The Red Sox have talked to the Braves about free-agent-to-be first baseman Mark Teixeira, and more conversations are likely to take place before the July 31 trading deadline, according to well-placed major league sources. Peter Gammons was the first to report that the talks had taken place, and it is true that the Braves asked for first baseman Kevin Youkilis and Craig Hansen in return. Would the Sox make that deal? Not at the moment, but the message they left with the Braves was keep us in mind. The Braves, according to those sources, have their doubts that the Sox would move Youkilis, because of his ability to play both first and third and his defensive skills at both positions. And if David Ortiz proves he's healthy on his rehab assignment, the Sox may hold off on any pursuit of Teixeira until after the season, when he's a free agent. (Boston Globe) Comment
Padres shortstop Khalil Greene recently attracted an inquiry from the Chicago Cubs, but because Greene's trade value has dropped so far, the Padres will hold onto him, according to a club official. Greene is batting .216 with eight home runs and 11 doubles. He is in a 1-for-28 slump. For the season, he is 2-for-29 with men in scoring position and two outs. Greene, who is guaranteed $6.5 million next season, is still regarded as above-average defensively.(San Diego Union-Tribune) Comment
The Twins recently contacted Seattle to inquire about third baseman Adrian Beltre as they look for ways to boost their offense against lefthanded pitching, a club source said. It's unclear how deep the discussions got, but the Twins decided to act on the internal discussions they had about the Mariners slugger. Beltre, 29, is batting .259 with 16 homers and 46 RBI. He is regarded as an excellent defensive player, having won the Gold Glove at third last year, and could be rejuvenated by being in a pennant chase. He is being paid $12 million this season and again in 2009. (Star Tribune) Comment
As many as a dozen teams now have inquired about Pirates reliever Damaso Marte, and he might be the most-sought left-handed reliever in a market hungry for that commodity. The others being shopped are the Rockies' Brian Fuentes and the Royals' Ron Mahay. The Cardinals are in on Marte, as are the Yankees, Mets, Rays and Red Sox. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) Comment
Should Theo Epstein makes an addition or two to the Red Sox roster as the July 31 trading deadline approaches, the hunch here is that they will be the kind of deals that get lost in the agate type. Maybe he'll send a C-list prospect or two to San Diego for one of the Padres' countless middle relievers. Or take a flyer on someone like Cleveland's Rafael Betancourt, a quality pitcher having a horrendous year. And a stopgap at shortstop could be added to the shopping list if Jed Lowrie somehow fails to live up to Julio Lugo's high standard. But baseball logic suggests there will be nothing approaching a blockbuster this year, no deals reminiscent of the franchise-altering swap of Nomah in '04 or even the Eric Gagne debacle of '07. Part of that is because the asking price for even mediocre "talent" is so steep (someone is going to grossly overpay for Colorado lefty Brian Fuentes), and the Red Sox are right in their reluctance to deal an asset such as Michael Bowden for an attempt at a quick fix. (Boston Globe) Comment
The market is mounting for the Pirates' most likely trade pieces, outfielder Xavier Nady and reliever Damaso Marte. Add the Yankees to the list of potential suitors for Nady. The Rays, who are loaded with prospects, also are interested, as are the Mets, who are far from loaded in that area. The Braves have tested the water but remain on the periphery. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) Comment
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