The Brewers were so close to completing what general manager Doug Melvin called a “big,” three-team trade for a pitcher ahead of Friday’s nonwaiver Trade Deadline that Ken Macha tuned into the MLB Network in the visiting manager’s office at PETCO Park and waited to see the news break.
It never did.
The deal fizzled, and the pitcher in question wasn’t traded. Because of that fact, Macha and Melvin refused to talk about the blockbuster that wasn’t — Melvin did assure reporters that the pitcher in question wasn’t Toronto’s Roy Halladay — and the Brewers were left to soldier on with a weakened starting rotation.
Earlier in the week, Melvin thought he might have a shot at Seattle’s Jarrod Washburn, but “I didn’t think we were ever close,” Melvin said.
But Melvin was near to completing, “a much bigger deal,” that was so close to happening that within a half hour of the 4 p.m. ET deadline to trade players without first exposing them to waivers, Melvin had principal owner Mark Attanasio waiting near a phone for final approval. When the three-team proposal fell apart, Melvin had another trade possibility in the works within 10 minutes of the deadline.
“It just didn’t happen,” Melvin said. “Both of them revolved around what another team was doing. Those are always tough.”
So who was involved in the mysterious big one? Macha would only reveal that it was not a pitcher who would have been available to start for the Brewers on Saturday. Melvin wouldn’t say, either, even when a reporter presented him with some possible names. One of the names was Atlanta right-hander Javier Vazquez, who had just pitched on Thursday, but a National League scout offered assurances that the Brewers and Braves weren’t talking about Vazquez on Friday.
— Adam McCalvy
General manager Tony Reagins said the Angels came up empty in their efforts to make a non-waiver Trade Deadline deal when they were unable to match up with other clubs.
Reagins was not specific about which clubs he was talking with, but reports indicated that the Angels made concerted efforts to acquire Roy Halladay from the Blue Jays and Heath Bell from the Padres.
“It really came down to not being the best fit for either party,” Reagins said. “We had a comfort level that we could go in certain situations and were willing to be aggressive. [Owner] Arte Moreno gave us no restraints. We went in with the idea of improving the club. A lot of effort was put into the process. From that standpoint, you move forward. We have business to take care of. Our focus is on Minnesota tonight. Our 25 guys have a comfort level they are going to be here for the rest of the year.”
There was one report that the Angels were close to a last-minute deal for Halladay, but Reagins would not confirm that. The Jays reportedly wanted shortstop Erick Aybar, infielder Brandon Wood, starter Joe Saunders and a prime prospect.
“Utimately, you have to find a match,” Reagins said. “You may offer talented players, but if the deal doesn’t fit for both parties . . . that’s the situation we were in. From a personnel standpoint, we made proposals that were very competitive and made sense. But the other side has to feel they made sense as well.”
If the Red Sox are going to pull off a blockbuster trade by Friday’s deadline to land one of the marquee players they have targeted — Roy Halladay, Victor Martinez, Adrian Gonzalez or Cliff Lee — it stands to reason that Clay Buchholz is probably going to have to be included.
Knowing this, Buchholz took the hill for the Sox on Tuesday night for the last time before the deadline and seemed unfazed by the circumstances. He allowed nine hits over 5 2/3 innings, but just two runs. Buchholz would have gotten the win if not for the implosion of the bullpen.
After the game, he seemed unfazed by his name continually churning in the rumor mill. Perhaps this is because Buchholz has been the subject of rumors at this time of year for three seasons in a row.
“Those are things that you can’t control and I’m a firm believer in doing the things that you can do to help a team win and not really think about anything else,” Buchholz said. “It doesn’t matter what I want or what I say, it’s what the organization needs. So i just let it go in one ear and out the other until somebody in here tells me something about it. I really don’t pay any attention to it.”
Yahoo Sports! reported Tuesday that the Red Sox made a couple of proposals to the Jays for Halladay that included Buchholz. However, Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi told the Web site that he is still not close to a deal.
“Nothing is close,” Ricciardi said. “Nothing is happening.”
In the meantime, enticing highly-touted prospects around the league like Buchholz will have to wait another few days before being sure of their fate.
— Ian Browne
The Yankees are apparently not satisfied to go forward keeping Sergio Mitre as their fifth starter, not after the recent callup has surrendered 17 hits in 10 2/3 innings over his two starts for New York. While the Yankees have won both of Mitre’s starts, there may be better options available on the trade front, and general manager Brian Cashman is checking them out.
