MLB trade deadline buzz: Monday’s edition

With the July 31 MLB non-waiver trade deadline fast approaching, baseball reporters Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi have all the latest buzz. All times below are ET.

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The latest on Halladay — 10:03 p.m.

  • The Phillies remain the team most likely to land Halladay, followed by the Red Sox.
  • Halladay will pitch for the Blue Jays as scheduled Wednesday night even if trade discussions are ongoing.
  • The Yankees are not aggressively pursuing Halladay, but the Jays do not rule out that the Yanks might make a last-minute push. The Jays like a number of prospects, including catcher Jesus Montero, center fielder Austin Jackson, catcher Austin Romine and left-hander Jeremy Bleich. They would want either Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain as the centerpiece of the deal.
  • There is no acrimony between the Jays and Phillies. “They should ask high,” one Phillies source says. “He is the best.”
  • The Brewers remain interested in Halladay but could not acquire him without including Class AAA shortstop Alcides Escobar, who might be on the verge of a major-league promotion.

    Giants deal prospect for 1B Garko — 9:40 p.m.

    The San Francisco Giants have acquired first baseman Ryan Garko from the Cleveland Indians for Class-A left-hander Scott Barnes, according to a major-league source.

    The Giants are trying to bolster an offense that ranks second-to-last in the NL in runs scored. San Francisco is nine games out in the NL West, but trails the Colorado Rockies by only one game in the wild-card standings entering Tuesday’s action.

    Garko has 11 home runs with 39 RBIs to go along with a .284 batting average this season.

    Barnes, 21, was the Giants’ ninth-best prospect according to Baseball America. He was 12-3 with a 2.85 ERA in 18 starts for Class A San Jose. Full story …

    Arroyo still with Reds … website glitch blamed — Updated 7:29 p.m.

    Well, Bronson Arroyo is scheduled to pitch for the Reds on Tuesday after all.

    An error on the team’s website (since corrected) inadvertently gave the impression that Arroyo had been scratched from Tuesday’s start.

    “Arroyo always has been scheduled to pitch, and will pitch, tomorrow for the Reds,” team spokesman Rob Butcher said in an e-mail.

    Earlier Monday, reported that the Reds are in “serious discussions” with the Yankees about a trade involving Arroyo. One source with knowledge of the talks told that nothing is imminent, although Arroyo is on the Yankees’ list of potential pitching acquisitions.

    The Yankees believe the amount of money remaining on his contract is prohibitive. Arroyo is due to earn $11 million next year, and the Reds currently hold a team option for 2011.

    Rockies may be done dealing — 4:43 p.m.

    According to one major-league source, the Rockies “wouldn’t mind adding one more pitcher” but may be comfortable moving forward with the staff they have.

    On Friday, the Rockies upgraded their bullpen by acquiring Rafael Betancourt in a trade with the Indians and promoting standout prospect Jhoulys Chacin from the minors. Chacin, 21, pitched a scoreless inning in his big-league debut.

    A’s asking a lot for reliever Wuertz — Updated 4:43 p.m.

    The Angels are one of the many teams pushing hard for A’s reliever Michael Wuertz, but Oakland is not motivated to trade the right-hander and will do so only for a steep price.

    Wuertz, who is under club control through 2011, is 5-1 with a 3.23 ERA this season. He is holding opponents to a .655 OPS, and has struck out 62 and walked only 13 in 47 1/3 innings.

    “Right now, he’s pitching as well as anybody out of the bullpen,” one scout said. “He’s on as good of a roll as he’s ever been on.”

    Will Pedro affect Phillies’ deadline moves? — 3:01 p.m.

    One person who watched Pedro Martinez’s (abbreviated) outing for Class A Clearwater on Sunday came away impressed.

    “He should be fine for them,” the evaluator said.

    Martinez’s fastball velocity ranged from 88 to 90 mph — topping out at 92 — and he showed the same plus changeup he’s had for years.

    Even if Martinez keeps pitching impressively, the Phillies will continue their efforts to add a starter before the deadline.

    A’s Duchscherer an appealing target? — 2:37 p.m.

    A’s righty Justin Duchscherer, who has yet to pitch in the majors this season while coming off elbow surgery, recorded six outs on 18 pitches Sunday in a Class A rehabilitation assignment that was well-attended by scouts.

    Duchscherer, 31, threw 22 more pitches in the bullpen, bringing his total to 40. He is scheduled to throw 60 in his next rehab appearance on Friday, which will take place after the 4 p.m. non-waiver deadline.

    While Duchscherer is frequently injured, he will be highly motivated to pitch in the final two months as he prepares to enter the free-agent market. He has been an All-Star as both a starter and reliever, and has a 3.14 career ERA.

    Any team that acquires Duchscherer will owe him the remainder of his $3.9 million salary for this season — about $1.3 million.

    The A’s likely would accept a modest prospect in return.

    Brewers cautious about dealing SS prospect — 1:35 p.m.

    Few know the Brewers’ farm system better than Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik, who drafted and signed many of Milwaukee’s top young players in his previous job as the team’s scouting director.

    Zduriencik surely would love to obtain shortstop Alcides Escobar in a trade for lefty Jarrod Washburn, and it’s reasonable to think that he might even include righty Brandon Morrow to pull off such a deal.

