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Trades...or the ongoing lack thereof.

More anti-news to report - in the absence of any significant trades actually involving the Diamondbacks. Furcal to the Dodgers, so he won't be replacing Clayton - not really likely ever, but now he's firmly crossed off. It may count as an upgrade for the Dodgers, but a three-year, $39m deal for someone whose OPS has never reached .800? Seems excessive.

AJ Burnett is reported as being close to a deal with the Cardinals; some negotiation over the length of the contract is the main issue, and the Blue Jays remain a possibility, as do the Nationals as an outside. Toronto would be better for AZ, at the Blue Jays are on Javy's blacklist, so aren't a valid trading partner for Vazquez and so we don't care too much if they get a pitcher elsewhere.

If this goes through, it'll leave Vazquez as the best remaining pitcher on the market (in the opinion of pretty much everyone except Kevin Millwood's mother), which will hopefully drive up his value to the desperate - which, at the moment, appears to be the Mets. Speaking of whom...they are supposed to be close to taking Paul Lo Duca from the "Everything must go! No reasonable offer refused!" sale going on down in Florida. They're taking on Lo Duca's salary, and handing over some prospects, though not top-end ones like Milledge.

The fear in Arizona is that they'll turn around and trade Lo Duca to Arizona for Vazquez: we were apparently negotiating with the Marlins in a Lo Duca for prospects swap, but that fell apart when we asked for cash too. No word on who the prospects were, by the way, but I'm guessing not Q or J, given Byrnes' comments (see the Tribune diary at the right). My instinct is more likely that Lo Duca will end up being their regular catcher; they are still certainly in the Vazquez race.

There seems to be a groundswell of thought that it'll be a deal of Vazquez for Benson + prospects. It seems we keep the money the Yankees gave us to subsidize his contract, but it would appear less likely we'll get Milledge as the prospect, though that would fill the CF gap very nicely. Maybe a couple of almost-ready pitchers instead?

And finally, what about this one? A three-team deal, where we get catcher Johnny Estrada, send pitching to Tampa Bay, and Julio Lugo goes to the Braves. Mind you, that comes from the Newark Star-Ledger, which last time I looked wasn't all that near to Arizona, Tampa or Atlanta. My instinct is, that was probably just some journalist pulling names and teams at random from a hat.