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2007 Trade Deadline Thread


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You can buy, or trade for, everything but time. July 31 is non-negotiable. So when the non-waiver trading deadline approaches, then passes, Major League Baseball teams will have to make the usual tough calls about how to act in an opportunistic market.

The aisles of Ball-Mart will be typically jammed, although many insiders foresee a relatively lethargic market.


Those expectations have nothing to do with the standings, so crowded they have little chance of significantly loosening up in the next three weeks. Despite one notable runaway and three other races with relatively comfortable leads, the Wild Card continues to seduce general managers: Between the two leagues, a total of 11 also-rans are within six games of that postseason spot.


However, some teams' recent successful commitment to youth will make GMs reluctant to swap prospects -- the primary currency -- for veteran stretch help.


Furthermore, several high-profile players either openly shopped or believed available spent the All-Star break on disabled lists, an obvious drag on deals. These include Texas first baseman Mark Teixeira, Baltimore shortstop Miguel Tejada; outfielders Rocco Baldelli (Tampa Bay), Reggie Sanders (Kansas City), Scott Podsednik (White Sox); starting pitcher Steve Trachsel (Orioles) and reliever Brad Lidge (Astros).


However, that's just the tip of the supply iceberg, for which there figures to be plenty of demand.


This summer's market may be more shootout than bazaar: A lot of the interested buyers are not only after the same commodity -- Surprise! Pitching -- but even the same names; so, yep, it sets up as a seller's market.


Then again, mostly blanks may be fired in this shootout: Despite a hyper pre-deadline market a year ago -- 16 deals, involving 39 players, in the final two days alone -- the final standings were only marginally affected.


Yet, the market's stamp on the 2006 postseason was still obvious: The Dodgers hustled for Wilson Betemit, Greg Maddux and Julio Lugo, and stormed from last place into a tie for the NL West title (and the Wild Card); and the Yankees, though only one game behind when they acquired Bobby Abreu and the late Cory Lidle, blitzed by the Red Sox, who were inactive at the deadline.


The moral: Maybe you can't buy a playoff berth in midstream; maybe you can't afford not trying.


The headline teams on the ticking clock, the way a flexible list stands coming out of the break:




Cubs: General manager Jim Hendry will leap on their sudden rally back into contention, eager to satisfy any request by Lou Piniella -- who definitely is not shy about lobbying his management for help. But how much latitude to pull triggers will Hendry have in the shadow of the Cubs' pending sale?


Dodgers: With his signature pitching ranks hit by the loss of Jason Schmidt and Randy Wolf's sore shoulder, GM Ned Colletti is adding arms to a shopping list headlined all year by a big bat. The longer the White Sox keep Mark Buehrle-for-Matt Kemp on the table, the better it will start to look.


Phillies: They need help in the back end of both the rotation (Jon Lieber is done for the season with a ruptured tendon in his foot and Freddie Garcia is down with shoulder fraying) and the bullpen (original closer Tom Gordon and replacement Brett Myers are still out). The Mets' refusal to pull away will goad Pat Gillick into action, with outfielders Pat Burrell and Aaron Rowand his leading chips.


Red Sox: Boston learned a lesson last year. GM Theo Epstein will be proactive, even if only in a preemptive mode. "Just because you perform well over the first 2 1/2 months," he says, "doesn't mean you won't need help down the stretch." They may shop for pitching just to play keep-away with the Yankees, and for outfield offense, because they need it.


Indians: Still phobic about their bullpen, which imploded last year to smash any postseason hopes. Joe Borowski has done an above-and-beyond job as the closer, but GM Mark Shapiro is obsessed with adding setup and backup closer arms -- of which plenty are available.


Tigers: Their situation mirrors that of the Indians -- so, besides contending for the same flag, they'll contend for some of the same arms. Manager Jim Leyland feels limited with two of his key relievers -- Joel Zumaya and Fernando Rodney -- on the shelf.




