Saturday, July 31, 2010

Countdown to the trade deadline: Day 1

Here it is!  The deadline is here and for the last 31 days, we have been counting down to this day.  Many deals have happened this week, but teams have until 4:00 PM ET today to make a decision on their possible moves.  Teams can still put players through waivers, but this is the last day to trade before the process begins.

Song of the day: All the Right moves by One Republic



Deals are happening at an alarming rate for this time of year.  One thing that has happened to, is that players that have been rumoured to go, have indeed been dealt.  When Jorge Cantu is part of rumours and he is dealt, the people in the industry should pat themselves on the back, as getting the truth out of general managers now a days is a tough thing to do.

*New*  The Rays have acquired pitcher and former closer Chad Qualls from the Diamondbacks for a player to be named later. **

**New* The Yankees continued their spending and trades with a deal for the Indians Kerry Wood.  The Cubs finally traded Ted Lilly to the Dodgers and the White Sox and Angels asked about Manny Ramirez.  For all the deals this day and for this season, see the deals to date later in the blog.

The Diamondbacks are expected to deal Kelly Johnson, possibly to the Cubs Saturday.

Brett Myers might be a White Sox pitcher in the next few hours.
The White Sox are still expected to flip pitcher Edwin Jackson to the Nationals for Adam Dunn later today.

The Dodgers will have Ted Lilly pitching for them later in the week, according to multiple sources, it's just him and not Ryan Theriot coming to the Dodgers.

The Blue Jays will most likely hang on to all their impending free agents, Scott Downs, Lyle Overbay, Jason Frasor and Kevin Gregg unless a team absolutely knocks them out of the water.

The Mets and Tigers may go after Indians starter Jake Westbrook, but they better decide early, as he is the scheduled starter Saturday.

The Giants, desperate for a big bat, should just go after Prince Fielder and not worry about what else is out there.  The Giants haven't made a huge deals in ages and have the prospects to do something.

The Rays and Red Sox have been to quiet, and will upgrade the bullpens for sure today.

The Reds and Cardinals are looking to upgrade their rotations, but are David Bush or Aaron Cook really going to help?

The Twins may still have one more offer for Scott Downs or Will Ohman.

What was Roy Halladay worth? With the Oswalt deal now complete, the Jays officially acquired pitcher Kyle Drabek, catcher Travis d'Arnaud and OF Anthony Gose for Halladay.  Here is another side of Halladay from Cabbie at thescore.com



Recaps of the Deals to Date:
July 31:
Giants Get: P Ramon Ramirez

Red Sox Get: P Daniel Turpen

July 31:
Red Sox Get: C Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Rangers Get: 1B Chris McGuiness, player to be named later and / or cash

July 31:
Giants Get: P Javier Lopez

Pirates Get: P Joe Martinez & OF John Bowker

July 31:
Braves Get: OF Rick Ankiel & P Kyle Farnsworth

Royals Get: OF Gregor Blanco, P Jesse Chavez & P Tim Collins

July 31:
Braves Get: OF Wilkin Ramirez

Tigers Get: player to be named later

July 31:
Marlins Get: P Will Ohman

Orioles Get: P Rick VandenHurk

July 31:
Dodgers Get: P Octavio Dotel

Pirates Get: P James McDonald & OF Andrew Lambo

July 31:
Yankees Get: P Kerry Wood

Indians Get: player to be named

July 31:
Dodgers Get: P Ted Lilly & INF Ryan Theriot

Cubs Get: INF Blake DeWitt, P Brett Wallach & P Kyle Smit

July 31:
Padres Get: OF Ryan Ludwick

Cardinals Get: P Nick Greenwood

July 31:
Cardinals Get: P Jake Westbrook

Indians Get: P Corey Kluber (from SD)

July 31:
D'Backs Get: OF Ryan Church, INF Bobby Crosby & P D.J. Carrasco

Pirates Get: C Chris Snyder & INF Pedro Ciriaco

July 31:
Rays Get: P Chad Qualls

Diamondbacks Get: player to be named later
July 30:

Yankees Get: Austin Kearns

Indians Get: player to be named later

July 30:
White Sox Get: P Edwin Jackson

D'Backs Get: P Daniel Hudson & P David Holmberg

July 30:
Yankees Get: 1B Lance Berkman

Astros Get: P Mark Melancon & INF Jimmy Paredes

July 30:
Blue Jays Get: 1B Mike Jacobs

Mets Get: player to be named later

July 30:
Rangers Get: INF Christian Guzman

Nationals Get: P Ryan Tatusko & P Tanner Roark

July 29:
Twins Get: P Matt Capps

Nationals Get: C Wilson Ramos & P Joe Testa

July 29:
Padres Get: 3B Miguel Tejada & cash

Orioles Get: P Wynn Pelzer

July 29:
Rangers Get: 1B Jorge Cantu

Marlins Get: P Evan Reed & P Omar Poveda

July 29:
Blue Jays Get: OF Anthony Gose

Astros Get: 1B Brett Wallace

July 29:
Phillies Get: P Roy Oswalt and $11M

Astros Get: P J.A. Happ, OF Anthony Gose, SS Jonathan Villar

July 28:
Dodgers Get: OF Scott Podsednik

Royals Get: C Lucas May & P Elisaul Pimental

July 28:
Tigers Get: INF Jhonny Peralta

Indians Get: P Giovanni Soto

July 25:
Angels Get: P Dan Haren

D'Backs Get: P Joe Saunders, P Rafael Rodriguez, P Patrick Corbin & player to be named

July 22:
Angels Get: INF Alberto Callaspo

Royals Get: P Sean O'Sullivan & P Will Smith

July 14:
Braves Get: SS Alex Gonzalez, P Tim Collins & SS Tyler Pastornicky

Blue Jays Get: SS Yunel Escobar & P Jo-Jo Reyes

July 9:
Rangers Get: P Cliff Lee & P Mark Lowe

Mariners Get: 1B Justin Smoak, P Blake Beavan, P Josh Lueke & 2B Matt Lawson

July 7:
Pirates Get: P Sean Gallagher

Padres Get: Cash

July 1:
Giants Get: P Chris Ray & P Michael Main & Cash

Rangers Get: C Bengie Molina

July 1:
Red Sox Get: C Kevin Cas
Astros Get: INF Angel Sanchez

June 27:
Mariners Get: 1B Russell Branyan

Indians Get: OF Ezequiel Carrera & SS Juan Diaz

June 27:
Red Sox Get: 2B Eric Patterson

A's Get: P Fabian Williamson

June 22:
Orioles Get: C Jake Fox

A's Get: P Ross Wolf

June 15:
A's Get: OF Conor Jackson

D'Backs Get: P Sam Demel

June 1:
Pirates Get: P Dana Eveland

Blue Jays Get: P Ronald Uviedo

May 2:
D'Backs Get: P Carlos Rosa

Royals Get: SS Rey Navarro

April 15:
Blue Jays Get: OF Fred Lewis

Giants Get: Player to be named

Friday, July 30, 2010

Countdown to the trade deadline: Day 2

Song of the day: Let's make a deal (theme song)



Just kidding!

Real song of the day: ZZ Top - Deal Goin' Down


Just one day to go before the deadline and teams have sure been busy.  Dan Haren and Roy Oswalt are off the market, and now it's the hitters who are in high demand.

*TRADE UPDATE*

The Yankees acquired Lance Berkman from the Astros for 2 minor-league players.  Berkman agreed to waive his no-trade clause and will become the Yankees DH and start at first for Teixeira on occasion.

The Dodgers are close to acquiring Ted Lilly from the Cubs.  Lilly will fir in great with the Dodgers, but is this enough to get them to the playoffs?

For all other deals today; check the deals to date later in the blog.

After the Nationals traded closer Matt Capps last night to the Twins, many were wondering who the closer would be?  The Nationals have said that Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard and Sean Burnett will all get save chances, but Storen is the guy you will see in there more often than not.

Capps becomes the closer for the Twins, while Jon Rauch moves to the set-up role.  The Twins like the deal, since they could afford to give up a catching prospect with Mauer the top guy and Capps has one more year of arbitration left, so he's not just a rental.

According to reports, the White Sox are close to acquiring Edwin Jackson from the Diamondbacks for pitching prospect Daniel Hudson.  The White Sox would then trade Jackson to the Nationals for Adam Dunn.

The Dodgers are close to acquiring Ted Lilly and Ryan Theriot from the Cubs, although Ted Lilly would rather remain in Chicago.

The Nationals had to put Stephen Strasburg on the disabled list due to his trouble the other day with his shoulder warming up in the bullpen.  His replacement that night, Miguel Batista, had some interesting words regarding the boos! from the Nationals faithful after the game.

What was Roy Halladay worth?  With the Oswalt deal now complete, the Jays officially acquired pitcher Kyle Drabek, catcher Travis d'Arnaud and OF Anthony Gose for Halladay.

The Mets and Tigers may be sellers now, after terrible starts to the second half.  The Rockies have already decided to sell, as Brad Hawpe and Aaron Cook might be dealt.

