No major trades went down Thursday, but the landscape of the midsummer trade market shifted slightly.
The 15-day disabled list claimed four players -- Dustin McGowan and Vernon Wells of the Blue Jays, Erik Bedard of the Mariners and Mark Mulder of the Cardinals -- prompting a chain reaction in front offices from Toronto to Seattle.
The Blue Jays have been insisting they aren't sellers, but after losing Wells, who leads Toronto in home runs and RBIs, to the DL because of a strained left hamstring, and McGowan, who has worked more innings than anyone on the staff except Roy Halladay and A.J. Burnett, it won't surprise other teams if general manager J.P. Ricciardi decides to start seriously considering inquiries regarding Burnett.
Toronto began play Thursday in last place in the American League East, 11 1/2 games out of first place.
Burnett, 9-8 with a 5.23 ERA, can opt out of his contract after the season, but he also possesses the talent to improve any staff he joins. And with CC Sabathia, Rich Harden and now Bedard out of the trade picture, Burnett's value is rising.
Bedard went on the disabled list Thursday retroactive to July 5, which means he won't be eligible to come off the DL until 11 days before the Trade Deadline. The timing makes it uncertain whether the left-hander will get enough innings to demonstrate his soundness to interested teams before the deadline to make trades without going through waivers passes.
Philadelphia had been scouting Bedard, but his shoulder soreness pushed that option to the back burner. The Phillies are among several teams considering Burnett.
The Mariners released Richie Sexson on Thursday. The 33-year-old slugger is batting .218, and Seattle is responsible for the remainder of his $6 million salary.
Look for Sexson to latch on with a team needing a power hitter to use against lefties. Maybe a change of scenery will do for Sexson's career what going to Milwaukee did for Russell Branyan's. Seattle also acquired Craig Wilson, who had been playing for Pittsburgh's Triple-A farm club, for a player to be named.
The Cardinals called up Jaime Garcia from the Minors in the wake of Mulder's exit, but St. Louis is also considering going outside the organization for another arm.
The Cardinals had a scout watching the Nationals recently, though it is unclear which player(s) were being scouted -- perhaps Tim Redding or Odalis Perez, both available inexpensive options who have been pitching well lately.
With Moises Alou probably needing surgery, the surging Mets are continuing their search for another outfield bat, but nothing new on that front Thursday.
Jim Molony is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.