The Dodgers are the latest to express pessimism over their chances to land superstar pitcher Roy Halladay, as they don't want to meet Toronto's request for five or six good prospects. The Dodgers have a nice system, with pitching prospects such as Scott Elbert, Ethan Martin, Josh Lindblom, Chris Withrow and Nathan Eovaldi.
Instead, the Dodgers are concentrating on adding another reliever after picking up Orioles closer George Sherrill. Top third base prospect Josh Bell went in the Sherrill deal, further inhibiting their desire to gut their system. Sherrill should help the Dodgers a lot as they confront their first slump of the season.
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The Marlins are focusing on Nationals first baseman Nick Johnson now, as they've deemed the price too high on the Padres star closer Heath Bell. The Marlins have not been ready to give up either Andrew Miller or Sean West for Bell.
It's interesting that the Marlins, winners of seven of nine, are seriously considering a rental player. Johnson's contract expires at year's end.
The Marlins also have discussed options for a fifth starter, but they seem pretty happy with Rick VandenHurk right now, so that doesn't seem like a priority.
2.64 ERA this season.
Steven King/Icon SMI
Little progress was reported between the Yankees and Mariners on the Jarrod Washburn front late Thursday night, and sources indicate this may go right down to the wire. The Yankees rebuffed Seattle's attempt for top catching prospect Jesus Montero, a big-time power bat, and the Yankees are instead hoping the Mariners will consider a package of prospects that are good but not quite of that ilk.
The Mariners don't consider the left-handed Washburn, who's 8-6 with a 2.64 ERA, any sort of giveaway and will want good young players coming back if they deal him. They are also considering signing him to an extension, and if he isn't dealt will try to do so.
The Yankees have a decent system with some big prospects, but it's not as deep as some. Some of their decent prospects include pitchers Mark Melancon, Mike Dunn, Ivan Nova and Paul Bush, catcher Francisco Cervelli and infielders Eduardo Nunez and Ramiro Pena. Melancon, who's currently on the big-league roster, has a big arm, as does Dunn.
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The Rockies are looking for a reliever, especially a left-handed one, and are talking to the Orioles about Mark Hendrickson. Toronto's Scott Downs and Washington's Joe Beimel are two other left-handers who have come up in trade talks.
The Rangers engaged in extensive talks regarding Roy Halladay over the past couple days, and according to one person familiar with the talks "may have come the closest'' to pulling it off. A snag or two was hit late Thursday, and now the chances for a deal don't seem as great with them, however.
It is believed the sides were talking about top young pitcher Derek Holland and prime hitting prospect Justin Smoak in packages. Evan Grant reported that Texas was trying to get Toronto to pay a portion of Halladay's salary this year. Halladay makes $14.25 million this year and $15.75 million next year.
The Rangers have always been considered a dark horse because of the financial difficulties of their owner Tom Hicks. There was some optimism for a deal in the middle of the day Thursday, but it dissipated by the night.
Other teams with an eye on Halladay include the Red Sox, Angels, Dodgers, Yankees and Rays.