Mystery Team Rumors


Mariners Close To Trading Brandon League

5:15pm: The Giants and Mariners have definitely discussed League, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). It's still not clear where League will be traded, though, according to Morosi.

4:06pm: The Mariners were discussing League with multiple teams as of this afternoon, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter).

3:03pm: There's some scuttlebutt in high circles that the Giants are the team getting League, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (on Twitter). But it's not a sure thing.

2:52pm: The Braves and Rangers aren't in the mix for League, Crasnick tweets.

2:46pm: The Angels and Mariners are in talks for League, Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reports. The Mariners could be close to trading League to the Giants or the Angels, Gonzalez writes.

2:24pm: The White Sox have been talking to the Mariners about League and the Angels continue seeking relief help, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports (Twitter links).

2:05pm: The Mariners are close to trading Brandon League to an unknown team, ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reports (on Twitter). The Giants, Angels and Mets are known to have some interest in the right-hander.

League is earning $5MM this year and will hit free agency this offseason. The 29-year-old has a 3.05 ERA with 5.3 K/9, 3.9 BB/9 and a 46.4% ground ball rate in 42 1/3 innings for Seattle. He lost the closer's job in May, but has pitched to a 1.96 ERA with twice as many strikeouts as walks since the beginning of June. His fastball averages 95.2 mph, according to FanGraphs.

Steve Adams contributed to this post.



Braves Moving Toward Deal For Ryan Dempster

12:59pm: The Braves seem to be close to acquiring Ryan Dempster, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (Twitter links). The Braves are believed to be high on the list of teams to which Dempster would approve a trade, Heyman notes. The right-hander, who can veto any trade, is not likely to demand an extension. 

Dempster, 35, has an NL-best 2.11 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 98 innings for the Cubs this year. He earns $14MM in 2012 -- more than $5.5MM between now and the end of the season -- but the Cubs are said to be willing to absorb salary to facilitate a deal.

12:39pm: The Braves are moving closer to finalizing a trade for a starting pitcher, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (on Twitter). GM Frank Wren is known to be looking for starting pitching and reportedly has some interest in Zack Greinke, Ryan Dempster, Jon LesterJason Vargas and others.

Braves starters have combined for a 4.34 ERA with 7.0 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 so far this year. The team's rotation currently consists of Tim Hudson, Tommy Hanson, Mike Minor, Jair Jurrjens and newcomer Ben Sheets. Brandon Beachy and Arodys Vizcaino are out for the season with Tommy John surgery, which has diminished the organization's internal options. Here's a look at some potentially available starting pitchers.

This post was first published on Monday, July 23rd.



Brian Fuentes Drawing Interest

Brian Fuentes cleared release waivers and six teams are showing interest in him, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). The Athletics released Fuentes earlier this week, so the left-hander can now sign with another team for a pro-rated portion of the MLB minimum salary.

In 25 innings for the Athletics this year Fuentes posted a 6.84 ERA with 6.5 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9. The 36-year-old Beverly Hills Sports Council client is in the second year of a two-year, $10.5MM contract he signed following the 2010 season.

The Cardinals showed interest in Fuentes earlier this month, but the Dodgers and Athletics are not interested. For an expanded look at the market for left-handed relief, click here.



Heyman On Yankees, Garza, Upton, BoSox, Jays

CBS Sports' Jon Heyman discussed how baseball reporting is evolving in the age of social media and a 24/7 news cycle (while giving MLB Trade Rumors a tip of the cap), joked about the infamous "mystery teams" that often dominate the rumor mill and also shared some hot stove chatter during his appearance on Jonah Keri's Grantland podcast.  Here are some of the highlights...

  • The Yankees have mostly stayed away from major trade deadline moves under Brian Cashman and Heyman suspects the team will largely stand pat this month.  There are no glaring needs on the roster plus the first-place Yankees will get a boost from Brett Gardner's return from the DL.
  • If the Yankees did make a move for pitching, Matt Garza would be at the top of their list.  The Red Sox and Blue Jays are also interested in Garza, not to mention the Dodgers and Tigers, among other clubs.
  • When the Diamondbacks toyed with putting Justin Upton on the trade market two years ago, they discussed a deal with the Red Sox that would have sent Upton to Boston in exchange for Jacoby Ellsbury and Daniel Bard.
  • The Red Sox and Blue Jays have the same record but the Sox are "more fully invested" in contending this season, while Heyman thinks the Jays' pitching injuries may prevent from making a true push at the deadline.
  • Heyman thinks Zack Greinke is a "longshot" to re-sign with the Brewers but the club will at least make him a long-term offer before exploring possible trades before the deadline.  The Angels and Braves are two of the teams expected to be in on Greinke should Milwaukee make him available.
  • Surprise contenders like the Mets, Orioles and Pirates will look to upgrade themselves for a pennant race, though Heyman thinks these teams are "probably all realistic about their chances" and won't sacrifice their rebuilding process by trading any of their blue chip prospects.  The Mets are looking for a veteran bullpen arm, the Orioles a veteran starter and the Pirates a corner outfielder, such as Carlos Quentin or Josh Willingham if the Twins were to make him available.
  • Beyond Greinke, Josh Hamilton, Cole Hamels and a few other notables like Michael Bourn or Melky Cabrera, Heyman feels this year's free agent crop is "not a star-studded class."  The free agent market has been dimmed by the preponderance of teams who lock their young stars up to multiyear contracts early in their careers.



Rockies, Blue Jays Discussing Guthrie Deal

4:01pm: The Rockies and Blue Jays are still discussing Guthrie, Renck reports (Twitter links). There's a potential fit, but the Rockies would like someone other than McDade. As many as four clubs are interested, Renck reports.

MONDAY, 7:57am: The Rockies are looking to move Guthrie's salary for one prospect, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports (on Twitter). Renck confirms that the Rockies and Blue Jays have discussed a possible deal.

SUNDAY: The Rockies are ready to part ways with Jeremy Guthrie and have informed the rest of the league that the right-hander is available immediately, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN.com. Count the Blue Jays as one of Guthrie's potential suitors as Toronto has contacted Colorado to discuss the framework of a possible deal, report Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. One trade scenario would have the Jays assuming a major portion of Guthrie's contract as the Rockies would receive only a lower-tier prospect such as Double-A first baseman Mike McDade.

The former Orioles ace has struggled both on and off the mound since arriving in Colorado during the offseason. Known for his propensity to ride his bicycle to the ballpark, Guthrie landed on the disabled list in April when the chain on his bike popped, causing him to fall on his pitching shoulder. After pitching to a 4.12 ERA in five seasons with the O's, Guthrie has been prone to the home run in Denver as he's posted a 6.91 ERA with 4.5 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 10 starts. 



The Latest On Roy Oswalt

Free agent right-hander Roy Oswalt hasn't discussed a contract with the Red Sox or Rangers, according to the latest rumors. The Phillies have also been linked to Oswalt, who is expected to sign a new contract midseason. Here are the latest rumors:

  • Oswalt's preference is to play for the Rangers, Cardinals, or Braves according to ESPN's Jayson Stark, but there's no indication either St. Louis or Atlanta has interest. Stark hears that money is the most important factor, but Oswalt also doesn't not want to be a major media storyline wherever he goes.
  • Oswalt is on the Orioles' radar, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com writes. Orioles executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette said this week that he's looking for ways of adding pitching depth, so it's not surprising they're eyeing Oswalt. Teams other than the Orioles, Red Sox, Phillies and Rangers may be involved, according to Heyman.



Oswalt Worked Out For Phillies, Red Sox

8:14pm: Scott Miller of CBSSports.com hears that Oswalt already has several "very nice offers" on the table, though it's unclear which teams presented them.

3:53pm: The Angels haven't had anyone watch Oswalt throw near his Mississippi home recently, Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com tweets.

11:48am: Rosenthal reports (on Twitter) that neither the Yankees or Tigers are in the mix for Oswalt at this time. The righty intends to sign soon, possibly within the week, and pitch in MLB by mid or late June, Rosenthal tweets.

