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Just about every team could improve its bullpen and some clubs, like the Marlins and Rockies, are working aggressively to add relievers. Here are some of the names to consider, ordered from highest 2009 salary to lowest.
- Kerry Wood – He's been a disappointment in Cleveland, and the Indians owe him about $15MM before the end of next year, and possibly more in 2011.
- Rafael Soriano - Could the Braves get creative and deal Soriano ($6.1MM) or Mike Gonzalez ( $3.5MM), who will also become a free agent this winter.
- Danys Baez – At $5.5MM, he's an expensive option, but he could help a contender.
- LaTroy Hawkins – He's been effective in 38 appearances for the Astros, who are still in contention and may hold onto Hawkins ($3.5MM) and fellow reliever Jose Valverde ($8MM).
- Rafael Betancourt – He's still nowhere near as effective as he was in 2007, but Betancourt's pitched well enough this year; he'll make $3.35MM this season.
- Russ Springer – He's been hittable, but he can still strike major leaguers out. He makes $3.3MM this year.
- George Sherrill – Affordable and effective, Sherrill ($2.75MM) is under team control through 2011.
- Chad Qualls – The D'Backs already traded Tony Pena, so they may be reluctant to part with Qualls, who makes $2.5MM this season.
- John Grabow – Makes $2.3MM this year, before hitting free agency this winter. He's pitching well, but his control's been off this season.
- Matt Capps – Like Grabow, he makes $2.3MM this year, but Capps will likely hit free agency after 2012.
- Juan Cruz – Still tough to hit, but not as effective as last year, Cruz makes $2.25MM this year and more in 2010.
- Joe Beimel – The 32-year-old lefty makes $2MM this year. He's pitched well, but not quite as well as his 3.57 ERA suggests.
- Takashi Saito – A relative bargain at $1.5MM plus incentives, especially when you consider the affordable team option for next year.
- Heath Bell – At an affordable $1.3MM, the All-Star closer would be appealing to many clubs, especially since he's under team control through 2011.
- Cla Meredith – By far the cheapest option on this list at just $431k, he's had three respectable seasons in a row since his breakout 2006 campaign.
The Twins, Angels, Rangers, Phillies, Rockies and Dodgers are among the teams that could make deals to improve their respective ‘pens.
Ed Price's Baseball Brunch column is up over at fanhouse.com. Let's take a look at the highlights:
- Price names several amusing first-half awards, including the "Bg Hitter" award for Albert Pujols, in honor of Albert's mammoth home run that took out the "I" in the Big Mac Land sign at Busch Stadium.
- The Red Sox's strategy as the deadline approaches is dependent on Mike Lowell's health. The Sox have looked at Garrett Atkins, but have found Colorado's asking price to be too much. Colorado apparently isn't impressed with Takashi Saito. If Lowell is to miss an extended period of time, Price writes that the Red Sox would have an easier time getting a first baseman and putting Kevin Youkilis at third.
- The Orioles know they're sellers, and have good trade pieces in Aubrey Huff and Danys Baez. However, Andy MacPhail has said he wants his team to be competitive in the second half, given the September slides his team has seen the past two seasons. Price briefly speculates that Baez could intrigue the Twins.
- The O's would have to be overwhelmed to move George Sherrill, and Jeremy Guthrie is no longer a trade candidate, with Koji Uehara ailing.
- Huff may interest Detroit, who needs some left-handed help in the order. They'd like someone who could play in the outfield, however. Price says that the Tigers inquired on Adam Dunn, but the finances didn't line up.
- The Rockies are in need of a quality setup man, as they've been using Joel Peralta and Matt Daley to get to Huston Street.
- The rumors of Doug Davis going to Milwaukee have died down for now.
- The Rays would like to upgrade in right field; they're currently using a platoon of Gabe Gross and Gabe Kapler.
The Marlins are about to sign Scott Williamson to a minor league deal, and they have also shown interest in big league relievers, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. Every potential trade partner has asked for Logan Morrison or Mike Stanton in return, but the Marlins consider the two prospects untouchable.
The Marlins discussed dealing for George Sherrill or Danys Baez of the Orioles, but recently slowed their pursuit of Baez.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports argues that the Cubs don't need to make a trade, they just need their hitters to start producing. Here are his most recent rumors:
- Ed Wade says Miguel Tejada's impending free agency is part of the reason the Astros aren't asking him to move from shortstop to third base. Tejada would probably move, but Wade would rather not ask him to.
