Young-Rangers reunion not likely
The Rangers have been widely reported to be looking for an outfielder with a right-handed bat, but a couple of reports this weekend raised the possibility they could go after a familiar infielder with a right-handed bat: Michael Young.
Both ESPN's Jayson Stark and CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman reported that the Phillies and Rangers had discussions about the one-time Rangers icon, traded to the Phillies last offseason. But both cautioned that there was nothing imminent, Stark saying the two sides have had "exploratory" talks and Heyman first noting that the Rangers have discussed the possibility internally.
MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan took it a step further Saturday, reporting that, according to Major League sources, a trade for Young is not going to happen. Outfield help remains a focus for the Rangers, but Sullivan also reports that the team might not even make a trade before the Deadline, finding prices high and not necessarily finding a good fit.
The Rangers have been reported to be looking at Alex Rios, Chris Denorfia and Hunter Pence, among others. FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal, meanwhile, tweeted Saturday that the Giants are willing to listen on Pence, which would be a bit of a change in mindset for the defending World Series champions.
Sullivan reported that a pair of White Sox scouts were watching the Rangers on Friday and have been scouting the Rangers' Minor League system, with Rios remaining a possibility.
Whether the Phillies move Young or not at all remains to be seen, but Stark reports that in the last couple of days they've begun telling clubs they're listening to offers on Young, catcher Carlos Ruiz, closer Jonathan Papelbon and perhaps even Cliff Lee.
Awaiting Cubs' next move
With everyone waiting for another shoe to drop with the Cubs clearly in trading mode this season, Opening Day starter Jeff Samardzija's name is back out there. FOX Sports' Rosenthal says the Cubs are listening to offers for the 28-year-old right-hander, but says the asking price is very high.
Samardzija who has two arbitration years remaining, has a 3.94 ERA in 21 starts this season with a 9.1 strikeout/per nine innings ratio. As MLB.com's Carrie Muskat puts it, "Theo Epstein has said no player is untouchable, but it would take quite a package to pry Samardzija loose."
Muskat tweeted a quote from Cubs manager Dale Sveum a bit later that made it seem even less likely. Said Sveum: "I don't think that's going to happen. We have control of a guy for 2 1/2 more years. ... I think somebody had to throw something out there and was bored and put some silly rumor out there."
Peavy suitors continue to shift
With the Tampa Bay Rays stirring things up in the American League East, the Baltimore Orioles might be more inclined to try to acquire another starter, and CBSSports.com's Heyman says Jake Peavy is on their radar. Heyman quoted sources Saturday saying the O's are in the mix for the veteran right-hander, along with the Red Sox, Cardinals, A's and Braves.
On the Braves front, it remains apparent that a trade for Peavy or Ervin Santana is less likely than something that would shore up the bullpen or even provide depth in the infield, MLB.com's Mark Bowman tweeted Saturday. Bowman points out that the depth of the Braves' rotation and the cost of starting pitching are factors pointing more toward a bullpen upgrade.
Marlins not looking like a player
After kicking off the Trade Deadline season by shipping Ricky Nolasco to the Dodgers, it's quite possible the Marlins will make it to Wednesday's Deadline without making another move.
MLB.com's Joe Frisaro reports that teams in need of relief have been told closer Steve Cishek and lefty Mike Dunn are not available, and veteran Chad Qualls isn't being actively shopped.
Meanwhile, the biggest fish simply isn't going anywhere, Frisaro writes. While Giancarlo Stanton might be coveted by other teams and his name has come up in trade speculation, Frisaro says teams like the Rangers and Pirates who might have inquired about Stanton are "repeatedly are told the same thing -- no."