White Sox: GM Ken Williams has dropped all pretense, declaring, "We'll have some personnel moves the rest of the season, I guarantee you that." The only question is how many of the free-agency eligibles -- Jermaine Dye and Tadahito Iguchi -- will be moved, and where. A new contract for Buehrle makes expendable a couple of other starters, Jose Contreras and Javier Vazquez.


Reds: GM Wayne Krivsky has let the grapevine know he is ready and willing to move some higher-priced players, with right-hander Kyle Lohse and outfielder Adam Dunn atop the list. But it's a long one: According to published reports, scouts have been told they may as well check out everyone with the exception of Aaron Harang, Homer Bailey, Josh Hamilton, Alex Gonzalez and Brandon Phillips. Notice the absence of Ken Griffey Jr. on that "hands off" roster.


Rangers: GM Jon Daniels is juggling the ultimate luxuries, twin closers in Eric Gagne and Akinori Otsuka. Boston, Detroit, Atlanta, Cleveland and the Dodgers are known to have already inquired about one or the other. Toss in Teixeira and possibly even the reborn Sammy Sosa, and Daniels will be busy.


Orioles: Few untouchables, but new personnel chief Andy MacPhail won't let foes exploit his unfamiliarity with the roster by talking him out of the club's young upside pitchers. "They pay us to talk and listen. So I don't have a problem with doing that," MacPhail said, adding, "I also am not particularly interested in doing anything stupid."




Yankees: They're on the postseason bubble, and could make huge market news on either side of the counter. If they remain buried, the Yanks may look for a way to preempt Alex Rodriguez's opt-out choice with a blockbuster, most likely with a West Coast team. If they smell a shot, they'll be on the lookout for, of all things, offense, primarily at first base. They've been dragging their feet on Shea Hillenbrand, who has been out there for the taking, which may be an indication that Brian Cashman is thinking bigger. Abreu is a hot candidate to go the other way, drawing interest from numerous National League teams confident he could regain his game back in his original league.


Rockies: GM Dan O'Dowd has one of the toughest calls to make. In the NL West sardine can, his club figures to remain in the picture -- but would it be a realistic postseason shot? And he has already indicated an interest in buying if the team contends, although he would keep his sights on lower-level pitchers (like relievers Octavio Dotel of Kansas City or the Pirates' Salomon Torres).


Blue Jays: To sell, and consequently to admit his vision was blurred, would be an extremely difficult decision for J.P. Ricciardi. But if Toronto doesn't make a serious move, he may throw in the towel on A.J. Burnett and also move the guy who has drawn a lot of interest (or, at least curiosity) all season, Troy Glaus


Post all rumors, grumblings, and random deadline stuff here.

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Ahhh, deadline season. Such an interesting time on the baseball calendar. It's prime shopping season and it's time to see what's on the shelves.

While the buyers, the teams thinking they can contend for the playoffs, are looking for big-league help, the sellers -- those out of the running -- are looking to restock their own cupboards at the Minor League level. For them, the hot commodities are prospects. If they are throwing in the towel and will trade Major Leaguers away to teams in pennant races, they want to make sure they're getting help for the future in the forms of Minor League players with potential.


Figuring out who the top prospects might be is not an easy task. Decision-makers on both sides of the equation won't divulge that kind of information, but some exploration can lead to some possibilities. Here's how it works: Take a list of buyers, identify those teams with some talent down on the farm -- particularly players who are stuck (either by a Major Leaguer at their position or a logjam of talent throughout the system) -- and finally, take a look at positions that are often highly in demand (pitching, catching, middle infield).


With that in mind, here's a buying team-by-team look at Minor Leaguers who could possibly find themselves with a new employer by the end of July.


American League


Boston Red Sox: The Sox have outfield and pitching depth to deal from, but they won't trade one of their stud pitchers like Clay Buchholz away. Instead, with Jacoby Ellsbury the center fielder of the future, a guy like David Murphy could be the one used in a trade.


