Trade report blog: Manny dealt to Dodgers
As the clock ticks toward Thursday's 4 p.m. ET non-waiver trade deadline, SI.com's Jon Heyman weighs in with the latest trade talk from around the majors.
The Red Sox have traded Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers, SI.com has learned.
The Yankees talked about trading infielder Alberto Gonzalez to the Nationals for pitcher Jhonny Nunez, SI.com has learned. No word if the deal was done.
The Dodgers have talked about bringing back Greg Maddux, the future Hall of Fame starter currently with NL West rival San Diego, but it's uncertain whether the money can be worked out. Maddux was a deadline pickup by the Dodgers in 2006, helping them reach the postseason, before signing with the Padres before the 2007 season.
The Blue Jays, who don't appear to be in the playoff race, are talking about adding an outfielder, possibly Seattle's Raul Ibanez or Pittsburgh's Jason Bay. The idea that Bay is being mentioned in trades makes us wonder whether Pittsburgh doesn't like the whole Manny Ramirez scenario. There appear to be conflicting reports about whether the Manny blockbuster will go down now.
The White Sox are talking about a deal for Nationals pitcher John Lannan, SI.com has learned. The Sox have been looking to add a pitcher since Jose Contreras suffered an injury recently.
The Mets are talking to the Nationals about a deal for reliever Luis Ayala, SI.com has learned. Mets GM Omar Minaya badly wants a reliever and wouldn't mind making a deal. This could be it.
The Mariners' agreement to send reliever Arthur Rhodes to the Marlins may be giving the Yankees hope that perhaps Seattle will also relent and agree to trade Jarrod Washburn to the Yankees. Word is, Gaby Hernandez -- who went to the Mariners in the Rhodes deal -- was on the table for weeks. Perhaps the Mariners will also relent on Washburn. The Yankees have generously offered to pick up the rest of the $14 million remaining on Washburn's contract through 2009 while sending them a middling prospect. Seattle has been calling around to try to beat that, but the suspicion is they won't. So maybe the Yankees will get Washburn after all.
Embattled superstar Manny Ramirez has approved a trade to the Marlins, SI.com has learned. While the Red Sox, Marlins and Pirates are still negotiating details of the mega-trade and nothing has been finalized by the teams, one major hurdle has been cleared by Ramirez accepting the deal ahead of time, according to people familiar with the negotiations. The Red Sox approached Ramirez in advance of their negotiations, and got his OK. Ramirez signed off on the paperwork, contingent upon the two $20-million team options for 2009 and '10 being dropped. The move will set the stage for Ramirez to become a free agent this winter, assuming a trade can be completed by the three teams.
Ken Griffey Jr. has approved the trade sending him to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for pitcher Nick Masset and minor league infielder Danny Richar. For more information, click here.
The Rays' superb play has surprised them a bit, so they didn't expect to be buyers at the trade deadline. They hoped to contend by 2009 or perhaps '10. The Rays appear to be adjusting to their new role as trade-deadline buyers, but with Jason Bay possibly going to Boston in the Manny Ramirez deal, it appears that Adam Dunn may be their best shot. It is believed the Reds are seeking some of the Rays' vaunted young pitching, including Jeff Niemann and Jeremy Hellickson. Tampa has refused to include big shortstop prospect Reid Brignac in the Bay deal. So presumably he'd be off-limits as well for Dunn, who's lefthanded and doesn't fit Tampa quite as well.
Competing GMs say the Mets' Omar Minaya is "itching'' to do a deal. And it's no wonder with the Yankees stealing the show across town and the competing Marlins close to possibly adding superstar Manny Ramirez. However, a lot of Mets people want to hold onto their top prospects, including outfielder Fernando Martinez, and pitchers Jon Niese, Eddie Kunz and Robert Parnell. Seattle requested "two premium prospects'' for outfielder Raul Ibanez, and Mets people don't like that idea. Minaya is spending more time on the relief situation, which is looking iffy lately, especially with Duaner Sanchez's radar gun readings down.
The White Sox's trade for Ken Griffey Jr. is perplexing some baseball people. "He can't play,'' one AL exec said. "I think it's a huge mistake.'' It remains uncertain how the White Sox will utilize Griffey -- assuming he approves the trade -- but don't be surprised if White Sox GM Ken Williams has more surprises. He and A's GM Billy Beane are the biggest dealmakers. Maybe Williams just got bored and had to do something. At least he got a longtime favorite of his. It's still to be worked out how he fits all his hitters into the lineup or whether one of them will go in a companion trade. Griffey once rejected a trade to the Mets (before he came to the Reds), but with his Reds contract expiring anyway, he'd look pretty bad to turn down a deal to play for a first-place team.
