So much talk leading up to the Trade Deadline has involved the Mets, but the cross-town Yankees remain very much a part of the conversation.
ESPN’s Buster Olney tweeted that there is a “big gap” between what the Padres are asking for setup man Mike Adams and what the Yankees are willing to give up. Because of this, Olney says, a deal is unlikely.
Bob Klapisch of the the Bergen Record says the Yankees are still leaning toward not trading for a starter, despite Phil Hughes‘ poor outing against the Athletics on Friday. He says New York’s next option is bringing Ivan Nova back from the minors.
* Multiple Mets players’ names have been floated in trade rumors, but Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman reports that all the club’s talks revolve around Carlos Beltran. Any other trade, Heyman said, will come late. The New York Daily News reported the Mets would like to have a Beltran deal done before next weekend, rather than wait until the last minute.
Olney also tweeted that Mets general manager Sandy Alderson is not necessarily sold on eating most of Beltran’s salary.
* FOX Sports’s Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the Cardinals don’t intend to move Colby Rasmus, but are looking for every way to improve.
* Olney reported that there is growing interest in Tampa Bay’s B.J. Upton.
– Joey Nowak
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
Carlos Beltran made news this week by sparkling in his return to the Mets lineup, but his name continues to arise in conversations as the outfielder remains one of the most talked-about players in baseball as the Trade Deadline approaches.
Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reported Thursday that the Giants, considered one of the front-runners to land Beltran, are having second thoughts because the Mets are holding out for a high-end prospect.
But it appears there are plenty of other suitors out there.
Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports says Sandy Alderson has given a list of potential destinations to Beltran for his approval. The teams listed are thought to include the Phillies, Red Sox, Braves, Giants, Brewers and possibly the Yankees.
ESPNNewYork.com also reported that Beltran could very easily end up with another club in the division.
In other Mets news, SI.com’s John Heyman tweeted Thursday morning that the Mets have decided not to trade right-handed reliever Jason Isringhausen.
An American League contender also reportedly called the Mets about knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, but was told he’s not going anywhere, MLB Network’s Peter Gammons reported.
* It’s only been a short while since Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge was designated for assignment, but there may be a club out there who’s interested in the veteran: the Marlins. Inge is having a down year, but has proven to be an All-Star caliber player — and one of the top defensive third baseman in the league — and is relatively expendable now for the Tigers.
* Closer Heath Bell has been getting all sorts of attention, but fellow Padres reliever Mike Adams has received his fair share, as well. But Yahoo!’s Jeff Passan reported Thursday that Padres owner Jeff Moorad told Adams, “you’re not going anywhere.”
* With injuries to Shin-Soo Choo and Grady Sizemore, the Indians are looking for help in the outfield. The club has been mentioned in a variety of trade rumors for players such as Josh Willingham, Ryan Ludwick and Coco Crisp.
* At 48-50 in the contentious NL Central, the Reds are “definitely” buying.
– Joey Nowak
The Rockies reportedly made it more explicitly clear Monday what the club would need to see in order to part ways with ace right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez, but the team may also be interested in making other trades.
Colorado is willing to deal struggling right-hander Aaron Cook or possibly any of three relievers — Huston Street, Rafael Betancourt and Matt Belisle — if the playoffs become a more unlikely possibility.
On the other side, general managers — like New York’s Brian Cashman — must decide if Jimenez’s value is worth it. With Phil Hughes recently registering his best start of the season for the Yankees, does New York want to pay a premium for Jimenez?
And as CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler reported, the Tigers may not have enough to be in the running for the Rockies right-hander.
* Instead, the Tigers’ list of possibly starting pitching targets continues to grow, reports FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi. In addition to Jimenez, Derek Lowe and Hiroki Kuroda, Detroit may also be interested in Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie.
* The Indians are trying to hold their ground at the top of the AL Central, but now must attempt to do so without the services of center fielder Grady Sizemore, for the time being. Sizemore suffered a right knee contusion in Sunday’s game, leaving Michael Brantley on a bit of an island in Cleveland’s outfield. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the Tribe may be looking for right-handed hitters such as Hunter Pence, Marlon Byrd, Jeff Francoeur, Ryan Ludwick, Josh Willingham, Reed Johnson or Scott Hairston. Rosenthal believes Carlos Beltran’s contract would be too much an obstacle for Cleveland.
* Rosenthal also reported Monday that the Angels have interest in Chicago’s Aramis Ramirez, but the Cubs third baseman is “adamant” he doesn’t want to leave Chicago.
– Joey Nowak
Two recognizable outfield names from the National League Central have reportedly been tossed around in trade rumors, as Houston’s Hunter Pence and Chicago’s Alfonso Soriano have been subject of talks this weekend.
The Chicago Tribune reported Sunday an “unconfirmed rumor” out of the Cubs organization that the Yankees were talking about a multi-player deal that would involve Soriano, who is owed nearly $63 million and is signed through 2014.
As for Pence, one of the summer’s top trade commodities, SI.com’s John Heyman reported via Twitter on Sunday that the team intended to keep Pence. The team has not confirmed the rumor.
* As Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez’s name continues to be tossed around, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick quoted Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd saying this about the likelihood of a trade involving the right-hander: “We will listen to anything, but reality is that rumor is not very likely to take place.”
*ESPN’s Buster Olney reported Sunday that the Red Sox will give current outfielders — Josh Reddick, in particular — more time before deciding whether to go after another player before the Deadline.
Meanwhile, the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo says it’s Jose Reyes the Red Sox should pursue.
* Olney also reported if the Mets pay down outfielder Carlos Beltran’s salary, every interested team will be in play.
* The Tigers are looking to improve their rotation and possibly at the third base position, Jon Morosi writes for FOX Sports. In Atlanta, Derek Lowe makes light of the rumors that he may be involved in such a trade.
*Olney also reported that, with the White Sox just four games out of the American League Central and the Twins only six games back, Minnesota says they will not be sellers when the Deadline comes around.
– Joey Nowak
In trade news from around baseball Saturday:
* All-Star closer Heath Bell may not be the only piece of the Padres moving before the impending Trade Deadline. San Diego general manager Jed Hoyer has been fielding calls about Bell, as well as his battery mates Chad Qualls and Mike Adams.
The Padres also are looking to move outfielder Ryan Ludwick. Without many players in the pipeline ready to make an impact at the big-league level, the Padres are looking for prospects with great upside and impact potential.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that the Indians are eyeing Ludwick — along with other veteran outfielders such as Josh Willingham and Carlos Beltran.
* Rather than deal him before the Deadline, the Orioles inked shortstop J.J. Hardy to a three-year contract extension Saturday. Hardy was considered the Orioles’ best trade chip, and has been one of the club’s best offensive players since being acquired in the offseason in a trade with the Twins.
*Despite the team’s struggles this season, the Twins reportedly are not interested in trading Michael Cuddyer, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. Both the Mariners and the Angels need a bat at third base, and Cuddyer could also roam the outfield.
*A number of clubs are expected to scout Dodgers pitcher Hiroki Kuroda’s start on Saturday night against the D-backs. He has 10 losses this year, but an ERA of 3.06 and a solid resume that has drawn interest from multiple clubs. Still, the Dodgers haven’t said Kuroda is available and the right-hander hasn’t yet said he’ll wave his no-trade clause.
* FOX Sports reported Saturday that the Cubs are “open for business” but infielder Jeff Baker is not available.
* The Dallas Morning News reported that the Athletics have received calls on closer Homer Bailey, and the Rangers are among those teams. According to the report, the A’s have started to look in depth at the Rangers’ farm system.
– Joey Nowak