A lot of good players will be on the block

Posted: June 27, 2012

The Kevin Youkilis trade on Sunday was just the first of what baseball insiders predict will be an avalanche of big-name swaps before the July 31 non-waiver deadline.

Unfortunately for Phillies fans, the name at the very top of every list of supposedly available stars is Cole Hamels.

The lefthander is just one of a slew of quality pitchers said to be on the block. Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports also listed Milwaukee's Zach Greinke, the Cubs' Matt Garza, Oakland's Brandon McCarthy, Houston's Wandy Rodriguez and Kansas City's Jonathan Broxton as those up for grabs.

But the most interesting name, from a Philadelphia perspective, is San Diego's Carlos Quentin. The outfielder had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on March 19 and only returned on May 28. Since then, he's been on a tear, hitting .324 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 21 games. He's a free agent at the end of the season and, like Phillies' GM Ruben Amaro, is a Stanford man.

A power-hitting outfielder is probably atop the Phillies' wish list. Unless of course, there's a power-hitting third baseman available. Like San Diego's Chase Headley. While the third baseman is hitting a modest .269 this season, he's a switch-hitter who has a career .300 average on the road.

Better, he can't become a free agent until after the 2014 season.

So if you're playing along at home, you probably already know where this is going. San Diego could get a heck of a return on a package that included Headley and Quentin.

And Cole Hamels is a San Diego native.

If the new Padres' ownership wants to make an immediate splash, what better way than to bring Hamels home.

Byrd suspended

Outfielder Marlon Byrd was suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball after testing positive for Tamoxifen, which can be used to reduce side effects of steroids.

Byrd said medication for an undisclosed "condition" resulted in the positive test. The former Phillie said he "absolutely did not use it for performance enhancement reasons."

Byrd, 34, is currently a free agent. He started the season with the Cubs and was dealt to the Red Sox on April 21. He was released June 13.

Around the bigs

Mets manager Terry Collins said righthander Bobby Parnell will be the team's closer while Frank Francisco is on the 15-day disabled list with a left oblique strain.

Elsewhere: Baltimore released infielder Miguel Tejada from his minor-league contract at his request. . . . The Reds activated centerfielder Drew Stubbs from the disabled list (pulled left side muscles). . . . Minnesota placed closer Matt Capps on the DL (right shoulder inflammation).


Contact Don McKee at dmckee@phillynews.com.

This article contains information from the Associated Press.

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