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Well, I’ve been struggling to keep up with the rumors lately, but thankfully, guest blogger Derrek Wonderland is on top of things. Here’s his Trade Deadline Rumor Roundup!
Mark Teixeira Update: Most sources are reporting that the Braves are still the front-runners to land slugging 1B Mark Teixeira. The centerpiece of their proposed deal is C/1B Jarrod Saltalamacchia, but they would also include a pitcher (either Matt Harrison, Kyle Davies, or Jo-Jo Reyes), and an infielder, either 18 year old phenom Elvis Andrus or Brent Lillibridge. The Braves are asking for a left-handed reliever to be included in the deal, either CJ Wilson or Ron Mahay.
The Angels are also believed to be in the running with their offer of young 1B Casey Kotchman and a couple of other pitchers, probably Ervin Santana and Joe Saunders. The Dodgers and Diamondbacks are said to be interested and both teams have enough young prospects to be a serious player in the Teixeira sweepstakes.
All indications are that the Rangers will wait as long as possible and drag this out right down to the wire.
Jermaine Dye: Dye’s name has been involved in trade talk all season, and with less than 2 days before the trade deadline, he is a central figure in many trade rumors. The Cubs, Mets, and Red Sox are all reported to have an interest in trading for the 2005 World Series MVP. The Cubs are undoubtedly concerned about the durability of LF Cliff Floyd and could possibly send OF Matt Murton back across town in return. The Mets OF has been banged up all season which makes them a player in the Dye talks, and the Red Sox want to add a bat because David Ortiz’s knee is an issue.
Dye is considered to be the most likely White Sox player to be traded before Tuesday’s 3pm deadline.
Octavio Dotel: Dotel is essentially the Royals only coveted trade piece and has been rumored in trades with several teams, including the Indians, Mets, Dodgers, Tigers, Red Sox, and Mariners.
Luis Castillo: Reports are surfacing that the Mets and Twins are in serious talks surrounding 2B Luis Castillo. The Twins had scouts at Shea stadium all weekend, but reportedly are not interested in any Mets on the current roster. So if a deal is done, it will most certainly involve prospects.
Joe Blanton: The Newark Star-Ledger is reporting that A’s pitcher Joe Blanton has been rumored in a trade with the Mets for OF Lastings Millege and another prospect, but the Mets aren’t able to trade Millege right now due to the injury issues of their OF.
I’ll check in with more updates over the next 29 hours but don’t expect a whole lot of analysis with them. Thanks again Derrek for your roundup. I’m sure all of our readers appreciate it as well.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – The Los Angeles Times speculated that, should the Yankees continue to struggle, there’s a possibility of them trading Alex Rodriguez to the Angels. The Yankees’ asking price will obviously be very steep, and will probably start with Francisco Rodriguez.
Personally, I think the more likely scenario has the Angels signing ARod after the season when (not if) he opts out of his contract. They have the money and a very aggressive owner in Arte Moreno, and they desperately need to add a bat to a lineup that begins and ends with Vladimir Guerrero.
New York Yankees – New York’s Newsday reports that future Hall of Fame closer Mariano Rivera will not push GM Brian Cashman for an extension during the season. Should the team approach him, he would be open to discussions.
As a Yankee hater, I would like nothing more than to see Rivera hit the free agent market after the season and trade his pinstripes for a Red Sox cap. Is it possible? Yes. Probable? Unfortunately, no. The smart money is on the Yankees re-signing Rivera before the Red Sox get a chance to court him.
Oakland Athletics – The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the A’s sent scouts to look at former Angels closer Troy Percival. Meanwhile, there is also some talk about moving starter Rich harden to the bullpen to alleviate his arm woes.
Texas Rangers – The Dallas Morning News reported that General Manager Jim Daniels has no plans to trade First Baseman Mark Teixeira, as was reported earlier in the week. He did say that the team may become “sellers” at the trade deadline, but he has not spoken to anyone regarding Teixeira. The New York Yankees were prominently mentioned in Teixeira trade rumors.
~ GUEST BLOGGED BY DEREK WONDERLAND
You’ll have to allow me to indulge in a bit of home-town biased for a moment. As if things weren’t going poorly enough for the defending World Series Champs, their catcher, Yadier Molina, is expected to miss 4 to 6 weeks with a fractured wrist. So, while this is hardly the type of news I’d like to cover, it has generated some interesting trade rumors.
