Results tagged ‘ Ben Sheets ’

Roundup: Haren, Oswalt talks still developing

With now exactly a week remaining until next Saturday’s 4 p.m. ET Trade Deadline, it’s a safe bet that trade talks are beginning to heat up. The talk of the baseball world still is whether the D-backs will swap Dan Haren elsewhere and whether the Astros will trade veteran Roy Oswalt.

Both pitchers continued to be the subject of much speculation on Saturday. After it appeared that the Yankees had emerged as front-runners for the services of Haren on Friday night, reported on Saturday that the Yankees are interested, but they hadn’t gotten any farther than exchanging names with Arizona.  The report suggested the D-backs were asking for Joba Chamberlain along with pitching prospect Ivan Nova and two other prospects — an offer the Yanks balked at.

Many reports key in on the Haren’s $33 million salary for this season, namely who will pay the remainder, as a possible deciding factor in any trade. A Twitter report from ESPN’s Buster Olney suggested there had been no talks between the two clubs on Saturday.

The Cards and Phillies have made their desire to land Oswalt well known, but it remains to be seen if either club is willing to give up the prospects and big-league ready talent necessary to land Oswalt. While the Yanks are in play for Haren, they are reportedly not in the mix for Oswalt, according to’s Ken Rosenthal.

Here’s a look at other happenings around the Majors on Saturday:

Gary Matthews Jr. officially opted out of his contract with the Reds after a strong showing with Triple-A Louisville hitting .313. Matthews is reportedly looking for a big league job.

Ben Sheets, who had been the subject of trade fodder earlier this season, landed on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday with right elbow pain. It’s the same elbow that caused him to miss the 2009 surgery after undergoing surgery. His timetable is unknown, but this could eliminate most trade discussions.

– Brewers outfielder Corey Hart, who injured his thumb in last night’s contest against the Nationals, had his MRI results come back negative on Saturday, according to a tweet from Rosenthal. There have reportedly been many teams interested in acquiring Hart as the Trade Deadline approaches so it’s not clear how this may affect his trade value.

Bailey Stephens 


Tigers still looking at starters, scouting Haren

The Tigers crawled out of their seven-game losing streak the last couple days with help from their two front-line starting pitchers. They would very much love to get another solid start from Rick Porcello Friday night. If they can get another solid starter, apparently, all the better.

That interest doesn’t seem to be going away as the starting rotation stabilizes. But what cost would they pay?

While the Tigers continue to scout the Diamondbacks, including Dan Haren’s most recent outing Wednesday night, they’re reportedly among at least five teams with interest in the Arizona ace. reports a handful of teams in the running, including the Yankees, Phillies, Cardinals and Twins, and though no deal is apparently close with any of them,’s Buster Olney reports that Arizona has progressed to exchanging names with clubs on who they’d want and who interested teams would be willing to give up.

While bullpen help remains the top priority for Detroit with Joel Zumaya out for the season, the Tigers have an eye on the starting market. Indications suggest some genuine interest in Haren, despite a contract that runs through at least 2012 at $29 million, including a $3.5 million buyout. A club option for 2013 would run $15.5 million.

Olney characterizes the Tigers’ interest as “serious.” All interest, though, has a price, and it’s unclear how far the Tigers would go with theirs.

Despite injuries, including elbow trouble that has sidelined Casey Crosby for the season, the Tigers still have depth in pitching prospects who have been advanced aggressively. Former first-round pick Jacob Turner is finding his way at Class A Lakeland at age 19, and left-hander Charlie Furbush has seemingly come out of anonymity to led all of professional baseball in strikeouts. Detroit called him up to Triple-A Toledo this week after just a handful of starts at Double-A Erie.

When the Tigers acquired Max Scherzer from Arizona last winter and re-signed Justin Verlander late in the offseason, they touted the idea of a three-man rotation core with Verlander, Scherzer and Porcello under team control through at least 2014, around which prospects could develop. Though Scherzer and Porcello were both optioned to Triple-A Toledo to work out issues at different points this season, that hasn’t dampened the potential.

If the Tigers wanted to change course a little, though, they have the financial flexibility for it thanks to a slew of expiring contracts, including ex-Tigers Nate Robertson and Dontrelle Willis, plus current Detroiters Jeremy Bonderman, Brandon Inge, Gerald Laird and Johnny Damon. Those salaries add up to more than $50 million this season, though some of that will go to a $6 million raise for Verlander, a $2 million bump for Jose Valverde, plus replacements at those various positions.

The Tigers could go in a shorter-term direction and still add a starter. They’ve been linked in reports to interest in Ted Lilly and Ben Sheets, both of whom are up for free agency this winter, and a short-term option has obvious appeal to them given the finances.

