Power Rankings Week 17: MLB Rumors Part Two
The trade deadline has finally arrived and the rumors are swirling everywhere. Dan Haren landed with the Angels on Sunday, but the main prize is still there for the taking.
Roy Oswalt has been discussed by just about every contending team. The three leaders look to be Philadelphia, St. Louis, and the Dodgers.
Plenty of other players will be on the move. The Tigers will need to make multiple trades to supplement all of their recent injuries.
The Padres need to add a bat to their glaring weakness (offense). Having a slugger like Adam Dunn would do wonders for the White Sox offense.
Yet this is also a time for teams 21-30 to rebuild their respective franchises. Plenty of superstars started off as just another prospect in a trade. This is a big week for every team in baseball...enjoy!
30. Baltimore Orioles
Baltimore isn't looking to move Jeremy Guthrie, though he's available. His contract situation (controlled through 2012) means they'd have to get a lot in return to move him. Guthrie has been linked to many teams.
Orioles first baseman Ty Wigginton received a three-game suspension and a fine for bumping an umpire during an argument in Thursday night's game.
But multiple sources believe that won't hinder the fact that he will be traded.
The Orioles activated second baseman Brian Roberts from the 60-day disabled list. He's gone 1-for-8 since his return.
29. Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates have designated veteran reliever Brendan Donnelly for assignment. The right-hander struggled big-time in Pittsburgh, with a 5.58 ERA and nearly as many walks (25) as strikeouts (26) through 30.2 innings of work.
The Pirates' top trade prospects are Octavio Dotel, Evan Meek, and Joel Hanrahan.
The Rockies and others have had scouts watching Dotel this weekend, but some are concerned about his durability going from a closer to a set-up role.
28. Arizona Diamondbacks
So the D-Backs just made a big salary dump. Dan Haren is gone. In return, Arizona receives Joe Saunders, Patrick Corbin, Rafael Rodriguez, and a player to be named later. Not exactly a Murderer's Row.
None of the players were of note (Saunders is just okay) and the club with the worst team ERA in baseball just lost their best pitcher. Can this team just forfeit the rest of the year and save us all?
27. Seattle Mariners
The Mariners' .234 team batting average is worst in the A.L. since the Blue Jays hit .226 in 1981.
It's unlikely that the M's move Jason Vargas, a Seattle official claims.
Friday was a new low for Seattle. A mid-game fight in the dugout between benched second baseman Chone Figgins and manager Don Wakamatsu erupted after Figgins forgot to cut off a throw from the outfield.
The brief but intense scrum included a shouting match across the length of the bench and pushing between players and coaches who were trying to intervene.
26. Houston Astros
The Phillies, Yankees, Dodgers, and Cardinals were among the teams that had scouts watching Roy Oswalt's start against the Reds on Saturday.
Oswalt didn't exactly impress, allowing six runs over five innings, but there still seems to be plenty of interest in the right-hander,
If the Phillies can trade Jason Werth, then they will be in the best position to acquire Oswalt. New York might be too big for the quiet righty, and the Astros are extremely hesitant to trade to the Cards within the division.
25. Cleveland Indians
The Indians are willing to deal either Jake Westbrook or Fausto Carmona for a “compelling” package, but not both.
The Yankees look to be a major player for Westbrook after they lost out of the Dan Haren sweepstakes.
24. Washington Nationals
Nationals are leaning toward bringing back manager Jim Riggleman next season.
"There's nothing officially been announced that Jim's going to manage next year," Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said Friday night.
"He deserves to be the manager next year. I have all the faith in the world in him. He's a terrific manager. We expect him to be here for a long time."
After the Tigers suffered a boatload of injuries this week, they have emerged as the leader for acquiring Adam Dunn.
Matt Capps is another prime candidate to be traded. Plenty of teams are looking for a closer amongst the league lead in saves.
23. Kansas City Royals
It looks like the Royals and Mets might be trading buddies. Those Royals players are Gil Meche, Kyle Farnsworth, and Jose Guillen, while the Mets being discussed are Oliver Perez, Luis Castillo, and Jeff Francoeur.
The Giants made "genuine progress" on a deal for David DeJesus before the Royals' outfielder suffered a thumb injury on Thursday. Guillen is still a possible trade candidate. Multiple NL scouts have been at Royals games of late.
22. Chicago Cubs
Say it ain't so, Sweet Lou? Pinella announced this week that he will be retiring at season's end. It’s a shame he has to go out on such a sour note, but Piniella’s career was filled with flavor—both sweet and sour.
Ted Lilly is going to be traded, but another starter for the Cubs might be shipped out as well.
Tom Gorzelanny is having one of his best seasons at the Major League level, and he is getting some attention from other teams. He's posted a 3.22 ERA and held opposing hitters to a .242 average.
The best part? He's making just $800K and is eligible for arbitration following the season.
21. Florida Marlins
The Rangers are making a strong push for Marlins infielder Jorge Cantu as the deadline approaches. The Rockies are also in the mix.