The Rays top prospect, Jeremy Hellickson, was pulled from his triple-A start last night?  The Rays have said they are watching his innings, but is pitcher Wade Davis maybe on the move?

The Reds, very quiet for a team leading the division (Central), have prospect Yonder Alonso available according to multiple sources.  The Reds need a starting pitcher and some help in the outfield.  The Reds will have Joey Votto at first for a long time, so Alonso, a first baseman, is available at the right price.

We will now know very soon if Jose Bautista, Adam Dunn, Brad Hawpe, Corey Hart, Prince Fielder, Lyle Overbay and Ty Wigginton will change teams. Here are the deals that have happened so far.

Recaps of the Deals to Date:

July 30:
Yankees Get: Austin Kearns

Indians Get: player to be named later

July 30:
White Sox Get: P Edwin Jackson

D'Backs Get: P Daniel Hudson & P David Holmberg

July 30:
Yankees Get: 1B Lance Berkman

Astros Get: P Mark Melancon & INF Jimmy Paredes

July 30:
Blue Jays Get: 1B Mike Jacobs

Mets Get: player to be named later

July 30:
Rangers Get: INF Christian Guzman
Nationals Get: P Ryan Tatusko & P Tanner Roark

July 29:
Twins Get: P Matt Capps

Nationals Get: C Wilson Ramos & P Joe Testa

July 29:
Padres Get: 3B Miguel Tejada & cash

Orioles Get: P Wynn Pelzer

July 29:
Rangers Get: 1B Jorge Cantu

Marlins Get: P Evan Reed & P Omar Poveda

July 29:
Blue Jays Get: OF Anthony Gose

Astros Get: 1B Brett Wallace

July 29:
Phillies Get: P Roy Oswalt and $11M

Astros Get: P J.A. Happ, OF Anthony Gose, SS Jonathan Villar

July 28:
Dodgers Get: OF Scott Podsednik

Royals Get: C Lucas May & P Elisaul Pimental

July 28:
Tigers Get: INF Jhonny Peralta

Indians Get: P Giovanni Soto

July 25:
Angels Get: P Dan Haren

D'Backs Get: P Joe Saunders, P Rafael Rodriguez, P Patrick Corbin & player to be named

July 22:
Angels Get: INF Alberto Callaspo

Royals Get: P Sean O'Sullivan & P Will Smith

July 14:
Braves Get: SS Alex Gonzalez, P Tim Collins & SS Tyler Pastornicky

Blue Jays Get: SS Yunel Escobar & P Jo-Jo Reyes

July 9:
Rangers Get: P Cliff Lee & P Mark Lowe

Mariners Get: 1B Justin Smoak, P Blake Beavan, P Josh Lueke & 2B Matt Lawson

July 7:
Pirates Get: P Sean Gallagher

Padres Get: Cash

July 1:
Giants Get: P Chris Ray & P Michael Main & Cash

Rangers Get: C Bengie Molina

July 1:
Red Sox Get: C Kevin Cash

Astros Get: INF Angel Sanchez

June 27:
Mariners Get: 1B Russell Branyan

Indians Get: OF Ezequiel Carrera & SS Juan Diaz

June 27:
Red Sox Get: 2B Eric Patterson

A's Get: P Fabian Williamson

June 22:
Orioles Get: C Jake Fox

A's Get: P Ross Wolf

June 15:
A's Get: OF Conor Jackson

D'Backs Get: P Sam Demel

June 1:
Pirates Get: P Dana Eveland

Blue Jays Get: P Ronald Uviedo

May 2:
D'Backs Get: P Carlos Rosa

Royals Get: SS Rey Navarro

April 15:
Blue Jays Get: OF Fred Lewis

Giants Get: Player to be named

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Countdown to the trade deadline: Day 3

Only 3 days to go until the deadline, and after a few quiet days, the rumours are full effect and Oswalt is finally dealt...

First though, the song of the day,

B.o.B: Airplanes featuring Hayley Williams of Paramore


Listed at the end of the article will be all the MLB trades this year.  We will call it a recap to date.

*According to many reports late last night, the Phillies have acquired Roy Oswalt from the Astros.  The Phillies are only waiting for Oswalt to waive his no-trade to make this official.* The Astros would get J.A. Happ and 2 minor-league players, though Oswalt has never wanted to pitch on the East coast and has not ever wanted to pitch in Philadelphia according to people close to him.

*OSWALT UPDATE*

Roy Oswalt has agreed to waive his no-trade clause and becomes part of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Officallly, the deal is, Houston sends pitcher Roy Oswalt & $11 million to Philadelphia for pitcher J.A. Happ, OF Anthony Gose and SS Jonathan Villar.  The Astros will flip OF Anthony Gose to the Blue Jays in the deal.  The Blue Jays must know the Phillies farm system with last years trade of Roy Halladay.  In return for Gose, a very speedy outfielder, and a player the Jays have wanted since last season, goes first baseman Brett Wallace.  Wallace, a first round selection of the Cardinals, will join his 4th organization already. 

Philadelphia will not pickup the 2012 option in Oswalt's contract, once thought of as the major sticking point to any deal.  Oswalt now joins Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton and Kyle Kendrick on a pitching staff that is going to be tough for teams the final 2 months.

In his 10-year career in Houston, Oswalt went 143-82 with a 3.24 ERA.

In his career vs the Phillies, Oswalt went 6-2 with a 3.21 ERA, but is 4-0 lifetime in Citizens Bank Park in Phily.

The Phillies, needing pitching and offensive players, have contacted the Blue Jays about Jose Bautista, and why not.  Bautista leads the majors in home runs (30) and as absolutely been killing the ball the last 9 games (this with the Phillies scouts in attendance for those games).  Bautista would move to third while Polanco would play second.  Interesting if the Rays get involved to acquire Werth, while the Jays would receive Wade Davis?

The Angels, almost playing for next season it seems, had a deal with Derrek Lee and the Angels, only to see Lee use his 10 and 5 power to veto the deal.  The Angels are now expected to look at Jorge Cantu or Lyle Overbay to play first.

Prince Fielder may end up in Chicago if the White Sox want to part with young arm, Daniel Hudson

Roy Oswalt, says there is a 60% chance he will be dealt before the Phillies made their offer.  His teammate, Brett Myers is more likely to be on the move.  He has pitched into the 6th inning in all 21 starts this season.  Something that has gone un-noticed in the majors this season.  He will be a free agent after the season and has $2 million remaining this season.

The Phillies have offered J.A. Happ to all teams for other pitching including the Cubs, for Ted Lilly.

The Mets wanted Ted Lilly, but the Cubs are asking for the house.  The Mets are out of the running and the Twins are in the mix according to multiple sources.

The Blue Jays writers have been debating the Jose Bautista deal or no deal situation all week.

The Astros are now trying to deal 1B Lance Berkman, the White Sox may be a fit?  Brett Wallace would get the callup if Berkman is dealt.

Deals to Date:

July 29:
Padres Get: 3B Miguel Tejada & cash

Orioles Get: P Wynn Pelzer
July 29:
Rangers Get: 1B Jorge Cantu

Marlins Get: P Evan Reed & P Omar Poveda
July 29:
Blue Jays Get: OF Anthony Gose

Astros Get: 1B Brett Wallace
July 29:
Phillies Get: P Roy Oswalt and $11M

Astros Get: P J.A. Happ, OF Anthony Gose, SS Jonathan Villar
July 28:
Dodgers Get: OF Scott Podsednik

Royals Get: C Lucas May & P Elisaul Pimental

July 28:
Tigers Get: INF Jhonny Peralta

Indians Get: P Giovanni Soto

July 25:
Angels Get: P Dan Haren

D'Backs Get: P Joe Saunders, P Rafael Rodriguez, P Patrick Corbin & player to be named

July 22:
Angels Get: INF Alberto Callaspo

Royals Get: P Sean O'Sullivan & P Will Smith

July 14:
Braves Get: SS Alex Gonzalez, P Tim Collins & SS Tyler Pastornicky

Blue Jays Get: SS Yunel Escobar & P Jo-Jo Reyes

July 9:
Rangers Get: P Cliff Lee & P Mark Lowe

Mariners Get: 1B Justin Smoak, P Blake Beavan, P Josh Lueke & 2B Matt Lawson

July 7:
Pirates Get: P Sean Gallagher

Padres Get: Cash

July 1:
Giants Get: P Chris Ray & P Michael Main & Cash

Rangers Get: C Bengie Molina

July 1:
Red Sox Get: C Kevin Cash

Astros Get: INF Angel Sanchez

June 27:
Mariners Get: 1B Russell Branyan

Indians Get: OF Ezequiel Carrera & SS Juan Diaz

June 27:
Red Sox Get: 2B Eric Patterson

A's Get: P Fabian Williamson

June 22:
Orioles Get: C Jake Fox

A's Get: P Ross Wolf

June 15:
A's Get: OF Conor Jackson

D'Backs Get: P Sam Demel

June 1:
Pirates Get: P Dana Eveland

Blue Jays Get: P Ronald Uviedo

May 2:
D'Backs Get: P Carlos Rosa

Royals Get: SS Rey Navarro

April 15:
Blue Jays Get: OF Fred Lewis

Giants Get: Player to be named

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Countdown to the trade deadline: Day 4

Song of the day: Black Eyed Peas - I Gotta Feeling


*New*

*Trade alert:*  The Astros have traded Roy Oswalt to the Phillies according to multiple sources, including Fox 26 in Houston; The Phillies are waiting to see if Oswalt will waive his no-trade clause to make the deal work....details to follow...also,

**The Dodgers have acquired outfielder Scott Podsednik from the Royals for 2 minor-league players.

The Tigers have acquired infielder Jhonny Peralta from the Indians for P Giovanni Soto**

Another quiet day yesterday around the majors, which almost indicates things are about to happen.

