To start off the weekend, I recommend you have a read of this interesting look at baseball across the pond. On the MLB side of things, here are a few notes from around the National League East:
- Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is poised to decide between buying and selling — or, perhaps, somewhere in-between — depending upon the club's performance in the ten-game homestand it kicked off last night, Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com was among those to report. The team picked up a game on the division-leading Braves last night, but has two more against Atlanta before welcoming the Nationals and then White Sox. While not among the quotes passed along in the article, in the video found at the link, Amaro says that he has "had a lot of discussions in the last three or four days" and has seen "a lot of interest in some pretty good players on our club."
- In his worthwhile look in at available relievers, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal did not include the Mets and closer Bobby Parnell. In a tweet, Rosenthal explained that he has been told that the team is not interested in dealing Parnell unless it is "blown away" by an offer. Parnell, 28, has been excellent for New York and still has two more years of arbitration eligibility before reaching free agency.
- Braves starter Tim Hudson said he was surprised to learn of a report suggesting that he expected to be traded and denied it completely, according to a post from MLB.com's Trade Deadline blog. Of course, Hudson enjoys ten and five rights, meaning he would have the authority to veto any potential trade. As Rosenthal reports on Twitter this morning, Braves GM Frank Wren also says there is "no validity at all" to the notion that Hudson will be dealt.
- The Nationals are definitely interested in adding a starter, according to a report (on Twitter) from ESPN's Buster Olney. As the struggling Dan Haren tries to work out his issues while on the DL, the team has turned to youngster Taylor Jordan. Though Jordan has been successful in two starts, it would be risky indeed to rely on him (and the team's other minor leaguers) to step up if Haren is unable to regain his form down the stretch.