- The Rockies are looking hard for relief help. They were interested in Joel Hanrahan earlier in the season, but he's much less appealing now.
- LaTroy Hawkins, Chad Qualls and Takashi Saito are all more appealing than Hanrahan, but Rosenthal says they're "longshots."
- The Rockies aren't that interested in Cla Meredith and Danys Baez.
- One GM said the Royals are under pressure to win as many games as possible this year.
- The D'Backs believe Doug Davis has more value as a trade chip because he projects as a Type B free agent. Check out the latest Elias rankings here.
- One official believes the Mets are better off with Daniel Murphy than Nick Johnson.
- When the Cardinals inquired on Matt Holliday they heard the A's aren't looking to move him and would require a strong offer to part with him.
ESPN.com's Buster Olney says Alex Rodriguez will never be as marketable as he once was, but the Yankees would settle for a return to his standard high level of play. A-Rod's not impressing scouts anymore, but all the Yankees can do is keep playing him and hope he returns to form. After all, he has eight years on his contract after this one. Here are the rest of Olney's rumors:
- Olney confirms what we heard earlier today: the Marlins are looking for a proven reliever. Olney says Danys Baez could work, as well as LaTroy Hawkins and Luis Ayala.
- The Marlins have been considering Mark DeRosa, but they could stay internal at third base and play Emilio Bonifacio and Gaby Sanchez.
- Executives expect DeRosa to go to whoever offers the best young pitching, something teams are increasingly unwilling to part with.
- Executives considered the Reds' starting pitching depth possible trade bait, but until Edinson Volquez returns, Cincinnati doesn't have as many pitchers as expected.
ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reports that, with only five teams more than six games under .500, it's a tough time to be a buyer. Here are the details from his latest Rumblings and Grumblings:
- There are many trade candidates in Washingon, but free agent-to-be Nick Johnson is the likeliest to move of them all.
- Adam Dunn's price would be "astronomical" according to one executive.
- One of Danys Baez and George Sherrill will likely be dealt, and it seems more likely that Baez will move. As one official says, "he's throwing great, but he's still Danys Baez."
- The D'Backs would prefer to move prospective free agents, like Doug Davis and Chad Tracy. Stark writes that Davis could fit on the Mets.
- One executive believes Brian Giles "should get released."
- Cla Meredith could bring a decent return for the Padres, who could also move Chris Young and Kevin Kouzmanoff.
- The Royals could move reliever Ron Mahay.
- At this point the Astros still aren't likely to sell. No one expects them to move Roy Oswalt, but Ivan Rodriguez, LaTroy Hawkins and Jose Valverde could be dealt if the Astros decide to sell.
- One official says the Pirates would "love to move Jack Wilson."
- Victor Martinez and Cliff Lee aren't going anywhere, but Mark DeRosa is becoming "more marketable by the minute."
- Matt Holliday will hit the market if the A's don't play very well for the next few weeks. The A's will want the equivalent of a first rounder and a sandwich pick and, because few elite bats are available, at least one exec thinks they'll get a good return.
- The A's are worried he'll accept arbitration if they offer it, but Stark hears that Scott Boras would likely direct Holliday towards a better hitter's park, even if it was for less money.
- The Red Sox aren't in a hurry to deal Brad Penny. If they go for a shortstop, they'd want a short-term fix only.
- The Rockies- definitely not sellers right now- could eventually look to add a setup man.
- Delmon Young is "exceptionally available."
- The Brewers won't discuss dealing Mat Gamel or Alcides Escobar.
- The Rays would like to add a reliever, but they're one of many teams that can't add much payroll.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Adam Dunn | Alcides Escobar | Arizona Diamondbacks | Baltimore Orioles | Boston Red Sox | Brad Penny | Brian Giles | Chris Young | Cla Meredith | Cleveland Indians | Cliff Lee | Danys Baez | Delmon Young | Doug Davis | George Sherrill | Houston Astros | Ivan Rodriguez | Jack Wilson | Kansas City Royals | Mark DeRosa | Matt Holliday | Milwaukee Brewers | Minnesota Twins | Nick Johnson | Oakland Athletics | Pittsburgh Pirates | Ron Mahay | San Diego Padres | Tampa Bay Rays | Victor Martinez | Washington Nationals
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Red Sox discussed a trade that would have sent Takashi Saito to Texas for Hank Blalock. The idea lost traction once Josh Hamilton underwent surgery and David Ortiz began hitting better and it's not likely to be revived. However, "several" teams have interest in Saito, who the Red Sox might prefer to deal for a prospect. Here are more details from Rosenthal's column:
- The Rangers remain the leading contenders to sign Ben Sheets.
