Indians wanted Matt Cain for Victor Martinez

According to a report by Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Indians wanted quite the haul from the Giants if they were to have acquired catcher Victor Martinez, who eventually wound up being traded to the Red Sox.

Sources said the Indians wanted a package led by either Matt Cain or Madison Bumgarner for Martinez, and the Giants are happy with a righty-lefty first base combo of Ryan Garko and Travis Ishikawa.

This report might not be true (after all, Schulman didn’t site his sources), but if it is, Cleveland GM Mark Shapiro had to have been hammered when he took the call from San Francisco GM Brian Sabean about V-Mart:

“Uh yeah, Mark? This is Brian Sabean from the Giants.”

“What can Brain I do for you Giants?”

“What? Is this Mark Shapiro from the Indians?”

“Yes siiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrrrr! Word up, man?”

“Uh yeah…hey listen Mark, I was wondering what kind of package you’d be looking for in a deal for Victor Martinez.”

“Matt Cain.”

“Matt Cain?”

“Matt Cain.”

“Are you drunk? Martinez is a good hitter, but he’s struggled this past month and he’s 30. Cain is only 24 and is a legit Cy Young candidate.”

“Fiiiiiiine…whatever, douche. Give me Madison Bumgarner then.”

“He’s our top pitching prospect! Seriously Mark, are you freaking sauced right now? And did you just call me a douche?”

“Tim Lincecum, Pablo Sandoval and Jonathan Sanchez….Sanchez can be the throw in.”

“Sober up, Mark.”

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MLB trade rumors: Martinez, Halladay, Lee & Garko

– The Brewers and Mariners are in serious talks that could send starter Jarrod Washburn to Milwaukee according to the Journal-Sentinel.

– The Yankees are looking for arms and according to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark, the Bombers are interested in the Bucs’ Ian Snell, John Grabow and Matt Capps, the Nats’ Joe Beimel, the Royals Ron Mahay, and the Reds’ Bronson Arroyo.

– The Giants are still in desperate need of bats and according to the San Francisco Chronicle, the Indians have been scouting the G-Men’s farm system. Could either Victor Martinez or Ryan Garko be on their way to San Fran?

– Despite Toronto GM J.P. Riccardi saying there is a very slim chance that a trade will happen, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that talks between the Phillies and Blue Jays remain intense. The paper also suggests that the Phillies could turn their attention to Cliff Lee if a deal for Halladay cannot be struck.

– According to the Boston Globe, the Red Sox still remain very much in the hunt for either Roy Halladay or Victor Martinez.

– The Dodgers are denying that a deal between them and the Indians involving Cliff Lee, Victor Martinez is in serious discussion. FOXSports.com reported over the weekend that L.A. and Cleveland were discussing a blockbuster trade that would send Lee and Martinez to the Dodgers for James Loney and either Chad Billingsley or Clayton Kershaw.

Pirates to hang onto Freddy Sanchez?

Over the past couple weeks a foregone conclusion around the baseball world was that the Pirates would wind up dealing second baseman Freddy Sanchez at some point before the July 31 trade deadline. Much like many Buc veterans before him, Sanchez was as good as gone.

But the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is now reporting that the Pirates aren’t engaged in any active talks regarding a Sanchez trade and that no deal is imminent. According to the report, the Bucs aren’t in any hurry to trade Sanchez and might wind up keeping him in a Pirate uniform for the foreseeable future.

That said, what Pirate isn’t available? This organization has prided itself on losing over the past 15-plus years and seemingly wouldn’t hesitate trading one of its veteran players. Sanchez is also their biggest trade piece and if a contender like the Giants or Rockies puts together a deal involving multiple prospects, it would be hard for the shaky Pittsburgh front office to sit idle.

Chances are, the Bucs are playing coy and Sanchez will still be dealt at some point over the next two weeks. If Colorado put together a trade package that included Eric Young Jr., I highly doubt Pittsburgh would take a pass.

Report: Pirates pushing hard to deal Freddy Sanchez

One of the more intriguing names on the trade market is Pirates second baseman Freddy Sanchez, who is currently batting .316 with six dingers and 33 RBI. And as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting, the Bucs are pushing hard to deal him before the trade deadline.

Two teams that covet the second baseman are the Giants and Rockies, each of whom are battling it out behind the Dodgers in the NL West and are in the thick of things for the NL Wild Card. Sanchez would be a nice catch for either team, although something for both clubs to consider is his salary. The All-Star makes $6.1 million this year and will make $8 million in 2010 if he picks up another 271 plate appearances before the end of the season.

Colorado might hold an edge over San Fran in the Sanchez sweepstakes because Pittsburgh is reportedly gaga over Rockies’ minor leaguer Eric Young. The 24-year-old has 23 extra base hits, 37 walks and a whopping 47 steals so far in the minors and if the Rox are willing to part with him, they could have Sanchez in uniform sooner rather than later.

That said, the Giants always have an abundance of pitching, but whether or not they’re willing to give any of it up remains to be scene. Madison Bumgarner and Tim Alderson are certainly out of the question, but GM Brian Sabean could still put a decent package together with the likes of Jonathan Sanchez or Kevin Pucetas, coupled with a couple of offensive prospects. (Sabean would probably be willing to throw Fred Lewis into the mix as well, although who knows if the Bucs would even want the struggling 28-year-old outfielder.)

It’ll be interesting to see which team eventually winds up making a move for Sanchez. Either way, it appears that his days in Pittsburgh are numbered.

Firesale to continue? Pirates exploring trades for Sanchez, LaRoche

In recent weeks, the last place Pirates have already traded away popular centerfielder Nate McLouth to the Braves, and speedy outfielder Nyjer Morgan, backup fielder Eric Hinske and reliever Sean Burnett to the Nationals. And despite some Bucs players (ahem, Jack Wilson) being critical of the front office’s shrewd moves, more might be coming.

According to a report by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pirates and Giants have had trade talks involving second baseman Freddy Sanchez and first baseman Adam LaRoche. Although both players are being discussed, Sanchez appears to be the Giants’ main target of interest because they prefer a right-handed first basemen and LaRoche is a lefty.

San Fran is currently 1.5 games up on Milwaukee for the NL Wild Card lead and desperately needs offense despite recently feasting on Houston pitching over the weekend (the Giants scored 23 runs in three games). They currently have a gaping hole at second base, where Emmanuel Burriss, Matt Downs, Kevin Frandsen and Juan Uribe have all split time this season.

Sanchez, who currently leads the Pirates in average (.316) and on-base percentage (.832), would be an excellent fit for a Giants team that has a postseason berth in their sights but also doesn’t want to give up future prospects in the process. A deal including 26-year old lefty starter Jonathan Sanchez and a prospect or two would probably net Freddy Sanchez, all while allowing San Fran to hang onto top farm players Madison Bumgarner, Tim Alderson, Angel Villalona and Buster Posey.

While moving either Sanchez or LaRoche (or both) would cause another ripple affect on the Pirates’ clubhouse and their fan base, both players can be free agents next year and obviously aren’t in Pittsburgh’s future plans. Much like their prior deals involving McLouth and Morgan, the Bucs are probably hoping to get young players in return in an attempt (however feeble it may be) to compete down the line.

Jonathan Sanchez has struggled mightily this year, but he was viewed as a potential No. 3 starter as early as this year and he has excellent stuff. He has major control issues that need to be ironed out, but at 26 years old he still has a ton of potential and is a high strikeout pitcher.

We’ll see if the Pirates and Giants eventually pull the trigger on a deal.

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