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Rockies hanging onto prospects

Rockies GM Dan O’Dowd said yesterday he doubts the team will make a deal, even though it could use one more bullpen lefty. Sometimes, a GM saying nothing will happen is a guarantee something will. Then again, sometimes he says it because, well, nothing will happen.

ESPN’s Jayson Stark reported today that the Rockies have thus far refused the Orioles’ requests for two prospects — first speedy second baseman Eric Young Jr., then left-hander Matt Reynolds. Young seems useful as a baserunning threat in September. Some have speculated that Reynolds, who has been dominant at Class A Modesto and Double-A Tulsa, could help the Rockies this year.

But Stark reports that the teams continue to talk.

One report had the Rockies interested in Nationals first baseman Nick Johnson as a lefty bat off the bench, but ESPN’s Peter Gammons is reporting the Marlins are moving closer to acquiring him.

 

Rangers bid for Hallday fading away

On the morning of the trade deadline, the Rangers chances of acquiring pitcher Roy Halladay appear dead. Perhaps they can be revived in some manner before the deadline passes but it doesn’t look good this morning.

The reality is it’s somewhere between dead and on life support system.

Certainly money was a factor and how much salary the Rangers could absorb. There was certainly the Rangers refusal to give up Derek Holland.

He was dazzling in a 7-1 victory over the Mariners. The Rangers never had any desire to trade him but that pretty much clinched it. There were multiple issues involved in the deal that could not be overcome but it seems Holland’s performance was the clincher.

The Blue Jays had interest in catching, Tommy Hunter, Justin Smoak and Julio Borbon. But Holland seems to be at the top of their list and the Rangers aren’t willing to part with him.

– T.R. Sullivan

Marlins targeting lefty bat

Speculation among players inside the Marlins’ clubhouse on Thursday had Adrian Gonzalez possibly coming to Florida as part of a blockbuster trade.

By early evening, reports surfaced that the Marlins were pursuing Nick Johnson.

The common theme in both possible trade scenarios is the Marlins are looking for a left-handed hitting, strong fielding first baseman. It also didn’t go unnoticed that Jorge Cantu was taking ground balls at third base before the Marlins played the Braves on Thursday night.

Cantu, who was Florida’s third baseman last year, has played exclusively at first base this season.

As of Friday morning, it appears the Marlins no longer are in the bidding for Padres closer Heath Bell. MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo has learned the Marlins are out of the bidding for the hard-throwing right-hander.

The Marlins are inquiring about a number of possible trades before Friday’s 4 p.m. ET non-waiver trade deadline. Chances are about 50/50 that something gets done.

Johnson appears to be the most realistic option. The Marlins are believed to be willing to trade either Ryan Tucker or Aaron Thompson to the Nationals. Both pitchers were first round picks in 2005.

It’s a matter of whether the Nationals would agree on the players in return to complete the deal.

Tucker, a hard-throwing right-hander, is at Triple-A New Orleans. Thompson, a lefty, is at Double-A Jacksonville.

The asking price for Gonzalez is higher. San Diego reportedly is seeking top prospect Mike Stanton and Cameron Maybin. Another rumored trade on Thursday had the Padres seeking Stanton, Maybin and pitcher Andrew Miller for Gonzalez and Bell.

Stanton, 19, is a 6-foot-5 right fielder regarded as one of the top overall prospects in baseball. A National League scout on Thursday said Stanton is another Dave Winfield, and he regards him as one of the top five prospects in all of baseball.

That scout added he wouldn’t trade Stanton. The Marlins don’t seem to be interested in moving Stanton at any cost. His name also came up in an inquiry for Toronto ace Roy Halladay.

– Joe Frisaro

 

 

Ryan confirms Rangers-Blue Jays talks

Rangers president Nolan Ryan confirmed that the club is talking to the Blue Jays about Roy Halladay.

“We’ve had discussions with them yes,” Ryan said. “Nothing has been done. It’s been going on for awhile and there have been names talked about. There hasn’t been a deal struck and it’s still premature to make a prediction whether it will happen.”