New York Yankees: Are they really contenders? Who knows, but chances are they will be buyers and they do have some pitching depth, even with all the injuries. Tyler Clippard has had success at every level of the Minors and showed he can compete in the bigs. He could fetch a decent return.


Cleveland Indians: It's one of the deepest systems in all of baseball, particularly on the mound and in the outfield. Since left-handed pitching is always a hot commodity, we'll go with southpaw Chuck Lofgren as a candidate, though the Indians are always sure not to mortgage their future for the now.


Detroit Tigers: Cameron Maybin is untouchable. That much we know. Other than that, it's hard to say, so we'll pick an arm. Jair Jurrjens has had success the last couple of years, but isn't the kind of marquee name people would go nuts over losing.


Minnesota Twins: It's unlikely you'll see one of the young arms who's been up lately, like Kevin Slowey or Matt Garza, dealt. Up the middle, Jason Bartlett is settling in and Alexi Casilla is ready, so perhaps someone like shortstop Trevor Plouffe could be dangled.


Los Angeles Angels: Could someone like Kendry Morales or Jeff Mathis be dealt? Maybe. But keep an eye on Jose Arredondo, who's had some trouble in terms of the mental aspects of the game, but has great arm strength and tremendous stuff.


Oakland A's: There's no place for Daric Barton right now, but it's unlikely the A's would part with him. Catcher Landon Powell would be a possibility with Kurt Suzuki as the heir apparent behind the plate, but the switch-hitter recently suffered a torn ACL.




Seattle Mariners: They haven't called up Adam Jones or Wladimir Balentien, but it's hard to see a scenario where they'd trade either one. They do have some catching depth and with Jeff Clement figuring things out, a guy like Rob Johnson could be offered up for help.


National League


New York Mets: Lastings Milledge could go if the price is right. More possible, though, is Philip Humber, who could still fetch a nice return from a pitching-hungry team.


Atlanta Braves: Until his recent contributions in the big leagues, Yunel Escobar might have been a good candidate. Instead, perhaps reliever Joey Devine could be dealt, especially since he still is very close to being a big-league contributor himself.


Philadelphia Phillies: Anyone not named Carlos Carrasco is fair game, so we'll go with another southpaw in Matt Maloney, who could be a decent workhorse, innings-eater type soon.


Milwaukee Brewers: The Brew Crew are set up the middle with J.J. Hardy at short, so they could be willing to part with Alcides Escobar, a speedster in the Florida State League.


Los Angeles Dodgers: Maybe they trade from their outfield depth one of their young guys who have been up, but how about this for a blockbuster idea: With James Loney entrenching himself at first, Nomar moving to third and Tony Abreu showing his versatility, could the Dodgers see what they could get for Andy LaRoche?


Arizona Diamondbacks: They have a few guys at Triple-A Tucson who are ready, but with no opening. Chris Carter is ready to hit in the big leagues, but he's a first baseman, barely. He needs to go to an American League team with an opening at first and DH. That could happen by the end of the month.


San Diego Padres: It's not the deepest system in the world, but they have an intriguing first-base prospect in Class A Advanced ball named Kyle Blanks. That kind of talent is hard to give up, but with a young Adrian Gonzalez entrenched in San Diego, the Padres might be willing to part with Blanks.


Colorado Rockies: It's still unclear whether or not the Rockies are contenders, but there's no doubt that Joe Koshansky is an extremely stuck prospect. Unless they deal Todd Helton, Koshansky is a guy who should get a good return on the trade market.

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Guest FishFanInPA

Giants fire sale?


These six experienced players could attract interest from contending teams if the Giants stick a "for sale" sign on the clubhouse door before the July 31 trade deadline:


1. RHP Matt Morris -- He is a bulldog who gets ornery when the team loses. He had a solid first half (7-5, 3.55 ERA), has postseason experience and is signed for next year, which makes him more attractive to teams that do not like rent-a-players.