Rumours, especially with Roy Oswalt and Prince Fielder have almost stopped, as teams now know the asking price for most of the players they want, now they have to make the decision if it's worth it.

The Yankees wanted Joakim Soria from the Royals, but he had a partial no-trade, which a lot of players have, we just don't know about them, and one of the teams in the no-trade was to the Yankees.

The Brewers know they have to make a decision on Prince Fielder soon.  They can trade their superstar first baseman now for 3 good prospects, or next year, when they would only get a couple.  They don't have the luxury that the Jays had with Roy Halladay, trading him in the off-season with the chance to sign long-term, as Prince will definitely test free-agency in 2012.  Remember in 2007, the Rangers faced the same situation with Mark Teixeira, and dealt him to the Braves along with P Ron Mahay for C Jarrod Saltalamacchia, SS Elvis Andrus (an all-star this season), P Neftali Feliz, P Matt Harrison and P Beau Jones.  Not bad for the Rangers since Teixeira took his show to the Yankees.

The Red Sox and Yankees know it will take a lot to get the Blue Jays Scott Downs.  Casey Kelly would be a name the Jays want from the Red Sox

Jorge Cantu will be dealt, but to the Rangers or the Giants is the question.

The Cubs P Ted Lilly looked good last night in what will be his last start as a Cub most likely.

Prediction:

The Red Sox will make a deal for a reliever in the next 48 hours.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Countdown to the trade deadline: Day 5

Song of the day: Train - Hey, Soul Sister


In what could of been a busy day yesterday, it turned out to be very quiet.  Rumours from ESPN, Foxsports and other outlets are all over the internet , but it seems a little too quiet all of a sudden.

The Roy Oswalt situation took a twist yesterday, as the Phillies found out he probably wouldn't accept a deal to Philadelphia.  The Cardinals found out he would want his option picked up in 2012 for almost $15 million, something they though he might waive to go to St. Louis.

The Rockies, now 8 games back of the Padres, have almost decided to be sellers, not buyers, in the next few days.  The Rockies Brad Hawpe, once though of as a big part of the offence, will be traded according to reports, even if they Rockies decide to by buyers after all.

The Reds are still looking for a starter, and have turned their attention to Edwin Jackson.  The D'Backs may deal Joe Saunders for younger players if the right deal is out there.

The Scott Downs "sweepstakes" is interesting as the Blue Jays don't want to trade within the division.

The Yankees may go after Chrisd Volstad and / or Leo Nunez if the Marlins decide to sell.

The Red Sox may pursue John Buck, but again, will the Jays trade within the division?

The Cubs would lobe to deal Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez, but Lee won't waive the no-trade and Ramirez is about to exercise his player option for next season.

Prediction:

Ted Lilly pitches his last game as a Cubs player tonight; traded to the Mets sometime tomorrow.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Countdown to the trade deadline: Day 6

This week, extrabasehit will feature a song of the day, to go along with the rumours of the day!



Eminem with Rihanna "Love the Way you Lie"

Now things should get interesting. Under a week to go, and things are heating up.

After a big name like Dan Haren has already been traded, speculation will obviously turn to the next best asset, that being the Astros Roy Oswalt, who already this morning is either going to the Cardinals or the Phillies, in really no surprise, these teams have been linked to him for weeks, but make a move already!

The Angels, 6 games back of the Rangers at the time of the deal, gave up some pieces, but really, they knew they had to do something before their season was over.  Joe Saunders is a good pitcher, but they acquire an ace, to go with Weaver, Pineiro and Santana.  They need to find a way to catch the Rangers, who continue to win ball games, as they took 3 of 4 games vs the Angels over the weekend.  Haren likes the deal, but will miss hitting as a National League player.  Haren was hitting over .400 this season!

The Rangers enjoyed their 2nd consecutive sellout yesterday. Winning does bring people back to the ball park.  That's why they can still talk about trying to acquire another starter, left-hander in the bullpen and a player to play first on occasion.  The names Jake Westbrook, Michael Wuertz and Jorge Cantu top their wish list.

Around the league:

The Orioles will be busy this week, deciding on Miguel Tejada's and Ty Wigginton's trade value.

The Blue Jays will listen to offers for Scott Downs, Jason Frasor and Kevin Gregg, John Buck, Lyle Overbay and Jose Bautista, but would have to be "knocked down" almost by the offers.

The Yankees, looking hard for help in the bullpen, wanted to acquire the Royals closer, J. Soria, but nothing has happened as of yet.  The Yankees keep saying they have top prospects, but only the catcher, Jesus Montero, fits that bill.  They might acquire Ricky Nolasco from the Marlins though.

The Phillies need a catcher, outfielder and starter we think, and Corey Hart, John Buck and Roy Oswalt would top their wish list.

The Reds have been quiet, with almost no rumours at all surrounding the team.  This leads us to believe they are up to something, as they can dangle top prospect, 1B Yonder Alonso, possibly to the Astros for Oswalt?  Houston will need a first baseman in the future, with the departure of Berkman and Joey Votto will stay at first for the Reds for a while, but trading within the division is rare.  Would the Jays Shaun Marcum fit in Cincinnati?

The Cubs Derrek Lee has been rumoured to be going for weeks now, but the Angels should make another move to help offensively.  Lyle Overbay and Derrek Lee would work for Anaheim, but the Rangers want Lee to play 5 days at first with Chris Davis still getting at-bats.  If the Rangers got Lee, he would play everyday.

Prediction:

The Cubs make a move soon with Lee and Lilly.

The Royals and Mets proposed deal for names like Meche, Francoeur and Oliver Perez will happen Monday.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Countdown to the trade deadline: Day 7

*Breaking News*

Diamondbacks trade P Dan Haren (7-8, 4.60 ERA, and earning $8.25 million this season) to the Angels for pitchers Joe Saunders (6-10, 4.62 ERA, and earning $3.7 million this season), Patrik Corbin (13-3 record in 2 levels of A ball) and Rafael Rodriguez (19 major league games in 2 seasons with the Angels) and a player (good prospect) to be named later.

This is a major surprise, as the big boys, Yankees, Tigers, Dodgers and Cardinals were all in the mix for the 86-70 career pitcher.  Haren has been rumoured for weeks now to be on the move, but only recently did the D'Backs mention his name publicly, and now the deal is done.

The Angels sit 6 games back of the division leading Rangers heading into tonight's action, and immediately upgrade the rotation.

Angels Rotation:
Jered Weaver
Dan Haren
Joel Pineiro
Ervin Santana
Trevor Bell
Scott Kazmir (when he returns from arm fatigue)

Contract status:

Dan Haren: has 2-years remaining on 4-year / $44.75M deal, will earn:

$12.75M in 2011
$12.75M in 2012
$15.5M in 2013 (club option with a $3.5M buyout)

Joe Saunders:

will be arbitration eligible for 2011 season; will earn more then the $3.7M he makes this season for 2011.

We knew the Angels weren't giving up the season, and this just proves that the Rangers will still have to fight for the division after all.  It wouldn't be a surprise to see the Rangers make another move now to one-up the Angels again, in what they believe is the year of the "Rangers"


As a tribute to the Expos Andre Dawson being inducted to the MLB Hall of Fame today, we bring you some Montreal memories, highlights all in one great video!



The last weekend before the deadline, and no trades as of this morning.

The rumours regarding Roy Oswalt are still out there, despite his outing Saturday vs the Reds, in which he allowed 6 earned runs and 9 hits in only 5 innings.  He suffered his 12th loss off the season to a Reds team that he usually dominates.  Oswalt is now 23-3 lifetime vs Cincinnati.  I guess the scouts in attendance scared him a bit!

One thing to examine for teams during all the trade talk around Houston are the numbers Oswalt puts up in August and September.

In his career, Oswalt is:

In August: 28-7, 2.80 ERA in 44 starts

In September: 26-9, 2.75 ERA in 45 starts.

*NEW* The latest on the trade front has the Astros asking the Dodgers for either James Loney or Matt Kemp?  Don't think the Dodgers will continue talks with those names though

Other rumours:

D'Backs P Dan Haren will be traded if the team that wants him takes either Chris Snyder and / or Chad Qualls as well.

