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
That’s what FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal and ESPN.com’s Buster Olney are entertaining. Rosenthal heard through Major League sources that the Phillies want a top-of-the-rotation starter and that general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has no qualms about trading for a pitcher he jettisoned in the offseason. Enter Cliff Lee, the best starting pitcher who will likely be available prior to the non-waiver Trade Deadline, and one who’s a free agent after this season. Meanwhile, Olney believes the Yankees and Mariners will at least talk about Lee before the Deadline.
Still, FoxSports.com calls a reunion between Lee and the Phills “a longshot” and “perhaps unrealistic.” Philadelphia already gave up a bevy of prospects to acquire Roy Halladay this past offseason, and their focus right now is on acquiring infield help, since second baseman Chase Utley and third baseman Placido Polanco are on the disabled list. As for the Yankees, Olney states that the club has a recent history of reluctance to lose top prospects in gaining starting pitching, and he noted that the Yanks and M’s don’t have a very good trade history.
The Rangers have been looked on as a team that has a strong chance at landing Lee. The Mets and Dodgers are also in need of starting-pitching help and could look in Lee’s direction.
Here’s more from around the league …
* Lee and the Yankees may be in the back burner, but the Yankees’ priority right now is improving their bench, general manager Brian Cashman told The Newark Star Ledger. Ty Wigginton, according to the Star Ledger, is someone in particular the Yankees have shown interest in.
* Given a choice, Mets manager Jerry Manuel would prefer the club acquired a starting pitcher
, though another option in the back end of the bullpen would be a nice consolation prize.
* The Nationals signed Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez
to a Minor League contract on Friday. Orlando, half-brother of Nats starter Livan Hernandez
, is 44 years old and hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2007. He’ll start a throwing program in Viera, Fla., then work his way up to the Minors and hopefully join the Nats as a reliever.
* Jermaine Dye, who hasn’t played this season but hasn’t retired, has been getting interest from the Rockies, Rangers and Padres, according to FoxSports.com.
— Alden Gonzalez