Stark’s Latest: Harang, Bedard, Hardy, Weeks, McLouth

Brand new column from ESPN’s Jayson Stark.

  • Stark explains why he feels the trade deadline is overrated.  I guess it all depends on what you expect from it.
  • You may recall Walt Jocketty’s Reds untouchables list from a few weeks ago.  It did not include Aaron Harang.  While the Reds might listen on Harang, there wouldn’t be any kind of discount.
  • The Mariners have pushed Erik Bedard to the backburner, focusing on shopping other veterans.  They’re also not dying to move Raul Ibanez at the moment.
  • The Brewers might be willing to include J.J. Hardy or Rickie Weeks in a trade.  In our chat today, a commenter wondered whether some kind of Hardy-A.J. Burnett swap could work.
  • The Tigers are looking ahead, inquiring about various shortstops they might be able to use in ’09 and beyond.  Perhaps if they find one they’ll decline Edgar Renteria‘s option.
  • Add the Marlins to the list of Brian Fuentes suitors.  One source from another team said the cost for Fuentes is "one good piece." 
  • Stark agrees with recent indications that the Royals aren’t dying to move Ron Mahay.  Nonetheless, the Yankees, Marlins, Phillies, and Tigers are named as interested parties.
  • Pirate outfield chatter: some teams are calling on Nate McLouth, though the Bucs prefer to move Jason Bay or Xavier Nady.  Despite earlier reports, Stark says the Bucs could consider trading both.  The Rays are "especially interested" in Bay.
  • Stark talked to one club official who hasn’t heard any indications that the Phillies are willing to trade Shane Victorino.  Also possibly off-limits: Double A catcher Lou Marson.
  • To acquire Rich Harden, a package "would have to at least approach last year’s Dan Haren extravaganza."  So, look for him to stay put.  Harden’s velocity was down yesterday, by the way.
  • Brett Myers‘ future with the Phillies could hinge on whether they re-sign closer Brad Lidge.
  • Still no buzz around Adam Dunn.
  • C.C. chatter: don’t write off the Indians’ attempt to sign him to an extension.  "One friend" sees Sabathia as more likely to land on the West Coast than the east if he doesn’t re-sign.

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