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Padres looking to add

07.18.10 at 10:25 pm ET
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Forget about the Adrian Gonzalez to Boston pipe dream. If the Padres are going to do anything at the trade deadline, they will likely be adding.

San Diego leads the NL West by four games and according to Tim Sullivan of the San Diego Union Tribune, manager Bud Black wants Brewers outfielder Corey Hart in the fold. Black is also reportedly very high on Cody Ross, Miguel Tejada, and Milton Bradley.

The 28-year-old Hart is hitting .295 with 22 homers and 70 RBI. He boasts a .354 on-base percentage.

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Rumor: Uggla trade unlikely for Marlins

07.18.10 at 2:13 pm ET
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MLBtraderumors.com reports the Marlins will likely keep two-time All-Star second baseman Dan Uggla and might even sign for him in 2011 — his final year of arbitration — according too MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro.

Since Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki broke his wrist in June, sources say Colorado has been interested in picking up Uggla, and although the Marlins will likely keep him, Frisaro says Florida is open to listening to offers for any of their players.

Tracy Ringolsby of Inside the Rockies tweeted Sunday that the Rockies haven’t been interested in Uggla for months, writing: “Amazing how media can create a rumor and keep feeding it. Rockies have NOT been in pursuit of Fla 2B Dan Uggla since last winter.”

The Braves, on the other hand, might be interested in right-handed Marlins outfielder Cody Ross, and the Yankees may have their eye on corner infielder Wes Helms.  Marlins infielder Jorge Cantu also will likely switch teams when he becomes a free agent this winter.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports says Ricky Nolasco is also a focus for the Rockies, who need a right-handed bat that will put runs on the board — though he is another player Florida is unlikely to give away.

The Rockies, Twins, Red Sox and Padres all demand infield additions, making these franchises likely places for these Marlins to end up.

President Larry Beinfest said the Marlins, 10 1/2 gamees behind the Braves in the NL East, will be active in roster changes.

In a statement before Florida’s game against the Diamondbacks Sunday, Beinfest said, “Change is always possible. … I think we need to be more open to everything at this point, because we haven’t had that run.”

Trade conversations are ongoing with the Marlins, who, Frisaro reports, have no financial limitations to clear salary from owner Jeffrey Loria.

Read More: Dan Uggla, Marlins, Rockies, Rumor Mill

Rumor: Kovalchuk close to decision

07.18.10 at 2:11 pm ET
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Mark Everson of NYpost.com says a source close to Ilya Kovalchuk indicated the Russian free agent is, again, close to making a decision about where he’ll lace up his skates next season.

The Kings, Devils, St. Petersburg of the KHL and a silent NHL bidder have shown interest in the left winger, who was the No. 1 pick in the 2001 NHL draft by the Thrashers — the first Russian to be drafted first overall.

Kovalchuk, considered by some as the best NHL unrestricted free agent ever, was nominated for Rookie of the Year in his 2001-02 season (51 points in 65 games) in Atlanta and played eight seasons there before being traded to New Jersey, choosing free agency at the end of his 2009-10 season.

He was the first Thrashers player to ever score 50 goals in a season when he returned to Atlanta from Russia following the 2004-05 lockout and finished the season scoring 52. In 2007-08 he completed his second 52-goal season in three years.

Last season, in the final year of Kovalchuk’s contract with the Thrashers, the two parties could not make an agreement over a contract extension, as Kovalchuk reportedly denied 12-year, $101 million and seven-year $70 million proposals. The Thrashers traded him to the Devils on Feb. 4 with Anssi Salmela for Niclas Bergfors, Johnny Oduya and Patrice Cormier plus a first-round pick and a swap of second-rounders.

The Kings say they believe their chances of scoring Kovalchuk are 50-50. On July 5, Kovalchuk appeared ready to sign with New Jersey when he reverted back to talks with Los Angeles unexpectedly.

The Devils have offered him $60 million over seven years, $100 million over 17 — to revitalize their left wing where Patrik Elias will take over with Jason Arnott available for the center spot. Zach Parise, up for restricted free agency next summer and unrestricted the summer after that, and Brian Rolston and Dainius Zubrus, are also available to play wing in New Jersey.

NYpost.com reported July 5 that the Devils had $6 million in cap space available, with 16 certain roster players, but would have to cover six roster sports with $4 million, turning $2 million over to Kovalchuk, spilling over the $59.4 million cap by $5.94 million until the regular season starts.

Kovalchuk made $7.5 million last season, and recorded 27 points in 27 games with the Devils.

Referring to Kovalchuk as the NHL’s “Jamesian free agent,” the New York Post wrote that one of Canada’s national outlets officially proposed a one-hour prime-time special announcing his decision after LeBron James‘ “Decision” on ESPN.

