Deadline Notes: Starters, Astros, Utley, Braves, Perkins

Let's have a look at the latest talk surrounding the approaching trade deadline season:

  • Starting pitching is an active priority for the Orioles, writes Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. Hurlers that the club is reportedly looking at include Ricky Nolasco (Marlins), Edinson Volquez and Andrew Cashner (Padres), Matt Garza and Scott Feldman (Cubs), Jake Peavy (White Sox), Bud Norris (Astros), and recent Oriole Joe Saunders (currently with the Mariners). The trouble for the O's, according to Connolly, will be coming up with enough prospects that the team can stomach dealing.
  • The Giants are most interested in acquiring a starter that the team can control for more than this year, tweets FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi. In spite of that preference, Morosi says that San Francisco is interested in popular trade subject Matt Garza. 
  • The Cubs' Garza is generating a lot of attention given his evident availability and intriguing return from a long DL stint. Paul Swydan of Fangraphs wonders, however, whether the oft-injured Garza is really worth the hype. Swydan says that Garza's overall track record as a solid middle or back-of-the-rotation starter is what teams should expect to be buying, especially since his recent starts have come against some of baseball's weaker-hitting clubs.
  • Trade talks are "ongoing" for two prominent members of the Astros, starter Bud Norris and closer Jose Veras, tweets Morosi. Both were recent subjects of MLBTR trade candidate analysis, as Mark Polishuk took a look at Norris and Steve Adams analyzed Veras.
  • The most obvious trade in baseball, according to Fangraphs' Dave Cameron, is a deal sending Chase Utley from the Phillies to the Athletics. Cameron argues that Utley is still a highly productive second bagger, and would be a huge upgrade at the spot that the A's most need one.
  • With the Braves losing key bench bat Ramiro Pena to season-ending shoulder surgery,'s Mark Bowman wonders whether the team will be more inclined to seek a third baseman before the trade deadline. While Chris Johnson has hit the ball fantastically, he has been a problem on the defensive side. Meanwhile, the team designated and then traded Johnson's early-season platoon partner, Juan Francisco, earlier in the year.
  • The Twins face a difficult choice with 30-year-old closer Glen Perkins, writes ESPN's Buster Olney (on Insider). (Olney expanded upon his tweet yesterday addressing the Perkins situation.) With Perkins' value trending way up — he sports a 2.12 ERA, has registered 12.4 K/9 against just 2.1 BB/9, and is inked to a very reasonable three-year deal (plus option) — Minnesota could reap a major return. 

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