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.
The Rangers also have a couple of small deals in the works, but none seem to be particularly close. Most instead seem to be the types of deals that would fall into place if Teixeira is dealt.
One front office executive noted his frustration. “Everyone’s locked in on their own guys, scared to death to make the trade Minaya did in Montreal. [Ed. note: the 2002 deal that brought Colon and Tim Drew to the Expos for Grady Sizemore, Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips, and Lee Stevens.] The Dodgers scuttled a deal they had, the Angels won’t budge, and you can’t get Minnesota to even talk about their second-tier guys. Nothing’s happening. I wouldn’t be surprised if teams close up shop early and start trying to figure out who will clear.”
One name that a bunch of people mentioned to me was Eric Byrnes. They think that he could be moved in the right deal as a Plan B guy since center fielders seem hard to come by. Rumors about guys like Torii Hunter and Adam Jones continue to be unconfirmed by this reporter.
The Cubs beat the Reds in Cincinnati on Saturday, and something happened that has frustrated the Reds front office time and time again occurred: there were more Cubs fans than Reds fans in attendance. The lack of support might be just enough for Bob Castellini to pull the plug on this team. We’ll see if the price on Adam Dunn drops.
It should be no surprise that the Cubs and Orioles are talking. Andy MacPhail still has a lot of fans in Chicago and friends in the front office. The Baltimore Sun reports that a deal involving Jay Payton for a couple of mid-level prospects is possible. The Cubs also still covet Dontrelle Willis as “the one that got away” and–despite his not being on the market–Willis is one player the Cubs could get if Larry Beinfest suddenly changes his mind about that. Adding Felix Pie to Jacque Jones and Donald Veal would get it done, while not adding to the Cubs payroll.
Teams are consolidating, and all trying to figure out what their Plans B, C, or D might be. Everyone’s making plenty of phonecalls, looking to see if anyone is shaking loose, or if those “untouchables” are still untouchable. It’s going to be a sprint to the finish.
The team everyone is watching is the Dodgers. After they pulled out of talks on Mark Teixeira, the smart money had them coming after a pitcher. Instead, it seems like the turmoil in the front office is continuing, making other teams unsure what the Dodgers are looking for, and who or what they should talking about.
Morgan Ensberg was DFA’d after no takers were found leading up to the Ty Wigginton deal. Now, in the wake of picking up Wigginton, a couple of teams have called to see what the price is now. The Twins and Phillies are believed to be two teams kicking the tires, but both are offering very little. There’s some speculation that the Phillies could deal Chris Coste to the Astros–full disclosure, Chris is a friend, though I haven’t discussed this with him.
Scouts from Philly and Seattle were in attendance for Jason Jennings‘ start today; that didn’t go so well. It’s also humorous to hear “the Padres need offense” when they’re putting an 18 on the scoreboard. With Jennings’ bleep-worthy performance, teams are now focusing more on the other few available pitchers, guys like Kyle Lohse. Yeah, it’s that bad. As for the Pads and offense? They might bring home a couple guys from Houston; Mark Loretta and Mike Lamb are available at a reasonable price.
More guys went off the board than became available today. Livan Hernandez is staying in Arizona, Tampa doesn’t want to deal Al Reyes, the Twins aren’t taking offers on Luis Castillo, and two teams are making it clear that they’re done and out. Those two? Colorado and Florida, not that they were expected to be all that active. For those teams still in play, we haven’t seen much in the way of any discounting–values are holding.