Hotwire: Seattle in Hunt for Benitez

With the trade deadline less than a month away, interim general manager Jim Duquette continues to try and rid himself of his closer which to many is certainly not a surprise. Seattle could jump into the mix on Benitez with Graeme Lloyd and Jeromy Burnitz also garnering interest from several organizations.

Armando Benitez
According to the Bergen Record, Seattle could be a serious player for Armando Benitez's services if they are still concerned with the health of Kaz Sasaki (ribs) as the month continues.

Only problem is, they may not be interested in paying the price. The paper reports that Duquette wants someone to at least pay a portion of the approximate $3.5 million that he is owed for the remainder of the season and Mariners general manager Pat Gillick isn't thrilled with that idea.

It seems very likely that he will be dealt within the next few weeks and Boston would like to move Byung-Hyum Kim -- who was recently named their closer -- back into their starting rotation before season's end. Trading for Benitez is still a distinct possibility.

Although a long shot, many people around baseball still feel that the Yankee are still interested in Benitez. With their bullpen in need of another arm before Mariano Rivera, they may want to add him not only to upgrade their situation, but also to block the Red Sox.

Jeromy Burnitz
The outfielder -- who is in contention to be the Mets lone representative at the All-Star game -- is drawing attention from the Los Angeles Dodgers, whose offense continues to struggle and they are in desperate need of an additional bat.

Part of that is because of Shawn Green's struggles at the plate, after the right fielder hit just .181 in June with two home runs. They like Burnitz, who is hitting .272 with 15 homers and 36 RBIs entering July 4.

According to the LA Times, Dodgers general manager Dan Evans wants to dump Andy Ashby in a deal, but that is scaring a lot of teams off. The paper also reports that the team is not at all interested in Rangers outfielder Juan Gonzalez.

Graeme Lloyd
Toronto general manager JP Ricciardi is interested in acquiring left-hander Graeme Lloyd from the Mets, the Bergen Record reports. The thirty-six year old is 1-2 with a 3.18 ERA in 28.1 innings this season.

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