Tag:B.J. Upton
Posted on: July 27, 2011 4:56 pm
 

Wednesday afternoon trade rumors

By C. Trent Rosecrans

We actually got the big trades on Wednesday with a three-way deal sending Colby Rasmus to Toronto and Edwin Jackson to St. Louis, as well as the biggest domino of the non-waiver trade deadline falling, as Carlos Beltran will join the Giants on Thursday. But that doesn't mean the rumors stopped, boy oh boy, are they still hot and heavy. Here's our roundup of the morning and early afternoon's rumors:

• One official for a contender told ESPN.com's Jayson Stark that he believes the Rockies will move Ubaldo Jimenez. Apparently there's too much smoke for there not to be fire. The same official told Stark, "You don't do this with your best pitchers unless you're ready to trade him." 

• Even with the Cardinals rebuilding their bullpen in Wednesday's Rasmus deal, they're still talking to the Padres about Heath Bell and Mike Adams, CBSSports.com senior writer Scott Miller tweets.

• The Cubs are apparently interested in dumping two of their higher-priced players, Carlos Zambrano and Alfonso Soriano. Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman tweeted the Cubs are offering up much of the money left on their contracts. A rival front-office member told Heyman, "They'd have to pay 95 percent." Zambrano is making $17.875 million this season and $18 million next season. He has a $19.25 million vesting option for 2013 that takes effect if he is first or second in the 2011 Cy Young vote (not likely) or is in the top four of the 2012 Cy Young vote and is healthy. He has a full no-trade clause. Soriano is signed through 2014 at $18 million per season. The Cubs are hoping the Yankees bite, Buster Olney of ESPN.com tweets.

• A's general manager Billy Beane tells Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that he's not interested in giving away any of the available A's players on the cheap. He said the team isn't looking to dump payroll.

• After Beltran turned down the Indians (or his agent did), Cleveland has moved on and is trying to land Rasmus, B.J. Upton and Hiroki Kuroda, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! tweets. Of course, that was before Rasmus was off the table.

• The Astros say they want a "very top" pitching prospect in return for Hunter Pence, Heyman tweets. He notes with that price tag, most expect Hunter to stay in Houston.

• FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal tweets the Braves are now the most interested in Pence, but are also interested in the Padres' Ryan Ludwick.

• The Phillies have done background work on White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin, Olney tweets. Philadelphia is searching for a bat that would basically replace what Jason Werth did for them last season.

• Rockies outfielder Ryan Spllborghs is a possibility for the Red Sox, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe writes. He also adds the Twins are listening to offers for right-hander Kevin Slowey.

• The Yankees have asked about Florida's Ricky Nolasco, but was told the team would deal him, Heyman tweeted.

• The chances of the Dodgers trading Andre Ethier are "very slim" FoxSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi reports. But there's a chance as Ethier will be a free agent after 2012.

• The Reds are telling teams catcher Devin Mesoraco and shortstop Billy Hamilton are "untouchable," Rosenthal writes. However, he also notes the Rockies wouldn't require either of those two. If a deal didn't include those, it would take some other big pieces, though. The Reds' system is deep enough to have those pieces, such as Yasmandi Grandal, Yonder Alonso, Travis Wood and Mike Leake.

• Even though the Rays have said James Shields is unavailable, Rosenthal tweets Cincinnati is targeting Sheilds over Ubaldo Jimenez.

• With Rasmus off the table, the Nationals are targeting the Twins' Denard Span and could move closer Drew Storen to get the outfielder, Rosenthal said on MLB Network.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 26, 2011 11:27 pm
Edited on: July 27, 2011 12:07 pm
 

Tuesday's trade rumor roundup

By Matt Snyder

Another day, another seemingly infinite set of rumors and reports. Let's try to tie them all together into one shiny post for you, the Eye on Baseball readers. We've got your back like that.

- On the Ubaldo Jimenez front, we started the day with Troy Renck of the Denver Post saying "chances remain slim" that the Rockies part with Jimenez. Later, however, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported that the Rockies want to trade Jimenez, and were speaking with the Yankees, Red Sox, Reds and Blue Jays. Wait, what? Yes, the Blue Jays. Jayson Stark of ESPN.com backed up the report, as did CBSSports.com's own Danny Knobler -- who says the Yankees have the best shot at Jimenez.

