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Marlins in market for controllable starter

NEW YORK –- Add the Marlins to the list of clubs looking for starting pitching before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

But Miami isn’t just seeking any type of starter. The club is targeting controllable young arms, meaning those who are not on the verge of becoming free agents. The club has no interest in a rental.

“A rental, it may help you in the short term,” president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. “We want something we can move forward with. I think that will definitely influence the direction we go.”

Along with a starting pitcher, the Marlins also are exploring second base options.

The Marlins felt they had a second base answer when they signed free agent Rafael Furcal in the offseason. But a left hamstring injury has limited Furcal to just nine games.

Furcal was expected to be a speed threat at the top of the order.

On the trade front, the Marlins are looking for a second baseman who can run and potentially lead off.

– Joe Frisaro

Colletti Won’t ‘Tear Apart’ Farm System for Elite Pitcher

Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said he doesn’t expect to be acquiring an “elite” pitcher (in other words, David Price) because the cost would be multiple top prospects and “I don’t see us doing anything to tear apart our farm system.” The Dodgers top prospects are outfielder Joc Pederson, infielder Corey Seager and left-handed pitcher Julio Urias.

Colletti did say he’s on the lookout for pitching, as he is at the trade deadline every year. He has previously mentioned being in search of relief help, but acknowledged that the club needs “to be careful” with pitching in general. In recent weeks, starter Josh Beckett has gone on the disabled list with a hip impingement and Dan Haren has been inconsistent.  — Ken Gurnick

Rangers talking to clubs about Soria

The Rangers are willing to move reliever Joakim Soria but there are looking for a big return. Right now the Rangers are asking for 2-3 prospects for their closer, who has 16 saves and a 2.76 ERA. The Rangers also have a club option on him for next season.

 

Rangers listening on Frasor, Cotts

The Rangers called up reliever Matt West on Thursday as the possibility looms they could trade veteran relievers Neal Cotts and Jason Frasor this month. There appears to be some interest in both even though Frasor has struggled lately. Both are free agents at the end of the season and the Rangers are more interested in looking at as many young players as possible.

Peavy is not on the Braves’ radar

When the Braves signed Ervin Santana to a one-year, $14.1 million contract in March, they went over budget and essentially erased any financial flexibility that they might need leading up to this year’s Trade Deadline.  Still they will attempt to be creative in attempt to add depth to their bullpen and possibly bench by the end of this month.

While the Braves have not ruled out the possibility of adding a starting pitcher, the club certainly does not view this as a priority.  So contrary to a Boston Globe report, the Braves are not among the teams the Red Sox are actively talking to about a potential deal involving Jake Peavy.

If the Braves are going to take on money, they will need to remove some from their current payroll.  They obviously would like to move Dan Uggla and a portion of the $18-19 million he is owed through the end of 2015 season.   But as the past nine months have proven, the likelihood of this occurring is slim.

But this is not the first time general manager Frank Wren has been in this financially-restrictive position.  When he needed a leadoff hitter in 2011, he provided the Astros at least one extra prospect in order to prevent having to assume any of the remaining salary Michael Bourn was owed that year.

- Mark Bowman

 

 

 

Are the Cardinals pursuing Jake Peavy again?

The Jake Peavy-to-St. Louis rumors picked up steam on Tuesday, perhaps more than the actual negotiations did.

The connection between Peavy and the Cardinals, who have targeted the Red Sox right-hander before, began late on Monday, when Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com reported that St. Louis had a scout at Sunday’s Red Sox-Orioles game, which Peavy started. Jayson Stark of ESPN.com later added that a deal between Boston and St. Louis could happen “quick.”

The reports, however, come just a day after Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak downplayed the club’s interest in the pitching market. Mozeliak said that most clubs willing to deal starters before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline were also looking for starting pitching in return. The tradeoff would be a loss in years of control for the Cardinals, who covet their young pitching.

“I think that would just make it problematic, so for us we feel pretty good where we’re at from a pitching standpoint,” Mozeliak said on Monday. “We expect to get [Joe] Kelly back at some point and feel pretty confident that those five [once Michael Wacha returns] can be successful.”

The Cardinals appear more interested in upgrading on the offensive side, since they believe Wacha will return to the rotation this season. Kelly could be back as early as Friday, and Carlos Martinez has held his own as a starter since being thrust into the role.

Peavy is owed about $7 million this season and will be a free agent at year’s end. The Cardinals would not be in line to collect any compensation for his departure, which makes it highly unlikely that they would part with any of their top talent to complete such an acquisition.

– Jenifer Langosch

7/8 A’s wanted Cubs’ Valbuena, too

According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Athletics tried to get the Cubs to include Luis Valbuena in the deal that eventually netted Oakland both Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. The A’s wanted Valbuena as a potential upgrade at second base. But Rosenthal says the Cubs are reluctant to trade him because he’s controlled through 2016. Valbuena is earning $1.7 million this season.

Valbuena has a slash line of .256/.339/.420, and has hit five home runs with 22 RBIs. He’s started 44 games at third, 17 at second.

– Carrie Muskat

Giants GM Sabean: No trade untouchables

OAKLAND — Giants general manager Brian Sabean is willing to consider all options — repeat, ALL options — when it comes to discussing deals as the Trade Deadline approachess. “We’ve told everybody that everybody we have is in play,” Sabean told the San Jose Mercury News. “There are no untouchables in our organization.”

However, Sabean doesn’t have a priority list. The Giants have so many possible needs — a reliever or two, second base, bench reinforcements, even another reliable starting pitcher to bolster the rotation — that he needs time to sift through the rubble of the team’s colossal slump to determine who to pursue first. It would help if the Giants could get a better read on the health of center fielder Angel Pagan and second baseman Marco Scutaro, who are striving to recover from their respective back injuries.

“They’re going to have to get well on their own first and play better first to give us a sense of what we really need and are able to try to do,” Sabean said. “… “Just a lot of areas where you need shoring up and obviously we’re not able to do that totally in the trade market.”

– Chris Haft

Peavy could be on move again

Red Sox right-hander Jake Peavy, who has already been part of two July trade deadline deals in his career, could be on the move again at some point this month. It is the reality of being a veteran pitcher.

ESPN.com reported that the Cardinals have interest in Peavy, and scouted his last start on Sunday. Jayson Stark tweeted that something with Peavy and the Cardinals could happen “quick”.

There were no indications around the Red Sox on Tuesday that a deal was imminent. However, with Boston 10 games out of first place, it would not be surprising to see Peavy or other veterans moved before the deadline.

Peavy is earning a $14.5 million salary this season. One potential sticking point in a trade would be how much salary the Red Sox would eat to move the righty.

The Red Sox would like to open up a rotation spot for right-hander Rubby De La Rosa, who has been dominant at times this season when given the chance.

It was just last July that the Red Sox acquired Peavy from the White Sox. Peavy was a dependable starter for Boston during a World Series championship season.

Peavy has been victimized this season by inconsistency and a lack of run support. He is 1-7 with a 4.64 ERA in 18 starts.

Rangers have relievers to move

Rangers veteran relievers Jason Frasor and Neal Cotts are free agents at the end of the season. That’s why the Rangers will look to trade them at some point this month.

The Rangers have called up two pitchers from Triple A in the past week: Neftali Feliz and Roman Mendez. They also expect Tanner Scheppers and Alexi Ogando to be back, if not this summer then next year.

The Rangers also know they can add relief help through the free agent market this off-season so they are eager to see what they can get for either Cotts or Frasor

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