Cardinals GM, Walt Jocketty, told reporters that "none of the free-agent catchers available moved the needle," implying the club will have to fill the void via a trade. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch article goes on to say that "according to reports, Anaheim catcher Jose Molina, Yadier’s brother, has been the subject of trade inquiries." The older Molina certianly wouldn’t be expected to ignight the offence batting only .224, but he would certainly help cut down opponents’ running game nailing 20 would-be base stealers last year (a .426 average) in just over 600 innings played. That’s quite an improvement over currently starting Gary Bennett, who last year allowed 26 stolen bases in 300+ innings while throwing out only 3.
It appears that retired reliever, turned comeback kid, Troy Percival won’t be getting an offer… at least not from his long time team, the Angels. The LA Times quoted Angels GM Bill Stoneman as saying "With the strength of our pen — we have as strong if not stronger a pen than when we did not ask him back — I think that’s probably out. To think we’re looking for help for the bullpen, that’s not where our priorities are at."
However, Percival and his agent shouldn’t be worried just yet as papers from several other cities are reporting the home town team has interest in the reinvigorated reliever. The bulk of the buzz is coming from Detroit, where Percival spent two injury plagued years before retiring. The Detroit News says the Tigers are "intrigued" by Percival and report that the team has been in contact with the pitcher’s agent.
The Philadelphia Daily News reports that the Phils "like many teams" have been in contact with Troy’s agent. It also isn’t exactly a stretch to say that "the Phillies badly need bullpen help." Given that need, Percival would certainly seem to make sense there as well.
And last but not least The Plain Dealer (out of Cleveland) today insinuated the Indians might have interest in the pitcher as well although GM Mark Shapiro would not give an indication one way or the other. But, when is the last time someone refused to comment on a player that they really weren’t looking into?
So, while it may not happen in Anaheim, er I mean LA, by all indications there seems to be great interest in Percival’s services. Isn’t it nice to be wanted?
When Troy Percival signed a 2 year $12 million contract with the Detroit Tigers before the 2005 season, the veteran closer had saved 250 games over the previous 7 years (an average of more than 35 saves a year) with the Angels. Unfortunately for the Tigers, the flamethrower suffered a torn muscle in his forearm after appearing in only 26 games for the team. The injury effectively ended his career. Percival returned to the Angels to retire earlier this year and threw out the ceremonial first pitch in the season opener. Now it seems, the 38 year old reliever might be considering a comeback. The LA Times quotes Percival’s agent, Paul Cohen, as saying
"He wanted to see if he’d blow his arm out," Cohen said. "He threw fora couple of days, and it didn’t hurt. Then he threw for six days in a
row with good velocity and good spin on his curve. He called me this
week and said, ‘I might want to try this.’ He’s leaning toward a
comeback and is supposed to give me his final answer [today]."
The article also states the Angels would likely get the first shot at signing their longtime closer, however, if the Angels don’t make him an offer, it would be hard to imagine another team not giving him a shot. At this point I half expect Lee Smith and Dennis Eckersley to announce their comeback bids next month.
Just a quick update on one of our earlier rumors… The LA Times is reporting that the Angels and White Sox are indeed discussing a trade that would send Crede to LA and Chone Figgins to Chicago, however, those are not the only players involved. According to the Times, White Sox veteran pitcher Freddy Garcia, and Angels prized pitching prospect, Ervin Santana would also be included in the deal.
As mentioned earlier, Crede would give the Angels the power they’ve been looking for and Figgins would provide the Sox the speed and versatility they crave. However, as a few readers pointed out, the deal seemed to favor the Angels a bit. Enter Santana and Garcia. Freddy Garcia is a proven veteran pitcher who has won 44 games over the past 3 years. Santana is a 23 year old pitcher who’s won 28 games in his first two major league seasons. Also worth noting is the fact that the Chicago Tribune reported today that the Crede/Figgins deal was "scoffed at" by White Sox GM, Ken Williams. However, the Tribune also reported that an extension for Crede would not be forthcoming which does little to squelch the trade rumors. Whether the addition of Santana "evens" out the trade or makes it more appealing to Williams and the Sox or not, it most certainly makes things more interesting.