MLB Trade Deadline
- CBSSports.com's Scott Miller reports the Angels are looking for a bat, preferably at third base. They covet Michael Cuddyer and Aramis Ramirez, though neither seems available at this time for different reasons -- the Twins want to hold onto Cuddyer and Ramirez won't waive his no-trade clause.

- ESPN's Jim Bowden -- a former general manager himself -- reported that he spoke with Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak and there are still no plans for the Cards to trade Colby Rasmus. Of course, Mozeliak stands nothing to gain by openly saying he's looking to offload the talented youngster, so that report isn't overly significant. Sherman notes the Cardinals are "asking for a ton" in return for Rasmus. Knobler reports the Giants and Nationals are interested in Rasmus.

- Both Knobler and SI.com's Jon Heyman pointed out the scouting section will be full Friday for Erik Bedard's first start after coming off the disabled list. The Mariners would surely move the left-hander if they can get a suitable offer. Of course, Sean McAdam of CSN adds that the Mariners are seeking "a ton" back for Bedard, which seems wholly unreasonable given his health history. Heyman named the Tigers and Red Sox as potential suitors.

- Renck reiterates what he's been reporting for weeks, which is that the Red Sox are watching Rockies' outfielder Ryan Spilborghs with a keen eye.

- As the Hunter Pence rumors continue to dry up, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports the Phillies are still aggressive in his pursuit, but that's about it. We still feel like Pence isn't going anywhere. This next entry is intriguing, however ...

- Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports the Phillies are scouting White Sox right fielder Carlos Quentin, just in case he becomes available.

- Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports the Braves are looking to bolster their bullpen with either Jon Rauch or Jason Frasor of the Blue Jays.

- Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Reds are not shopping their catching tandem, so any thoughts of Ramon Hernandez giving the Giants' offense a shot in the arm can be forgotten.

- There were various B.J. Upton rumors, so here's a quick summary. Things got kickstarted when Fox Sports reported that there were at least five teams in the mix for Upton, naming the Indians, Giants, Braves and Pirates. The Brewers, Rangers and Phillies are reportedly not part of the Upton sweepstakes. Stark has the Nationals as continuing to "hover" on Upton, so maybe that's the fifth team. Heyman has the Giants as having a strong interest, too. Upton will really become sought after once Beltran is traded and even moreso if it becomes clear Rasmus isn't going to be traded.

- Stark has heard the Twins won't become sellers unless they lose every game this week.

- Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports reports the Indians and Pirates are interested in Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta, though Renck earlier in the day said the Pirates have cooled on Iannetta -- and Pirates catcher Ryan Doumit is heading to Triple-A on his rehab assignment.

- Evan Grant of Dallas Morning News reports the Rangers are monitoring several relief pitchers and are still in on Carlos Beltran.

- Knobler is reporting the Brewers are interested in Jamey Carroll, Coco Crisp and Jerry Hairston, in addition to being fringe candidates for Beltran. The most likely match for the Brewers, however, is Clint Barmes of the Astros.

- Finally, we'll leave with the Beltran rumors. Heyman has the Giants as the front-runner, but puts it with a caveat ("for the moment").  He says the Braves are still heavily in the mix, though the Phillies are kind of bowing out. Sherman reports the Mets' asking price is coming down for Beltran. Stark gets specific, naming many of the top prospects the Mets have asked for in exchange for Beltran and been shot down -- such as Julio Teheran, Domonic Brown and Jarred Cosart.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: July 26, 2011 1:02 am
Edited on: July 26, 2011 8:21 am
 

Monday's trade rumor roundup

By C. Trent Rosecrans

As the non-waiver trade deadline looms on Sunday, the rumors are coming fast and furious -- with some make sense and others not so much. Much of what you hear at this time of year is a smokescreen, but baseball fans love gossip more than junior high school girls, with less regard to the truth. So, to help satisfy that desire, we're rounding up the day's rumors in one place.

• The Rays won't deal James Shields, our own CBSSports.com senior writer Danny Knobler reports. Tampa Bay has told other teams that they won't discuss Shields, David Price or Jeremy Hellickson. That said, Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis are available, as is B.J. Upton.

MLB Trade Deadline

• The Rays are also offering closer Kyle Farnsworth to anyone interested, Buster Olney of ESPN.com tweets.

• CBSSports.com's Scott Miller says he's also heard that the Phillies have "way cooled" on acquiring Carlos Beltran, backing up Knobler's report from Sunday.

• Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com tweets the Rangers and Giants are ahead of the Phillies and Braves as of Monday.

