Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hump Day Rumors - 7/23 Edition

Things are starting to heat up as we get closer to the July 31st trade deadline. Locally the Yankees are taking a look at Seattle's Jarrod Washburn, Pirates' lefties Damaso Marte and John Grabow, the Reds' Bronson Arroyo (yech), and the Rockies' Brian Fuentes. The Denver Post reports that a team source said the Rockies have asked for Rays Double-A starter Wade Hendrickson, the Yankees' Ian Kennedy, the Red Sox's Clay Buchholz or Mets minor-leaguer Jon Niese. The Yankees have even talked about the Jays A.J. Burnett.

The Post's George King reports that the Yankees have also sent a scout to watch the Dodgers' Derek Lowe, who becomes a free agent after this season. The Yankees are also looking at hitters Jason Bay, Xavier Nady, and others.

Many of the decisions regarding the Yankees plans will be made this Thursday when the front office meets in Tampa. According to the Daily News' Mark Feinsand, the Yankees will be going for it.

The meeting will include co-chairmen Hank and Hal Steinbrenner, president Randy Levine, general manager Brian Cashman, special adviser Gene Michael, pro scouting director Billy Eppler and senior VP Felix Lopez. Manager Joe Girardi isn't expected to be at the meeting, but he is expected to have some input.

A source with knowledge of the situation said that the Steinbrenner brothers have been pleased with the team's recent play, so they want to show the players that they are committed to winning this year by making moves to bolster the roster.

"They're ready to do whatever they need to do at the deadline," the source said. "They want to make a run this year."

A couple of minor trades did go through yesterday. For some reason the Houston Astros acquired left-hander Randy Wolf from the San Diego Padres for minor league Chad Reineke. Perhaps the Astros will look to re-deal Wolf since they aren't coming close to sniffing a playoff spot.

The Diamondbacks strengthened their bullpen by getting setup man/part-time closer Jon Rauch from the Washington Nationals for infielder Emilio Bonifacio. The Dbacks now have two of the tallest players in baseball in Rauch and Randy Johnson.

Okay, enough fact, back to rumor. The Cardinals, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch are looking for a left-hander. They've expressed interest in Orioles All-Star closer George Sherrill, who has 29 saves and a 3.83 ERA, Rangers set up man Eddie Guardado. The Brewers are said to be eyeing Sherrill as well.

According to the Baltimore Sun, the Brewers are close to signing former Orioles outfielder Jay Gibbons to a minor league contract. The oft-injured outfielder couldn't find a major league job after being named in the Mitchell Report last Fall. He's been playing this season for the Long Island Ducks in the Atlantic League.


Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports is reporting that the Yankees are looking for an offensive upgrade at catcher with Jorge Posada not expected to be able to play the position the remainder of the season. The Yankees have reportedly contacted the Texas Rangers about Gerald Laird and the Kansas City Royals about Miguel Olivo.

The Rangers are looking for young pitching in return for Laird, who is signed through 2010. The Royals are working hard to move Olivo, who would come at a lower asking price.

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