Hope everyone had a great 4th this weekend! We saw some trades this week, heard about some potential deals, and also had the International Signing Period begin on July 2! Here's your weekly look back at the MLBTR world:
- The Pirates have been all over the headlines this week, highlighted by their trade with the Nationals in which they sent Nyjer Morgan and Sean Burnett to Washington in exchange for Lastings Milledge and Joel Hanrahan. I've got to credit Neal Huntington for selling high on two pieces who likely aren't a major part of the club's future to buy low on a talent like Milledge and a hard-luck reliever this year in Hanrahan. Obviously, it's no sure thing, but it's the type of high upside move Bucs fans should be glad to see.
- Pittsburgh also sent Eric Hinske to the Yankees for two minor leaguers this week, and they may not be done yet. They're reportedly also considering deals for Matt Capps and John Grabow. We heard this week that the Twins are interested in both relievers, as well as Freddy Sanchez. Minnesota's bullpen has grown slightly thinner after releasing Luis Ayala this week, and their middle infield has struggled all season. Ayala signed with the Marlins on Thursday.
- The two biggest names among international players this week have been Miguel Angel Sano and Aroldis Chapman. Sano has been linked to Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Minnesota. Sano's age is being investigated, but that hasn't stopped Minnesota from offering a roughly $3MM bonus. Pittsburgh has reportedly offered one as well. Despite the Twins' offer, they appear to be a distant third for Sano's services. Here's some additional information on the Dominican phenom.
- The news this week that Chapman had defected from Cuba started talks of a bidding war, and the Yankees emerged with interest in the lefty fireballer. However, recent news that Chapman may be 26 years old, and not 21 as previously thought, have lilkely caused his once high value to come down to a more reasonable price. Where can you see Chapman landing?
- Teams in need of pitching (which covers just about all of them) might not want to count on Ben Sheets this season. The former Milwaukee ace may not pitch at all in 2009. He's been heavily linked to the Rangers in the past; who should Texas be scouting as Plan B?
- Another ace who's apparently unavailable is Dan Haren, for whom the Angels attempted to begin negotiations. The D'Backs though, "almost can't conceive" a package that would make them think about moving the All-Star.
- The Mets have been decimated by injuries, but Omar Minaya seems content to rely on the return of some of his big name players and won't make a big move. Is this the right move, or is Omar being too optimistic of his players' health?
- Don't look for the Nationals to conduct a firesale either. As Mike Rizzo says, firesales mean you "want to dump people," and the Nats don't want to dump anyone. I can't fathom why the Nationals wouldn't be major sellers, though. This seems more like a play to not detract value from the trade chips he does have.