Over the next couple weeks, I'll be filing a lot of short reports to do with the trading deadline here. I'll be honest with you - not all of them will pan out. It's the nature of the beast that some things happen, some things don't, and unless I hit one of those few occasions when both sides will tell me of a deal in the works, it won't be authoritative. I will do my best to be as accurate as possible.
The A.J. Burnett deal is heating up. Texas appears to be out and Toronto is a longer shot than previous. Baltimore upped their offer, meaning they may have added Hayden Penn to the mix or, more likely, are willing to take on not only Mike Lowell (who the Twins can't afford) but Juan Encarnacion. That would be a bold move for the Orioles. This trade will happen sooner than later, assuming it happens.
Two different front offices have been working on prying Aubrey Huff loose. Both are sick of trying to make a deal with the Devil Rays. The Rays may also miss out on a chance to move Denys Baez now that the D-Backs are scouting Shingo Takatsu. The Sox aren't asking for one of the elite prospects in return, as the Rays did.
The Reds are waiting for offers on Joe Randa. Minnesota and San Diego figure to be the bidders based on need, but neither is very excited about the idea of giving up much for Randa. San Diego doesn't really need him if they're willing to push Mark Loretta to third and Minnesota is fundamentally resistant to dealing its prospects.
When Jack McKeon is fired, expect Tony Perez to step in. Perez deserves another shot at managing.
For those that doubted Zach Duke, well, quit doubting. The kid is real. His emergence - and several options including Ian Snell and Tom Gorzelanny, make Mark Redman and Kip Wells available. Redman is being watched by the Yanks and Red Sox. The White Sox would love to have Wells back if they miss out on Burnett or another top-line starter.
Jeromy Burnitz available? Maybe. He'll be one of those guys that would likely make it through waivers, allowing him to be traded in August. The Cubs like him, but will call up Felix Pie if the team falls out of the wild card race.