— Jason Beck

Roundup: Buzz says Oswalt in, Werth out in Philly

In need of a starter for Saturday’s game, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. cryptically said Tuesday: “I think we we know exactly what we’re going to do.” Perhaps a starter, like Ben Sheets, Dan Haren, Jeremy Guthrie or Roy Oswalt is headed to Philadelphia? The club optioned Kyle Kendrick to the Minor Leagues that same day, and later that night, veteran Jamie Moyer sustained an injury that will likely put him on the disabled list, so starting pitching is needed in Philly. wrote about “indications” that the Phillies were in the midst of a “major deal” to acquire a starting pitcher in hopes of salvaging their season on Tuesday night. But on Wednesday afternoon, they followed-up by reporting that Oswalt “could be on the verge of blowing up a potential deal,” since he wants any team that acquires him to guarantee his $16 million option for 2012. For now, the Phillies are balking at that offer. added that it’d probably be J.A. Happ moving in an Oswalt deal, and the club is also looking to move struggling outfielder Jayson Werth (a free agent after this season). 
Astros owner Drayton McLane told’s Brian McTaggart that no deal involving Oswalt appeared imminent as of Wednesday morning. Meanwhile, Oswalt — owner of a full no-trade clause — told reporters he hasn’t been approached about any possible trades. 
With less than two weeks remaining until the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, here’s more buzz from around the league … 
* The White Sox, according to’s Ken Rosenthal, are “trying to accelerate talks” with the Brewers for slugging first baseman Prince Fielder. The problem, Rosenthal notes, is Milwaukee wants a starting pitcher, and they view trade candidate Daniel Hudson as only a middle-of-the-rotation starter. White Sox GM Ken Williams said recently that the market was not to his benefit
* The Mets reportedly signed Chad Cordero to a Minor League contract on Wednesday, but they apparently want even more relief help. wrote that the Mets are currently focused on the relief-pitching market and are eyeing the Pirates’ Octavio Dotel and the Blue Jays’ Scott Downs
* Seeking bench strength, the Yankees are looking into the Indians’ Jhonny Peralta and the Marlins’ Wes Helms, according to Rosenthal, who added that the price for Jose Bautista and Ty Wigginton were too high. 
* Pedro Martinez will not pitch in 2010, his agent, Fernando Cuza, told But he has not officially retired. 
* The Giants, Tigers, White Sox and Braves have inquired about Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista, Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan reported via Twitter. 
— Alden Gonzalez

Roundup: Post-Lee market evolving

As Cliff Lee prepares to make his first start with the Rangers tonight, the rest of baseball is calculating their next move in a market without the hurler. But there’s still plenty of strong players left around the league, so it’ll be interesting to see where the chips fall in the next few weeks before the big non-waiver Trade Deadline. 

Here’s a look at some of the names and teams being mentioned on Saturday: 
— Several teams remain interested in Arizona’s Dan Haren as another potential impact starting pitcher. Fox Sports reported that multiple teams including the Phillies, Dodgers, Reds, White Sox, Angels and Yankees all had scouts in town for last night’s match-up between Haren and Ricky Nolasco, though exactly who the scouts were watching is unclear. 
The San Francisco Chronicle reported on Saturday that the A’s don’t plan on being very active at this year’s Trade Deadline, according to GM Billy Beane. The team could still find a market for hurler Ben Sheets, but the club isn’t sure if he’s built up enough value to this point. 
— When Cardinals GM John Mozeliak is looking for pieces to add at the deadline, he’ll keep an eye out for a “personality,” according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch. While Mozeliak is happy with the clubhouse chemistry as is, he said adding another energetic vibe to the club could only help. The Cardinals have been interested in the possibility of adding a starting pitcher and a middle infielder before the deadline.
Bailey Stephens

Roundup: Lee sweepstakes heating up

It’s hard to say who will come out on top of the Lee sweepstakes as Fox Sports reported on Wednesday that it would take a “mammoth” offering to pry Lee away from the Mariners. Other reports have suggested the Mariners want as much as two blue-chip prospects and one other talented young player in exchange for Lee.

The Rays’ chances increased on Tuesday when principal owner Stu Sternberg met with the media on Tuesday night and basically gave his blessing to midseason additions to the club. Does that mean the club has the assets made available to them to go out and acquire Cliff Lee?  Only time will tell, but his words indicated the Rays would spare no expense to see results in the standings.

“By any means necessary,” Sternberg told reporters. “We’ll do whatever. Money won’t be an object. Players are always an object for us and the money will be an impediment, but we’ll figure it out if it makes all the sense in the world for this team.”

Sternberg’s announcement came the same day as MLB analyst Peter Gammons tweeted about a possible BJ Upton for Lee deal, increasing the rumor mill.

Here’s a look at some of the other developments around the league:

 —  Henry Schulman of the SF Chronicle suggests the Giants are interested in bringing Brewers outfielder Corey Hart to San Francisco, but Milwaukee might not be willing to let him go.

 —  Reports out of Philadelphia say that the Phillies had a scout watching Oakland hurler Ben Sheets’ latest start. Sheets and his big salary could be moved by the Trade Deadline if the Athletics move farther out of contention, and the Phillies appear somewhat interested.

— After being designated for assignment by the D-backs recently, hurler Dontrelle Willis needs a break from baseball. The level of interest in Willis’ services is unknown, but he needs some time away from the game after the trials of this season, his agent told USA Today.

— The Pirates picked up an extra arm on Wednesday, trading for right-hander Sean Gallagher in exchange for cash. Gallagher is still only 24 and could provide some helpful innings for the beleaguered Pirates pen. 



Bailey Stephens