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Trade Deadline: Astros reportedly will not deal Hunter Pence 07.25.11 at 1:50 pm ET
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Hunter Pence

According to a tweet from SI’s Jon Heyman, the Astros are saying they will not trade outfielder Hunter Pence. Tweeted Heyman: he’s face of franchise, fine example for young players. Heyman added that the Astros felt obligated to listen to offers because they need to rebuild, but they consider Pence to be their best player.

Heyman reports that the Phillies, Braves and Pirates have all showed interest in the outfielder.

Last week, the Houston Chronicle reported that the Astros were “willing” and “expected” to trade Pence. That report stated the Red Sox, among other teams could be interested in the young outfielder.

Pence played in his first All-Star Game earlier this month and is batting .308 with 11 home runs and 62 RBIs.

Read More: 2011 Trade Deadline, Hunter Pence,
Peter Gammons on M&M: Sox ‘might get right-handed hitting outfielder’ at trade deadline 07.21.11 at 1:29 pm ET
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Peter Gammons

MLB Network and NESN analyst Peter Gammons joined the Mut & Merloni show Thursday to talk about the Red Sox and how they might approach the trade deadline, among other things related to the Red Sox. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

Gammons does not expect the Red Sox to make a blockbuster deal at this year’s trade deadline. He believes they have what it takes to win a World Series with the players they have now, but does not rule out a minor deal for a right-handed-hitting outfielder.

“There is nobody out there that can replace [Jon] Lester or [Clay] Buchholz,” Gammons said. “Can they win the World Series if they have [Josh] Beckett, Lester and Buchholz in their three? Absolutely. Especially with the way the bullpen has performed. We always talking about going out and getting relievers, what they did to get Matt Albers and Alfredo Aceves here I think was remarkable. They have been huge parts of this team.

“I think they might go get a right-handed hitting outfielder, like a Reed Johnson [outfielder with the Cubs]. I know they keep dabbling with the Mets. One thing is Theo Epstein always stays in on the high ceiling guys, just in case. He has always said ‘I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t.’ But, remember two years ago when they got Victor Martinez they had one deal involving Victor Martinez and Cliff Lee, and another five for one with Roy Halladay and a six for one with Felix Hernandez. He gets his fingers on everything.”

Gammons also notes that trading for Beltran would mean Josh Reddick would have to be benched, and he said it would not be a good thing for Reddick as well as the Red Sox. According to Gammons, the talks with the Mets have not been serious, as names of players have not been discussed.

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Read More: Clay Buchholz, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jon Lester, Josh Beckett
Trade Deadline: James Shields does not want to be traded 07.21.11 at 12:32 pm ET
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With many teams seeking starting pitching help, James Shields‘ name has been thrown around as one player who could be traded to help boost a teams starting rotation. He told the St. Petersburg Times that he has no interest in being traded from the Rays.

“I want to play here,” Shields said. “I want to be here. This has been my home for my whole career. I haven’t really thought about it, to be honest with you. I love this town. I want to be here. And I think we have a good team.”

Currently the Rays are in third place in the AL East, eight games behind the first place Red Sox. They are also in third place in the Wild Card standings, 6.5 games behind the Yankees. Shields is 8-8 on the year with a 2.60 ERA.

Read More: 2011 Trade Deadline, james shields,
Trade Deadline: Indians reportedly seeking outfield help 07.21.11 at 12:31 pm ET
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The Indians are in the market to acquire an outfielder as they have called the Padres seeking Ryan Ludwick, tweets SI’s Jon Heyman. He also writes that they are interested in Athletics’ outfielder Coco Crisp.

According to Heyman, the Reds also have an interest in both outfielders and could create a cross-state battle with the Indians to acquire either of the outfielders.

The Indians are currently tied with the Tigers for first place in the AL Central. Ludwick is batting .244 with 11 home runs and 61 RBIs this season. Crisp is hitting .265 with 4 home runs, 31 RBIs and has stolen 27 bases.

Read More: 2011 Trade Deadline, Coco Crisp, Ryan Ludwick,
Theo Epstein on D&C: No trade option can take the place of Clay Buchholz 07.21.11 at 11:00 am ET
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Red Sox GM Theo Epstein.

Red Sox GM Theo Epstein (AP)

Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein joined the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday and discussed the possibility of the Sox making a move before the July 31 trade deadline, the health of Clay Buchholz, the emergence of Josh Reddick and the attempts to sign Jacoby Ellsbury to a long-term contract.

Following is a transcript of the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Which member of your roster has surprised you the most this season?

It’s going to be hard to pick just one. I think not to be overlooked is the contributions of guys like Matt Albers and Alfredo Aceves that really helped make our bullpen a strength in this club. You can add Wakefield and Andrew Miller as well as guys who have really stepped up and helped stabilize our rotation. The one thing we haven’t had to talk about this year that we normally have to talk about is a bullpen collapse. Knock on wood, we haven’t lost a lot of tough games out of the bullpen. There has been one or two, but usually by this time of year you have lost half a dozen or more. We haven’t had to talk about just throwing someone out there to start a big-league game that we don’t feel good about. The depth guys have really stepped up and stabilized things, which is huge.

