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The latest notes and rumors from Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports…
- At least one team has inquired about Alfonso Soriano, Morosi reports. The Cubs outfielder earns $18MM per season through 2014, so the Cubs will presumably cover most of his salary in a trade.
- Four general managers say Cliff Lee isn’t yet formally available, according to Rosenthal and Morosi. Yet other executives expect the Phillies to consider trade offers for the left-hander this week. Lee, who has three years and $87.5MM remaining on his contract after this season, can block trades to 21 teams. The Rangers and Yankees are not among those teams, Rosenthal and Morosi report. The FOX Sports reporters suggest Rangers GM Jon Daniels prefers Lee to Cole Hamels.
- Agent Scott Boras now represents Tigers outfielder Brennan Boesch, Morosi reports (on Twitter). Be sure to check MLBTR’s Agency Database for data on which agents represent which MLB players.
- The Dodgers could trade for Shane Victorino or Hunter Pence even if the team gets Ryan Dempster to go along with Hanley Ramirez, Rosenthal reports (on Twitter). The Dodgers have been in talks with the Phillies, who are eager to move Pence, according to Rosenthal.
- The Cubs continue discussing Matt Garza with multiple suitors, Morosi reports (on Twitter). The Dodgers appear to have serious interest in Garza.
- The Royals are talking with teams about possible trades involving closer Jonathan Broxton, Morosi reports (on Twitter).
It's possible that tonight was the last start Francisco Liriano will make as a member of the Twins. Liriano entered with a 2.84 ERA with a 10.9 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 since May 30, but was shelled for seven runs in 2 2/3 innings. Here are some links surrounding the division…
- After swinging a major trade to acquire Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante earlier today, Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski says his team is "set at this point," according to Jason Beck of MLB.com (on Twitter).
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that Jonathan Broxton, Jose Mijares, Yuniesky Betancourt, and Jeff Francoeur have all been made available by the Royals.
- Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune passes along a video interview with White Sox GM Kenny Williams stating, "There's no sense" in acquiring a marginal upgrade to his rotation. Williams implies that his club will only be interested in adding a front-line pitcher, and that he's willing to look at prospect deals to improve his club in the short-term. Williams is also optimistic that John Danks, currently on the DL, can return and improve his team's rotation.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports speculates that Carlos Quentin's recent extension could push teams into overpaying the Twins to acquire Josh Willingham (video link).
- Morosi also discusses the impact of the trade that sent Brett Myers to the White Sox.
Some links from around the league as Saturday turns into Sunday…
- With Brett Gardner out for the year, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says the Yankees have called the Phillies about Shane Victorino, the Diamondbacks about Justin Upton, and the Twins about Denard Span. "The Twins are asking for a ton (for Span)," he hears.
- The Giants are in the market for bullpen help according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (Twitter link). He says Jonathan Broxton of the Royals could be a possible fit.
- Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said his team has both short and long-term payroll flexibility and will likely seek bullpen help at the deadline according to the AP (via ESPN). He indicated that he is open to trading within the division as long as a top prospect isn't involved.
- Mets GM Sandy Alderson told reporters (including Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger) that the presumption is his team will be buyer before the deadline (Twitter link). The next 7-10 days will dictate their moves, however.
The Giants held a perfect 5-0 record since the All-Star break before dropping a 3-2 result this afternoon against the Braves. San Francisco's lead in the NL West drops to 2.5 games ahead of the idle Dodgers. Here's the latest Giants hot stove news, courtesy of CSN Bay Area's Andrew Baggarly…
- The team isn't close to any trades, Baggarly writes, as they are completing their evaluations of their minor league prospects and figuring out who they want amongst the available players on the trade market.
- Pablo Sandoval made an appearance at first base today, causing Baggarly to wonder if the Giants could move Sandoval to first and look to acquire a third baseman. Giants GM Brian Sabean "is known to value an experienced player such as the Phillies’ Placido Polanco" and the club could go big and make a move for someone like Hanley Ramirez, though Baggarly considers a Ramirez deal to be "highly unlikely."
- The Giants have "heavily scouted" the Cubs' and Royals' Triple-A teams. The latter could be related to a possible move for Jonathan Broxton, who Baggarly says the Giants would be interested in "if the price drops." The Mets are one of several teams who are reportedly interested in acquiring Broxton.
- The Giants are looking for bullpen help but aren't willing to move major prospects for a first-rate closer.
The Angels continue to seek relief help, even as they pursue high-end rotation upgrades, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports. They have talked to the Nationals about bullpen help and could have interest in Royals closer Jonathan Broxton, Knobler adds. Here’s the latest on the Angels, who now have a 50-41 record:
- The Angels are willing to offer Peter Bourjos for the right reliever and they're suggesting to teams that they would also deal Kendrys Morales, according to Knobler. Starter Garrett Richards could be available in a deal for a top starter such as Zack Greinke, Cole Hamels or Francisco Liriano.
