MLB Trade Rumors: Are the Rays willing to trade B.J. Upton?

Seattle Mariners catcher Josh Bard throws back the baseball after the Tampa Bay Rays B.J. Upton got a called strike during the third inning of their MLB American League baseball game in St. Petersburg, Florida September 26, 2010. REUTERS/Scott Audette (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

I’ve put together a small buffet of latest MLB trade rumors for your reading pleasure. So bon appetit, douche bag. (That wasn’t very nice.)

Rays listening to offers for Upton?
ESPN’s Buster Olney believes that the Rays “will listen to just about every trade proposal thrown their way” in regards to centerfielder B.J. Upton. The 26-year-old is hitting just .237 on the season and is due $4.825 million before hitting free agency. He has yet to match his output from 2007 when he slugged .508 as a 22-year-old, but he’s entering the prime of his career and his defense is solid. The problem is that the centerfield market is relatively strong this year compared to other positions. Coco Crisp and Marlon Byrd are viable options and David DeJesus sometimes passes as a Major League Baseball player. If Colby Rasmus and/or Michael Bourn become available as well, contenders won’t feel the need to pay big for Upton.

Mets 100 percent certain to keep Reyes?
Olney tweets that the Mets are now “100 percent certain” that they won’t trade shortstop Jose Reyes before the deadline. A couple of months ago it seemed like a slam-dunk that the Mets would trade the 28-year-old, but obviously their stance on the topic has changed. Even though they’re are a long shot to win the NL Wild Card this year, it appears as though they don’t want to anger fans by trading away one of their beloved players. Now they’ll have to figure out how they’re going to pay Reyes the Carl Crawford-type money that he’s allegedly seeking.

Beltran given a list of possible trade suitors
Tim Brown and Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports are reporting that the Mets gave Carlos Beltran a list of possible trade suitors to consider. It’s unclear what teams are on that list but Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Cleveland have all been mentioned as potential landing spots over these last couple of weeks. That said, I want to officially go on record as predicting that the Giants will eventually bow out of the Beltran sweepstakes. New York sports radio was abuzz last week with the possibility of the Mets landing top prospect Zach Wheeler in exchange for Beltran. But New York sports radio is also drunk. The Giants aren’t going to give up Wheeler or Brandon Belt in any deal, so unless the Mets want to settle for a package centered around Johnny O. Sanchez (which is highly doubtful), I don’t think San Fran and New York will be a fit.

Pirates looking at the A’s Willingham, Breslow
It looks like the first place Pirates will be buyers at the trade deadline this year. I don’t know what alternate universe I’ve stepped into to start a paragraph by saying the “first place Pirates will be buyers” but I’ll go with it until I wake up. According to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the Bucs are mulling a potential trade with the A’s for outfielder Josh Willingham and left-hander Craig Breslow. I, along with other media members, believed that the offseason additions of Willingham, Hideki Matsui and David DeJesus would give the pitching-stacked A’s enough offense to win the AL West this year. But I, along with other media members, am not that bright. Biertempfel also speculates that Garrett Jones would likely be “out the door” in a potential swap with Oakland.

Reds targeting James Shields?
Olney tweets that James Shields is on the Reds’ radar right now, noting that the Rays’ scouts have been scouting Cincinnati’s minor leaguers this week. Shields signed a four-year extension with the Rays in 2009, but his contract is flexible in that he has club options for 2012, 2013 and 2014. The 29-year-old has been solid this season, compiling a 2.60 ERA with 145 strikeouts over 148 2/3 innings, so he won’t come cheap in terms of prospects. MLBTradeRumors.com speculates that other teams that may be interested are the Indians, Rangers, Pirates, Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Rangers.

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