HBT Trade Deadline Tracker

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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.

What’s on Tap: Previewing Thursday’s action

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 16: Starting pitcher J.A. Happ #33 of the Toronto Blue Jays delivers a pitch in the seventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on June 16, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images
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Did you know J.A. Happ is in the thick of the American League Cy Young Award race? Of all the contenders, he may be the biggest surprise, even ahead of Drew Pomeranz. Happ leads the league with 17 wins and only has three losses to go with it. He’s holding a 3.05 ERA and a 133/44 K/BB ratio in 150 1/3 innings.

It wasn’t all that long ago that Happ was struggling to stay in a starting rotation. In 2011, his first full season with the Astros, he finished with a 5.35 ERA. In 2012, he put up a 4.79 ERA with the ‘stros and Blue Jays. The next year? 4.56 followed by 4.22, both with the Jays. Then, with the Mariners, he continued the mediocrity with a 4.64 ERA before he was traded to the Pirates.

Under the tutelage of Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage, Happ turned his career around. In 11 starts in Pittsburgh, the lefty had a microscopic 1.85 ERA. That came with significant improvements in his strikeout and walk rates. Even the ERA retrodictors like FIP and xFIP, which had so often agreed with his uninspiring ERA’s, agreed that he had thrown like an elite hurler. So that’s how we arrived at J.A. Happ, Cy Young Award contender.

Among AL starters, Happ is fifth-best in ERA behind Cole Hamels, Jose Quintana, Aaron Sanchez, and Steven Wright. However, his 17-3 record is equaled only by Rick Porcello. As there are still a significant number of voters in the Baseball Writers Association of America who consider won-lost record, Happ is sitting in a good position and will be even better if he can cross the coveted 20-win threshold. He’ll get a bit of a boost as well if he can help the Jays return to the postseason for a second consecutive season.

Happ’s Jays will host the hapless — and Happ-less — Angels on Thursday evening. He’ll take on veteran Jered Weaver in a 7:07 PM EDT start.

The rest of Thursday’s action…

Baltimore Orioles (Ubaldo Jimenez) @ Washington Nationals (Max Scherzer), 7:05 PM EDT

Kansas City Royals (Edinson Volquez) @ Miami Marlins (Tom Koehler), 7:10 PM EDT

New York Mets (Seth Lugo) @ St. Louis Cardinals (Adam Wainwright), 7:15 PM EDT

Cleveland Indians (Josh Tomlin) @ Texas Rangers (Cole Hamels), 8:05 PM EDT

Pittsburgh Pirates (Chad Kuhl) @ Milwaukee Brewers (Wily Peralta), 8:10 PM EDT

Seattle Mariners (James Paxton) @ Chicago White Sox (Anthony Ranaudo), 8:10 PM EDT

Atlanta Braves (Matt Wisler) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (Robbie Ray), 9:40 PM EDT

San Francisco Giants (Matt Moore) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (Ross Stripling), 10:10 PM EDT

Let’s play the “how long has it been since the Cubs won the World Series?” game!

1908 Cubs
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It started with a no-good St. Louis Cardinals fan being a troublemaker. That no-good Cardinals fan was Drew Silva, who began things innocently enough, noting that, despite their dominance this season, any team can theoretically beat the Chicago Cubs in a short series because that’s just how baseball goes:

Cubs fans started giving him guff for that, so Drew gave some back:

And with that it was on like Donkey Kong (a super old video game which was not invented for another 73 years after the Cubs last won the World Series). I tweeted this:

And with that, my followers went crazy. Here’s a sampling of some of the best ones:

And, for that matter . . .

Too soon. Unlike the last Cubs World Series title.

Like I said, this was just a sampling. I’ve retweeted a ton more on my timeline and those I didn’t retweet can be seen in the replies here. My favorite one may have been “literally the invention of sliced bread,” which debuted in 1912, but I can’t find that tweet.

Please, Cubs fans, have a sense of humor about this. You have a wonderful ballpark that is not named after a third tier mortgage company, a grand history that is fantastic even if it hasn’t featured any championships and a future that is as bright or brighter than any other team out there. Maybe even come up with some of your own in the comments! History is fun! As is self-deprecation! What I’m saying is don’t be salty about this sort of thing. Salty is a bad look.

In other news, the Morton Salt Company was incorporated in 1910, two years after the Cubs last World Series victory.