More and more, the Rays are looking at Adam Dunn as a realistic possibility. He isn't the right-handed hitter they have been seeking, but he would bring them needed power. He leads the majors in homers over the last five years (198) and this year (32). He also hit two Wednesday night, boosting Reds GM Walt Jocketty's position.
One bullpen option the Mets have kicked around is to try to pry disappointing starter Ian Snell from Pittsburgh with the idea of employing him as a reliever for the remainder of the year. Snell could then be used in the rotation next year when the Mets may need starters. Pedro Martinez likely won't be back and Oliver Perez could leave as a free agent. The Mets are continuing to make left-hander Jon Niese unavailable because they'd like to see him make the rotation next year.
The Reds have agreed to trade Ken Griffey Jr. to the White Sox, pending his approval, SI.com has confirmed. For more information, click here.
Tim Redding's trade value just took a dip. "Jim Bowden overplayed his hand,'' one NL general manager said about the Nationals GM who is said to be seeking a haul for the solid but unspectacular starter. Redding allowed 10 hits and seven runs in four innings in an 8-5 defeat to Philadelphia, a value-killer of a performance if there ever was one. Redding is 7-6 with a 4.34 ERA , not bad for the Nats. But he didn't help himself -- or Bowden -- with that outing.
Fifteen scouts were watching Arthur Rhodes when he failed vs. Texas Wednesday, allowing a run while facing three straight left-handed hitters. Seattle is 0-for-the-roster in its fire sale so far. Oh well, there's still almost 16 hours to go.
Wednesday, July 30
The Mets appear completely focused on relief pitching, and considering their recent results, it's no wonder. Club officials spent the day at Shea Stadium poring over a slew of so-so alternatives. However, they are concerned about Duaner Sanchez and unconfident in Scott Schoeneweis and seriously looking around. Like a lot of others, they remain frustrated by their talks with Seattle over Raul Ibanez. The Mariners must like their own players a lot better than anyone else.
The Rays have contacted Cincinnati about Adam Dunn, who still needs a new home. The Rays were hoping for a right-handed hitter, but it appears likely now that their favorite target Jason Bay will wind up in Boston, assuming the three-team blockbuster to send Manny Ramirez to Florida is completed. However, they could still use offense, and could wind up with Dunn. The Diamondbacks and another NL team were said to have made plays for Dunn, with the D'backs offering Chad Tracy. The Reds appear to have been unmoved by the other two plays and will now give Tampa a shot at the man who's hit as many home runs as anyone over the past five years.
The Dodgers continue to look for a shortstop. They've shown interest in the White Sox's Orlando Cabrera, but it isn't known whether the Sox would consider moving him, and Sox people seemed to indicate they had nothing doing with the Dodgers. L.A. also looked into Marco Scutaro.
The Diamondbacks made a play for Adam Dunn, offering first baseman Chad Tracy. Another National League team also is said to have called about Dunn, a slugger who's drawn surprisingly little interest. Reds GM Walt Jocketty could also keep Dunn, who's a free agent after the year. All in all, the Reds' sale hasn't exactly been a hit. They also have Ken Griffey Jr, who hasn't scared up one decent rumor, plus reliever David Weathers.
The Yankees have acquired catcher Pudge Rodriguez from the Tigers for reliever Kyle Farnsworth, SI.com has confirmed. A season-ending shoulder injury to regular catcher Jorge Posada and underwhelming offense from Jose Molina caused the Yankees to go hunting for a better option behind the plate. Rodriguez, who is batting .295 with 5 home runs and 32 RBIs (compared to Molina's .229, 0 and 11), will be a free agent at season's end, and is being paid $12 million this season. Farnsworth is in the last year of a three-year $18 million deal, and has come under heavy criticism in New York for his struggles as a late-inning set-up man. The Yankees' acquisition of Damaso Marte from the Pirates last week bolstered the bullpen and lessened the need for Farnsworth, who has gone 1-2 with a 3.65 ERA in 45 games for the Yankees.
