With July more than half over and the All-Star break fully in the rearview mirror, a single topic dominates baseball these days: the approach of the non-waiver Trade Deadline. Clubs are sorting out whether they're buyers or sellers and trying to assess how new Draft-pick compensation rules affect their valuation of players, all while also trying to, you know, win ballgames.
From now until the July 31 Deadline, we'll be checking in on the trade news around baseball, with help from MLB.com's reporters. The countdown is under way.
Ichiro now in pinstripes
In the biggest splash of the day, Ichiro Suzuki was traded to the Yankees in exchange for right-handers D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar, who went to the Mariners.
"He's done some great things in the league," Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter said. "Offense, defense, there's a lot of different ways he can beat you. He's been as consistent as anyone."
So an era in Seattle that began with his American League MVP- and Rookie of the Year-winning season of 2001 plus a Major League-record 10 consecutive seasons with 200 hits or more comes to a close, and one wonders if Ichiro can rebound from a slumping season to help the Yankees down the stretch.
"When I thought about the future of the team, I also started to feel a desire to be in an atmosphere that I could have a different kind of stimulation than I have now," Ichiro said at his news conference through an interpreter. "If that were the case, it would be the best decision for both parties involved that I leave the team as soon as possible, and I have made that decision."
Dempster trade not done
While Ryan Dempster is expected to be dealt before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, it wasn't to the Braves yet on Monday in exchange for young right-hander Randall Delgado, who was reportedly in line to be included in the deal.
MLB.com's Mark Bowman reported that the Braves had reached an agreement to acquire Dempster from the Cubs earlier in the day, however, the deal has not been officially completed. Because Dempster has played in the Majors for at least 10 years and has been with the same team for at least five years, he has the right to veto any deal.
Dempster, who leads the Major Leagues with a 2.11 ERA, declined to comment Monday on the rumors. But on his Dempster Family Foundation Twitter account (@RyanDempsterFDN), he denied reports that a deal had been completed saying, "THERE IS NO TRADE dont know where this info came from!"
"The team, the whole thing, was news to me -- the team obviously is the one that leaked it out or it came out of their city," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of the Dempster-to-the-Braves reports. "Obviously, we can't sit here and say it can't happen. Anything can happen at this point. We have eight days until the Deadline. All the teams that are involved and want starters and need starters are all in play."
Meanwhile, the Dodgers are still expected to be in the running for Dempster, with many suspecting he has told the Cubs that Los Angeles is the only team he'll approve a trade to.
Marlins, Tigers in big deal again
The Marlins and Tigers completed a trade on Monday, with Miami sending second baseman Omar Infante and starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez to the Tigers for pitching prospect Jacob Turner, catcher Rob Brantly and left-handed pitcher Brian Flynn. The teams also agreed to swap Competitive Balance Draft picks in 2013.
"It's a situation for us, as we look to improve our ballclub, hope to win our division, get to the postseason and advance from there, we had a couple needs," said Tigers president, CEO and general manager Dave Dombrowski.
Meanwhile, Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest, while admitting disappointment in his team's performance, seemed excited to get in return what he considers Major League-ready pieces in Turner and Brantly.
"Good players, coming and going," Beinfest said. "That's what it takes. This is a baseball deal."
Report: A's in on Headley
Meanwhile, the hot A's, suddenly contenders in the American League West, have put their green-and-gold hat in the Chase Headley mix, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
Heyman reported that Oakland is joining a crowded field already lined up to take a shot at acquiring the Padres' third baseman. Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Baltimore, Arizona and the Dodgers have been mentioned in Headley talks.
The A's are a surprise buyer because of their great play of late, and as Heyman points out, the Padres are considering dealing Headley because they have a third-base prospect on the way in Jedd Gyorko.
JJ on the move?
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported that the Red Sox are scouting Marlins ace Josh Johnson, but that no deal was close. Later Monday, MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez reported that Hal Morris, the Angels' director of pro scouting, also was watching from the stands during Johnson's dominant six-inning, one-hit and nine-strikeout Monday start against the Braves.
According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, representatives from the Rangers were watching Johnson, too.
Tatman a Tampa Bay man?
Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports reported Monday that the Rays are interested in D-backs infielder Ryan Roberts, who could fill some of Tampa Bay's needs at third base with All-Star Evan Longoria still on the disabled list.
Brown wrote that the Tigers were interested in Roberts as well, but their acquisition of Infante will likely make them pull out of any Roberts talks.
And while everyone is talking about Dempster, a report surfaced from MLB Network and ESPN's Jim Bowden that the Dodgers are talking to the Cubs about a different right-hander, starter Matt Garza, and that the Dodgers might be willing to part with pitching prospect Zach Lee to get him.
Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.