T.R. Sullivan

 

Rangers still working seriously on Halladay

The Rangers still haven’t given up hope of acquiring Roy Halladay. Word is the Rangers still have significant on-going communications going on between them and the Blue Jays with under 24 hours to go before the Trade Deadline.

There are also indications that the Rangers are not going to let money get in the way if they can land Halladay for a reasonable package.

The Blue Jays are not going to give him away. Some of the names that have been thrown around include first baseman Justin Smoak, shortstop Elvis Andrus, outfielder Julio Borbon and pitchers Neftali Feliz and Derek Holland.

The Rangers have to weigh that against having for Halladay for just 11/2 years. But apparently this going to come down to a baseball decision. The Rangers apparently are not going to let money get in the way of getting this guy.

T.R. Sullivan

 

Zumaya surgery might not alter Tigers plans

The plug was pulled on Joel Zumaya’s 2009 season Thursday, when Dr. James Andrews scheduled surgery for next month to fix the stress fracture in his shoulder. Now that it’s official, the question is whether the news, coming hours before Friday’s nonwaiver trade deadline, changes the Tigers’ approach on dealings.

Reports have pegged Detroit to interest on some relievers on the market over the past couple weeks, but as of Thursday, nothing seemed to be close. Orioles closer George Sherrill, one reliever on which the Tigers reportedly inquired, went to the Dodgers Thursday. Toronto’s Jason Frasor and other Blue Jays relievers might not go anywhere if the team decides to keep its team together around Roy Halladay for a run in 2010.

Truth is, though, the Tigers moved on without Zumaya a while back, since they weren’t in a position to count on him once he went on the disabled list. His struggles in June and early July prompted manager Jim Leyland to put Brandon Lyon in more setup situations before Zumaya’s last outing July 17 against the Yankees. But then, with all the other issues the Tigers have faced, they’ve had just four save situations since the All-Star break. They could go after some bullpen depth, and there’s plenty of depth out there.

– Jason Beck

O’Dowd thinks nothing will happen, but he’s tryng

Talked with Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd who said he doesn’t expect to land a lefty reliever or make any other deals before Friday afternoon’s deadline. But FoxSports.com’s Tracy Ringolsby is reporting that the Rockies, in addition to continuing their pursuit of Orioles lefty reliever Mark Hendrickson, are attempting to get Nick Johnson from the Natoinals as a lefty bat off the bench.

Rockies’ lefty search continues

The Dodgers have acquired Orioles lefty closer George Sherrill to shore up their left-handed setup situatoin, according to MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick. Carrie Muskat of MLB.com is reporting that the Cubs are in on Pirates lefties John Grabow and Tom Gorzelany.

So where does this leave the Rockies, who have only Franklin Morales throwing from the left in the bullpen?

The Denver Post mentions the Orioles’ Mark Hendrickson and the Blue Jays’ Scott Downs as possibilities. The Jays, trying to trim payroll, would be happy to part with Downs, who is due the remainder of his $3.75 million salary this year and $4 million next year. Hendrickson is more economical. He is making $1.5 million this year, and is not signed beyond.

The Rockies, however, are not wanting to disturb the Major League roster, and have been unwilling to deal prospects like second baseman Eric Young Jr. We’ll see if an offer they like comes.

Thomas Harding

7/30 Cubs/Pirates discussing lefties

The Cubs have reportedly stepped up their discussions with the Pirates regarding two left-handed pitchers, John Grabow and Tom Gorzelanny. Grabow could provide some help in the bullpen, which now has only one lefty in Sean Marshall. Gorzelanny was 4-3 with a 2.48 ERA in 15 starts at Triple-A Indianapolis.

– Carrie Muskat 

Dodgers Acquire Sherrill

 

The Dodgers shored up their bullpen Thursday by acquiring Baltimore closer George Sherrill in exchange for two prospects, slugging third baseman Josh Bell and riht-handed pitcher Steve Johnson, according to baseball sources.

 

The left-handed Sherrill can serve as a set-up man, or share closer roles with Jonathan Broxton.

 

The Dodgers still are hoping to acquire a starting pitcher and are rumored to still be pursuing Toronto’s Roy Halladay in exchange for a package of prospects. – Ken Gurnick

 

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