Marlins closing in on closer Bell
MIAMI — The list of teams inquiring about Padres closer Heath Bell is long. But, according to reports, none of those teams have been as aggressive as the Marlins.
Bucs still open to potential deals
Hours after trading Jack Wilson and Ian Snell to the Mariners and Freddy Sanchez to the Giants, Pirates general manager Neal Huntington was asked if the organization — which has also already dealt Nate McLouth, Nyjer Morgan, Sean Burnett and Adam LaRoche this summer — was finally done dealing.
Huntington downplayed the necessity of making any more deals. But at the same time, he didn’t close the door.
“We continue to have ongoing dialogue,” Huntington said. “We’re not looking to make any more trades. We weren’t looking to make these trades. We don’t need to make other trades. But if the right baseball opportunity presents itself, it’s certainly something we take a look at. Again, if it’s strong enough, we move forward.”
At this point, lefty reliever John Grabow would seem to be the most likely left to go. He’s the only player remaining on the roster who is set to be a free agent at season’s end. And as prompted the decisions to trade LaRoche, Wilson and Sanchez, the Pirates don’t like to lose players to free agency without getting something in return.
The Marlins and Cubs are known to have interest in Grabow, though it may take Orioles lefty reliever George Sherill being dealt before the Pirates get substantial offers from teams looking to add a veteran lefty in the ‘pen.
Marlins interested in Grabow
Add the Marlins to the list of teams interested in Pirates lefty reliever John Grabow.
According to a National League source, the Marlins and Pirates have discussed possible trade scenarios that would land Grabow in Florida.
Upgrading the bullpen remains a priority for the Marlins as they hope to improve their playoff chances.
Grabow, 30, has appeared in 44 games for Pittsburgh, while posting a 3-0 record and 3.57 ERA in 45 1/3 innings. The Marlins bullpen entered Wednesday with the fifth best ERA in the National League — 3.79.
In second place behind the Phillies in the National League East, the Marlins are in the process of searching for experienced relievers. Grabow broke in with the Pirates in 2003, and he’s been in 389 games.
A durable lefty, he was involved in a career high 74 games and 76 innings in 2008.
Pittsburgh’s third-round pick in 1997, Grabow has 39 strikeouts and 28 walks on the season. Ironically, left-handed hitters are batting .275 against him, while right-handers have a .246 average.
Grabow is signed for $2.3 million this year, and he will be eligible for free agency next season.
In recent weeks, Florida’s bullpen has added veteran right-handers Brendan Donnelly and Luis Ayala.
— Joe Frisaro
Tigers look at familiar face
Could the Tigers’ solution to its offensive woes in a pennant come from a hitter who, once upon a time, provided a brief boost to the Tigers at their lowest point? If that hitter is Cody Ross, it’s possible, though not necessarily likely.
Yahoo Sports’ Gordon Edes reports that the Tigers have shown interest in Ross, currently manning center field for the Florida Marlins after finally getting a chance to be an everyday player last year. Now 28, he’s an experienced, right-handed bat with power and run production for a Florida club that has had an outfield in flux, including an up-and-down season for former Tigers top prospect Cameron Maybin. If the Marlins reverse course and decide to be sellers at Friday’s trade deadline, Ross is one player they could shop.
The Tigers have always had high regard personally for Ross, who broke into the Majors with the 2003 Tigers after coming up through Detroit’s farm system as a draft pick. He hit his first big league home run, a grand slam, in the same game in which he blew out his knee running out a sacrifice bunt. While Jair Jurrjens has become well-known as the Tigers prospect who got away in a bad deal, trading Ross to the Dodgers for lefty reliever Steve Colyer in Spring Training 2004 was a move the Tigers came to regret, though it took Ross two more organizations before he emerged.
While the Tigers might think a lot of Ross, so do several other teams that have faced him, making Ross a popular trading chip if the Marlins decided to move him. But if anything, the Marlins are looking to upgrade right now, since they’re within striking distance of the NL East lead and NL Wild Card.
— Jason Beck