Author Archive

Report: Haren ‘holding out hope’ for trade to SoCal

Dan Haren has a decision to make this offseason about whether or not he’ll pitch next year. He was traded from the Dodgers to the Marlins along with Dee Gordon during the Winter Meetings.

But there’s one problem with that: Haren has said he would rather retire than pitch for a team far away from his family in Southern California.

So, according to Jon Heyman of, the 34-year-old right-hander is “holding out hope” that Miami will trade him to either the Angels or Padres. In that case, one would assume, Haren would continue pitching next season.

Neither team would seem to be a likely suitor for Haren, as the Angels and Padres have plenty of rotation options already on board.

Though he has consistently churned out 30-plus starts a year, Haren hasn’t profiled as anything other than a back-of-the-rotation starter recently. Since 2012, Haren is 35-38 with a 4.33 ERA, good for an ERA+ of just 86.

Last season, Haren went 13-11 with a 4.02 ERA in 186 innings over 32 starts with the Dodgers.

The Dodgers will pay the $10 million owed to Haren next year if he pitches. If he retires, the Marlins will receive that $10 million anyway.

-Adam Berry

Report: Marlins to acquire Martin Prado

The Marlins introduced three of their newest acquisitions on Friday, welcoming Michael Morse, Dee Gordon and Mat Latos to Marlins Park, and it appears they’re not done reshaping their roster.

According to the YES Network, the Yankees are “on the verge” of trading Prado to the Marlins in exchange for right-hander Nathan Eovaldi. According to the Miami Herald, the deal will actually send Eovaldi and Garrett Jones to New York in exchange for Prado and right-hander David Phelps.

The Yankees will also receive Marlins pitching prospect Domingo German, according to the New York Post.

In Eovaldi, the Yankees would gain a young, hard-throwing starter to bolster the back of their rotation. The right-hander posted a 3.39 ERA in 2013. That figure jumped to 4.37 last season, but Eovaldi still managed to throw 199 2/3 innings for the Marlins. Eovaldi will be 25 years old next season, and he’s not eligible for free agency until 2018.

In return, Miami would receive a versatile veteran infielder in Prado. The 31-year-old likely will play third for the Marlins, who have added Morse at first and Gordon at second while returning Adeiny Hechavarria at shortstop and Casey McGehee at third.

Prado hit .282/.321/.412 last year with the D-backs and Yankees and was presumed to be New York’s starting second baseman heading into next season. That job could instead fall to Jose Pirela or prospect Rob Refsnyder.

Jones, a lefty hitter, put together a .246/.309/.411 batting line with 15 homers last year. He was expected to fill in at first base and right field for the Marlins and could do the same for the Yankees, who have injury concerns at those positions with Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran.

Rounding out the deal, Phelps can pitch out of the rotation or bullpen as he did for the Yankees the last three years. The right-hander went 5-5 with a 4.38 ERA in 113 innings over 32 appearances (17 starts).

German, 22, went 9-3 with a 2.48 ERA and 113 strikeouts in 123 1/3 innings over 25 starts for Class A Greensboro last year.

-Adam Berry

Phillies, Dodgers announce Jimmy Rollins trade

The deal had been rumored since the Winter Meetings, but it became official Friday morning: The Phillies have traded shortstop Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers in exchange for left-hander Tom Windle and right-hander Zach Eflin.

The Phillies also included cash considerations in the deal, offsetting some of Rollins’ $11 million salary.

Rollins, 36, was the longest-tenured athlete in Philadelphia. He made his Major League debut with the Phillies on Sept. 17, 2000. Last year, he hit .243/.323/.394 with 17 homers, 55 RBIs and 28 stolen bases while leading all big-league shortstops with a .988 fielding percentage.

Rollins departs as the Phillies’ all-time leader in hits (2,306) and doubles (479) while ranking second in games played (2,090), extra-base hits (806), steals (453) and total base (3,655).

“Jimmy is both an iconic player and person whom I have had the great joy of watching grow up in this game and this city,” Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said in a statement. “His contributions to the franchise and to Philadelphia are unparalleled and I wish him the best in Los Angeles.  This transaction is one that I believe benefits both Jimmy and the Phillies.”

