Trade Buzz: BoSox add Buchholz to Halladay offer

Editor’s note: This is the latest from around baseball as the Major League Baseball trade deadline approaches. Be sure to check back throughout the day for more trade updates. Last update: Tuesday, 9:25 p.m. ET.

The Boston Red Sox have offered at least three players, including no-hit pitcher Clay Buchholz(notes), to the Toronto Blue Jays for ace Roy Halladay(notes), according to sources with direct knowledge of the negotiations, while placing rookie reliever Daniel Bard(notes) and 19-year-old phenom Casey Kelly off-limits in any deal.

Contrary to a prior Yahoo! dispatch, another 19-year-old, outfielder Ryan Westmoreland, a Rhode Island product drafted on the fifth round last summer, has not been a part of the Red Sox proposal.

The Blue Jays have been given the choice of reliever Justin Masterson(notes), Triple-A pitcher Michael Bowden(notes), or Double-A first baseman Lars Anderson(notes) as the second player in the deal, with lesser prospects from the Red Sox system filling out the Boston offer. The Red Sox from the beginning have included Buchholz because the Blue Jays had made it clear he would have to be the starting point of any deal.

One source had suggested that the Red Sox might engage a third team that could provide a shortstop to Toronto, which is shopping Marco Scutaro(notes), but that does not appear to be the case.

Both of Theo Epstein’s trading-deadline blockbusters of the last five years have involved multiple teams: When the Red Sox traded Nomar Garciaparra(notes) at the deadline in 2004, three other teams were involved—the Twins (who sent first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz(notes) to Boston), the Expos (who dealt shortstop Orlando Cabrera(notes) to Boston), and the Cubs (who acquired Garciaparra and prospects). Last year, Epstein traded Manny Ramirez(notes) to the Dodgers in the same deal in which the Red Sox acquired left-fielder Jason Bay(notes).

Buchholz, who threw a no-hitter against the Orioles in his second big-league start on Sept. 1, 2007, then struggled last season and began this year in Triple-A Pawtucket, is scheduled to pitch Tuesday night at Fenway Park against Oakland.

Bowden, like Buchholz a 2005 first-round sandwich pick in the draft, has had brief big league experience and is now in Triple-A Pawtucket. Masterson, in his first full season with the team, has pitched primarily out of the bullpen (6 starts in 30 appearances), while Anderson, 21, has hit just 8 home runs in Double-A Portland this season after being touted as one of the organization’s top power prospects.

The Red Sox remain skeptical of closing a deal for Halladay, one reason they continue to pursue other avenues, including a potential trade for Cleveland’s switch-hitting first baseman and catcher, Victor Martinez(notes). Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi has told the Red Sox and Yankees that they will have to pay a premium for the Blue Jays to trade Halladay within the division. Ricciardi also had set a deadline of Tuesday for trading Halladay, but has since suggested that is a soft deadline.

Boston’s offer on the face of it is competitive with the package Toronto is seeking from the Philadelphia Phillies, the team widely considered the front-runner for the Blue Jays ace. The Blue Jays have asked for rookie left-hander J.A. Happ(notes), Double-A pitching prospect Kyle Drabek, and 19-year-old outfielder Dominic Taylor, but so far the Phillies have balked on including Drabek in the deal.

Bard and his 100 mph fastball have been declared off-limits by the Red Sox. So has Kelly, the team’s No. 1 pick last season who is torn between pitching and playing every day at shortstop. He made a spectacular debut as a pitcher this spring in Class A and now is being given the chance to play short.

– Gordon Edes


The Red Sox remain interested in Cleveland’s Victor Martinez, but the asking price for the switch-hitting catcher and first baseman remains prohibitively high. While Martinez would meet Boston’s need for a big bat at corner infielder or behind the plate next season, he would cause a logjam at present with Kevin Youkilis(notes), Mike Lowell(notes), David Ortiz(notes) and Jason Varitek(notes).

– G.E.


Despite their obvious need for starting pitching – Joe Saunders(notes) spent another night (Monday against the Indians) squarely in the strike zone and Ervin Santana(notes) has been even more hittable than Saunders – the Angels have expressed no interest in Seattle’s Jarrod Washburn(notes) or, contrary to many reports, Scott Kazmir(notes).

Neither, for that matter, have the Dodgers come to Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik regarding Washburn.

A lot can change in the last 72 hours before the trading deadline. But, at this point, both L.A. squads are sort of and sanely in on Roy Halladay and more in on Cliff Lee(notes), who’s not cheap but also won’t cost them so much talent their division leads would be in jeopardy. Conveniently, the Indians are in Anaheim for a few days, though Lee isn’t scheduled to pitch until Saturday against the Tigers.

Regarding Kazmir and the Angels, the conventional wisdom seems to be that Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher knows Kazmir well from their days together with the Rays. And, yes, that would appear to be accurate.

– Tim Brown


The San Francisco Giants were on the verge of closing a deal for Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Freddy Sanchez(notes) on Monday, and are still committed to pulling it off, but want to satisfy lingering health concerns. Sanchez was scratched from Monday’s starting lineup with a sore left knee, the second time in four games he’d sat out with soreness.

Pirates manager John Russell said the hard playing surface in Arizona may have caused the discomfort. If the Giants are satisfied he’s OK within the next day or two, Sanchez will need only walk down the hallway to join his new club – the Pirates are in San Francisco. – G.E.


The Washington Nationals tried hard to interest the Detroit Tigers in Adam Dunn(notes), but even though the Tigers could use a left-handed bat, they passed. Baltimore’s Luke Scott(notes) is a much more attractive target, but the Orioles would prefer to move Aubrey Huff(notes). With Carlos Guillen(notes) back to DH, the Tigers might shift their focus to adding another pitcher. – G.E.


The best available bullpen arm out there might indeed belong to right-hander Heath Bell(notes), whom the San Diego Padres turned from a reliable setup man into an All-Star lock-down closer and now perhaps into a small handful of useful prospects.

A couple weeks ago Padres GM Kevin Towers was telling the inquisitive (and bullpen challenged) that Bell was not available.

But, the calls kept coming – and the Padres losses kept mounting – and while Towers is not yet close to a deal, the conversations with rival general managers are not nearly as short as they once were.

Sources said Towers has engaged with several teams regarding Bell, who has 24 saves and a 2.06 ERA in 37 appearances and would be very effective pitching in front of Mariano Rivera(notes), Jonathan Broxton(notes), Huston Street(notes), Trevor Hoffman(notes) (again) or Brian Fuentes(notes), or perhaps in place of Bobby Jenks(notes) or Brad Lidge(notes).

Bell isn’t eligible for free agency until after the 2011 season, heightening his value. – T.B.


The Dodgers and Phillies are among the most motivated of the four or five teams interested in Orioles closer George Sherrill(notes). The Orioles would like a pitcher and third baseman to replace Melvin Mora(notes) next season, which would appear to make them a possible match for the Dodgers, who could package Blake DeWitt(notes) and left-hander Scott Elbert(notes). The Orioles remain a bit wary of Elbert because of past shoulder issues; DeWitt was just optioned to Triple-A for the fifth time this season.

The Los Angeles Dodgers will not include left-hander Clayton Kershaw(notes) in any proposal but have talked internally about possibly parting with Chad Billingsley(notes), according to one league source.

– G.E.


If the Phillies turn to Cleveland and Lee as a fallback plan to Halladay, pitcher Kyle Kendrick(notes), just recalled from Triple-A, is among the pieces expected to go to Cleveland.

– G.E.


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Updated Tuesday, Jul 28, 2009