Cafardo On Morneau, Blue Jays, Veras, Ramirez

The Rays might be the only contending team that doesn't need to do anything at the deadline, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.  As for the other 13 clubs that are still in the hunt, Cafardo runs down each of their needs in advance of Wednesday's deadline.  The Cardinals would like to add a starter and perhaps a middle infielder, but are good to go with what they have.  The Rangers got their big fish in Matt Garza, but they'll still be on the hunt for a right-handed hitting outfielder as their concern grows over Nelson Cruz.  Meanwhile, not every club has the resources to make the upgrades that they'd like to.  The Reds have three top arms on the shelf in Johnny Cueto, Jonathan Broxton, and Sean Marshall, but they might not have enough to obtain another.  Here's more from today's column..

  • Contrary to some reports, the Twins have received “numerous calls” on Justin Morneau, according to a major league source.  The Blue Jays are one team that has expressed interest in the Canadian.
  • Scouts and executives are split on whether the Blue Jays could sell off Mark Buehrle and/or Josh Johnson.  Buehrle, 34, isn’t the same pitcher he used to be, but he shows that he has value for a contender with performances like Thursday against the Astros. 
  • Jose Veras has done well as the Astros' closer and he’s receiving a lot of attention from teams looking for a late-inning reliever.  However, teams are wary of the fact that Veras hasn't had to deal with real pressure and the Astros' high asking price.  “I don’t think you can make a blanket statement like he pitches for the Astros so there’s no pressure,” said an American League GM. “If you look at his performances, he comes in when there’s pressure and he handles it well.” 
  • Manny Ramirez was getting rave reviews in his first week for the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate, but he's now slumping.  Texas isn’t bringing him up any time soon, and the Rangers remain focused on acquiring a bat.
  • Twins right-hander Mike Pelfrey is an under-the-radar guy whose performance is peaking and he's available since he'll be a free agent at season's end.  It's a small sample size for sure, but Pelfrey has a 2.28 ERA in four July starts.

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