- Adam Katz of WMG now represents Angels right-hander Ervin Santana, Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal reports (on Twitter). Agent Bean Stringfellow had represented Santana in the past. Be sure to check out MLBTR’s Agency Database for any information about player representatives.
- Torii Hunter told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that there hasn’t been any progress toward a contract extension that would keep him in Anaheim beyond this year. The 37-year-old would like to remain with the Angels, though he would consider other clubs if Los Angeles doesn’t have interest in bringing him back. “If my time is up here, then you think about Minnesota, think about Texas,” Hunter said. “The Angels are No. 1 for me.”
The Mets are interested in Jonathan Broxton and Grant Balfour as they look to improve their bullpen before the July 31st trade deadline. They're definitely showing interest in Broxton, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter), and Newsday's David Lennon says they're also targeting Balfour (Twitter link).
However, the Mets are not close on any deal involving a reliever, ESPN.com's Buster Olney reported today (on Twitter). They remain in "wait-and-see" mode for now. Though the Mets' bullpen is in rough shape, they've convinced some doubters they're a dangerous club, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post wrote earlier today.
Here are a few links Mets links as the Amazin's open an important three-game set against the NL East-leading Nationals tonight in Washington. …
- The Mets are "paying close attention" to Royals closer Jonathan Broxton, a source tells Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Broxton has put together a nice rebound campaign as Kansas City's stopper after his stock had tumbled due to injuries in 2010-11. Meanwhile, the Mets could use reinforcements for a spotty relief corps that is without closer Frank Francisco, who has been sidelined by an oblique injury since June.
- To that end, the Mets are seeking bullpen help, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, although they're finding most relievers to be too pricey in terms of trade compensation or too insignificant of an upgrade. The Brewers, for one, are telling teams that former Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez is available but they are unwilling to eat any of the remaining $4MM owed to him. K-Rod, incidentally, was named Milwaukee's closer today.
- The Mets are also looking for a veteran catcher, according to Heyman, and have talked to the Rockies about Ramon Hernandez, but New York is not willing to pay the $3.2MM owed to Hernandez through next season.
- GM Sandy Alderson said all of the organization's scouts have been deployed to the Major League, adding "we are buyers," according to Rubin. Alderson also said pitching prospect Zack Wheeler will not pitch in the big leagues this season and will soon be promoted to Triple-A (Twitter links).
The Royals have inquired on pitchers they could acquire now and control through 2013, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports. They’ve asked about Matt Garza of the Cubs, who earns $9.5MM this year and will remain under team control for the 2013 season.
The Royals intend to add a significant free agent starting pitcher for 2013 this coming offseason, Knobler reported one week ago. Kansas City's rotation currently includes, Bruce Chen, Luke Hochevar, Luis Mendoza, Everett Teaford and the struggling Jonathan Sanchez.
Though Royals closer Jonathan Broxton is drawing lots of trade interest, the Royals may still try to sign him for 2013 instead of making a trade, Knobler reports. Broxton earns a base salary of $4MM this year and is on track to hit free agency this coming offseason.
Rival executives are divided on what the Tigers need to acquire for the second half of the season, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports. Some say the Tigers need a pitcher, others say they should acquire a second baseman and others believe they don’t need to make a major addition. Here are more of Knobler’s notes, starting with the Tigers:
- Detroit has shown some interest in Matt Garza, but Tigers people suggest a deal is fairly unlikely, according to Knobler. The Tigers don’t seem enthused about the possibility of trading for Marco Scutaro, though they’ve shown some interest in him.
- The Phillies have identified about four teams that would be a fit for Cole Hamels and they’re saying they'd want players who are close to contributing in the Major Leagues. However, the Phillies aren’t ready to deal the left-hander yet.
- Scouts believe the Diamondbacks are serious about listening to offers for Justin Upton.
- The Royals had been considering the possibility of becoming midseason buyers this year. They don’t intend to give Jonathan Broxton or other players away because they “badly want” to win games in the second half, Knobler writes.
- The 43-43 Athletics see themselves as sellers, rather than contenders, Knobler reports. A’s people are hoping Brandon McCarthy pitches well and increases his trade value when he returns from the disabled list.
- Scouts are unimpressed by Cubs pitching prospect Gerardo Concepcion, Knobler notes.
The Nationals are willing to boost payroll midseason if the right opportunity emerges, principal owner Mark Lerner told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. “We’ve never let dollars get in the way of us making decisions that will help this organization,” Lerner said. “That will always be our philosophy.” Here’s more from Morosi, starting in Washington:
- Lerner said the Nationals “don’t want to get somebody who’s a rental player,” Morosi reports. The Nationals have a club-record payroll in the $90MM range for 2012.
- The Royals are now asking for a Major League piece in return for Jonathan Broxton, Morosi tweets. The Royals are open to moving Broxton, Morosi and Ken Rosenthal reported last night. The 28-year-old right-hander has a 1.99 ERA with 6.5 K/9, 3.4 BB/9 and 21 saves this year.
- Marco Scutaro is available, but the Rockies’ asking price remains high, Morosi tweets. Scutaro would prefer to stay in Colorado, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reported today.