A gaggle of links for your Thursday evening reading pleasure…
- In response to someone mentioning the Yunel Escobar–Matt Holliday rumors, MLB.com's Mark Bowman says "There is zero truth to those Escobar rumors. The Braves have NO and I repeat no intention to move him. Believe me, if they move him, it will simply be a deal that they simply can't refuse and that wouldn't include anything involving Holliday."
- Tom Krasovic notes that Jake Peavy is out of his walking boot, and is ready to begin "ramping it up."
- David Lennon of Newsday says that earlier today Mets GM Omar Minaya twice mentioned "that he talked with five or six teams today."
- Joe Strauss of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says that the Cardinals may search for starting pitching if Todd Wellemeyer doesn't show more consistency over his next 2-3 starts.
- Scott Lauber of The News Journal notes that the Phillies promoted one of their best prospects, outfielder Michael Taylor, to Triple-A. He speculates that Taylor may best serve the club as trade bait, considering all three of their regular outfielders were All Stars.
- When asked who the best prospect was if matched up head to head, Baseball America's Jim Callis said he'd go with Bryce Harper over Justin Upton, citing Harper's advantage in power.
- MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reports that the Reds gave Venezuelan shortstop Humberto Valor a $690k bonus. Valor signed with Cincinnati earlier this month.
- David Villavicencio of MLB.com mentions that the Marlins have signed eight of their first ten draft picks. First rounder Chad James remains unsigned, however.