The Dodgers, meanwhile, parted with two pitching prospects as the Phillies continue their rebuilding process.

Eflin went 10-7 with a 3.80 ERA in 24 starts last year for Class A Lake Elsinore. He led the Midwest League with a 2.73 ERA in 2013, his first full professional season. Eflin was drafted 33rd overall by the Padres in the 2012 Draft.

Windle, 22, went 12-8 with a 4.26 ERA in 26 games (25 starts) for Class A Rancho Cucamonga last year.

“We are very happy to add two top-tier starting pitching prospects who we believe will impact our major league club in the near future,” Amaro said. “This deal is clearly geared to continue the process of building for perennial future success.”

-Adam Berry

Reports: Padres to trade for Middlebrooks, sign Ross

The Padres keep on wheeling and dealing. According to the latest report from Jeff Passan of Yahoo!, San Diego will send catcher Ryan Hanigan, acquired from Tampa Bay in the Wil Myers trade, to Boston in exchange for third baseman Will Middlebrooks.’s Jon Heyman reported another Padres move later Friday morning, tweeting that the Padres are on the verge of signing catcher David Ross.

The trade fills a need for both sides. The Red Sox were in need of a backup catcher, and Hanigan is a veteran backstop working on an affordable contract.

The Padres, meanwhile, needed help on the left side of their infield — they were projected to enter the season with Yangervis Solarte starting at third — and Middlebrooks could add even more right-handed power to their lineup.

Middlebrooks, 26, is coming off back-to-back disappointing seasons but he showed promise in 2012. As a rookie, Middlebrooks hit .288/.325/.509 with 15 homers in 75 games. In 157 games over the last two years, he’s hit just .213/.265/.364 with 19 homers and 168 strikeouts in 608 plate appearances.

Hanigan has battled injuries each of the past two years. He played in only 84 games for the Rays last year and 75 for the Reds in 2013. Last season, he hit just .218/.318/.324. He has consistently posted solid on-base percentages, with a .370 OBP from 2008-12 in Cincinnati.

Hanigan is set to make $3.5 million next year and $3.7 million in 2016 with a $3.75 million option for ’17 as part of a contract extension negotiated following his trade to the Rays last offseason. With Hanigan on the move, the Padres can start Derek Norris at catcher with Ross as the backup.

Ross, who will be 38 next year, hit just .184/.260/.368 in 50 games last season. He is generally well-regarded for his game-calling and his work defensively, making him a nice complement to the more offensive-minded Norris.

Middlebrooks, meanwhile, is arbitration-eligible in 2016 and can’t become a free agent until 2019. He was blocked in Boston by the recent signing of Pablo Sandoval.

-Adam Berry

Reports: Mets still talking about Tulo trade

Amid a busy offseason full of major trades and transactions, Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki’s name hasn’t come up too much. That changed Friday morning, when’s Jon Heyman reported that the Mets and Rockies have been “quietly discussing” a potential blockbuster involving the All-Star shortstop.

Mets pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard would be the centerpiece of the Rockies’ return in such a deal, according to the report, but the trade would have to involve a package of young players to pry Tulowitzki away from Colorado.

It seems unlikely at this point that a deal will go down.’s Ken Rosenthal cited a source saying there’s a “5 to 10 percent chance” a trade reaches the finish line.

The framework of such a deal would make sense for both sides. The Rockies could begin to rebuild by acquiring a high-end young pitcher — Syndergaard is ranked No. 10 on’s list of top prospects — and the Mets certainly have the pitching depth to part with a player like Syndergaard while still bringing back Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and National League Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom.

And the Mets could use a shortstop, as they are currently slated to open the season with Wilmer Flores and Ruben Tejada. Tulowitzki would be a big-name, long-term solution at the position. Tulo is a career .299/.373/.517 hitter and a two-time Gold Glove Award winner, and he got off to an incredible start last season before hitting the disabled list.

And therein lies one of the biggest concerns for any team looking into acquiring Tulowitzki. He’s coming off hip surgery, and he’s averaged 88 games over the past three seasons. When healthy, Tulowitzki is one of the best players in the Majors. But has he been healthy often enough for a team to part with one of its top young assets, like Syndergaard?