It's starting to look like the Orioles will hang on to George Sherrill, reducing the closer market further. They were hoping to get a starting shortstop for Sherrill, such as Milwaukee's terrific prospect Alcides Escobar or Anaheim's Erick Aybar. So far, no go. With Damaso Marte gone to the Yankees and Brian Fuentes likely staying in Colorado (Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd called a trade for Fuentes "highly unlikely'' a couple days ago, but a couple teams are still holding out hope), Oakland closer Huston Street may be alone on the market now. And some execs think A's GM Billy Beane may still wait for Street to bring his value back up.
The Rays-Pirates talks regarding Jason Bay have been upgraded to "50-50,'' according to an NL source. Pittsburgh is looking around to see if it can do better, but to date, Tampa appears to have the best offer. Bay would be a perfect fit in Tampa, as they badly need a right-handed hitter, especially one that can play right field.
Finally, there appears to be some action on Reds slugger Adam Dunn. An NL source says at least two teams are expressing interest in the formerly unwanted star. Dunn is the Major League leader in home runs with 196 (No. 2 Alex Rodriguez has 195) and walks with 511 (topping 501 for Todd Helton) over the past five years. Maybe somebody's finally realizing that.
The Mariners still must think they can acquire a haul for lefty starter Jarrod Washburn. They just asked one National League team for two of its top prospects for a pitcher most teams think should have been traded to the Yankees by now. New York long ago offered to take Washburn and pay the rest of the $14 million left on his $37-million, four-year contract while sending Seattle a decent prospect. Instead, the Mariners have been trying for a home run. They want a top prospect back from the Yankees and for New York to pay Washburn's entire contract. Let's not forget, Washburn is 23-38 for the Mariners, though he does have a 2.44 ERA over his last nine starts.
Jason Bay's name is still out there, and it's apparent the Pirates wouldn't mind finding a taker for him, especially if they can get an elite prospect back in return. Pittsburgh already traded one outfielder, Xavier Nady, and probably is targeting 2010 as contention time for them. The Rays, who are hanging nicely in first place but could still use a right-handed bat, are said to be "flirting'' with Pittsburgh but as of yet are unwilling to include their very top prospects. The Mets would also be interested at the right price, as might the Diamondbacks. The Cardinals talked to Pittsburgh earlier, as well.
Raul Ibanez continues to be the corner outfielder of greatest interest to the Mets, though team sources say Seattle's asking price is too high. The Pirates' Jason Bay also isn't completely off the Mets' radar.
Mets people were disappointed Xavier Nady went to the Yankees and believed they could have beaten the offer. However, it appears that top outfield prospect Fernando Martinez and top pitching prospect Jon Niese are untouchable.
They also appear very reluctant to part with either of two minor league pitchers, Robert Parnell or Eddie Kunz.
Relief pitching is the Mets' No. 1 area of concern, slightly ahead of a corner outfielder. Mets people are worried about Duaner Sanchez's recent drop in velocity and generally are not all that confident in Scott Schoeneweis. A's closer Huston Street and Reds reliever David Weathers appear to be relievers on the Mets' radar.
Major league executives believe the Braves did very well to get young first baseman Casey Kotchman (plus minor league pitcher Stephen Marek) for star first baseman Mark Teixeira, who's on the cusp of free agency. Maybe they didn't quite recoup what they sent Texas for Teixeira -- catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, shortstop Elvis Andrus, pitcher Matt Harrison, etc. -- but Kotchman is a solid, slick-fielding first baseman. "Great deal by the Braves,'' said one NL executive.
Angels owner Arte Moreno, a Phoenix resident and former partner with the Diamondbacks, was undoubtedly happy to beat out the Diamondacks (who were offering Chad Tracy) for Teixeira. What surprised some executives is that the Angels were willing to surrender a young, under-control first baseman like Kotchman for basically just October play. "They're already in the playoffs, so they got Teixeira just for the playoffs,'' one AL executive noted. Teixeira has told people he does not intend to negotiate during the season.
GM Tony Reagins said the Angels will try to sign Teixeira to a long-term extension, but they may be bidding against the Yankees, Teixeira's hometown Orioles and a few other deep-pocketed teams. Los Angeles of Anaheim could be warring with the Yankees on both the top free-agent players, as both teams are expected to make a play for star pitcher CC Sabathia. The Angels might have an edge on that one, as Sabathia is building a home in the O.C.