– According to sources, over the past 24-to-48 hours, the chances of a Roy Halladay trade have increased. A source has confirmed that the Jays asking price from the Angels was RHP Joe Saunders, SS Erick Aybar, 3B Brandon Wood and prospect OF Peter Bourjos in exchange for Doc.
The Jays have also rejected Philadelphia’s offer of LHP J.A. Happ, OF Michael Taylor, RHP Carlos Carrasco and SS Jason Donald for Halladay. The Jays are believed to have previously asked for RHP Kyle Drabek, Happ and OF Dominic Brown. There has to be a fair compromise to be found here. The Phillies shouldn’t have to part with both Drabek and Happ, but they can give up the more highly regarded of the two in Drabek. Also, they could give up Brown over Taylor if it allows them to retain either Carrasco or Donald.
The Jays are telling interested teams they are only going to deal Halladay if they are “wowed” by an offer.
– According to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, the Dodgers and Indians are in serious discussions about a trade that would send LHP Cliff Lee and C Victor Martinez to the Dodgers for a package including 1B James Loney and either LHP Clayton Kershaw or RHP Chad Billingsley. Loney would have to be included, as V-Mart would be the starting first baseman with C Russell Martin catching. The Dodgers are also likely to include one or more of the following: 3B Josh Bell, OF Andrew Lambo, P Scott Elbert and RHP Josh Lindblom. The Indians would probably prefer Kershaw, who will be a lot cheaper than Billingsley over the next few years. Stay tuned, this deal could be a dandy.
The Phillies are also discussing with the Tribe about Lee involving Carrasco and Donald, which will allow them to keep Drabek and Happ in Philly. Because Carrasco and Donald are second-tier prospects, and the price tag is lower, the Phillies are beginning to see Lee as a better alternative to Halladay.
– Cardinals chariman Bill DeWitt Jr. said Saturday that his club will try to lock up the newly acquired, and impending FA OF Matt Holliday. The Cardinals dealt a trio of prospects, including 3B Brett Wallace, to the A’s this week to finally gain some protection behind 1B Albert Pujols. It has worked so far, as the Birds rattled off eight runs Friday and another six Saturday. But losing Holliday after this season would make the deal seem pretty foolish, even if they gain a supplemental draft pick.
– The Padres asking price for RHP Heath Bell is said to be very high. Nonetheless, the Angels, Yankees, Dodgers and Twins have inquired.
– The Rays, contrary to rumours, are not shopping LHP Scott Kazmir or RHP Andy Sonnanstine.
– The Jays have received calls from the Red Sox, Giants and Twins for SS Marco Scutaro.
– The Reds have asked about Jays 3B Scott Rolen and have offered a base package of 3B Edwin Encarnacion. The deal is unlikely to happen.
– The Yankees are very interested in Pirates RHP Ian Snell.
– The Twins are very interested in A’s SS Orlando Cabrera.
– The Red Sox are asking about Padres 1B Adrian Gonzalez.
– The Reds and Dodgers had discussed a deal that would swap OF Juan Pierre and RHP Arthur Rhodes.
– The Dodgers are still searching for late-game relievers.
– The Mariners have placed LHP Erik Bedard (shoulder) on the 15-day DL.
– The Mats have placed OF Gary Sheffield (hamstring) on the 15-day DL.
– The Cubs have placed LHP Ted Lilly (shoulder) on the 15-day DL.
– The Phillies have placed RHP Clay Condrey (oblique) on the 15-day DL.
– The Yankees have placed OF Brett Gardner (broken thumb) on the 15-day DL.
– The Rockies have placed RHP Manny Corpas (elbow) on the 15-day DL.
– The Brewers have placed RHP Seth McClung (elbow) on the 15-day DL.
– The Reds have placed RHP Jared Burton (shoulder) on the 15-day DL.
– The Royals are converting SS Tony Pena Jr. to a pitcher. Pena worked a perfect ninth inning, including striking out Astros C Ivan Rodriguez on July 21, 2008, in a blowout loss to Detroit.
– The Brewers have signed RHP Jesus Colome.
– Chris Jericho’s mystery partner for Night of Champions is expected to be Kane.
– John Bradshaw Layfield has posted a blog entry on the WWE Universe site denying Internet reports saying he’s in negotiations with TNA Wrestling. He said he has “never had talks with TNA” about joining the promotion not to mention that he will “always be a WWE guy.”
“I have not had talks with TNA about joining TNA. I wish TNA the very best and Dixie Carter has been nothing but great to me as a fellow supporter of the troops where I have met her a couple of times as my role of emcee with The American Freedom Foundation, a fundraiser for our wounded heroes-perhaps this is where the misinformation came from, or from our connection in Nashville since we both have homes there and business. Mrs. Carter has never approached me about joining TNA, nor has anyone else from the company.”
It was also reported that Layfield was unhappy with how his last stint in WWE went and that they didn’t offer him another position following WrestleMania 25.
“The talks of me being unhappy with not being offered a non wrestling position are not true, at the time I left it was understood I was looking forward to being home after a long and happy career. My relationship with WWE is as good as ever, as far as I am concerned.”
Layfield also posted a note on his Twitter account yesterday afternoon concerning the matter: “No talks of TNA and no regrets on my career – Internet rumors are completely bogus. I am happy playing golf and being retired.”
– The Raptors have signed former Raptor F Rasho Nesterovic to a one-year/$2M deal.
– There are no new developments in the F Phil Kessel contract talks. The Bruins just took on $3.3M in salary with the signing of D Derek Morris. Boston now has only $1.3M of cap room and will have to move a forward (F Marco Sturm most likely) to sign Kessel provided the 36-goal scorer lessens his demands and is willing to play for approximately $3.5M per season. This looks like a holdout situation to us.
– Blackhawks F Marian Hossa was not asked to take a physical before signing his 12-year/$62.8M contract. The Hawks were aware of Hossa’s shoulder injury, thought it could be resolved without surgery and did not insist on the winger taking a physical prior to inking his deal.
– Blues D Eric Brewer is recovering more slowly than expected from back surgery. The Blues had hoped that the veteran defenseman would be ready to answer the bell for the team’s first game of the season following his second back surgery in the last four months, however that does not seem to be the case. Blues’ President John Davidson said, “Progress has been made, so we’ll live with that. If there was no progress by now, we’d be nervous. I’m a glass half-full guy, so that’s how I’m looking at it. (But) if he can’t play, the emphasis for us will be to have a good start with healthy players.” Brewer is not able to lift wieghts or ride a stationary bike let alone skate. It does not look to us if he will be ready to go when the season begins.
– The Blue Jackets are unlikely to offer F Jason Williams a new contract. Also, D Sergei Zubov is believed to be negotiating a deal with them. Zubov played for Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock in Dallas and there is a mutual respect between the two. As well, the Blue Jackets desperately need a power-play quarterback and don’t want to trade key players to acquire one or spend a lot of money signing one.
– The Lightning have re-signed D Matt Smaby to a two-year/$1.05M deal. The stay-at-home defenseman, who registered only four points in 43 games, avoided arbitration by inking the deal.
– A group headed by Jerry Reinsdorf submitted a bid ($148M) by Friday’s deadline to buy the bankrupt Phoenix Coyotes.
– SoCalVal has signed a deal with Playboy. She follows Tracy Brooks as past TNA Knockouts to pose for Playboy.