MONDAY, 11:13pm: Talks between Blue Jays and Red Sox about a potential Downs deal aren’t currently progressing, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. However, things can change quickly in the week leading up to the non-waiver trade deadline, so the Blue Jays are still scouting Red Sox single A pitcher Roman Mendez, according to Alex Speier.
SUNDAY, 12:28pm: ESPN.com's Buster Olney says the Blue Jays' discussions involving Downs are drawing "fascination" from rival executives who are curious to see what Toronto can acquire. The Jays have been asking for a significant return in part because of Downs' Type A status, but some execs don't believe that should be a factor, and feel the Jays are demanding too much for a non-closer (all Twitter links).
9:14am: The competition in the Scott Downs sweepstakes is "fierce," tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Morosi suggests that the Yankees and the Red Sox are the current front-runners, but that the Mets, Reds, and Twins are also involved.
In a year where the bullpen options are scarce, Downs stands out as not only the top left-handed arm available among an underwhelming group of southpaws, but also as one of the best overall relievers on the market. As MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith pointed out when he examined Downs' trade value, the lefty seems headed for Type A designation, meaning he could potentially be worth a pair of draft picks for whichever team he finishes the year with.