• Detroit feels that adding another late-inning reliever is the last piece to its puzzle, which is why the Tigers have been scouting Texas closer Eric Gagne. However, the Tigers are one of the teams Gagne can block in a potential trade to as part of the limited no-trade clause in his contract. He may only agree to a trade to Detroit if he was guaranteed to replace Todd Jones as the closer, since most of the incentive clauses in his contract are based on games finished.
  • Like almost every other contender, Atlanta is looking for bullpen help. However, the Braves are also open to adding a starting pitcher, and have some
    interest in San Francisco’s Matt Morris, who would be more than a two-month rental, because he is signed through 2008.
  • Plenty of clubs will have scouts at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago tonight to see Jose Contreras take the mound for the White Sox against Detroit. The Mets and Mariners are believed to have the most interest in Contreras. However, it’s doubtful the White Sox would get much in return in a trade, as Contreras is owed $10 milllion in both 2008 and 2009 in the final two years of his three-year, $29 million deal. The Mets and Mariners are also interested in right fielder Jermaine Dye, although the Dodgers and Padres are also in the picture.
  • Seattle will also be scouting Dontrelle Willis‘ start Saturday night, but Marlins GM Larry Beinfest says the team has no interest in trading the left-hander.
  • John Perrotto

  • The rumors surrounding Mark Teixeira are starting to pick up, but few of them are making sense. The biggest, of course, is a rumored deal to Atlanta that would return Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Elvis Andrus, and a pitcher. Nice return, but does it really fit with the Rangers needs? “Salty” is a nice haul for any team, whether he’s at first or moves behind the plate, but Andrus is a Single-A phenom who might be ready before Michael Young‘s contract is up. The Rangers need pitching, and if the best they’re getting for the most tradeable player in the game is someone like Jo-Jo Reyes, I’d be stunned. Moreover, the Braves have needs beyond first base. Chipper Jones is calling for a lefty reliever, while most think the Braves could use one more starter. Unless John Schuerholz is suddenly ready to deal off most of the prospects he has, those needs will go unfilled if he starts off with this trade.
  • There are several reports that Wily Mo Pena is drawing little interest. Note that I say “little” interest because there is at least one team that is very interested, and it only takes one team. The problem is that that one team doesn’t match up well with the Red Sox needs.
  • The Reds find themselves in the same place they were at the start of the month, sitting on commodities that they think are more valuable than everyone else does. I’m not saying they’re right or wrong, but the idea that this is a pure seller’s market isn’t true. There’s a very limited group of teams that need Ken Griffey, Jr. and none of those–save the Cubs–are on his list of places he’d go. Adam Dunn is willing to go anywhere, knowing he’ll cash in on the free agent market if he’s dealt, but thus far, no one has met Krivsky’s price; given what I’m hearing, I don’t think that price is coming down. The Reds have spurned any feelers on David Weathers, and are trying to push Todd Coffey instead.
  • The Yankees have no interest in acquiring a reliever, unless “someone falls in their lap.” Teams trying to deal with the Yankees are finding that the normal script has been flipped, with the Yanks having a long list of guys they won’t trade, and a short list of guys they will. You could almost separate the two groups by age. The Yankees also aren’t interested in a first baseman–either Jason Giambi will come back, or he won’t, but they seem comfortable with what they have for now. However, that’s in anticipation of easier pickings in August.
  • Barry Bonds is not on the trading block. Quit asking.
  • Ken Rosenthal reports that Jermaine Dye would be a good fit for the Brewers, which is true, but only if the Brewers could break up the logjam they already have in the outfield. With Bill Hall close to coming back, Corey Hart will move back to a corner, and the large-headed platoon of Geoff Jenkins and Kevin Mench has been effective. No one’s beating down the door for either half of the platoon, and Hart’s not going anywhere. So instead, Dye is more likely to move to the Cubs, who can offer the reliever/prospect package that Kenny Williams has been looking for. The question the Cubs have to answer is whether they can take on salary, even if it’s just the $2.5 million that Dye has left this year.
  • While we’re talking White Sox, they’re also talking about moving Tadahito Iguchi and Scott Podsednik. They’re not talking about Jim Thome, but they’d listen. They’re definitely not talking about Paul Konerko, who has a contract that looks pretty good in retrospect. There’s a fit if the White Sox are willing to deal a pitcher to the D’backs, but there’s no evidence that those teams are talking about it.
  • The major deal I spoke of yesterday appears to be dead, convincing me once and for all that Dontrelle Willis isn’t going anywhere. Ian Snell, on the other hand, seems to be trying to talk his way out of Pittsburgh.
  • Will Carroll

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