July 2008

Nationals Release Lo Duca, Lopez

The Washington Post is reporting that the Nationals released both Paul Lo Duca and Felipe Lopez following tonight’s game. The move was made to free-up space on the roster for Elijah Dukes and Emilio Bonifacio.

Lo Duca was hitting .230/.301/.281 in 139 at bats this season and made $5MM on a one-year deal. Lopez was hitting .231/.303/.309 in 324 at bats and was in his final arbitration-eligible season, making $4.9MM.

Cork Gaines writes for RaysIndex.com and can be reached here.


Odds And Ends: Braves, Orioles, Redding, Dunn, Ryan

A few more post-deadline notes from the MLBiverse…

  • Apparently the Braves tried to get involved in the Jason Bay sweepstakes in the last hour before the deadline.
  • Andy MacPhail feels that the Orioles will actually be more active in August than in July. Jeff Zrebiec and Dan Connolly suggest that several players, including Kevin Millar, Jay Payton and Ramon Hernandez could be had in August. MacPhail also noted that while there "was a pretty high bar set" for teams asking about Brian Roberts, MacPhail made it clear that Roberts was not off-limits and suggested that a deal this winter is not out of the question.
  • Jim Bowden does not appear eager to trade Tim Redding, who according to Bill Ladson, is the Nat’s only player of value that could be traded in August.
  • Walt Jocketty would not commit to an attempt to sign Adam Dunn to an extension.
  • Terry Ryan, the Twins former GM, penned a piece for SI.com in which he details what a GM goes through in the weeks and days leading up to the trade deadline. Very interesting read.

Cork Gaines writes for RaysIndex.com and can be reached here.


Odds And Ends: Giants, Maddux, Grudzielanek, Arias

A few post-deadline notes from the MLBiverse…

  • Brian Sabean is confident that he will be able to sneak some of his veteran players (Rich Aurilia, Omar Vizquel, Randy Winn, Bengie Molina, etc.) through waivers in the coming month for the purpose of making a trade. Chris Haft feels that the large number of teams remaining in contention will make that very difficult.
  • Kevin Towers does not sound optimistic about the possibility of trading Greg Maddux in the next month noting that such a move would be "dicier" and any trade would still require the Dodgers to "step up and give us the prospect package [the Padres want]."
  • Bob Dutton reports that the Royals will still try to move Mark Grudzielanek.
  • The Astros claimed relief pitcher Alberto Arias off waivers from the Rockies. Arias had been DFA’d on Tuesday and the Astros will send him to triple-A.

Cork Gaines writes for RaysIndex.com and can be reached here .



Ibanez Trade Unlikely

6:10pm: Just to wrap up Toronto’s brief venture into the Bay sweepstakes (since it was first reported in this post)…the Jays backed out when the Pirates asked for Shaun Marcum and top prospect Travis Snider.

5:36pm: Geoff Baker has some more details on the failed deal with Toronto although he still is not sure who was offered for Ibanez. Baker has quotes from JP Ricciardi that says it was the Mariners that backed out of the deal. Baker then goes on to speculate that the aquisition of Ibanez was a marketing tool to convince the fans in Toronto that the team was still gunning for the playoffs to keep TV ratings up.

2:48pm: Jayson Stark says the Mariners had second thoughts and will likely keep Ibanez.  It could’ve been a 2-for-1 with Major Leaguers going to Seattle.

2:34pm: Jeff Blair says talks for Ibanez are ongoing.  It’s even possible (though unlikely) an Ibanez trade could allow the Jays to include Adam Lind in a deal.

Blair adds that the Marlins called the Jays about Matt Stairs.

2:20pm: The Jays are left as the sole Ibanez suitor as we draw to within 40 minutes of the deadline.

1:14pm: Stark says the Jays are also eyeing Raul Ibanez.  Eh?  Also, Dejan Kovacevic says the Bay talks ended quickly based on the Pirates’ asking price.  Think Shaun Marcum and Travis Snider.

11:48am: According to ESPN’s Jayson Stark, the Blue Jays have entered the mix for Jason Bay.  Of course, the asking price will be high.  But Bay is Canadian!

The Jays are 6.5 games out of the wild card, that dangerous area where a team thinks it’s a contender.  Bay is under contract for ’09 too though.


