Results tagged ‘ blue jays ’

July 19 Late Night Roundup

  • The Cubs’ Ryan Dempster is said to be attracting a lot of trade interest. The Dodgers are one team that has proposed a deal for the veteran right-handed pitcher, according to Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com. The Cubs would like to add young pitching in return. Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports reported that the two clubs were “having somewhat constructive conversations” about a deal by Thursday but that the Tigers and Braves figure to be among the other teams vying for Dempster.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com tweeted that teams also are expressing interest in two other Cubs, infielder Jeff Baker and outfielder Reed Johnson, who could serve as right-handed bats off the bench.
  • Rosenthal and colleague Jon Morosi also reported that the Pirates, Red Sox and Tigers are among the clubs pursuing D-backs shortstop Stephen Drew. The Pirates are still after Arizona outfielder Justin Upton as well, according to Morosi.
  • The Tigers, Rangers and Pirates are a few of the teams that have asked the Rockies about second baseman Marco Scutaro, according to the Denver Post. With Colorado in last place in the NL West, the team also could deal relievers such as closer Rafael Betancourt, as well as catchers Ramon Hernandez and Wil Nieves.
  • Teams interested in outfielder Carlos Quentin and closer Huston Street of the Padres might end up disappointed. San Diego plans to sign both players to long-term deals before the trade deadline, reported Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
  • The Twins will look to acquire pitching in exchange for surging lefty Francisco Liriano, wrote Scott Miller of CBSSports.com. The Yankees, Mets, Angels, Braves, Blue Jays and Red Sox highlight the group looking into Liriano.

– Andrew Simon

Angels have offer out to Ayala; nothing imminent

The Angels are one of “a handful of teams” that have tendered a formal offer to Luis Ayla, but a source familiar with the negotiations said the free-agent reliever is still weighing his options and a decision is not imminent.

It’s unclear at this point whether the Angels have offered a Major League or a Minor League contract, but they are believed to be in the mix along with the Orioles, Yankees, Astros and perhaps others. Considering he’s coming off a bounceback season with the Yankees, one that saw him post a 2.09 ERA and a 1.268 WHIP in 56 innings, the 34-year-old right-hander would likely command a Major League deal.

The Angels were among four teams interested in adding Francisco Cordero, but he wound up agreeing to terms on a one-year, $4.5 million contract with the Blue Jays on Tuesday. Cordero is reportedly headed to Toronto to serve as a setup man — a pretty clear indication that the Blue Jays’ offer trumped that of the Angels and other suitors.

– Alden Gonzalez 

1/3 Matt Garza & the Yankees

The Cubs are not going to deal Matt Garza unless they get significant players in return, and the asking price apparently is too high for the Yankees. ESPNNew York’s Wallace Matthews reported Tuesday the Cubs’ asking price is “out of the question” for the Yankees. The Cubs reportedly want at least two and possibly three of the Yankees’ top prospects Jesus Montero, Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances. The Red Sox, Tigers, Marlins and Blue Jays also have been linked to Garza, but FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported the Blue Jays also have reportedly balked at the Cubs’ requests.

– Carrie Muskat

Blue Jays ink Laffey to Minor League deal

The Blue Jays have signed left-hander Aaron Laffey to a Minor League contract, the club announced Saturday.

The 26-year-old has spent five seasons in the big leagues, most recently with the Yankees after starting the 2011 campaign in Seattle. He was drafted by, and spent the first four years of his career with, the Indians.

Last season, Laffey was 3-2 with a 3.88 ERA in 47 relief appearances. He held left-handed hitters to a .242 average. He has made 49 starts in his career and owns a lifetime 4.34 ERA.

The Blue Jays also announced they have signed the following four Minor League free agents with invitations to Spring Training: right-hander Jerry Gil, right-hander Garrett Mock, right-hander Robert Coello and shortstop Brian Bocock.

– Joey Nowak

12/29 Matt Garza hot topic

Could the Cubs deal Matt Garza? They are apparently still listening to teams interested in the right-hander. The Cubs are most likely looking for a package similar to what the Padres received from the Reds for Mat Latos and what the Athletics received from the Nationals for Gio Gonzalez, which means a lot of talented prospects. According to reports, the Blue Jays and Yankees may be the front-runners. What makes Garza attractive to the Jays and Yankees is his 23-15 record, 3.34 ERA in 56 career games vs. the AL East. Plus, he’s 7-4 with a 3.83 ERA in 19 games against the Red Sox.

Chicago helped its system by dealing Sean Marshall to Cincinnati for Travis Wood and two other players. Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, has said Garza is “exactly the type of pitcher we want to build around” but is willing to listen as the team re-tools. They’d have to be overwhelmed to move Garza, who is under team control through 2013. Gonzalez, 26, and Latos, 24, will be under team control for at least four years.

– Carrie Muskat

Rays in Hunt for Beltran

Tampa Bay is in the mix to sign Carlos Beltran according to CBS Sports, which said the Cardinals, Blue Jays and Red Sox also are vying for the veteran center fielder.

