First of all, Pedro Alvarez has been recalled. Perhaps the Pirates would rather give him another chance than make a deal that could hurt them in the future. Smart move.
Carlos Beltran says he wants to stay in the NL, so perhaps that increases the odds he goes to San Francisco. Phillies also in the conversation, and Braves.
If I had to bet on a destination for Heath Bell, it looks like Texas is out front, and he would probably be the setup man there.
Keep an eye on the Angels. They need a bat and the Cubs could be willing to part with Carlos Pena, but I also think Aramis Ramirez is possible, if he will waive his no-trade clause.
The White Sox and Cardinals are talking about Colby Rasmus for a deal centered on either Edwin Jackson or Matt Thornton. The White Sox would have to add a prospect but I still think they win that deal going away.
The Reds have the prospects necessary to acquire Ubaldo Jimenez, but I still think he’s a long shot to be dealt at all. Huston Street is a guy I expect to go shortly after Bell is dealt. All other closer deals are probably on hold until the Padres pick a home for Bell.
The Braves have stepped up pursuit of BJ Upton, who seems to be a better fit for them than Beltran as he adds the defense in center field. The Astros are still looking for a buyer on Hunter Pence at their price. I think Michael Bourn is a lot more likely to move right now. Wandy Rodriguez also being shopped by Houston.
Hiroki Kuroda might be the best starting pitcher to actually be dealt at the deadline. Several teams in the discussion, but don’t count out the Yankees.I think Brian Cashman is smart enough to know he needs a rotation upgrade. After CC Sabathia….. there just isn’t much. AJ Burnett, Phil Hughes, Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia, Ivan Nova (AAA)…. this is a team that demands championships and I think they go out and get an arm to slot in behind CC.
The Angels say they feel confident in Jordan Walden as a closer, but some discussion about them chasing a second-tier reliever like Leo Nunez once Bell moves.
Obviously more to come…