Trade talk: Roundup of Thursday's rumors

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Thursday was a rough day for the Red Sox and their fans, for reasons we won’t get into here. It looks like they will dominate talk in the final hours leading up to the trade deadline as well.

Pick a big name sitting on the block, and Theo Epstein appears to be feverishly working behind the scenes to put that player in a Red Sox uniform. At this point, it would be a huge shock if the Red Sox <i>don’t</i> make a big move by the deadline, and maybe even more than one. They’ve just got too many irons in the fire.

The Red Sox are so busy, it seems as if Clay Buchholz will be traded to about five different teams, all at the same time. If Epstein pulls that off, he deserves some kind of award, like maybe this.

Breaking it down, in order of likelihood …

VICTOR MARTINEZ
The Red Sox have been talking to the Indians about Martinez for a long time, and with Jason Varitek plodding along toward his AARP card, why not?

Jayson Stark reported on Thursday night that a three-team deal was in the works that would send Martinez to Boston …

… Clay Buchholz to Cleveland and prospects flying in all directions …

The lack of detail in the supposed trade is because, according to Stark, the teams are still searching for a third party to make the pieces fit, including a landing spot for Boston’s recently acquired first baseman Adam LaRoche.

Stark writes that the Rays are also interested in Martinez, but that seems like a long shot.

ROY HALLADAY
Nolan Ryan says the Rangers are still in the mix for Halladay, although youngster Derek Holland, who made the Mariners look foolish on Thursday, would not be part of any deal.

That being said, it seems that the Dodgers and – of course – the Red Sox are the frontrunners.

The Dodgers have supposedly offered pitcher James McDonald and a host of minor leaguers, while Boston’s offer is believed to included Clay Buchholz (duh!) and either Justin Masterson, Michael Bowden or Lars Anderson, plus lesser prospects.

However, Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi continues to say Halladay is staying put. It’s just that no one is listening.

ADRIAN GONZALEZ
If the Padres want the moon for Heath Bell, what would they want for Gonzalez? Saturn, with a comet to be named later?

It seems implausible that San Diego would move the only player they have who is worth watching, especially when you consider they have him for a mere $4.75 million in 2010, plus a $5.5 million option in 2011.

Nonetheless, the rumors are flying that the Red Sox are trying to pry Gonzalez away from his life on the beach.

You won’t be surprised to learn that Clay Buchholz is among the names being mentioned, although it might take three or four Clay Buchholzes to land Gonzalez, and I don’t know if even Epstein can conjure up that many.

ELSEWHERE …
*Regarding Jarrod Washburn, the Yankees are interested, but the names initially thrown out there (Joba? Hughes?) are ridiculous to even think about.

*For his part, Newsday’s Ken Davidoff thinks the Yankees will stand pat.

*Brewers GM Doug Melvin sounds an awful lot like he’s throwing in the towel.

*The Marlins are making a push for Nick Johnson.

*Dodgers acquire reliever George Sherrill from Orioles.

*Cubs add some nice pitching depth, courtesy of Wal-Mart, errr, I mean the Pirates.

*The Giants appear to be finished making moves.

*The Mets are reportedly looking to buy, but don’t want to give up prospects. In related news, I’d like Omar Minaya’s job, but without ever having to apologize.

*With the news of Joel Zumaya’s season ending surgery, you might think the Tigers will pursue a reliever, but Jason Beck of MLB.com writes that a starter or hitter would be more likely, and smarter.

*The Tigers trade Josh Anderson to the Royals for some cash.

*For the latest, check out our rumors page.

Also, you can find myself, Aaron, Matthew and D.J. on Twitter.

 

Three A’s rookies hit their first big league home runs on Saturday

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The Athletics followed Friday’s 3-0 shutout with a rookie-led home run derby on Saturday afternoon, watching not one, not two, but three rookies belt their first major league home runs off of the White Sox’ James Shields.

Right fielder Matt Olson was the first to strike, taking Shields deep on a first-pitch, two-run blast in the first inning for his first home run in 49 major league plate appearances:

Fellow outfielder Jaycob Brugman duplicated his teammate’s results in the second inning with a solo home run, his first extra-base hit of any kind since he made his debut on June 9:

In the third, with a comfortable 4-0 lead backing two scoreless frames from Oakland right-hander Daniel Gossett, Franklin Barreto took his shot at Shields. After getting the call several hours prior to Saturday’s game, he became the fastest of the three rookies to record his first big league homer, going yard on a 2-2 changeup and driving in Bruce Maxwell to give the A’s a six-run advantage.

The Athletics currently lead the White Sox 8-2 in the top of the sixth inning.

Athletics call up top prospect Franklin Barreto

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The Athletics called up their top prospect on Saturday, inserting shortstop Franklin Barreto into the lineup for their second game against the White Sox. Barreto was originally scheduled to make his major league debut on Sunday, but got a head start after Jed Lowrie sustained a minor knee sprain in Friday’s 3-0 win and was scratched from Saturday’s lineup.

Barreto, 21, has been rapidly climbing the rungs of the A’s minor league system after getting dealt by the Blue Jays in 2014. He got his first taste of Triple-A action late last year, going 6-for-17 with three RBI and getting caught stealing in two attempts. He fared little better this spring, slashing .281/.326/.428 with eight home runs and a .754 OPS through his first 309 PA in Nashville.

While his minor league production has been solid, if underwhelming for a prospect of his caliber, the A’s are expected to give the rookie infielder a long leash with both Marcus Semien and Chad Pinder sitting on the disabled list. Pinder landed on the 10-day DL after suffering a left hamstring strain on Friday. Semien, meanwhile, is still working his way back from the 60-day DL with a right wrist fracture and likely won’t rejoin the team until he completes a rehab assignment with High-A Stockton.