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July 30, 2008

The Mill

Doing Favors 11:08 p.m. ET UPDATE

by John Perrotto, Will Carroll and Kevin Goldstein

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  • The Pirates seem to be letting things heat back up on Jason Bay after letting the market come back around to them. The Rays are the team mentioned most often, though two other teams-I believe them to be the Mets and A's-have also made recent inquiries. Most of the speculation is centering on two Rays pitchers, Jeff Niemann and Jeremy Hellickson, with mentions of Wade Davis, Fernando Perez, and Reid Brignac. Don't be surprised to see a structure like the Nady/Marte deal, where there's one "premium" prospect mixed in with another couple of useful players. The Rays don't seem worried about Bay's knees on the Trop's turf, but I would be.
  • The Cardinals and Red Sox are looking to pick Will Ohman out of the Braves bullpen. The Red Sox can certainly win any prospect bidding war, so the Cards will have to get creative. One of the considerations is taking on some extra salary-perhaps Mark Kotsay?-in return. One FOT wondered whether Jeff Francouer could learn some things from Rick Ankiel, but I don't think that deal gets done without involving Colby Rasmus.
  • The Royals seem especially quiet. GM Dayton Moore has said he has nothing working, and I believe him despite rumors that include Jose Guillen, Ron Mahay, and even Zack Greinke.
  • A couple of teams that have been quiet are suddenly back into the mix-the Phillies made inquiries about Greg Maddux, but were quickly told that he wouldn't leave the West Coast. The Pads are now looking to see if the Dodgers would be interested. No, I don't think the Dodgers will offer Matt Kemp, though it seems to be in Ned Colletti's contract to mention him in every possible deal. The Dodgers seem to have shut down discussions on all fronts today, but with that front office, who knows?
  • The catcher market is still the one place where nothing has moved. With the Giants willing to discuss Bengie Molina, the market spent the last 24 hours re-sorting itself. The Rangers continue to hold the strongest hand, able to sell off as many as two catchers, but not needing to deal any of them. The Reds have decided against dealing David Ross as of this morning.
  • The relief market has really circled the drain for the last 24 hours. Ron Mahay? Geoff Geary? Arthur Rhodes? Teams are balking at paying a real price for spot relievers, especially when many already have valid internal options.

-Will Carroll, 4:25 p.m. ET

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  • A highly-placed Phillies source has shot down speculation that they will acquire Manny Ramirez from the Red Sox for Pat Burrell in an exchange of left fielders, saying "that is not going to happen and was never going to happen." If the Red Sox do find a taker for Ramirez, they may make a late run at Pirates outfielder Jason Bay, if they're not beaten to the punch by the Rays. The Red Sox have the type of high-ceiling prospects the Pirates want to restock a bare farm system.
  • The Phillies' focus remains on acquiring a left-handed reliever, with the Royals' Ron Mahay and Pirates' John Grabow among those on their wish list. Grabow is also drawing interest from the Tigers, Marlins, and Angels. The Marlins, though, seem close to getting Mariners lefty-reliever Arthur Rhodes.
  • The Rockies seem certain to keep lefty-reliever Brian Fuentes as their closer. While the Reds' Josh Fogg seems a most likely trade patch for their starting rotation, Mariners left-hander Jarrod Washburn and Nationals right-hander Tim Redding are also possibilities for the Rockies.

-John Perrotto, 4:53 p.m. ET

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  • Seriously, no one saw that one coming. Until the deal was done, there was no discussion, no whispers, no rumors... just a deal. The Yankees upgrade themselves at catcher by a huge margin-I can't wait to get Joe Sheehan and Christina Kahrl on this-in return for Kyle Farnsworth, who'll be the set-up man in Detroit. I can't say I understand this one for the Tigers, but in less than a day, Brian Cashman went from beating his head against the wall to really improving his team.
  • One interesting Manny Ramirez note-Ramirez spent all winter in Phoenix working out at Athletes Performance. If there's an area he's comfortable with, it might just be Arizona. The problem is that the D'backs just don't have the hitting prospects to get that deal done (and they haven't shown much interest).
  • Lots more rumblings on the Bay-to-Rays deal, but nothing solid yet. Just smoke, or some fire?

-Will Carroll, 5:13 p.m. ET

---

With Brian Fuentes off the market and George Sherill's asking price too high, Braves left-hander Will Ohman might be the best reliever to move before tomorrow's deadline. Talks have heated up among as many as six teams, and one quick look at the everyday lineups in the highly-competitive American League East division shows where the most value might be for a lefty shutdown arm, and Ohman has been just that this year. The Braves will likely get a mid-range prospect for him, and will go through their offers tomorrow morning to decide which one gives them the most value over the supplemental draft pick Ohman will give back when he leaves via free agency.

-Kevin Goldstein, 11:08 p.m. ET

John Perrotto is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see John's other articles. You can contact John by clicking here
Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Kevin's other articles. You can contact Kevin by clicking here

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