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Stark On Wagner, Padres, Crawford

ESPN.com's Jayson Stark shows that a number of contenders have vulnerable-looking closers. The Cubs and Phillies two of many teams with shaky arms at the back of the 'pen. Here are the details and the rest of Stark's rumors:

  • At least one scout believes John Smoltz would have been the perfect arm for the Marlins to add to their 'pen.
  • However, clubs pursuing Smoltz heard that he wanted to start, at least for now.    
  • A scout who watched Billy Wagner throw has "no doubt" that Wagner could help a team win. The Rays and Marlins are thought to have interest in Wagner, but neither team would be likely to give up much of a prospect unless the Mets picked up salary.  
  • Stark hears that the Padres pulled Heath Bell and Adrian Gonzalez back off waivers after multiple teams claimed them.
  • Mark Hendrickson cleared waivers, and can now be traded to any team. The Rockies were interested before the deadline, but they may decide to see where the Billy Wagner bidding goes before pursuing Hendrickson again.
  • One rival GM considers the Cards "the best team in the league right now."  
  • The Royals don't seem interested in trading their top pitchers. They pulled Brian Bannister back from waivers and though Joakim Soria and Gil Meche are on waivers now, they aren't likely to be dealt.
  • Clubs eyeing Carl Crawford believe the Rays are becoming less likely to deal him. Desmond Jennings could become the Rays' left fielder, but they'd probably have to be overwhelmed to part with Crawford.
  • It's possible that Jamie Moyer could draw interest as a trade candidate after the season. 
  • One AL exec isn't sure Bryce Harper's the guarantee people perceive him to be.  
  • Stark points out that the Astros traded Ivan Rodriguez just as his incentives were about to start kicking in.
  • An official of a team that inquired about Stephen Strasburg before the draft says that Scott Boras invoked Daisuke Matsuzaka's name without specifically saying he wanted $50MM for his client.








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