With Major League Baseball's July 31 trade deadline just around the corner, rumors will naturally begin to pick up around the league in the coming days.
Whether it's about a two-time Cy Young Award winner, a couple of struggling pitchers or a switch-hitting slugger, here's a breakdown of the latest buzz circling the diamond.
Will Giants Trade Tim Lincecum?
It wasn't the right time for the San Francisco Giants to trade Tim Lincecum last year, but it may be the right time this year.
Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com wrote on Sunday, "Multiple sources told me recently that some teams — the Tigers are one — have interest in acquiring Lincecum as a reliever for the stretch drive."
It's not as easy a decision as it may seem, though. As you may have heard, Lincecum is coming off a no-hitter. He had a 3.83 ERA over his last seven starts before his gem on Saturday. It begs the question: Will Big Time Timmy Jim experience a resurgence in the second half of the season?
Plus, while the defending champions are 43-51 this season, they do play in the NL West, which has reverted back to the NL Worst. They are a manageable 6.5 games behind division-leading Arizona with 68 games remaining on their 2013 slate.
Complicating the issue is the fact that the Giants have basically defied the odds in two of the last three years, going on to win the championship in 2010 and 2012. So, while some teams may think it unrealistic to contend for the division title and beyond with the Giants' record, San Francisco may think otherwise.
In my opinion, I don't think this is the Giants' year. That's hard to say given what they've done in recent years, but the clubhouse seems as down as it has been in a long time, and that's reflective of the team's play this season.
Heck, reliever Jeremy Affeldt said after the Giants' 10-6 loss to the New York Mets on July 9, per Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com:
If the price is right, it may behoove the Giants to add some young talent to a minor league system that is still reeling from the trade that sent right-hander Zack Wheeler to the Mets for Carlos Beltran (who they eventually lost) in 2011.
Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes Headed Out of New York?
According to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com, the New York Yankees have put reliever Joba Chamberlain and right-hander Phil Hughes on the trading block.
Rosenthal tweeted last week:
Both Chamberlain and Hughes have struggled this season.
Chamberlain can reach back and fire it past hitters (25 strikeouts in 23.1 innings), but he's also posted a 5.40 ERA and 1.80 WHIP.
The Yankees have been waiting for Hughes to come around for a while now. Their 2004 first-round pick has gone 4-9 this season with a 4.57 ERA. Opposing batters have posted a .470 slugging percentage against the 27-year-old, the fifth-worst mark among eligible pitchers in the American League.
Chamberlain and Hughes probably won't reap a whole lot of value at this point, but it appears the Yankees are done with them.
Is Kendrys Morales Headed Out of Seattle?
According to Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe, "a few teams" are interested in Seattle Mariners switch-hitter Kendrys Morales.
Cafardo notes that Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik may still be a bit undecided on whether to deal the slugger.
Morales is hitting .280 with 14 home runs and a slugging percentage of .463 this season. Beyond his 14 dingers, he's also posted 22 doubles.
The 30-year-old has battled injuries throughout his career, but he has been able to stay on the field for 90 games so far as a designated hitter/first baseman with the Mariners this season.
Given Morales will be a free agent after the 2013 campaign, and with the fact that the Mariners are currently 43-52 (big surprise), it may be wise for Zduriencik to deal Morales for some prospects.
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