11:19am: The Phillies and Red Sox occupy last place in their respective divisions, but both teams are eyeing midseason reinforcements. Free agent right-hander Roy Oswalt threw a bullpen session for the Phillies last week and worked out for the Red Sox this week, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (all Twitter links).

Oswalt is also throwing for two unknown teams, Rosenthal reports. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com hears from someone who expects Oswalt to return within a month (Twitter link).

The Phillies, winners of five consecutive games, are familiar to Oswalt, who pitched for Philadelphia in 2010 and 2011. The Red Sox, who have won six of their last seven games, expressed interest in Oswalt last offseason after the Phillies declined his 2012 option. The 34-year-old appeared to be in good shape during his workouts but was not yet in midseason form, Rosenthal reports. Bob Garber of Select Sports Group represents Oswalt.

Mike Axisa contributed to this post.



Jason Bourgeois, Humberto Quintero Traded

Jason Bourgeois and Humberto Quintero of the Astros have been traded, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports (all Twitter links). The Nationals have been linked to Bourgeois while the Royals and Phillies are known to be looking for catching depth. The Royals have been trying to trade for Quintero, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com tweets.



A.J. Burnett Rumors: Thursday

Multiple teams are discussing right-hander A.J. Burnett with the Yankees, according to yesterday's rumors. The right-hander vetoed a trade to the Angels, so it's down to the Pirates and at least one unknown club. Burnett will earn $33MM between now and the end of the 2013 season, and the question of how much money the Yankees absorb figures to shape trade talks. Here are the latest rumors as we await resolution on a deal:

  • The Yankees and Pirates are nearing a deal that would send Burnett to Pittsburgh for two marginal prospects and $13-15MM in salary relief, reports George A. King III of The New York Post"It will happen this weekend,'' said King's source. "Probably Saturday.''
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have countered the Pirates offer with a sliding scale, meaning they'd have to surrender lesser prospects the closer they get to eating $15MM of the $33MM left on Burnett's contract. He says it would be an upset if he's not traded before the Yankees open camp on Sunday (all Twitter links).
  • Ken Davidoff of Newsday reminds us (on Twitter) that MLB will need to approve any trade because of the large amount of cash changing hands.
  • The Yankees and Pirates know which players would go from Pittsburgh to New York if the Pirates take on $13MM in salary, Davidoff tweets.
  • The Yankees and Pirates should complete a deal within 24 hours, according to Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio and ESPN.com (on Twitter).
  • A team other than the Pirates and Indians made a proposal for Burnett yesterday and the Yankees appear to be approaching a decision, ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports (Twitter links). Burnett told the Yankees three weeks ago that he would block a trade to Anaheim.
  • Considerable optimism exists that the Yankees and Pirates will work out a deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets. Heyman adds that the Yankees will pay $20MM of Burnett's contract.

Mike Axisa contributed to this post.



A.J. Burnett Rumors: Tuesday

There’s a feeling the Yankees and Pirates will complete a deal involving A.J. Burnett and judging by the most recent rumors, Pittsburgh would take on $10-15MM of the $33MM remaining on Burnett’s salary if the trade goes through. Here are today’s rumors:

  • A fourth team has checked in on Burnett, Heyman reports.
  • The Hafner for Burnett deal is no longer on the table, MLB.com's Bryan Hoch tweets.
  • The Indians have checked in, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (Twitter links). Talk between the Yankees and Indians has revolved around Burnett and Travis Hafner, though the Indians aren't sure they'd make that trade.
  • The Angels are interested in Burnett, but they're on his no-trade list, Rosenthal tweets.
  • Momentum for a deal stayed strong last night, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The Yankees continue to engage two other teams, but the Pirates are the favorites to land Burnett. Pittsburgh has offered to pay $10MM and if they raise their bid to $13MM, the Yankees would be more inclined to accept lesser prospects in return. The Pirates view the Derek Lowe deal as a relevant point of reference for their discussions with the Yankees.
  • The teams are still trying to decide which players would head from Pittsburgh to New York, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (all Twitter links). Some Yankees people oppose trading Burnett now, and believe they could obtain more in return at the trade deadline.









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