July 2012

Deadline Wrap-up: NL West buying, NL East selling highlights busy day

The non-waiver Trade Deadline has come and gone, and the final day was filled with action. Here are a few highlights:

  • The Phillies shipped out two of their starting outfielders, sending Shane Victorino to Los Angeles and Hunter Pence to San Francisco in an attempt to bolster the club’s depth for the future. The Giants gave up outfielder Nate Schierholtz and a pair of prospects in their deal, while the Dodgers parted with reliever Josh Lindblom and Minor League pitcher Ethan Martin.
  • Not to be outdone by their NL East rival, the Marlins also made big moves Tuesday afternoon, dealing reliever Edward Mujica to the Cardinals and Gaby Sanchez to the Pirates. Mujica has been a late-inning setup man out of the bullpen, while Sanchez was sent down to Triple-A New Orleans this year after he was the Marlins’ Opening Day first baseman for three seasons. Since he was optioned to New Orleans, he has hit .302 with five home runs and 18 RBIs.
  • One of the biggest names of the last few weeks was Cubs starter Ryan Dempster, who was also one of the first to be considered on the move when there were talks of him heading to Atlanta. Once that fell apart, things quieted down for a few days before the Rangers swooped in hours before the deadline and made a deal. The Yankees and Dodgers were two other clubs close to landing the right-hander, who joins Reed Johnson, Geovany Soto and Paul Maholm as Cubs who were shipped out in the final two days before the Deadline. He’ll be reunited with Soto in Texas.
  • Instead of making a blockbuster move in the waning hours, the Yankees made a small deal to shore up their infield depth in the wake of A-Rod’s injury and dealt a reliever who wouldn’t be needed once the club activates Joba Chamberlain.
  • A Cincinnati bullpen that was already one of the best in baseball got a little bit better with the addition of Jonathan Broxton.

Indians land Lars Anderson

The Indians made a minor move on Tuesday, reeling in Minor League first baseman Lars Anderson from the Red Sox. Cleveland sent Double-A Akron knuckleballer Steven Wright to Boston to complete the deal.

Anderson, 24, has spent the bulk of this season with Triple-A Pawtucket, where he hit .259 with nine home runs, 22 doubles and 52 RBIs in 93 games. Along the way, he has posted a .359 on-base percentage and a .415 slugging percentage.

In parts of three seasons with Boston, the left-hitting Anderson has gone 8-for-48 (.167) in 30 games. This season, Anderson went just 1-for-8 (.125) in a brief six-game stint with the Red Sox between April and May.

Anderson has spent most of his playing career at first base, but has experience in the outfield as well.

–Jordan Bastian

Yankees acquire Casey McGehee from Pirates

The Yankees have acquired infielder Casey McGehee from the Pirates with cash considerations in exchange for right-handed reliever Chad Qualls.

McGehee is expected to join the Yankees tomorrow. He will help the Yankees at the corner infield spots with Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez sidelined; the 29-year-old hit .230 with eight home runs and 35 RBIs in 92 games with the Pirates this season, appearing at first base (77 games, 56 starts) and third base (nine games, eight starts).

“This is a guy who has put up big numbers in his career,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “We’re hoping he can help us.”

Qualls, 33, has combined to go 2-1 with a 4.89 ERA in 43 relief appearances with the Phillies and Yankees in 2012.

– Bryan Hoch

‘Quiet’ Deadline Day for Brewers

The Miller Park war room was quiet as Tuesday’s nonwaiver Trade Deadline came and went, but keep an eye on Milwaukee in August. Remember, teams can still swing deals if they pass players through waivers first, and the Brewers have two or three potential candidates in starter Shaun Marcum, reliever Francisco Rodriguez and maybe starter Randy Wolf. Marcum would have to get healthy and Rodriguez and Wolf would need some better results to entice buyers, who would have to acquire a player by Aug. 31 to have him eligible for postseason play.

Marcum is the Brewers’ most attractive chip, assuming he can get over the stiff elbow that has sidelined him since mid-June. Before that injury, Marcum owned a 3.39 ERA in 13 starts and a .227 average against. He is a free agent after the season.

He’s scheduled to throw another bullpen session today or tomorrow, then a simulated game over the weekend in St. Louis before heading out for a rehabilitation assignment. Marcum could be ready to rejoin the Brewers’ rotation after his stint on the 60-day disabled list ends Aug. 14.

— Adam McCalvy


7/31 Dempster to Rangers

Ryan Dempster apparently said yes to the Rangers. The Cubs’ makeover continued Tuesday when they reportedly traded Dempster to the defending American League champions, finalizing the deal minutes before the 3 p.m. CT Trade Deadline. The Cubs have yet to confirm the deal but multiple reports said it was done.

