With the July 31 trade deadline fast approaching, we want to make sure you're up-to-date on all the latest happenings around the rumor mill. The last thing we want is for you to be blindsided at the water cooler when Fred tells you that your favorite player is being offered up to your least favorite club. Freakin' Fred...
Tuesday was a pretty active day on the rumor front:
- The deadline's hottest commodity, Matt Garza, headlined the rumor-mongering once again, as the Cubs right-hander was scouted by several clubs -- including the Rangers, Indians, Pirates, Blue Jays, and Padres -- during his solid seven-inning effort against the White Sox on Monday. Though they weren't reported to be at his most recent start, the Dodgers are also believed to be "heavily scouting" the right-hander. Chicago continues to discuss a long-term contract extension with Garza -- so a deadline trade is not a foregone conclusion -- but the right-hander believes that his trade/extension odds currently sit at "50/50."
- The Cleveland Indians are in the hunt for a top-of-the-rotation starter and, at the moment, are focusing exclusively on Garza and Brewers right-hander Yovani Gallardo. No deal is close between the Tribe and either player, but the team seems bent on not settling for a lesser starter. The Indians are listed on Gallardo's limited no-trade clause, so they may have a tough time convincing the right-hander to approve to the move if they're able to come up with a package that interests Milwaukee. Gallardo has one guaranteed year and an option year remaining on his contract, so his asking price is likely to be pretty steep.
- Speaking of Brewers pitchers, a trio of Milwaukee's relief corps is drawing a lot of interest of late. John Axford, Francisco Rodriguez, and Mike Gonzalez are being scouted by the Dodgers this week, per Danny Knobler of CBS Sports, and have also been scoped out in recent days by the Tigers, Diamondbacks, and Orioles, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. The D'Backs are also interested in right-hander Jim Henderson, but the Brewers have told teams he's staying put.
- The Brewers bullpen isn't the only one drawing interest around the league. The Philadelphia Phillies have reportedly expressed interest in Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain, joining the Giants and Braves in pursuit of the right-hander. While Michael Young and/or Carlos Ruiz can presumably be had, Yankees GM Brian Cashman's interest in dealing with Philly is "lukewarm at best," so a Joba trade appears unlikely at the moment.