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.

 

Wade Boggs embroiled in non-controversy over his Yankees World Series ring!

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Boston Red Sox
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The Red Sox held a ceremony honoring the 1986 team last night and one of the key members of that team, Wade Boggs, was in attendance wearing  his Red Sox jersey. He also wore his Yankees World Series ring.

When I heard about this controversy a few minutes ago I did something that neither I nor most people who are a part of the Internet Industrial Complex usually do: wondered whether this was actually a controversy.

I quickly scanned around and found a good dozen or so articles talking about it and people talking about them talking about it. I noticed people making reference to how, theoretically, this could upset some Red Sox fans or be seen as a sign of disrespect. But I could not find anyone who actually cared. Anyone who was actually upset about it. I can’t say that I read every comment to every article, but you usually don’t have to dig deep to find people mad about something on the Internet and I could not immediately find anyone who was mad about this. Lots of jokes and comments about the idea of being mad, but no one who actually cared. It was like an obligatory ceremonial function the meaning of which everyone has forgotten.

There are a lot of “controversies” like that. They tend to be more common in the entertainment world than the sports world — people referencing a “scandalous” thing some singer or actor did which, in reality, scandalized no one — but it happens in sports too. In sports it’s when a convention or custom is not followed or when someone doesn’t otherwise conform to some set of expectations. A lot of the time no one cares at all. It’s all about the politics of recognizing situations in which someone might, in theory, care. Or once did long, long ago.

Maybe someone is genuinely mad at Wade Boggs over this If so, I’d love to hear from that person and wonder why on Earth they’d care. But I sort of feel like such a beast does not exist. And for that I’m pretty glad.

The Cardinals had a “statement loss” yesterday

ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 25: Manager manager Mike Matheny #22 congratulates Matt Adams #32 of the St. Louis Cardinals as he enters the dugout after scoring a run during the fourth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium on May 25, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Scott Kane/Getty Images)
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I’ve always been critical of the concept of “statement games” in Major League Baseball. Maybe it matters more in football where there are far fewer games and thus each one means much more, but in baseball a win lasts, at best, 48 hours and usually less. Like Earl Weaver said, we do this every day, lady. When you’re constantly talking, as it were, any one statement is pretty unimportant.

I’ll grant that a “statement win” is a thing players use to motivate or validate themselves, of course. We on the outside can roll our eyes at the notion, but we can’t know the minds of a major league player. If they think that they made a statement and it’s important to them, hey, it’s important to them. I’ll admit, however, that a statement loss is a new one to me:

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Kolten Wong provided the basis of that headline. Here is what he said:

“I think we still made a statement. We were down 6-1 right off the bat. The game before, we were kind of in the same situation. We were tired of it,” second baseman Kolten Wong said. “Our pitchers have been our go-to these past few years. It was time for us to step up and I think we all kind of felt that, too. We just wanted to make this a game and show that we have our pitchers’ backs.”

In context it makes sense. A moral victory, as it were. They got to one of the best pitchers in the game after finding themselves down by several runs thanks to their starting pitching betraying them. The hitters didn’t go into a shell when most folks would excuse them for doing so against a guy like Jake Arrieta.

Makes sense and no judgments here. Moral victories matter. Still, it’s hard not to chuckle at the headline. I can’t remember a big leaguer talking quite that way after a loss.

Julio Urias to be called up, make his MLB debut tomorrow

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 20:  Starting pitcher Julio Urias #78 of the Los Angeles Dodgers participates in a spring training workout at Camelback Ranch on February 20, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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The Dodgers have been mulling this for a long time, but they just announced that they plan on calling up top prospect Julio Urias. He’ll be making his major league debut against the Mets tomorrow evening in New York.

Urias is just 19 years-old, but he’s shown that he’s ready for the bigs. In eight Triple-A games this year — seven starts — he’s 4-1 with a 1.10 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 44/8 in 41 innings. He has tossed 27-straight scoreless innings to boot. While the Dodgers and Urias’ agent are understandably wary of giving the young man too much work too soon, he has nothing left to prove at Oklahoma City.

Urias turns 20 in August. Tomorrow night he will become the first teenager to debut in the majors since 2012 when Dylan Bundy, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, and Jurickson Profar each made their debuts.

 

Fox asked Vin Scully to work the All-Star Game. Vin said no.

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Richard Dietsch of Sports Illustrated reports that Fox officials asked Vin Scully if he wanted to work the All-Star Game, be it calling the full game, doing an inning, making a guest appearance or whatever. Scully, though appreciative, said no thanks.

We’ve been over this, but for however much it might make people happy for Scully to make this kind of national appearance, there’s nothing in his history or in his apparent nature that would make such a thing appeal to Scully. For as much as an institution he has become, he still thinks of himself as an employee who calls Dodgers games, goes home and that is that. He has shown considerable discomfort, however politely he has communicated it, at being treated as something different or more special than that. And that’s before you remember that (a) it would be a totally different setup for him which would require a lot of extra work; and (b) the All-Star Break is a time when most baseball people take a couple of days off.

As I said the last time we discussed this, if baseball at large wants to give Scully some sort of national sendoff, the best bet would be for the powers that be to figure out how to get the final Dodgers games of the season nationally televised without blackout restrictions. That way we can all watch him doing his thing, in his element, for a final time without it being gimmicky.