Tag:2010 MLB Trade Deadline
Posted on: July 31, 2010 7:49 pm

Is Manny coming to end of the line in LA?

The Curious Case that is Manny Ramirez took another twist at the trade deadline Saturday when the Dodgers fielded offers for the disabled outfielder.

The door clearly has begun to crack open for his departure.

Question is, when?

After this season, when his two-year, $45 million contract expires?

In August, when he almost certainly will sail through waivers (and when it especially would be incumbent upon the Dodgers to investigate deals for him if they drop out of the pennant race)?

"This club is built with him as our left fielder," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said in a conference call shortly after Saturday's 4 p.m. EDT trade deadline passed. "We haven't had him for most of the year.

"That doesn't mean he can't provide us with some help the last couple of months."

Still, the man who stole headlines two Julys ago when the contending Dodgers scooped him up from Boston was back in them for a time in the final, crazy hours as clubs stampeded toward this year's trade deadline.

"We got a call from one team that offered us a very low dollar figure with no players attached to it," Colletti said in recapping the latest chapter in Mannywood. "That's what began it."

Though Colletti would divulge no specifics, industry sources have told CBSSports.com that it was the Chicago White Sox who came calling with ideas of installing Ramirez in the middle of their lineup as they work toward holding off Minnesota in the AL Central.

"Once it was out, a couple of teams called in the last 30, 45 minutes, but it was too cumbersome [to negotiate with the deadline closing in]" Colletti continued.

The GM would not confirm how many clubs phoned the Dodgers regarding Ramirez, only saying, tongue-in-cheek, that it was "a few more than one and less than 30."

Ramirez has full no-trade powers, but given his trouble with his legs this season, it is believed he would accept a deal to an AL club that would allow him a soft landing into a DH role.

"The team that had the strongest interest was trying to get another player that we had interest in with another club," Colletti said. "But that went by the wayside.

"We didn't start the rumor and we didn't float his name. The rumor was started by another team, and I'm not sure what they were trying to accomplish."

One industry source familiar with the White Sox suggested that it was all tied to Chicago's pursuit of Washington slugger Adam Dunn, that Chicago GM Kenny Williams was trying to bluff the Nationals.

The logic there would be that it was a gamble that the Nationals were more eager to rid themselves of Dunn than they let on, and the Ramirez rumors might pique their attention enough to go back to the White Sox and cut a deal for Dunn.

Whatever, no dice.

In the end, Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo called everyone's bluff and wound up keeping Dunn.

The Dodgers?

Well, first they need to get a healthy Ramirez back into their lineup.

Then, they need to climb back into the NL West race -- they opened Saturday trailing first-place San Diego by seven games, and they were 5 1/2 games behind San Francisco in the wild-card race. Then they lost a crushing 2-1 decision in San Francisco Saturday afternoon.

At some point then -- or during the process -- they'll assess.

One source close to the Ramirez talks Saturday said that "it has to be a good deal" for the Dodgers to trade Manny. And clearly, the Dodgers didn't think they were approached with one.

But with about $7 million remaining of his $20 million 2010 salary, Ramirez surely will pass through waivers, which will give the Dodgers freedom to trade him in August if they're approached with the right deal.

One very good question for now, though, is when the Dodgers might see him again.

Ramirez, 38, currently is on the disabled list for a third time this season, this time with a strained calf. He did not even travel with the Dodgers on their current trip to San Diego and San Francisco, opting to rehab at the club's Arizona spring training facility, and sources say the club has grown increasingly disenchanted with him this season as he has separated himself from the rest of the clubhouse.

The leg problems make him even more of a liability in the outfield, and his power has diminished significantly since last season's 50-game suspension for failing a test pertaining to baseball's performance-enhancement drug policy. In just 61 games this season (the Dodgers now have played 104), Ramirez has just eight homers and a .317 batting average.

When will Manny return?

"That's tough to say," Colletti said. "A week. Ten days, perhaps."

Colletti did very right by the Dodgers this week in adding speedy outfielder Scott Podsednik (from Kansas City), versatile infielder Ryan Theriot (Cubs), veteran starting pitcher Ted Lilly (Cubs) and closer/set-up man Octavio Dotel (Pirates). He's always been at his strongest during the July and August trading periods.

The roster is fortified and manager Joe Torre has even more options.

But as for Ramirez, whose production is diminishing and whose honeymoon in Hollywood is finished ... what's left?

Does the GM believe Manny will finish the season a Dodger?

"I sure hope so," Colletti said, pausing and choosing his words carefully. "I think he will be.

"Yeah, I guess I believe it. How's that?"

Posted on: July 31, 2010 3:51 pm
Edited on: July 31, 2010 4:22 pm

Yankees acquire Cleveland's Wood

Undeterred by a slim relief market and exorbitant prices, the Yankees have found a deal in Cleveland to acquire closer Kerry Wood.

The deal has cleared the last hurdle, approval by the Commissioner's Office, and Wood is on his way to the Bronx. The Yankees will send a player to be named later or cash to the Indians.

The Yankees also reportedly will cover $1.5 million of the $3.6 million the Indians still owe Wood on his $10.5 million 2010 salary.

The Cleveland closer is the third player scooped up by the Yanks in the past 24 hours, following Houston's Lance Berkman and Wood's former teammate in Cleveland, outfielder Austin Kearns.

