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.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Wednesday MLB Trade Rumor Thread


With the MLB trade deadline approaching on Friday, I’ll post everything I see and hear regarding the rumors in baseball. So bookmark this page and come back to it, because I’ll be updating it frequently throughout the day today.

Cliff Lee:
FOX Sports.com writes that the Dodgers are pushing hard for Indians’ ace Cliff Lee, who is also being pursued by the Phillies. Philadelphia has already made a formal offer of Triple-A right hander Carlos Carrasco, shortstop Jason Donald, catcher Lou Marson and Single-A right hander Jason Knapp to Cleveland for Lee.

Yahoo! Sports is also reporting that the Phillies are on the verge of acquiring Lee for Carrasco, Knapp and two more minor league players.

Jack Wilson and Ian Snell:
– According to a report by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pirates have traded shortstop Jack Wilson and Ian Snell to the Mariners for Jeff Clement, Ronny Cedeno and right handed pitchers Aaron Pribanic, Brett Lorin and Nathan Adcock. Clement is a 25-year old catcher who had been hot in Triple-A in May, but the Seattle organization seemingly soured on him long before that.

Freddy Sanchez:
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that a deal between the Pirates and Giants involving second baseman Freddy Sanchez could be imminent. Sanchez has been held out of the Bucs’ last couple games due to a knee injury, which could have slowed down negotiations between the two clubs. But apparently the injury isn’t serious and a deal could be done as early as today.

– The Gazette is reporting that there is no major issues with Sanchez’s knee and is currently listed as day to day.

– Dejan Kovacevic writes via his Twitter page that Sanchez gave the Bucs a contract proposal of 3-years, $20 million, but the club rejected it.

Jarrod Washburn:
– The Brewers are no longer pursing starter Jarrod Washburn according to FOX Sports.com. Milwaukee apparently doesn’t want to give up any of their top prospects in order to make a push this season, so what you currently see is what you’re going to get with the Brewers the rest of the season.

Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse is reporting that the Reds have acquired outfielder Wladimir Balentien from the Mariners in exchange for RHP Robert Manuel.

Red Sox trade two minor leaguers for Pirates’ Adam LaRoche

The Red Sox found their answer for spelling the oft-injured Mike Lowell as they traded for Pirates’ first baseman Adam LaRoche on Wednesday. Pittsburgh acquires minor leaguers Argenis Diaz and Hunter Strickland in the exchange.

This isn’t going to be a move that sets Boston apart from the Yankees or Rays in the AL East, but on the days Lowell needs to rest his fickle body, Kevin Youkilis will slide over to third and LaRoche – who is an upgrade over Mike Kotsay – will play first. BoSox fans aren’t going to do back flips in the streets after this move (especially considering LaRoche is hitting below .250 and his defense is below average), but they didn’t give up much and he gives them a better bat than Kotsay in a three-man platoon with Youkilis and Lowell.

As for the Bucs, they did well getting two young players for LaRoche, who becomes a free agent after this season and wasn’t going to be worth bringing back anyway. Garrett Jones (who apparently is Mickey Mantle of all a sudden) can now slide over to first to fill LaRoche’s vacant spot in the field.

Comment fodder: Are the Red Sox done, or will they still pursue another bat? And now that they’ve shipped LaRoche out of town, is Freddy Sanchez the next one to be traded by Pittsburgh?

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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