Results tagged ‘ Cardinals ’

Red Sox discussing Allen Craig trade?

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.

–Austin Laymance

Rockies sign Descalso

The Rockies have signed infielder Daniel Descalso to a two-year contract, the club announced on Tuesday.

Descalso’s deal includes $3.6 million in guaranteed money over two years and an additional $500,000 each year in performance bonuses, reports ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick.

Descalso, 28, became a free agent when he was non-tendered by the Cardinals earlier this month. He had a .242/.333/.311 slash line with St. Louis over 104 games in 2014. He has played all over the infield during five seasons in the Majors, but has seen the most action at third base and second.

“We are extremely excited to welcome Daniel to the Rockies family,” Rockies senior vice president/general manager Jeff Bridich said in a statement released by the team. “We believe his versatile skill set, his experience level and his veteran leadership will be great additions to our Major League process.”

Descalso has appeared in 44 postseason games over his career with the Cardinals, helping the team win the World Series in 2011.

The Rockies’ 40-man roster is now full.

–Austin Laymance

Scherzer market set to take off

With Jon Lester reportedly deciding to sign with the Cubs, the market for fellow free agent starter Max Scherzer should now begin to take shape.

That was immediately apparent on Wednesday, with CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reporting that — with Lester’s decision looming — owners from two unidentified teams had flown to the Winter Meetings on Tuesday to meet in-person with Scherzer’s agent, Scott Boras. Though it’s unclear who exactly those two owners were, the market for Scherzer figures to come into focus in the coming days.

The three teams that ultimately came up short in the Lester sweepstakes — the Red Sox, Giants and Dodgers — could all turn their attention toward Scherzer, while Heyman also mentions the Yankees, Cardinals and Tigers as other possibilities. Reports surfaced on Tuesday that the Tigers were ready to spend big money to bring back Scherzer, but general manager Dave Dombrowski denied such a notion, saying instead that the club’s position has not changed.

Scherzer is said to be looking for a contract north of $200 million and, with Lester out of the way and so many teams still in the market for an elite starter, he seems likely to land one.

– Paul Casella

Cards considering in-house options for right-handed first baseman

The Cardinals are known to be seeking a right-handed-hitting first baseman to complement Matt Adams this offseason, but the club could ultimately find what it’s looking for internally, according to MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch.

Among those in-house options is Cardinals’ top-ranked prospect Stephen Piscotty. Though Piscotty was initially drafted as a third baseman in 2012 and later transitioned to a right fielder, the Cards may now look at trying Piscotty at first base. He played the position some at Stanford University, but has no first base experience since.

“We’ve discussed that internally, but we haven’t made any decisions on necessarily getting reps there,” Cards general manager John Mozeliak said. “I do think [manager Mike] Matheny would be an advocate for that.”

A more obvious in-house candidate would be Xavier Scruggs, a natural first baseman who spent all of last season with Triple-A Memphis.

That said, the Cardinals are not completely ruling out bringing in someone from outside the organization. Langosch reports that Mozeliak met with multiple agents representing right-handed hitters on Tuesday, but added that the club is not close to signing any outside candidates. It’s also unclear at this point who the Cardinals are even considering from a free agent standpoint.

“I think everybody is sort of in that exploratory mode right now,” Mozeliak said. “Everybody is trying to feel everybody out with what’s going on. So subsequently, time will tell how some of these things shake out.”

– Paul Casella

Tigers intent on keeping Scherzer

The Tigers’ primary focus is on re-signing marquee free agent Max Scherzer, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.

The market for Scherzer has been relatively quiet so far this offseason, though that’s likely to change over the next 24 hours with fellow free agent starter Jon Lester expected to announce his decision.

Olney writes that the Tigers are not only “prepared to spend big, big dollars” to sign Scherzer, but that they also plan to keep co-ace David Price in the fold for 2015, as well. Again, there has been very little talk surrounding Scherzer to this point as teams wait to see where Lester ends up.

Aside from the Tigers, other teams that have been linked to Scherzer in varying extents include the Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers, Nationals, Phillies, Cardinals, Cubs, Giants, and Blue Jays. The team that ultimately signs Lester will obviously drop off that list.

Regardless, the final cost for Scherzer figures to be enormous, given the amount of deep-pocketed teams that are in the market for an elite starter. Scherzer, keep in mind, turned down a $144 million extension offer from the Tigers last spring.

– Paul Casella

Cardinals have at least contemplated run at Scherzer

Though the market for marquee free agent Max Scherzer isn’t likely to fully develop until after Jon Lester makes his decision, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman suggests that the Cardinals have at least discussed possibly making a run at Scherzer.

This could simply be a matter of the Cardinals doing their due diligence, however, as general manager John Mozeliak recently downplayed any potential interest in the top remaining free agent starters such as Lester or Scherzer. That said, Mozeliak added that the Cardinals will “”definitely be on the sidelines watching” as the pitching market continues to develop.

The belief for the time being is that the Cards would be more interested in adding a mid-tier starter, if anything, though they certainly have the means to make a bigger splash if the opportunity presents itself. Either way, St. Louis seems content on its in-house options if nothing comes to fruition, so the clubs seems unlikely to enter a bidding war or overpay for any particular starter.

