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 CBSSports.com’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. FOXSports.com’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 MLB.com’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.
The Padres continue to be the busiest team in baseball this offseason, and now have reportedly traded for Braves outfielder Justin Upton.
That places Upton in a significantly upgraded lineup that now includes former MVP candidate Matt Kemp, All-Star Derek Norris and former AL Rookie of the Year Wil Myers.
Multiple outlets reported that a trade was close on Friday morning, and Ken Rosenthal first reported that the mystery team to land Upton was the Padres. Rosenthal tweeted that the Braves’ return in the deal figured to include “at least one of three top prospects.”
It obviously creates a bit of a logjam in the Petco Park outfield, with incumbents Will Venable and Carlos Quentin in the mix with Myers, Upton and Kemp.
– Joey Nowak
The Mets have been exploring their options at shortstop all winter, and there are few who play the position better than Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.
While there have long been rumors that the Rockies would consider shopping Tulo, and that the Mets and Rockies have been in conversation this offseason, ESPN.com‘s Adam Rubin handicaps the odds of Tulo ending up in the Big Apple at “5 percent at best.”
CBSSports.com‘s Jon Heyman also wrote Friday that the teams have been “quietly discussing” such a deal for weeks, but that it wasn’t known if there was any chance the deal would go down.
Tulowitzki, a four-time All-Star at 30, is set to make $20 million this season. He is under contract through 2020 and has a $15 million team option/$4 million buyout for the 2021 season.
– Joey Nowak
Jake Peavy will return to the Giants rotation, according to reports Friday morning from FOX Sports‘ Ken Rosenthal and ESPN.com‘s Jerry Crasnick.
The veteran right-hander was traded from the Red Sox to the Giants on July 26 and went 6-4 with a 2.17 ERA in 12 outings with San Francisco to finish the regular season.
According to Crasnick, the two-year, $24 million contract includes a base salary of $7 million in 2015 and $13 million in 2016. It also reportedly includes a $4 million signing bonus, a full no-trade clause and an awards package.
– Joey Nowak
Justin Upton could be heading elsewhere soon. The Braves, who recently signed outfielder Nick Markakis to a four-year deal, are close to trading the slugger, according to Yahoo! Sports Jeff Passan.
The Braves have been patient in letting the market for the 27-year outfielder unfold, but Upton’s name has been a constant presence on the Hot Stove, along with catcher/outfielder Evan Gattis and third baseman Chris Johnson.
Atlanta has had recent talks with A’s, Rangers and Mariners about Upton, notes MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, with Oakland’s stockpile of young arms likely holding an attraction for the Braves.
Neither the A’s nor the Padres have been quiet this offseason as both teams have repeatedly been in the headlines with multiple trades and acquisitions.
The Padres have made splashes acquiring big name outfielders while the A’s have signed Billy Butler, but also traded away one of their best players – Josh Donaldson.
The two teams are now in the headlines once again as the A’s have traded catcher Derek Norris, along with Seth Streich and international bonus slot 177, to the Padres in exchange for Jesse Hahn and R.J. Alvarez, the Padres No. 20 overall prospect according to MLBpipeline.com in return.
Norris, 25, hit .270 in 127 games for the A’s last season, but also struggled with concussions late in the season as he was repeatedly hit in the head by backswings.
Norris is the fifth All-Star the A’s have traded since last season’s All-Star game.
The Padres meanwhile were in need of a catcher after Rene Rivera was dealt to Tampa Bay and Yasmani Grandal was dealt to the Dodgers.
- William Boor
Right-hander Josh Johnson could be on the verge of signing an incentive-laden one-year deal with the Padres, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan. Johnson missed the entire 2014 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in April, and the Padres declined his $4 million option this offseason.
According to Passan, a deal with Johnson would likely be driven by incentives, based on how many starts the injury-riddled 30-year-old makes in 2015. Since making back-to-back National League All-Star teams with the Marlins in ’10-11, Johnson has averaged just 14 starts per year.
Signing Johnson would be another attempt by the Padres to shore up the back end of their rotation. With Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross and Ian Kennedy at the top — and one of the league’s best bullpens to go along with them — the Padres one minor weak spot on the staff would seem to be quality rotation depth. They also signed former Blue Jays right-hander Brandon Morrow to a one-year deal worth $2.5 million earlier this week.
The Padres signed Johnson to an $8 million contract last offseason, but Johnson never made a start because of the elbow trouble. Given his recent injury history (shoulder in 2012, elbow and triceps in ’13 and elbow again in ’14) an incentive-laden deal seems to make the most sense.
The Royals and right-hander Kris Medlen agreed Thursday to a two-year deal with a mutual option for 2017.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Medlen, 29, spent 2014 rehabbing from Tommy John surgery after suffering an elbow injury in Spring Training with the Braves.
Medlen’s lone season as a starter came in 2013, when he blossomed into the one of the game’s best. He was 15-12 with a 3.11 ERA and finished the season going 4-0 with a 1.00 ERA and .197 average against in his final five starts.
He is 34-20 with a 2.95 ERA in 152 career (61 starts).
Allen Craig could be on the move again.
The Red Sox are reportedly in active trade talks with at least one team regarding Craig, tweets Jon Morosi of FOX Sports, who adds the first baseman/outfielder is recovered from a left foot injury that he aggravated this season.
Craig, 30, was part of the deal that sent John Lackey to the Cardinals at the Trade Deadline in July. He struggled for much of the 2014 season, posting a .215/.279/.315 slash line over 126 games between the Cardinals and Red Sox.
The Red Sox have already dealt one outfielder this month, Yoenis Cespedes, and still have a crowded outfield that includes: Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino, Jackie Bradley Jr., Daniel Nava and Rusney Castillo.
Oakland has acquired left-hander Eury De La Rosa from Arizona in exchange for cash considerations, the A’s announced Thursday.
De La Rosa, 24, finished the season with the D-backs after beginning the year with Triple-A Reno. In 25 games with Arizona, he went 2-0 with a 2.95 ERA. Over parts two seasons with the D-backs since his big league debut in 2013, De La Rosa has a 4.21 ERA in 44 appearances.
To clear a spot on the 40-man roster, Oakland designated right-hander Fernando Rodriguez for assignment. The A’s also announced that right-hander Jorge De Leon has been released.
Rodriguez appeared in seven games over two stints with the A’s this year after missing the 2013 season following Tommy John surgery. He had a 1.00 ERA and .129 opponents batting average.