2. LHP Noah Lowry -- Nine-game winner is still young (26) and has a very palatable contract that runs through 2009. The Giants would seek a boatload of talent in return. Deals like that are more easily made in the winter.


3. OF Randy Winn -- Despite his baffling struggles with consistency, he is a switch-hitter who can play all three outfield positions. His contract, which has two years left for a total of $16.25 million, might impede a deal.


4. 2B Ray Durham -- He batted .371 with nine home runs last July. If he gets that hot over the next two weeks, teams will come calling.


5. LHP Steve Kline -- Another postseason veteran, Kline stranded 10 of his 11 inherited runners in the first half, did not allow a run in 27 of his 33 outings and still can get that big out late in the game.


6. SS Omar Vizquel -- Has said he would want to go only to a team that needs an everyday shortstop, but any contender would love his experience, defense and clubhouse presence down the stretch. -- SF Chronicle

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Guest FishFanInPA

* Stark's sources indicate that Kenny Williams is only serious about moving Jose Contreras, not Jon Garland or Javier Vazquez. Makes sense, if he's trying to win in 2008. Problem is that Contreras doesn't have much trade value, the way he's been pitching for the last year.

* Of course the Mets would have interest in Dontrelle Willis if made available, but the Tigers? That's a new one. Not sure why a team so deep in pitching would trade young players for Willis. But, it's just a rumor.

* Zack Greinke is admittedly a long shot to be traded, but that doesn't mean teams aren't asking all the time. The Braves connection is obvious. Stark says John Schuerholz is getting very aggressive and creative trying to improve his team. Two prospects on the block are Elvis Andrus and Dan Smith.

* The Rangers are asking for way too much for their relievers right now. As you know, the options for Eric Gagne are quite limited because of his no-trade clause and desire to close. The Cubs, Phillies, and Braves could accomodate him, but it seems the Tigers seemingly don't want to move Todd Jones out of the closer role. Odd.

* The Mets would move Mike Pelfrey in a major trade, perhaps annoyed with the Scott Boras influence on him.

* The Phillies are falling all over themselves to get a starter, but the main options appear to be Joe Kennedy, Kyle Lohse, and Steve Trachsel. Awww yeah, World Series here we come. For good starters or relievers, teams want Shane Victorino. The Phils need him to take over center field next year.

* Contrary to previous reports, the Reds intend to hold on to David Weathers.

* There's no real fit anywhere for Ken Griffey Jr., given the limited list of teams he'll play for.

* Expect the Angels to stand mostly pat, this year and next. That's just how they roll. No A-Rod, no Barry, no Adam Dunn.

* Relievers under consideration by the Dodgers: Chad Qualls, Dan Wheeler, Octavio Dotel, Al Reyes, and a new one - Luis Vizcaino.

* Stark believes $30MM a year for A-Rod is laughable. But Stark and Scott Boras have had public beef before so he may be biased on this. I can see Boras getting his magic number for Rodriguez.

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Yankees: They're on the postseason bubble, and could make huge market news on either side of the counter. If they remain buried, the Yanks may look for a way to preempt Alex Rodriguez's opt-out choice with a blockbuster, most likely with a West Coast team.

Wow. Imagine the Yankees trading ARod at this point? I can't see that happening but my mind boggles at the possibilities.

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The Braves and Angels are the most aggressive suitors for Mark Teixeira, says FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal.


Rosenthal labels the Yankees, Red Sox and Giants as on the periphery. The Braves would likely have to part with Jarrod Saltalamacchia to pull off a deal. Yunel Escobar shouldn't be as of much interest to Texas, and Escobar is more useful to the Braves right now anyway. Having Casey Kotchman and Ervin Santana go the other way is the deal that would make the most sense for the Angels. A source told Rosenthal that the chances of a Teixeira deal are 50-50.

