MLB Trade Deadline Roundup: Mets After Starter, May Prefer Guthrie to Lilly
The Mets could use another starter, but a team source said they aren't sure that Cubs left-hander Ted Lilly's stuff is significantly better than Hisanori Takahashi's. So the Mets seem reluctant to trade for Lilly if he's not necessarily an upgrade to the rotation.
They did scout Jeremy Guthrie's last start for Baltimore, and although Guthrie is 3-10 with a 4.58 ERA, he could benefit from leaving the AL East and pitching at spacious Citi Field. Guthrie has allowed 51 homers, most in the majors, since the start of the 2009 season.
But the Mets continue to set their sights high in the pitching market. According to another source, the Astros' Roy Oswalt tops New York's wishlist, followed by Arizona's Dan Haren, who the club recently scouted, and then there is a big dropoff in desirability to the second-tier of starters, which includes Lilly, Guthrie and Oakland's Ben Sheets.-- Ed Price, Jeff Fletcher and Tom Krasovic
• Don't bet on Roy Oswalt pitching somewhere other than Houston by the end of the month. One major league executive rated the chances of Oswalt staying with the Astros through the deadline and beyond at "60 percent."
Houston is apparently willing to offer some salary relief -- in the range of $4-5 million -- but it's unclear if that will be enough to entice most teams. Oswalt, signed through 2011 with a club option for 2012, is making $16 million this season and has another $18 million guaranteed on his deal after 2010.
Oswalt was dangled as a trade chip in 2006 before agreeing to his current deal, a five-year extension.
Another source familiar with the Astros thinking doesn't believe that Drayton McLane would stand in the way of an Oswalt trade, as he did in '06, contending that the Astros owner would have already done so rather than having the team spend time and resources looking at prospects to pursue in any deal of the ace.-- Tom Krasovic and Jeff Fletcher
• The Red Sox and Yankees are said to both have significant interest in Blue Jays reliever Scott Downs (2.56 ERA, 1.009 WHIP in 43 appearances). The Reds are also looking for a set-up man; Cincinnati needs a right-hander to complement All-Star Arthur Rhodes. -- Ed Price
• The Phillies, as originally reported by FanHouse, are continuing to seriously gauge the trade value of right fielder Jayson Werth. Pulling off a deal remains a difficult task, particularly because Werth is the lone right-handed power presence in the middle of the Philadelphia order. -- Tom Krasovic
• Though the Brewers are willing to discuss first baseman Prince Fielder and right fielder Corey Hart, they have no deals on the table for either player, and the market remains quiet, according to a source with knowledge of the organization. -- Jeff Fletcher
• The Rangers, even having added Cliff Lee, would like a lefty reliever and a right-handed hitter. Florida's Jorge Cantu could be a fit. -- Ed Price
• The Nationals apparently asked the White Sox for Carlos Quentin or Gordon Beckham in exchange for Adam Dunn, which was a no-go -- for now, at least.
Chicago could turn to Prince Fielder or Luke Scott instead as it tries to add a left-handed bat. -- Ed Price
• The Padres would like to add a hitter, perhaps an outfielder, but do not think Florida's Cody Ross is a good fit. -- Tom Krasovic