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Posted: Monday July 21, 2008 11:02AM; Updated: Monday July 21, 2008 4:40PM
Trade Talk
July 21, 2008
 
Mets manager expects a new bat
With the July 31 trade deadline 10 days away, Mets manager Jerry Manuel said yesterday he expects the team will be able to make a move. "I think because of the position we're in, I think it's going to be entertained very strongly," he said. "I think any team that is where we are or feels like they have a shot at this point in the season, with the deadline and the way we've played, I think that'd be strongly entertained." Manuel has made it no secret he'd like to see general manager Omar Minaya pick up a big bat for the outfield. Matt Holliday, Jason Bay and even Xavier Nady are probably out of the Mets' reach, so he might have to "settle" for Seattle's Raul Ibanez or Cleveland's Casey Blake. (Newsday)
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Maddux wants to stay west
The Padres plan to ask right-hander Greg Maddux to reconsider his preference to be traded to a West Coast team only. But Maddux, who has complete no-trade protection, is unlikely to budge. Maddux's agent, Scott Boras, says the pitcher's desire to stay on the West Coast is "entirely related to his family." Maddux, who is married with two children makes his permanent home in Las Vegas. The Dodgers, then, loom as the only realistic possibility for Maddux, who has spent his entire career in the National League. The Padres, operating without leverage, would be at a disadvantage in trade discussions. (Fox Sports)
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Yanks looking at Burnett?
Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi told Toronto reporters that he now doesn't expect to trade A.J. Burnett. But Burnett's Friday night start at Tampa Bay attracted more than a dozen scouts, including two from the Yankees. Several of the scouts in attendance didn't stay for the rest of the weekend series, a clear indication that they were in town strictly to watch Burnett. Even so, Ricciardi could be right, because the opt-out clause in Burnett's contract seems to be an issue with several teams that might otherwise be interested in a deal. The way they see it, they might just be trading for a two-month rental. (CBS Sports)
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Orioles listening to offers for closer
The Orioles are willing to trade left-hander George Sherrill only if a potential suitor wants to overpay. The team's previous closer, Chris Ray, is recovering from elbow-ligament transplant surgery, and Sherrill is under club control for the next three seasons. The Angels, one of many teams seeking a left-handed reliever, could be a match - they're deep at shortstop, a position the Orioles have yet to fill since their trade of Miguel Tejada to the Astros last offseason. (Fox Sports)
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Nady, Marte drawing heavy interest
Outfielder Xavier Nady and reliever Damaso Marte continue to draw the most interest for the Pirates and, for that reason, they remain most likely to go. But neither will be given away. Two prospects will be sought for each. Nady's prime suitors remain the Tampa Bay Rays -- who might be the favorite because of their wealth of prospects -- and the New York Mets, New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves. Marte's suitors are a dozen deep. Teams discouraged by Marte's price are asking again about John Grabow, now that he is back on the mound. Shortstop Jack Wilson and outfielder Jason Bay have also received interest from other teams. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
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Phillies, Rockies discuss blockbuster
There is word that a blockbuster trade that could have sent star outfielder Matt Holliday along with Brian Fuentes to Philadelphia had been discussed. Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd is very close to Phillies GM Pat Gillick. But word also is those talks have cooled, perhaps after the Phillies sent three good prospects away for Joe Blanton. (SI.com)
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ChiSox, Brewers inquire about Street
The Orioles' two-week downturn heading into the All-Star break has given club president Andy MacPhail new license to steer the team in the direction he originally intended. There are believed to be several teams interested in second baseman Brian Roberts, but the possibility of replicating the returns of trades involving Erik Bedard and Miguel Tejada is more likely to come down to competitive bidding between two division rivals or some contender's urgent need that has yet to become apparent. The same goes for anyone else MacPhail wants to unload. (Baltimore Sun)
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Twins pass on Beltre trade
After exploring a trade for Mariners third baseman Adrian Beltre, the Twins came away feeling they won't have a match. Seattle's asking price is steep because Beltre is under contract for next season and is one of the Mariners' better all-around players. On Saturday, there were indications that it might take a package of prospects, like what Oakland got from Philadelphia in this week's Joe Blanton deal. To get Blanton, the Phillies gave up two of their top four prospects, along with a third minor leaguer. For the Twins, that could mean one of their young starters -- Scott Baker, Kevin Slowey, Glen Perkins or Nick Blackburn -- along with additional prospects. (Star Tribune)
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Dodgers in market for shortstops
The Dodgers are telling people shortstop is their top priority. Pittsburgh's Jack Wilson and Toronto's David Eckstein have been mentioned as possible trade targets. But how about All-Star Cristian Guzman, who hasn't yet signed an extension with the Nationals? (SI.com)
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Why Angels won't trade for big bat
July, of course, heralds the season when fans wonder whether their Angels will trade for a big bat. They won't. "I don't see anyone that can come in here for two months and hand me a World Series trophy," owner Arte Moreno said. They won't trade for that big bat, not under this ownership, not if picking up Matt Holliday means giving up two good young pitchers, with no guarantee Holliday would stick around very long. "I think pitching wins," Moreno said. "If your pitching can't keep you in the game, I don't think you can win a championship." (Los Angeles Times)
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