Texas is going after the Marlins Jorge Cantu.

The "Scott Downs" situation has turned into a sweepstakes according to reports out of New York and Boston.

The Rockies have scouted Kevin Gregg for a month now, as well, the Rockies like Jeff Francoeur from the Mets.

Prediction:

We should hear more from Houston on Oswalt today, as the president of the team expects a deal soon.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Countdown to the trade deadline: Day 8

It's hard to believe that we are almost a week away from the deadline, and only a few deals have been made so far.

The Braves and Blue Jays traded shortstops, with Yunel Escobar becoming a Blue Jay, and Alex Gonzalez becoming a Brave.  So far, the two have been excellent on their new teams, with Escobar hitting .429 with his only two home runs of the season, and Gonzalez, making Braves pitchers happy with his steady defense, is also continuing his consistent hitting with a .375 average in the eight games since the deal.

The Angels, rumoured for weeks to have wanting help at third base, acquired Alberto Callaspo from the Royals for two pitchers, one being Sean O'Sullivan, who can help the Royals rotation for the future.  Callaspo, in his first game as an Angel, went 1-3, and played left field later in the game as well.

The big trade, and the one that surprised almost everybody, was the Rangers moves to get both catcher Bengie Molina from the Giants and Cliff Lee from the Mariners.

Lee has looked good so far, with a 1-1 record in his 3 starts.  He has 1 complete game, 6 for the season and a 3.42 ERA for the Rangers.  What continues to be amazing is that he only has 7 walks all season, and has only allowed 1 walk as a Ranger.

Bengie Molina, who shocked the world hitting at Fenway park for the cycle, has been a major upgrade from what the Rangers had behind the plate from an offensive standpoint.  Molina has hit .244 with 2 home runs in 15 games.

Hopefully, more trades happen in the next few days with the names:

Roy Oswalt: will he be in Philadelphia or St. Louis?

Dan Haren: Yankees or Tigers?

Ted Lilly: Mets or Tigers?, some are saying a deal will be made today.

Jose Bautista: stay with Jays, go to Braves, Giants, White Sox?

Adam Dunn: White Sox?

Scott Downs: Red Sox or Yankees?

Corey Hart: Giants?

Prince Fielder: White Sox?

If you want a break from all the trade talk, check this out, from thescore.com

Friday, July 23, 2010

Countdown to the trade deadline: Day 9

One more deal went down last night, as the Royals traded 3B Alberto Callaspo to the Angels for pitchers Sean O'Sullivan and Will Smith.  The deal, first reported by ESPN.com, was originally rejected by the Royals days ago, until the Angels added Smith to the deal.

Callaspo becomes the Angels starting third baseman, an upgrade over the struggling Brandon Wood.  Callaspo this season is hitting .275 with 8 home runs and 43 RBI.  In his career, Callaspo, always a player that even the D'Backs knew could hit, is a .283 hitter with 19 home runs and 145 RBI in 396 games.

No update in the Roy Oswalt saga, but it appears the Astros are trying hard to deal the ace to either the Cardinals or Phillies.

The Mets, struggling to score runs, 15 runs scored in 8 games since the break (1-7 record) may be thinking about upgrading the offense and not the pitching if this continues.

The Orioles may have to wait a few days to trade Ty Wigginton, after he went nuts last night on the first base umpire with a missed call.  Wigginton looked to have bumped the umpire, which will cost him in the cheque book and a suspension most likely. In all, three Orioles were ejected.

This is the must see video!

The return of the Orioles 2B Brian Roberts may be closer then expected.  Some are reporting he will be activated tonight, others are saying not until after the Blue Jays series next week.

*New* It appears the Yankees are the front runners for acquiring Dan Haren from the D'Backs according to AOL Fanhouse.*

The Yankees are up to things again, according to Foxsports.com.  The Tigers may be in the mix still,as other reports are surfacing they might be the team. The Cardinals are apparently out of the race, and have focused on Roy Oswalt again.  Overall, the D'Backs have told other teams they are close on a deal, but no deal is complete just yet.

Prediction:

The Angels made our prediction look good, as they did make a move, now it's the Mets and Tigers turn to get their seasons back on track.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Countdown to the trade deadline: Day 10

Today is all about the Blue Jays Jose Bautista, in what is really no surprise, after all, he is the home run leader in the majors.  Many teams including the White Sox, Giants and Tigers have talked about the possibility of acquiring the outfielder / third baseman.

The Giants have been trying for weeks to acquire an outfielder with power, but have noticed teams, like the Brewers and Jays, are asking for top prospects in return.  The Nationals are doing the same with Adam Dunn, so they must make a decision soon, or other teams will make the move.

Bautista, with only $1 million remaining on his contract this season, now has 26 home runs and is a .238 career hitter with 85 home runs and 275 RBI.

The Tigers are interested since the hand injury to Brandon Inge, and the White Sox, who helped the Jays last season taking on Alex Rios' contract with a waiver pickup, like him as a backup plan to Adam Dunn.

The Cardinals are becoming the favourites to land the Astros Roy Oswalt, according to ESPN.  The Phillies scouted Dan Haren last night, also, according to ESPN reports, as Oswalt earlier in the day wanted his 2012 option picked up, something the Phillies want no part of with their commitment to $135 million in payroll next season.

If the Cardinals get Oswalt, the Reds and the other National League teams are big trouble when they face:

Chris Carpenter (11-3) 3.05 ERA
Adam Wainwright (14-5) 2.02 ERA
Roy Oswalt (6-11) 3.12 ERA

with the 4 & 5 guys as
Jaime Garcia (9-4) 2.21 ERA
Blake Hawksworth (from BC, Canada) (4-5) 4.85 ERA or
Jeff Suppan (0-5) 6.05 ERA

Things are heating up, and the usual suspects, the Yankees, Red Sox and White Sox have yet to make a deal.  The Dodgers, Giants, Rays, Rockies, Twins, Braves, Mets, Reds, Rangers, Angels and Tigers all believe this is their year, so now it's just time to decide if they can go on without some of their top prospects, something most teams have a hard time giving up these days.

Prediction:

Oswalt will be dealt, this has to happen soon, as the rumours are getting out of control

The Angels will make a move soon, after the Wednesday loss to the Yankees, they realize they will fall to far behind the first place Rangers without help to their offense.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Countdown to the trade deadline: Day 11

Now, let the rumours begin.

Last night, rumours started up again about the Phillies interest in the Astros Roy Oswalt.  Not really a surprise, but ESPN was almost making it sound as if a deal would be made, most likely by the end of today.

To make the deal work, the Rays would acquire outfielder Jayson Werth from the Phillies, to free up the money it would take to acquire Oswalt, and the Astros would probably get J.A. Happ in return.

The Phillies sent Kyle Kendrick to the minors and lost Jamie Moyer to an elbow injury Tuesday night, so a deal for a starting pitching is almost a certainty.  Jake Westbrook would be the backup plan in a rotation that could look like this with maybe a few deals in the works.

Roy Halladay
Roy Oswalt
Cole Hamels
Joe Blanton
Kyle Kendrick

or

Roy Halladay
Cole Hamels
Jake Westbrook
Joe Blanton
J.A. Happ

or

Roy Halladay
Cole Hamels
Roy Oswalt
Jake Westbrook
Joe Blanton

(Shaun Marcum, Ricky Nolasco, Dan Haren, Edwin Jackson and Paul Maholm may interest them as well.)

The Rangers are still in the hunt for a reliever and help at first base.  The names Jorge Cantu, Lyle Overbay and Derrek Lee are probably to expensive to be just rentals, but this team can sure hit, and adding someone to replace Chris Davis in the lineup will only make them better.  After acquiring both Cliff Lee and Bengie Molina, the league, which is running the operations right now, would love to see this team make the post-season, and ultimately earn the playoff income as well.

The Mets hope to make a deal soon for a starting pitcher (Ted Lilly?) and help in the bullpen.  Scouts for the Mets were in Kansas City and Baltimore watching Blue Jays pitchers according to reports.

The Yankees have turned their attention to the Indians for help on their bench.  Austin Kearns and Jhonny Peralta are available, as is Kerry Wood, but he is currently injured.

The Tigers have been linked to almost every team that is all but out of playoff contention.  They need infield help and pitching help, and should make a move soon, as losing the 4 games to the Indians killed them a bit in the standings.

Prediction:

If Oswalt's ankle injury is OK, he will be a Phillies player by today.

Jayson Werth's days in Philadelphia are all but over, to many rumours he's on his way out via trade.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Countdown to the trade deadline: Day 12

Will the scouts like what they see?  That's the questions, as scouts for all teams have been flying all over the United States to watch players that could one day join their club.

The White Sox, who have wanted to acquire the Nationals Adam Dunn for a while now, are still interested, and are just waiting for the asking price to come down.

