Results tagged ‘ braves ’

Josh Johnson another arm to monitor for Angels

As Monday’s trade with the Tigers showed, the underachieving Marlins are sellers this July.

And that shifts the focus partly to Josh Johnson, the ace pitcher whose deal expires after the 2013 season.

Angels director of pro scouting Hal Morris was in Miami on Monday night, watching as Johnson gave up just one hit and struck out nine in six innings against the Braves. The Angels would no doubt love to get their hands on Johnson, who was having a disappointing year coming off surgery shoulder surgery before that outing (5-7, 4.35 ERA) but no doubt provides an instant upgrade to the rotation.

Johnson is one of many arms the Angels would consider, though — along with guys like James Shields, Matt Garza, Francisco Liriano and, as mentioned frequently, Cole Hamels and Zack Greinke.

If the Angels are to add a starter, though, the preference would be to add someone who’s under contract for more than just the next two months (like Shields, Garza and Johnson).

Any deal for Johnson would probably have to include center fielder Peter Bourjos, who the Marlins have targeted for quite a while.

– Alden Gonzalez

7/23 Dempster to Braves? Not yet

Ryan Dempster most likely will be dealt before the July 31 Trade Deadline, just not on Monday to the Braves. MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reported that the Braves have reached an agreement to acquire Dempster from the Cubs. But the deal has not been officially completed. Because Dempster has played in the Majors for at least 10 years and has been with the same team for at least five years, he has the right to veto any trade. There’s also been speculation that the holdup could be because the Braves want to secure Dempster for 2013.

Dempster, who leads the National League with a 2.11 ERA, declined to comment Monday on the rumors. He did deny reports that a deal had been completed on his Dempster Family Foundation Twitter (@RyanDempsterFDN), saying, “THERE IS NO TRADE dont know where this info came from!”

Cubs assistant GM Randy Bush said Monday, “There’s nothing to report.” Manager Dale Sveum wasn’t too happy with how the rumor spread.

“I found out when I came in off the field from early [batting practice],” Sveum said. “Somebody said they saw it on the [Cubs] website, so I got on the website and saw it, and called the higher ups to make sure, and they’re like, no, nothing’s happening, I don’t know where that came from. That’s where we are with that.”

The “higher ups” would be Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, and general manager Jed Hoyer, and neither would comment on the report. Sveum didn’t deny that a deal could happen. There’s still time.

“The team, the whole thing was news to me — the team obviously is the one that leaked it out, or it came out of their city,” Sveum said of the Dempster to Braves reports. “Obviously, we can’t sit here and say it can’t happen. Anything can happen at this point. We have eight days until the deadline. All the teams that are involved and want starters and need starters are all in play.”

Was it unfair for Dempster to go through this?

“I think it’s very unfair for ‘Demp’ to have to have to deal with this,” Sveum said. “He’ll have to deal with it today, deal with it tomorrow. I’ve had five phone calls — ‘Hey, did you guys trade Dempster?’ You can only imagine what he has to go through. It’s very unfair for anybody to go through something that’s a complete fabrication.”

While the Cubs denied a deal, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said they were in a “holding pattern.” That would mean something could be done. It was no secret the Cubs were trying to deal Dempster, 35, before the July 31 Trade Deadline but it was his call as to where he’d go. He had given Epstein a list of which team he would prefer.

The right-hander would be a pure rental for the Braves. Players must be with a team for an entire season in order to qualify for draft-pick compensation.

– Carrie Muskat

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

Efforts to trade Bourn increasing

The Astros’ efforts to trade outfielder Michael Bourn are picking steam, according to multiple reports. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported Saturday it’s growing more likely Bourn will be dealt before Sunday’s deadline.

Bourn, who’s tied for the National League lead in hits since June 1, told MLB.com on Saturday he’d prefer to stay in Houston, but understands it’s out of his control. Bourn, a Houston native, was traded to the Astros in 2007 from the Phillies in the Brad Lidge deal.

Brian McTaggart

 

Moving day for the Padres?

Is there another organization in baseball with as many interesting and attractive pieces to move between now and Sunday’s trade deadline as the Padres?

Before now and Sunday’s 1 p.m. PT deadline, consider what might happen with the Padres.

