Teams searching for a little relief
Bullpen help a hot commodity as Trade Deadline nears
The relentless search for relievers continued on Tuesday as contenders keep trying to pry bullpen arms away from sellers. With Thursday's 4 p.m. ET Trade Deadline approaching, some of the negotiations are reaching the crucial stage.
Which means we're waiting for one side or the other to blink.
The Braves have had conversations with several teams, including the Marlins, Red Sox, Rays, Tigers and White Sox, regarding reliever Will Ohman. But the Braves aren't highly motivated to move the 30-year-old Ohman, who is making $1.6 million this season. He is also having the best season of his career, and is viewed as a late-inning left-handed option for the club in 2009.
Ohman can be obtained, but the Braves will get their price or else keep him.
The Rockies have arguably the most sought-after reliever on the market in veteran Brian Fuentes, with the Cardinals, Mets, Phillies, Rays, Red Sox, White Sox and Yankees among the teams eyeing the lefty.
Like the Braves with Ohman, the Rockies aren't desperate to move Fuentes, who is making $5.05 million this season and has closer experience. Colorado still has a shot in the log-jammed National League West, so unless someone wows the club with an offer it can't refuse, Fuentes will remain in the Mile High City through the deadline.
And then there's Baltimore's George Sherrill.
The list of teams known to have scouted the left-hander recently includes the Cardinals, Dodgers, Marlins, Phillies, Red Sox and Tigers.
Sherrill, 31, is 3-4 with a 3.71 ERA and 30 saves. He's also under club control and making less than $1 million. You won't find many closers of this caliber at that price, which means the Orioles will exact their price to deal Sherrill.
Buyers have been waiting for the price to come down before the deadline, but that time is almost here, and some of the sellers seem willing to hold on to their players past the deadline, especially those that have Draft pick compensation status.
We'll see who blinks.
Also on the trade front on Tuesday:
The Braves dealt Mark Teixeira to the the Angels for first baseman Casey Kotchman and right-hander Stephen Marek. It's the second time in as many years Teixeira was dealt near the deadline.
The Mariners appear to be holding firm on what they'll accept for pitcher Jarrod Washburn, which may force such suitors as the Yankees to look elsewhere.
Jason Bay can still be had, but it's looking more likely that the Pirates will hold on to the outfielder past the deadline.
The best bet to make a deal before the deadline might be Florida. The contending Marlins have a clear need for an upgrade at catcher and have been leaving no stone unturned in their search to address it. Possible targets include Bengie Molina, Miguel Olivo, Paul Lo Duca and Gregg Zaun.
Miguel Tejada isn't going anywhere unless a team blows away the Astros with an offer. Though it is true that the Red Sox did inquire about Tejada and have scouted the veteran shortstop recently, they were informed that the Astros aren't interested in dealing him, or any of their regulars for that matter.
Strange as it may seem considering their place in the standings, the Astros remain buyers, and are looking at adding a reliever. At present, they aren't interested in selling, so you can also forget the rumors that Geoff Geary, Doug Brocail or Jose Valverde might be going anywhere before the deadline.
Jim Molony is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.