Sources: Rockies, BoSox explore trade options
The Rockies have discussed a Garrett Atkins-for-Takashi Saito trade with the Red Sox, but both teams continue to explore other options, according to major-league sources.
While the Rockies are eager to dump Atkins, who is earning $7.05 million, they might want more of a return than Saito, who missed most of the second half of last season with a sprained elbow ligament.
Saito could end up earning approximately as much as Atkins this season; the performance and roster bonuses in his contract top out at $7.5 million if he spends 150 days on the active roster and appears in at least 70 games. He has been active all season and is on pace for 61 appearances.
The Rockies have drawn mild interest in Atkins from the Cardinals and Reds, one source says. The Red Sox are exploring trades for hitters as protection against further issues with third baseman Mike Lowell, who is on the disabled list with a strained right hip.
Rios, owed approximately $60 million between 2010 and '14, is more likely to be traded in the offseason, if then. Scouts say he is better defensively in center than he is in right, and his offensive numbers also profile better in center.
Rolen also will be a difficult mid-season sell due to his contract — he is earning $11 million this season and $11 million in 2010 and possesses a full no-trade clause.
Some scouts and executives have speculated that the Blue Jays might ask a team interested in Halladay to swallow one of their other big contracts, but such an idea is unrealistic.
In addition to Rolen, center fielder Vernon Wells has a full no-trade clause, and Rios has one through 2010.
Still, the D-backs are seeking at least the equivalent of a supplemental draft pick between the first and second rounds for Davis, which is what they will receive if they offer him arbitration and he departs as a free agent.
That pick likely will be between Nos. 40 and 50, and the D-backs have taken two promising left-handers in that range in the past two drafts.
Wade Miley, their fifth-best prospect according to Baseball America, was the 43rd overall pick out of Southeastern Louisiana in 2008. Mike Belfiore of Boston College was the 45th overall pick this year.
The other option for the Diamondbacks is to sign Davis to a contract extension — something that also might appeal to them if they are reluctant to exercise their $8.5 million club option on injured right-hander Brandon Webb.
Rockies outfielder Ryan Spilborghs, who remains of interest to the Phillies, presumably would command a similar package. But the Rockies, at least for the moment, consider Spilborghs too valuable to trade.
The A's landed Hairston for minor-league right-handers Ryan Webb and Craig Italiano and a player to be named. The player to be named is the key to the deal, sources say.