* From Newsday:
The Yankees called Cincinnati about Ken Griffey Jr., but the Reds called back to say, "No thanks." Which stunned everyone, given that the Reds finally had their chance to get out of most of the $47 million remaining on Griffey's contract.
Regarding the Reds' intractability, one NL exec said: "They've made Kent Mercker damn near untouchable. Kent Mercker!"
The Reds allegedly were talking to the Angels, Dodgers and Astros about Adam Dunn but most believe they're too petrified to do anything.
Not sure how I feel about this. It seems like it'd be a no brainer to get rid of Junior's contract and be able to play Kearns/Pena/Dunn every day. Chris Denorfia and Jacob Cruz are solid reserve outfielders. It doesn't really make sense not to at least consider trading Griffey.
* From the Enquirer:
Less than 20 hours from the trading deadline, it was beginning to look as if the Reds' dealings were done a week ago when they traded third baseman Joe Randa.
"If I had to handicap it, I'd say we're probably not going to do anymore," Reds general manager Dan O'Brien said Saturday afternoon.
That means infielder Rich Aurilia, the one Red who all logic says could be traded, won't be moved by today's 4 p.m. non-waiver deadline.
It's hard not to have the terrifying thought that Dan O'Brien really doesn't know what the hell he's doing.
* From the Star Ledger:
Yankees GM Brian Cashman said he was still looking for pitching, and the Yankees are known to be interested in many relief pitchers including Scott Eyre, Scott Sauerbeck, Kent Mercker and Ron Villone. Asked about finding a new center fielder, Cashman said that was "unrealistic, given the choices out there." Tony Womack started in center field for the Yankees last night.
* The Marlins also are looking for relievers:
The Reds have two affordable arms in David Weathers and lefty Kent Mercker and are looking for pitching prospects in return.
Weathers, a favorite of Marlins manager Jack McKeon, is the better bet to return for a third tour in South Florida.
* Dunn has been mentioned in the Red Sox rumors:
Again, there are multiple reports that the Red Sox will not stop with one blockbuster, seeking to deal for Adam Dunn (using Abe Alvarez, Jon Papelbon and Lastings Milledge) or for Billy Wagner (for Jon Lester and Milledge, plus a pitcher widely expected to be Bronson Arroyo). The Reds continue to insist they are not making any deals.
* Jason LaRue is possibly headed to San Diego:
Sources tell us that the Reds may have been very precise with their language. They may not be dealing an outfielder, but they have been talking about dealing Jason LaRue to the Padres. Sending the catcher westward apparently was first discussed during the Joe Randa negotiations, but the two couldn't be completed as one transaction. The Padres looked around and came back to the Reds for the best available catcher.