Knowing their chances remain slim for superstar pitcher
Over the weekend GM
While the Mariners are having a surprisingly impressive season thanks to several cost-efficient pickups by Zduriencik (
The Bedard trade of two years ago -- which was made by the previous regime and saw
Now, Washburn's stock is as high as it's ever been, and the Yankees would have to give up a top prospect or two to have a chance at Washburn.
Washburn has pitched to an 8-6 record and 2.71 ERA and is said to be a favorite of pitching coach
Another fallback option for the Yankees is Reds pitcher
The Yankees believe their chances are practically nil after hearing from Toronto that it would take both
To have any shot at all at Halladay, the Yankees have to hope things fall through with Phillies, then consider whether to dangle one or the other, Chamberlain or Hughes. For Halladay, they might part with one (though not both).
One AL scout said he'd offer Chamberlain, but not Hughes. "I think Hughes is going to be good, but Joba I wonder about. He hasn't learned his lesson from showboating yet. In fact, he's gotten worse. He's extremely talented, but I just wonder whether he'll break down."
While Chamberlain's antics annoy some folks, he has put together two straight excellent starts.
The Phillies have identified Lee as their first fallback option should their talks with the Blue Jays fail to land them Halladay, and they scouted Lee's last two starts as he continues to pitch beautifully. There's been a lot of jockeying and posturing between the Phils and Jays over Halladay, but Philly remains by far the most logical landing spot considering their keen interest and stash of worthy prospects.
While the Phillies blanched at one Jays' proposal of
As has been suggested several times in this space, the inclusion of the top pitching prospect Drabek would limit the secondary pieces while the inclusion of Happ would necessitate bigger secondary pieces. Brown, the best-liked outfielder, would be more unlikely to go with Drabek, for instance.
"It's early," one official with one of the teams pointed out, suggesting there's still time for a deal.
The Jays' self-imposed Tuesday deadline isn't being taken very seriously at this point, and they themselves indicated it wasn't necessarily a strict deadline if something was afoot.
Meanwhile, there was no evidence of big progress with any other team. The Jays requested a package from the Angels of pitcher
The Rangers also have exchanged names with the Jays but seemed to believe their rival Angels were having more discussions with Toronto (and those talks are going nowhere).
The Dodgers also are thought to have exchanged names with Toronto. But one thing the Dodgers and Angels have in common, beyond their locale, is they don't like to give up prospects, and the Dodgers' offer was said to be considered low by one source. It's very unlikely that they top the Phillies' offers, which everyone believes will be the best Toronto gets.
The Dodgers are more focused on Lee than Halladay, as they probably sense their chances are close to zero for Halladay. Lee provides a cheaper alternative in terms of both prospects and money. The Dodgers and Indians made a big deal last year when L.A. sent top catching prospect
Los Angeles has youth and magic going for it but could use a top-of-the-rotation starter such as Lee.
Like their rival Yankees, the Red Sox also are believed to have talked to the Blue Jays in recent days about Halladay. Boston's surprising recent struggles are said to have club owner
But Boston is seen by competitors as being very reluctant to give up its top prospects.
Top pitching prospect
In any case, since Toronto has made clear that the Red Sox have to have to pay a premium (like the Yankees), the chances do not look great here.
It's time for the Padres to start a real sale, and it doesn't hurt that the GMs of these teams, Boston's
The Padres have been reluctant to go into sell mode, but perhaps the wall they've hit will convince them this is the proper course. For now though, Padres ownership has, in fact, been telling people that they don't believe they can trade their biggest star who happens to be a local kid of Mexican descent, a trifecta of riches for them. (That still doesn't explain why the Padres aren't shopping closer
Naturally, Boston has what it takes to make it tempting on Gonzalez, starting with Buchholz. Like I mentioned before, though, Boston's gun shy when it comes to its top prospects (
"You can't blame them. They can't be sure about [
One piece of good news for Texas: Commissioner
Selig said in a phone interview that teams are free to do what they see fit. That includes Texas, which was bailed out in two straight pay periods by the commissioner's office, according to sources.
There's been incredible excitement around the young Rangers in the Arlington area, but frankly, it would seem odd to commit $23 million to a pitcher (Halladay) when you're having difficulty meeting current payroll demands.
"[Hicks] can't be involved in this. He just has too much pride to tell his front office," said an executive with another team interested in Halladay.
But somehow, he is. The Rangers have inquired about both Halladay and Lee -- though their chances do not look very good on either. Texas does not want to part with top prospects for Lee and it's thus deemed the price tag far too high on Halladay.
The Rangers are as well-stocked with prospects as anyone, but someone familiar with their thinking said, "They aren't going to give up their players for Lee."
Reports surfaced about the Angels' supposed interest in
The Rays probably would love the idea of trading Kazmir and the $22 million remaining on his contract to free up some cash and make a real play for catcher
He's a very pleasant kid, and the Mets have rued the day they traded him, but his contract does not look particularly pretty at the moment.
The Cardinals intend to try hard to extend just-acquired outfielder
One reason they want Holliday is to protect
Holliday won't cost nearly that much -- though he won't necessarily be cheap, either. He rejected a deal with Colorado that was thought to be worth $72 million over four years.
With only months to go before free agency, the conventional wisdom is that extending Holliday is a tall order, especially considering that he is represented by
Upon hearing of the trade, Holliday happily boarded an Amtrak train from New York to Philly so as not to miss a game. The A's are in a malaise, and Holliday didn't want to be part of it anymore. People around that team said he could not have been more thrilled to be dealt. Holliday not only was having trouble adjusting to the new pitchers in the AL, he also wasn't loving Oakland's cavernous park.
But Holliday has a lifetime 1.350 OPS in new Busch Stadium, his best mark in any park, even better than at Coors Field. It's the right field, and the right league. And being an Oklahoman, St Louis might seem close to home.
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• I suggested they hold a Reverse World Series on Twitter. How about the Padres and Royals, loser wins? For more random thoughts, go to my Twitter at: