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Midway through this year's 162-game schedule, all five American League East teams have winning records. The Yankees have the best winning percentage in baseball and the Orioles, Rays, Red Sox and Blue Jays have all won more games than they've lost. Here are the latest AL East links…
- Executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette estimates that the Orioles have had trade talks with "probably over half the teams," Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com reports. Duquette says he'd like to improve his team's rotation if possible. "We need to find a solution to our starting pitching," he said.
- Top prospects Manny Machado and Dylan Bundy are probably off-bounds in trade talks. “They look to be long-term solutions to help the Orioles," Duquette said.
- Dominican prospect Wendel Rijo agreed to sign with the Red Sox for $625K, Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportesLosAngeles.com reports (on Twitter).
- The Yankees signed fifth round selection Robert Refsnyder for $206K, Jim Callis of Baseball America reports (on Twitter). The right fielder has a good bat and a good arm, Callis adds.
- The Blue Jays announced that they signed 18th rounder Alonzo Gonzalez, 26th rounder Nathan Desouza and 37th rounder Daniel Devonshire.
Arizona general manager Kevin Towers says he’s been impressed by Mike Trout and Bryce Harper from an offensive and defensive standpoint, ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark reports. "They can beat you on the basepaths. They impact the game defensively,” Towers said. “They can beat you with key hits or the long ball. They're both very special." Here are Stark’s latest rumors from around MLB…
- One American League executive says the Cubs are basing their asking price for Matt Garza on last summer’s Ubaldo Jimenez deal. This means it’ll take two controllable, young players with upside to pry the right-hander away from Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein.
- Other teams say the Orioles are involved in the Garza talks. However, Manny Machado and Dylan Bundy aren’t going to be available in summer trade talks with any club.
- The Braves are looking for "an impact starting pitcher" and they’ve scouted trade candidate Jason Vargas extensively
- The Angels are desperate to add a really good bullpen piece and would dangle Peter Bourjos in the right deal, according to rival teams.
- One executive doesn’t expect Luke Gregerson of the Padres to become available, though there would be heavy demand if San Diego were willing to listen.
- Another executive suggests the Red Sox could trade Kelly Shoppach and call Ryan Lavarnway up from the minor leagues.
- The Twins continue to tell teams they expect to hold onto Josh Willingham.
- The Marlins are telling rival teams they haven’t discussed becoming sellers this summer. The Phillies also seem to want to add, not subtract. The Phils are considering a long list of relievers and have asked the Padres about Chase Headley.
- The Diamondbacks have “window-shopped” for bullpen depth, Stark writes. Towers says he prefers his current team, now 38-37, to the one that won the NL West a year ago.
- Stark also reported on the Blue Jays' approach to the trade deadline and you can read the details here.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Arizona Diamondbacks | Atlanta Braves | Baltimore Orioles | Boston Red Sox | Chase Headley | Chicago Cubs | Dylan Bundy | Jason Vargas | Josh Willingham | Kelly Shoppach | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Luke Gregerson | Manny Machado | Matt Garza | Miami Marlins | Minnesota Twins | Peter Bourjos | Philadelphia Phillies | San Diego Padres | Seattle Mariners
Here are some links from around the league as Wednesday turns into Thursday…
- Scott Boras told reporters (including WEEI.com's Rob Bradford) that a "couple of teams" have inquired about J.D. Drew during the season. "I've got no indication from him a desire to return," said Boras of the outfielder, who has been at home. "But then again I haven't addressed the issue with him, if he's done anything formally."
- Steve Melewski of MASNSports.com reports (on Twitter) that clubs keep asking the Orioles for top prospects Dylan Bundy and Manny Machado in trade talks. Needless to say, those two are as close to untouchable as it gets.
- The Blue Jays promoted Andrew Tinnish to assistant GM, reports Bob Elliott of The Toronto Sun (on Twitter). Tinnish had been the team's amateur scouting director.
Jason Varitek, Tim Wakefield and Jorge Posada have been fixtures in the AL East for the past 15 years, but they've all retired this offseason. Here are some links for Friday, starting with even more retirement talk…
- David Ortiz says he wants to keep playing for at least a couple more years, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. "As long as I feel good and I can swing the bat well I want to keep on playing," the 36-year-old said.
- Manager Joe Maddon told Newsday's Ken Davidoff that he believes the Rays can establish the standard for winning with a small payroll. Executive VP of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said the club isn't taking success for granted, even after three playoff berths in four seasons. “It's more about pushing forward and being driven by future success," he said.