The 35-year-old right-hander, who ranks among the National League leaders with a 2.25 ERA, had favored a deal to the Dodgers but apparently altered his wish list. The Yankees also were believed to be in talks with the Cubs. <p> The Cubs thought they had a deal last week which would’ve sent Dempster to the Braves but the right-hander exercised his 10-and-5 rights (10 years of service, five with the same team) and rejected that move. He had given Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, a list of teams he would prefer.

Dempster will be a pure rental. Players must be with a team for an entire season in order to qualify for draft-pick compensation. This is in the last year of his four-year contract with the Cubs, which was paying him $14 million this season. His career has come full circle. Dempster was selected by the Rangers in the third round of the 1995 First-Year Player Draft by the Rangers, then traded in ’96 to the Marlins.

— Carrie Muskat

Dodgers Miss on Dempster

After weeks of negotiating, the Dodgers lost out on Cubs starting pitcher Ryan Dempster, who was dealt to the Rangers at the deadline. — Ken Gurnick

Report: Reds get Broxton

According to Foxsports.com, the Reds made a trade with the Royals to acquire reliever Jonathan Broxton with less than an hour to go before Tuesday’s 4 p.m. ET Trade Deadline. Broxton is 1-2 with a 2.27 ERA with 23 saves, 14 walks and 25 strikeouts in 35 games as Kansas City’s closer. It is not known who is going from the Reds to the Royals in the deal, first reported by Ken Rosenthal.

A 28-year-old right-hander, Broxton is making $4 million this season and can be a free agent this winter.

— Mark Sheldon

Marlins move Mujica, Sanchez in separate trades

ATLANTA — The Marlins have acquired Minor League third baseman Zack Cox from the Cardinals for reliever Edward Mujica.

The Marlins announced the trade about an hour before Tuesday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline.

Miami also has dealt first baseman Gaby Sanchez, an All-Star in 2011, to the Pirates for outfielder Gorkys Hernandez.

Mujica, 28, has been a late-inning setup reliever. The right-hander has appeared in 41 games with an 0-3 record and 4.38 ERA in 39 innings.

He went on the disabled list on June 30 with a broken bone to his right pinky toe. He was reinstated on July 18.

The Marlins acquired Mujica, along with Ryan Webb, from the Padres for Cameron Maybin after the 2010 season.

Cox, 23, was the 25th pick overall in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. He will report to Double-A Jacksonville.

At Triple-A Memphis, Cox batted .254 with nine home runs and 30 RBIs.

Sanchez, a Miami native who attended the University of Miami, was the Marlins Opening Day first baseman for three seasons. But he struggled this year, and was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans.

With the Marlins, Sanchez batted .202 with three home runs and 17 RBIs. His final at-bat with Miami came on July 4, when he belted a game-tying home run in the ninth inning off the Brewers.

He was optioned to New Orleans after that game because the Marlins acquired first baseman Carlos Lee.

At New Orleans, Sanchez was batting .302 with five home runs and 18 RBIs.

Hernandez, 24, is a right-handed hitting outfielder who batted .257 at Triple-A Indianapolis. In 25 games with the Pirates, he was 2-for-25.

Joe Frisaro  


7/31 Dempster to Yankees?

USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports Ryan Dempster has told the Cubs he would accept a trade to the Yankees if they can’t work something out with the Dodgers. Los Angeles is believed to be Dempster’s first choice. He has the right to pick as a player with 10-and-5 rights — 10 years in the big leagues and five with the same team. Dempster would be reunited with pitching coach Larry Rothschild, and, of course, former Cubs GM Jim Hendry, who is a special assistant to the Yankees. The Dodgers apparently don’t want to move one of their top prospects for a rental player. As of 1:45 p.m. CT, Dempster is scheduled to start for the Cubs against the Pirates.

— Carrie Muskat

Orioles, Phillies Blanton talks not dead yet

With the Trade Deadline roughly 90 minutes away, the Orioles and Phillies trade talks have picked back up, according to a Major League source. The two sides reached a stalemate of sorts late last night, with Baltimore unwilling to pick up  all of the approximately $3 million remaining on Blanton’s contract, but things have picked up steam and it appears more likely as the day progresses that Blanton will end up with Baltimore.

While the Phillies were reportedly seeking infielder Jonathan Schoop –the Orioles third-best prospect — that was refuted quickly and it seems if a deal is going to get done it will be with Philadelphia picking up some of Blanton’s salary and getting a much lower, less-impact prospect in return. The Orioles, frustrated by how talks were progressed, checked back in with several other available starters this morning, but Blanton remains the cheapest option player-wise and Baltimore’s farm system lacks the depth necessary to make a lot of other options available.

It’s possible they don’t make any moves at all before the Deadline but if the terms can be agreed on, Blanton would give the Orioles the flexibility to move one of their starters to the bullpen. The Orioles are also actively scouring the market for relievers.

 –Brittany Ghiroli & Todd Zolecki