Another obstacle standing in the way of a deal involving Tulowitzki is his salary, as he’s owed $118 million over the next six years. It’s not an unreasonable sum for a player of his caliber, if he’s healthy enough to play, but it’s a factor. Then again, the Dodgers and Padres just provided a potential blueprint for how to deal a well-paid veteran in the Matt Kemp trade.

The deal appears unlikely, and there are a lot of hurdles that would have to be cleared for it to happen. But it is still not entirely out of the question, it seems.

-Adam Berry

Report: Melky receives offer from Mariners

According to ESPNDeportes’ Enrique Rojas, the Mariners have made a three-year offer to free-agent outfielder Melky Cabrera. But Cabrera wants a four-year deal, according to the report, which doesn’t specify how much Seattle’s contract offer was worth.

Cabrera might be looking for a four-year deal like the one the Mariners handed out to Nelson Cruz earlier this offseason, and that pact was worth $57 million. Reports have linked Cabrera to the Mariners, Royals, Orioles, Giants and White Sox at various points, and none of the above seem particularly eager to dish out a four-year deal to Cabrera.

Complicating Cabrera’s market is the availability of second-tier outfielders on the free agent market like Nori Aoki, Alex Rios and Colby Rasmus. There are also bigger names available via trade, like Justin Upton and Evan Gattis, and others like Dayan Viciedo.

Cabrera certainly would fill a need in Seattle, sliding into a corner outfield spot and potentially batting atop the order in front of Robinson Cano, Cruz and Kyle Seager.

The 30-year-old outfielder hit .301/.351/.458 with 16 home runs, 35 doubles and 73 RBIs for the Blue Jays last year. In parts of 10 big-league seasons, Cabrera has hit .286/.339/.415 with 88 homers.

-Adam Berry

What’s next on the Hot Stove?

There were plenty of big signings (see: Pablo Sandoval, Hanley Ramirez, Nelson Cruz, Russell Martin, etc.) before the Winter Meetings and a number of big names changing teams via trade, like Josh Donaldson, Jason Heyward and more.

The Winter Meetings in San Diego were a flurry of activity, too. Jon Lester, Ervin Santana, Brandon McCarthy and David Robertson are off the board, and big trade targets like Jeff Samardzija, Yoenis Cespedes and Matt Kemp have found new homes.

So, what comes next? There’s still quite a bit to be resolved.

As’s Paul Hagen writes, many of the top available players this offseason are still, well, available. And each team has needs left to address.

That group is headlined by right-handers Max Scherzer, bound to command a massive contract, and James Shields, sure to be in demand by teams that missed out on Lester. For teams looking for a mid-level option, Edinson Volquez and Jake Peavy are still up for grabs.

Most of the top free-agent closers or late-inning relievers have yet to be scooped up, including Francisco Rodriguez, Sergio Romo, Rafael Soriano and Casey Janssen.

With Sandoval and Ramirez both claimed by Boston, Chase Headley leads the pack of available infielders. Not far behind: Jed Lowrie, Asdrubal Cabrera and Stephen Drew.

Several teams are still in need of a starting outfielder. Potential fits can be found on the open market in the form of Melky Cabrera, Alex Rios, Nori Aoki and Colby Rasmus.

And that’s not even getting into the big trade pieces still in play. Braves outfielders Justin Upton and Evan Gattis are still out there, as is Blue Jays catcher Dioner Navarro. The Phillies, Red Sox and Dodgers don’t seem like they’re done wheeling and dealing, and the defending World Series champion Giants have some work left to do as well.

The Marlins are looking for a first-base upgrade, the Mets are looking to ship off a veteran starter and the Orioles have a lot of big-name production to replace. That’s just to name a few.

So, Friday has been a relatively slow day on the Hot Stove front compared to the whirlwind news cycle that swept through San Diego earlier this week, but there’s still much to look forward to.

-Adam Berry

Padres still in on Justin Upton?

The Padres made one of the biggest splashes at the Winter Meetings in San Diego, pulling off a trade for former Dodgers slugger Matt Kemp. But they’re not done acquiring bats, as’s Corey Brock writes. And their next move could be another big one.

