In a Twitter blitz this morning, ESPN.com's Buster Olney dropped several pieces of information about the developing non-waiver trade deadline market. (All Olney links via Twitter.)
- We learned on Thursday that the Diamondbacks are more interested in younger, high-upside, controlled starters like the Brewers' Yovani Gallardo and Cubs' Jeff Samardzija than short-term veteran rentals. Olney, who noted the Gallardo interest a week ago (on Insider), now adds that the Dbacks like the marketability of Gallardo's Mexican heritage.
- Olney also reports that Arizona had brief discussions with the Cubs regarding Samardzija. When the Cubs inquired into the availability of top Dbacks prospects Archie Bradley and Tyler Skaggs, however, the clubs ceased their talks. Nevertheless, Olney says that others in baseball do not believe that Skaggs is untouchable.
- Meanwhile, the trade value of Cubs starter Matt Garza is undeniably trending up as the pitcher demonstrates that he is healthy and capable. Olney says a Garza trade is "expected soon" and, according to MLB executives, will likely return "more than the value of a first-round draft pick" to Chicago.
- It is worth bearing in mind the Cubs' alternative strategic options. The team could decide to hold off on trading Garza, instead exploring a long-term extension with him. Should that not work out, Chicago could make him a qualifying offer. If he signed elsewhere in free agency, then, the Cubs would receive a compensatory first-round choice. Hence, the Cubs will likely be inclined to demand what they view as better value than such a pick in a mid-season trade.
- The Giants may be focused on adding a starter, but that is far from the team's only need. According to an Olney tweet, San Fran is surveying the league for a right-handed outfield bat.
- For the Rays, the club is still waiting and watching to decie on a trade deadline approach, says Olney. Sitting at seven games back in the competitive AL East, the team will wait to see how things play out when it returns David Price and Alex Cobb from the DL.
- Finally, Olney expands upon yesterday's notes on Twins closer Glen Perkins. He reports that teams that have inquired have been told that the club's premier reliever is not presently available. With Perkins signed to what Olney describes as an "incredible team-friendly contract," it will be interesting to see whether Minnesota is interested in trying to entice a contender to send a significant prospect haul to supplement its promising minor league system.