Trade speculation will fly furiously as Sunday’s non-waiver trade deadline approaches. But if history is an indication, there will be plenty of trades made, as well. Last season, from July 25-31, there were 25 trades made, and the most significant were trades that didn’t make headlines.
The two best acquisitions were by the San Francisco Giants, who got lefty reliever Javier Lopez from the Pittsburgh Pirates and Ramon Ramirez from the Boston Red Sox. The two were key to the Giants’ World Series championship. Lopez had a 2.37 ERA down the stretch, while Ramirez was at 2.99. And the two are part of the reason the Giants’ bullpen is strong this season.
* I keep hearing that Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie is creating the most interest from the Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals with the Boston Red Sox in wait-and-see mode. The Cleveland Indians have an interest, but their priority is a bat. And one Indians executive says that the team isn’t sure if Guthrie is the top-of-the rotation guy they are looking to acquire. Guthrie said Sunday that he doesn’t think about trade rumors unless reporters bring them to his attention.
* Orioles reliever Jim Johnson says he’s ready to move to the rotation if that’s what manager Buck Showalter wants. But, Johnson said a bullpen-to-rotation move is usually done in spring training, and that it would take four or five starts in the final two months to be able to reach 100 pitches a game. A setup guy like Johnson could be a closer as well, but Johnson says his goal is to be in the rotation.
* Interesting how Nationals closer Drew Storen is linked in trades with every team that has a center fielder. The Tampa Bay Rays have B.J. Upton, the Minnesota Twins Denard Span and the St. Louis Cardinals Colby Rasmus. I would be shocked if Storen goes in a trade.
* After losing three of four games to division rival Detroit at home, the Twins, whose next two series are in Texas and Los Angeles, are likely sellers. That means outfielders Span, Jason Kubel and Delmon Young could be on the market, as well as pitcher Carl Pavano and designated hitter Jim Thome, who is approaching 600 career home runs. Also, the Twins would love to trade former Nats pitcher Matt Capps, who has been a bust in Minnesota even though the Twins gave up a future All-Star, Wilson Ramos, to get Capps a year ago.
* Orioles manager Buck Showalter says he has no idea what kind of offers the team is getting for any of its players. He said that if the front office gets close to a deal, he’ll be part of the conversation.
* Classic humor by Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven at his induction ceremony Sunday: He started his speech by turning to the cameras and asking, “Are we live?’‘
* Prediction: Next year’s Hall of Fame ceremony will include former Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin, who got 62 percent of vote from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America in January. Larkin had 2,340 hits and he defines the Reds’ franchise. If Larkin, then certainly another shortstop, Alan Trammell of the Detroit Tigers, deserves to be in. Trammell had 2,365 career hits and defined the Tigers, much like Larkin defined the Reds.
* Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez will be in the Hall of Fame soon, but at this point, Ryan Zimmerman has the best chance to be the team’s first true Hall of Famer. And, that’s probably not going to happen until at least 2030.
* Did any one predict that the Giants’ Ryan Vogelsong (2.10) and the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Jeff Karstens (2.28) would have the National League’s lowest ERAs at this point?