• The chance of the Rockies dealing Ubaldo Jimenez is "around 50/50" FoxSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi writes, citing a "major-league source close to the talks." He adds the Reds are still involved and the Tigers are interested as well. Morosi reports one team has exchanged names with the Rockies.

• The Reds are drawing interest on right-hander Edinson Volquez, Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com tweets.

• The Cardinals and Nationals have talked about sending Todd Coffey -- a former Red and Brewer -- to St. Louis. The team would like to keep Tyler Clippard, but if someone wows them, they're open, Morosi tweets.

• The Yankees won't move top prospects -- such as left-hander Manny Banuelos, right-hander Dellin Betances or catchers Jesus Montero or Austin Romine -- unless they get an ace-type pitcher in return, Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets.

• The Phillies are "aggressive" on Heath Bell and Mike Adams of the Padres, but are surprised they aren't getting more interest fron the Yankees, Cardinals and Reds, Sherman tweets.

• Astros left-hander Wandy Rodriguez is available, but with $40 million left on his contract, another general manager tells Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman, "nobody's going to touch Wandy."

• Hiroki Kuroda would consider waiving his no-trade clause if he's sent to the Yankees or Red Sox, "a baseball official"  tells ESPNNewYork.com's Andrew Marchand. However, the teams "hottest" on Kuroda are reportedly the Indians, Tigers and Rangers, according to Rosenthal.

• It's not a trade, but a player acquisition -- the Brewers, Giants, Mariners and A's are interested in Wily Mo Pena, who was released by the Diamondbacks on Sunday, Heyman tweets. He makes the most sense in the American League where he doesn't need a glove. [Heyman]

• Aaron Harang had been mentioned in some trade talks, but there are reports that San Diego would like to keep him and re-sign him, according to Jayson Stark of ESPN.com. Harang, a San Diego native, would love to stay there -- and keep pitching in Petco Park.

• The Phillies are interested in Colorado's Jason Giambi, Rosenthal tweets. Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post tweets the Pirates are interested in Giambi as well. He's hitting .263/.360/.632 with 10 homers in 111 plate appearances. Giambi had talked about possibly moving to an American League team to DH, but he could still be a valuable left-handed bat off the bench for a National League team. [FoxSports.com and Denver Post]

• The Braves are still interested in the Astros' Hunter Pence, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets.

• Angels manager Mike Scioscia told MLB.com's Lyle Spencer the team probably wouldn't make a big move at the trade deadline, instead hoping the team can improve from within -- especially with the addition of Fernando Rodney from the disabled list.

• Texas manager Ron Washington called the bullpen a "priority" at the trading deadline, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan.

• One reliever who won't be available to the Rangers, or anyone, is Seattle closer Brandon League. Chuck Armstrong tells Morosi a trade involving League is not likely.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: July 25, 2011 10:54 am
Edited on: July 25, 2011 12:16 pm
 

Trade Deadline Primer: NL West

By Matt Snyder

We conclude our series of primers for the MLB trade deadline with the home of the defending World Series champions: The NL West. It feels pretty obvious here, as there are two teams in it, two definitely out of it and one just kind of lingering in mediocrity.

San Francisco Giants
Status: Buyers.
Needs: Offense. Offense. Offense.
Notes: The Giants did already trade for Jeff Keppinger and promoted prospect Brandon Belt to the majors in an attempt to jumpstart their offense. Still, they may not be done. Outfield, shortstop and catcher would seem the obvious spots where an offensive upgrade would help, and the word is they'd rather add salary than give up prospects. Carlos Beltran's name has been prominent when it comes to the Giants making a move, but B.J. Upton's name has surfaced as a possible alternative. Plus, general manager Brian Sabean told reporters the Giants aren't close to getting Beltran (SFgate.com). Ivan Rodriguez would make sense as a half-season rental behind the plate, but he's injured and not coming back anytime soon. Sabean also recently said he wants to significantly upgrade the offense, but doesn't feel as if any moves are imminent (MLB.com). So it sounds as if the Giants will be quiet at least for the first half of this week. But remember, the July 31 deadline is only a non-waiver trade deadline. Players can pass through waivers and be traded in August, and that's how the Giants landed postseason hero Cody Ross last season.