Manny To Dodgers, Bay To Red Sox

4:05pm: Peter Abraham says Manny’s team options were removed and he has agreed to decline arbitration.

3:58pm: Let’s sort through this wild trade.

  • For 1.3 years of Bay, the Pirates receive LaRoche, Morris, Hansen, and Moss.  Moss becomes the regular left fielder, LaRoche takes over at third until Pedro Alvarez is ready.  When that happens, they might have a good problem on their hands.  Future Pirates’ outfield: Moss, McCutchen, McLouth.  The pitchers are a couple of live arms at this point.
  • The Red Sox might be downgrading a bit with Bay replacing Manny, but they get Bay next year for just $7.5MM.
  • The Dodgers will have Manny play every day.  That leaves Juan Pierre, Andruw Jones, Andre Ethier, and Matt Kemp splitting two outfield spots.  Not ideal, but they didn’t give up a ton to get Ramirez.  One question – can they get Manny to agree to decline an offer of arbitration so they can net draft picks?

3:39pm: Bob Nightengale has the Bucs getting Craig Hansen and Brandon Moss from the Red Sox and Andy LaRoche and Bryan Morris from the Dodgers, correcting what looks like a typo in the Rosenthal report.

3:37pm: Rosenthal has details:

Pirates outfielder Jason Bay is headed to the Red Sox. The Pirates will receive Andy LaRoche and right-hander Bryan Morris from the Dodgers and outfielder Damien Moss and releiver Craig Hansen from the Red Sox.

He adds that the Red Sox will pay the $7MM remaining on Manny’s contract.

3:30pm: According to SI.com’s Jon HeymanJack Curry agrees.


Nationals Acquire Alberto Gonzalez

Minor move: the Nationals get shortstop Alberto Gonzalez from the Yankees for minor league pitcher Jhonny Nunez.


Jason Bay Rumors: Thursday

3:29pm: Bay to the Dodgers?  Jennifer Langosch says it’s possible.

3:00pm: Rosenthal has a source saying Bay to the Rays is off "unless a miracle happens."  He has Bay headed to Boston once again.

2:43pm: MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo says there is no done deal – the Rays might not make Brignac available.

2:11pm: MLB.com’s Bill Chastain with the scoop – the Rays have acquired Jason Bay for Reid Brignac and Jeff Niemann.  The Rays haven’t confirmed it yet though, and Rosenthal says the Bucs want to replace Niemann with other prospects.  I wonder if Bay would DH for the Rays.

Will we see a Jack Wilson trade next, or will that wait until the offseason?  Brignac, 22, is hitting .257/.304/.429 in 91 Triple A games.  He probably isn’t ready yet.  Baseball America still expects him to develop into a solid offensive-minded shortstop.

Niemann, 25, has a 3.53 ERA in 18 Triple A starts this year.  He’ll probably go straight into the Pirates’ rotation.  Baseball America feels he has #2 or #3 starter stuff, but his star has dimmed in recent times.


Manny Ramirez Rumors: Thursday

3:26pm: Many people are emailing saying Jon Heyman is reporting Manny to the Dodgers.

3:08pm: Aaaaaand…it’s dead again.

3:02pm: Rosenthal stirs things up: the three-headed Manny-Bay-Hermida deal is back on.

2:46pm: Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says the three-way is dead, while the Dodgers are in play.  Gordon Edes of the Boston Globe says to count out the Dodgers on Manny.  Guess these guys aren’t cube-mates.

1:31pm: Heyman says the Dodgers are back in the mix for Manny but the Marlins aren’t out of it.

1:17pm: Nick Cafardo doesn’t buy the "dead" talk.  However, the Pirates may have turned away from the Boston-Florida scenario for Bay.  The Rays are still a possibility for him.

12:56pm: Rosenthal’s hearing this thing is dead.

11:49am: Rosenthal has a mixed opinion, with one source advising caution and another saying the deal is "taking off."  Manny is following the ordeal on ESPN.

More links: a Gordon Edes Q&A on the topic, and word from Yahoo’s Tim Brown that the Pirates are happy with their end of the deal.

11:46am: Peter Gammons says the three-way Manny deal is close to dead.  It may not make sense for Boston.

11:34am: A deal hasn’t been reached, though Manny has consented to a Florida trade.  Jon Heyman considers this a major hurdle cleared.

