Lou Marson Rumors
MLB.com's Trade Talk blog speculates that the Phillies may no longer be pursuing Colorado closer Brian Fuentes, after Philadelphia traded three prospects for Joe Blanton. The blog wonders, "How many chips do (the Phillies) have to play?" Then, the blog hedges its bets:
If an earlier report is correct, the Rockies have asked the Phillies for right-hander Carlos Carrasco or catcher Lou Marson in return for Fuentes, so something could still be possible.
Trade Talk goes on to say that the Rockies would "hit the jackpot if a team came up with a young, talented starter -- like, say, the Yankees' Phil Hughes or Ian Kennedy, or a couple of top Double-A prospects such as the Rays' Wade Davis or Jeremy Hellickson."
It's highly unlikely the Phillies will deal Carrasco, the organization's top prospect, for a set-up man. It's an absolute impossibility that the Yankees will trade Hughes for Fuentes. The Rays are still considered the front-runners for Fuentes, the blog says.
Ken Rosenthal tops off the day with a column full of rumors.
- Signing Mark Teixeira as a replacement for Manny Ramirez doesn't make sense for the Red Sox, who don't want to take on that kind of mega-contract.
- The Phillies were recently working on a blockbuster with Colorado that would have netted them Brian Fuentes and Matt Holliday for something like Shane Victorino, J.A. Happ, Carlos Carrasco, and Lou Marson. Those talks have stalled, and the added payroll might've been a problem for the Phillies anyway.
- Though Frank McCourt denies it, Rosenthal says the Dodgers owned vetoed a CC Sabathia/Casey Blake/Jamey Carroll blockbuster because of a desire to keep trades payroll-neutral.
- The Rockies, as well as the many suitors for Brian Fuentes, fear he could accept an offer of arbitration and saddle them with an $8MM salary in '09 instead of two draft picks. Given Fuentes' stated desire to close, I find this unlikely.
- A Pirates scout watched David Price's last start, though he was likely looking at other members of the Montgomery Biscuits. The Rays are known to be interested in Xavier Nady.
- The A's, stacked with second base candidates, are already getting calls on Adrian Cardenas. Trading Mark Ellis would make more sense though.
- Rosenthal believes the Orioles are reluctant to trade George Sherrill because they don't have a suitable replacement for him in the ninth inning this year.
- Brewers minor league shortstop Alcides Escobar is untouchable, and his ascent could lead the team to shop J.J. Hardy this winter.
- The Angels have "hinted at a willingness to build a deal around pitching prospect Nick Adenhart." This would apparently involve Mark Teixeira or Matt Holliday.
- The Phillies made an initial offer last week for A.J. Burnett, and the Jays were thoroughly unimpressed. The Phillies won't discuss prospects Carlos Carrasco, Lou Marson, or Greg Golson in trades.
- The Yankees have zero interest in Burnett.
- The A's are willing to move Joe Blanton. He's not perfect, but he can eat innings and is under team control through 2010.
- Six games out of the wild card with a league-best offense, the Rangers don't look like sellers.
- At least ten teams watched Mets' Double A starter Jon Niese pitch Saturday. He's their top trade chip given the unavailability of Fernando Martinez.
- The Pirates have their eye on the Yankees' Ross Ohlendorf, if the Yanks become buyers for players like Damaso Marte or Xavier Nady.
- Three Raul Ibanez suitors are named: the Diamondbacks, Dodgers, and Red Sox.
- At least nine teams are monitoring Freddy Garcia: the Yankees, Mets, Astros, Rangers, Royals, Red Sox, Phillies, Tigers, and White Sox. We've seen the Braves, Rays, and Cubs mentioned too. Garcia's agent isn't up for an '09 option with his client. A-Rod is said to be pushing for the Yankees to sign him.
- Sherman notes a rumor around the game that has Pat Gillick becoming Mariners president next year, and Brian Cashman coming on as his GM.
FRIDAY: We have an update to Stark's column - he is now saying that Burnett does have veto power over 15 teams.
THURSDAY: Let's take a look at Jayson Stark's latest over at ESPN.com.
- The Phillies and Yankees both made failed runs at CC Sabathia. The Phils wouldn't include Carlos Carrasco or Lou Marson, while the Yanks insisted on a negotiating window. The Phils are looking at Erik Bedard and A.J. Burnett by default, while neither of those pitchers makes sense for the Yankees. The Yanks checked in on Aaron Harang, but that's a moot point since he's ailing.
- Despite the Dodgers' run at Sabathia, they're apparently not looking at other starters.
- Ken Rosenthal recently wrote that Burnett had veto power over 15 teams, but Stark's source says it's just a handful of teams. It'll be tough to convince Burnett not to opt out of his contract after the season, unless he's hurt.
- The Braves still haven't made the buy/sell decision. If they buy, Xavier Nady is the top target. If they sell, Mark Teixeira is the best chip. Apparently Scott Boras is talking about $23MM per year for Tex this winter.
- The Giants are pretty clearly not trading Matt Cain.
- The Orioles, making a run at .500, don't seem motivated to move George Sherrill or othe top veterans.
- The Brewers' Plan B beyond Sabathia was Zack Greinke, rather than Rich Harden. Ken Rosenthal recently said the Royals were "decidedly uninterested in moving Greinke," however.
- Stark says it "wouldn't be out of the question" for the Cubs to pursue a lefthanded starter like Randy Wolf, despite the Harden acquisition.
- Extension with the Phillies for Pat Burrell did not get very far.