MLB Trade Deadline
Arizona Diamondbacks
Status: Buyers.
Needs: Pitching. Big bat.
Notes: The Snakes are reportedly after pitching of all kinds (Fox Sports). Wandy Rodriguez's name has come up in rumors, but the Astros have been said to be asking for a lot in return. Maybe the asking price comes down as the deadline gets closer. He's really the only starting pitcher heavily involved in rumors to the D-Backs. Otherwise, it's been all relievers' names that have surfaced. Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports the D-Backs are focused on less-expensive, veteran relief pitchers. The following names have all been connected in at least semi-legitimate rumors: Jason Isringhausen, Kerry Wood, Brad Ziegler, Jason Frasor, Frank Francisco, Octavio Dotel, Jon Rauch. Obviously, there are bound to be more guys on the radar of the D-Backs and not all those names would work. Wood, for example, is very unlikely to leave Chicago. Basically, it sounds as if the Diamondbacks will be relatively quiet as they tinker a bit with the bullpen. But things can easily change. UPDATE: Shortly after this posting, the Diamondbacks were reported to be a great fit for Cubs first baseman Carlos Pena.

Colorado Rockies
Status: Sellers.
Players available: Ian Stewart, Chris Iannetta, Huston Street, Rafael Betancourt, Jason Giambi, Matt Belisle, Ty Wigginton, Aaron Cook ... Ubaldo Jimenez?
Notes: Well, the big name here is obviously Jimenez, but the Rockies want an absolute killing in return. It would actually be pretty shocking to see him dealt, as it seems as if his name was only floated so the Rockies could get a realistic reading of his value. Instead, the focus with Rockies rumors should be more on the players most likely to be traded. There aren't many quality catchers on the open market, and Iannetta is reportedly expendable because of minor-league backstops Jordan Pacheco and Wilin Rosario, according to Peter Gammons of MLB Network. MLB.com reports that Street, Belisle and Betancourt are available for the right price, also adding that Cook could be had -- if anyone would want him. Tracy Ringolsby of Fox Sports reported that the Rockies are fielding calls about Street and Betancourt, and also threw Ryan Spilborghs in the mix. Troy Renck of the Denver Post echoed a few of the above names and also threw in Ty Wigginton. Gammons then reported the Rockies aren't interested in moving Spilborghs. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports has reported that Jason Giambi is garnering interest. Though the slugger reportedly wants to stay, he'll discuss any possible moves with the ballclub. Finally, one-time prospect Ian Stewart cannot seem to get things going and a change of scenery would probably be in the best interest of all involved parties. Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post reports the Rockies had been playing Stewart more frequently than usual because they were hoping another team saw something it liked and dealt for him. To sum things up, the Rockies are out of the race this season, but have a strong, young core and could easily compete in 2012. They'll likely only sell pieces that aren't part of the nucleus or could be replaced.

Los Angeles Dodgers
Status: Sellers.
Players available: Hiroki Kuroda, Rafael Furcal, Jamey Carroll.
Notes: If you're pining for your favorite team to land Matt Kemp in a blockbuster deal, you're going to be doing so for quite a long time. Kemp -- along with Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Rubby De La Rosa and Dee Gordon -- is unavailable as part of the future nucleus (MLB.com). Note the absence of Andre Ethier's name on that list. His name hasn't popped up much in legitimate rumors, but you never know. The Dodgers are pressed for money, and he's due a decent chunk next season before becoming a free agent after 2012. Much of the focus here has centered on Kuroda, though, and he's the most likely to be moved. General manager Ned Colletti has said he's ready to start dealing and is looking at 2012 (OC Register), so any prospects coming back would have to be nearly major-league ready. The Tigers are reportedly front-runners for Kuroda (Jeff Passan of Yahoo!), with the Brewers, Rangers and Indians in the mix. The Red Sox and Yankees are also reportedly interested, but Kuroda has said he's unsure if he wants to go to the East Coast and may use his no-trade clause to avoid the situation. Of course, now he's saying he's keeping his options open (Fox Sports). CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler notes that a trade might only be for two months, as Kuroda's a free agent at season's end and the Dodgers could just sign him back. Knobler said the Dodgers expect Kuroda to be pitching with them in 2012, if he stays in America. There have been whispers about Carroll heading to the Brewers and Furcal is surely available if a contender wants to take a shot at him staying healthy. Simply put, expect the Dodgers to be aggressive in dealing parts that aren't essential to building a contender for next season.