Tampa Bay could use the six-time all-star at either DH or in the outfield. The two biggest questions facing the Rays are: 1) Will he be affordable? (Remember, Beltran finished off a seven-year, $119 million deal in 2011. 2) Would he be able to adjust to playing DH? (All Rays fans remember Pat Burrell’s struggles while being used at DH full-time).

According to the story, Beltran hopes to make a decision by Christmas.

– Bill Chastain

Cuban Stars: Cespedes, others to hit free-agent market

The free-agent market will receive a boost when a large group of players from Cuba become eligible to sign with Major League clubs before the end of the year.

Outfielders Yoennis Cespedes, 26, and Jorge Soler, 19, along with right-handed pitcher Armando Rivero, 23, all participated in showcases last week in the Dominican Republic and highlight a list of Cuban players that could show up on big league rosters next season.

It’s uncertain when they will become free agents, because they are in the process of becoming eligible to play in the United States. What’s certain is that, for the third consecutive year, several players from Cuba are creating a buzz in the industry.

Cincinnati’s Aroldis Chapman is arguably the most recognizable name among the new crop of players from the island, and the Reds made a splash when they signed the hard-throwing left-hander to a six-year $30.25 million deal in January 2010. But Chapman is only a small part of a large group of the recently signed Cubans.

Three months after Chapman, infielder Adeiny Hechavarria signed a four-year, $10 million deal with the Blue Jays. Pitcher Yunesky Maya signed a four-year, $8 million deal with the Nationals that July.

Before the start of the 2009 season, Dayan Viciedo signed a four-year, $10 million deal with the White Sox, and shortstop Jose Iglesias signed a four-year, $8.25 million contract with the Red Sox near the end of the season.

Only Hechavarria, who finished last season at Triple-A for Toronto, has not appeared in the big leagues, but he appears on track to make his debut in 2012.

“The players are seeing the success their fellow countrymen are having, and they’re enticed to test themselves in this market,” said agent Bart Hernandez, who represents several Cuban players, including Martin, Hechavarria and Maya. “Players in Cuba are judging themselves right now and realizing they have comparable or equal skills to the guys signing, and they are deciding to take their chances.”

It’s too early to tell what type of contracts Cespedes, Soler and Rivero will command, but there’s no denying the interest by Major League clubs.

Cespedes, who is represented by agent Adam Katz, wowed scouts during his showcase in Santiago and is scheduled for a workout with the Marlins this week. According to Yahoo.com, Washington, Oakland, Cleveland, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and the New York Yankees had representatives at Cespedes’ showcase.

Boston, Texas and Toronto are also reportedly interested in the five-tool outfielder who many believe is Major League-ready. Cespedes played for Cuba during the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

As for Soler, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound corner outfielder, showed off his power and speed in front of several scouts in a separate showcase with Rivero at the Yankees’ complex in Boca Chica. Rivero, who is 6-foot-3, features a slider, split-finger fastball, sinker and changeup in his repertoire. He reached 98 mph with his fastball in the showcase.

Outfielders Henry Urrutia, 24, Gerald Sanchez, 26, and left-handed pitcher Omar Luis, 19, all from Cuba, also took part in the showcase in Boca Chica.

“The talent has always been in Cuba, but obviously the political climate had an impact on the number of players playing in the Major Leagues,” Hernandez said. “Most of the Latin players in the Major Leagues used to be Cuban and teams used to send their players to Cuba for Winter League. The history is there and I think you are starting to see the future.”

– Jesse Sanchez

The high price of Ubaldo

Rockies pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez has a club-friendly contract, some success under his belt and a nice fastball. That means the Rockies would require a lot to deal him.

The price has surfaced.

Word in the industry is the Rockies are requiring a high price from the Reds, with whom they’ve had talks. The Rockies require starting pitchers Travis Wood and Homer Bailey, plus one of two young stars — flame-throwing left-handed pitcher Aroldis Chapman or top catching prospect Devin Mesoraco, currently at Triple-A Louisville. The Rockies have made it known that they have no plans to lower their price.

Another name that has come up in talks between the teams is prized first base-outfield prospect Yonder Alonso, but the Reds called him up from Louisville on Tuesday after trading Jonny Gomes to the Nationals for two prospects, left-handed pitcher Chris Manno and outfielder-first baseman Bill Rhinehart.

The Denver Post reported that the Rockies have asked about Reds outfielder Chris Heisey.

In other news:

– The Red Sox and Yankees made inquires on Tuesday, mainly to stay updated on the situation. In addition, the New York Post and ESPN reported that the Blue Jays have expressed interest in Jimenez.

– Sports Illustrated and CSNNE.com each say the Red Sox have interest in backup outfielder Ryan Spilborghs, and the Boston Herald said the Red Sox have inquired about catcher Chris Iannetta and Jimenez, but not Spilborghs.

