder.

One source said it may go down to whether the Marlins win or loss on Friday at the Padres.

Ross, who is making $4.45 million in his second season of arbitration, does not fit into the team’s long-range plans.

The Marlins on Thursday traded Jorge Cantu, and the team cleared all but $600,000 of the $2.2 million that remains on his $6 million deal.

A prime reason Cantu was dealt was because he didn’t fit into the club’s future.

The Marlins have several outfielders they are wanting to get a look at, including Bryan Petersen, Emilio Bonifacio and Cameron Maybin, who is in Triple-A New Orleans.

When the Marlins traded Cantu, the team noted that it was looking to position the roster for now and into the future. In 2012, they move into a retractable-roof ballpark, and they want to be as competitive as possible. Already, 20-year-old Mike Stanton is gaining valuable playing time in right field, and he projects to be a future star.

By moving Cantu on Thursday, prospect Logan Morrison was given the job in left field. The Marlins have high hopes for Morrison, who promises to be a centerpiece player in the years to come.

– Joe Frisaro

Braves are showing more interest in Ross

While winning just two of their first six games on this road trip and watching the Phillies upgrade their roster with the addition of Roy Oswalt, the Braves are now showing a little more interest in Cody Ross. 

After Chris Coghlan injured his left knee earlier this week, the Marlins indicated they wouldn’t move Ross.  But it appears they may be willing to deal the veteran center fielder in exchange for an attractive package of prospects. 

The Red Sox are also showing interest in Ross and multiple sources have said they may be a better fit than the Braves. 

The Braves had minimal interest in Ross last week.  But while scoring three runs or fewer in seven of their past 14 games, they have gained reason to believe they may need to upgrade their lineup. 

While homering once every 22.2 at-bats during the 2008 and ’09 seasons, Ross may have qualified as a definite upgrade.

Still despite homering just once every 42 at-bats and compiling a .734 OPS this year, he could certainly prove more productive than Melky Cabrera, who has hit just three homers and compiled a .687 OPS in 306 at-bats for the Braves.

- Mark Bowman 

Does Wigginton stay?

Ty Wigginton has been considered the Orioles best trade chip for months now, but he could end up staying put at the Trade Deadline. Why?

There’s a few reasons to take into account, namely that yesterday’s trade to move Miguel Tejada was
primarily to clear a space for top position prospect Josh Bell. The O’s
don’t have a first baseman nearly as ready, although Michael Aubrey has been on a tear lately and could earn a call-up to help share a possible platoon with either Jake Fox or Luke Scott.

So
far, the offers for Wigginton aren’t deals that would really improve
the O’s. He would likely get the same type of mid-level prospect
acquired yesterday from San Diego, and his departure would help leave a
significant hole in a Baltimore lineup trying to avoid going down as the
worst team in franchise history.

President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said yesterday after
the Tejada trade that no more moves were on the immediate docket, and
given that tomorrow at 4 p.m. ET is the deadline, an “immediate move”
would have probably been deemed as something early this morning. Still,
things can change in an instant and the O’s could be moved to move
Wiggy. But with the Tejada trade and the Rangers –thought to be the
front-runners — acquiring Jorge Cantu, I wouldn’t be shocked if he
stays.

What’s becoming increasingly more likely is that the Orioles could trade reliever Will Ohman who
is cheap and a lefty specialist. Particularly with the bullpen nearly
back at full force and Jim Johnson progressing along in Sarasota, the Os
could get a decent return on moving Ohman, who was signed to a Minor
League deal this spring.

–Brittany Ghiroli 

Tigers still calling around, looking at deals

The Tigers remain interested in offense, not necessarily a big name, and have room to slot a bat into some different spots. Thursday’s decision to purchase the contract of Jeff Frazier from Triple-A Toledo suggests that no deal is close.
The call on Frazier had a lot to do with the short term: The Tigers face Red Sox lefty Jon Lester and are on track to face lefties Mark Buehrle and John Danks when the White Sox come to Detroit next week. With Jhonny Peralta now on board to play third base on an everyday basis until Brandon Inge returns, there was very little playing time for Larish, the left-handed hitting slugger who mainly plays the corner infield spots.
It’s a odd situation indeed for the Tigers to be lefty-heavy. They’ve been looking for left-handed hitters off and on since at least 2006, and more recently were reported to have called the Rockies about outfielder Brad Hawpe, according to the Denver Post. The Hawpe report is curious, considering his miserable struggles away from Coors Field (.198 road average, .560 OPS in 2010) and his contract situation. His deal runs out at season’s end, though there’s a $10 million club option for 2011.
Dave Dombrowski is on the record saying he will not give up top prospects like Jacob Turner or Andy Oliver to rent a player for two months. If the Rockies are looking for Major League ready prospects for Hawpe, they aren’t likely to get that from Detroit.
Dombrowski also recently revealed some disagreement with other general managers who are citing the draft compensation they’ll get if they hold onto big-name players with expiring contracts and let them leave via free agency.
“Sometimes you can overplay your hand in that, because you don’t always get it,” Dombrowski said Wednesday. “That doesn’t always happen.”
He wasn’t referring specifically to any team or player, but a look at the power hitter market nationally would be a sign.
Detroit could still end up adding bullpen help, their top priority not long ago, but the Tigers are happier with their relief corps now than they were coming out of the All-Star break.
One sense becoming apparent is that the Tigers don’t quite seem to fit into the traditional labels that usually falls on teams this time of year. They’re not all-in buying, not if it means giving up top prospects for a one-year run, but they’re not selling either. While the Dodgers apparently approached the Tigers about utilityman Ryan Raburn, as ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark reported, they were rebuffed. Raburn has been playing left field this week in the Tigers’ new-look alignment with right fielder Magglio Ordonez out until likely September. And of course, he’s a right-handed hitter.
– Jason Beck

