Tag:MLB trade deadline 2010
Posted on: July 22, 2010 7:22 pm

Twins join Oswalt talks

Roy Oswalt Since Clff Lee isn't being traded again, the trade focus has quickly zeroed-in on Houston's Roy Oswalt. The latest team to throw their hat into the ring is the Minnesota Twins, the Houston Chronicle 's Zachary Levine reports .

Levine sources "a person with knowledge of the discussions" tells him the Twins have joined the Phillies and Cardinals in pursuit of the Houston right-hander.

The question then would be if Oswalt would OK a trade to Minnesota. The conventional wisdom is Oswalt would like to go to St. Louis and other reports have said he'd turn down a trade to the White Sox or Tigers, so it's unsure if he'd give the green light to another AL Central squad.

The Twins are in the thick of the AL Central race, 2 1/2 games behind the White Sox, but the back of the rotation has struggled and the team certainly needs an upgrade. Minnesota was thought to be a favorite in the Lee sweepstakes and are certainly willing to spend money with their new ballpark.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: July 22, 2010 4:50 pm

Padres could be targeting Tejada

Miguel Tejada The Padres were already in need of offense, and now they have another hole to fill, at least for a few weeks, with David Eckstein on the disabled list.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that Baltimore's Miguel Tejada could be the Padres' target. He could fill in for Eckstein (if not at second base, with a little moving around by the San Diego infielders), who is out with a calf strain, and then get time in the infield and outfield when Eckstein returns.

Tejada (.274/.314/.374) is having an off year offensively, and he doesn't do much for your defense. But the Padres, who despite being in first place are 14th in the National League in slugging, could use any pop he can provide. Tejada has seven homes and 16 doubles this season.

Jed Lowrie could be another option for the Padres.

Last July, the U-T points out, the Padres went 4-16 with Eckstein on the DL for a hamstring strain, then 37-25 after he returned.

Most amazing fact you run across when analyzing this potential Tejada move: Tejada, who looks like he's 50, and Eckstein, who looks like he's 12, were born eight months apart.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 22, 2010 11:53 am
Edited on: July 22, 2010 11:54 am

Mets shopping Francoeur

Jeff Francoeur The return of Carlos Beltran has given the Mets four potential starting outfielders, and Jeff Francoeur, coming off the bench for the first time in his career, appears to be the odd man out.

According to several reports, the Mets are looking for a trade partner to take Francoeur. Teams that have shown interest in adding an outfielder include the Giants, Red Sox, Padres and Rays.

A friend of Francoeur told the New York Post that he would welcome a trade if it gave him a chance to play every day.

Francoeur, who batted .311 last season, has fallen off badly this season (.243/.295/.378). He's not likely to represent much of an upgrade as an everyday starter for many teams, but the Mets might find a taker.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 21, 2010 10:35 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2010 11:09 pm

Red Sox willing to spend above luxury tax

Larry Lucchino Rest easy, Red Sox fans.

Red Sox president Larry Lucchino appeared on WEEI Wednesday to assuage fears that Boston would have no room to add payroll at the trade deadline after league officials informed the team they had, in fact, crossed past the luxury tax threshold.

"We are at the bottom end of the tax threshold," Luchhino said. "We’re not at the highest tax rate. We’re at the lowest tax rate."

The Red Sox will be taxed 22.5 percent per dollar over the luxury tax, while the Yankees are taxed at 40 percent. Due to the news, reports have surfaced that the Red Sox would be unable to add payroll at the deadline. Not true.

"I know what our financial plans are, and [the perception the Red Sox cannot spend] is not true," Lucchino stated. "We have money set aside to acquire talent if we can find it, but having said that this is not a promise or a prediction that a trade will happen. We’re not going to do something just to keep our record alive by making deals on July 31."

The Red Sox stand to transform the face of their roster once all its injured players return as they have begun doing so. Clay Buchholz and Jed Lowrie joined the team Wednesday, Thursday will bring Jeremy Hermida and Friday Josh Beckett. Victor Martinez is en route inside of two weeks and Jacoby Ellsbury figures to eventually make it back.

