Some rival executives believe that unless the Phillies run off a string of victories between now and the deadline, they will seriously consider offers for left-hander Cole Hamels, writes ESPN.com's Buster Olney. In today's column (Insider subscription required), Olney looks at the pros and cons of trading Hamels and more..
- If the Red Sox are waffling about whether to get involved in talks for Ryan Dempster, then the right-hander must have opened their eyes with his strong outing Friday. However, it remains to be seen if the Cubs and BoSox can move past the Theo Epstein compensation drama to make a deal.
- Matt Garza could also figure to be one of the top pitchers on the market leading up to the deadline and execs say that he has been talked about a lot more in recent days.
- A pair of baseball execs told Olney that they're in favor of the new draft rules putting prospects into their respective systems more rapidly. "For them, it's one less year to the major leagues. High school kids do not have to spend as much time in rookie league. College players who are high draft [picks] can get more easily get to Double-A in Year Two," said Mark Newman, Yankees senior VP of baseball operations.
- The Padres are extremely high on top pick Max Fried and one evaluator compared his breaking ball to Clayton Kershaw's. Fried, the No. 7 pick, agreed to a $3MM deal with the club yesterday.