Results tagged ‘ Astros ’

Teams reportedly interested in Astros’ catcher Castro

The Astros are receiving “significant” interest in All-Star catcher Jason Castro, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman. Castro is coming off an All-Star season in which he was named the team’s Most Valuable Player and is eligible for arbitration for the first time.

While it’s true the Astros like catching prospect Max Stassi, whose Major League debut was hampered by a concussion suffered in his second career game last season, they remain relatively thin at the position. Plus, the Astros, coming off three consecutive 100-loss seasons, are at the point they need to start moving forward, which would mean hanging onto their young talent.

Castro, the former first-round pick, hit .276 with 18 home runs and 56 RBIs before missing the final month of the season with a knee injury.

Brian McTaggart

Report: Astros’ Maxwell traded to Royals

The Astros have traded outfielder Justin Maxwell to the Royals, according to a Tweet by Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

Maxwell was hitting .241 with two homers and four home runs in 40 games, but missed two months of the season with a fractured hand. The 29-year-old outfielder led the Astros with 18 home runs last year after being acquired off waivers from the Nationals.

– Brian McTaggart

7/30 Late-night roundup

The action began to crank into high gear on Tuesday night, with less than 24 hours remaining before the non-waiver Trade Deadline, which comes at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Here’s where things stand going into the final day:

  • The Red Sox made a bold move late on Tuesday night, landing veteran starting pitcher Jake Peavy in a three-way deal with the Tigers and White Sox, along with reliever Brayan Villareal. While the right-hander will bolster Boston’s rotation, Detroit’s acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Jose Iglesias gives them insurance if Jhonny Peralta is served with a long suspension as part of MLB’s investigation into the Biogenesis case. Chicago, meanwhile, received young outfielder Avisail Garcia and a trio of prospects in the deal.
  • The A’s acquired infielder Alberto Callaspo from the Angels for former first-round pick Grant Green and plan to add the switch-hitter to their mix at second base. General manager Billy Beane said afterward that he was “not currently” involved in additional trade talks.
  • The Indians added the left-handed arm they were seeking for their bullpen, nabbing veteran Marc Rzepczynski from the Cardinals for a Minor Leaguer. Rzepczynski had spent much of this season at Triple-A Memphis.
  • St. Louis has been linked to some big names ahead of the Deadline and could be in the mix for a shortstop or starting pitcher, but GM John Mozeliak downplayed the likelihood of a trade.  But with All-Star catcher Yadier Molina headed to the disabled list with a knee injury, it’s possible the club could be spurred to action.
  • Astros right-hander Bud Norris continues to draw plenty of interest from contending teams.
  • The Yankees are one of the clubs in pursuit of White Sox outfielder Alex Rios, although New York is one of six teams on his no-trade list.
  • The Dodgers took a shot at bolstering their bullpen by signing former Giants closer Brian Wilson, but there might not be much else for GM Ned Colletti to do.
  • The D-backs could part with right-hander Ian Kennedy, who started for Arizona on Tuesday.
  • The Pirates seem likely to stand pat after grabbing the NL Central lead with a doubleheader sweep of the Cardinals on Tuesday.

- Andrew Simon

D-backs, Pirates and Orioles interested in Norris

The D-backs, Pirates and Orioles are three of the teams showing the most interest in Astros starting pitcher Bud Norris, a source told MLB.com. Norris was scratched from his scheduled start against the Orioles on Tuesday in Baltimore for what he said was “a lot of reasons,” but a potential trade appears to be in the works.

Astros manager Bo Porter said trade talks were deepening, but he wouldn’t identify which teams were after the 28-year-old right-hander.

Norris is 6-9 with a 3.93 ERA in 21 starts and is on pace to throw 200 innings for the first time in his career. Norris is making $3 million this year in his first year of arbitration and would certainly be attractive to a team considering he’s under club control for two more seasons. he is 0-2 with an 8.47 ERA in his last three starts after going 2-3 with a 2.29 ERA in his eight starts prior to those three.

– Brian McTaggart

7/30 Afternoon roundup: One more day

We’re about 24 hours away from Wednesday’s non-waiver Trade Deadline, and it still has been a pretty quiet week. Some wheels were evidently set in motion on Tuesday afternoon, so let’s take a look at where some things stand around 5 p.m. ET:

  • White Sox starter Jake Peavy and Astros starter Bud Norris were both scratched from their Tuesday starts, and rumors started flying. The D-backs have interest in Peavy — Arizona GM Kevin Towers has history with the right-hander dating back to their San Diego days — along with a handful of other clubs with starting pitching needs.
  • The Phillies called up third base prospect Cody Asche, prompting rumors about Michael Young leaving town, but Young was slotted into Tuesday’s starting lineup when it was first unveiled this afternoon. There have been reports that Young’s no-trade clause would be waived only for a deal to the Rangers, though MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reported a Texas reunion is “unlikely” and the Red Sox and Orioles have also been tied to Young. And on top of the Young chatter, there are still rumors flying about Chase Utley, Jonathan Papelbon and Cliff Lee.
  • Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski told reporters on Tuesday afternoon that the Jose Veras deal was the big one that Detroit wanted to take care of, and the Tigers are not looking for a bat (even with shortstop Jhonny Peralta looking at a possible suspension with his ties to Bioegenesis). Javier Lopez and Kevin Gregg are other bullpen names that have been floated in connection with the Tigers.
  • A league source tells MLB.com‘s Joe Frisaro that if there’s any darkhorse team who could put together the right package to land Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton, it would be the Red Sox.
  • Even with a wealth of quality relievers, it might be a quiet Trade Deadline for the Padres.
  • The Cubs have already dealt away some big pieces, and manager Dale Sveum says that any rumors about starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija being the next to go are “far-fetched.” Kevin Gregg and right fielder Nate Schierholtz could be a different story, though.

– Joey Nowak

Norris scratched; trade coming?

Astros right-hander Bud Norris has been scratched from his Tuesday start, MLB.com‘s Brian McTaggart has confirmed, and there could be a trade on the way.

The Houston Chronicle first reported that Lucas Harrell would get the start in favor of Norris, who is reportedly being sought after by as many as three teams.

Norris, 28, is 6-9 with a 3.93 ERA in 21 starts this season. Harrell was moved to the bullpen on July 7, and the righty is 5-10 with a 5.17 ERA in 23 appearances this year (19 starts).

– Joey Nowak

Could Norris be next to move?

With Matt Garza apparently heading to the Rangers from the Cubs, Astros right-hander Bud Norris becomes one of the next biggest prizes on the trade market. The non-waiver Trade Deadline is July 31. Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said Monday the team remains in trade conversation, but he didn’t sound as if a trade was imminent.

“Lot of chatter and no activity on our side right now,” he said. “I’m hearing there was a big trade today, and if that’s true that may start a series of different type of talks now that one of the big chips has been moved.”

Norris, 28, is 6-9 with a 3.91 ERA in 20 starts this year for the Astros and has been their most consistent starting pitcher. Luhnow hasn’t been shy about trading veteran players for prospects in the last 18 months, and the fact Norris makes $3 million and is eligible for arbitration again this winter could make a trade more likely.

– Brian McTaggart

Berkman to sign with the Rangers

Lance Berkman told MLB.com on Saturday he had agreed to a one-year with deal with a vesting option for 2014 with the Texas Rangers, pending a physical. Berkman said he was mulling retirement and wouldn’t have played if the circumstances weren’t right.

The Rangers proved to be the perfect fit for several reasons, Berkman  said.

“There is a lot of things,” he said. “One is the opportunity to DH. I think that’s going to be really good for me from a physical standpoint in terms of staying healthy for a full year and obviously geography – I’m a Texas guy all the way – so I could get back to the home state and being close to home is huge for me and my family. I think the Rangers have an excellent chance to win. I think they have a very solid team, so all those things kind of add up and it makes a lot of sense.”

Berkman, who turns 37 on Feb. 10, was considering retirement after an injury-plagued 2012 with the Cardinals. He underwent two surgeries on his right knee and played 32 games, hitting .259 with an .826 OPS, two home runs and seven RBIs. Berkman appeared in only six games and started two after July 29 and was left off St. Louis’ playoff roster.

– Brian McTaggart

Astros not in free agent discussions

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said in a text Saturday the team is not in “active discussions at this time with free agents.” The text came after Luhnow was asked about Jose Lopez telling reporters at a press conference in Venezuela he was closing to signing with the Astros. Lopez said he was flying to Houston on Wednesday, presumably for a physical.

Lopez, 29, hit .246 with four homers in 248 plate appearances with the Indians and White Sox last year. He played first base, second base, third base and right field. He best year was in 2009, when he hit 25 homers with 96 RBIs for Seattle.

-- Brian McTaggart

Rockies-Astros swap pitchers

The Astros acquired the starting pitching they sought when they made a trade with the Rockies late Tuesday to land right-hander Alex White and a Minor League arm in exchange for reliever Wilton Lopez and a player to be named

Less than a week after the Astros tried to send Lopez to the Phillies, they were able to use the arbitration-eligible relief pitcher to acquire White and right-hander Alex Gillingham. White appeared in 23 games (20 starts) for the Rockies last season and was 2-9 with a 5.51 ERA.

Lopez has been a workhorse member of the Astros’ bullpen the past three years, going 6-3 with a 2.17 ERA last season in 64 games. He also had a career-high 10 saves after assuming the club’s closer role following the trade of Myers and ineffectiveness of Francisco Cordero.

Brian McTaggart

 

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