That obviously would be a huge offensive upgrade for the Padres, who finished last in the Majors in 2014 in average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. By pursuing big names like Kemp, Pablo Sandoval, Yasmany Tomas and now Upton, it’s clear the Padres have made bolstering their lineup a top priority.

Upton is under team control for one more year, and he’s set to make $14.5 million next season. With Kemp slotted in one corner-outfield spot, Upton would fit nicely in the other corner.

The 27-year-old Silver Slugger Award winner hit .270/.342/.491 with 29 home runs and 102 RBIs last season. By comparison, Padres right fielders hit .228/.291/.339 with nine home runs last season.

All of the Padres’ outfielders last year combined to hit .234/.307/.347 with 29 homers. So, yes, Upton on his own matched the home run total of the entire Padres outfield.

If San Diego can pull off a deal for Upton, the club would be left with far too many outfielders for three positions, necessitating at least one trade.

Carlos Quentin might be the easiest to move, as he could be useful to American League teams looking for a designated hitter. The Padres also could try to trade Seth Smith, who’s signed to a two-year, $13 million extension and coming off a career year.

Other options include center fielders Will Venable and Cameron Maybin. Venable struggled to a .224/.288/.325 batting line last year, however, and Maybin has played on 109 games the last two years combined.

-Adam Berry

Hawkins to retire after next season

Rockies closer LaTroy Hawkins will play his 21st and final season in the Majors next year.

Hawkins, who turns 42 on Dec. 21, made the announcement on MLB Network’s “Hot Stove” show Friday morning. This graphic from MLB Network runs down a number of Hawkins’ more impressive accomplishments.

He’s made 1,000 career appearances, the 16th-most of all time. A seventh-round Draft pick in 1991, Hawkins has pitched in parts of 20 big-league seasons for 10 different teams: the Twins, Cubs, Giants, Orioles, Rockies, Yankees, Astros, Brewers, Angels and Mets. He’s the only active pitcher with at least 100 saves (124, to be specific) and at least 75 starts (98).

The right-hander is still an effective pitcher at the end of his lengthy career. Hawkins went 4-3 with a 3.31 ERA — 29 percent above the league-average adjusted ERA — in 54 1/3 innings for the Rockies last season. Hawkins is slated to make $2.25 million next season.

Overall, Hawkins is 72-93 with a 4.33 career ERA in 1,428 2/3 innings.

-Adam Berry

D-backs, Red Sox reportedly have Miley deal in place

With Jon Lester headed to the Cubs and the rest of the pitching market starting to take shape, word had been spreading all day Wednesday about a potential trade involving D-backs lefty Wade Miley.

It appears Arizona found a trade partner, as FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal tweeted Wednesday night that the D-backs have agreed in principle to a trade that would send Miley to the Red Sox in exchange for right-handers Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa plus another Minor League player.

A baseball source told that there are still some things to be worked out before such a trade goes through, however, and D-backs GM Dave Stewart denied a deal was completed to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.

Such a trade would certainly make sense for Boston, however.

The Sox lost out on the Lester sweepstakes, but picking up Miley gives them a reliable option for their rotation, which heading into the Winter Meetings consisted of only Clay Buchholz and Joe Kelly, neither a lock to throw 200 innings.

Miley, 28, is coming off a down year in which he went 8-12 with a 4.34 ERA, but he still managed to throw 201 1/3 innings for the D-backs — and his fielding-independent numbers were right in line with his 2013 performance, which yielded a more impressive-looking 10-10 record and 3.55 ERA in 202 2/3 innings.

Miley was a National League All-Star and Rookie of the Year runner-up in 2012, when he finished 16-11 with a 3.33 ERA in 194 2/3 innings. He is under team control for three more seasons.

De La Rosa, 25, went 4-8 with a 4.43 ERA in 19 appearances (18 starts) for the Red Sox last year but put together a 3.25 ERA over eight seasons in the Minors.

Webster, who turns 25 in March, has compiled a 6-5 record and 6.25 ERA in 19 appearances (18 starts) for the Red Sox the last two years.

The Sox entered the offseason with a lot of depth in terms of young pitching, which would enable them to make this kind of deal. They still feature a lot of depth on the position-player side, which presumably will be used at some point to bolster the rest of their rotation.

-Adam Berry