July 24, 2012; Philadelphia, PA USA; Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino (8) watches his double in the first inning during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

MLB Trade Rumors: Who Will Be Moving Before Tuesday's 4PM Deadline?

The MLB trade deadline is 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday. Follow along here for all the rumors leading up to it.

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14 Total Updates since July 31, 2012
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Rangers Trade For Ryan Dempster

The Texas Rangers were the Official Mystery Team of the 2012 trading deadline, as they swooped in at the last second and acquired Ryan Dempster, who has been the Cubs' best pitcher this year.

The 35-year-old Dempster is having the best season of his career, sporting a 2.25 ERA in 16 starts, and striking out 83 in 104 innings, walking just 27. He was reportedly already dealt to the Braves, but he rejected the deal. The Dodgers and Yankees were the other two teams reportedly in play for the right-hander, and the Rangers were rarely -- if ever -- mentioned. That's why they're mystery teams, people.

The Rangers signed Roy Oswalt last month, but he's been horrible so far, with a 6.49 ERA in six starts. Add in Colby Lewis undergoing elbow surgery, and it was clear the Rangers were interested in bolstering their rotation, though not desperate. A pending free agent like Dempster was likely a lower-cost option than what they were exploring with Matt Garza and Zack Greinke.

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Rangers will send two A-ball prospects to the Cubs, one pitcher and one position player.


Denard Span Declines Trade To Reds

The Cincinnati Reds have been in the market for a leadoff hitter. They thought about Shane Victorino, they thought less about Juan Pierre, and they apparently thought quite a bit about Denard Span. But Denard Span evidently doesn't want to leave Minnesota for Cincinnati, as MLB Network reported that Span declined a trade.

At 44-58, the Twins are in fourth place in the AL Central. At 61-41, the Reds are in first place in the NL Central. At first, it seems odd that Span would turn down an opportunity to probably go to the playoffs. But then, the Twins drafted Span in 2002 and theirs is the only organization he's ever known. He's probably quite comfortable, and he's signed through 2014 with a 2015 club option. What people didn't know was that Span apparently has a no-trade clause, but people sure as hell know that now!

Span owns a .356 OBP, and a .360 OBP for his career. He would've been exactly the right sort of player for the Reds. Alas, we're left with knee-jerk Twitter reactions to Tuesday's unexpected news.


Red Sox Acquire Craig Breslow From Diamondbacks

The Boston Red Sox have been looking for lefthanded relief help.

31-year-old Craig Breslow has been having a pretty good year for the Arizona Diamondbacks, posting a 2.70 ERA and 1.177 WHIP in 40 appearances.

His next appearance will be for the Red Sox:

In return, the D’backs get a righthanded reliever, and one other player:

It’s uncertain why the D’backs want or need Scott Podsednik, unless they have another trade in the hopper. Albers’ numbers are nearly the same as Breslow’s: 2.29 ERA, 1.144 WHIP in 40 appearances. Looks like the Red Sox just wanted to change handedness in their bullpen.

For more on the Red Sox, please visit Over The Monster and SB Nation Boston. For more on the Diamondbacks, please visit AZ Snakepit and SB Nation Arizona.


Cardinals Trade Zack Cox To Marlins For Reliever Edward Mujica

The St. Louis Cardinals have a complete team, with an enviable lineup and full starting rotation, which made them one of the weirdest teams to peg at the deadline. They did need a reliever, though, and that's exactly what they targeted, making a deal with the Miami Marlins:

Mujica went from the Padres to the Marlins in the Cameron Maybin deal before the 2011 season, and the 28-year-old right-hander has pitched 39 innings this year with a 4.38 ERA, 26 strikeouts, and 9 walks. The strikeout-to-walk ratio is down from where it's been the last three years, as Mujica's calling card is usually his plus-control. He also has a problem with home runs, though. How much of a problem?

In two seasons in San Diego, the reliever allowed 28 home runs. Read that sentence again.

Zack Cox was the 25th-overall pick by the Cardinals in the 2010 draft. He entered the year as the #88 prospect in baseball according to Baseball America, but the 23-year-old has struggled mightily in the Pacific Coast League this year, hitting just .254/.294/.421.


