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
Ken Williams doesn’t see a possible trade fit for his American League Central-leading White Sox at this point and time, with just 11 days remaining until the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
The White Sox general manager does not want to disrupt the outstanding chemistry and camaraderie forged by his current group, which has fought its way back from 9½ games out on June 8 to hold a 2½-game lead entering action at Safeco Field on July 20. But currently, the asking price simply remains too high for potential targets.
That high price basically means Gordon Beckham, Carlos Quentin, John Danks and Gavin Floyd, established players on the Major League roster holding high interest from other teams, won’t be going anywhere.
“We are looking to add, not subtract,” Williams told reporters before Monday night’s 6-1 victory in Seattle.
“If I’m being honest and completely transparent right now of the price that is being asked for some of the players that we’ve inquired about, for us, it’s more detrimental to our present and our future than we’d like,” Williams continued. “We’ll see how that develops. But right now, I don’t see anything materializing.”
Of course, with Williams’ aggressive nature, that outlook could change in a day or two. Williams also wouldn’t rule out a move being made after July 31, as the White Sox executed last Aug. 10, by claiming center fielder Alex Rios off of waivers from Toronto.
Jon Heyman of SI.com and MLB Network brought up that possibility on Sunday night, when he wrote on his Twitter account that the White Sox “might” consider adding Roy Oswalt
after Cliff Lee signed with the Rangers
, though they are “leery” about how he’ll react to switching from the National League to the American League for the first time.
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com wrote via Twitter recently that Oswalt would use his full no-trade clause to block a trade to the White Sox and Tigers. But perhaps that changes.
Oswalt said he’s not really sure
how the Lee deal impacts his situation, but the White Sox — after a furious one-month run — are in the thick of things in the AL Central and are almost assured of being buyers before the non-waiver Trade Deadline. Since Jake Peavy
is expected to miss the rest of the season
, Chicago will likely need starting-pitching help if they hope for a division title.
Oswalt would come at a pro-rated price tag of $15 million. The 32-year-old right-hander is owed $16 million next season and then has a $16 million option (with a $2 million buyout) for 2012. The Mets, Dodgers, Rays, Twins and several others could also be interested in adding a veteran starter like Oswalt.
Here’s more from around the league as we await the State Farm Home Run Derby …
* The Angels plan on pursuing speedy left fielder Carl Crawford when he becomes a free agent this offseason, according to FOXSports.com. For that reason, and because Kendry Morales is expected back in 2011, the club doesn’t want to acquire a first baseman who’s signed beyond the rest of this season.
* It doesn’t look like the first-place Padres will be sellers before the non-waiver Trade Deadline, but it looks like they’ll be looking into smaller deals, according to the San Diego Union Tribune. Lance Berkman and Jermaine Dye are two guys San Diego is looking into for the outfield, the newspaper stated.
* The Blue Jays have made three of their late-inning relievers – Scott Downs, Jason Frasor and Kevin Gregg – available, according to multiple reports. All three of them are free agents at the end of this season and not part of Toronto’s long-term plans.
* The financially strapped Marlins have made Cody Ross
and Jorge Cantu
available, but are holding off on Ricky Nolasco
and Dan Uggla
for now, according to FOXSports.com. Florida has a long climb ahead of itself in the second half if it hopes to content for a playoff spot, so drastic roster changes may be inevitable
* It would take “an extraordinary deal”
for the Nationals to trade slugger Adam Dunn
, general manager Mike Rizzo
said Sunday. Rizzo also said the club wants Josh Willingham
– Alden Gonzalez
The Twins, according to the Twitter account of AOL FanHouse’s Jeff Fletcher, have offered Minor League outfielder Aaron Hicks and Minor League catcher Wilson Ramos in exchange for Cliff Lee. Hicks and Ramos were ranked by Baseball America as the No. 1 and No. 2 prospects in the Twins’ system, respectively, heading into the season. No deal is imminent, however, according to FOXSports.com and the Minneapolis Star Tribune. But the revealing of names means things may be progressing.
Lee, who has a 2.34 ERA, a 0.945 WHIP and a 14.83 strikeout-to-walk ratio, is also drawing interest from the Reds, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. The newspaper reported that the Reds and Mariners talked about Lee when the Reds were in Seattle a couple of weeks ago. The Mariners want an impact bat for Lee, and Reds prospect Yonder Alonso could provide that in exchange, but Seattle is probably looking for more, the Enquirer wrote. Alonso is currently blocked by Joey Votto.
The Twins and Reds, of course, are not the only ones who’d be interested in adding a top-flight left-handed starter with big-game experience and a rather affordable pro-rated price tag. According to SI.com — which said talks between the Twins and Mariners for Lee are “interesting” and “have possibilities” — close to 15 teams are believed to be looking towards adding Lee.
Here’s more from around the league …
* Peter Gammons of MLB Network and MLB.com wrote via Twitter on Tuesday that “rumblings” around St. Petersburg had B.J. Upton going to Seattle in exchange for Lee — perhaps as part of a three-team deal. Whether or not that materializes, the Rays may be willing to trade their right-handed-hitting center fielder regardless. The Red Sox, Giants, Braves and several other teams could be a fit.
* The Orioles and Buck Showalter
have had “continuing conversations” regarding the managerial vacancy, which means the two sides may be closing in on an agreement, according to ESPN.com. FOXSports.com wrote Friday night that the O’s are “zeroing in” on Showalter. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli heard through a source that the O’s are interested in adding Showalter
, and Eric Wedge
is believed to be the other leading candidate.
* The 10-5 rights of Mark Buehrle have kicked in, meaning the White Sox left-hander essentially has a full no-trade clause now, according to MLBTradeRumors.com. Ten-year veterans who have been with an organization for five years earn the right to veto a trade, even if they don’t have a no-trade clause in their contract.
* The Red Sox have not approached Victor Martinez about an extension, according to The Boston Globe. Martinez, currently on the disabled list, is a free agent after this season but has said he’d like to stay in Boston.
– Alden Gonzalez