This is probably going to be the final update for today, news has dramatically slowed...unless something important happens, this will be all until tomorrow morning.
-Rafael Soriano has given approval for a trade, and the Yankees, Red Sox, Orioles & Astros are among the teams that have interest. However, beat writers for the Yankees & Red Sox have denied that their teams have interest. So that leaves us with the Orioles and Astros that we know of...Houston has absolutely nothing the Braves need, aside from MAYBE Hunter Pence. I know some of you are going to point to Lance Berkman or Carlos Lee. Berkman I really wouldn't mind, but he makes a lot of money ($14.5 million in 2010, $15 million club option for 2011), and he's such a pillar of that team that I really don't think they'd get rid of him. Theres also the full no trade clause, and I highly doubt he'd approve a trade out of Houston. How about Carlos Lee? To hell with Carlos Lee. Dude makes more than Berkman (an eyepopping $18.5 million each of the next 3 years), plus he also has a full no trade clause until the end of 2010. He's also got an allergy to walks (7.4% over his career), and his power dropped to a .189 ISO last season. A drop like that really worries me, and I wouldn't take a flier on him. One more thing: he's really bad defensively. One guy on Houston I wouldn't mind see becoming a Brave is Hunter Pence, who has settled into a role of a young guy who will give you above replacement level production for minimal amounts of money. Pence is under team control for the next 4 years, too. Really would be a good fit, but I HIGHLY doubt they'd give him up.
As for Baltimore, they don't have a lot of options that can immediately help. There's Nick Markakis and Adam Jones, but there is absolutely no way in hell either of them get traded. I assume Nolan Reimold is similarly untouchable. Felix Pie is out there, but he's not what the team is looking for...no power at all. What about Luke Scott? He's not the sexiest name on the market by a long shot, but he provides immediate pop to the lineup (.231 career ISO), can take a walk (11.2% BB rate career), and has been proven to be above average defensively in left over his career, though he hasn't spent a lot of time out there. Its just something to think about.
That does it for me for today, hopefully a tantalizing rumor will pop up today so I can get another post up before the night is out.