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Big names could move before deadline


Big names could move before deadline
Around the horn, deadline edition:

  • The Dodgers are not pursuing Red Sox left fielder Manny Ramirez, according to major-league sources. Their priority remains a shortstop, and they might end up with only a backup at the position, if anyone.

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    The Red Sox contacted the Dodgers about Ramirez, just as they've contacted virtually every team that might be interested in the slugger. The Dodgers, however, dismissed the idea, balking at the likely asking price and the circus-like atmosphere surrounding Ramirez.

    "There's too much going on there," one source said.

    The Dodgers' addition of third baseman Casey Blake reduced their need for offense at shortstop. Nomar Garciaparra could be headed to the disabled list with a sprained ligament in his left knee, but Angel Berroa offers solid defense, if not much offense.

    The team, sources say, does not have interest in the Twins' Adam Everett, another light-hitting shortstop who is nearing the end of a rehabilitation assignment, and has all but ended its pursuit of the Pirates' Jack Wilson.

  • The Phillies, in pursuit of a left-handed reliever, inquired about the Royals' Ron Mahay, but are not the front-runner to acquire him, according to major-league sources.

    The interest in Mahay has intensified, and other teams are willing to pay a greater price than the Phillies. The Rockies, at least for the moment, are not discussing deals involving closer Brian Fuentes. The Orioles so far have been unsuccessful in their quest to acquire a young shortstop for closer George Sherrill.

    That leaves Mahay as one of the better options for teams seeking a veteran lefty. He signed a two-year with the Royals last offseason and will earn $4 million in 2009. The Royals are believed to be seeking position help in return.

  • The Padres plan to ask right-hander Greg Maddux one more time if he would consider a trade to a team that isn't on the west coast. Maddux holds a full no-trade clause and wants to remain in the west to stay close to his family. The Phillies expressed interest in Maddux before they acquired right-hander Joe Blanton from the A's. The Dodgers, perhaps the only team to which Maddux would approve a trade, have not shown interest.
  • The Cubs aren't expected to do much before the deadline, but they could trade left-handed reliever Scott Eyre, who is drawing interest from teams such as the Red Sox, Rays and Tigers.

    Eyre, 36, will be expendable once closer Kerry Wood comes off the disabled list; the Cubs do not plan to demote rookie sensation Jeff Samardzija, and they have two other left-handed relievers, Neal Cotts and Sean Marshall.

    Eyre, earning $3.8 million in the final year of his contract, rejoined the Cubs last week after spending most of the season on the disabled list with elbow and groin injuries.

  • Trade Miguel Tejada? The Astros, bless their delusional hearts, are thinking quite the opposite. They're buyers, not sellers, pursuing bullpen help even though they're buried in the National League standings.

    The Astros have had "absolutely no (trade) dialogue about Miguel," one major-league source says, refuting an ESPN.com report that said the team was discussing a Tejada trade with the Red Sox.

    The team's only discussions about Tejada, the source says, involve his long-term position. Tejada, 34, eventually will need to move to third base, but the Astros have a strong third-base prospect at Class AA, Chris Johnson.

  • Two teams that inquired about Mariners reliever J.J. Putz were told that he would not be traded. But others say that Putz indeed is available, along with every player on the M's roster except for right fielder Ichiro Suzuki, right-hander Felix Hernandez, catcher Kenji Johjima and reliever Brandon Morrow.

    If the Mariners traded Putz, they would be committing to Morrow as their future closer. By keeping Putz, the M's would retain the option of moving Morrow to the rotation or continuing to use him and Putz as a dynamic late-inning duo.

    Putz, 31, emerged as one of the game's top closers in 2006 and '07, earning a combined 76 saves and posting a 1.38 ERA in 71 2/3 innings last season. He opened the current season on the disabled list due to an inflamed right torso, and recently missed five weeks with a hyperextended right elbow.

    Since coming off the disabled list, Putz has made four appearances, allowing one earned run in five innings. However, a scout who saw him during this stretch says, "He doesn't look like the same guy I saw earlier in the year."

    Putz is signed for $3.4 million this season and $5 million next season with an $8.6 million club option for 2010.

  • The Marlins are the most aggressive suitor for Rangers catcher Gerald Laird, but add the Brewers to the list of interested clubs, which also includes the Reds and Yankees.

    Brewers GM Doug Melvin acquired Laird for the Rangers in 2002, and Laird would be a strong complement to Jason Kendall, who needs to start only 16 more games to guarantee his vesting option for next season.

    The Rangers are seeking a young starting pitcher in return for Laird, and also fielding calls on their other catcher, Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

    The Marlins, according to the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, are considering three catchers besides Laird: The Giants' Bengie Molina, Orioles' Ramon Hernandez and Pirates' Ryan Doumit.

    Matt Treanor, the Marlins' starting catcher, is suffering from a sports hernia.

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    Author:Fox Sports
    Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
    Added: July 30, 2008

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