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Quick Hits: Nationals, Upton, Webb, Inge, Mariners

With nine days remaining before the trade deadline, the biggest trade chips in baseball are arguably Carlos Beltran (latest rumors) and Hunter Pence (latest rumors). Here are some other relevant links from around MLB...

  • The Nationals are in greater need of outfield depth than infield help or a catcher, a baseball source tells Bill Ladson of MLB.com.
  • The Rays pulled B.J. Upton and prospect Desmond Jennings from their respective games, tweets Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post (via Twitter).  However, Upton says that he has not been traded, tweets Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times.
  • Rangers pitcher Brandon Webb will undergo surgery on his right shoulder with the intent to pitch again in 2012, according to his agent Jonathan Maurer.  This will not be a full surgery of the rotator cuff but it will prevent him from throwing for four months.
  • The Tigers would need to eat some salary to move Brandon Inge but teams still believe that the veteran has value, tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (via Twitter).
  • The Reds scouted Jason Vargas and Doug Fister when the Mariners visited Toronto this week, a source told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
  • Indians team president Mark Shapiro said that he expects the club will make a move in the next ten days, tweets Nick Camino of WTAM 1100.
  • Reds GM Walt Jocketty told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that he’s looking for a bat to insert at the top of the order or in the middle of the lineup. However, the Reds are also open to acquiring pitching, either for the rotation or the bullpen. The Reds have lots of depth, but Jocketty says he “hates” trading prospects.
  • Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago hears that Hall of Fame executive Pat Gillick is open to a role with the Cubs. Gillick said last week that he's open to taking on a full-time role as a team president at some point in the future.
  • MLB talent evaluators tell Alex Speier of WEEI.com that the Red Sox have a number of players whose prospect status is starting to rise and who could become elite prospects within a year. Though the Adrian Gonzalez deal made a major dent in Boston’s farm system, Speier’s sources say the Red Sox still have secondary prospects who could be valuable trade bait this summer. Third baseman Will Middlebrooks and right-hander Anthony Ranaudo are among the organization’s top prospects.
  • Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports confirms that the Red Sox have had exploratory conversations with the Royals about Jeff Francoeur.








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