7:50 p.m. EDT update: Apparently it was a false alarm. Drew exited the office and went to hit in the Diamondbacks’ indoor cage, MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert says.
7:35 p.m. EDT update: The Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro reports that Stephen Drew was just called into manager Kirk Gibson’s office. It sounds like a trade may have gotten done.
ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reported Monday that the A’s and Diamondbacks are still talking about Stephen Drew as Oakland looks to shore up in shortstop situation.
Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com said the A’s also took a glance at the Phillies’ Jimmy Rollins, but while Philadelphia wasn’t asking for a lot in return, salary was an issue. The A’s may have wanted the Phillies to pick up a portion of the approx. $26 million that Rollins is owed through 2014.
MLB.com’s Peter Gammons also chimed in on the A’s earlier in the day, saying the team backed off on Drew and on Toronto’s Yunel Escobar. The A’s also looked at San Diego’s Chase Headley as an upgrade at third base, but they refused to offer right-hander Daniel Straily, who could be added to their rotation next month.
The A’s could always wait until after the deadline to address shortstop. Both Drew and Rollins appear likely to clear waivers, meaning they’d still be eligible to be dealt. Escobar might as well, though his contract is pretty favorable.
Last week as the Manny Machado trade drama was playing out, I and a lot of other people suspected as early as Monday and into Tuesday morning that the Orioles already had a deal in place for Machado and that they were just keeping it under wraps in order to get through the All-Star break (a) without any awkwardness; and (b) with the Orioles still having an All-Star representative. It would be Wednesday morning before the Orioles would make it official.
Turns out we were wrong. Machado was actually traded before Monday morning. Basically anyway, with the Orioles going so far as to pull him out of last Sunday’s game early because of it. And, of course, they lied about it. From Bob Nightengale of USA Today who spoke with Machado following his debut weekend with the Dodgers:
It was a week ago Sunday when Machado homered for the 24th time this season, the Orioles playing the final game of the first half against the Texas Rangers, when he was removed after the fourth inning after a 26-minute rain delay.
The Orioles told reporters after the game it was simply for precaution, making sure Machado didn’t get hurt playing on a wet field.
They may have fibbed to everyone else, but they told Machado the truth.
“That’s when they had told me I had been traded,’’ Machado said. “They said they pretty much had a deal done. They just wanted to wait until after the break to get all of the medical stuff done.
That didn’t stop all of the usual rumor-mongering reporters from tweeting stuff about this or that team “being in the race” or “taking the lead” or three or four teams in the “debry” or “sweepstakes” as it entered “the home stretch.” A bunch of track announcers calling a race that wasn’t even being run.
In the final analysis this is all benign. Teams lie about stuff all the time and a day or two in either direction made no difference to anyone involved. Still, it says a lot about how the trade rumor business works.