Several readers have emailed me letting me know the Pittsburgh Post Gazett is reporting that the Pirates have "acquired starting pitcher Matt Morris from the San Francisco Giants for outfielder Rajai Davis and a player to be named later".
This must have been one of the last deals to be allowed as it wasn’t announced until well after the 3pm eastern deadline. MLB.com has more on the deal.
What a day for Boston sports fans! Not only did the Celtics land Kevin Garnett, but the AL East leading Boston Red Sox have acquired closer Eric Gagne from the Texas Rangers. According to ESPN.com "Boston sent left-hander Kason Gabbard and minor league outfielders David Murphy and Engel Beltre to the Rangers" for the once dominant closer. Gagne set the all time record converting 82 straight save opportunities for the Dodgers but three surgeries had all but ended his career before this year’s comeback performance. The Rangers did a great job of getting maximum value for their free-agent-to-be. Not only did they acquire three prospects for what is likely a rental by Boston, the Red Sox also are reportedly picking up 2.1 million of Gagne’s performance bonuses.
Guest blogged by Derrek Wonderland
Various sources are reporting that the Braves have finalized a deal with the Royals for RP Octavio Dotel, sending SP Kyle Davies to Kansas City.
Dotel will be a very nice bullpen piece for the Braves, who are showing signs of an urgency to win now. We are not sure exactly how Bobby Cox will use him, but there are some theories that John Shuerholtz will now be willing to deal Bob Wickman and make Dotel the closer. If that does not happen then the Braves will have a formidable bullpen with Wickman, Rafael Soriano, and Dotel.
Davies is a 23 yr old pitcher who has been very inconsistent during his tenure with the Braves. Once touted as the best pitching prospect in the organization, Davies has struggled this year going 4-8 with a 5.76 ERA. Royals GM Dayton Moore has spent the last decade or so with the Braves, so he is very familiar with Davies and must feel that his best days are ahead of him.
As a Braves fan, I am sad to see Davies go because I know he has a ton of potential, but the bullpen was beginning to break down and now is aided by another big arm.
The St. Louis Cardinals are desperate for starting pitching, and it shows. ESPN.com is reporting that they "acquired right-hander Joel Pineiro, optioned to the minors last week by the Boston Red Sox, and cash for a minor league player to be named." Pineiro certainly isn’t going to fill the void left by injured ace Chris Carpenter but I guess when you have Kip Wells and Anthony Reyes combining for 23 of the Cardinals 53 losses, you can’t be too picky. Who knows, maybe this will turn into another Dave Duncan reclamation success story.
Stay tuned, only 2 and a half hours left until the deadline.
ESPN.com is reporting that the Dodgers have dealt Wilson Bentiment to the Yankees for reliever Scott Proctor. The Dodgers have been looking for bullpen help and apparently they believe Proctor will be just that. Bentiment was only batting .230 with the Dodgers but provided some pop and still has some upside. Plus, he can play about a million positions so he might be viewed as ARod’s replacement if/when he opts out at the end of the year.
Sorry I’m a bit behind on the rest of the rumors and trades. I’ll try to catch up as the day progresses.
The Cincinatti Reds have traded pitcher Kyle Lohse for Matt Maloney, a lefty from the Phil’s Double A team. Lohse has had an up and down season but maybe a change of scenery will help him out. Several teams had been rumored to be kicking the tires on the Reds’ starter, I would have thought the Reds could command more for him.
Ken Rosenthall of Fox Sports is reporting that the Atlanta Braves have acquired star slugger Mark Teixeira. This will be a HUGE deal if the report ends up being accurate. For what it’s worth Rosenthall is almost always right on these things.
"The deal is done, pending a review of the medical records of the players involved, according to major-league sources.
The Braves will receive Teixeira and left-handed reliever Ron Mahay.
The Rangers will receive catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Class A shortstop Elvis Andrus and two pitching prospects."
That’s quite a bounty and I like Salty a LOT but you’ve got to think this will be a big boost for the Braves. I’d love to hear what guest blogger Derrek Wonderland has to say about it, since the Braves are his hometown team.
As I mentioned before, just going to be throwing up quick updates over the next 29 hours and counting. Despite their 3-1 weekend against first place Milwaukee, it looks like the St. Louis Cardinals will be sellers. Several teams have scouted the defending champs’ pen and both the Rockies and Indians appear to be interested in Troy Percival. Several other teams would be interested in Jason Isringhausen but he "has told the Cardinals he isn’t going anywhere."
Well, I’ve been struggling to keep up with the rumors lately, but thankfully, guest blogger Derrek Wonderland is on top of things. Here’s his Trade Deadline Rumor Roundup!
Mark Teixeira Update: Most sources are reporting that the Braves are still the front-runners to land slugging 1B Mark Teixeira. The centerpiece of their proposed deal is C/1B Jarrod Saltalamacchia, but they would also include a pitcher (either Matt Harrison, Kyle Davies, or Jo-Jo Reyes), and an infielder, either 18 year old phenom Elvis Andrus or Brent Lillibridge. The Braves are asking for a left-handed reliever to be included in the deal, either CJ Wilson or Ron Mahay.
