Gearing up to get something done as the deadline nears.
After heating up over the weekend, talk about a Mark Teixeira deal got downright heavy, with one source close to the negotiations indicating that there is an outside chance that the deal could be done within the next 24 hours. Helping the cause is Teixeira's hot bat, as he's hitting .313/.433/.575 in July, is14-for-34 with three home runs and ten walks since the All-Star break, and has a consistent track record as a second half player, including a career line of .305/.388/.601 in September. Six teams are discussion Teixeira with the Braves, although it looks like three have separated themselves from the pack, and deals vary wildly from multiple prospects only to other offers that involve both prospects and established players. -Kevin Goldstein, 12:00 p.m. ET.
Is it "committee day," and have all of the big moves already been made?
The rumor mill is decidedly quiet today. Some will call it the calm before the storm, but to me, it's "committee day." It happens every year, and is the time when everyone gets together (actually or virtually) and sorts out what they think they still need to do. The big, bold deals have for the most part been made, and now harsh reality sets in and the fine work of running a team comes into play. If you can't get the one big piece, can you get the one useful piece? Was there really a Plan B, a Plan C, or a plan at all?
The Mill starts churning with a conversation about the prize pitcher who might be available as a rental.
With teams already around the half-way point in games played and closing in on the All-Star break, talk of the trade season is starting to heat up, and one rumor has been getting more attention than any other: Will the Indians deal their ace, C.C. Sabathia? If they will, who would the suitors be? Will Carroll started to take a look at the possibilities and realized that he needed help analyzing the potential prospect packages they could receive in return. Kevin Goldstein stepped in to size up the market for the sizable pitcher. Here's their conversation and analysis:
The Mets have been a bit more active, at least in terms of rumors. A possible move for Dontrelle Willis was floated, but no one was willing to confirm any discussions, leaving this just something to discuss in the lobby. The Tigers have been active, looking to see where Brandon Inge could go. The Twins are a possibility, as are the Brewers and Angels, but with the Twins, the Tigers could try to add in something and make a run at Joe Nathan. They don't have much left in their farm system, and it's hard to trade in division, so I'm not expecting this to get much steam.
Are offers for Johan Santana coming off the table just as we're getting out of the gate?
There is a growing sense around the various lobbies and atriums of the Opryland Hotel and Resort that Johan Santana may not be going to either the New York Yankees or the Boston Red Sox. The two superpowers are trying to trade for the Twins' ace left-hander, and the Yankees want an answer by the end of the day. If the Twins and Yankees don't reach a deal, there is an increasing chance that the Red Sox will pull their various offers off the table and keep Jacoby Ellsbury and Jon Lester. If that is the case, Minnesota would be forced to trade Santana somewhere else for what would likely be a lesser package, or just hang on to him for the 2008 season, take a run at one more American League Central title, and then lose him as a free agent next winter, and settling for the two draft picks they'd get as compensation. Santana has said he will not waive his no-trade clause during the season, which rules out a deadline deal in late July.
Down to the wire on the non-waivers trade deadline.
Jim Hendry denies that he's made Felix Pie available, and states that he hasn't talked to Jon Daniels. He's not lying, but once you grasp the mechanics of how a trade is actually made, you'll realize that what Hendry says is not mutually exclusive from the reports that Pie was discussed. It's not just Hendry, Daniels, or any GM that's making calls. It's also a club's scouts, assistants, and even some owners get involved. In the course of those discussions, players get named and then discussed among everybody in the other organization. Teams try to read the other, like poker players. The Indians' DiamondView system is reported to actually have a system for collecting this type of information, with their staff supposedly recording mentions of players year round to try to divine who might be mentioned and who might actually be available. I can assure you that Pie was discussed by at least two teams that thought he might be included in a later offer-offers that never materialized.
Some shoppers are out, while others continue to scramble.
While Texas' Eric Gagne continues to be the Yankees' top trade target, it remains doubtful he will agree to any deal in which he would join a team he wouldn't close for, because most of his incentive clauses are based on games finished. Thus, look for the Yankees to aim lower in their quest to help the bullpen. They are now looking at bolster the left side and have expressed interest in Pittsburgh's Damaso Marte and Texas' Ron Mahay. The Pirates, though, will only give up Marte if they get a significant young player back as he has a club-friendly $2.2-million salary for next season, and Mahay may be on the move in a different Rangers trade.
Everyone's keeping on keeping on instead of pulling something off--will it stay that way, though?
Reports out of Texas have that mystery team in on the Teixeira talks as the Arizona Diamondbacks. Interest on the D'backs' part was not confirmed. While the Angels appear to be out and the Braves are still trying to get a little more for their Colon-to-Expos style offer, the Rangers are getting closer to the point where they're going to have to trade Teixeira. This is despite the continued insistence that the Rangers' GM, Jon Daniels, is willing to keep Teixeira, so that he can instead see what he can get in a deal during the offseason, or get by keeping having a perhaps disgruntled first baseman during the 2008 season.
Most shoppers are kicking the tires of relievers all around the league, but there's still life in those Teixeira rumors.
The Braves aren't willing to up their offer for Mark Teixeira unless they get more back. While sources tell me that the initial discussion was based on which pitcher the Rangers got back, it's now moved to what else they might give up. They're refusing to include C.J. Wilson, especially with Akinori Otsuka on the DL.