It's time for someone — anyone — to raise the white flag

Leave a comment has a story about the Brewers and the trade deadline. I found this non-Brewers bit to be the most interesting:

Only six of the 30 Major League teams entered play Wednesday more
than 10 games out of first place, and the other 24 teams could take a
public relations hit if they start dealing away core players. Melvin
raises the Mariners as an example. New GM Jack Zduriencik, who took the
job after a decade as Milwaukee’s scouting director, was expected to be
a seller this summer, but the Mariners were just 3 1/2 games out of
first place on Wednesday morning.

Yes, trading off bigger names when you’re only 3.5 games back can be
seen as a bad thing by the fans. Like you’re surrendering. Like you’re,
oh, I don’t know, waving a white flag:

They called it the “White Flag” trade. On July 31, 1997, at the
trading deadline, the Chicago White Sox dealt a trio of veteran
pitchers — Wilson Alvarez, Danny Darwin and Roberto Hernandez — to
the San Francisco Giants for six young players, four pitchers and two
position players, all minor leaguers. At the time, the White Sox
trailed Cleveland in the standings by just 3 1/2 games, yet it appeared
they were giving up the chase, hence the trade’s nickname. Sox fans
were up in arms. But more than three years later, that trade looks
different. The White Sox finally blew past the Indians in 2000, winning
95 games and the AL Central title.

Whether it’s Jack Zduriencik or someone else, there are opportunities
to be taken advantage of in this market if someone has the guts — and
backing from ownership — to make it happen. With so many teams
thinking they’re in the hunt, the first guy to recognize that, while
their team is technically in contention, they aren’t in serious contention, could make out like a bandit.

Yes, fans may grouse about it. They certainly did in Chicago in 1997.
But the cheers they’ll offer when the team is on truly solid footing a
couple of years later will drown that out.

Orioles have reached out to Yovani Gallardo

Yovani Gallardo
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

From Jon Heyman of CBS Sports comes word that the Orioles “like” free agent starter Yovani Gallardo and “have reached out to him” to gauge his interest in coming to Baltimore and what that might cost.

Gallardo rejected a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from the Rangers earlier this month and so his free agency is tied to draft pick compensation, but that shouldn’t hurt his bottom line all that much.

The 29-year-old right-hander posted a solid 3.42 ERA in 184 1/3 innings (33 starts) this past season for Texas and he pitched well in his one ALDS start.

Heyman reported a few weeks ago that the Diamondbacks are interested, and the Cubs, Blue Jays, and Dodgers were tied to him just ahead of the July 31 trade deadline.

Cubs, Cardinals, Giants, Dodgers, and Red Sox all showing serious interest in David Price

AP Photo/Tim Donnelly

David Price has expressed a desire to return to Toronto, where he finished out the 2015 season, but FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal writes Wednesday that the Blue Jays “are not expected to be a major factor in his free agency.”

The teams that should be considered serious suitors, per Rosenthal, are the Cubs, Cardinals, Giants, Dodgers, and Red Sox — all deep-pocketed teams looking to contend in 2016. Money is apparently the issue for the Blue Jays, who are currently owned by Rogers Communications.

Price registered an outstanding 2.45 ERA, 1.076 WHIP, and 225/47 K/BB ratio in 220 1/3 innings (32 starts) this past season between the Tigers and Jays, finishing second in the American League Cy Young Award race behind Dallas Keuchel of the Astros.

The 30-year-old left-hander is probably looking for a six- or seven-year contract worth more than $25 million per season. He is represented by agent Bo McKinnis.

Marlins have begun extension talks with Dee Gordon

Dee Gordon
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald wrote three weeks ago that the Marlins were probably going to explore an extension this winter with second baseman Dee Gordon. And it sounds like those talks are underway.

Via beat writer Joe Frisaro of

As a guest on MLB Network’s “Hot Stove” show Wednesday morning, Gordon confirmed his camp has been in talks with the Marlins regarding a multiyear deal. A source told that the discussions are preliminary and have just recently started.

“My agent is doing the talking,” Gordon said on the show. “They’re just keeping me in the loop. I think it’s going pretty well right now. We’ll see how that goes. I’m just playing the waiting game. We’re going to do the right thing.”

The 27-year-old carries three more seasons of salary arbitration, so there’s no real rush to get something done before next spring. Gordon carries quite a bit of leverage after posting a career-best .333/.359/.418 slash line in 145 games this past season for the Fish. He led all major leaguers in hits (205) and stolen bases (58).

Braves sign Bud Norris to one-year contract

Bud Norris

Bud Norris has found a home for his attempt at a bounceback season, signing a one-year deal with the Braves. Jon Heyman of says it’s worth $2.5 million, which is a huge cut from his $8.8 million salary this year.

Norris had established himself as a solid mid-rotation starter from 2009-2014, but had a brutal 2015 season split between the Orioles and Padres with a 6.72 ERA in 83 innings and a late-season move to the bullpen.

In announcing the signing the Braves referred to Norris as a starting pitcher, so joining the rotation for a rebuilding team gives him a chance to get his career back on track with an eye on hitting the open market as a free agent again next offseason. And if he fares well, the Braves could use him to add a prospect or two at the trade deadline.