Three-time closer Heath Bell figures to be on his way out of town, possibly to the Rangers, who to date have shown the most interest. Bell would love to stay in San Diego, but if the Padres truly aren’t interested in trading set-up guy Mike Adams, they almost certainly have to move Bell.

Reliever Chad Qualls also figures to be traded. A former closer, Qualls has been healthy this season and rediscovered his power sinker. Better still, he could be a low-cost option for a contender.

Outfielder Ryan Ludwick, who can play left or right field, has 62 RBIs this season and could help a team looking for a bat for the stretch run. Ludwick is also a great clubhouse guy who would have no trouble assimilating himself wherever he goes. The Braves and Indians have shown interest.

Pitcher Aaron Harang’s homecoming to his native San Diego has gone well. He’s 9-2 with a 3.45 ERA, granted that a lot of his success has come at pitcher-friendly PETCO Park. Still, for a team looking to add a starter, he could be a viable option.

The Padres are looking to add impact players with upside and I would imagine they want to add a catcher and possibly a shortstop in at least one of these deals.

– Corey Brock

Rumors Continue to Rumble for Rays

According to multiple reports, the Rays continue to listen to offers for B.J. Upton. Teams said to be interested include the Cardinals, Reds, Pirates, Royals, Nationals and Braves. However, while they are listening to possible deals, they aren’t willing to just give him away, which could lead to Upton finishing the season with the team.

Meanwhile, James Shields appears to be off the market, though according to CBSSports.com, right-handers Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis are in play.

–Bill Chastain

First game is in the books

Derek Lowe picked up where he left off in October and Jason Heyward opened Fredi Gonzalez’s managerial reign in Atlanta with yet another Opening Day home run.

Heyward’s second-inning leadoff homer off Livan Hernandez produced some cushion as Lowe proved strong into the sixth inning and helped the Braves open the season with a 2-0 win over the Nationals at a cold Nationals Park.


–Mark Bowman

Hey now!

It might be impossible to start a tradition in just a second Major League season. But Braves outfielder Jason Heyward is already making a habit out of beginning his seasons in authoritative fashion.

Heyward’s second-inning leadoff homer off Livan Hernandez Thursday afternoon at Nationals Park provided him yet another memorable Opening Day tale. The 21-year-old right fielder used the first swing of his career to belt a three-run homer off Carlos Zambrano on Opening Day at Turner Field last year.

Heyward now has the unique distinction of homering in the first at-bat of both of his first two big league seasons.

Watch Heyward’s homer


Mark Bowman

Firsts of 2011

First hit: Chipper Jones double, Braves, first inning vs. Washington


First strikeout: CC Sabathia, Yankees, fans Austin Jackson, Tigers, first inning


First RBI: Brian McCann single scores Chipper with first run of 2011, first inning


First sick catch: Yankees CF Curtis Granderson robs Will Rhymes with a diving grab, first inning


First home run: Jason Heyward, Braves, second inning vs. Washington

Let’s get it started

The last time it counted — 149 days ago to be exact — Brian Wilson struck out Nelson Cruz swinging to give the Giants their first World Series title since 1954.

Hot Stove season came and went. Spring Training games were played.

Now, it’s time for a new season.

Opening Day 2011 features six matchups (all times ET): Braves-Nationals at 1:05 p.m.; Tigers-Yankees at 1:05 p.m.; Brewers-Reds at 2:10 p.m.; Angels-Royals at 4:10 p.m.; Padres-Cardinals at 4:15 p.m.; and Giants-Dodgers at 8 p.m. in the ESPN Opening Night game.

The Giants begin their quest to become the first repeat champion since the 1998-2000 Yankees, and the first in the NL to repeat since the 1975-76 Reds. But the Phillies added Cliff Lee, giving them a philthy rotation that could be the best in MLB history. Over in the AL, the Red Sox added some serious firepower in the likes of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford.

The 27 other MLB clubs begin today with the same record, the same hopes, the same dreams.  Follow us all day as we chronicle the dawn of a new season, from the first pitch on the East Coast, to the last out in SoCal. Who will rise in October? Buckle up and enjoy The Show.

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