Significant trades remain rare in June, but the Marlins' Ricky Nolasco has four days left to join a club that has added Kevin Youkilis, Mark Ellis, Joel Hanrahan, Sean Burnett, Mark DeRosa, Chris Perez, Nate McLouth, Jeff Locke, and Charlie Morton in recent years. Dodgers GM Ned Colletti told Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio and ESPN today that there have been far more serious trade discussions five weeks from the deadline than he can ever recall, and you have to wonder if Colletti is thinking of his own discussions for Nolasco while making that comment. The entire NL West plus the Orioles have been linked to the 30-year-old righty, who is scheduled to face the Padres tomorrow night. Nolasco has about $6MM left on his contract, which will certainly be part of the trade negotiations. The latest:
- Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports report that the Marlins are seeking a "good" prospect as well as the full $6MM of salary relief in exchange for Nolasco. The financial implications of those demands have pushed the Rockies out of the running. The Dodgers are the front-runners, according to one executive, though the Giants and Padres are still involved in talks. The Orioles are "less confident" in their chances, and the Rangers "loom as a possibility," according to the FOX duo.
- The Dodgers are likely to pay more of Nolasco's salary if it means saving a prospect, tweets Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles. The Dodgers are pleased with the current direction of their minor league system.
- ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that the Dodgers and Marlins have indeed made progress in talks for Nolasco. One source tells Olney that there's a 70 percent chance the deal gets done.
- The Marlins and Dodgers are indeed in talks about Nolasco, hears Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
- As a Southern California native, Nolasco would naturally prefer to pitch on the West Coast, notes MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. The interest from the NL West bodes well for that goal, though the Red Sox scouted Nolasco's last start, writes Frisaro. Nolasco's opinion on being a walking trade rumor? "Whatever happens, happens," he told Frisaro.
- What might it take to acquire Nolasco? Bowden offers proposals for each NL West team in this ESPN article.