Trade Picture Still Unclear For M's

As the M's try to find a deal for Jarrod Washburn, Raul Ibanez, and Arthur Rhodes, Victor Diaz and Ryan Feierabend state their case for a promotion to take their place.

The latest on the trading front:

* The Miami Herald is reporting that the Marlins are very interested in Arthur Rhodes, but writer Clark Spencer just notes that the Fish "could be" close to a deal for Rhodes. He notes that the M's are only asking for a mid-level prospect in return.

* Jarrod Washburn is not going to the Yankees. It seems like the M's are trying to move him to an NL team now, and are still asking for two top-of-the-line prospects. ESPN's Buster Olney mentions the Mets as a good fit now that John Maine's health is questionable. The Denver Post is also reporting that the Rockies are interested in Washburn. However, it doesn't look like specific names have been tossed around yet.

* Weirdly, The Cubs are apparently interested in Raul Ibanez, according to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal. This makes absolutely no sense for them so I'm just going to pretend I didn't read it. The Mets are still interested in Raul, but are not biting on the price of two quality prospects. Again, keeping Ibanez is not terrible because the M's would likely get two high draft picks for him. The only wrench in that plan is if Raul accepted arbitration, but it also wouldn't be the end of the world if he was back with the M's next year. He is still the team's best offensive producer.

* If the Mets are interested in Ibanez already, and may be interested in Washburn as well, would there be some sort of deal on the table potentially that could pry one of the Mets top prospects away? Doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility.

* In the out-of-left-field department, the Giants are supposedly intrigued by Adrian Beltre, but not in any sort of meaningful way. The San Francisco Chronicle's Henry Schulman says "The Giants like Beltre, believing he would thrive in the more fastball-oriented National League, but a source said they have not exchanged names with the Mariners." In other words, there's nothing imminent here. Also, they throw more fastballs in the NL? Really?

* In non-trade news, the M's claimed pitcher Luis Munoz off waivers from Pittsburgh. Munoz will be assigned to AA West Tenn. He has a 6.03 ERA in 20 appearances between AAA and AA this season. Last season, he won 14 games and had a 3.57 ERA.

AROUND THE MINORS

Victor Diaz launched two home runs last night as the Rainiers pounded Memphis 12-3. Diaz is up to 21 homers on the season, and has hit six in his last 10 games. He has a .961 OPS in 73 games with Tacoma, and while he's had a couple of opportunities at the major league level, he might be worth another look down the stretch this season.

Luis Valbuena had his best game at the AAA level last night, going 4-for-4 with two homers and four RBI. Valbuena has had trouble adjusting to his promotion, and perhaps this is the start of something big.

Ryan Feierabend was impressive yet again last night, giving up just two runs on five hits in seven innings. Both runs were on solo homers by Josh Phelps, who hit three bombs on the night and has five in the last two days.

Mike Wilson and Johan Limonta went deep for West Tenn last night, but those were the only two runs the Jaxx scored in a 3-2 loss. Brodie Downs pitched OK, giving up two runs on five hits in 4 1/3 innings. The result was his first loss of the season.

Travis Scott returned from the DL and hit a three-run homer for High Desert last night, but the Mavs lost 8-5 to Lake Elsinore. Travis Mortimore was lit up yet again. It's been a rough transition from the Midwest League to the Cal League for Mortimore. He had a 0.53 ERA in 34 innings in Wisconsin, but now sports a 7.67 ERA in 31 2/3 innings with the Mavs. One big problem is that hitters are elevating the ball off of him. He's allowed nine home runs already in High Desert, as his ground ball rate has deteriorated from 63% in Wisconsin to 40% in the desert. Keep the ball up in the Cal League and you will be punished.

The Timber Rattlers won for the sixth time in 10 games last night, 6-2 over Lansing. Michael Pineda worked around 11 hits in seven innings and only allowed two runs, striking out eight. Denny Almonte hit his third home run in two days for the Rattlers. Almonte's OPS has improved every month, from .594 in May to .800 in June to .846 in July. Joe Dunigan also homered for the Rattlers. Dunigan has had a big July, hitting .337/.370/.621 with six homers and 22 RBI in 24 games. This comes after a dreadful June, when he hit .112/.155/.143. If he can ward off the debilitating slumps, Dunigan still has a chance to be a useful player with the power he brings.

Everett lost 7-6 to Spokane last night. Nolan Gallagher allowed one earned run in 4 1/3 innings in his first start for the Frogs, but the bullpen gave the game away. Anthony Phillips had three hits to lead Everett.


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