- Jim Callis of Baseball America told Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com that the muscular frame of Orioles prospect Dylan Bundy isn't cause for concern. Callis said Bundy has a loose and fluid delivery despite his bulk.
- Callis also suggested infield prospects Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop should both play shortstop in 2012 so the Orioles know whether they can handle the position long-term.
- Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos joined Greg Brady & Jim Lang on Sportsnet 590 the FAN and said Kyle Drabek is opening up some eyes and starting to make strides. The 24-year-old right-hander walked 55 in 78 2/3 innings last year.
- Anthopoulos said the trade market is quiet now, though he expects out-of-options players to become available toward the end of the month.
The Orioles have signed third overall pick Dylan Bundy, according to MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli (on Twitter). BBI Sports Group represents the right-hander. Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun hears (on Twitter) that Bundy got a big league deal and Jim Callis of Baseball America hears that it's worth $6.225MM (Twitter link). Ghiroli adds on Twitter that Bundy gets a $4MM bonus. Tim Dierkes explained Major League deals for draft picks earlier today.
In his senior season at Owasso High School, Bundy had an 11-0 record with a 0.20 ERA and 158 strikeouts and five walks in 71 innings. The 18-year-old also hit 11 homers en route to being named the Gatorade National Player of the Year. The Orioles signed his older brother, Bobby Bundy, after selecting him in the eighth round of the 2008 draft.
You can keep track of which top picks have signed with MLBTR's list.
A few items of note out of the AL East, as we get word that Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez will soon begin a minor league rehab assignment in his return from hip surgery …
- The time is right for Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. to return to the Orioles in some kind of executive role, writes Matt Vensel of the Baltimore Sun. Ripken has expressed an interest in assuming such a position with Baltimore in the past, and the O's could be looking for new leadership this offseason, as president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail's contract expires at season's end. Owner Peter Angelos said this spring that he expects MacPhail to return, but MacPhail has not yet discussed his plans.
- Orioles manager Buck Showalter told Steve Melewski of MASNSports.com that Baltimore scouting director Joe Jordan thinks the team will sign first rouder Dylan Bundy, second rounder Jason Esposito and sixth rounder Nicky Delmonico. Melewski guesses the O's will ink Bundy and Delmonico but not Esposito, though he framed that as speculation.
- Angels outfielder Vernon Wells will make his first appearance in Toronto on Friday since the offseason trade that sent him from the Jays to the Halos, writes Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com. Chisholm wonders what the reception will be like for Wells, who signed a questionable seven-year, $126MM extension with the Jays that turned out to be one of the defining moves of former GM J.P. Ricciardi's tenure in Toronto. Just for kicks, here's a comprehensive list of all of Ricciardi's moves as Jays GM, courtesy of MLBTR's Transaction Tracker.
The AL East won't be short on storylines tonight, when the Red Sox host the Yankees in Boston and Blue Jays prospect Brett Lawrie makes his MLB debut against the Orioles in Baltimore. Here's the latest from the division…
- Top Orioles draft pick Dylan Bundy is in Baltimore for a physical and he told Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun that he hasn't yet started negotiations with the team (Twitter links).
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Red Sox made a late push for Fausto Carmona before the trade deadline.
- Jonathan Papelbon told Rob Bradford of WEEI.com that he is not going to set up for anyone. Papelbon, who hits free agency after the season, then reinforced his point by speaking about himself in the third person. "Cinco don't set-up," he said. "Never."
- Justin Duchscherer had successful hip surgery today, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (on Twitter). The right-hander hopes to pitch in 2012, but it won't be with the Orioles, who released him earlier in the week.
- As Zrebiec explains, the regression of the Orioles' top young arms is the biggest reason that it's hard to see the club threatening for a playoff spot in the near future.
The Orioles shook things up yesterday, releasing Justin Duchscherer, who never appeared in a game for Baltimore, and claiming Jo-Jo Reyes, who is now a member of Buck Showalter's bullpen. Here's the latest on the Orioles…
- Baseball America's Jim Callis told Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com that he doesn't believe Trevor Bauer's deal with Arizona wil impact the Orioles' discussions with top pick Dylan Bundy. As a high schooler, Bundy has more leverage than Bauer, who wanted to get on the field and kick-start his career.
- Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun explains that while Mark Reynolds may be better than advertised at the plate, his defense is hard to watch at times. Reynolds, who will earn $7.5MM next year, has 24 homers and a .224/.337/.486 line this year.
- Orioles manager Buck Showalter explained to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that developing pitching takes time and patience. "If you’ve got six or seven guys with a chance to be pretty good and two, three or four hit, you’re lucky,” Showalter said. As Rosenthal shows, Baltimore's pitching has faltered since pitching coach Mark Connor resigned in June.
