Wild weekend looms with Yanks, trades
UPDATE, 7:08: The Yankees have acquired Lance Berkman from the Astros according to several reports, though apparently the deal won't become official for 24 hours. The Yankees are also likely to pick up another reliever or two. ... And Adam Dunn told the Washington Post that DH-ing for the rest of this season would be okay: Dunn has stated his opposition to serving as a full-time designated hitter, but he said he would not mind for the final portion of the season if he is sent to an American League team. "That's just Dhing for two months," Dunn said. "It's not like if I make this move, it's career-ending." Dunn also indicated he is still open to working out an extension with the Nationals, and said he'd guess it was "50-50" or "51-49" that he was still a Nat on Sunday.
UPDATE, 6:06: Manager Joe Maddon said it's "less than 50 percent" chance the Rays make a trade by the deadline, and if so he expects it to come down to the "11th hour.'' ... Reports out of New York that the Yankees are close to getting Lance Berkman from the Astros.
UPDATE, 3:27: From what we're hearing as of now, Rays still seem unlikely to make a big deal by Saturday's deadline. Keep in mind that a number of players, such as Berkman, are likely to be available in August as waiver claims.
UPDATE, 3:22: The Nationals did make a deal - sending INF Cristian Guzman to the Rangers for prospects. Also is some chatter now that the Yankees are out on Dunn but inquiring about Lance Berkman.
UPDATE, 1:13: The White Sox went ahead and acquired Jackson for RHP Daniel Hudson and prospect David Holmberg. Now it's a quesiotn of they keep Jackson or flip him to the Nats. Former Nationals GM Jim Bowden, who now does XM Radio, says "all indications" are that Dunn is headed to the White Sox and it's just a matter of "waiting" for the Nationals to approve it.
DEVELOPING: Get ready for a wild couple days with the Yankees in town for a sold-out weekend series and the trade deadline looming at 4 p.m. Saturday.
While it sounded more and more Thursday to us that the Rays were less likely to make a deal to add a bat, there continue to be rumors circulating nationally to the contrary, most involving Washington slugger Adam Dunn, and perhaps Houston's Lance Berkman.
There is some talk, including from ESPN's Buster Olney, that the Rays and Yankees are competing for Dunn, which could make for a fascinating race over the weekend. There is also talk the White Sox are still in the mix, and are talking with Arizona about acquiring ex-Ray Edwin Jackson for the purpose of sending him to Washington.
The price for a two-month rental of free-agent-to-be Dunn is going to be steep - SI.com's Jon Heyman said the Nats asked the Sox for INF Gordon Beckham. Another issue with Dunn is that he has been adamant about not wanting to DH, which is certainly something the Rays are aware of given their experience with Pat Burrell.
Here is some of Olney's take on the situation:
"The Washington slugger may or may not be dealt by the Nationals, and the worst nightmare for the Yankees or the Rays is that he winds up sitting in the middle of the lineup of their rival -- because for all of his perceived flaws in his defense and in the way he accumulates strikeouts, Dunn is a big-time run producer who is capable of being a difference-maker."