The Toronto Sun reported that scouts were all over the ball park vs the Royals, most likely watching catcher John Buck, who would look good on a contending team.  Any catcher that has power, is a little rare now a days, would get a good return for the Jays, possibly a starter for next season.

The Angels are falling behind the Rangers and need to make a move if they hope to contend.  The need a first baseman and a starter, so could Ted Lilly be heading there with Derrek Lee?

The Twins may have to look at a first baseman if the test results on Justin Morneau and his concussion don;t look good.  Lyle Overbay would fit in perfectly as a Twin for example.

The Marlins have told teams that Dan Uggla is not available at this time according to reports.

Is there any reason behind the Indians pulling outfielder Austin Kearns from the game last night?  We will wait and see.

According to ESPN Los Angeles, the Angels have had interest in the Royals 3B Alberto Callaspo, who had the game-winning hit Monday vs the Blue Jays in front of scouts.

Prediction:

The Phillies acquire a starter to help with the stretch run.

With the Yankees Alex Rodriguez 2 home runs shy of 600, we thought we would look back in time at historic home runs, including Babe Ruth's 60th in 1927

Monday, July 19, 2010

Countdown to the trade deadline: Day 13

The latest rumour of the Padres interest in Corey Hart is interesting.  He just recently bought a new house in the Arizona area, and wants his next team, if he's traded, to be one that trains in Arizona for spring training.  San Diego fits that description, so could the Padres make that type of deal?  They should, although they are still playing well enough early in the second half to make believers out of most of us.

The Yankees, who wanted to acquire a pitcher and bench player, might look to the Cubs Ted Lilly and Mike Fontenot for answers.

The D'Backs are expected to take calls regarding Dan Haren, and the Mets look like the best suitors if Arizona agrees to take Oliver Perez to help with salary.

The Angels can't fall further back in the West and so moves should be made soon to help.  First Base remains a concern from an offensive standpoint, and the Cubs Derrek Lee might work out after all.

Scouts watched the Orioles Jeremy Guthrie his last start, which included the Mets, Yankees and White Sox.

The Nationals have apparently told teams that both Josh Willingham and Adam Dunn are available now.

The Yankees and Red Sox have expressed major interest in Scott Downs according to reports from AOL FanHouse.

The Athletics, only 7 games back of the first place Rangers, have told teams to hang in there on their available players (Coco Crisp, Ben Sheets) as the team as won their last 5.  Scouts have been at every game since the break to watch Oakland though.

The Tigers are interested in pitchers Ted Lilly and Jeremy Guthrie, as well as, shortstops Stephen Drew and Ryan Theriot according to reports.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Countdown to the trade deadline: Day 14

The countdown is officially on, with 2 weeks remaining until the July 31st trade deadline. 

Today we quickly examine the potential free agents remaining in the majors, as teams gear up for trades, we gear up for potential returns to major league rosters.

The best pitchers still available are Pedro Martinez, Braden Looper and Jarrod Washburn.  Looper apparently has lowered his salary demands and may end up on the Dodgers or Padres roster is all goes well.  In the off season, Looper was looking for an 2-year deal worth almost $10 million, which just wasn't going to happen.  Washburn is said to be happy at home, but if a team like the Phillies call with $2 million reasons to return, he just might.  Pedro Martinez still wants to pitch and the teams that want him know that.  It's just that he want guaranteed money with major bonuses, so the Mets and Twins may be scared off from this.  The Phillies know his act so they might be the only team with a shot.

Jermaine Dye, who apparently turned down a $4 million deal from the Nationals, is still out on the market, and said to be working out.  Could this mean a return?  Not likely, as he still wants top dollar.  The Padres really wanted him, but Dye might of played his last game last season as a major league player.

Others:

1B Carlos Delgado (set to return soon; maybe the Yankees?)

DH Hank Blalock

3B Joe Crede

P Brandon Backe

P Josh Towers

OF Gary Sheffield

Predictions:

Astros P Roy Oswalt may pitch his last game as a Astros player today. *update* left today's game with a ankle injury, so stay tuned on the trade talk, may be out for a while.

Yankees make a deal in the next couple days to help bench (Wigginton?)

The Padres have expressed interest in the Brewers Corey Hart now that the Giants are out of the running according to reports; the Padres will make a move to improve their outfield and their power.

Twins Notes:
 
If Justin Morneau is out for a while, will Derrek Lee or Lyle Overbay be coming to the Twin City?  Check out the latest with the Twins, as Gerry Dee and thescore.com caught up with Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and the Twins.



Saturday, July 17, 2010

Countdown to the trade deadline: Day 15

Almost 2 weeks until the non-waiver deadline in the majors, and General Managers are all ready to make a move to improve their teams.  Many GM's are wondering how the Braves and Blue Jays swapped shortstops so quickly, but the two teams admitted they only spoke to each other about the players involved, taking away the theory that the Red Sox Marco Scutaro could have been traded for Escobar. 

All the talk surrounding Escobar almost makes it seem as if the Blue Jays stole the talented fourth year player from the Braves for a guy who is getting older in Gonzalez,  and probably wouldn't be part of the Jays next season.

Rumours are circling about the Mets interest in Gil Meche and apparently offered troubled lefty Oliver Perez at some point the last month or so.  With Meche injured now, the deal is off, but interesting how the Mets are so desperate to get rid of a player they should have never re-signed.

The Diamondbacks should be in the news soon.  Arizona is buried in last place in the tough NL West and have only designated Dontrelle Willis for assignment since the GM and manager change.  Kelly Johnson, Dan Haren, Adam LaRoche and Stephen Drew have all drawn interest and moves will come in the next few days.  The Tigers like Drew and the Phillies have looked at Johnson.

The Blue Jays might not make to many more deals, but other teams like John Buck and the Angels may consider a Brandon Wood for John Buck type of deal.

The Astros Roy Oswalt pitches tonight vs the Pirates, it may be his last start as an Astros player.  Scouts will be on hand for this start.

Prediction:

D'Backs start making their moves this week.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Countdown to the trade deadline: Day 16

With no deals today, we look at the possible players in the American League who may be on the move.  Names and rumours are flying all over the major leagues, and this year may be the year the rumours become reality.  It's been quiet the last 5 years around the deadline, but we think this year will be different. Listed are the current teams and the teams that best fit the player.

Orioles
2B Ty Wigginton - Yankees
3B Miguel Tejada - Phillies
P Jeremy Guthrie - Mets
P Will Ohman - Rangers

Red Sox
OF/INF Bill Hall - Phillies

White Sox
2B Gordon Beckham - Rockies
OF Juan Pierre - Red Sox

Indians
P Kerry Wood - Angels
OF Austin Kearns - Angels
P Jake Westbrook - Yankees

Tigers
SS Ramon Santiago - Phillies

Royals
OF David DeJesus - Tigers
OF Jose Guillen - Giants
P Bruce Chen - Yankees
P Gil Meche - Mets

Angels
3B Brandon Wood - Blue Jays
P Scott Kazmir - Dodgers (Angels would have to eat most of money though)

Twins
OF Jason Kubel - trade bait for a pitcher (Marlins and Nolasco?)

Yankees
OF Marcus Thames - Braves
P Chad Gaudin - Rockies

Athletics
2B Mark Ellis - Phillies
OF Coco Crisp - Red Sox (if Ellsbury still out)
P Ben Sheets - Braves

Mariners
1B Casey Kotchman - Red Sox
P Brandon League - Rays

Rays
P Wade Davis - trade bait for a Fielder? (Brewers)
OF B.J. Upton - Giants

Rangers
OF David Murphy - Mets
C Matt Treanor - Angels

Blue Jays
P Scott Downs - Phillies
P Jason Frasor - Marlins
C John Buck - Angels
OF/INF Jose Bautista - Braves
P Shaun Marcum - Phillies

These are just the predictions!  Lets see what happens!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Countdown to the trade deadline: Day 17

Let the games begin, the second half games that is, as 14 teams resume play tonight in the majors. 

The trade rumours are sure to heat up now, especially after the Braves made a move to make the club better acquiring Alex Gonzalez from the Blue Jays.  The Phillies, White Sox and Tigers should now be the next teams to make a move, as reports are surfacing about Adam Dunn going to the White Sox, Dan Haren going to the Tigers and the Phillies going after a middle-infielder, like Dan Uggla or Miguel Tejada from the Orioles.

We still believe that Ted Lilly will be moved to the Mets or Tigers and Ricky Nolasco can be had, but the Marlins will have a high asking price for him.

After the loss of starting pitcher Jake Peavy who underwent successful surgery yesterday, the White Sox are on the look-out for a starter, and GM Kenny Williams won't be shy about trading pieces, like Gordon Beckham, to get one.

Prediction:

Rumours start flying about the White Sox and Adam Dunn, although the Nationals have discussed an extension of 4-years and almost $50 million in the past

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Countdown to the trade deadline: Day 18

With the All-Star game in the books, and congrats to the National League, our prediction was correct, but the score was not! today marks the one day in the MLB that is traditionally quiet on all fronts.