AOL Fanhouse reported Monday that the Yankees and Reds are in “serious discussions” about Bronson Arroyo, the former Red Sox right-hander, and that the Bombers have two scouts in Cincinnati who could be on hand for Arroyo’s scheduled start on Tuesday.
New York has also engaged the Mariners in discussions concerning Jarrod Washburn, a familiar target – the hurler was linked to the Yankees during the winter as well. The Yankees did scout Roy Halladay’s last start in Toronto but are still considered long shots to get involved in the bidding derby.
The Yankees have a void because Chien-Ming Wang is set to visit Dr. James Andrews on Tuesday and faces the prospect of season-ending shoulder surgery, and continue to monitor an innings limit on Joba Chamberlain. They have also been reluctant to extract starters Phil Hughes and Alfredo Aceves from the bullpen, where each has found success in helping the Yankees enter play Monday 22 games over .500 at 60-38.
Cashman said last week: “Offense is not an area right now at all that I’m focused on. We’ll continue to look at the pitching. The obvious injury to
Wang right now has hurt. Ian Kennedy’s aneurysm has hurt. The
transferring of Hughes and Aceves to the bullpen has taken away
immediate choices for the rotation. There is a depth issue that is
— Bryan Hoch
The first major deal of the period leading up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline took place Friday, with Matt Holliday moving to St. Louis. As far as the White Sox adding a major piece to their playoff pursuit puzzle, or any piece, for that matter, manager Ozzie Guillen doesn’t see it happening.
“To be honest with you, we haven’t even talked about that,” said Guillen prior to Saturday evening’s game in Detroit. “What we have is pretty good. We got six, seven starters right now.
“Obviously, people have talked about (Roy) Halladay, but we’ve got something going good right now, and for the future very good. To break that up now, that’s a chance you would have to take if you break that up. Right now, everything is quiet with the White Sox. Unless something crazy happens in the next couple hours, we’re going to go with what we have.”
Halladay has been loosely linked to the White Sox due to the aggressiveness of general manager Ken Williams and his utter lack of fear in making the big move to help his team. See Williams’ attempt to acquire Jake Peavy earlier this season, as an example. But with top young players such as Gordon Beckham, John Danks and/or Gavin Floyd figuring to be part of the return package, don’t look for Halladay on the South Side of Chicago.
If the Brewers are indeed “basically out” of the running for Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay, as one national baseball writer wrote on Twitter, it would be news to Milwaukee’s general manager.
“I haven’t been told that we’re out,” Doug Melvin said Friday, when the Brewers began a homestand that takes them to within 24 hours of the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline. “I was never told that we’re in, either.
“I don’t want to get into who we’re talking to and when we’ve talked. It’s all part of the negotiations.”
After acquiring second baseman Felipe Lopez from the Diamondbacks on Sunday — Lopez missed a second straight start Friday because of a hamstring strain but will be installed as the everyday leadoff hitter once he’s healthy — Melvin’s focus is bolstering a shaky starting rotation that ranked 15th of the 16 National League teams and 27th of the 30 Major League teams with a 4.96 ERA entering the weekend.
The Brewers entered their homestand with a 48-47 record, in fourth place in the NL Central but just 2 1/2 games behind the first-place Cardinals, who made a splash on Friday by acquiring outfielder Matt Holliday from Oakland. Brewers officials have debated internally whether it’s worth digging into the farm system for a second straight season — CC Sabathia cost four prospects last year including 2007 first-round Draft pick Matt LaPorta — to acquire a front-line pitcher. That debate is ongoing, Melvin said.
“It depends what you get, and what you give up,” Melvin said. “That’s what it really comes down to. What you get, what you give up, and how you’re playing at the time that you do it. …
“We’ve still got a good team,” Melvin added. “We just have to put it together. We have to put some consistency together and have a little winning streak.”
– Adam McCalvy
During a radio interview on The FAN590 prior to Thursday’s Blue Jays-Indians tilt at Rogers Centre, general manager J.P. Ricciardi shed a little more light on why Toronto is suddenly willing to shop ace Roy Halladay.
“What’s changed is Roy has told us that he’s going to test the free-agent market,” Ricciardi said.
Halladay is under contract for $14.25 million this season and $15.75 million in 2010, which is the final year under his current deal. The Blue Jays originally planned on discussing an extension with Halladay this coming offseason, but Ricciardi’s comments make it clear that’s not going to happen.