Again, Scherzer’s market should come more into focus once Lester makes his decision, which is expected to come no later than Tuesday.

– Paul Casella

Disclaimer: No indication Rockies owner can be swayed into dealing Tulo … Still, team has to be prepared if talks occur

We preface everything here with the simple statement, based on conversations with sources inside and outside the Rockies organization:

Owner Dick Monfort has no interest in trading shortstop Troy Tulowitzki at Thursday afternoon’s non-waiver Trade Deadline. The belief that a healthy Rockies club, with an improved rotation and a bullpen overhaul, is a winner next season means odds are against Monfort moving Tulowitzki — signed for extreme riches through 2020 — this offseason.

But the way to not get caught off guard is to be prepared, even if you know nothing may happen.

In the days leading to the Trade Deadline, the Rockies are getting ready for the magic phone call, even if it’s not coming.

The Rockies spent much of Monday studying the Mets organization, looking at current Major Leaguers and prospects, and gauging the abilities of young pitchers who have not reached their arbitration years. Any Mets pitcher who is anyone, whether he is working in Queens – like National League Rookie of the Year candidate Jacob deGrom – or prospects such as righty Noah Syndergaard (No. 1 on the MLB.com Mets Top 20 Prospects list) or Rafael Montero (No. 6), the Rockies are prepared to discuss. If the names of numerous position players come up, the Rockies are prepared.

But here’s the thing. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson on Monday said it is “unlikely” the team will make any deal, and sources throughout the game are saying it’s unlikely anything serious will occur with the Rockies. And, as can’t be stated enough, it’s all fantasy unless Monfort changes his belief that the Rockies will win with Tulowitzki.

But that’s the way these things work. Oh, it’s not only the Mets. We hear the Rockies have beefed up their knowledge on the Cardinals and the Angels – two teams with the money and Major League-ready players to make the Rockies’ baseball people at least listen if they were to call – and a few other teams that may have interest. Speaking of which, since Tulowitzki’s showing up at Yankee Stadium Sunday sparked so many conspiracy theories, we are told the Yankees are not one of the teams that the Rockies believe have players it takes to pull off a Tulowizki deal.

There’s absolutely no indication either team will make that call before the deadline. Nonetheless, the Rockies want to have detailed information if talks ever begin.

Other fronts appear to be quiet, although there is interest.

• We identified the Pirates as a team that is taking a look at Rockies closer LaTroy Hawkins, and now we’re told that 5-6 clubs are interested in Hawkins, knowing he can pitch in any situation. But two issues are making it hard to deal the 41-year-old reliever with the ageless right arm:

The Rockies believe his influence is strong enough on young players and young pitchers that they want to keep him around, even though the team is in last place.

The Rockies’ requirement for help at the start of next season, plus pitchers under club control applies to Hawkins. Teams in contention haven’t offered what the Rockies want.

• It’s doubtful the Rockies will move lefty Jorge De La Rosa, who has pitched better at Coors than any pitcher in their history. The Rockies have been listening when clubs inquire, but after it surfaced that the Rockies coveted Orioles righty Kevin Gausman and a whole haul of prospects, no other team’s interest made it to the rumor stage. Expect the Rockies to make the $14 million qualifying offer to De La Rosa, a free agent after this season, and use that as the basis for keeping him.

• While the Rockies have scouted lefty Brett Anderson since his return from a broken left index finger, but there are no active discussions. The Rockies are expected to pick up Anderson’s $12 million option for next season.

– Thomas Harding

Rockies Tulowitzki does not have no-trade clause; talks are intriguing if not imminent (Also, a look at many possible Rockies deals)

Tulo turn

Contrary to what has been repeated in many reports, Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki does not have a no-trade clause — at least not at this point — in his contract.

Going strictly by the contract language (and consulting with sources with direct knowledge of the contract), if traded, Tulowitzki would receive a $2 million bonus from the club he would land with, and only then would a no-trade provision go into effect. That is in addition to the five years and $104 million, plus incentives and escalators, left on his deal.

Now, from the standpoint that Tulowitzki is one of the game’s most-respected players and someone who has been through thick and a lot of thin with the Rockies, it stands to reason that if such a decision were made the club would at least listen to Tulowitzki’s preferences — especially if there were places he didn’t want to go. However, he does not have that right within his contract, and he is not a 10-and-5 player (10 years in the Majors with the last five with the team).

All that said, the chances are low that Tulowitzki would be dealt by next Thursday’s non-waiver Trade Deadline. Tulowitzki has said all along he doesn’t expect a deadline deal, and the more likely scenario is he would meet with his family and club officials after the season and get an idea of the team’s direction before deciding whether to press for a trade. Sources around the Majors say Rockies owner Dick Monfort’s position with them is the same as it is publicly — he is not seeking a deadline deal, and there is no guarantee he wants to make a deal even after the season.

Tulowitzki’s being on the 15-day disabled list with a hip flexor strain also complicates the chance of a deal now.

By the way, Major League sources say the Rockies aren’t anywhere close to dealing outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, a sublime talent who has dealt with injuries the last two years.

