— Yankees frontrunners for Cuban defector
Aroldis Chapman can throw a fastball more than 100 miles per hour and is thought to be the best pitching prospect in Cuba. And now he is suddenly a free man. He defected from the Cuban national team yesterday when the team was visiting the Netherlands. Word is that the Yankees are talking about going after him. And what the Yankees want, they tend to get (unless all the World Series championships the team has wanted but not gotten since 2000). (New York Times)
Indians ready to talk deal Lee and Martinez
It’s no guarantee that the Indians will deal Cliff Lee or Victor Martinez by the July 31 deadline but it is certainly possible, particularly now that the team has apparently informed others that they are ready talk about potential deals including the two stars. It would have to be some kind of whopper of a deal for Indians GM Mark Shapiro to really listen closely, though. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
Angels’ Haren efforts rejected
The Angels of Anaheim are hurting on the pitching front in both the starting and relieving departments. GM Tony Reagins is saying, though, that it’s possible that he might not move forward with any deal before the trading deadline because the quality he wants just isn’t there. He apparently tried to convince the Diamondbacks to send Dan Haren his way, but Arizona reportedly said, “No, thanks.” (Los Angeles Times)
MLB won’t let Twins sign No. 1 player?
Dominican Republic shortstop Miquel Sano is considered the current top international prospect and the Twins are supposedly very close to an agreement with him. But the league apparently isn’t planning to allow Minnesota to sign Sano just yet because the league hasn’t seen proof that the kid is really, truly 16. (St. Paul Pioneer Press)
Phils adding Paul Byrd?
The Phillies are getting more and more desperate for starting pitching, especially with Florida making a surge to tie them in first place. Team execs have apparently discussed bringing back free agent hurler Paul Byrd. It doesn’t sound like he has generated much excitement within the front office in Philadelphia but if the team keeps losing games, don’t be surprised if the 38-year-old’s name comes up again. (Philadelphia Daily News)