Rumor Mill Roundup: July 22

With the trade deadline right around the corner, our MLB editor brings you the top five rumors every day until July 31.

- Sometimes with trade rumors, it's just a matter of connecting the dots. The Dodgers have a scout in Tampa Bay for this week's Rays-A's series, and with Los Angeles tied with Arizona atop the NL West, you can bet he isn't there to check out Evan Longoria. Back in Tinseltown, manager Joe Torre announced his intentions to


give Andy LaRocheplenty of time at third base over the next few weeks.

Even considering Ned Colletti's apparent antipathy for young players, LaRoche is the one prospect who seems to have been jerked around the most. Oakland GM Billy Beane appears willing to deal just about any of his established big leaguers, and the Dodgers could use help just about everywhere. Reliever Huston Street is the obvious target, but shortstop Bobby Crosby and starting pitcher Justin Duchscherer could also end up on the move. LaRoche would be a more than handsome return for any one of those players.

- Brian Fuentes continues to be the hot commodity on the relief market. According to Tracy Ringolsby of the Rocky Mountain News, scouts from seven different teams have watched Fuentes pitch over the last few days, including almost all of the big boys from the American League. Fuentes gave up five runs in a loss on June 30 and since then has been utterly dominant, striking out 13 and walking none in his last seven appearances. Elsewhere, the Cardinals are reportedly stepping up their interest in Baltimore closer George Sherrill.

- Here's the latest Mark Teixeira rumor. The St. Paul Pioneer-Press' Charley Walters says the Angels could sendBrandon Wood and Robb Quinlan to Atlanta for the free agent to be. Even considering the recent change in Wood's approach at Triple-A (he's hitting .371 over his last 10 games and has cut down his strikeouts), that's not going to be nearly enough to pry Teixeira from the Braves.

- The Tigers are the latest team to show interest in veteran pitcher Freddy Garcia, who is fighting his way back from shoulder surgery. Detroit is desperate for pitching depth, especially as left-hander Nate Robertson continues to struggle. Given Ozzie Guillen's recent comments on Garcia, it doesn't look like the Tigers will have to fight off their division rivals for his services.

- The Orioles are unlikely to trade second baseman Brian Roberts at the deadline. Roberts is under contract through next season and the growing sense in Baltimore is that GM Andy MacPhail is building quickly toward contention. Roberts is one of the better second baseman in the game and can be a part of that should they acquire a shortstop in a potential trade of George Sherrill and should catching prospect Matt Wieters continue to progress in the minor leagues.

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