Roundup: Berkman close to joining Yanks

The Yankees now look poised to land Lance Berkman from the Astros, a source told MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. 
Berkman has the right to reject any trade as a 10-and-5 player (10 years in the league, five with one team), but he was approached by general manager Ed Wade a couple of days ago with a list of eight teams be to and approved four, including the Yankees. 
According to The New York Post, the deal is done, though it won’t be official until another 24 hours. 
The 34-year-old Berkman is making $14.5 million this season and has a $15 million club option for the 2011 season, with a $2 million buyout. With the Yankees, he’d likely serve as a designated hitter — a revolving door for the club all year — but he can also fill in at first base and in the outfield corners if needed. 
With Saturday’s 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline looming overhead, here’s more from around the league … 
* The White Sox acquired some depth for their starting rotation on Friday afternoon, when they swung a deal with the Diamondbacks to bring right-hander Edwin Jackson to the South Side. In the trade, Chicago parted ways with one of its top pitching prospects, righty Daniel Hudson, and Minor League lefty David Holmberg
* The Rangers, in need of second-base help with Ian Kinsler on the disabled list, acquired veteran middle infielder Cristian Guzman for prospects. Guzman is making $8 million in the final year of his contract this season. 
* Baseball sources told MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick that the Dodgers and Cubs have been discussing a deal that would send left-handed starter Ted Lilly back to Los Angeles. The Dodgers would also like to include infielder Ryan Theriot in the deal and would want Chicago to eat up some of Lilly’s remaining contract, according to FOXSports.com. Lilly, the best starting pitcher remaining in the market, has $4.3 million left in his expiring contract. 
* The Blue Jays acquired Mets Triple-A first baseman Mike Jacobs for a player to be named later. Jacobs will report to the Blue Jays’ Minor League affiliate. 

* While looking at what happened today and what could happen before 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, we’ll also look back. Roy Oswalt to the Phillies, Jorge Cantu to the Rangers, Miguel Tejada to the Padres and Matt Capps to the Twins were the biggest moves made prior to Friday, in what has still been a rather slow-moving Trade Deadline. 

Alden Gonzalez

D-backs closing in on deal with White Sox

NEW YORK — The D-backs are closing in on a deal with the White Sox that would send Edwin Jackson to Chicago with Daniel Hudson being the centerpiece of what Arizona would receive in return, a baseball source confirmed Friday.

Jackson, who was acquired by the D-backs last winter in a three-team deal that included the Yankees and Tigers, is 6-10 with a 5.16 ERA in 21 starts this year. He threw a no-hitter against the Tampa Bay Rays on June 25.

Hudson, 23, is a highly-regarded pitching prospect, who was called up by the White Sox to take injured hurler Jake Peavy’s place in the rotation. The right-hander was selected by Chicago in the fifth round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.

Hudson rose quickly through the Minors. He started at Class A in 2009 before shooting all the way up to the Major Leagues by season’s end.

In nine big league games, including five starts, Hudson is 2-2 with a 4.72 ERA. He is scheduled to start Friday night for the Sox.

If the trade is completed, the D-backs would likely turn their attention to moving closer Chad Qualls and catcher Chris Snyder.

– Steve Gilbert

Will Rox deal Hawpe as he heats up?

Rockies right fielder Brad Hawpe has homered in two of his last three games. Part of it could be he’s at Coors Field, where he hits way better than on the road. Or it could be one of his patented hot streaks. If that’s the case, the Rockies have a tough decision on whether to trade him. The rumors are geting heavier. Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com Tweets that the Tigers have interest. Troy Renck of the Denver Post, via Twitter, noted that the Padres and White Sox have inquired about Hawpe. But the White Sox’s pursuit could depend on whether they can obtain Adam Dunn from the Nationals, and the Padres acquired Miguel Tejada yesterday.

7/30 Lilly & Theriot to Dodgers?

Could Ted Lilly go back to the Dodgers? According to Fox Sports reports, the Dodgers and Cubs have talked about Lilly and Ryan Theriot, but the catch is that the Dodgers want the Cubs to add cash in the deal. Lilly has $4.3 million remaining, Theriot $933,000.

Lilly actually was drafted by the Dodgers in 1996 in the 23rd round but traded in July 31, 1998, to the Montreal Expos in a six-player swap. This season, he’s 3-8 with a 3.69 ERA in 18 starts, and has received the least amount of run support in the Major Leagues.

The lefty would join a rotation of Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda and Vicente Padilla. The trading deadline is Saturday at 4 p.m. ET.

The Twins were interested in Lilly but chose to add to the bullpen, acquiring Matt Capps from the Nationals on Thursday. A Mets official told the New York Post it’s “very doubtful” they’ll get Lilly because they do not want to take on the money remaining and give up prospects.

Theriot received a $2.6 million salary for 2010 after losing an arbitration case to the Cubs. He’s under team control through 2012. The Fox report said Theriot could take over at second, sending Blake DeWitt to Triple-A. But DeWitt was batting .272 with one homer, 15 doubles, four triples and a .352 on-base percentage. Theriot is hitting .285 with one homer, 10 doubles, two triples and a .321 on-base percentage. The Padres had looked at Theriot but instead traded for Orioles third baseman Miguel Tejada.

– Carrie Muskat

Dodgers Still After Lilly

The Dodgers have continued talks with the Cubs this week to acquire pitcher Ted Lilly, baseball sources confirmed. Lilly, who came up through the Dodgers farm system, also played for manager Joe Torre with the Yankees. He’s been on the Dodgers’ short list of targeted starting pitchers all month.

Fox Sports reports the talks also include Cubs infielder Ryan Theriot. – Ken Gurnick

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