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.
- The Dodgers feel they are one big bat away from becoming the favorites to win the NL West, and are in serious talks with the Red Sox about left fielder Manny Ramirez. If the Dodgers can’t get land Ramirez, they will turn their attention to Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts.
- The Rockies continue to look for a starting pitcher, and are in on discussions about the Athletics‘ Justin Duchscherer. The Indians‘ Paul Byrd is another possibility.
- The Brewers have already made their big move by acquiring CC Sabathia, but they want bullpen help as well, and would like to pick up left-hander Arthur Rhodes from the Mariners. The Marlins also have interest in Rhodes.
- The Marlins still want a catcher but are now aiming higher than the Reds‘ David Ross. They have their sights set on Pirates‘ Ryan Doumit, though a deal there is doubtful, and are also pursuing the Orioles’ Ramon Hernandez, the Giants‘ Bengie Molina and the Rangers‘ Gerald Laird.
- The Phillies want a left-handed reliever, and the Royals‘ Ron Mahay remains at the top of their list, though they also have feelers out to the Orioles on George Sherrill and the Pirates on John Grabow.
- The Twins and Tigers have both talked to the Yankees about reliever LaTroy Hawkins, who has been designated for assignment.
- The Red Sox are looking for help now for the pennant race but also looking to the future, and have asked the Rangers about the availability of catching prospect Taylor Teagarden as a long-term replacement for Jason Varitek.
–John Perrotto, 6:10 p.m. ET.
- Some persistent reports aside, Miguel Tejada is not going to be traded, and neither are any other key Astros. Owner Drayton McLane has told Ed Wade not to sell off any parts and begin a rebuilding.
- Texas’ Eddie Guardado has become a target of teams looking for left-handed relief help, with the Marlins and Brewers both asking about him, and with the Tigers and Mets also believed to have some interest. The Marlins also have some interest in the Pirates’ John Grabow as a lefty bullpen option.
–John Perrotto, 11:10 p.m. ET.
With Mark Teixeira now dealt to the Angels without costing then any of their top prospects, the trade market is in a bit of a tizzy with adjustments to the big news. There’s more big “not news” than there is news. Miguel Tejada is not being traded. Jose Guillen is not unhappy. Manny Ramirez is not being traded to the Dodgers. The Reds are not trading anyone. So what, if anything, is happening?
- The catcher market has a lot of buyers and some sellers. So that makes for a seller’s market, right? No. Both the buyers (Marlins, Yankees, Red Sox, and Giants) and the sellers (Rangers, Reds, Tigers, and Orioles) match up well-look, there’s four of each!-but each has a far different valuation for what’s available. It’s a game of trade chicken, where someone will probably blink, but I’m not sure who. The most reasonably priced backstop is Ramon Hernandez, the most sought-after is one of the Rangers’ quartet (though which one depends on who you speak with), and no one really wants Paul Lo Duca or Gregg Zaun. I actually heard Mike Piazza‘s name today.
- Manny Ramirez entered the market on Sunday as more of a complicating factor than a real trade target. The Red Sox have made a lot of inquiries, most of them through back channels, to teams that would be willing to take Manny on, but they won’t make the deal just to get rid of him. Discussions of three-way deals involving the Dodgers and Braves seemed to fit this pattern, but no one would confirm these discussions. There’s a lot of conflicting reports, but the fact is that very few teams could take on Ramirez and return the kind of even-up players that the Sox would need to make the deal. One good source told me that he had heard that the Marlins were involved, willing to give up Jeremy Hermida and Boston-area product Jeff Allison, but I couldn’t confirm this. I just don’t see this deal getting done.
- The Marlins continue to be very proactive in the market. While they can’t take on significant payroll or give back premium prospects, the front office is leaving no stone unturned in their quest to stay in the race. When the Braves traded Teixeira this afternoon, for the next hour or so, every call back I got started with “Sorry, I was just talking to the Marlins …”
- The Mariners appear to be caught in no-man’s land, needing to sell, but without a real plan. More than one FOT has expressed sympathy for Lee Pelekoudas, who’s stuck in that terrible position. Besides Jarrod Washburn and Raul Ibanez (who’s drawing very little interest), the M’s aren’t talking about any other players.
- The Rays are looking for a right-handed bat, and here comes one-Rocco Baldelli. After hitting well and playing the field in Double-A during a second rehab assignment, Baldelli is playing well enough and recovering well enough to bring it back to the Trop. Baldelli was always the fall-back position if a bat couldn’t be found at the Rays’ designated price, and as it turns out, it couldn’t. For those wondering, I’m told the Rays never made a competitive offer for Teixeira.
- Here’s one I haven’t seen-evidently one of the holdups on several deals is that some of the prospects are taking part in the Olympics. There are at least two deals where the acquiring team is asking that there be a second player, and that the deal be completed as PTBNL.
- The Dodgers have passed on Adam Everett, but are talking with the Cubs about a deal for Ronny Cedeno and Scott Eyre. My source qualified it as a “passing discussion,” but there’s enough fit on both sides to see where this could happen. One interesting thing that a FOT told me is that some of the Dodgers discussions appear to pre-suppose that they’ll bring back Rafael Furcal.
- While the Braves got their Teixeira deal done, don’t think for a moment they’re done. The Angels couldn’t expand the deal to get Will Ohman or Mike Gonzalez without giving up a premium prospect, which means that the Braves are still looking for some return on one or both.
- The Astros really are buyers. It’s kind of cute, really.
–Will Carroll, 11:35 p.m. ET.