Manny Ramirez is still a Dodger — but that could change next month, if the slugger clears waivers and L.A. opts to move him later on.
Adam Dunn is still a National — but the big drama with him will come this winter, when he’s sure to get rich multi-year offers from multiple clubs in need of a big bat.
As for the deals that did happen, there were plenty. The Dodgers got Ted Lilly and Octavio Dotel, the Cardinals got Jake Westbrook and the Padres got Ryan Ludwick. The Yankees added Kerry Wood, Lance Berkman and Austin Kearns; the Red Sox unloaded Ramon Ramirez, picked up Jarrod Saltalamacchia and also designated Jeremy Hermida for assignment.
It’s been a busy day. But the business won’t be ending here. Stay tuned to NESN.com for any and all baseball news in the coming hours and days. There will be more, no doubt.
4:50 p.m.: This just in! The Red Sox have added the extra catcher they’ve always wanted, nabbing Jarrod Saltalamacchia from the Rangers.
Tony Lee is reporting that the complete deal is Saltalamacchia for first baseman Chris McGuinness, pitcher Ramon Mendez, a player to be named later and cash. The Sox pick up a 25-year-old backstop with a bat and plenty of upside. Solid deal for both sides.
4:40 p.m.: Nothing new on Adam Dunn, who looks like he’s going to remain a Washington National for the time being.
It’s surprising, too, because every indication was that Dunn and the Nationals wanted to work out either a contract extension or a trade. So far, it appears that they’ve done neither. Dunn is still in a Nationals uniform for the rest of 2010, and that’s all we know.
That’s not necessarily bad news for either side, though. Dunn will get to take his 40-homer power to the open market, where he’s sure to generate some big offers, and the Nats will get draft picks for letting him walk. They’ve done well with draft picks in recent years, to say the least.
4:30 p.m.: Apparently the Red Sox made a buzzer-beater of a deal just before 4 p.m., sending Ramon Ramirez to the Giants.
No details yet on the specifics of that trade. NESN’s Tony Lee is on the story and will have updates when they’re available.
4:20 p.m.: Not a bad day for the Dodgers, who have added yet another arm to their pitching staff. This just in: Octavio Dotel.
The Dodgers have sent reliever James McDonald and outfield prospect Andrew Lambo to the Pirates for Dotel, who projects nicely as a seventh or eighth-inning option for Joe Torre in L.A.
Between Dotel and Ted Lilly, that’s a solid day of retooling for the Dodger pitching staff.
4:10 p.m.: An update on the big Red Sox transaction of the day: Not only is Jeremy Hermida designated for assignment and Ryan Kalish activated a done deal, but Kalish will start on Saturday night.
The 22-year-old outfielder will start in left field for the Red Sox and bat eighth in Terry Francona’s order.
Kalish wore No. 2 in Pawtucket, but he’ll switch to No. 55 in a Boston uniform. Ironically, 2 is taken by Jacoby Ellsbury, who takes Kalish’s roster spot in Pawtucket while making a rehab start.
4:00 p.m.: It looks like the Yankees are about to come out of nowhere and land Kerry Wood. This is big.
Wood has been on the disabled list twice this season, including one stint earlier this month for a blister on his right index finger. But he’s now back, and presumably healthy, and he could be a very effective reliever for a World Series contender if he remains healthy.
Talk about a bridge to Mariano Rivera. Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson and now Wood as well — that is one nasty, flame-throwing bridge.
3:45 p.m.: Here’s some breaking Red Sox news for you: Jeremy Hermida has been designated for assignment.
NESN’s own Heidi Watney has learned that the Red Sox elected to DFA Hermida, who then left the building and drove away from Fenway Park. Ryan Kalish has just arrived from Pawtucket to fill Hermida’s roster spot, effective immediately.
What this means for the rest of the Red Sox’ roster is still unclear. Stay tuned.
3:35 p.m.: With these last-minute deals up against the deadline, anything can happen and anything will. But it’s really starting to look as though Adam Dunn is staying put in the nation’s capital.
If you’ll notice, Dunn has been penciled into the Nationals’ lineup for Saturday night’s game against the Phillies. The Nats are at home with first pitch at 7:05, and Dunn is currently scheduled to play first base and bat cleanup. Just another day at the office.
Tick, tock goes the clock. The deadline will soon be here.
3:20 p.m.: What’s the story with the Tampa Bay Rays? Are they all done? Or are they still looking for one more arm?
Rumors over the last couple of days have had the Rays linked to a couple of AL arms — Blue Jay Scott Downs, and former Blue Jay Brandon League, now a Seattle Mariner. The Rays could use a little bit more bullpen help for the home stretch, but now the latest buzz is that the Rays are “unlikely to make another deal today.”
