The latest from ESPN's Jayson Stark…
- The Rays listened on James Shields last week, but now they've taken him off the market for July and apparently the upcoming offseason.
- An executive who spoke with the Cubs says the level of interest in first baseman Carlos Pena has been exaggerated. That's pretty damning, since publicly the level of interest has always appeared tepid. Also, Stark says the Cubs believe Pena could get through waivers in August. I disagree with the notion that there will be a lot less money left on Pena's contract at that point, since half of the $10MM is to be paid in January.
- Kosuke Fukudome might be the one Cub dealt at the July deadline. We still haven't heard which teams are on his partial no-trade list, however.
- The Rangers are balking at including lefty Martin Perez in a deal. Perez is a consensus top-13 prospect in all of MLB. However, the Rangers will discuss their next tier of prospects - Tanner Scheppers, Robbie Erlin, Roman Mendez and Barret Loux, in Stark's mind.
- A longtime friend of Drayton McLane believes McLane's last act as Astros owner will be to convince GM Ed Wade to retain favorite Hunter Pence.