Cubs Jul. 18 - According to the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs had all but given up on prying Loretta loose from San Diego, but GM Jim Hendry plans to resume negotiations with the Padres to see what it would take to seal the deal. However, Hendry reportedly is not keen on the idea of also acquiring pitcher Kevin Jarvis and his $4 million salary, something San Diego GM Kevin Towers has said is a condition for any team that wants Loretta.
Cubs? Jul. 18 - One day after reporting the Cubs had no interest in Ramirez, the Chicago Tribune is indicating the team is, in fact, interested, but only if the Pirates reduce their asking price.
The paper speculates that Pittsburgh GM Dave Littlefield is trying to interest the Cubs in a package deal of Ramirez (and his escalating 2004 salary) and Kenny Lofton for a group of the Cubs' top prospects. However, the paper suggests, if the Pirates admit that Chicago would be doing them a favor by taking Ramirez off their hands and thus ask less in return, a deal could get done.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports the Cubs could send pitcher Todd Wellemeyer and second-baseman Bobby Hill to Pittsburgh for Ramirez. Other recent have mentioned Chicago pitching prospects Juan Cruz and Francis Beltran, outfielder David Kelton and outfield prospect Felix Pie as potential parts of a deal with Pittsburgh.
Jul. 18 - Gonzalez told reporters Thursday he was "open-minded" about waiving his no-trade clause, given the right opportunity, and Kansas City might be that opportunity. Arizona, Oakland, Minnesota and the N.Y. Yankees also have expressed interest, but Gonzalez has indicated he doesn't want to switch leagues; the Twins just acquired Shannon Stewart; and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports Yankees officials are now saying they'll likely stay with what they have offensively.
Fernando Cuza, Gonzalez's agent, met with Rangers GM John Hart Thursday to discuss which teams Gonzalez might be willing to join in a trade. While apparently no decisions were made, Hart told the Dallas Morning News, "We'll meet again. I don't know if it will be in person or on the phone."
Jul. 18 - The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette kept alive the Suppan-to-Boston talk Thursday, mentioning it along with a handful of other potential deals for the Pirates. Previously, the Boston Herald quoted a major league GM saying, "Boston is really in on Suppan. He is quite available and he can offer them a lot in return." Suppan, who pitched for Boston from 1995-97 before being drafted by Arizona in the '97 expansion draft, is 8-7 with a 3.73 ERA in 18 starts for the Pirates. He would easily be penciled in as a fourth starter for Boston.
Jul. 18 - Payton's name surfaced in the Chicago Tribune in a report about possible replacements for injured Cubs' centerfielder Corey Patterson, and the Denver Post listed Payton as the Rockies' "most desirable, if not movable commodity."
Payton, hitting .296 with a .351 on-base percentage, makes only $1.85 million this year and should command only around $3 million in arbitration next year, making him very attractive, according to the Post. "I am used to the rumors," Payton told the paper. "I dealt with it all last year in New York."
Jul. 18 - The Rangers apparently are showcasing Glanville, who will be a free agent after the season, in hopes of interesting a contender in picking him up for the stretch drive, reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Glanville has been in the lineup for the team's last three games and has gone 10-for-15.
Jul. 18 - Mets GM Jim Duquette said Thursday the team likely is done making trades, rendering Boston's interest in Trachsel moot. However, anything's possible in the days leading up to the trading deadline. Duquette was quoted in the N.Y. Times saying, "We're still open to making trades, but at this point we'd have to be overwhelmed."
Jul. 18 - Weathers, like Trachsel, is probably staying put, as the Mets apparently are done remaking their roster for the moment. Earlier this week, the Sun-Sentinel of South Florida reported the Marlins had held discussions with the Mets about acquiring the right-handed Weathers to further bolster their bullpen.
Jul. 18 - The Beaver County (Pa.) Times reports the Yankees "have zeroed in on" Sauerbeck, adding that New York "special adviser" Gene Michael scouted the left-hander extensively in April. Yankees GM Brian Cashman told reporters the team likely wasn't interested in adding another bat, but he said nothing about further upgrades to the bullpen.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports Sauerbeck might be traded to the Rangers but offers no hint at what Pittsburgh might get in return. The Rangers are trying to unload high-priced players and build around younger talent, which makes the idea of adding a $1.5 million relief pitcher a little odd. But Texas, with a 5.94 team ERA, does need pitching.
Jul. 18 - Tampa manager Lou Piniella threw cold water on rumors of either the Orioles or Dodgers acquiring Kennedy in a three-way trade involving the Braves. One report had Kennedy going to Baltimore, Sidney Ponson to Atlanta and minor- league catcher Johnny Estrada and left-handed pitcher Andy Pratt to Tampa Bay. Another had Kennedy going to the Dodgers and Estrada to the Rays, but it was unclear who L.A. would send to Atlanta.
However, the D-Rays are said to be willing to part with the 24-year-old Kennedy, their opening day starter. The Reds reportedly had been offering third baseman Brandon Larson.
Jul. 18 - The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that scouts from St. Louis, Cincinnati, San Francisco and Montreal were in attendance Thursday night as Thomson limited Tampa Bay to three runs and seven hits in 7 2/3 innings while striking out nine. Thomson (3-0, 2.83 ERA in his past four starts) will be a free agent after the season and is available, the paper reports, as Rangers GM John Hart continues to tinker with the roster.