In other words, Chad Qualls is their guy, and they don’t need anything more.
OK then. Good luck with that.
3:05 p.m.: It’s every GM’s dream to turn a washed-up 36-year-old reliever into a quality prospect. But that dream rarely comes true.
The Pirates’ Neal Huntington continues to work the phones in an attempt to unload Octavio Dotel, but he’s had no luck so far. One rumor had him calling the Mets and offering Dotel for pitching prospect Robert Carson — no dice.
Dotel hasn’t been moved yet, but don’t discount the possibility. He may be aging and declining, but he’s still a viable seventh-inning guy for a playoff team that needs one more arm. The Bucs just can’t expect to get too much back for him, that’s all.
2:50 p.m.: It’s now a done deal — Ted Lilly is indeed headed to the L.A. Dodgers.
As rumored earlier today, Lilly and Ryan Theriot are both bound for Southern California, and the Cubs are getting back a pair of minor-league pitchers for their trade pieces. Kyle Smit and Brett Wallach are headed to the Cubbies’ system.
The Dodgers now look a whole lot scarier for the stretch run. They’re far from done in the NL wild card race, and they’ve now got a formidable rotation in place with Kershaw, Kuroda, Lilly and Chad Billingsley. Don’t sleep on L.A.
2:35 p.m.: If the Red Sox are to trade anyone in these last couple hours between now and the deadline, smart money’s on Manny Delcarmen. Both ESPN’s Jayson Stark and ESPN Boston’s Gordon Edes have mentioned Delcarmen as a potential trade piece.
Only problem is that Delcarmen comes from exactly the same area the Red Sox are trying to improve: middle relief. The Sox would probably look for a team to make a one-for-one deal, reliever for reliever, just in the interest of giving both pitchers a change of scenery. After pitching six seasons in Boston and never quite getting over the hump, Delcarmen could sure use one.
But who’s going to take a pitcher with a 4.86 ERA? Probably not a playoff contender, I’ll say that. It’s probably slim pickings out there for the Red Sox, who would love to get a serviceable seventh-inning guy for the stretch run ahead.
2:20 p.m.: According to analyst Jim Bowden on Twitter, there are still three teams left in the Adam Dunn sweepstakes: Detroit, the White Sox and Tampa Bay.
If they want to get a deal done, though, they’d better hurry. The clock’s ticking — we’re now looking at less than two hours to go before the deadline, which isn’t much time to put together a suitable package of prospects for Washington.
The Nationals’ asking price for Dunn has been high all along, but the slugger isn’t untouchable. The Nats just need a couple of pieces to help them build for their future.
Also: Looks like my last update just got swallowed up into the ether. But if you’ve got a chance, check out the career transactions log on Brett Wallace. The kid is 23 and has been traded for three All-Stars in the last year alone. Looks like he’ll finally make a major-league start tonight in Houston, playing first base in place of the departed Lance Berkman. Cool story.
1:50 p.m.: The Astros have already shipped away one piece of their starting rotation in Roy Oswalt — could there be more deals still to come?
Quite possibly, yes. The other two arms the Astros might dangle are Brett Myers and Wandy Rodriguez, both serviceable starting pitchers that could help a team for the stretch run.
The Astros are out of contention, so they have no immediate need to hold onto their top two remaining arms. But they won’t give them away for nothing, either. They’ve got to find the right offer.
1:35 p.m.: The Rangers won’t have to look too hard for a middle infielder to sub in for the injured Ian Kinsler — they’ve found one in Cristian Guzman.
Guzman has hit a respectable .282 this season as a regular starter for the Washington Nationals, and he’ll now be thrust into a playoff race as the starting second baseman in Texas. Kinsler is on the mend from a strained left groin suffered earlier this week.
The Nationals are getting back Tanner Roark and Ryan Tatusko. Win-win trade: The Rangers get an extra piece for the stretch run, the Nats get a couple prospects to help them keep building.
1:20 p.m.: It appears that the three-way trade for Westbrook and Ryan Ludwick is indeed happening. Ludwick can pack his bags for San Diego.
Both teams are getting a pitching prospect back from the Padres — the Cardinals will get Nick Greenwood in exchange for Ludwick, but the real prize of this deal is Corey Kluber. The 24-year-old righty will take his 136 strikeouts this season at Double-A San Antonio to the Indians’ system. Expect to hear that name in Cleveland a year from now.
1:05 p.m.: It sounds as though the Cubs, despite being 11 games under .500 and hopelessly removed from the NL Central race, are still clinging to Carlos Zambrano. No deal is imminent there.
