Three days until the July 31 trade deadline, and it was mostly quiet on the talking front on Monday.
Jarrod Washburn: The New York Yankees still have not acquired the Seattle left-hander, and though it still could happen, one source close to the talks said Monday that the Yankees appeared to veer off in other directions in their search for pitching. Talks between the Yankees and Mariners, for now, have "cooled", according to the source.
Though the Yankees would agree to pick up the remaining $14 million or so owed Washburn this year and next, it would be with the understanding that Seattle would receive only a lower-level prospect in return for Washburn. The Mariners so far have been demanding an upper-level prospect, along the lines of an Ian Kennedy. The Yankees, who don't have any upper-level pitching prospects aside from Kennedy and Phil Hughes, view that as exorbitant -- especially when they would pick up the salary.
The Mariners would like to deal Washburn -- and outfielder Raul Ibanez (the Mets, perhaps) -- but interim general manager Lee Pelekoudas is being very deliberate. His next trade will be his first, and with his job on the line, he knows first impressions are crucial.
Much as the Braves despise giving up, the decision essentially was made for them. They had to place both Chipper Jones and pitcher Tim Hudson on the disabled list, they were beaten by Philadelphia on Saturday and Sunday despite scoring 19 runs ... it's over in Atlanta.
Now, shopping and actually trading, are two different things. But the Braves appear determined, and Teixeira immediately becomes the plum prize this week. Arizona already has moved into the favorite's position, especially if the Diamondbacks do agree to move Chad Tracy and a prospect.
Most difficult thing for Atlanta will be playing multiple teams against each other because, among contenders, there isn't a lot of need for a first baseman. The Mets' Carlos Delgado is playing better, the Angels are happy with Casey Kotchman, Boston has Kevin Youklis and David Ortiz, the Dodgers have James Loney, the list goes on.
Manny Ramirez: Come on. Boston general manager Theo Epstein has tried hard in past off-seasons to deal Ramirez, with no luck. If he couldn't do it over three months, is it realistic that he does it in three days? This is a team with its sights set on another World Series win -- not only can precious few teams afford Manny, but Boston is going to need pieces in return that will be at least the equal to Ramirez in lineup production.
The Red Sox may be tired of him, but they can't afford to get worse on the fly.
Gerald Laird: Texas has received several inquiries -- catchers are hard to find -- but the asking price remains high. Florida continues to troll for another catcher, and the Marlins' need has deepened in the past several hours given Matt Treanor's hip condition. Treanor is scheduled to see a hip specialist, and the Marlins are bracing for bad news.
They like Laird, but Texas general manager Jon Daniels right now is asking for a top-level pitching prospect in return. So far, that's a no go for the Marlins and others.
Greg Maddux: San Diego would like to trade both him and outfielder Brian Giles, according to sources, because the Padres right now are interested in dumping salary. So far, however, the silence on the other end of the telephone is deafening. There isn't much interest in either player.
Maddux has no-trade powers and has pitched far better than his record indicates, but his preference is to pitch for a West Coast team. The Angels are set -- odds are Maddux wouldn't approve a trade to an AL club anyway -- and the Dodgers and Diamondbacks are the only other two western clubs in contention. And they each have other needs.