Isn’t pitching what every team is looking for at the trade deadline?

Yeah, you can never have enough, obviously. We’ve proved that. The reason every team looks for pitching is that you can acquire a pitcher and slide him in. For position player help you have to have the right fit. Pitching is so tenuous. You think you have enough, you think you’re set, and one key injury to the wrong pitcher and you are in a compromised spot. So there’s probably not a team in baseball that could withstand an injury of their best pitcher and be fine. That’s why you can never have enough no matter what. Keeping these guys strong and healthy through the year is such a battle that you always need more pitching to back them up.

Will the next couple of weeks of medical reports on Clay Buchholz dictate in some fashion the direction the club might go in terms of trading for a starting pitcher?

There’s nobody that we can go out and acquire that is going to take the place of Clay Buchholz. If you asked me what player out there, if could name one player to acquire for this team it would be a healthy Clay Buchholz. I think we’re going to have that. It’s been a slower process than anyone wanted — especially Clay — but he is getting better. We’ve had three opinions on it now and it looks like it’s just a matter of time. Let’s say — and we don’t expect this at all — let’s say the news was different and it’s going to be a little longer I’m sure it would affect how we would look at things. But I don’t think there is anybody out there we could acquire that would come close to replacing Clay. And when it comes to depth options I think we have a lot of those internally and I’m sure we’ll look around. But I do believe that Clay will come back healthy and be that type of impact acquisition that we couldn’t make on the trade market.

Has Josh Reddick made the decision pretty easy about who should be playing right field now?

You can’t deny what Josh Reddick is doing and you can’t deny that he’s a different player than he’s been. Josh Reddick has always had a world of talent. From the day we drafted him, the ball jumped off his bat as well as just about any player in our system. Always really athletic, always a really good outfielder, always a playmaker in the outfield, always a pretty dynamic baserunner. It was simply of question of Josh — and it always has been — improving his plate discipline. His swing mechanics, going up there with a plan, working the count, putting himself in a position where he could let that explosiveness of his bat play and let his natural instincts play out there in the batters box. We’ve probably talked to Josh about it thousands of times over the years and it looks like a light has gone on for him. He’s a different guy and a really exciting piece, not for just this year but also the future. Tito makes out the lineup and I’m sure he’s going to have decisions to make on a nightly basis. I don’t want to speak for him, certainly Josh is someone who has helped us win games and you want to put him in a position to continue to do that.

Does the production from Reddick and the struggles of J.D. Drew mean that we have seen a full-time switch in right field?

I don’t think you have to cast your lot on one player and completely bury another. As I said, Tito’s job is to put the best team on the field on a given night to help us win. When you have one player performing so well, or so hot, maybe demonstrating that a light has gone on for him and another player who has struggled all year it’s something you have to really massage as a manager. But we’ve always been an organization that has given the best players a chance to impact the game for our team on that given night. I know there’s been a lot of discussion on these airways, ‘Do this 100 percent. The other guy plays zero percent.’ That’s probably not how it’s going to be, but of course the players who are playing the best at the time get the chance to win a game for the Boston Red Sox.

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Read More: andrew miller, Clay Buchholz, Jacoby Ellsbury, john lackey
Trade Deadline: Astros reportedly willing to trade Hunter Pence 07.21.11 at 9:06 am ET
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The Astros are willing to deal away right fielder Hunter Pence, tweets ESPN’s Buster Olney. He adds that rival executives expect Pence to be dealt. Olney speculates that the Braves might be a good fit for Pence since that have plenty of prospects to deal.

The Houston Chronicle also is reporting that the Astros are willing to deal away Pence, as general manager Ed Wade has made it clear he’d be willing to listen to trade discussions about virtually everyone. The teams the paper mentions as possible fits for Pence include the Red Sox, Phillies, Braves, Giants, Indians, Pirates and Tigers. All of those teams reportedly have been interested in acquiring an outfielder.

Pence, who is in his fifth season in the majors, is batting .316 with 11 home runs and 61 RBIs. Pence played in the All-Star Game earlier this month.

Read More: 2011 Trade Deadline, Hunter Pence,
Trade Deadline: Padres reportedly tell Mike Adams he is staying put 07.21.11 at 8:33 am ET
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Mike Adams

A dozen teams have contacted the Padres about the services of relief pitcher Mike Adams, but San Diego will not be trading him, according to a Yahoo! Sports source. The source said last week Padres owner Jeff Moorad told Adams, “You’re not going anywhere.”

Adams is having another great season with the Padres. The 32-year-old has a 1.23 ERA, which is second-best in the majors. In 205 games with the team he has a 1.69 ERA.

Yahoo! is also reporting that the Padres have received more calls regarding Adams than current closer Heath Bell. The Padres have said their closer is available and are asking for multiple prospects in return. The Blue Jays are one of the teams that are reportedly interested in Bell, writes FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal.

Read More: 2011 Trade Deadline, Heath Bell, Mike Adams,
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