Wood simply will add depth to a Yankees' bullpen as they gear up for the stretch run. In 23 appearances for the Indians this season, Wood was 1-4 with a 6.30 ERA and eight saves in 11 opportunities. He recently returned from the disabled list, where he was placed because of a blister on his finger.

Posted on: July 31, 2010 2:08 pm

Dodgers fielding Manny offers, deal not close

Manny Ramirez stole the headlines two Julys ago when the contending Dodgers struck at the last minute to acquire him from Boston.

Could he do it again this July?

The Dodgers are fielding phone calls on him in these last three hours leading up today's 4 p.m. EDT non-waivers trade deadline, but a deal right now appears unlikely.

For one thing, sources familiar with the Dodgers' thinking insist that "it has to be a good deal" for Los Angeles to deal the currently disabled Manny and so far, rivals are offering too few cents on the dollar in value.

For another, with Ramirez owed a pro-rated share of his $20 million salary for the rest of this year, he should easily sail through waivers, which should discourage rivals from paying the Dodgers a competitive return for him now.

The White Sox were among a handful of clubs who have contacted the Dodgers over the past 24 hours about Ramirez's availability. Tampa Bay is reportedly another.

Ramirez currently is on the disabled list for a third time this season, this time with a strained calf. He did not even travel with the Dodgers on their current trip to San Diego and San Francisco, opting to rehab at the club's Arizona spring training facility, and the club has grown increasingly disenchanted with him this season.

Posted on: July 31, 2010 12:31 pm
Edited on: July 31, 2010 12:53 pm

Cards, Indians, Padres three-way nears completion

Locked in a battle with Cincinnati in the NL Central, the Cardinals are on the verge of a deal to fortify their rotation with right-hander Jake Westbrook from Cleveland, but there's a twist:

San Diego is engaged with those two clubs and has become part of an expanded trade that will send Cardinals outfielder Ryan Ludwick to the Padres, Westbrook to the Cardinals and Double-A pitcher Corey Kluber from San Diego to Cleveland, multiple sources have told CBSSports.com.

The deal is very near completion, according to sources, and the Indians scratched Westbrook from his scheduled Saturday start against Toronto 40 minutes before game-time.

Among other things, the deal would have to approved by league officials and the players' union. That step is necessary because there is a significant amount of money involved: Westbrook is due roughly $3.2 million of his $11 million 2010 deal, plus clauses in his contract call for him to receive a $2 million bonus if traded plus the last year of his contract also is prorated by $1 million if he's dealt.

Westbrook is in the final season of a three-year, $33 million deal.

A veteran right-hander who missed most of 2008 and 2009 following Tommy John ligament replacement surgery, Westbrook bounced back to make the opening day start for Cleveland in 2010 and has gone 6-7 with a 4.65 ERA over 21 starts.

The Cardinals have been searching for a starter because things have been in flux in the rotation after aces Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright. Rookie Jaime Garcia has been sensational, but there is concern over his workload. Kyle Lohse has been out for much of the season due to a forearm injury. And Brad Penny has battled various nagging injuries.

Lohse already has made an injury-rehabilitation start and is due back within a few weeks.

"There is a better expectation [that he'll be good]," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa told reporters recently. "He's feeling really normal, and he says he likes the way he's responding."

The surprising Padres have been searching for an outfielder who will help add pop to a sluggish offense and Ludwick would help on several fronts. He's hitting .281 with 11 homers and 43 RBI for the Cardinals this year, and his defense is very underrated. In that department, he would fit perfectly into a Padres team that is strong with the gloves and whose pitching staff leads the majors in ERA.

Posted on: July 30, 2010 4:42 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2010 9:07 pm

Pirates fielding inquiries on Paul Maholm

One day after adding veteran infielder Miguel Tejada, the first-place Padres are on a mission to add a starting pitcher and they're talking with the Pirates about acquiring left-hander Paul Maholm, a source with knowledge of the talks confirmed to CBSSports.com.

A handful of other clubs in search of pitching, including the Dodgers and Mets, are believed to be engaging the Pirates in talks as well. No deal appears close -- early Thursday evening, one source with knowledge of the talks described the Pirates-Padres conversations as "mild", while a second source described them as "less than mild."

The Padres lead the majors in pitching and are casting a wide net for another starter because they are concerned about running short during the stretch run. Youngsters Mat Latos and Wade LeBlanc each will be closing in on his career-high in professional innings pitched by September, and the Padres are watching that closely.

In a threadbare starting pitching market, Maholm is 6-9 with a 4.52 ERA in 21 starts for the Pirates this season, with 62 strikeouts and 45 walks in 125 1/3 innings.

One attractive facet of acquiring Maholm: He's signed through 2011, with a club option for 2012. He's due the pro-rated portion of his $4.5 million salary the rest of this summer and $5.75 million in 2011. The club option for 2012 is $9.75 million, or a $750,000 buyout.

As for the Pirates, one source with knowledge of their thinking says they are "not necessarily trading players to get young prospect back." In other words, the source said, their mission isn't to simply dump salary for three or four prospects. The Bucs are said to be looking for a major-league ready player in return -- either a player currently in the majors, or a high-level prospect. 

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