San Diego Padres
Status: Sellers.
Players available: Heath Bell, Ryan Ludwick, Mike Adams, Aaron Harang, Chad Qualls and maybe more.
Notes: We talked to Corey Brock of MLB.com -- the Padres beat writer -- and he said they love Adams, see him as a possible replacement for Bell, but he's not off the table. Brock also said they need a young, controllable shortstop and a catcher. General manager Jed Hoyer reportedly said he's going to make multiple deals to get prospects and the ballclub is not in the position to have any untouchables (Marty Caswell). As far as Adams goes, we've seen a report that he's not going to be traded and a report that the report wasn't true. So, yeah, your guess is as good as ours. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports that the Padres' trade talks are focusing on moving Bell, Qualls, Ludwick and Harang. Crasnick also notes that Jason Bartlett is going to remain in San Diego. On the other hand, Bell himself has said he expects to be traded. The Tigers have been said to be interested in Harang heavily, which is interesting because of the Kuroda-to-Tigers rumors. Ludwick has been connected to the Indians, Red Sox, Phillies, Reds and more. Adams and Bell have been rumored to pretty much every team in the race that is seeking bullpen help. The bottom line is that the Padres look to be the busiest team in the division and are looking to stock their farm system.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 24, 2011 8:45 pm
Edited on: July 24, 2011 9:01 pm
 

Giants turn eyes toward B.J. Upton

UptonBy Evan Brunell

Is it leverage or is there actual interest?

The Giants have been after Carlos Beltran hot and heavy these last few days, and apparently the idea of giving up top pitching prospect Zach Wheeler has grown to be more and more acceptable in fan and media circles as a price. That's hooey -- you don't trade an elite prospect for two months of an aging slugger, no matter how important he may be to the lineup.

Perhaps as a rebuttal to New York's demands, word has gotten out that the Giants are interested in the Rays' B.J. Upton, reports Fox Sports. While Upton's price isn't lower than Beltran's -- in fact, it might be higher -- two things work in Upton's favor. First is his age, as Upton will turn 27 in late August, while Beltran is 34. Add in Beltran making $18.5 million on the year, plus the inability for the team to offer arbitration, as it was written in his contract, and suddenly Beltran pales in comparison to Upton, who is under team control for one more season and is playing for the relatively cheap price of $4.825 million.

Of course, production has to be considered. Beltran is raking to the clip of a .291/.393/.520 mark while Upton struggles along at .229/.310/.395. This is a player, though, that once hit 24 home runs at age 22 (and batted .300) while stealing over 40 bases a year regularly. The potential for Upton is off the charts, and the feeling in baseball is that he's primed for a breakout as soon as he gets out of Tampa Bay.

Wheeler makes sense as a cost for Upton, but not Beltran. San Francisco isn't the only one with this idea, though, as a fellow Beltran suitor has been linked to Upton lately, with the Indians inquiring.

This seems more likely to be mere leverage the Giants are exercising, though. Right now, they're in "win now" mode, plus GM Brian Sabean is loathe to trade away his top prospects. That would seem to work against an Upton deal moreso than  a Beltran one. But Sabean needs to do his due diligence and show Alderson there are other options out there. Because the way it stands, there won't be a deal between San Francisco and New York -- not if Wheeler is the asking price.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: July 23, 2011 2:30 pm
Edited on: July 23, 2011 2:42 pm
 

Could B.J. Upton be on the move?

B.J. Upton

By C. Trent Rosecrans


If you weren't breathlessly following the baseball folk on Twitter around midnight Friday night, you missed the big B.J. Upton trade.

Or what turned out not to be a trade -- but Upton is still a Ray. For now, at least. ESPN.com's Buster Olney tweets the interest in Upton "is growing," but warns it may be "price-shopping comparison" to Hunter Pence and Carlos Beltran.

Upton was removed from Friday night's game in Kansas City in the eighth inning, about time word was coming out that the Rays had called up their top position prospect, Desmond Jennings.

After the game, reporters rushed to Upton, who told them he hadn't been traded. Instead, the team designated shortstop Reid Brignac and plan on using Jennings every day in the leadoff spot and in left field.

Upton would certainly be an interesting piece to a lot of teams -- the 26-year-old (who turns 27 next month) has one more year of arbitration before becoming a free agent following the 2012 season. The second-overall pick of the 2002 draft reached the big leagues at 19 in 2004 before really sticking in 2007, when he played 129 games. Since then, he's been a frustrating player, showing all the tools, but failing to put it all together at once and sometimes leaving teammates, his manager and fans alike questioning his effort.

