Pitching Rumors: Shields, Orioles, Felix, Angels

Though the Giants did pick up some infield help in Marco Scutaro earlier tonight, the Giants are focusing on relief pitching given the high cost of a big hitter, reports Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.  He cites Matt Belisle, Rafael Betancourt, Brandon League, Chris Perez and Francisco Rodriguez as a few of the names linked to San Francisco and "if there’s a guy who has experience pitching in the later innings and he’s now on a second-division team, you can bet the Giants are looking into him," Schulman writes.

The Giants aren't the only team who are looking into the arms race as we head towards the trade deadline.  Here are some more pitching-related rumors…

  • James Shields' recent struggles haven't been due to trade speculation, the right-hander told media (including Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times).  Rays manager Joe Maddon feels that Shields will still be with the team after the deadline.
  • Maddon and executive VP Andrew Friedman shared a "guffaw" over a rumor that the Rays would send Shields to the Angels in exchange for Garrett Richards and Howie Kendrick, according to MLB.com's Bill Chastain.  Friedman said he's still not sure how the Rays' deadline strategy will evolve.
  • The Orioles are looking to add a starter moreso than a position player, executive VP Dan Duquette tells reporters (including MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli).  Duquette said other teams have shown interest in Baltimore's own pitching depth in the majors and minors, and Ghiroli speculates that the O's wouldn't deal a young arm without getting a Major League-ready starter in return.
  • In response to the latest Felix Hernandez rumors, a Mariners source tells ESPN's Buster Olney (Twitter link) that "Felix will be a Mariner."  The M's have been adamant that they have no intention of trading their ace despite looking at a long-term rebuilding plan.
  • Through Angels GM Jerry Dipoto said his team was probably done trading after acquiring Zack Greinke earlier today, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter) reports the Halos are looking for a reliever to share late-inning duties with Ernesto Frieri and Scott Downs.
  • Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated looks at the three tiers of starting pitchers available at the deadline.

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