Even the days in the off-season have more rumours generating then days like today, but you never know this year.  GM's have been talking now since spring training, and deals that have thought about, just might be made in the next few days, possibly today.

One deal, thought to be close was the Brewers trade of Corey Hart to the Giants.  The latest reports had the Brewers asking price for Hart at pitchers Madison Bumgarner or Jonathan Sanchez.  The Giants must of just laughed when they got that list!

The Cubs Ted Lilly will pitch next vs the Phillies and if things go better then his last 2 starts, the Mets should come calling again, and a trade might be close.

The Rockies, hot before the break and traditionally a great second-half team, will soon decide if another pitcher and a player like the Marlins Dan Uggla will make sense for a run at the Padres and the NL West crown.  The Marlins would love to move Uggla, it's just the asking price, which for now is pretty high.

Prediction:

No trades today, but a busy week is ahead.

I guess the prediction was wrong today as the Braves and the Blue Jays made a deal, swapping shortstops in a 5-player deal

Blue Jays Get:
SS Yunel Escobar
P Jo-Jo Reyes

Braves Get:
SS Alex Gonzalez
SS Tyler Pastornicky
P Tim Collins

Escobar fell out of favour with the Braves this season, with stories of his lack of hustle and questionable actions in the clubhouse, but he had a great 2009 season (.299 AVG, 14 HR, 76 RBI) so their is potential here.  2010 has not been so kind (.238 AVG, 0 HR, 19 RBI) We will see what's ahead.

Gonzalez is having a great season with the Blue Jays with 17 HR and playing a very steady defense.  Gonzalez instantly makes the Braves a better team in both offensive and defensive categories.

Reyes has pitched 4 seasons with the Braves, up and down from the minors, but compiling a 5-15, 6.40 ERA in 194.0 major league innings.  He has 128 strikeouts in that time, but gives up the long-ball quite often.

The Braves get better now, and the Blue Jays have control of Escobar until 2013, a great move for the future.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Countdown to the trade deadline: Day 19

With the All-Star game set for tonight in Anaheim, the stars will be on centre stage for one of the better nights in the major league baseball season.

The second half will start up Thursday for some teams, but ExtraBaseHit examined the second season and came up with these predictions.

Division Winners:

American League: Yankees, Tigers and Angels

National League: Braves, Cardinals and Rockies

Wild-Card Winners:

American League: Red Sox

National League: Phillies

World Series Teams:

Yankees vs Braves

World Series Champions:

Yankees

Bounce-Back player:

Giants 3B Pablo Sandoval

Second-half, most disappointing player:

Phillies OF Raul Ibanez

Breakthrough players:

Rookie impact: Giants P Madison Bumgarner

Rookie impact yet to be called up: Rays P Jeremy Hellickson

Breakthrough player to lift team to next level: Twins C Joe Mauer

Quick Hits:

We like the Yankees to win the East with a great balance of hitting and pitching and the possibility of acquiring another starter.  We like the Tigers to outlast the surging White Sox and the consistent Twins.  The White Sox have already had their hot stretch and Miguel Cabrera is driving in runners in his sleep.  We like the Tigers to make a few deals, and have hope in the good-luck charm in Johnny Damon.  We like the Angels to catch the hot Rangers, as the experience of Torri Hunter, Hideki Matsui and most of all Mike Scioscia to make the required moves to get past the Rangers.

The Red Sox have played so well with injuries to Ellsbury, Pedrioia, Martinez and Beckett that they will just get better when they return, thus, beat out the Rays for the wild-card.

We like the make-up of the Braves as a team overall, with guys like Troy Glaus rebounding from injury- plagued years the last few, and Chipper Jones has gone from a retired player to a man on a mission.  The pitching is great, and closer Billy Wagner is better then ever.  The Cardinals, like the Angels, have the experience to catch a team in the second half, they have done this before, and will do it again.  With the summer heat will come more home runs from Pujols and Holliday and a return from Ludwick will only help.  Chris Carpenter must continue to be the ace and Adam Wainwright must stay healthy, if this happens, the Reds, and their lack of experience and to much reliability on their offense, will hurt them.  The Rockies will get past the Padres as San Diego has been playing over their heads all year.  Adrian Gonzalez is the star, but even with the great pitching, it wasn't enough to convince the all-star selection committee to choose them, as no Padres pitcher was originally chosen to go to the All-Star game.  The Rockies have been in this situation before, and are a great second half team.  The Dodgers have a huge mountain to climb as they have the toughest schedule in the majors in the second half, playing over 60 percent of their games against teams with a .500 or better record.

We like the Phillies to grab the wild-card over the Dodgers, Padres, Mets and Reds even with 2B Chase Utley out until September due to injury.  Halladay will continue to dominate and the offence will score more runs for sure, even if they deal Jason Werth for pitching help.

We like the Giants Pablo Sandoval to improve on his .263 average and improve on his 6 home runs.  Last season in the second half, Sandoval hit .327 with 10 home runs, we expect a .320 average and 15 home runs in this year's second half.

The Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner will continue to be a success at the major league level and will have a record of 13-4 by seasons end.

The Rays will feel pressure in the next few weeks and will call-up pitching sensation Jeremy Hellickson from the minors we believe.  Hellickson is 11-2 with a 2.21 ERA and 104 strikeouts in AAA (Durham)

The Twins Joe Mauer will heat up power wise in the second half, as people in Minnesota expect the ball to carry better to left field as the weather gets warmer at Target Field.

The Phillies Raul Ibanez will be the biggest disappointment because he may just be released or benched in favour of prospect Domonic Brown, who is hitting .326 with 19 home runs and 59 RBI in AA and AAA ball this season.  He also has 14 stolen bases this season.  Ibanez in the second half last season hit .232 with 12 home runs and 33 RBI in 70 games after hitting .309 with 22 home runs and 60 RBI in 64 first half games. This season he is only hitting .243 with 7 home runs and 39 RBI.

Lets hope the second half is full of excitement and more no-hitters like we had in the first half of the 2010 season.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Countdown to the trade deadline: Day 20

All-Star break is finally here and only two trades made since July 1st.  The Deal with the Pirates and Padres was so minor, we thought about not even including the deal for Sean Gallagher to the Pirates, but I guess a deal is a deal!

The Cliff Lee deal was a shock to most Yankees fans, but a great surprise for the Rangers faithful.  Lee pitched Saturday night against the Orioles, but took the loss, in a game in which he pitched a complete game, had 95 pitches, looked great most of the game, but allowed three home runs (Markakis, Izturis and A. Jones) His line ended up as 9 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 0 BB, 2 K and an ERA of 2.64.

The Rangers should get the better of the deal only giving up on Justin Smoak at this time, but the Angels are experienced, and will be hoping to catch the Rangers in the second half.  The Rangers must keep the offence going to keep their 4.5 game lead over Anaheim.

With talks on hold for a few days, players such as Dan Haren, Adam LaRoche, Kelly Johnson, Nyjer Morgan, Derrek Lee, Ryan Theriot, Prince Fielder, Corey Hart, Fred Lewis, Scott Downs, Kevin Gregg, Ted Lilly, Ty Wigginton, Dan Uggla and Ricky Nolasco can sit and wait until their GM's call with possible news of a deal to a contender.

The home run derby does not include the league's leader in Jose Bautista, who apparently wasn't even asked to participate.

ExtraBaseHt likes David Ortiz to win the derby this year, with Vernon Wells the runner-up.

Tomorrows feature will be predictions for the second half.  You can also see these predictions on The Score Television network's famous ticker all-day Tuesday.  The World Series will be predicted as well as 2nd half performers.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Countdown to the trade deadline: Day 21

With the All-Star break here it is time for all MLB General Managers to reflex on the half season to date, and the decision of if the team is close to being a contender is almost decided on.  With the White Sox 9.5 games back on June 1st, and now after Sunday's win vs the Royals, the White Sox are in first place over both the Tigers and Twins, so anything can happen.

Teams will give the trade talks a break over the next few days, but ExtraBaseHit won't, here's the latest.

Ted Lilly is all but out of Chicago, he just needs to pitch better.  He allowed 9 earned runs to the Reds and struggled in his last start vs the Dodgers.  When he pitches better, and he will, the Mets would love to have him, especially in their home ballpark, Citi Field, where the pitchers have a huge advantage over the hitters daily.

The latest on the Marlins Dan Uggla is very interesting.  They have had talks in the past with the Rockies about him and apparently had a good offer in the off-season, but decided to keep him.  Now, the Rockies are ready to try again and so are the Marlins.

Florida will try and trade the second baseman to Colorado for pitching and the Rockies will possibly use him at first base when Tulowitzki comes back from injury.  Clint Barmes will move to second and Helton will be on the bench if this happens.

Prediction:

The Cubs move Lee and the Marlins move Uggla

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Countdown to the trade deadline: Day 22

The countdown is on, but the all-star break usually brings talks to a close for a few days as well. 