– The Rockies placed first baseman Jason Giambi on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a left quadriceps strain, which likely will mean he won’t be dealt before the Deadline. However, the Rockies could still deal him after the Deadline by having him pass through waivers. As long as Giambi is with his new team by Sept. 1, he will be eligible for the postseason roster.

– Thomas Harding

Red Sox in on Beimel, kicked tires on Bautista

The Red Sox and about four other teams, including the O’s, are going after southpaw reliever Joe Beimel, according to the Baltimore Sun. No teams besides the O’s and Red Sox were named, but one other club is identified as being an American League team.
Turning 34 in April, Beimel went 1-2 with a 3.40 ERA for the Rockies in 45 innings and 71 appearances last season, striking out 21 and walking 15. 
Beimel’s been better been against left-handed hitters (.221 last season vs. .329 against righties) and he’s been durable in a 10-year career, making no fewer than 62 appearances in each of the last six seasons. For Baltimore, Beimel would be a complement to Michael Gonzalez, while for Boston, he’d provide depth behind Hideki Okajima.
Mulitple outlets on Tuesday reported that the Red Sox pursued Jays’ slugger Jose Bautista before landing Carl Crawford, making “multiple offers” for him — a sign of how serious Boston was about upgrading its offense. The lineup took a hit when Adrian Beltre and Victor Martinez departed via free agency, but was quickly revamped when Adrian Gonzalez (via trade) and Crawford (via free agency) arrived in the same week.
Other unnamed teams reportedly pursued Bautista, who led the Majors with 54 homers, as well.
“It’s all just rumors to me at this stage…who knows if any of it is true?” Bautista told The Boston Globe by text. “There’s nothing for me to comment on yet.”
The Jays reportedly were never serious about trading Bautista, who is looking for more than $10.5 million in arbitration. Toronto submitted a $7.6 million figure. Bautista is a free agent after this season and, according to FOX Sports, there aren’t current talks of a long-term extension.
– Evan Drellich

Roundup: Rangers, Jays complete swap

For the second time in a week on Tuesday, the Blue Jays pulled the trigger on a trade involving catcher/infielder Mike Napoli. Napoli, acquired from the Angels along with Juan Rivera for Vernon Wells last Friday, is heading back west but this time to the Rangers.
In exchange for Napoli, the Rangers sent right-handed reliever Frank Francisco to Toronto. Francisco, 31, saved 25 games for the Rangers in 2009 and brings a solid resume to the back end of the Blue Jays’ bullpen.
Napoli, on the other hand, could serve in a variety of roles. He slots in as another possible backup catching option as well as provide insurance in case first baseman Mitch Moreland struggles and can take over some designated hitter at-bats. The 29-year-old Napoli also brings a healthy dose of power to the Rangers, having hit at least 20 home runs in each of the last three seasons. 
Tuesday’s swap dominated most of the Hot Stove action, but here’s a look at other news and notes from around the league:
 
- The Astros avoided a salary arbitration hearing with left-hander Wandy Rodriquez, signing the left-haned starter to a three-year, $34 million extension. The deal includes a one-year option that would hike the deal to $44.5 million.
- The Cubs added a familiar arm, agreeing to terms with Todd Wellemeyer on a one-year, non-guaranteed Minor League deal for $800,000, ESPNChicago.com reported. Working mostly as a starter, Wellemeyer went 3-5 with a 5.68 ERA last season for the Giants.
- Oakland avoided arbitration with left-hander Craig Breslow on Tuesday, agreeing to a one-year, $1.4 million deal, according to MLB.com’s Jane Lee. Breslow, the A’s last remaining arbitration-eligible player, earned a significant raise over his 2010 salary of $425,000. Breslow is also eligible for $25,000 in incentives based on the number of games he finishes, Lee reported.
 
 
- The Twins avoided arbitration with Kevin Slowey, agreeing to a one-year, $2.7 million deal, MLB.com’s Kelly Thesier reported. Slowey had filed at $3.1 million and the Twins had filed at $2.3 million, which puts the agreed-upon deal right at the midpoint of the two submissions.
Slowey posted a 4.45 ERA with 6.7 K/9 and 1.7 BB/9 in 155 2/3 innings last year. The 26-year-old has never posted a walk rate above 1.7 per nine or a strikeout rate above 6.7 per nine in four big league seasons.
 
 
- After an offseason of additions, the Brewers are still seeking another veteran bench presence, Fox Sports.com reported Tuesday. Mark Kotsay is one possibility for the role, according to the report. The 35-year-old hit .239 for the White Sox last season but owns a .312 career average as a pinch hitter.
- The Os agreed to a Minor League deal with reliever Clay Rapada on Tuesday, MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli reported. The deal, which would include an invite to Spring Training, gives the O’s a candidate for the situational lefty role in the pen.  The 29-year-old appeared in just 13 games last season for the Rangers, but was exceptionally tough on left-handed hitters (1-for-21).
– Bailey Stephens
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