This season he's hitting .232/.312/.400 with 15 home runs and 52 RBI to go along with 23 stolen bases. He's making $4.83 million this season and will likely get a bump in the arbitration process.

The Rays could just be putting Upton out on the trade block to see what the market will bear. With a player at a premium position such as center field, it's wise to see what he could bring in return -- much like the Diamondbacks did with his younger brother, Justin, this past offseason. It could also prove to be a long-term solution for a team like the Nationals, who are desperate for a center fielder. He could also produce some pop for any team looking for an offensive jolt.

One thing to consider may be that the Rays don't necessarily see themselves out of the playoff race. Tampa Bay currently sits 8 1/2 games behind the Red Sox in the AL East and 6 1/2 games behind the Yankees in the wild-card race. The reason for the optimism is their schedule. The team's next 19 games are against the Royals, A's, Mariners and Blue Jays. The Rays follow that stretch with three games in New York and another three in Boston.

That stretch would put the Rays through the non-waiver trade deadline before making a determination whether to buy or sell. It would be interesting to see if Upton would get through the wiaver process. If he is indeed the piece the Nationals covet, they would have a good chance of winning a waiver claim on Upton and then the two teams would have a chance to work out a trade.

As for the Rays, it makes sense to put him out there -- after all, listening doesn't cost a thing. 

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 21, 2011 4:43 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 5:07 pm
 

Trade Deadline Primer: NL East

By Eye on Baseball team

Leading up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, the National League East has an actual race -- as well as a team with a bloated payroll and no hope -- which leads to a great chance of some pretty interesting trades to and from the division. Here's a look at the five teams in the NL Eeast:

Philadelphia Phillies

Status: Buyers

Needs: Bullpen, RH bat

Notes: Manager Charlie Manuel said he'd love a right-handed bat (Philadelphia Daily News), probably in the outfield, but this is the Phillies and expect the team to focus on pitching -- at least that's what history tells us. And because their rotation is pretty good (you may have heard about some of these guys), they focus on relievers, likely ending a streak of five years of adding a starter midseason. The team is likely one of the many suitors for Padres closer Heath Bell, although some suggest the Phillies prefer Mike Adams. Padres owner Jeff Moorad has reportedly told Adams he won't be traded. However, according to Tom Krasovic of Inside the Padres, the Phillies are willing to give up Class A first baseman/left fielder Jonathan Singleton in return for Adams.

Another bullpen trade partner could be the Orioles, CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler said. The Phillies could be interested in Jim Johnson or Koji Uehara.

MLB Trade Deadline

As for the right-handed bats, the Phillies are in on the same folks everyone's chasing -- Ryan Ludwick, Carlos Beltran, Hunter Pence and maybe Jeff Francouer. The biggest hurdle of all for the Phillies is money, as in they've already spent it and they're worried about the luxury tax. The team has just between $2 and $3 million to spend and avoid the luxury tax.

According to Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com, the Phillies and Royals have already exchanged names in a possible Melky Cabrera trade. Cabrera is a cheaper, younger switch hitter for those who fall short in the Carlos Beltran sweepstakes.

Now, if they're going big and bold, Buster Olney of ESPN.com, tweeted the Phillies could go for Pence, centering the deal around right-hander Vance Worley.

Atlanta Braves

Status: Bargain shoppers

Needs: Right-handed bat

Notes: The Braves need a right-handed bat like Roy Halladay needs air conditioning. Atlanta looks like the front-runner for the National League wild card, but don't have much money to spend. The biggest issue right now for Atlanta is its inability to hit left-handed pitchers. Braves hitters are hitting just .211/.285/.337 against lefties, with Jason Heyward, Nate McLouth and Jordan Schafer all below the Mendoza line against southpaws. That's why Jon Paul Morosi's report of the Reds' Jonny Gomes drawing the interest of the Braves makes sense, Gomes kills lefties to the tune of a .340/.446/.547 slash line this season and .281/..377/.510 in his career. There's also the regular names such as Ludwick and Beltran.

To make room for more payroll, the team could trade right-hander Derek Lowe, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's David O'Brien wrote. The Tigers could be interested in Lowe, but would have to take up the rest of the $20 million he's owed through 2012.

