July 22 roundup: Shields on the market?
Rays pitcher James Shields once again showed just how valuable he could be by out-dueling Yankees ace C.C. Sabathia in an AL East showdown Thursday night. Meanwhile, rumors continued to swirl entering the weekend about Shields and his trade value as the Deadline draws near.
One thing about the rumors, though, is they don’t necessarily add up, given the way Tampa Bay has made deals in the past.
ESPN’s Buster Olney tweeted that if a deal were to go down between the Rays and Reds, catching prospect Devin Mesoraco may be the key.
The Cardinals have also been mentioned as suitors, but Shields told the St. Petersburg Times that he has no interest in leaving.
One thing seems certain, though: Shields appears to be unavailable to the division rival Yankees and Red Sox.
* The Braves remain interested in Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran, but it may be difficult to pull off such a deal with a team within the division that is looking for top pitching prospects.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes that Mike Minor — one of the top three or four pitching prospects in the Atlanta system — is who the Mets seek in exchange for Beltran.
* If the Royals are to part ways with closer Joakim Soria, they’ll likely be looking for two impact starting pitchers — one ready now and one by 2013.
* Marlins manager Jack McKeon says he doesn’t see any of his players being traded.
* Jeff Francoeur is drawing interest from contending teams, including the Red Sox, tweets FOX Sports’s Jon Paul Morosi.
– Joey Nowak