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Moving parts -- with three hours to go

It appears that Chad Cordero's destiny, and even that of Jon Rauch, could be tied up in the fate of the other key reliever on the market, Texas's Eric Gagne. The Mets and Red Sox appear hottest on him. The price for Gagne -- because of his age and injury history -- might be less than that for Cordero. He has a no-trade clause to several teams, including the Red Sox (but not the Mets). He'd have to waive that to go to Boston.

Clearly, Boston's Wily Mo Pena is shoppable, and he has a well-documented history with Washington GM Jim Bowden, who acquired him from the Yankees when he was the GM in Cincinnati. But Pena's numbers and performance now (.229, 5 HR, 54 strikeouts in 140 at-bats) would not be near enough to land Cordero or Rauch straight up. The Sox would have to throw in some of their minor league studs like Clay Bucholz and/or Jacoby Ellsbury (who would address the Nationals' most significant long-term need, center field). All reports out of Boston, however, have indicated those guys are untouchable.

Mets now appear to be out of running on Gagne, I'm told from someone up there. That might mean an 11th-hour push for Cordero and/or Rauch. Phil Humber, a Mets pitching prospect who could interest the Nats, was pulled from his scheduled start last night and then again scratched today for Class AAA New Orleans.

Not sure on Detroit, who seemed far away from a deal for either Cordero or Rauch last night. Still intrigued by that Arizona thought. And yes, you saw what Tim Brown of Yahoo! had -- Carlos Quention. That's precisely the piece I had heard. He hasn't played center, so he wouldn't solve that problem, and he's hitting just .209 in part-time duty, so there'd have to be another significant body involved if they were to deal Cordero there.

We're getting down to it, and I'm going to get out to the park.

Oh, a couple other things:

1. John Patterson is at RFK Stadium today, back from his treatment in Toronto. I look forward to talking to him about it if he's still around.

2. Thursday is the 100th anniversary of Walter Johnson's debut with the Washington Senators. Pick up the $.35 edition tomorrow. I'll have a story on the occasion there, and the Nationals are planning some pregame ceremonies, which hopefully will be cool.

3. Friday against the Cardinals is Negro Leagues Tribute Night, and Josh Gibson's great-grandson will throw out the first pitch.

Catch up with you from RFK.

By Barry Svrluga  |  July 31, 2007; 12:47 PM ET
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