The Red Sox have hit the skids lately and fall farther and farther behind New York and Tampa, respectively, for the division and wild card lead. The team is most aggressively seeking relief pitching but is also handicapped by its returning players -- who knows, for example, when Ellsbury will return? If it's not until mid-September, Boston would undoubtedly look for a solid outfielder to import.

In fact, the Red Sox have been linked to David DeJesus for a while now, and the Royals dispatched a scout to watch a Red Sox minor-league affiliate, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Dejesus is under contract through 2011 and would represent quite the upgrade over the motley crew Boston has run out as of late.

But there's too much uncertainty to say.

Whatever the deal, it will have to make sense.

"Theo [Epstein] parts with prospects less willingly than he would part with his first-born," quipped Lucchino.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 21, 2010 7:41 pm

At least four teams interested in Bautista

Jose Bautista Unsurprisingly, home-run leader Jose Bautista is drawing trade interest from multiple teams.

Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan reports that interest has been expressed by the Braves, Giants, Tigers and White Sox. All are in sore need of offense, and the versatile Bautista can play any outfield position as well as third base. While he doesn't have much experience at first and second, he has also appeared at those positions.

With 26 home runs, Bautista can bring serious punch to any offense willing to live with his .241 batting average backed up by an excellent .358 OBP. He is also tremendously affordable, making just $2.4 million in his third year of arbitration. He has one more year to go before becoming a free agent and will be in line for a massive pay raise, which is undoubtedly part of San Francisco's motivations.

SI.com's Jon Heyman says the Jays could be seeking middle infielders, with Emmanuel Burriss and Ehire Adrianza from the Giants drawing interest. It's unclear why Toronto would want middle infielders given they are pretty set with Aaron Hill and Yunel Escobar up the middle, but they don't have a ready-made long-term third baseman that one of these middle infielders could fill. Escobar has also been bandied about as someone who may eventually need to move to third.

Continuing the middle infield theme, the Braves could dangle All-Star utility infielder Omar Infante, who could stand to grab more playing time. They don't have a top prospect down the farm, although third baseman Mycal Jones is intriguing.

The Tigers have a sore spot in middle infield, so they wouldn't seem to be a fit there. In fact, Bautista would be leveraged to help fill the hole that was created by Brandon Inge's injury.

The White Sox have top prospect Gordon Beckham, but he's not moving unless for a major piece like Prince Fielder. Brent Morel or Dayan Viciedo -- both third basemen -- could be had, however.

It's certain that the Jays will also be on the hunt for an outfielder to replace Bautista as well as the biggest commodity in ball: pitching.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 21, 2010 6:22 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2010 7:38 pm

Wigginton drawing massive interest

Ty Wigginton Who knew that the market for versatile infielders could be plentiful?

Jose Lopez could be an option for the Tigers, Wes Helms has drawn interest from the Yankees and Rangers and other like-minded players are available as well, such as Jose Bautista and Jorge Cantu.

The player most bandied about at the trade deadline, however, has been Ty Wigginton of the Orioles. Incredibly versatile, Wiggy has had a strong season at the plate although he sandwiched a cold streak in between his raking. Virtually every team in contention has been linked to Wigginton, and AOL Fanhouse's Jeff Fletcher specifies three recent teams: the Giants, Rangers and Angels.

The Rangers are an unsurprising team, as they are on the hunt for a right-handed infielder and Wigginton is a logical fit. The Giants are more curious, as GM Brian Sabean is adamant he does not want to bring in a "rental" player. Wigginton is eligible to be a free agent after the season, but Sabean could be persuaded into Wigginton given he would cost less than players such as Jayson Werth.

Speaking of Werth, could the Phillies also be a candidate for Wigginton? If the rumors that Werth is headed out in favor for starting pitcher Roy Oswalt are true, that lineup will suddenly get very left-handed. Wiggy could be a jack-of-all-trades, primarily playing second base until Chase Utley returns from injury and then filling in all over. The two sides have already reportedly discussed Wigginton.

