Rumor machine Ken Rosenthal has a new Full Count Video up at FoxSports.com. Let's dive on in…
- The outcome of this weekend's games could determine which team the recently released Brad Penny signs with. The Giants and Marlins are the two teams pursuing him the most, but the Giants are in a better position in the NL Wildcard standings.
- The Yankees, Twins, and A's are also expressing interest in the righthander, but "what pitcher in his right mind would want to stay in the American League?"
- The A's and Padres have even "floated the idea" of signing Penny beyond the rest of this season, but Penny's best bet might be to go to a team like the Giants and reestablish himself in a pennant race, then go back into the free agent pool this winter on a high note.
- The Cubs are more open to dealing Rich Harden to the Twins than you might think. The Cubs could receive two high draft picks if they offer Harden arbitration after the season and he signs elsewhere, but that's a risky strategy. Given his injury history, the club might not want to take a $10MM or so hit if he accepts, even for only one year.
- The bigger question with Harden may be how aggressive the Twins will be in trying to deal for him. Remember that stars Justin Morneau and Joe Nathan have said the team needs more to contend, with Morneau mentioning that the team needs to impress Joe Mauer since he's due to become a free agent after next season.
- Yes, the Yankees were messing with the Red Sox when they claimed Chris Carter off waivers, but Boston's 40-man roster only has 38 players on it at the moment. Daisuke Matsuzaka will assume one of those spots when he comes off the 60-day DL, and the other is reserved for Paul Byrd.
- People might need to relax when it comes to Brad Lidge's struggles. His recent blown save against the Pirates might be the result of overuse, as Lidge was pitching for the fourth straight day. He had done it twice before this season, but he entered game three of that stretch with a four-run lead. Manager Charlie Manuel may need to be more careful with how he uses his closer down the stretch.