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.
The Pirates are offering up right-hander Shawn Chacon, who become a free agent at the end of the season, but he hasn’t generated much interest.
Minnesota has now become more of a seller than buyer, which means the Mets are in on Twins second baseman Luis Castillo. Mets GM Omar Minaya has long admired Castillo, and the speedster would nicely fill the hole left when Jose Valentin broke his leg 10 days ago.
Jason Isringhausen won’t be an 11th-hour addition to the trade market, as
the Cardinals closer told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he would use the
no-trade clause in his contract to veto any potential deal.
I spent much of last night trying to figure out if Matt Harrison was injured and thus out of the Mark Teixeira deal. Turns out that he is having some shoulder problems, and doesn’t appear to be part of the final deal. It’s this type of thing that makes this time of the year so interesting–imagine if Jon Daniels had pulled the trigger on the deal a day earlier and ended up with damaged goods. This type of pressure on Daniels and every GM has to be kept in mind–nobody wants a lemon, so everyone has homework to do. Criticism of Daniels around the league has been strong, but the level-headed John Schuerholz stuck to his task and got it done. There’s little doubt that Mark Teixeira makes the Braves better, and it will be years before we know if the Rangers are better or if the cost was too high for the Braves.
The Twins have made some calls regarding Torii Hunter, and according to one source in another front office, also about “some other bits and pieces.” Hunter should draw some interest from the Cubs and Red Sox, but it’s not thought that the Twins are motivated to sell unless they will reap a good return. They’ve also had involved talks about Luis Castillo and Juan Rincon. If you stretch a bit, you can see the Mets getting all three if they’re willing to give up Lastings Milledge and find a third team with some hitting prospects. I’m spitballing here, but the A’s make sense to me for the third dance partner.
I haven’t heard a deal where it actually makes sense, nor can I confirm that an offer was made, but enough people have told me that Felix Pie is on the block that I now believe it.
Arizona’s been more active on the phones over the last 24 hours than they had been before. From what I can learn, they’ve been in a bit more of “right place” mode, making calls to see if they can be in position to be Plan B when and if something falls through. They’re definitely not sellers, and like most other clubs, they’re determined to not give up their top prospects.
The Nats seem to have pulled back from the market, as their asking price on Chad Cordero and Jon Rauch proved to be too high for every interested team.
There’s a surprising amount of non-interest in Morgan Ensberg; I could only find one team that’s made any inquiry.
Rumors from the Boston Globe that the Sox and Sox were closing in on a deal carry a lot of weight with me, but I’d heard this deal yesterday, and when the Red Sox refused to give up more than just Wily Mo Pena, I’d been told that Jermaine Dye was pulled back off of the table, and that the White Sox didn’t anticipate making a pre-deadline deal for Dye. We’ll see if my sources were correct.
According to Ken Rosenthal, Dayton Moore is rooting around his old stomping grounds looking for a return on Octavio Dotel. One source from another team thinks that the Braves are the third party involved in a three-way Dotel-driven deal.
A high-level source emphatically denies that Pat Burrell blocked a trade to the Twins: “Not even a glimmer of truth.” There are a number of teams praying that the Twins sell something, especially pitching; Carlos Silva or Boof Bonser could bring a return.
The Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, Indians, Mariners, and Dodgers are the rumored teams still looking at Eric Gagne. Only one of those makes any sense, and the Yankees aren’t willing to give up the prospects it would take. Yet.
One of the more interesting developments brought about by the thin pitching market and inability of many teams to deal prospects is a new focus on guys “stuck” in Triple-A. They’re not going to bring a big return, but you take what you get