"It's probably easier to see us as sellers at this point," Padres CEO Sandy Alderson acknowledged during Sunday's 9-2 loss to the Seattle Mariners. Starting pitcher Randy Wolf, a free agent at season's end, is almost certainly gone. Pitcher Greg Maddux, whose contract contains a no-trade clause, might be induced to move at age 42 for a meaningful role in one more pennant race. Outfielder Brian Giles, whose 2009 option has yet to be exercised, could also be made available should a contending club dangle the right bait. The Padres' most logical trading partner could be the Chicago Cubs, who have been running short of starters with Carlos Zambrano on the disabled list. (MLB.com) Comment
The more Hideki Okajima struggles, the more the Red Sox might show interest in Colorado closer Brian Fuentes. In his last seven games, Okajima has allowed six runs on 13 hits in six innings. Over his last 10 appearances, he's yielded 10 runs, sending his ERA from 0.72 to 3.21. Fuentes, who is eligible for free agency this fall, has drawn interest from at least five teams: the Sox, Yankees, Mets, A's, and Phillies. (Providence Journal) Comment
Royals GM Dayton Moore believes the Royals are in a position to still compete in the American League Central this year, given their recent upsurge, so they're not going to fold up to benefit other contenders. Moore is very happy with Gil Meche, and the starter has expressed a desire to stay in Kansas City. Though some say the Royals should trade Zach Greinke now while he's a hot commodity, he may be the best pitcher the Royals have, and one of the cornerstones in what is becoming a solid rotation. He's still 2 1/2 years from free agency and the Royals need him if they're going to compete soon. (MLB.com) Comment
Freddy Garcia, a three-time 17-game winner who could bolster the Mets or Yankees rotation in September, hopes to sign with a team before the July 31 trade deadline. Agent Peter Greenberg said Garcia, coming off shoulder surgery, could be ready to throw for scouts around July 20-24. The Yankees and especially the Mets are among the teams keeping tabs on Garcia; Mets GM Omar Minaya and Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez are both fans of Garcia. Greenberg this week watched Garcia work out in Miami, where he threw two 15-pitch "innings" at about 75 percent effort. Greenberg said Garcia told him, "I feel like I have a new shoulder. (Newark Star-Ledger) Comment
The Cubs' rotation has taken its share of lumps since Carlos Zambrano went on the disabled list, leading to speculation that acquiring another starter is general manager Jim Hendry's highest priority in July. But Zambrano, who'll return Friday, said he doesn't care whether the Cubs get another starter. "Whatever they want to do," Zambrano said. "It's their decision, and Jim Hendry has been doing a good job for us. Whatever he has in mind for us is OK. We feel good with the team we have, and we have good chemistry. If he wants to bring another starting pitcher or another reliever in, anybody that can help this team, he's welcome. (Chicago Tribune) Comment
As the Dodgers try to add a power hitter without subtracting from their young core, they need not look beyond the visiting dugout today. They'll find Juan Rivera there, at the end of the Angels' bench, buried under the weight of Gary Matthews Jr.'s contract. Rivera got 400 at-bats once in his career, in 2006. He hit 23 home runs. The Dodgers haven't had a player hit more than 20 in three years, and no one is on pace to hit even 17 this year. Rivera's career slugging percentage is .464; no player on the Dodgers' active roster has a higher percentage this season.The Dodgers could play Rivera, Matt Kemp and (fingers crossed) a healthy and productive Andruw Jones in the outfield. (Los Angeles Times) Comment
If you believe everything being said, written and blogged, the Rays are deeply immersed in talks for Cleveland ace C.C. Sabathia, are seriously interested in Rockies closer Brian Fuentes and are stalking right-handed hitting outfielders Matt Holliday, Jason Bay, Xavier Nady and a half-dozen others. It's trading season, with the nonwaiver deadline barely a month away, and the one thing that is certain is that the Rays are going to get a lot of play. (Another: They're not going to say much about it.) Being in contention for the first time, with money to spend to add payroll and a treasure trove of prospects from the game's deepest farm system to offer (at a time when other teams are increasingly reluctant to part with young players), the Rays are going to look into all possibilities. And why not? (St. Petersburg Times) Comment
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