The Phillies don't want to trade their valuable veterans just because it's expected, so they've hung onto Marlon Byrd and Jonathan Papelbon, among others, despite reports that they've conversed with other teams.
The Phils have watched the Angels fill their closer void with Huston Street and the Tigers boost their bullpen with Joakim Soria. That subtracts the two most likely destinations for Papelbon.
On Thursday, the Mariners acquired designated hitter Kendrys Morales from the Twins to help their mediocre offense. Morales is experiencing struggles since signing with the Twins in June, so the move by itself doesn't take Seattle out of the running for Byrd.
But the Mariners also now seem to have shifted their attention to another outfielder. Here is a roundup of the latest trade rumors which could affect the Phillies:
Report: Phils scouting Red Sox
Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reported Thursday night that the Phillies have sent a scout to watch the Red Sox Double A affiliate this week.
The scout was sent after Boston inquired about Cole Hamels, Stark tweeted.
Boston is one of few teams with the minor-league talent and depth to acquire Hamels. The Phillies have been asking for the world in return for Hamels, and for good reason. He is having the best regular season of his career, and over his last 15 starts has a 2.04 ERA with 110 strikeouts in 105 2/3 innings. The Phillies have wasted the production, going just 8-7 when 15-0 would have been a realistic record.
The Red Sox are not a contender this season, but they weren't in 2012 either, a year before they rebounded to win the World Series. Hamels would be a piece for the future for Boston and also insurance in case the Red Sox cannot re-sign their own ace lefty, Jon Lester, who is set for free agency after the season.
Mariners want Stubbs
Seattle made an offer to the Rockies for outfielder Drew Stubbs earlier this week, reports Nick Groke of the Denver Post.
Stubbs, 29, has long been an intriguing player because of his power and speed, but he's never been able to figure things out. From 2009-13, he hit just .239 with a .310 on-base percentage and averaged 187 strikeouts per 162 games.
This year, though, he's made the most of his first season at Coors Field. Stubbs has hit .297/.335/.498 with 26 extra-base hits and 11 steals in just 258 plate appearances.
The Rockies have a crowded outfield with Carlos Gonzalez finally healthy and playing alongside 2014 breakouts Charlie Blackmon and Corey Dickerson. That would seem to make Stubbs expendable seven months after Colorado acquired him from Cleveland for pitcher Josh Outman.
If the Mariners land Stubbs after also obtaining Morales, that would likely close the book on their efforts to trade for Byrd.
Byrd is a better, more complete and more reliable player than both Stubbs and Morales, but he'll cost the Mariners more. And to this point, Seattle seems unwilling to trade any of its top prospects.
Yankees acquire Capuano
The Yankees made another mid-level move Thursday, trading for left-handed pitcher Chris Capuano. In the deal, New York sent cash considerations to the Colorado Rockies.
The Yankees are stockpiling arms to make up for the losses of CC Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka, Ivan Nova and Michael Pineda. Two weeks ago they acquired Brandon McCarthy from the Diamondbacks for spare parts, and this week they gave up a similarly weak package to land third baseman Chase Headley.
These middling roster augmentations protect GM Brian Cashman from missing out on a whale before the deadline, whether that's Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels or someone else.
Capuano, 35, is not in the same stratosphere as Lee or Hamels, but he's been useful since 2012. With the Dodgers and Red Sox, Capuano has posted a 3.97 ERA in 335 2/3 innings over the last three seasons.
Are the Yankees still interested in Lee? Could an August deal be possible? I spoke with Yankees expert Mike Axisa of CBS Sports about those topics on Friday.