On one hand, Zambrano is one of the faces of that franchise on the North Side of Chicago, and it’s hard to imagine the Cubs without him. But on the other hand — that’s a sub-par team in Chicago, and likely will be for the foreseeable future. Zambrano is due approximately $59 million between now and the end of 2013. Do the Cubs really want to shell out all that cash? To what end?
A deal makes sense. Keep an eye on the Mets, who continue to eye Big Z as a possible trade target.
12:50 p.m.: This Jake Westbrook thing isn’t a done deal yet — and not because the Cardinals lost interest, but because more pieces might be thrown into the mix before all’s said and done. The Padres may work their way into a three-team trade involving Westbrook.
If the latest rumors are correct, then the Pads have a shot at landing Cards outfielder Ryan Ludwick in exchange for a package of prospects sprinkled to St. Louis and Cleveland. But don’t count on it — the hours are ticking away until the deadline, and the Cards might not have the time or the inclination to get this deal done. Ludwick may ultimately end up staying put.
12:35 p.m.: If the White Sox can’t land Adam Dunn or Brad Hawpe, maybe they settle for a 12-time All-Star and surefire future Hall of Famer. How about Manny Ramirez?
Numerous sources have indicated that the Pale Hose have inquired lately about Manny. It’s a good fit — Chicago needs one more bat, and Manny would probably love nothing more than to go back to the American League, slide into a DH role, and help another team in a pennant race.
The question, though, is whether the Dodgers would be willing to give him up. Don’t hold your breath on that one.
12:20 p.m.: With Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt — and now Jake Westrbrook, too — already gone, the best pitcher remaining on the trading block may be the Cubs’ Ted Lilly. What are the odds of the Dodgers snatching him up?
According to several sources, quite good. The Dodgers have been working with the Cubbies to figure out a deal for Lilly, and possibly shortstop Ryan Theriot as well. Lilly would be a nice pickup for the Dodgers — they’re already dangerous at the top of their rotation with Clayton Kershaw and Hiroki Kuroda, but they could use one more arm. Smart money says Lilly is their guy.
12:05 p.m.: Adam Dunn to the Yankees might be dead, but that doesn’t mean the Washington slugger is off the table. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal is now telling us to “expect the unexpected,” as the Nats continue to make their rounds in search of a suitor for Dunn.
Who are the “longshots” being explored for Dunn? Could it be the White Sox, Rays or Padres? Or could it even be the Red Sox, re-emerging as a front-runner and finally getting that extra bat they need for the stretch run?
We shall see. Over these last four hours, anything is possible.
11:50 a.m.: All the mid-morning buzz points to the Cardinals acquiring Cleveland hurler Jake Westbrook. Westbrook is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. Saturday for the Indians in Toronto, but it doesn’t look like that’s gonna happen.
Westbrook has about $4 million remaining on the three-year, $33 million deal he signed before the 2008 season. He’ll make a nice addition to a Cardinals rotation that’s already stacked with Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter and the youngster Jaime Garcia. That’s a mighty strong 1-2-3-4 punch in St. Louis.
11:35 a.m.: If you get a chance, take a look at last night’s Phillies box score. You might take it as a cautionary tale.
Oswalt was a complete mess in his Phillies debut, allowing five runs (four of them earned) on seven hits in six innings. He walked two Nationals, struck out four and hit two.
Just goes to show that not every blockbuster trade works out right away. And remember, the Phils gave up the promising J.A. Happ to land the soon-to-be-33 Oswalt.
11:20 a.m.: One of the more interesting storylines to follow in the hours leading up to this trading deadline: What are the Toronto Blue Jays going to do?
In any other division, being five games over .500 with two months to play, the Jays would be contenders and likely deadline buyers. But they’re out of the race in the AL East, and you have to wonder how much longer they can hold onto their most sought-after assets.
Every indication is that the asking price remains high for the Jays’ two bullpen arms, Scott Downs and Jason Frasor, as well as for the two-month rental of Jose Bautista’s fluky career year. What’s the holdup? The Jays might as well try to get something back. Especially for Bautista, whose trade value has never been higher than it is right now.
11:05 a.m.: If you’re looking for the latest news and analysis on the two worst teams in the National League, then today’s your lucky day. Read on.
The Pirates have finally landed the coup de grace and acquired a serviceable catcher than can draw walks and not be a complete liability: Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to Chris Snyder. Snyder is headed to Pittsburgh in exchange for Ryan Church and Bobby Crosby.
It is woefully unclear what either team stands to gain from this transaction. But it’s a long two months from here to the end, so both the Bucs and D-Backs should make the most of their coast into a last-place finish.
10:50 a.m.: The Red Sox are running out of options for that big outfield bat. Berkman is off the table, and Kearns as well — now it appears that Cody Ross is no longer an option.