Although they've been the subject of frequent trade rumors this year, Dan Uggla and Cody Ross will most likely remain in Florida past July 31.
20. Milwaukee Brewers
Brewers right fielder Corey Hart injured his right wrist when he crashed into the wall down the first-base line chasing a fly ball against Washington Friday night.
Hart's hand injury doesn't appear serious, but one GM tells ESPN's Buster Olney: "If [the Brewers] are going to get anything in a trade, he's got to play before the deadline and show he's healthy."
19. Toronto Blue Jays
Lyle Overbay's two-run homer off Jose Valverde was the difference as the Blue Jays defeated the Tigers, 5-3 on Sunday.
Opponents hadn't homered in their last 142 at-bats against Valverde (since Alberto Callaspo on April 7 at Kansas City), the longest homer-less streak this season for any American League relief pitcher.
So obviously, the team that leads the majors in home runs would be the squad to do it.
Toronto's relievers have combined for a 2.43 ERA during July, second-lowest in the majors to the 2.22 ERA of the A's.
18. Oakland Athletics
Looks like Ben Sheets isn't going anywhere as he was placed on the DL this week.
Billy Beane's "Matt Holliday 2.0" idea has backfired and the A's might be stuck with him for the rest of the year.
Scouts had already noticed a decrease in his velocity and less use of his breaking ball before the right-hander hit the DL with elbow trouble.
The Mets, Phillies, and Rangers are a few teams that have been keeping an eye on the 32-year-old.
Sheets has a 4.53 ERA with 6.3 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 on the year but has pitched well in recent outings.
17. New York Mets
The Mets have started to narrow down their options for adding a pitcher. The top two choices look to be Brett Myers or Ted Lilly.
Lilly is more expensive, and the Mets aren’t letting anybody know how much dough they are willing to spend. The team with the fifth highest payroll might avoid adding much.
But without a doubt, they need to make some sort of move, considering the way the Braves have been playing. A 2-9 road trip isn't a great way to start the second half of the season.
16. Colorado Rockies
Tough week for the Rockies bullpen. Gave up two walk-offs to the Marlins as they dropped three of four.
The ‘pen also blew a game in Philly. Now they have lost five in a row and are now fourth in the N.L. West.
The Rox are inquiring about Dan Uggla, Ty Wiggington and a plethora of relievers. I’d say they need to improve the bullpen if they want a chance to return to the post-season.
What to do with Todd Helton? He is a local legend making $16M a year and has been outplayed by two other first basemen.
There is going to be some interesting/tough decisions to make when Helton returns from the DL.
15. Los Angeles Angels
The Angels got what they badly needed when they landed Dan Haren. They had to do something, as the Angels have fallen seven games back of the Rangers.
"I'm obviously sad to go from here (Arizona), all the guys and I had a good time here. That said, I'm really excited for the chance to go there and win," said Haren.
Huge move that gives Angels fans hope. The trade is an A-plus for the Angels.
They might also add a offensive player as well. Garrett Jones of the Pirates and Derrek Lee of the Cubs are two of the hitters that they are monitoring.
14. Detroit Tigers
The award for the worst week goes to...the Tigers!
Three crucial injuries really have deflated Detroit.
The Tigers suffered a big hit to their 2010 offense when they lost Magglio Ordonez for six to eight weeks with a broken ankle.
Now Brandon Inge and Carlos Guillen have as well. So if any move will be made, it's for a hitter.
Adam Dunn, Jose Guillen, Jayson Werth, and Jeff Francoeur are all options that the Tigers are exploring.
13. Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies have asked the Rays about B.J. Upton and Wade Davis. They also offered Jayson Werth a long-term contract that he hasn’t agreed to the terms yet.
The club is also a front-runner in the Roy Oswalt sweepstakes and will most likely need to get rid of Werth to make the deal happen.
Stay tuned, Philly fans, the trade deadline looks to be very busy in Philadelphia.
J.A. Happ has pitched well for the Phillies of late. He has posted a 1.76 ERA in his last three starts just as more scouts come to watch his starts. He is big-time trade bait for the Phillies.
12. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers will be looking to get a reliever such as Diamondbacks righty Chad Qualls.
But don’t expect the Dodgers to bust out the checkbook for Roy Oswalt.
The financially strapped owner simply can’t afford a big-ticket player with the budget he is working with.
Frank McCourt’s ex-wifey is killing this team.
11. Minnesota Twins
Random stat: Jason Kubel hit the seventh grand slam of his career in the Twins 10-4 win at Baltimore.
Kubel's percentage of homers hit with the bases loaded (8.4 percent, or seven of 83) is the third-highest among active players with at least five career slams.
He trails Alexei Ramirez (11.1 percent) and Marlon Byrd (8.6 percent).
Orlando Hudson has been placed on the 15-day disabled list by the Twins, who wanted to give their second baseman sufficient time to recover from a strained muscle in his right ribcage.
Delmon Young is now batting .429 during July (33 for 77), the best batting average in the A.L. over that time, with 22 RBI in 20 games.