The Angels are also believed to be in the running with their offer of young 1B Casey Kotchman and a couple of other pitchers, probably Ervin Santana and Joe Saunders. The Dodgers and Diamondbacks are said to be interested and both teams have enough young prospects to be a serious player in the Teixeira sweepstakes.
All indications are that the Rangers will wait as long as possible and drag this out right down to the wire.
Jermaine Dye: Dye’s name has been involved in trade talk all season, and with less than 2 days before the trade deadline, he is a central figure in many trade rumors. The Cubs, Mets, and Red Sox are all reported to have an interest in trading for the 2005 World Series MVP. The Cubs are undoubtedly concerned about the durability of LF Cliff Floyd and could possibly send OF Matt Murton back across town in return. The Mets OF has been banged up all season which makes them a player in the Dye talks, and the Red Sox want to add a bat because David Ortiz’s knee is an issue.
Dye is considered to be the most likely White Sox player to be traded before Tuesday’s 3pm deadline.
Octavio Dotel: Dotel is essentially the Royals only coveted trade piece and has been rumored in trades with several teams, including the Indians, Mets, Dodgers, Tigers, Red Sox, and Mariners.
Luis Castillo: Reports are surfacing that the Mets and Twins are in serious talks surrounding 2B Luis Castillo. The Twins had scouts at Shea stadium all weekend, but reportedly are not interested in any Mets on the current roster. So if a deal is done, it will most certainly involve prospects.
Joe Blanton: The Newark Star-Ledger is reporting that A’s pitcher Joe Blanton has been rumored in a trade with the Mets for OF Lastings Millege and another prospect, but the Mets aren’t able to trade Millege right now due to the injury issues of their OF.
I’ll check in with more updates over the next 29 hours but don’t expect a whole lot of analysis with them. Thanks again Derrek for your roundup. I’m sure all of our readers appreciate it as well.
Guest Blogged by James Cook
With the Cubs up for sale and a final price that may go north of a billion dollars, it’s time to start talking about an aspect of this deal that has been largely ignored: What does the future hold for Wrigley Field? After all, isn’t it likely that a new owner who plops down a cool billion for the Cubs might expect to house his team in more expansive (and expensive) digs than the current 91-year-old park? At the very least, it’s reasonable to assume the new owner will be looking for some sort of upgrade. What form that will take will ultimately depend on how much change Cubs fans will accept and how much the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois are willing to shell out.
Here are the four options I see and my take on the chances of them playing out:
A New Wrigley Field
It’s hard to imagine Cubs baseball without Wrigley Field and it’s hard to imagine the powers that be will let it happen. But, if they can tear down the House that Ruth Built, who’s to say it won’t happen in Chicago? And, if that’s the price Cub fans have to pay for ending a century old World Series drought, I’m thinking most of them will be willing to say good-bye to the ivy-covered walls. Before you totally discount the idea, consider that the hundredth anniversary of Wrigley Field and the hoped-for Chicago Olympics are both scheduled for 2016. Might the Wrigley Centennial end up being a giant good-bye party with the Cubs moving to a (taxpayer-financed) Olympic field in 2017?
One more thing, if there is a new Wrigley Field, don’t count on it being named Wrigley. But I’ll get to naming rights later.
Chances for a new Wrigley: Remote
A second option is to gut Wrigley and build a brand new ballpark within the carcass of the old one. It’s a tactic Chicagoans are familiar with from the recent “renovation” of Soldier Field and one also used at Yankee Stadium in the seventies.
Would a “new” stadium that kept only the facade and ivy-covered walls of the old Wrigley Field still be Wrigley? Of course not! But, by offering a wink and a nod to the traditionalists, it just might fly.
On the negative side, it would probably require the Cubs and White Sox to share Comiskey – err, U.S. Cellular Field – for a year or two; surely one of the signs of the Apocalypse.
Chances for a rebuilt Wrigley: Even
If they can rename Comiskey, there’s little reason to believe it won’t happen at Wrigley. Illinois has over 30 companies in the Fortune 500, most of them near Chicago. I’m sure one of them would love to put their name on the facade. Boeing, which moved to Chicago in 2001 and is enjoying success with its new Dreamliner, seems a natural fit. With the wind blowing out, I can almost hear the announcers now, “It’s Boeing, Boeing, gone!” as the sound of Peter, Paul and Mary singing Leaving on a Jet Plane plays over the PA.
Chances for a renamed Wrigley: Almost certain
Of course it’s possible that the new owner will be a hard-core traditionalist who, after waving good-bye to his billion, will be content to sit in the bleachers and bask in the glow of Wrigley’s historic ambiance. It’s possible, but I don’t think Bob Costas has that kind of money.
Chances for no change: None, nada, zip!