New York Mets

Status: One-stop shopping

Needs: Young talent under team control; pitching

Notes: Outfielder Carlos Beltran is the top position player on the market, but his future is clouded by the number of teams that could use an upgrade in the outfield and the fact that he's not for sale, he's for rent. Whatever team gets him won't even get compensation picks if he leaves as a free agent after the season.

The Mets would reportedly rather pay Beltran's salary and get a good young player or top prospect in return. They could unload him to a team willing to pay the roughly $8 million left on his contract, but then they wouldn't get much in return. The Mets would prefer big-league ready pitching talent. New York seems confident it can re-sign Jose Reyes, meaning they're not ready to throw in the towel and go full-on rebuilding anytime soon. 

Beltran, however, does have a no-trade clause. According to Tim Brown of Yahoo!, Sandy Alderson gave Beltran a short list of teams interested -- the Phillies, Red Sox, Braves, Giants, Brewers and maybe the Yankees -- and Beltran hasn't ruled any of them out.

It's pretty certain now that the Mets won't deal Reyes, but it appears they may be holding on to Jason Isringhausen, too, Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman tweets.

Washington Nationals

Status: Listening to all offers

Needs: Leadoff man/center fielder of the future

Notes: The Nationals have pieces to deal -- from catcher Ivan Rodriguez to relievers Tyler Clippard, Drew Storen, Todd Coffey and Sean Burnett, plus starters Jason Marquis, Livan Hernandez and Tom Gorzelanny. In short, they're open for business, with GM Mike Rizzo saying no player is "untouchable" -- but then following that up with "we're not going to touch our core." That means, "after a while, they don't ask for [Danny] Espinosa," Rizzo told the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore. Ryan Zimmerman is also likely untouchable, as well as catcher Wilson Ramos.

One name to watch is shortstop Ian Desmond, but that would take quite the return for the team to move the 25-year-old.

More likely to go are some of the team's relievers. The Nats are deep in the bullpen and it's a position that's always in demand. The top tier would be Clippard or even Storen, but that would require Washington receiving a leadoff-hitting center fielder in return, someone like B.J. Upton, Michael Bourn, Colby Rasmus or Denard Span, FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal writes.

Florida Marlins

Status: Sellers

Needs: Third baseman, starting pitchers

Notes: The Marlins have starting pitchers that would interest many teams, but they may not part with them. Next year they rename themselves the Miami Marlins when they move into a new stadium and ownership would like a competitive team on the field when that happens.

Ricky Nolasco is the top starter to be had, but Knobler says they'd have to get a younger, cheaper starter in return for the 28-year-old right-hander.

The one the team may part with is Javier Vazquez, but it's not really their decision. Vazquez has a full no-trade clause and isn't in any hurry to leave South Florida. There are few places he'd accept a trade.

Sure to be gone is closer Leo Nunez. The Phillies are interested in Nunez. The other teams desperate for bullpen help -- like the Cardinals and Rangers -- are likely to at least inquire what it may take to get him.

Randy Choate has been verbal this week about his problems with current manager Jack McKeon and could get shipped off for not being a good soldier.

Also on the block are free-agents-to-be Greg Dobbs and Omar Infante. Infante's value is a lot less than it was a year ago.

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Posted on: July 12, 2011 3:07 pm
Edited on: July 12, 2011 3:36 pm
 

Justin Upton on hometown fans booing and more



By Evan Brunell

At the All-Star FanFest helping Pepsi Max get the word out about a promotion that could bring baseball legends to your hometown to play a game, Justin Upton spoke to CBSSports.com about the Home Run Derby, as well as Arizona's surprising contention.

Upton was glowing in his review of the fans as he's been able to connect with the fans in a way that caused them to shower him with their love and support throughout the All-Star festitivites. However, that showed up in a negative fashion Monday night during the Home-Run Derby when NL Derby captain Prince Fielder was showered with boos for selecting teammate Rickie Weeks to participate in the Derby ahead of Upton. Upton called Weeks treatment "unfair," as he had to contend with "Just-in Up-ton" chants en route to mustering just three home runs and being knocked out in the first round.

As for 'Zona staying in the postseason chase, Upton attributes that to simply playing hard for all 27 outs. To continue staying in the thick of the race, though, Upton says that the team needs more pitching -- but what team doesn't?

He also spoke about the possibility of Rays center fielder B.J. Upton joining the Diamondbacks in a trade, saying he'd welcome the opportunity to play with his brother.

For complete All-Star Game coverage, keep up with Eye on Baseball in Phoenix

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