Hank Steinbrenner sent up his own Fourth of July fireworks yesterday, unloading on his unproductive Yankees hitters just in time for the big holiday weekend with the Red Sox coming to town tonight. "Nobody is sacred . . . nobody is safe," Steinbrenner told The Post. If players aren't performing, they could be benched or sent to the minors. "I don't care who they are or how much money they make," he declared. The Yankees then provided their own Stadium fireworks with Jason Giambi leading the way with a grand slam and two-run double in an 18-7 pounding of the Rangers. Interestingly enough, the one player Hank went out of his way to praise during our chat was Giambi, even though Giambi has been struggling with runners in scoring position.(New York Post) Comment
With starter Brett Myers down in the minors, the Phillies have Indians lefthander C.C. Sabathia atop their wish list and have scouted him in recent weeks. But they also have an eye on Seattle Mariners lefthander Erik Bedard, who is 5-4 with a 3.79 ERA in 14 starts and seems to be available. Charley Kerfeld, special assistant to general manager Pat Gillick, scouted Bedard in Seattle recently. And the Mariners had a couple of scouts in Reading last night to watch righthander Carlos Carrasco, who is considered the Phillies' top prospect. (Philadelphia Inquirer) Comment
Rafael Furcal will have a disc in his lower back partially removed and will miss at least eight more weeks, putting him on track for a possible return in last August. What all of this means, of course, is that Ned Colletti basically has to find another everyday shortstop, and don't think the other GMs around the league don't know that. That means they will have all the leverage in any trade talks with the Dodgers, which probably means the club has to give up at least one of its valued prospects. (Los Angeles Daily News) Comment
Lefty reliever Ron Mahay is drawing plenty of interest from contenders seeking to bolster their bullpen. He improved to 4-0 and lowered his ERA to 2.13 by pitching two scoreless innings Monday night when the Royals rallied for a 6-5 victory over the Orioles in 11 innings. The Tigers, Yankees, Red Sox, Marlins and Rays are all known to be shopping for relievers. The Yankees made a strong run last winter to sign Mahay as a free agent before he chose the Royals. (Kansas City Star) Comment
It's no surprise that the Blue Jays are shopping right-hander A.J. Burnett. But what they're looking for in return certainly is. The Jays are looking to obtain a shortstop in talks with other teams. The Jays have had trade talks with a number of teams regarding Burnett, who is in the third year of a five-year, $55-million contract. Burnett can opt out at the end of the season and become a free agent. He is owed $12 million in each of the final two years of his contract. Philadelphia Phillies scout Charlie Kerfeld saw Burnett's start at Miller Park against the Milwaukee Brewers and former Jays scout Ted Lekus, now with the Baltimore Orioles, saw Burnett beat the Atlanta Braves last Sunday at Rogers Centre. (Toronto Sun) Comment
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