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old stove featureThe latest from the rumor mill as we wind down the final Friday before deadline week …

  • We may have yet another Trade Deadline that comes and goes without significant activity around the league (please no – I’ve got 37 hours to blog!), but it sounds like there’s very likely at least to be some excitement. That’s because, as Jayson Stark reports, the surging Rays are content to hold onto David Price right up until the deadline to see where they stand come next Thursday.
  • Apropos of nothing (which means it was apropos of something that isn’t being said publicly), Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the Cubs could decide to hold onto Luis Valbuena and Justin Ruggiano, because they are vets whom the Cubs might need, and are under control for another couple years. Is the implication there that teams are inquiring about those guys, but the Cubs aren’t hearing anything compelling in terms of the return? So they’re telling teams don’t bother, because we’re happy to keep these guys – unless you really step up the offers. Sounds plausible to me.
  • A great piece from Dave Cameron wondering (firmly) why the Phillies are telling teams they won’t deal Cole Hamels – a valuable asset they can’t use, and whose value will slide dramatically in the coming months.
  • A note from Peter Gammons on Jon Lester, with whom the Red Sox are probably no longer engaged in extension talks:

  • To pair with that, although Lester is having a fantastic walk year for the Red Sox, there are reasons to be a little dubious about just how good his numbers look.
  • Andy Martino reports that the Mets are so interested in dealing Bartolo Colon that they’re ready to eat salary to make it happen. I remember when folks were lauding the two-year deal for the 41-year-old as a steal this offseason.
  • The Mariners are reportedly trying to acquire Rockies outfielder Drew Stubbs, who is having a career year with a .361 wOBA and 115 wRC+. And if the Mariners give up much to get him, I will laugh and laugh and laugh. Why? Two reasons: (1) Stubbs’ BABIP this year is .396, or about 80(!) points higher than his career mark coming into the season; and (2) Stubbs’ home OPS is 370(!) points higher than his (awful) road OPS. Stubbs is striking out more than his career average (30.2%), walking less than his career average (5.8%), and is a pile of regression waiting to happen.
  • The Mets’ one-sided connection to shortstops isn’t limited to the Cubs – they’ve reportedly reached out to the Rockies to let them know they want Troy Tulowitzki if the Rockies decide to shop him (or Carlos Gonzalez for that matter). The Cardinals also come in for a mention as interested in Tulowitzki.
  • Speaking of the Rockies, one guy they were thought to be dealing is impending free agent starter Jorge De La Rosa, but Jon Heyman reports that their asking price from the Orioles was Kevin Gausman. ELL OH ELL. De La Rosa, 33, has a 4.19/4.32/4.11 ERA/FIP/xFIP line this year. Asking for Gausman isn’t a starting point to negotiations – it’s a fart, directed at the team you’re trying to trade with. Not cool.

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