With such notable names as Zack Greinke, Wandy Rodriguez and Hanley Ramirez already dealt, what other big moves could see as we head into the last weekend before the trade deadline? Here are a few items to kick off Saturday...
- The Padres have sent three officials to watch the Orioles over the last two weeks, with senior VP Omar Minaya in attendance at Camden Yards for Friday's Athletics/Orioles game at Camden Yards, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. Of course, Minaya could have also been watching the visitors, given that both Oakland and Baltimore are two of the top suitors for Chase Headley.
- Would-be contenders aren't shying away from dealing away major pieces in an effort to start fresh, opines MLB.com's Terence Moore. "Trades also are now more about trading contracts than trading players, which is part of the bottom line: People in baseball are looking for ways to control those payrolls and budgets," says SiriusXM Radio's Steve Phillips.
- The new CBA rules prohibiting draft pick compensation for teams who acquire "rental players" is having an impact on the deadline movement, writes MLB.com's Paul Hagen.
- The Chiba Lotte Marines announced the acquisitions of left-hander Wil Ledezma and right-hander Doug Mathis, according to a Sponichi news report (passed on by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker). Ledezma, 31, signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers last winter but posted a 6.99 ERA in 38 relief appearances at Triple-A Albuquerque. The nine-year Major League veteran pitched five games for the Blue Jays in 2011. Mathis, 29, last appeared in the Majors with the Rangers in 2010 and had previously signed a minor league deal with the Red Sox in January.