MLB Trade Rumors: Yankees In Play For Ryan Dempster

The New York Yankees made a pair of moves over the offseason on the same day, acquiring Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda on the same day. The former got hurt, and the latter's been a success. They still have Freddy Garcia in the rotation, though, and they'd like to consider an upgrade. Enter Ryan Dempster:

That's in response to a) a rumor about the Yankees being interested in Dempster, and b) the fact that Dempster was already reportedly dealt to the Braves before rejecting the deal with his 10-and-5 rights. If Dempster's already cool with the Yankees, there's a greater chance of the deal happening.

At the very least, the intrusion of the Yankees gives the Cubs a little more leverage over the Dodgers. The Cubs were pushing for prospect Allen Webster as a part of the deal, but so far the Dodgers have been refusing.


MLB Trade Rumor: Reds Looking At Twins' Denard Span

The Reds are sitting pretty in the National League Central, but they're not quite perfect. Plus, every team in their position is supposed to do something before the trade deadline. Hence, this from Scott Miller:

Stymied in their effort to deal with the Phillies for Shane Victorino, the Reds are talking with the Twins about acquiring outfielder Denard Span, according to CBSSports.com sources.

The Reds, leading the NL West, are searching hard for a leadoff hitter and while it is not certain that Minnesota will move Span, he profiles as exactly what the Reds want. Cincinnati leadoff hitters this season rank 30th in the majors in both on-base percentage (.247) and batting average (.201) and 26th in runs scored (55).

Injuries seem to have cost Span some of his power and some of his speed, but he still plays a good center field and he's got a .356 on-base percentage this year.


MLB Trade Deadline: Don't Forget About Diamondbacks

Everyone's talking about the Dodgers and the Giants, regarding both the trade deadline and the National League West. But the Diamondbacks might make some big news in both places.


Marlins Make Carlos Lee (Highly) Available

In 2012, this tweet ...

can elicit only one response:


Just three weeks ago, the Astros were trying to unload Carlos Lee. And they did. To the Marlins.

The good news is that the Marlins are paying Lee almost nothing; the Astros remain on the hook for the great majority of Lee's $18.5-million salary.*

* great contract, btw!

The bad news is that the Marlins actually gave up a pretty decent pitching prospect to get Carlos Lee, who's been utterly ineffective since joining Miami, during which time the Marlins have utterly fallen from contention. It seems highly unlikely that the Marlins will find any real interest in Lee; at best, they might simply wind up releasing him. Because they're not going to find a trade partner who's willing to give up a prospect like the Marlins gave up ... just three weeks ago.


MLB Trade Rumors: Dodgers, Phillies Discuss Shane Victorino Deal

Shane Victorino was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1999; he was taken from them twice in the Rule 5 draft, once by the Padres (and then returned), and in 2004 by the Phillies, for whom he has starred in several postseasons.

Now, he could be headed back to his original organization. Jon Heyman:

The Dodgers are in serious talks with the Phillies for outfielder Shane Victorino, CBSSports.com has learned.

The Giants and Reds had also been in the mix, but the Phillies appear to be focuing on the Dodgers.

Los Angeles acquired Brandon League late Monday, possibly allowing them to send a reliever to the Phillies. Philly has been seeking young relief help in exchange for Victorino.

And who could that reliever be? Jayson Stark has the answer:

Stay tuned; it sounds like this deal could happen Tuesday morning.


Rangers, Yankees In Play For Ryan Dempster Trade

When the Cubs traded starter Paul Maholm to the Atlanta Braves Monday night, that likely took them out of the running for Ryan Dempster, who was almost traded to Atlanta a week ago.

Multiple reports since then had indicated that Dempster would only approve — since he has 10-and-5 rights — a deal to the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, there may now be other teams he’d be willing to go to, according to David Kaplan of CSN Chicago:

Baseball sources have confirmed to me that three teams are in play for Ryan Dempster and he will approve a deal to any of the three teams if the Cubs can agree on a suitable return in exchange for the veteran right-hander who is enjoying one of the best seasons of his career. The Los Angeles Dodgers, who have long been Dempster’s preferred destination will have to increase their offer as the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees have stepped up their pursuit over the last 48 hours. With Roy Oswalt having another poor performance on Monday evening, the Rangers have decided to upgrade their rotation and are looking at all available options including Dempster and Matt Garza.

Dempster has some familiarity with the Yankees, as their pitching coach Larry Rothschild was a longtime Cubs pitching coach, and former Cubs GM Jim Hendry is now a special assistant to Yankees GM Brian Cashman.

There are only about six hours remaining until the deadline Tuesday afternoon.

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