Monday began the annual midseason lull in the MLB regular season -- otherwise known as the All-Star break -- in which there aren't any non-exhibition baseball games (i.e. ones that really count) for four days. But while the players get some time to relax, front offices around the league are keeping the trade rumor mill in full swing.
Here's a quick summary Monday's trade rumors:
Rangers favorites in Garza sweepstakes
With two weeks left to cut a deal, the Texas Rangers appear to be the favorites for arguably the trade deadline's biggest prize: Cubs right-hander Matt Garza. The Rangers were rumored to be the alpha dog in several situations over the winter -- see: Upton, Justin -- but never made a move, so their being favored today may not end up meaning much. Texas is not alone in its pursuit of Garza, as the Blue Jays, Indians, Cardinals, Nationals, Diamondbacks, Red Sox, and Rockies are all reportedly in the hunt as well. Things are certainly picking up on the Garza front -- MLB Daily Dish hears that "several teams are being more aggressive" -- and David Kaplan of CSN Chicago believes that the right-hander will be wearing a new uniform by Saturday.
Mariners could move Morales
Seattle has been in "rebuilding" mode for several years now, and could be headed down that road again very soon. The M's added several big, somewhat immobile guys over the winter in the hopes that their bats would put them back in contention, but after 90+ games it looks like the club isn't any closer to the postseason than they were last year. Given their predicament, it's rumored that GM Jack Zduriencik could decide to move first baseman Kendrys Morales in the next two weeks. Likely the only thing keeping Jack Z from moving guys like Morales -- and possibly Raul Ibanez -- is that it could lead to him getting the axe at the season's end.
Lincecum on the block?
It's hard to increase your trade value much more than Tim Lincecum has in the last week. Fresh off his first career no-hitter, the two-time Cy Young winner -- who had fallen on hard times -- is now drawing interest from several teams, including the Detroit Tigers. Despite his very recent success as a starter, however, many of the teams looking at Lincecum see him as a bullpen addition rather than a rotation guy. Detroit has been on the hunt for bullpen help for just about forever at this point, but there's no telling whether San Francisco GM Brian Sabean will cut ties with Timmy so quickly after he made his mark in Giants lore.