The Brewers seem to be the only team willing to discuss deals on this weekend, as Prince Fielder and Corey Hart are available for the right price.

Fielder, looking for a Teixeira type deal in two years, is being scouted by the Angels and Giants.

Hart, having a career year, is also being looked at by the Giants and Braves, as Atlanta tries to get a bigger lead in the division.

David Bush is also being looked at by the Mets according to some reports.  The Mets would love to add a pitcher, maybe a Ted Lilly, but have looked at David Bush as a back-up plan.

Prediction:

No trades until after the break, but the Brewers have decided they are all-but out, and will be the first to deal starting Thursday.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Countdown to the trade deadline: Day 23

With the Lebron saga now over, and yes, ExtraBaseHit was wrong with him going to the Knicks.  The Cliff Lee rumours may be coming to end, with the Yankees being the big winners, just like the Heat, in the sweepstakes.

Reports indicate, the Yankees will acquire the free-agent to-be, left-handed ace, Clifff Lee, in exchange for talented catcher Jesus Montero.  The Mariners have asked for a catcher all along in the talks and have apparently decided to go with Montero and others from the Yankees.

The Yankees would then deal Javier Vazquez to the Phillies or Reds to make the rotation work.

Yankees Rotation:

CC Sabathia
Cliff Lee
Phil Hughes
Andy Pettitte
A.J. Burnett

Almost not fair! We will see what the day brings as New York needs to do something with the lost feeling of not landing LeBron James.

The Phillies are looking hard for a second basemen and Dan Uggla's name keeps popping up.  Also, Jason Werth, a free agent next season, is available according to scouts.

The Cubs would love to move Ted Lilly, and need a better start then the last one he had, where the Reds scored nine earned runs off him and hit four home runs.

The Red Sox are in Toronto this weekend, and with news of a Lee to the Yankees deal, look for them to get something done to sure up their offense and bullpen.

Prediction:

Yankees will get Lee and maybe Jason Werth as well.

Cubs will deal Lilly to the Phillies if Vazquez deal can't be worked out.

*Update*

Cliff Lee traded to the Rangers

The saga is over and the Yankees actually were beat out today, as the Rangers, in a bit of a shock, acquired the Mariners ace, Cliff Lee, in a 6-player deal.

The Mariners Get:

1B Justin Smoak
P Blake Beavan
P Josh Lueke
2B Matthew Lawson

Rangers Get:

P Cliff Lee
P Mark Lowe (out for season after back surgery)

After playing hardball for years, the Rangers, five and half games ahead of the Angels in the division, decided to give up Justin Smoak to make the deal happen.

The Yankees were upset, thinking they had a deal for Lee for Montero and others, were told that their were concerns over the health of the other minor league players, and so, the Mariners went with the Rangers deal. The Yankees were shocked the deal wasn't completed, according to reports in New York.

Lee goes to a team that has always talked about getting a starter of his caliber, now they have one, and instantly becomes the staff ace.

Smoak will become the first baseman of the future in Seattle, although home runs are harder to hit in Seattle then Texas. 

Congrats to the Rangers for beating out the Yankees on this one, and winning the sweepstakes on Lee.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Countdown to the trade deadline: Day 24

On the same day that LeBron will make his decision, there are 24 days left until the non-waiver trade deadline in the majors.

No news on the Cliff Lee front, just that the Twins, Rays and Rangers have the most interest. 

The Giants spoke with the Brewers about Corey Hart 2 weeks ago, but the Brewers might want to sign him long-term, especially if Fielder is dealt soon to a team like the Angels.

The Phillies and Dan Uggla may be a fit if Utley's wrist is bad enough where he can't return.

Prediction:

The Red Sox make a move in the bullpen before making any offensive moves.

For the record: ExtraBaseHit still believes LeBron will sign with the Knicks.  No inside, just a feeling!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Countdown to the trade deadline: Day 25

The Cliff Lee saga will hopefully end soon with the Yankees, Mets, Dodgers, Reds, Twins and the Rays in hot pursuit.  The Twins are the only team to make an offer, according to reports, but the Rays are close to making an announcement, and all reports are leading to Upton being the man to go for a pitcher.

The Brewers have not made a decision yet on their season, and if it's over.  If they decide soon, Corey Hart will be the first to go, and the Giants will give them some good pieces in return.

The Cubs have been to quiet for a team that is all but out of the NL Central race.  Derrek Lee might be on the move to the Angels before we know it.

Prediction:

A deal will be made by the end of the day, possibly Lee to the Rays.

*New* Update:

First trade of July was minor, but the Pirates acquired pitcher Sean Gallagher from the Padres for a player to be named later.  Gallagher has pitched in 60 career major league games and has a 5.57 career ERA.

Adam Dunn hit 3 home runs Wednesday night, and the White Sox are ready to make the move.

The Indians have not fielded to many calls for closer Kerry Wood, but will be hoping to deal him soon and possibly pay some of the remaining salry as well.

The Phillies feel that adding a starter will help in the quest now to overtake the Mets and Braves in the NL East.  Could Oswalt be a fit?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Countdown to the trade deadline: Day 26

Still no decision by LeBron James!, and still no July trades in the MLB.  Lets move forward now!

The rumours have now hit every team with the Rays now in the mix for the Mariners Cliff Lee.  The Twins did indeed make an offer, but the Mariners apparently didn't even counter, or listen for that matter, so now it's the Rays turn with rumours from ESPN.com that a B.J. Upton for Lee deal is in the works.

The Braves are looking for help at first base, if Troy Glaus and his bad knee are really concern, and have dangled Yunel Escobar as bait.  The Astros Lance Berkman may be a fit, even though Houston really doesn't need Escobar.

The Red Sox have been too quiet since they lost Pedroia, Martinez, Beckett and Buchholz to injury. Something will happen here as the backups, Patterson, Cash and Hall are not the answers long term.

The Phillies have been doing better then expected without Utley with Wilson Valdez at second base, but a trade is likely this week as Utley is out 8 more weeks and Valdez is only hitting .235 in July.

Prediction:

The Phillies and Red Sox will make deals to sure up the second base position this week.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Countdown to the trade deadline: Day 27

With the All-Stars announced for the 2010 game in Los Angeles, we can now call some of the rumoured players, ie: Jose Bautista an All-Star trade rumour.

Cliff Lee pitched an absolute gem against the Tigers on Sunday, but for now, is still a Mariner.  Seattle is asking for the house, which is to be expected, and no deal is on the verge of being announced as of yet.

*New* Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated reports that the Twins may have had discussions (serious discussions) with the Mariners for Lee.  Stay tuned.

One rumour that was new today was the Tigers interest in the D'Backs SS Stephen Drew.  With names like LaRoche, Johnson and Haren most likely to be dealt, Drew might be the player to leave?

The Reds are still looking for a starter, and people around Ohio are wondering if Cliff Lee is a fit in exchange for prospect 1B Yonder Alonso.  The name and the idea keep poping up in runours so maybe their is some truth after all.

Take Kevin Millwood's name off the "wanted list".  After his outing Monday in Detroit (1 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 1 K) there is concern of a injury and teams have backed off as of now.

Predictions:

The Astros and Lance Berkman cut ties in the next couple of weeks

The Blue Jays will start to decide if Brett Wallace or C J.P Arencibia are being called up soon

The Yankees will add some depth to their bench as Ty Wigginton, an All-Star has been talked about.

Mariners P Cliff Lee will be dealt, but the idea of the Reds is interesting.  Something may happen here, when will the Reds be in this position again?

Note from Monday night:

The Phillies Roy Halladay allowed a home run to Chipper Jones in the first inning. his only run allowed and only his second career run given up against the Braves in his a career (the other run was a Chipper HR as well) on route to his 7th complete game of the season and a 3-1 victory.  In his career vs the Braves, Halladay is now 3-0 with a 0.63 ERA and 2 complete games in 28.2 innings.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Countdown to the trade deadline: Day 28

Still no deals to reports, but a few names have been added to the rumour list.  The Pirates, still searching for answer to become a competitive club, will once again have to make a couple deals with Octavio Dotel being the name discussed.  The Pirates closer has 18 saves this season and has a club option for $4.5M next year, which the Pirates won't want to pay.  The Twins seem like a destination.

Other news:

The Astros have all but decided that the season is over and thus, a trade of ace pitcher Roy Oswalt should happen soon.  He his under contract next year, which is good most of the time for teams, but clubs want the Astros to pick up some of the salary.  The Phillies have expressed interest which would basically put them in a great position to make a run for the NL East crown.

The Brewers are not out of the race yet, but the team is listening to offers for outfielder Corey Hart and even Prince Fielder.  Fielder is in the same situation that Mark Teixeira was in when the Braves acquired him in 2007 from the Rangers.  He has a year left on his contract, but wants a 8-year / $170M like contract extension.  Fielder has had trouble driving in runs this season, and no extensions to his contract have been discussed. Hart would be a fit for the Giants or Padres.