The chances of Toronto retaining Halladay seemed slim already, considering the fact that the club has trimmed its payroll and the pitcher has expressed that he wants to have a chance to play October baseball. With the Jays in fourth place in the AL East, and a rotation filled with injuries and young arms, contending soon doesn’t seem realistic.
Halladay is scheduled to start for the Jays on Tuesday in Seattle and Ricciardi doesn’t want the pitcher taking the mound with the thought that he might be traded in the following three days leading up to the July 31 Deadline. Ricciardi said Toronto’s internal deadline of Tuesday is flexible, depending on how close the club might be to a deal.
“If we’re down the road with something, obviously the deadline can fluctuate,” Ricciardi told reporters earlier Thursday morning. “If we’re not down the road by the 28th, nothing’s going to happen.”
The team considered to be the front-runner to land Halladay continues to be the Phillies. Even though Philadelphia is believed to be opposed to including top pitching prospect Kyle Drabek in a possible deal, the Blue Jays sent assistant general manager Tony LaCava to scout Drabek’s latest start on Wednesday.
The Brewers are also considered to have serious interest in trading for Halladay. Other teams who have been tied to Halladay in various reports include the Dodgers, Cardinals, White Sox, Rangers, Red Sox and Yankees. Ricciardi said only a few teams have approached him with serious interest.
“Some are serious and some I would say are delirious,” Ricciardi said during the radio interview.
The Brewers made a lot of headway last year when they pulled off a deal that brought CC Sabathia to Milwaukee and rode the stud left-hander all the way to the postseason. According to SI.com, the Brewers seem to be in good shape to do that again — only this time with Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay.
It’s been fodder for sports talk radio and made for good conversation, but the idea of the Rockies acquiring Blue Jays star and Denver native Roy Halladay for the stretch run is fantasy. Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd said as much.
“I don’t think that fits for us, no,” O’Dowd said Wednesday morning. “Both financially and talent-wise, short-term and long-term, it would be devastating for us.”
Reports say the Blue Jays, who set a July 28 deadline for making a trade, want prospects and a stellar young arm, such as the Rockies’ Ubaldo Jimenez, in return. O’Dowd said building a team from within, then destroying it for one player doesn’t make sense.
“Ours has to be a collective sum of the parts, not an individual,” he said. “It has to be the whole team.”
Also, O’Dowd said he likes the Rockies’ lineup, and will not break it up to add another hitter.
The area most pressing need is the bullpen, which sometimes struggles to give leads to closer Huston Street. Franklin Morales, a converted starter, is the only lefty. Manuel Corpas and Ryan Speier are coming off injuries and are not being given full workloads.
The Rockies are trying to be creative. They’ve signed veteran right-hander Matt Herges, a member of the 2007 team that went to the World Series, and have him at Triple-A Colorado Springs. Veteran righty Mike Timlin threw a bullpen session Wednesday and will throw another Friday, and could be signed to a Minor League deal. Speier and Corpas were key members of the 2007 bullpen during the September stretch run.
The Rockies keep looking and listening on the trade front, but they’re hoping the relievers they have form an effective bullpen.
“We keep looking to improve our talent base, and if we can improve our experience,” O’Dowd said. “But it’s going to be hard. it’s an industry where a lot of teams are in contention and the few that aren’t, there’s not a lot of pitching that’s out there.”
“Otherwise, it’s really up to the guys [with the Rockies] themselves. It’s not me. It’s not up to Jim [Tracy, the Rockies’ manager]. It’s how they perform.”
Count the Mets out of the teams chasing Roy Halladay. After virtually every news outlet in New York debunked last week’s SI.com report that the Mets had rejected (rejected!) an offer of Halladay for Fernando Martinez, Jon Niese, Bobby Parnell and Ruben Tejada, Newsday reported Wednesday that the Mets never even discussed specifics with the Blue Jays.
The Mets are being realistic. With all their injured players, they don’t see Halladay as the one piece that will make the difference between making the postseason and missing it. And that’s assuming that Halladay, who has gone on the record saying he would only waive his no-trade clause to join a contender, would even approve a deal to the Mets.
Halladay to the Mets just doesn’t seem like a realistic option at this point. Instead, Mets fans must hope simply that the Jays do not ship him off to Philadelphia.