- They also considered going after Nick Johnson, but are more likely to replace Chris Davis internally if they decide he's not contributing enough at the plate.
- One scout has noticed the Brewers following Erik Bedard and believes they'll make a "strong play" for him.
- J.J. Hardy remains appealing to teams around the league and the Brewers are "constantly" asked about shortstop prospect Alcides Escobar.
- The Red Sox "sniffed around" on a Hardy-Brad Penny swap, but that deal wouldn't work for Milwaukee.
- The Orioles are increasingly willing to deal George Sherrill and Danys Baez.
Some links to peruse as you realize how lame it is when your favorite team has a scheduled off day…
- Joe Smith of The St. Petersburg Times spoke to agent Dan Horwits, who says his client Jason Isringhausen plans to come back and pitch in the big leagues again. Izzy will miss the rest of the year due to Tommy John surgery.
- The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec writes that the Orioles have a valuable trade chip in reliever Danys Baez.
- MLB.com's Bill Ladson reiterated that the Nationals are not going to bring Pedro Martinez or Tom Glavine aboard as players. The team would be interested in Glavine as a coach, though.
- Pete McElroy of of MASNsports.com lists the 16 draft picks the Nationals have signed.
- The Yankees signed catcher Buck Afenir as an undrafted free agent out of Kansas according to KUsports.com.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Yankees will eventually "target the best available late-inning relievers." Here are some names to watch and the rest of Rosenthal's rumors:
- The Yankees have already expressed interest in Huston Street.
- The Rockies, on an eight-game win streak, are just 4.5 games back in the NL Wild Card race and don't want to deal Street until closer to July 31st.
- Chad Qualls and Jose Valverde could be options for the Yankees, but both have dealt with health issues and the Yankees would have to be certain they're healthy.
- The Yankees could pursue Danys Baez.
- Angels GM Tony Reagins says other teams are calling him regularly, but there's "nothing on the horizon."
- The Angels could use help just about everywhere and they could deal from depth in the middle infield and behind the plate.
- Brandon Wood has been playing some first base in Triple A.
- Andy Sonnanstine and Jeff Niemann could be traded if the Rays don't start winning.
- The White Sox may not receive good prospects in return if they deal Jermaine Dye, since "few clubs, if any" can afford to take on his $11.5MM salary and surrender top young players in the same deal.
- Rosenthal hears that any grievance Tom Glavine files against the Braves would be out of principle; he would donate any money awarded to charity.
- Gregor Blanco could play right field for the Braves if they deal Jeff Francoeur.
- Rosenthal heard from one scout who was "decidedly unimpressed" with Doug Davis.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Andy Sonnanstine | Arizona Diamondbacks | Atlanta Braves | Brandon Wood | Chad Qualls | Chicago White Sox | Danys Baez | Doug Davis | Huston Street | Jeff Francoeur | Jeff Niemann | Jermaine Dye | Jose Valverde | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | New York Yankees | Tampa Bay Rays | Tom Glavine
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Orioles would consider dealing Jeremy Guthrie under the right circumstances. Here are the details, along with highlights from the rest of his column:
- Teams have inquired to see if Guthrie, who makes just $650K this year, is available. The Orioles would only move him if they hear "an overwhelming offer."
- The O's are reluctant to move George Sherrill, who's pitching well and remains under team control through 2011.
- Danys Baez is more likely to be dealt.
- The Rangers could lose Josh Hamilton for an extended period, but that won't stop them from dealing a bat for a reliever. Rosenthal writes that the Rangers could replace a player like Marlon Byrd or Hank Blalock internally.
- The Rangers will consider pursuing a top starting pitcher.
- The Mariners aren't about to deal anybody away for now. "I think right now we are still in it," GM Jack Zduriencik said. The Mariners are 5.5 games out in the AL West.
- If Troy Glaus proves he can hit, but has trouble playing third upon his return, the Cardinals could deal him to a team in need of a first baseman or DH.