The latest buzz is that Ross is staying put with the Marlins, meaning the Red Sox will just have to keep fishing for their extra outfielder.
Although given Ross’s numbers — he’s 29 and putting up a decidedly mediocre .740 OPS this season — my guess is that the Sox will survive.
10:35 a.m.: In addition to the All-Star Berkman, the other piece of the Yankees’ plan for “World Domination Through Outfield Depth” is Austin Kearns.
Kearns has a .354 on-base percentage in 342 plate apperances as a regular starter for the Indians this season. He’s not much of a power threat now at 30, and he’s never had much speed, but he’ll make for a perfectly fine fourth outfielder in the Bronx. Expect Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher to remain entrenched in their starting outfield jobs, and Berkman to DH. Kearns will be a nice bench centerpiece.
And apparently, both Berkman and Kearns will be in uniform today for the Bronx Bombers.
10:20 a.m.: You know how a lot of guys say they’re not fazed by trade rumors, how it’s no big deal to them? Well, it’s easy to talk like that. Brad Hawpe is playing like it.
Rumors have been flying around him all week, and he’s responded by hitting safely in his last four games, going 5-for-12 with two homers and four RBIs. Not a bad way to prove to the world that the rumors don’t mean a thing. Just keep hitting, Brad.
One question, though: Could you do it in a White Sox or Padres uniform? Because by the end of the day, you just might have to.
10:05 a.m.: So what’s the Rays’ big counterattack they’ve got planned, now that the Yankees are closing in on Lance Berkman? Uh oh … it’s … no, don’t tell me it’s … yep. It’s Chad Qualls.
Qualls, he of the 8.29 ERA in 38 innings this season, is headed to the Rays, according to multiple sources, and the Diamondbacks are getting little more than a player to be named later back for their middle-relief arm.
Hard to imagine Grant Balfour or Rafael Soriano losing too much sleep over this one. Their jobs are still safe — Qualls is 32 and enduring the nightmarish season of a lifetime.
Is that all you’ve got, Andrew Friedman? Your team could really use a bigger push than that.
9:50 a.m.: Basic laws of supply and demand would seem to imply that this won’t be a very good trade deadline for the Red Sox.
The Sox’ two greatest needs, in this writer’s opinion, are another bullpen arm and another outfield bat. And neither of those commodities is looking plentiful on the trading block this July.
The Sox aren’t contenders for a big name like Dunn. And while relievers aren’t completely scarce, the good ones (Trevor Hoffman, Scott Downs) are likely to stay put unless the Sox come up with an offer to blow a GM away.
How much is one extra arm worth? Is it worth selling off your future when you’re 7 1/2 games out on July 31?
9:35 a.m.: Is it just me, or are the Nationals playing a glorified game of “chicken” with all of the other 29 teams in baseball?
Adam Dunn is on the trading block. It makes sense that the Nats would move him — they’re out of the hunt at 14 1/2 games back of the Braves, and Dunn is their highest-paid player at $12 million this year. And yet every indication is that there’s no urgency to move him? Mike Rizzo might just … stand pat?
Not sure how that makes any sense for Washington. Dunn is a guaranteed 40 homers every year — he’s going to get paid. The Nats need to get something back for him while they still can, and Saturday’s their last chance.
Just don’t send him to the Yankees.
9:20 a.m.: And the rich get richer, right? Sounds like Lance Berkman is on the verge of becoming a New York Yankee. As if the Bronx Bombers weren’t already loaded.
If what we’re hearing — mainly from ESPN’s Buster Olney — is correct, we’re to believe that the five-time All-Star can be had without a fight. No big-time prospects required to finish the deal, just a promise to finish paying Berkman’s salary for this season. So for about $4 million, the Yanks get a .959 OPS for the middle of their order. Hello, World Series.
6:50 a.m.: As we approach baseball’s non-waiver trade deadline Saturday afternoon, big news already has broken over the past month.
Cliff Lee is now a Texas Ranger, gearing up to help his new team win the AL West for the first time in over a decade. Roy Oswalt is now with the Philadelpia Phillies — he debuted Friday night for the two-time defending NL champions.
But as the final hours tick away until 4 p.m., there are still plenty more stories left to unfold. Will we see a new home for Adam Dunn? What about Brad Hawpe?
Who are the secondary hurlers on the trading block this summer, after Lee and Oswalt?
And what, if anything, will the Red Sox do? Will they go after bullpen help, perhaps in the form of a future Hall of Famer in Trevor Hoffman? Or add another bat? Or maybe, will they sit tight and do nothing at all?
A lot of questions are left to be answered. We’ll spend all day answering them.
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