    The Brewers, though, likely would be reluctant to trade Escobar for two months of Washburn, a potential free agent, and the uncertain future of Morrow, who is back at Class AAA trying to re-establish himself as a starter.

    Brewers shortstop J.J. Hardy is a free agent after next season, and the team has made no effort to extend his contract, according to a major-league source.

    Therefore, the Brewers will be very careful about trading Escobar, knowing that without him, they could be forced into the market for a shortstop in 15 months.

    Source: Tigers still hunting for a hitter — 1:22 p.m.

    Detroit designated hitter Carlos Guillen returned from the disabled list over the weekend and batted .417 in three games against the White Sox, all Tigers victories. But Guillen is still limited physically, in the respect that his right shoulder won’t permit him to bat right-handed and play in the outfield.

    So Guillen will be limited to DH duty for the time being. That doesn’t bode well for the team’s trade pursuits, since a number of the hitters that interest the Tigers (Baltimore’s Luke Scott and Washington’s Adam Dunn, for example) profile as DHs.

    But that won’t stop the team from trying to upgrade. One major-league source said Monday that Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski has remained aggressive in his search for a hitter.

    Sources: Red Sox looking to add offense — 12:45 p.m.

    The Red Sox remain “in” on Blue Jays right-hander Roy Halladay, but their priority is finding offensive help, according to major-league sources.

    One problem for the Red Sox is their lack of flexibility with third baseman Mike Lowell, 35, and right fielder J.D. Drew, 33.

    Neither is exactly hurting the team — while Drew’s .791 OPS is nearly 100 points below his career mark, Lowell is hitting at about his career level.

    But the ages and contracts of both players virtually ensure that they cannot be moved, limiting the Red Sox’s options.

    Lowell is earning $12 million per season through 2010, Drew $14 million per season through ’11.

    D-backs starters still not drawing much interest — 12:43 p.m.

    So far, the trade activity has been light on Diamondbacks starters Doug Davis and Jon Garland, according to major-league sources, but Arizona officials are optimistic that the market will pick up in the final days before the deadline.

    Davis may have upped his trade value on Saturday, when he pitched six shutout innings in a 7-0 defeat of the Pirates. Davis has a 3.76 ERA despite a 5-10 record.

    Pirates not done dealing yet? — 12:30 p.m.

    There’s still a good chance that the Pirates will move at least one of their middle infielders this week.

    Minnesota remains the most interested club in the market for second baseman Freddy Sanchez, one source said, although Boston’s interest in shortstop Jack Wilson doesn’t appear to be as strong as it once was.

    Padres’ trade bait staying put? — Updated 12:14 p.m.

    No team should make personnel decisions based on public relations, but Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and closer Heath Bell will be particularly difficult to move because of their respective standings in the community.

    Gonzalez is a native San Diegan and Mexican-American, not to mention highly productive and highly affordable. Bell is from Oceanside, Calif., and his gregarious presence makes him especially popular with fans.

    The Padres recently staged a “breakfast in the park” promotion that was attended by about 500 fans. The team set up tables behind home plate and on the warning track in the outfield. Bell, without being asked, spent more time mingling with fans than any other player, moving from table to table, shaking hands.

    The Padres continue to listen on both Bell and Gonzalez, but would need to be overwhelmed to move either player. The current talks might end up simply being groundwork for further discussions in the offseason, when the markets for both players would be even livelier.

    The Tigers expressed interest in Bell earlier this month, but one major-league source said Monday there is “nothing happening” in the market for the right-hander now.

    Huff will be tough for O’s to deal — 12:03 p.m.

    If the Orioles want to trade first baseman Aubrey Huff, they will need to convince prospective suitors that his July slump is a mirage.

    Huff, a potential free agent, has had a brutal month, batting .147 and producing only a .447 combined on-base/slugging percentage.

    His overall numbers also are down from last season, when Huff had a .912 OPS and led the American League with 82 extra-base hits.

    This season, he has a .716 OPS and 32 extra-base hits.

    Phillies interested in more than Halladay — 11:54 a.m.

    The Phillies continue to be active on numerous fronts besides Roy Halladay, talking to the Indians about left-hander Cliff Lee, searching for bullpen help and continuing their endless quest for a right-handed hitter.

    “All balls in the air,” one club official says. “Focusing on many opportunities.”

    Still, rival clubs say the Phillies’ involvement in the Halladay sweepstakes are putting other conversations on hold.

    The Nationals, for example, might want to further engage the Phillies on outfielder Josh Willingham and left-handed reliever Joe Beimel.

    George Sherrill, the Orioles’ left-handed closer, is another reliever in whom the Phillies are interested.

    Halladay trade chances ‘very slim’ — Updated 10:54 a.m.

    Two days away from his deadline for trading ace right-hander Roy Halladay, Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi told on Sunday night that the chances of a deal remain “very slim.”

    “We’ve said that we would listen, but that we would have to be motivated and ‘wowed,'” Ricciardi said. “Right now we haven’t been. I’ve said all along my gut tells me I won’t be. I still stand by that.”

    Ricciardi said his Tuesday deadline for moving Halladay is “not etched in stone,” and stopped short of saying that he might end the discussions before Friday’s deadline for completing trades without waivers.

    “If we get to the last week and haven’t really made any progress with anybody, I’m not going to say it’s 100 percent certain, but I would have to pretty much think it’s not going to get done,” Ricciardi said. Full story …

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