Some news from the AL East…
- The Orioles have begun negotiations with fourth-overall draft pick Dylan Bundy, reports Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com. Denver Bundy, Dylan's father and also part of his representation team from BBI Sports Group, said today's meeting was "a feeling out process" and the two sides would hopefully discuss figures at their next session on August 10.
- The Yankees and Pirates almost agreed to a deal that would've seen Francisco Cervelli go to Pittsburgh in exchange for right-hander Brad Lincoln, reports George A. King of the New York Post. King hears from a Pirates source that the trade "was very close but [the teams] couldn’t agree on the value of the players." Such a move would have given the Yankees room to call up Jesus Montero as both a backup catcher and as a potential DH platoon partner for Jorge Posada. Brian Cashman said Montero could potentially be called up once the rosters expand in September.
- The trade deadline has passed and B.J. Upton is still wearing a Rays uniform, so Steve Slowinski of the DRaysBay blog is already thinking about what a potential Upton extension might cost Tampa Bay.
- With the Red Sox facing a crunch of prospects for 40-man roster spots this winter, Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal wasn't surprised that the Sox moved three of those on-the-bubble prospects in the Erik Bedard trade. Boston would've risked losing Chih-Hsien Chiang, Tim Federowicz, and Stephen Fife for nothing in the Rule 5 draft had the club not been able to send Chiang to the Mariners and Federowicz/Fife to the Dodgers.
- By acquiring two first basemen (Chris Davis and prospect Aaron Baker) from their deadline deals, the Orioles appear to be taking themselves out of the Prince Fielder sweepstakes this winter, writes Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun. I respectfully disagree with Schmuck — if the O's have a chance at Fielder, they won't hesitate to sign him for the sake of Davis (who has struggled against lefties at the Major League level) or a minor prospect like Baker. Davis could also be moved into a DH role, or moved to third base while Mark Reynolds become the designated hitter.
Thanks to our loyal readers, MLBTR generated 3.1 million pageviews over the weekend! We appreciate you making MLBTR a regular stop, and have a lot of cool things planned in the coming months. On to today's links…
- Mets GM Sandy Alderson told ESPN New York's Adam Rubin that he tried to acquire a reliever before the deadline, but to no avail (Twitter link). He would not rule out a trade before August 31st.
- The Red Sox will not have interest in Lyle Overbay, reports Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe (on Twitter). The Pirates designated Overbay for assignment today, and as Cafardo notes, he has great numbers in Fenway Park: .323/.395/.500 in 177 plate appearances.
- Anthony DiComo of MLB.com (via Twitter) doesn't envision Jason Isringhausen re-signing with the Mets this offseason.
- The Astros are very confident that they'll sign first-round pick George Springer, but it may come down to the last week, tweets MLB.com's Alyson Footer. Last week we learned that Springer's father met with the independent league Long Island Ducks.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick names a bunch of waiver trade candidates in his latest article.
- The Twins wanted closer Drew Storen and minor league second baseman Stephen Lombardozzi for center fielder Denard Span, and the Nationals declined, according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson. I think that would have been a solid deal for Washington.
- The Indians announced they signed infielder Argenis Reyes to a minor league deal; he'd been playing independent ball. In slightly more important news, Ubaldo Jimenez will debut for the Tribe Friday in Texas.
- The extent of Boston's interest in Ubaldo? Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald says exec Allard Baird put in a call on Thursday and the Red Sox weren't in touch after that.
- Both sides have denounced the $30MM figure that was floated for Dylan Bundy, tweets MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli. Talks are expected to start this week for the Orioles' fourth overall pick. Ghiroli has more on the topic here. Bundy is advised by Jay Franklin at BBI Sports Group; the company also employs his father.
- The Rockies were close to trading third baseman Ian Stewart to an undisclosed National League team yesterday, reports Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post, but the deal fell apart with a half hour to go.
- The Mariners and Red Sox are sharing the costs of Erik Bedard's incentives, reports Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times.
- Newly-acquired players Zack Wheeler and Jonathan Singelton head updated top ten prospects lists for the Mets and Astros, courtesy of Baseball America's Jim Callis.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Argenis Reyes | Baltimore Orioles | Boston Red Sox | Cleveland Indians | Colorado Rockies | Denard Span | Drew Storen | Dylan Bundy | Erik Bedard | George Springer | Houston Astros | Ian Stewart | Jason Isringhausen | Lyle Overbay | Minnesota Twins | New York Mets | Seattle Mariners | Ubaldo Jimenez | Washington Nationals