Shane Victorino Rumors

Phillies Could Be “Most Active Sellers”

The Phillies entered this weekend needing to perform well in a critical series against the division rival Braves. Instead, they were swept and now appear to be in the position to sell off several pieces. ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that the Phillies could be baseball's "most active sellers" in the next two days, and that they've laid the groundwork for several trades. Olney's colleague Jayson Stark hears from several teams that the Phillies could make 2-3 trades prior to Tuesday's deadline, though they've yet to officially declare themselves sellers (Twitter link).

CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury agrees that selling is likely, and runs down several of the possibilities for the Phillies in the coming days. Salisbury writes that Shane Victorino is the "most likely" Phillie to be dealt, and lists the Giants, Pirates, Reds and Dodgers as possible destinations for Victorino. Interest in Victorino was said to be "heating up" as recently as yesterday.

The Reds have also inquired on Juan Pierre, and both the Orioles and Cardinals are potential destinations for Joe Blanton according to Salisbury. He also says that Hunter Pence could be moved if GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is blown away by an offer, and speculates that Ty Wigginton would fit on several teams looking for bench help.

Salisbury reiterates that the Phillies are likely to keep Cliff Lee for the time being, although he could be shopped this offseason in an attempt to fill multiple holes.


NL East Notes: Phillies, Hairston, Byrdak

Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison could miss the rest of the season, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports (on Twitter). Miami placed Morrison on the 15-day disabled list with right knee inflammation earlier today. Here are some more NL East links…

  • The Phillies may start a partial sale after two consecutive losses to the Braves, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Shane Victorino, Juan Pierre and Joe Blanton could be moved.
  • There's interest in Scott Hairston, but the Mets may value him more than his potential suitors do, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes (on Twitter). The Mets see the value of finishing strong and Hairston could help them over the course of the season's final two months.
  • Teams are expressing zero interest in left-hander Tim Byrdak, a Mets person tells Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (Twitter link). The 38-year-old has a 4.76 ERA with 9.8 K/9 and 5.7 BB/9 in an NL-leading 53 appearances this year.
  • The Mets haven't been impressed by offers for Daniel Murphy, Martino reports (on Twitter). "We're not trading Murphy for a reliever," a Mets person told Martino.

Stark On Johnson, Rangers, Phillies

The results of Josh Johnson’s start against the Padres and Roy Halladay’s start against the Braves could have major consequences for the trade market, ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark writes. More than a dozen scouts are on hand to watch Johnson pitch in Miami today, while Halladay is attempting to prevent the Braves from sweeping the Phillies out of town and, possibly, out of the playoff mix. Here are the details from Stark:

  • MLB executives are wary of Johnson’s past shoulder troubles, his career-high ERA and his diminishing fastball velocity, but no other available starter has his kind of stuff. The Marlins continue to look for a “dream package” for Johnson and they’re prepared to keep him if no club meets their asking price, Stark reports.
  • The Rangers seem especially cautious about Johnson, but they have people watching his start today. The Marlins told the Rangers  they aren’t interested in discussing a trade unless Mike Olt is involved, yet the Rangers haven’t been willing to make Olt available.
  • As of last night, the Phillies were telling clubs they haven’t decided how they’ll approach the deadline. They’ve likely done enough talking to trade Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton, Juan Pierre and Ty Wigginton in short order if necessary, Stark writes.
  • The Phillies continue dangling Hunter Pence, but seem intent on waiting until the offseason to start serious trade discussions.
  • Philadelphia could keep its trade chips for now and make moves in August, when players have to be placed on waivers to be dealt.


NL West Notes: Pence, Giants, Headley

The Giants lead the Dodgers by one game in the NL West, and the 51-50 Diamondbacks are just 4.5 games out of first place. Here's the latest from the division…

  • The Giants are eyeing outfielders now and Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence of the Phillies could be options in San Francisco, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com writes (Twitter link).
  • Pence is likely too pricey for the Giants, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). But as Rosenthal notes, the Dodgers might be able to afford him. Pence earns $10.4MM in 2012 and will get a raise through the arbitration process this coming offseason.
  • Giants GM Brian Sabean continues to look for a right-handed reliever, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (on Twitter).
  • The Padres are sending signals they'll keep Chase Headley if they don't receive a better offer for him in the next two days, ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reports (on Twitter).

Quick Hits: Padres, Victorino, Red Sox, Liriano

ESPN's Buster Olney says (on Twitter) that one NL official called Saturday the calm before the trade deadline storm. Hanley Ramirez and Zack Greinke have already been traded, but there are still nearly three full days to go before the deadline. Here's the latest from around the league..

  • The Padres are leaning towards keeping Chase Headley and Huston Street unless the market changes considerably in the next few days, reports ESPN's Jim Bowden (on Twitter).
  • The Phillies are suggesting to interested teams that they may still sell Shane Victorino and other pieces, but also may wait right to the deadline tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.
  • The Red Sox are willing to deal from their bullpen and outfield surplus in order to upgrade their starting rotation, sources tell Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
  • Neither Francisco Liriano or the Twins pursued an extension for the left-hander (Twitter link), GM Terry Ryan told reporters (including MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger). The White Sox acquired Liriano earlier tonight.
  • Before Marco Scutaro was traded to the Giants, the Yankees and Athletics also tried to acquire the veteran, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.

Mike Axisa contributed to his post.


