HBT Trade Deadline Tracker


Here’s the latest on baseball’s most buzzed-about trade targets.

Last update: Thursday, July 29, 2010, 8:35 PM EDT

Roy Oswalt: The Astros and Phillies completed a deal on Thursday afternoon.  The Phils will get Oswalt, obviously, and $11 million to cover the $23 million remaining on the right-hander’s contract.  Houston got left-hander J.A. Happ, infielder Jonathan Villar and outfielder Anthony Gose, then flipped Gose to Toronto for first baseman Brett Wallace.

Adam Dunn: The Nationals appear to have softened their asking price for Dunn, but the White Sox are believed to be out of the running and the Yankees only have fringe interest. The Nationals haven’t even made Dunn an offer on a contract extension so it appears like they’re intent on dealing him, but a deal has not come together yet.

Prince Fielder: The White Sox had been mentioned, as have the Rangers and Angels, but Texas and Anaheim seem like longshots and White Sox seem more intent on picking up Adam Dunn.

Ted Lilly: With Haren gone and Oswalt either on his way to Philly or staying put, Lilly would seem like a nice fallback. There was some noise about the Phillies having an interest as of yesterday, but Lilly has a no-trade clause that includes them.  The Dodgers have been looking at him, but they’ve been said to be looking at everyone, and no one believes that Frank McCourt is going to allow the team to take on payroll. The Yankees are said to “like” Lilly and the Mets could certainly use him.  The Twins, meanwhile, are out.

Brett Myers: The buzz on Myers has been positively schizophrenic. One hour there’s word that he’s more likely to move than Oswalt, and the next hour someone says he’s “untouchable.”  If Oswalt moves expect Myers to stay, but since he can walk at the end of the season it’s not clear why Houston doesn’t try to get something for him.

Jayson Werth: Various chatter continues — Buster Olney recently said that the Tigers were scouting Werth — but it’s looking more and more like Werth isn’t going anywhere. He certainly doesn’t think he’s going anywhere.

Jose Bautista: The Phillies have reportedly been scouting Blue Jays games and some think it’s because of Bautista, who Philly could use to play third base until Chase Utley returns (with Polanco at second). He’s hitting home runs by the bucketful again, however, and that may just convince the Jays to keep the arbitration eligible Bautista around.

Corey Hart:  Talks had begun between the Brewers and the Giants, but they’re “dead in the water.” Hart is still day-to-day an injury to his right wrist, and there’s not much chance Milwaukee could move him unless he shows he can hit. Given that he’s now saying that won’t be until Friday, the chances of him moving before the deadline are somewhere between slim and none.

Scott Downs
: Not the biggest name around, but the Jays’ setup man may be the best reliever available at the moment, and the Jays are apparently asking the moon for him.

Derrek Lee: Lee reportedly turned down a trade to the Angels and now says he doesn’t want to go anywhere for the rest of the season. As is his right as a 10-5 guy.

Mike Lowell: Tearing things up on a minor league rehab assignment, the Rangers reportedly still have some interest.  The Red Sox are expected to activate him from the disabled list on Friday and will seek a trade partner well into Saturday afternoon.

Miguel Tejada: The Padres reached a deal for Tejada on Thursday, sending minor league right-hander Wynn Pelzer to Baltimore.  Pelzer, 24, had a 4.20 ERA and 1.66 WHIP over 94 1/3 innings this season at Double-A San Antonio.

Jorge Cantu: The Marlins dealt Cantu to the Rangers on Thursday afternoon for minor league right-handers Evan Reed and Omar Poveda.  Neither are promising prospects, but Cantu isn’t exactly a high-impact hitter.

Matt Capps: The Nationals closer has drawn only mild interest despite strong numbers this season in Washington.  The Twins are known to be in the running and are reportedly engaging in discussions for the right-hander.

Jessica Mendoza and Chris Archer were great in the booth

Jessica Mendoza
Leave a comment

Not news: Jessica Mendoza, who has been excellent on all of the ESPN broadcasts she has done since taking over for Curt Schilling, was excellent last night too.

