Trade Talk
July 18, 2008
Burnett says he plans to stay in Toronto
If he has his way, A.J. Burnett will survive the trade deadline. "I'm a Blue Jay and I plan on being here for the rest of the season," Burnett said last night. Burnett, after a first half which he describes as having "too many losses," enters tonight's start as the most tradeable asset the Jays have in advance of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. The speculation is fueled in large part by the opt-out clause in Burnett's contract, which opens the door at the end of this season for him to forgo the final two years of his five-year, $55 million deal and enter free agency. (Toronto Star)
Chance decreasing for Bedard trade
The chances Erik Bedard will be traded soon by the Mariners are now as slim as the prospects for a happy finish to Seattle's lost season. Manager Jim Riggleman said Thursday his ailing ace, rumored to be coveted by contenders despite a demonstrated inability to last in his 15 starts, likely will not pitch early next week against Boston as originally hoped. That means Bedard would have just one start before the non-waiver trading deadline July 31 -- assuming the left-hander's pitching shoulder is healthy again by then. Major league rules prohibit teams from trading players while they are on the disabled list, unless such a deal is expressly approved by the commissioner. (AP)
Teams show interest in Roberts
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)
Should Mariners deal Ichiro?
During last month's news conference announcing the firing of general manager Bill Bavasi, Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln said he was open to trading anyone on the team. If that's the case, the Mariners should deal Ichiro Suzuki by the July 31 deadline. If I'm Lincoln, I'm telling interim GM Lee Pelekoudas to gauge the interest in his All-Star right fielder to see if he can get an ace and/or prospects in return. Nothing against Ichiro, but isn't it time to blow this thing up and start over? Realizing they had no shot at an NBA championship, the Sonics dealt Ray Allen to Boston and began a process that will someday turn Oklahoma City into a perennial contender. When you blow things up, you don't hang on to your best player, especially one who will be 35 in October. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
Why Yankees won't sign Bonds
A rumor was prominent yesterday that the Yankees were pursuing Barry Bonds. But reality was different. The Yanks are not after Bonds or currently stalking any high- profile position player on the trade market. As for Bonds, Brian Cashman said, "We have had no discussions regarding Barry Bonds." The Yankee GM did not want to comment further on the controversial home-run king. But multiple Yankee officials said they would not pursue Bonds because: 1.) He has not played since last season and, at age 44, they did not know what shape he is in, how long it would take him to get ready (if he could get ready) and how long his body would endure regular play even as a DH. 2.) They did not want to be involved with an unpopular, disgraced, potentially disruptive player currently under federal indictment. (New York Post)
Pirates seek fair market value
One popular notion making the Major League Baseball rounds in the past week is that the Pirates are overvaluing their trade pieces to the extent they might not make a deal. The New York Post quoted a baseball executive as calling the Pirates' asking price as "exorbitant." But one team official was adamant in describing the Pirates' requests as "reasonable," particularly when considering that the primary pieces on the block -- outfielder Xavier Nady and reliever Damaso Marte -- probably are the best available at their respective positions on the market. Calls also continue to come on outfielder Jason Bay, though he is not being shopped, and his value would be even greater than Nady or Marte. The Pirates are known to be seeking two quality prospects in any Nady or Marte deal, with a leaning toward pitching. The price for Bay would be higher. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Marlins ready to make movess
Many questions were answered by the Marlins after they went 6-5 on their West Coast road trip before the All-Star Break. Now, the club firmly believes they're in it for the long run, and the front office is actively searching for a veteran catcher and experienced reliever. Why the Marlins are an attractive team to deal with is because they have a strong farm system, and they also have some still young and affordable talent on their big league roster. (

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