Interest In Shane Victorino Heating Up

Trade buzz surrounding Shane Victorino has started to pick up, reports Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. The Reds, Dodgers, Pirates, and Giants all have interest in the outfielder and are scouting the Phillies. Cincinnati also has interest in Juan Pierre.

Victorino, 31, is hitting just .256/.321/.391 this season and will become a free agent this winter. He's owed approximately $6.3MM through the end of the season and thanks to the new collective bargaining agreement, any team that acquires him in a trade will not be eligible to receive draft pick compensation if he signs elsewhere as a free agent.

Teams are also showing interest in Hunter Pence but are being told the price is high according to Salisbury. The Orioles and Blue Jays have also been keeping an eye on Joe Blanton's recent starts.


Olney’s Latest: Shields, Greinke, Reds, Headley, Drew

In today's Insider-only blog post, ESPN's Buster Olney says the Rays have a tough decision to make about trading James Shields. Clubs interested in acquiring him have to figure out how to value him – as an ace who finished third in the Cy Young voting last year, or as an innings-eater with a 4.52 ERA like this year. Similar questions are being asked about Josh Johnson of the Marlins. Here are the rest of Olney's rumors…

  • Rival executives don't believe the Angels gave up any blue-chippers for Zack Greinke and that they have a good chance to retain him beyond this season.
  • Olney believes the Reds and Phillies could match up well in a trade. Cincinnati is seeking a leadoff-type hitter type and Philadelphia has Shane Victorino or Juan Pierre to offer.
  • The Orioles and Phillies are two teams to watch in the race for Chase Headley. Both clubs are seeking long-term third base solutions.
  • Other clubs have called the Diamondbacks about Stephen Drew, but those teams now sense that Arizona will keep its shortstop according to Olney (on Twitter).

NL East Notes: Phils, Victorino, Braves, Reyes, Buehrle

Here's the latest out of the NL East…

  • Phillies GM Ruben Amaro told reporters (including Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com) that his plan is to keep his team's rotation intact, though plans can change.  The Phillies have a "lot of balls in [the] air trade-wise."
  • The Phillies are listening to offers for Shane Victorino though they haven't yet indicated that they're willing to move him, tweets ESPN.com's Jayson Stark.  The Dodgers, Giants, Pirates and Reds are among the teams interested in the center fielder.
  • The Braves are still looking to upgrade their rotation, reports MLB.com's Mark Bowman.  The Braves have shown interest in Edinson Volquez and James Shields, though Bowman notes that a less-pricey pitching option like Rays right-hander Wade Davis could fit Atlanta's needs.  Multiple teams have asked about Davis, though he's pitched out of the bullpen all season and wouldn't be able to immediately help a team looking for a starter.
  • Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Ozzie Guillen told reporters (including Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post) that despite the Marlins' struggles, they don't regret coming to Miami.
  • The Mets are focused on acquiring players who can help the team beyond just the 2012 season, reports ESPN New York's Adam Rubin.  Both Rubin's source and manager Terry Collins didn't think any deals were imminent before the deadline.
  • Scott Hairston told Rubin that the Mets haven't approached him about a contract extension.  A team insider tells Rubin that "Nothing I know of was accomplished" when the Tigers and Mets recently discussed a Hairston trade.

Stark On Headley, Braves, Marlins, Reds

The Athletics, Orioles, Pirates and Indians are pursuing Chase Headley most aggressively, ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark reports. The Pirates and Indians seem less motivated to complete a deal now, but the A’s and Orioles haven’t backed off. The Diamondbacks, Phillies and Yankees checked in on Headley, and the Dodgers were seriously interested until they traded for Hanley Ramirez. Here are the rest of Stark’s rumors…

  • The Braves are telling teams they’re shifting their focus away from the rotation to possible bullpen and bench upgrades, Stark reports.
  • The Marlins are working hard to trade Carlos Zambrano and Carlos Lee, Stark writes. Ricky Nolasco is also available.
  • The Rangers are mainly focused on Zack Greinke and James Shields, but the odds of a trade involving Shields are diminishing because Evan Longoria is on his way back to the Rays’ lineup.
  • The Cubs are offering to absorb all but $2MM of Alfonso Soriano’s contract, Stark writes. The left fielder earns $18MM per season through 2014 and the Cubs might take it all on for the right prospect.
  • The Phillies are still considering trading Shane Victorino, but they are likely to wait a few days before making a decision on his future.
  • The Padres have told teams they are likely to trade Huston Street if they can’t sign him to an extension. The Padres are expected to attempt to lock Street up to a one-year extension.
  • Reds GM Walt Jocketty "feels a need to do something" and has asked around for a middle-of-the-order hitter, Stark reports.

Quick Hits: Indians, Scutaro, Twins, Polanco

The Indians are focused on trade candidates who are under team control beyond 2012, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports (on Twitter). This means players such as Shane Victorino aren’t ideal targets for Cleveland. Here are more links from around MLB for Thursday afternoon…

  • Marco Scutaro is the most likely Rockies player to be dealt this month, Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes. The Nationals and Rays are among the teams watching Scutaro, Renck notes.
  • The Twins are hoping Carl Pavano and Matt Capps get healthy and pitch well in August so they can pass the pitchers through waivers and consider trading them, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports (on Twitter).
  • The Orioles, who continue looking for a third baseman, would have "tried hard" to acquire Placido Polanco if the Phillies hadn't placed him on the disabled list, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).