Predictions:

The Pirates will make a deal in the next week, most likely Dotel to the Twins
The Giants will add a bat, maybe Overbay from the Jays with Posey now the full-time starter behind the plate

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Countdown to the trade deadline: Day 29

Another day, another set of rumours, with no trades announced in the past few days.  The Cliff saga took a turn the other day with Lee apparently telling teammates that he will gone by the end of the week.  Lee denied the story, but remember, this is Seattle, and teammates talk about each other: ie: Griffey situation.

Lee has been linked to 12-15 teams according to new reports including the Rockies, Rangers and a few mystery teams.  Could those teams be the likes of the Padres, Rays, Twins, White Sox, Tigers or Reds?  We should no soon, but the Rangers look to be the front runners if MLB allows them to be.  First basemen Justin Smoak would be a great fit for the Mariners as would first basemen Yonder Alonso from the Reds.  Joey Votto and his 19 home runs have all but assured the franchise that Alonso may be on the way out.  Alonso only has 4 home runs, but is expected to be a pretty good hitter.

Other news:

The Yankees are looking hard for a bat off the bench and have talked about Ty Wigginton.  The Royals would love to shed some salary and maybe the Yankees would take Jose Guillen.

The Twins, especially after a small collapse in Saturday's affair against the Rays, are looking for bullpen help and may be calling the Jays about Jason Frasor and Scott Downs again.  The Twins have money this year, and they will spend if the right player becomes available.

The Cubs would love to deal Ryan Theriot and Derrek Lee.  Theriot has been in and out of the lineup this season after hitting .307 in 2008 and .284 in 2009.  This season Theriot has a decent .289 average, but no home runs and only 17 RBI. 

The Tigers are looking for pitching help, but according to Foxsports.com, are not interested in trading for Kevin Millwood.

The Padres are in need of a big bat, if they hope to stay a top the NL West.  Some believe that Adam Dunn may be a fit.  The Blue Jays Jose Bautista may also work, with his 21 home runs, but the Royals David DeJesus may be the best fir for both teams.  DeJesus is enjoying a great season and his .327 AVG and .395 on-base-percentage is what the Padres need.  Centre fielder Tony Gwynn Jr (.228 AVG) and left fielder Scott Hairston (.224 AVG) as of Saturday are just not producing enough for San Diego and a change should be made.

One guy who won't be traded again this season anyways, is the D'Backs Dontrelle Willis.  Willis, one win and a ERA of 4.98 with Detoit was released by the Tigers this season and has not faired any better with Arizona.  His ERA is over six with Arizona and he's pitching out of the bullpen now and getting hit hard.  Remember 2005?  Dontrelle was 22-10 with a 2.63 ERA for the Marlins, what happened?  Was it the innings?  In 2005 he pitched 236.1 innings, 2006, 223.1 innings (12 wins) and 2007, 205.1 innings (10 wins). He was traded to the Tigers and has had 3 wins over those 3 seasons.

Predictions:

Derrek Lee rumours start up again with the Angels
Rays make a move with the Red Sox and Yankees now ahead of them

Friday, July 2, 2010

Countdown to the trade deadline: Day 30

Day 30 of the countdown starts with another Cliff Lee rumour.  According to teammates, Lee has told the Mariners that his complete game victory over the Yankees may of been his last start as a Mariner.  Lee has denied the reports, but in reality, there is something to this.

The Mariners, after a 4-2 loss to the Yankees on Thursday, sit 14 games back of the Rangers, who are almost running away with the division (OK the Angels are 3.5 games back) but they added Molina behind the plate and looked good against the Angels in Los Angeles.

The Dodgers, in need of pitching help, and the Mets, are on the Lee radar and expect something to happen by Sunday.

Notes:

The Orioles Kevin Millwood, 2-8 on the season, is all but assured a ticket out of Baltimore in the next few weeks.  The problem with Millwood has been with runners on base.  In 60 innings pitched with the bases empty, Millwood has a 3.45 ERA with 18 walks and 49 strikeouts.  When runners get on base, Millwood has a 7.91 ERA with 15 walks and 34 strikeouts.  His ERA with runners in scoring position is worse.  13.15 ERA with runners on and 25.31 ERA with runners in scoring position with 2 outs.  Ouch!

The D'Back fired manager A.J. Hinch and GM Josh Byrnes late last night and Kirk Gibson is the new mamager for the time being.  With these changes, will be player changes, and the first move could be Edwin Jackson.  Fresh off his 8 walk, no-hit performance, he is once again being discussed as trade bait for other NL clubs.  The Mets, Dodgers (not really a fit though) and Marlins are all possible destinations, but the Nationals have the most interest.  Kelly Johson is in hot pursuit as well as Chad Qualls.

Ty Wigginton is being scouted by the Yankees according to reports
Predictions:

Lee traded by end of next week
Millwood to the Mets in the next week

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Countdown to the trade deadline: Day 31

Extrabasehit will be following all the rumors leading up to the July 31 trade deadline in Major League Baseball.  We will follow all the potential players involved leading up to a deadline that has been quiet over the past few seasons. 

With so many teams in need of pitching over the years, it's been hard for teams to convince other GM's to give up major league pitching talent in return.  With names like Dan Haren and Cliff Lee in the news, teams are going to get minor league players in return, thus, like in the CC Sabathia trade with the Indians and Brewers a few years back, you must make the best deal for the future of the team, long term!  Sabathia turned out to be the rental player the team was scared of and gave up Matt LaPorta (now playing first with the Indians) pitcher Zach Jackson (who was in Blue Jays spring training) minor league pitcher Rob Bryson and Michael Brantley (currently in the minors) and the final piece of the trade.

The best the Indians have done since the trades of players such as Sabathia, Cliff Lee, Casey Blake and Victor Martinez has been the arrival of young catcher Carlos Santana, who they acquired from the Dodgers for Casey Blake.  Looking back, the Indians stole Santana who is a solid hitter.

In day 31 of this countdown, rumors are part of every team, with the Rangers getting things started with the acquisition of catcher Benjie Molina for Chris Ray. Also,

The Braves have been linked to the Blue Jays for the first time since the 1992 World Series! with Jose Bautista's name being mention.  Jason Heyward is out of the lineup with a wrist injury (out till after the break) and the power bat of Bautista and his low salary (about $1.3M remaining this season) is intriguing to the Braves.

The Cliff Lee rumors will be in the news daily until a deal is made, but the Mets, Rangers, Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers are in hot pursuit.  The Red Sox are the wild card team, with Buchholz dealing with nagging injuries and Josh Beckett's back causing a whole lot of trouble.  The Rangers have issues with their payroll, with the MLB owning the team (similar to the Coyotes of the NHL) and the Dodgers need a Lee after a bad run during interleague play (4-11)

The Dan Haren rumors have linked him to the Cardinals, Nationals and Mets, but his contract has over $25M remaining on his 4-year deal.  The Nationals apparently talked to the D'Backs about acquiring both Edwin Jackson and Dan Haren, but who would pitch for Arizona if that happened?  Look for the D;Backs to be major players this next month with second baseman Kelly Johnson, pitchers Chad Qualls, Edwin Jackson, Dan Haren, Aaron Heilman, Rodrigo Lopez and first baseman Adam LaRoche being discussed as possible targets for other teams.

What we think:

The Cubs will have to start thinking about 2011 and will deal Derrek Lee to the Angels.  Xavier Nady, only 124 at-bats will also be available.

The Reds will have Edinson Volquez back soon and are in the market for another starter.  Look for the Orioles to help out with a trade for Kevin Millwood.

The Astros need to lower payroll and will deal Roy Oswalt to the team that doesn't acquire Cliff Lee or Dan Haren.  Lance Berkman would be a great fit for the Angels, but his DH duties will look good for the surging Tigers with Damon moving to left field on a full-time basis.

Predictions:

C. Lee to the Cardinals
Haren to the Dodgers
Oswalt to the Mets

Molina's in the news

In what is usually a busy first of the month in NHL and NBA news and rumors, the Rangers, in first place in the AL West and looking to deal, traded pitcher Chris Ray and cash to the Giants for catcher Benjie Molina.  Molina, who almost retired after the passing of his father in the off-season, goes back to the American League (played for the Blue Jays in 2006 and the Angels from 1998-2005 before signing with the Giants as a free agent) and joins a team full of offensive talent. 


Molina was expendable since the arrival of rookie catcher Buster Posey behind the plate in San Fran.  In 61 games this season, Molina has hit .257 with 3 home runs and 17 RBI.  In his career of 13 seasons, Benjie is a .275 hitter with 142 home runs. 

The Rangers two current catchers on their roster are Max Ramirez (.217 AVG, 2 HR, 8 RBI) and Matt Treanor (.237 AVG, 5 HR, 23 RBI) have been almost unnoticed with the offensive carrying the team led by Josh Hamilton and Vladimir Guerrero.

In a recent interview, the Molina brothers talked about each other, as they were asked questions about each other, Benjie won that contest, now he hopes to win a division title with the Rangers:

TheScore.com presents the latest on the Molina's"