10. San Francisco Giants
The Giants made "genuine progress" on a deal for David DeJesus before the Royals' outfielder suffered a thumb injury, reports Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News.
Terrible luck for both sides of the spectrum.
The Giants need a potent bat for a chance to compete in the ultra-competitive NL West and the Royals have no use for him at this point in another lost season.
But both teams still might do business together. The Giants scouted Jose Guillen over the weekend. What an upgrade he would be in the middle of the Giants lineup.
Another option is Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays. The Giants will have to give up some elite young players in exchange, but they must be getting used to such demands, since they're eyeballing the biggest offensive players on the market.
9. Boston Red Sox
Since Detroit Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge was placed on the DL, their interest in Mike Lowell has increased dramatically.
Tim Wakefield has been sent to the bullpen after Josh Beckett returned from the DL.
Jose Gullien is a name the Red Sox have thought about. But the biggest Red Sox deadline question...will David Ortiz get traded?
He has been a key part of the Sox for years and this might be his final week with the club. But the Red Sox will have trouble dumping a contract his size ($13M).
8. Chicago White Sox
White Sox GM Ken Williams is quite confident about trading for either Prince Fielder or Adam Dunn.
Williams has had numerous conversations with the Brewers about Fielder, but there doesn't seem to be a match, as the Sox don’t have the pitching to give the Brewers.
Meanwhile, the Nats have told everyone that they'll need to be overwhelmed by an offer to move Dunn.
If the Sox can add one of them—heads up, AL Central.
7. Cincinnati Reds
Scott Rolen’s hamstring has kept him out of the lineup for over a week. The team hopes to have him back Monday against the Brewers.
If the Reds want to make the play-offs, Rolen is essential—the team is almost 40 games over .500 since they acquired Rolen last July.
Jason Isringhausen signed a deal with the Reds this week. Is there anything left in the tank? Not sure what to expect from a former great closer coming off “Tommy John” surgery. Low risk, high reward for the Redlegs.
6. Atlanta Braves
Brooks Conrad's pinch-hit grand-slam homer over the weekend gave the Braves rookie a spot in The Elias Book of Baseball Records.
It was Conrad's second pinch-hit grand-slam home run this season, tying the single-season record shared by Dave Johnson (1978 Phillies), Mike Ivie (1978 Giants), Darryl Strawberry (1998 Yankees) and Ben Broussard (2004 Indians). Conrad is the only rookie among that group.
After making the Alex Gonzalez deal, the Braves look like they will be pretty quiet over the next week.
5. St. Louis Cardinals
After being considered as the front-runner for Roy Oswalt, it looks like the Astros asking price will be too high.
Since Haren is off the board—the amount of talent for the best player left is getting higher.
Throw in the fact that the 'Stros don't want to necessarily trade within the division, and the Cards are now long-shots to land him.
Ryan Ludwick was activated from the DL on Saturday. To make room on their 25-man roster, the Cardinals sent right-hander P.J. Walters to Memphis.
4. Texas Rangers
The Rangers had a great weekend as they extended their lead over the Angels to a very comfortable level. But does the bankrupt team want more?
The Rangers have inquired about the Marlins' Jorge Cantu and could also pick up another relief pitcher.
Rangers catcher Matt Treanor was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a strained posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
Taylor Teagarden has been recalled from Double-A Frisco to replace Treanor, who had been the Rangers' starter until they acquired Bengie Molina from the San Francisco Giants earlier this month.
An MRI on Saturday showed a strain but no torn ligaments. Rangers manager Ron Washington says there was no timetable for Treanor's return, but surgery is not necessary.
3. San Diego Padres
The Padres should be more focused on offense than pitching, but either way they wont to much at the trading deadline.
The team expects pitchers such as Jake Westbrook to clear waivers rather easily in August.
I think they're likely going to make two or three small transactions, bringing in guys that won't cost a lot but will help their squad stay in first place.
Mat Latos pitched collected a win while pitching six innings despite giving up two solo home runs in his first start since July 8. The Padres certainly need a healthy and effective Latos for the rest of the season.
2. Tampa Bay Rays
Reid Brignac has been on fire for the Rays. He leads the the team in homers (four) and RBI (10) since the break, despite playing in only six of the team's nine games over that span (.450, 9-20).
Jayson Werth is a possibility for the Rays, especially if they lose Carl Crawford or B.J. Upton.
The team with the second-best record in all of baseball can't stand pat if they expect to hang around the Yankees all season long.
1. New York Yankees
A-Rod had quite the scare on Sunday. Sitting at 599 career home runs, he took a pitch off the hand and fell to the dirt.
Rodriguez said after the game that he was fine, and he expects to be in the lineup when he takes the pursuit of his next milestone on the road. The Yankees play four games in Cleveland beginning Monday.
So how will the best team in baseball add to their roster? My best guess is Ted Lilly or Scott Downs. They lost out on Dan Haren because the D-Backs wanted Joba Chamberlain.
This team is great as assembled, so there isn't a huge rush to add to the roster.