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What a day for Boston sports fans! Not only did the Celtics land Kevin Garnett, but the AL East leading Boston Red Sox have acquired closer Eric Gagne from the Texas Rangers. According to ESPN.com "Boston sent left-hander Kason Gabbard and minor league outfielders David Murphy and Engel Beltre to the Rangers" for the once dominant closer. Gagne set the all time record converting 82 straight save opportunities for the Dodgers but three surgeries had all but ended his career before this year’s comeback performance. The Rangers did a great job of getting maximum value for their free-agent-to-be. Not only did they acquire three prospects for what is likely a rental by Boston, the Red Sox also are reportedly picking up 2.1 million of Gagne’s performance bonuses.
Ken Rosenthall of Fox Sports is reporting that the Atlanta Braves have acquired star slugger Mark Teixeira. This will be a HUGE deal if the report ends up being accurate. For what it’s worth Rosenthall is almost always right on these things.
"The deal is done, pending a review of the medical records of the players involved, according to major-league sources.
The Braves will receive Teixeira and left-handed reliever Ron Mahay.
The Rangers will receive catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Class A shortstop Elvis Andrus and two pitching prospects."
That’s quite a bounty and I like Salty a LOT but you’ve got to think this will be a big boost for the Braves. I’d love to hear what guest blogger Derrek Wonderland has to say about it, since the Braves are his hometown team.
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
Sorry folks for the layoff. I was having trouble logging into my MLBlogs account but after three calls to customer service, realized the problem was on my end. Surprising to all of you I’m sure. But, that didn’t keep me from blogging, it just kept me from blogging about MLB Rumors. I finally updated my personal blog, skitzzo.com, writing up the most recent hilarious argument my wife and I had.
Anyway, that should pretty much catch you up to date so let’s get back to baseball shall we? There’s not a whole lot going on around the league but I’m sure I’ll find something to bore you with tomorrow. I’ll be on the road the rest of the day so hopefully nothing too newsworthy will happen in the next 7 hours.
One interesting tidbit before I go is that technically, J.D. Drew is still a free agent. Now no other team is going to sign Drew for anything near what the Sox originally offered, especially now that this business with his shoulder has come to light. Still, would anyone put it past Scott Boras to pull some sort of crazy stunt at this stage in the game?
Also, ESPN.com is reporting that Eric Gagne has passed his physical (see how easy that was Drew?) and will become the Texas Rangers’ new closer. I’ve always been a big fan of the spectacled pitcher and I hope he bounces back from this latest run of injuries.
Alright, well it’s time to hit the road but I wanted to at least post SOMETHING so you didn’t all think I had abandoned the blog just because the Hot Stove has cooled down a bit.
The Texas Rangers have signed two ex Dodgers in two days. Yesterday, the Rangers reportedly agreed to terms with free agent center fielder Kenny Lofton, signing the veteran to a one year, $6 million deal. Today, reports out of Texas say that the Rangers have also come to terms with free agent closer Eric Gagne, also for a one year deal. Gagne’s deal is believed to be worth roughly $8 million.
Lofton will fill the void left by the departure of Gary Matthews Jr. who signed earlier this winter with the Los Angeles Angels for $50 million over 5 years. Lofton, a 15 year veteran, has heard a few concerns about his age (39), however, age didn’t seem to be much of a factor last year when he batted .301 in 129 games for the Dodgers.
Gagne is a former Cy Young award winner and once rattled off 84 consecutive saves, however the flame throwing reliever has been hampered by injuries the past two years. In 2005. Gagne had to have a nerve removed from his throwing arm and pitched in only 14 games. Last year the closer had surgery on a herniated disc in his back after pitching in only 2 games. The Rangers expect Gagne to be ready to roll for spring training and if they can manage to keep the often injured pitcher healthy, they might have just signed the best closer in the league.