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Rumor Control for a Monday Morning

Well, this is the week.  With four days left before the deadline, rumors are flying in all directions and we're here to do our best to try and stay on top of them.

-For starters, the Dodgers wasted no time shooting down yesterday's report that they were close to a deal that would have sent James Loney and either Chad Billingsley or Clayton Kershaw and prospects to the Indians for Cliff Lee and catcher Victor Martinez.  Said by a Dodgers executive about the deal and reported by the LA Times, ""It's completely false."

-The Phillies seem to have backed off their negotiations with the Blue Jays after being asked for the moon in exchange for Roy Halladay. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported this morning that they sent their top scout to watch Cliff Lee pitch yesterday in Seattle.  While Lee is not their heart's desire, he would be more affordable and still provide the Phillies with a bolstered starting rotation. The newpaper reports that the Phillies believe they could make a deal for Lee by offering up second-tier prospects like pitcher Carlos Carrasco and IF Jason Donald.

-Everyone likes to speak in absolutes during deadline week to squash unfounded rumors.  In the case of Tigers manager Jim Leyland on the subject of trade rumors for Cubs struggling OF Milton Bradley, he left no doubt, " We have absolutely no interest in Milton Bradley." Sounds pretty emphatic to me.

-Red Sox owner Tom Werner, in Cooperstown to attend Sunday's ceremony, left the impression that the Red Sox are trying to pull off a deal this week. He said GM Theo Epstein was "burning the midnight oil" trying to make something happen.  A report suggests their wish list includes Roy Halladay, Indians Victor Martinez and possibly Padres Adrian Gonzalez.