Atlanta is the one team I think that could really improve itself giving up such a steep price for Teix. It will not only help them this year in a push for the playoffs but it will also offset the loss of Andruw Jones in the off-season.


Too bad they couldn't pull off that Garland deal or they'd really be in a dangerous position.

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Guest Miggy is Great

If the Redsox were to go after tex, they would prolly have to give up their best pitching prospect ( clay buckholtz? ) or Wily Mo and a craig hansen type. They then could turn around and trade away Mike Lowell for a RP. Ellsbury is perfectly ready for a Major League back up job at this point in his carrer, he would probley start 2,3 games a week, and who knows, there is Drew out there, maybe Ellsbury gets his chance when the inevitable injury comes.

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If the Redsox were to go after tex, they would prolly have to give up their best pitching prospect ( clay buckholtz? ) or Wily Mo and a craig hansen type. They then could turn around and trade away Mike Lowell for a RP. Ellsbury is perfectly ready for a Major League back up job at this point in his carrer, he would probley start 2,3 games a week, and who knows, there is Drew out there, maybe Ellsbury gets his chance when the inevitable injury comes.

Wily Mo and Hansen do not have that much value, we'd have to give up a lot more then them with a Buchholz and other top prospects (Bowden, Lowrie, Lester, etc.).


Personally I don't think we will acquire him and I don't want us to acquire him.

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And like clockwork what I say comes back to bite me with this:

According to multiple Major League sources, trade talks centering on the Texas first baseman have intensified in the last 24 hours.


Though six teams -- the Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees and San Francisco Giants -- were among the clubs most active in their pursuit of Teixeira, as of midday on Tuesday, is appears that the Yankees and the three California teams, while not completely dropping out of the picture, are not in the forefront, either.


The Dodgers appear to have turned their focus on pitching. The Yankees are interested, but have been unwilling to part with their best young pitchers. The Giants have also stepped back after considering the price for Teixeira. And the Angels, after shipping right-hander Ervin Santana to the Minor Leagues, do not appear to be a trade match with the Rangers.


The Red Sox have been holding on to their young pitchers, but with the Yankees gaining ground in the American League East, the winning return of Jon Lester on Monday night and the expected return of Curt Schilling next week, they may be in a better position to part with some arms.


The Rangers have scouted a number of Boston's Major League and Minor League pitchers recently, including Lester, left-hander Kason Gabbard, Triple-A right-hander Clay Buchholz and Double-A right-hander Michael Bowden.


The Braves are balking at requests for catcher/first baseman Jarrod Saltalamacchia or shortstop Yunel Escobar. In any case, the Rangers are more likely to want Major League-ready pitching in any deal for Teixeira.


That might seem to make the Red Sox the front runners to land Teixeira, but with just days to go, predicting Teixeira's destination is a dicey proposition.


"Boston could have pulled the trigger already, but they haven't," said one source. "They could decide to go with what they've got."



Seriously, do not trade Clay.

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I'm assuming that Teixeira means Lowell's walking at the end of the year, but where would he bat now (after the Ortiz health is all sorted out)?


You just sit Youkilis?


And I think it'd be a tough pill for Steinbrenner to swallow if Chamberlain and Sanchez is enough to get him to the Bronx. That's a deal that gets done.

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I'd have to think Youk or Lowell would be in the deal, probably Lowell because of his pending free agency.


I want us to just sit tight, add Bobby Kielty and potentially one more reliever for the right price and see how far this ship takes itself. I've never been a big Teix fan and certainly not going to be one if we give up Buchholz. He doesn't make us significantly better.


Go after A-Fraud in the off-season instead.

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I'm going to respectfully disagree on the Buchholz issue, I think he's a justifiable expense given the reemergence of Beckett and Matsuzaka proving to be a very very capable 2 if nothing else.


