Here's the weekly 'Full Count' video from Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com…
- Three different scouts have told Rosenthal that the Phillies have asked the Astros about Hunter Pence. A deal seems unlikely for a number of reasons — Pence's salary (he's owed roughly $5MM more this season), the Phillies' reluctance to move top prospects in a deal, and the fact that Jim Crane wouldn't want to begin his ownership of the Astros by dealing their best player.
- Ruben Amaro tells Rosenthal that Phillies ownership hasn't yet given him direction about what the GM can or can't do at the deadline. Amaro says the Phillies could find some payroll space without having to deal Joe Blanton, which might be impossible anyway given Blanton's struggles, high salary and the fact that Blanton is currently on the DL.
- The Angels are looking to acquire a corner infielder with some pop. Rosenthal suggests Russell Branyan, just released by Arizona, could be signed to share time at first base with Mark Trumbo. Wilson Betemit could be acquired to play third, since the Royals will shop Betemit to clear space for Mike Moustakas.
- Ian Stewart is another possible target for the Halos, but the Rockies aren't likely to deal him since they don't have any other answers at third base. The Rockies are also "relucant to sell low" on the struggling Stewart; Rosenthal says the Pirates recently asked about Stewart but were "simply bottom-feeding" rather than making a serious offer.
- The Dodgers were one of C.C. Sabathia's "top choices" when he was a free agent after the 2008 season, and he would "love to have the Dodgers as leverage" when he (as expected) opts out of his contract with the Yankees this winter. As Rosenthal says, impending free agents hope the Dodgers solve their ownership problems quickly so the team can resume its status as a big-market destination.
- Jose Reyes "is going to make a killing" in free agency this winter and Jimmy Rollins should also do well given the lack of quality shortstops around the league, Rosenthal predicts. The Brewers, Mets, Dodgers, Giants and Athletics are just a few of the teams that could be in the market for a shortstop in the offseason. The Giants and A's may be a particular fit for Rollins, an Oakland native.
- The Phillies, of course, could re-sign Rollins themselves. Rosenthal notes it would be difficult for the Phils to part with their long-time shortstop, particularly if the club makes another deep postseason run.