Back to Fletcher's other named team: the Angels. Los Angeles doesn't have much in the way of high-level prospects to deal and have already tried to get Alberto Callaspo from the Royals. While it's not clear if Baltimore would accept Sean O'Sullivan and an additional fringe prospect for Wigginton, you would think that the Angels would at least keep Wigginton in mind.

Another team that could use Wiggy is the Detroit Tigers, who lost Brandon Inge for over a month and already had a compromised shortstop conundrum.

And of course, the Yankees, as they are wont to do, have interest in everybody on the market including Wigginton. (Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports did say that the Yankees are focusing in on Helms and the Indians' Jhonny Peralta, as Wigginton's price is understandably high.)

The Rockies have also been linked to Wigginton as they seek to import a better second baseman than Clint Barmes.

The market for Wigginton is robust, and it's a near lock that he is traded clear to the deadline. The only question is: where? There are so many fits, it will all depend on which team is willing to give up the most.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 21, 2010 5:40 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2010 6:23 pm

White Sox angling for Fielder

Prince Fielder The White Sox continue to pursue a big bat and have turned their attention to Prince Fielder, reports FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.

Chicago has been tied with Adam Dunn, but Washington's exorbitant price tag has scared off GM Kenny Williams, who made anyone in the farm available for Dunn. The Nats, however, reportedly are holding out for, among others, Gordon Beckham.

While Williams isn't willing to move Beckham for Dunn, he may for Fielder as Buster Olney of ESPN notes . However, the Brewers' primary goal is to acquire a starting pitcher. While the Pale Hose have Daniel Hudson in that category, the Brew Crew view Hudson as only a No. 3 starter at his best, which isn't enough to deal Fielder.

One thought could be to acquire Beckham and Hudson and then seek to flip second baseman Rickie Weeks or third baseman Casey McGehee for a starting pitcher, although the caliber of pitcher the Brewers would get back for one of the two would also be a No. 3 type. Milwaukee has a decision to make, then: try to acquire two No. 3 starter types or hold Fielder out for an ace.

Milwaukee's pitching depth is so thin that the former opportunity is not all that terrible, but it's difficult to move such an important part of the team's offense and only come away with two middle-of-the-rotation types.

Fielder is making $10.5 million on the year and will be eligible for arbitration one final time in 2011 before hitting the free agent market. His value may not be higher than it is now, as many scouts are concerned about his bad body and how well it will hold up over the length of his free-agent contract. Agent Scott Boras is currently talking as if Fielder deserves a bigger contract than Mark Teixeira got from the Yankees.

It's highly doubtful that Milwaukee will retain Fielder after becoming a free agent, so the Brewers may be forced to take the best deal they can get now -- it's unlikely they could get a better deal in the offseason or at the trade deadline next season.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 21, 2010 5:12 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2010 5:13 pm

M's Lopez could be option for Tigers

Jose Lopez The Tigers are in need of a third baseman after Brandon Inge went on the disabled list with a broken hand.

The Mariners have a third baseman on his way out the door who they wouldn't mind getting rid of.

It could be a match made in heaven, points out the Seattle Times.

The Mariners might emphasize that Jose Lopez is an All-Star (reserve in 2006) middle-of-the-order hitter, entering his prime at 26. And then they'll distract Detroit general manager Dave Dombrowski with something shiny and hope he doesn't look at a stat sheet.

Lopez's numbers are bad this season (.237/.265/.339). Of regular starters at third base in the American League, he has the lowest OPS, lowest slugging percentage, fewest RBIs (tied), fewest home runs (tied) and fewest walks.

Lopez is done in Seattle -- in addition to his decreasing performance, he's always frustrated them with his attitude and effort, and there's no way they pick up a $4.5 million club option for 2011. But he might be one of those guys who blossoms with a change of address, and he could keep the seat warm until Inge (who's not exactly an offensive juggernaut himself) gets healthy.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com