Schilling's got maybe 2 years left, maybe 2 more years of elite production from Manny, maybe 3 for Ortiz. Ellsbury's going to be taking over, Pedroia's already making a case for himself. I think the Red Sox can afford to go get that luxury slugger and not worry about it. Plus it keeps him out of the Yankees lineup where he'd be a tremendous difference maker.


That'd be my thought process if I'm the Red Sox.


It may be a quasi lateral move for this year since it means the lessened production of either Youkilis or Lowell, but it really brightens the team's 5 year outlook.


Now, I must also say that this assumes the maintenance of a payroll in the $110-$140 million range to be a sensible deal. And there's no reason to conclude that the Red Sox are going to suddenly stop spending.

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I seriously hope Schilling is not in a Boston uniform next season, unless it is at an insanely reduced price for 1 year.


I think the Sox need to part ways with Wake as well, if only so Mirabelli is never in our lineup ever again.


So that leaves you with Beckett and Daisuke and a whole lot of question marks. Lester hasn't shown that he can be more 5-6 innings of a tight rope act, I love what Kason Gabbard is doing right now (see av) but I highly doubt he'll end up being much more than a decent 4th/5th starter. That is a lot of holes. Buchholz will definitely be ready in 2008. He's made himself the top pitching prospect in the game rather quickly as well. He should be in the rotation behind those two.


My personal feeling is you only trade truly elite prospects, let alone the best pitching prospect around, in a package involving elite players. I don't think Teix is elite especially when 81 of his games won't be in Arlington.


If you can retain Buchholz and Ellsbury and acquire him, go for it. I wouldn't part with either though. Bowden, Lester, Lowrie, etc. can all be had.


It may leave our dicks out in the wind a bit, but I'd throw the moon at A-Fraud in the off-season. Talk about solving so many holes in the franchises future in one fell swoop.

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I guess maybe we just disagree on Buchholz' future.


I think he's an exciting prospect and will be a good major leaguer, but he's 23 and won't be in the majors until 24. He just tore up AA this year, but he was probably a little "old" to be considered a super prospect.


Teixeira's also 26 and is an established force.


Now, the problem is that the corner's aren't Boston's problem at the moment, but they will be in a few years. Pitching isn't Boston's problem at the moment and won't be in a few years, either.


That's where I'm coming from...3 years from now, what do you do with the inevitable decline of Drew, Manny, Ortiz and Lowell? And in that regard I think it's a good deal. It kind of helps now, and it certainly helps a lot 2 years from now.

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You also seem to be higher up on Teix then I am.


His OPS+ last year was 123 after his big 2005 campaign. He's not an elite player and I don't think the Sox should give in to a King's ransom to acquire him for just 15 months before we have to deal with Boras' insane demands.


I'd rather Theo aid Atlanta in their efforts to land Teix by supplying some pitching and getting Salty. Salty helps the team big time for their run this year and can spell Tek more than Beerbelli can and will be able to replace him full time after next season.


Probably won't happen, but you do that and then get A-Fraud? That'd be a helluva turn of events.

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Gotta agree with Fox on this one. The Red Sox would regret it big time if they traded Buchholz. You just don't give up young talented pitching like that for a bat, unless that bat is a star at a premier position.


It is a lot easier to get a first baseman with a big bat than a young, cheap pitcher who can slot into the #3(#2 for most teams) spot nicely for years to come.

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I actually wouldn't be oppossed to trading Ellsbury for the right deal - this not being it.


I think alot of Sox fans are too quick for the new shiny model when we have a proven one who is improving by the day offensively and playing the best CF in the AL this year already in Coco.


If Coco gets his OPS above .800 he is absurdly valuable to us with his defense.


Not a knock on Ellsbury, he's going to be real good but I like the proven thing especially when that thing is only 27.

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Guest Miggy is Great

If the Rangers are going to take Yunel Escabor for Tex, i see no reason why Wily Mo and Hansen and a top IF prospect (there has go to be someone being blocked from the Majors). I personaly think even that is too much for a very inconsistant "superstar"

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