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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.
If the San Diego Padres are trying to create the most volatile clubhouse in the league, they certainly took another step in the right direction today. The fathers acquired the often troubled Milton Bradley and cash from the Oakland A’s in exchange for minor league pitcher Andrew Brown.
Bradley’s performance on the field and at the plate is tough not to like but his history of injuries and explosive behavior. Bradley’s currently hitting .292 with two home runs in only 19 games this season. However, the San Diego dugout now contains both Michael Barrett and Bradley, both who have had serious trouble playing well with others in the past. At this point I’m almost rooting for Barrett to drop a throw home from Bradley in a critical moment of a game. I mean how often do you get a chance to see two volcanoes explode at the same time?
Guest Blogged by J.P. Maxwell
According to the Oakland Athletics team site (now also in the San Francisco Chronicle), the team designated OF Milton Bradley for assignment yesterday. The team now has ten days to either trade or release Bradley. This is a surprising move, considering how well Bradley can play at times and it seemed the A’s worked very hard to acquire him a couple of years ago. Bradley can hit for power and average, runs pretty well, and has played well on defense. He has had some trouble with injuries over his career and some “character” issues in the past as well. To me, those two things had to be major factors for his designation. He is due to make $4 million this year, a little bit more than half of that should be remaining for the rest of this season. A few teams who need help in the outfield are believed to have interest including the Padres, Marlins, Cardinals, and maybe even the Pirates. It is believed that it would not take much talent to acquire Bradley in a trade. If Bradley is not traded after the ten days, the A’s then have to release Bradley and “eat” the remaining money on the contract.
Apparently J.P. and I think a lot alike as I was working on a post about Bradley being linked to the New York Mets (and team officials shooting it down) when he sent this post in. Personally I think Bradley would be a great pickup for whichever team gets him. He’s been very injury prone and has a reputation for being tough to get along with in the dugout but as J.P. mention, I can’t imagine it would take much to get him. However, the interested parties could very well wait it out until the A’s are forced to release him (see the Cardinals persuit of Ohka) in order further minimize their risk.
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
The general managers of the Oakland A’s and the New York Mets yesterday at the Winter Meetings (convenient place for it I suppose) and rumors are that they talked about a possible Joe Blanton for Lastings Milledge deal. The 25 year old, Blanton, went 16-12 last year with an ERA of 4.82 over 194 innings. The 21 year old Milledge had been the prized prospect of the Mets minor league system, however, he struggled last year batting only .241 in 56 games.
Milledge has been shopped all over the league in countless different rumored deals this winter and one has to begin to wonder what the Mets know that other teams don’t. Perhaps they’ve just soured on Milledge due to his poor performance last year but that would seem extremely short sighted on their part. Also, I’d be surprised to see Oakland deal one of their most solid young starters for what amounts to a highly touted prospect. While they have plenty of young pitching, Blanton has two years of experience under his belt and has made significant progress each year he’s spent in the league.
The Oakland A’s and slugger Frank Thomas are reportedly closing in on a new contract for the 38 year old designated hitter. Thomas has already filed for free agency, however, sources have said the two sides are quite close to a two year deal.
Thomas rebounded last year from an injury plagued 2005 season in which he only played 35 games and endured questions about whether he was physically able to continue playing. The Chicago White Sox released, him, despite the fact that he was a fan favorite and had been the face of the franchise for many years. The A’s signed him to a one year deal and were rewarded when the aging slugger returned to his All Star form, hammering 39 home runs and driving in 119 runs.
Details regarding the value of the contract are not yet available.