Jayson Stark of ESPN.com has plenty of news in his latest edition of Rumblings & Grumblings. Let's dive in and take a look..
- Phillies GM Ruben Amaro says that his value assessment on Cole Hamels hasn't changed but he will have to take his other free agents into account this winter. "But the biggest thing is all the other decisions we have to make…at third base [Placido Polanco], in center field [Shane Victorino], and at right field [Hunter Pence] and catcher [Carlos Ruiz] in two years. And we haven't solved our left-field situation, either," Amaro said.
- Amaro says that he is high on Ruiz but will consider the club's payroll as a whole before considering a long-term deal. The GM also pointed out his age (33) and demanding position. The Phillies hold a $5MM club option for next year on Ruiz, which would put him on the open market on the verge of his age-35 season.
- The Phillies GM also seems confident that the club won't be in a position to cave before the deadline and become sellers. For the Phillies to pull the plug and sell, he says the club would have to "fall out of contention pretty significantly."
- The Tigers might want to consider waiting around for the Rockies' Marco Scutaro as a solution at second base. Clubs that have checked in with the Rockies say they're still at least a month from selling but Scutaro, Rafael Betancourt, and Jeremy Guthrie are all likely to be available when they do.
- There's been a surprising amount of trade talk surrounding Twins outfielder Josh Willingham but teams that have kicked the tires on him have been rebuffed.
- The Pirates are telling other teams that they're likely to approach this deadline like they did last year's, looking to add. They've indicated that they're likely to trade arms for bats, especially hitters they can control beyond this year.
- Meanwhile, potential shoppers wonder if the Pirates are willing to move enough quality to make a splash. Pittsburgh is hinting that they'll keep James McDonald, A.J. Burnett, and probably Erik Bedard if they have a shot to win. If that's the case, they'll instead be shopping the likes of Charlie Morton, Kevin Correia, Jeff Karstens, and prospect Rudy Owens, which won't net them the same kind of return.
- Despite reports to the contrary, Roy Oswalt never received offers from the Phillies or Cardinals according to Amaro and a source who spoke with the Cards' brass, respectively. While there was other interest, it seems that this was a one-team negotiation with Oswalt and the Rangers.