She was great on the nuts and bolts, continued to show that she can describe hitting mechanics better than most color commentators — way more of them seem to be more comfortable talking about pitching — and was a seamless presence in the booth in terms of flow, timbre and all of the aesthetic aspects of broadcasting. If she has a fault thus far it’s that she leans on some cliches about hitters’ mindsets and desire to win sometimes. This puts her in with approximately 100% of all other color commentators in baseball now and throughout the history of baseball, of course, so it’s not really a demerit.

Ultimately, the true test of a good commentator is whether they (a) add insight; and (b) do so without distracting or upstaging the game. In this Mendoza is superior to most commentators in baseball and clearly superior to the “stop and listen to me” brand of analysts the major networks have employed on national broadcasts in recent years.

Indeed, the one of the best compliments I think I can give Mendoza is that she was — in the literal sense, not the judgmental sense — unremarkable. Meaning: during the game and after there was nothing she said or did that was worthy of the highly-critical remarks almost every broadcaster gets, going back through Schilling, Kruk, Harold Reynolds Tim McCarver, Joe Morgan and everyone else ESPN and Fox have forced upon us in their history doing playoff baseball. I’m on Twitter during most playoff games and sometimes the broadcaster bashing is more interesting than the game. Mendoza gives the would-be bashers very little material.

At least those who would bash on the actual merits. There remains a group of deadenders who are irked by her very presence in the booth because she is a woman. The New York times rounds up some of the less mouth-breathery types today, but God knows there are many, many worse. Some of them even in professional media. At least for now. Whether you choose to ignore those people or choose to engage them — which, their dead end opinions notwithstanding can be a useful exercise in my opinion — know that they are out there being miserable and sexist as God and the First Amendment intended them to be.

While there are many who slam Mendoza on the faulty premise that she lacks credentials and experience in the booth, there was one person in the ESPN booth last night, at least for a while, who was a total TV noob. His name was Chris Archer. He pitches a bit for the Tampa Bay Rays. And lo and behold, he was pretty damn good himself.

Archer needs some polish for style — he has a lot of “ummms” and “uhhhs” about him — but his analysis is both sharp and quick. Meaning he was RIGHT ON the points when he needed to be without any of the usual prompting guests in the booth need from the play by play guy. At one point he even flowed into play-by-play and did a pretty good job of it.  Chris: if that pitching stuff doesn’t work out, you have a bright, bright future in television.

So, on the first night of the playoffs, there were no complaints about the broadcast. Mostly because the broadcasters weren’t the stars of the show. The game was. And it was complemented nicely by a couple of good voices.

And John Kruk.

NL Wild Card Game: Cubs vs. Pirates lineups

Jake Arrieta

Here are the Cubs and Pirates lineups for tonight’s Wild Card game in Pittsburgh:

CF Dexter Fowler
RF Kyle Schwarber
LF Kris Bryant
1B Anthony Rizzo
3B Tommy La Stella
2B Starlin Castro
C Miguel Montero
SS Addison Russell
SP Jake Arrieta

Cubs manager Joe Maddon wanted Tommy La Stella in the lineup over Jorge Soler or Chris Coghlan, so he starts at third base and Kris Bryant shifts to left field. Bryant started just four games in left field all season, compared to 136 starts at third base. Also of note: After batting Addison Russell ninth–behind the pitcher–116 times this season Maddon has him in the more traditional eighth spot tonight.

RF Gregory Polanco
3B Josh Harrison
CF Andrew McCutchen
LF Starling Marte
C Francisco Cervelli
2B Neil Walker
SS Jordy Mercer
1B Sean Rodriguez
SP Gerrit Cole

Pedro Alvarez started 119 games at first base for the Pirates and with right-hander Jake Arrieta on the mound he was the presumed starter tonight, but instead manager Clint Hurdle has benched the 27-homer slugger in favor of utility man Sean Rodriguez. Alvarez is vastly superior to Rodriguez offensively, especially versus a righty, but he’s also very shaky defensively. During the regular season Rodriguez started a grand total of one game at first base against a right-hander, so this qualifies as a hunch by Hurdle.