Deadline roundup: Much ado about Tulo?

Rox shortstop downplays visit to New York; Lester still prefers Boston

Deadline roundup: Much ado about Tulo?

The July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline is coming up quickly, as contenders look to bolster their squads for a potential run at October.

From now until the Deadline, we'll be checking in on the trade news around baseball, with help from MLB.com's reporters. The countdown is underway.

Tulo talk: The fact that injured Troy Tulowitzki attended the Yankees-Blue Jays game in New York on Sunday led to speculation. The main point was that the star Rockies shortstop, who will have a hip procedure done in Philadelphia in hopes of returning from the disabled list, could soon be traded.

Players on the DL generally stay with their club or stay home when they aren't in another city visiting with specialists.

"I don't think it's a big deal for me -- the guy's on the DL," Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez told MLB.com's Thomas Harding. "He had an opportunity to watch baseball, watch his favorite player. Why not? I don't think people should make a big deal about it.

"When he's healthy, he concentrates on the Rockies, he concentrates on being a good player. That's all you can ask for. He gives 100 percent. That's people trying to make things out of it, and that's the last thing we need."

Tulowitzki, who has been reported as saying he wouldn't mind playing for a contender, didn't appear too concerned about the situation, and told The Denver Post that it was much ado about nothing.

"I'm with my family," Tulo told the paper. "I wanted to see [Derek] Jeter play one more time."

The latest on Lester: After Saturday's talk that the Dodgers might be preparing a package for Jon Lester, the veteran left-hander on Sunday cleared some air with WEEI.com, explaining that he understands he could be traded, although multiple reports are suggesting that the Red Sox want a lot in return.

Lester also made a point to say that he is not particularly interested in signing an extension with his new team in the event that he is dealt, because he'd like to come back to Boston.

"Money doesn't buy you happiness," Lester told WEEI.com's Alex Speier. "There's some guys, that drives them. That's great. For me, I want to be happy. I want to be comfortable. I want to be in a place that wants me and appreciates what I do."

Rios rumors: The bat being discussed more than any other on Sunday was Rangers outfielder Alex Rios. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Giants, Mariners, Reds and Yankees are among the clubs who have expressed interest in the right-handed hitter.

Rios, who was selected by the White Sox off waivers from Toronto in August 2009 and was then traded to Texas last August in a waiver deadline deal, could also be a candidate to move again after Thursday's deadline.

Yankees yearnings: In addition to their tire-kicking on Rios, the Yankees have been active in discussions, even after landing starter Brandon McCarthy and third baseman Chase Headley in recent weeks.

On Sunday, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported that Twins outfielder Josh Willingham is another player New York has been inquiring about, given the team's ongoing search for offense. Heyman surmised that the Yankees might be more willing to take a stab at Willingham instead of Rios or Marlon Byrd of the Phillies, because Willingham makes only $7 million and will be a free agent at the end of the season, making him less of a financial commitment than the other two players.

Heyman also reported on Sunday that the Yankees are in the market for another starter and that White Sox left-hander John Danks might best fit the bill since he wouldn't require the prospects that it would take to pry Cole Hamels from Philadelphia. The Yankees might also be willing to wait out a possible August waiver deal for Philly lefty Cliff Lee.

LaTroy landing? The Rockies would be orchestrating one of the biggest trades in recent memory if they decided to part with Tulowitzki, but there's no evidence of that happening just yet. For now, though, Colorado might be willing to swing a smaller deal.

MLB.com's Thomas Harding reported on Sunday that the Pirates are believed to be interested in the 41-year-old right-hander, who has done a fine job as closer this season.

"With the Rockies requiring players that can help them at the start of next season and always searching for young pitching under club control, a deal could be difficult but not impossible," Harding wrote.

Pittsburgh would be adding to a strong bullpen that includes All-Star southpaw Tony Watson plus right-handers Jeanmar Gomez, Jared Hughes and closer Mark Melancon plus lefty Justin Wilson. Ernesto Frieri, the righty who landed in Pittsburgh in the Jason Grilli trade with the Angels, hasn't found his footing yet with Pittsburgh.

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.