The waiver trade deadline is one week away, meaning that teams have to work fast if they want to make an out-of-house upgrade for their playoff roster. Will there be a flurry of moves to close out August? “I doubt it,” one National League General Manager told Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. “There’s a lot more blocking going on this year.” Here's more from today's column..
- The Yankees increased Hiroki Kuroda’s salary from $10MM in 2011 to $15MM in 2012 and Cafardo wonders aloud if they'll have to tack on another $5MM to keep him in 2014. One Yankees official said they need to do whatever they can to make that happen, as the right-hander, even at 39, would still be the best starting pitcher on the open market. Kuroda has pondered retirement but a sizable deal like that could keep him in place.
- Baseball people would be surprised if the Mariners replace Jack Zduriencik with one year remaining on his contract. The feeling is the M's have some good young talent on the way and if Zduriencik can retain Kendrys Morales, Raul Ibanez, and Mike Morse, he has a chance to really make some progress. Zduriencik raised some eyebrows when he held on to that trio this summer, but he believes he can re-sign a couple or all three.
- It doesn’t appear that the Reds will have the finances to sign Shin-Soo Choo for the long term and the Mets, Yankees, Phillies, Cubs, and Red Sox could all have interest. Industry sources told Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com last week that the Cubs are expected to make a run at Choo. The outfielder ranks No. 5 on Tim Dierkes' 2014 Free Agent Power Rankings.
- Speaking of the Reds, Bronson Arroyo probably won't be back with the club and a National League team like the Cardinals, Mets, or Braves would probably suit him. Cafardo also notes that Cubs president Theo Epstein has an affinity for Arroyo.
- Agent Scott Boras would like to see clients Stephen Drew and Jacoby Ellsbury re-sign with the Red Sox long term. Naturally, he expects a vibrant market for both players.
- A.J. Burnett could be a candidate to stay in with the Pirates, even though he's hinted about retirement. If he goes elsewhere, it's hard to see him getting a long-term deal, but the Blue Jays could try to bring him back for the short term.