Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe asked 55 people in baseball if they'd rather have Bryce Harper or Mike Trout. The final tally: Harper 25, Trout 24, six undecided. Athletics GM Billy Beane was one of the six on the fence and likely had the best quote of anyone. "Beatles or Stones? They’re both great, aren’t they?" Here's more from Cafardo's column..
- The Pirates and Dodgers could be the teams most willing to pull the trigger on Kevin Youkilis. The recent shift from third base to first has been a plus for scouts watching him, though he hasn’t performed well enough yet to wow anyone.
- Astros shortstop Jed Lowrie has 12 homers this year and his offensive ability may make him a target at the trading deadline. However, one AL GM pointed out that health concerns will impact his value.
- Cafardo wonders if the Blue Jays might consider Manny Ramirez after letting Vladimir Guerrero go.
- While Daisuke Matsuzaka would probably like to remain in the major leagues and in Boston, Matsuzaka will be in demand in Japan since he is still relatively young and still considered a big name, according to a major league source. The right-hander could earn another multiyear deal if he does well this season.
- Some baseball people wouldn't be shocked to see the Red Sox move Daniel Bard if he gets himself straightened out. Theo Epstein has always been a big fan and Cafardo wonders out loud if something could be worked out with the Cubs for Matt Garza. Garza, he opines, would be a perfect fit for an AL East team.
- The Dodgers could pull the trigger on Ryan Dempster soon and the Blue Jays also seem to have serious interest.
- Teams are reassessing their commitment to scouting Japanese players. One GM said, “Is all the money spent and devoted to scouting really yielding any great player? You’ve had Kei Igawa, Daisuke Matsuzaka, the kid from Minnesota [Tsuyoshi Nishioka], and really, is the money spent worth it?"