The Rays appear unlikely to make a trade, by the way.  Perhaps they’re cursed by their own loaded farm system.

11:29am: Will Carroll has an update.  The Pirates could back out Bay talks entirely if they don’t get what they want.  The Red Sox will continue shopping Manny regardless, with the Dodgers and a mystery team in the mix.  The Dodgers might be willing to part with Matt Kemp.

10:44am: Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe agrees – the Pirates’ return for Bay may be the holdup.

10:12am: Rosenthal says the three teams have a framework for the major players, but no agreement on the prospects.  The Bucs’ return from the Red Sox is the holdup.  Rosenthal says Tucker and Stanton will stay put, by the way.

9:37am: Kovacevic says the Pirates are open to trading Bay to the Red Sox or the Rays.

9:22am: ESPN’s Jayson Stark’s source has this at 50-50.  The Pirates are insisting on Stanton but the Marlins don’t want to give him up.  Grabow coud end up in Florida rather than Boston.  Tucker is in play but not a lock to be moved.

9:10am: Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald has a source saying chances of a deal are "less than 50-50."  Some members of Red Sox front office are not convinced Manny should be traded.  What do you think?  Are they better off with Bay and Grabow or Manny?

7:59am: Scott Miller of CBSSports.com hears that Ryan Tucker and Mike Stanton would not be in the deal.  He says it’s not done and talks could still collapse.  By the way, the Pirates have tried to acquire Jeremy Hermida in the past.

7:17am: Here’s the latest on the Manny Ramirez-Jason Bay-Jeremy Hermida three-way deal talks.  At this time, the AP is saying there is no tentative agreement between the Red Sox, Pirates, and Marlins.


Lefty Relievers: Ohman, Grabow, Eyre, Mahay

2:50pm: Stark says Ohman’s probably staying put despite interest from ten teams.

2:39pm: Buster Olney says the Phillies will probably come up empty on a lefty reliever.

2:02pm: Rob Bradford of the Boston Herald says the Braves asked for a pitching prospect for Ohman, and the Red Sox passed.  Mahay remains a possibility.

1:07pm: MLB.com’s Mark Bowman says the Braves could keep Ohman.  So far they’re not finding offers superior to the supplemental draft pick they could get after the season.

THURSDAY, 12:24pm: Jayson Stark has the Yanks and Red Sox battling for Eyre.

WEDNESDAY, 11:50pm: Let’s talk lefty relievers.

  • David O’Brien names the Red Sox, Cardinals, Rays, Tigers, and White Sox parties interested in Will Ohman.  But the Sox might end up with John Grabow, and the Tigers may be content with Kyle Farnsworth as their relief addition.  Grabow may also be on the Rays’ radar.
  • MLB.com’s Mark Bowman has the Rays, Yankees, and Red Sox after Ohman, with the Cardinals out of the bidding.
  • Sean McAdam sees Boston’s interest in Ohman as minimal.  Instead, they’re eyeing Scott Eyre and Ron Mahay.  They’ve even offered Brandon Moss for Mahay, which seems solid.  Nick Cafardo believes righties Huston Street and J.J. Putz are still in the mix.
  • 15 scouts watched Arthur Rhodes struggle tonight.

White Sox Acquire Ken Griffey Jr.

3:05pm: The Griffey deal is official.

2:37pm: Jeff Blair talked to a source who thinks the White Sox might move one of their outfield-DH types for pitching help.

2:18pm: Hal McCoy comments on Griffey’s time in Cincinnati.

10:25am: Per Ken Rosenthal, Griffey approved the trade.  It might involve $1MM+ in cash somehow.

10:16am: The deal awaits Griffey’s approval, but it’d be for Danny Richar and Nick Masset according to Danny Knobler.  The Reds will hopefully be willing to kick in some cash for Junior to approve the deal if necessary.

8:02am: Rosenthal says the Sox would most likely use Griffey in the outfield, though it’s been a while since he’s played center regularly.

7:08am: From out of nowhere, the White Sox have acquired Ken Griffey Jr.  Ken Rosenthal says the deal awaits Junior’s approval.  The fit is unclear, as the Sox have Carlos Quentin and Jermaine Dye in the corners and Jim Thome at DH.  Perhaps they’ll try Griffey at first base?