Read More: Ilya Kovalchuk, Los Angeles Kings, New Jersey Devils, Rumor Mill

Yankees making a play for Soria?

07.18.10 at 1:57 pm ET
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According to the New York Baseball Digest, there are indications that the Yankees are ready to get in the hunt for Kansas City closer Joakim Soria. Writes Frank Russo:

I spoke with my main Yankees source down in Tampa on Sunday morning who informed me that the team is in the midst of ongoing discussions with Kansas City over the availability of Joakim Soria. “KC is very adamant with their demands in wanting at least one major league ready player and several prospects. I think that it’s a deal that ”Cash” has to make. “They’re not winning another championship with the way the bullpen is currently constructed. Brian has to do something soon. Other than Mariano, the bullpen has been a total “crap shoot.”

Soria is making $3 million this season, and $4 million in 2011, with the Royals holding club options of $6 million, $8 million, and $8.75 million, respectively, over the following three seasons.

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Sabres, Islanders after Savard?

07.18.10 at 9:25 am ET
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According to this report, both the Sabres and Islanders are “in the hunt” for Bruins center Marc Savard. The 33-year-old has been rumored to be on the block as the Bruins look to sort out an ugly salary cap situation. Though Savard’s deal (just over a $4 million cap hit for the next seven seasons) is by no means a problem contract, getting him off the books would facilitate the signings of both Blake Wheeler and Tyler Seguin.

Another interesting possibility the report brings up is the idea — which is backed by sources — that if free agent winger Alexander Frolov does not have a deal in place soon, he “could pull a [Marion] Hossa and play a year on the wing with Sidney Crosby.”

Read More: marc savard, Rumor Mill,

Report: Yankees interested in acquiring Marlins’ Helms

07.17.10 at 6:10 pm ET
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According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Yankees are interested in acquiring Marlins third baseman Wes Helms. Helms this season is batting .243 with three homers. Yankees manager Joe Girardi managed Helms in Florida. He is respected in the clubhouse and has postseason experience with from his days with the Braves and Phillies. Helms is a free agent after this season.

Read More: New York Yankees, Trade deadline, Wes Helms,

Rockets ink Miller to three-year deal

07.17.10 at 5:45 pm ET
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ESPN has reported that Brad Miller has officially agreed to a three-year deal worth $15 million with the Rockets. Miller was targeted by the Celtics, Hawks, Heat and Bulls this offseason.

Read More: Brad Miller, Houston Rockets, Rumor Mill,

Wood trade talk slowed by trip to DL

07.17.10 at 11:28 am ET
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Cleveland reliever Kerry Wood has been placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 12, because of a blister on his right index finger. Wood, who is 1-4 with a 6.30 ERA in 23 appearances and has converted eight saves in 11 opportunities, has now been on the DL twice this season.

When appearing on “The Big Show” Friday Peter Gammons said the Red Sox didn’t have interest in Wood after there was initially some speculation that the Sox would be targeting the closer as a potential trade deadline acquisition.

“I mentioned him but I was told that the Red Sox have no interest in him because of his contract and his unpredictability,” Gammons said. “He’ll get traded because it’s hard not to take a shot with that stuff. He’s still throwing 97-98, he doesn’t have great results but he’s still throwing very hard. I think one issue you want to think about is with Kerry’s presence and ego, will he pitch in the seventh inning and how is he going to react? I think someone will take him. I don’t know if the Dodgers will give up prospects … but I think that might be a possibility. I think the Cardinals are definitely a possibility.”

Read More: Trade deadline,

Colts, Manning still talking

07.17.10 at 11:17 am ET
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According to the Indianapolis Star, negotiations between the Colts and Peyton Manning — whose contract expires after the 2010 season — are on going, although, according to Indianapolis owner Jim Irsay, “There is nothing to report right now.”

“We’re working through the timing,” Irsay told The Star. “It’s not only keeping Peyton going forward, but being able to surround him with the right people. We need both.”

Colts president Bill Polian told WEEI.com last month that negotiations with Manning were being made difficult because of the collective bargaining agreement negotiations.

“We can’t get into the nitty-gritty because we don’t know what the rules will be.,” he said. “And that will clarify itself as the year goes on because there will be talks, people will understand what’s on the table and what’s not on the table,” Polian said. “It’s not like you’re going to get a deal in October, I don’t think. If that happens it would be great. But at least you can get a feel for the way things are going.”

Read More: Rumor Mill,

Report: No talks between Padres, Gonzalez

07.16.10 at 10:18 pm ET
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According to Dan Hayes of the North County (CA) Times, the San Diego Padres and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez have not had contract talks regarding an extension. Hayes Tweets that Gonzalez said at the All-Star Game that he is looking for an eight-year deal. The Padres have a club option on Gonzalez for $5.5 million next season.

Read More: Trade deadline,