In need of a starter for Saturday’s game, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. cryptically said Tuesday: “I think we we know exactly what we’re going to do.” Perhaps a starter, like Ben Sheets, Dan Haren, Jeremy Guthrie or Roy Oswalt is headed to Philadelphia? The club optioned Kyle Kendrick to the Minor Leagues that same day, and later that night, veteran Jamie Moyer sustained an injury that will likely put him on the disabled list, so starting pitching is needed in Philly.
ESPN.com wrote about “indications” that the Phillies were in the midst of a “major deal” to acquire a starting pitcher in hopes of salvaging their season on Tuesday night. But on Wednesday afternoon, they followed-up by reporting that Oswalt “could be on the verge of blowing up a potential deal,” since he wants any team that acquires him to guarantee his $16 million option for 2012. For now, the Phillies are balking at that offer. ESPN.com added that it’d probably be J.A. Happ
moving in an Oswalt deal, and the club is also looking to move struggling outfielder Jayson Werth
(a free agent after this season).
Astros owner Drayton McLane
told MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart that no deal involving Oswalt appeared imminent
as of Wednesday morning. Meanwhile, Oswalt — owner of a full no-trade clause — told reporters he hasn’t been approached
about any possible trades.
With less than two weeks remaining until the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, here’s more buzz from around the league …
* The White Sox, according to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, are “trying to accelerate talks” with the Brewers for slugging first baseman Prince Fielder
. The problem, Rosenthal notes, is Milwaukee wants a starting pitcher, and they view trade candidate Daniel Hudson
as only a middle-of-the-rotation starter. White Sox GM Ken Williams
said recently that the market was not to his benefit
* The Mets reportedly signed Chad Cordero to a Minor League contract on Wednesday, but they apparently want even more relief help. FOXSports.com wrote that the Mets are currently focused on the relief-pitching market and are eyeing the Pirates’ Octavio Dotel and the Blue Jays’ Scott Downs.
* Seeking bench strength, the Yankees are looking into the Indians’ Jhonny Peralta and the Marlins’ Wes Helms, according to Rosenthal, who added that the price for Jose Bautista and Ty Wigginton were too high.
* Pedro Martinez will not pitch
in 2010, his agent, Fernando Cuza
, told ESPNDeportes.com. But he has not officially retired.
* The Giants, Tigers, White Sox and Braves have inquired about Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista, Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan reported via Twitter.
— Alden Gonzalez
It’s been a quiet trading season for the Indians, relative to 2008 and 2009, because the club doesn’t have the commodities (read: CC Sabathia, Victor Martinez and Cliff Lee, among others) it had in those years.
The blister that landed closer Kerry Wood on the disabled list means Wood is doubtful to be dealt before the July 31 Trade Deadline. But Wood’s $10.5 million contract makes him an obvious candidate to clear waivers and be dealt in July. If the Indians are willing to pay all or a portion of his remaining salary, then Wood’s stuff might be attractive to a contender looking for setup help.
Starter Jake Westbrook, making $11 million, could also be dealt in August.
Third baseman Jhonny Peralta has received little to no interest, though FOXSports.com, without citing any sources, claimed Peralta could be a bench option for the Yankees.
There was some interest among contenders in Austin Kearns last month, but his bat has slowed and he’s now dealing with a knee injury.
The Indians already fired their first shot of the Trade Deadline season on Saturday, when they dealt Russell Branyan to the Mariners. They’re certainly not done.
The Tribe is open to trading left fielder Austin Kearns, third baseman Jhonny Peralta, closer Kerry Wood and right-hander Jake Westbrook, all veterans in the last year of their contract. Peralta has a $7 million club option for 2011 that likely won’t be exercised.
Interest in the above names has been marginal, at best. Kearns, making just $750,000 and having a resurgent season, is attractive to some contenders as a fourth outfielder type, but the Indians currently value him as an everyday player and have the asking price to match. The Red Sox are one club that has inquired about Kearns.
Westbrook has been inconsistent this season and is making $11 million. He could be a guy who passes through waivers unclaimed because of his salary and is still eligible to be dealt in August. But the Indians will certainly see if there’s a market for him beforehand, as he could be a nice back-end rotation option for a contender.
— Anthony Castrovince