Given that, current trade rumors are to be seen as laying the groundwork for talks after the season.

Those talks could become really interesting. Joel Sherman of the New York Post wrote today that the Mets are interested in being players if the Rockies ever decided to deal Tulo or CarGo. Sherman names pitchers Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz, plus outfielder Brandon Nimmo and infielder Dilson Herrera as players the Rockies like. Given the Rockies’ perpetual need and desire for young pitching, the names Syndergaard and Matz would make it hard for club officials to dismiss if talks were to become serious.

Of course, anything the Mets do is related to the Yankees. Sherman points out that Tulo’s love for Derek Jeter, the Yankees shortstop who must be replaced, and the fact the Rockies like the Yankees’ top pitching prospect, righty Luis Severino. And the Cardinals have been rumored as a possible trading partner since last winter.

In other developments:

–The same article by Sherman points out that the Rockies have had interest in Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli and notes the Rockies have pieces the Yankees want – lefty starters Jorge De La Rosa and Brett Anderson, and catcher Wilin Rosario, who could preserve his bat and mitigate his defensive issues by being a designated hitter or playing another position. But we are told that the Rockies aren’t looking to deal Rosario before Thursday’s deadline.

But expect Rosario to be an offseason topic of conversation. The Rockies have been sticking with him, believing his power hitting can make up for defense that has been a work in progress ever since he was promoted from Double-A in 2011. However, the Rockies may be forced to re-think.

The pitching staff will continue to be young. Left-hander Tyler Matzek and right-handers such as Eddie Butler and Jon Gray (Matzek and Butler debuted this year, and Gray is on the radar) will be in the rotation sooner than later. Righties Jhoulys Chacin and Jordan Lyles have been around, but are in their 20s.

It might be time for a veteran catcher, or one with frontline all-around ability who is special at calling games, to trim the learning curve for the pitchers. Two examples come to mind: 1) Late in his career, Pudge Rodriguez went to the Marlins and later to the Tigers, teams that didn’t have recent histories of winning. He made a major difference to those young staffs, and the result was a World Series win wit the Marlins and a World Series appearance with the Tigers. 2) It’s hard to quantify but easy to appreciate the impact Russell Martin had last year with the Pirates, who ended a 20-year postseason drought with pitchers who needed help reaching their potential.

–The Rockies are in a quandary when it comes to dealing their own pitching. They want young pitching under club control, but what if the best bargaining chips are their own desirable pitchers.

The Rockies are listening to trade offers, but the price they’ve set with the Orioles shows that they’ll take only the cream of another team’s crop. But even if they receive pitchers with bright futures, is there any guarantee they’re going to have the present that De La Rosa has?

De La Rosa has been by far the Rockies’ best pitcher at Coors Field, and whether he qualifies as the best pitcher in club history is a growing debate. Dude is 42-14 at Coors Field. And he likes pitching there. After seeing top prospects — lefty Drew Pomeranz, now with the Athletics, is a clear example — flame out at Coors, who’s to say anyone else’s prospects are going to make it?

Maybe the Rockies take the plunge. Or maybe they are better off retaining De La Rosa, who is in the final year of his contract. The $11 million qualifying offer the Rockies would need to make to preserve the right to compensation in case3 he left is $3 million more than he is making. That could give them another year with De La Rosa, or it could be the basis for a longer-term deal for a pitcher who wants to be here.

–Everyone says the Rockies need starting pitching. Heck, the Rockies say it. That being the case, it’s puzzling to see lefty Brett Anderson’s name in possible trade reports, although teams would be sensible to check on his availability.

Anderson missed 16 starts with a broken left index finger, and injuries have been an issue throughout his career. But let’s look at his two starts since coming off the disabled list: 1) Clearly rusty and still with little experience at Coors Field, he gave up five runs in the first inning against the Twins at home in the final game before the All-Star break. But he got through six with just one additional run. 2) At Pittsburgh, lacking his best stuff, Anderson pitched with savvy and professionalism and held a lineup for a contending club to one run in seven innings.

Once again, do you trade this top-end ability for guys whose best may or may not arrive at all or may or may not arrive at Coors Field?

Of course, there is a money issue. Anderson has a $12 million club option for 2015, or a $1.5 million buyout. If the Rockies believe that they’re a good team that has been ruined by injuries, it stands to reason that they pay the money and hope to be healthy next season.

–Well, we’ve laid out how the Rockies are leaning against dealing Tulo and CarGo, are likely to wait until after the season to address the catching situation, and have plenty of reasons not to deal De La Rosa or Anderson. So where do they get the young pitching they crave?

They’ll listen when teams discuss outfielder Drew Stubbs. The Mariners are the hot rumor. They’ll also listen to offers for righty pitcher LaTroy Hawkins. But there will be debate about how much a team is willing to give up for Stubbs, whose home/road splits and low on-base percentage history are concerning, and Hawkins, who is fit and effective but also 41.

Still, being in a pennant race makes giving up valuable pitching prospects sound like a better idea. So we’ll see. If Stubbs or Hawkins don’t bring offers of top-level prospects, the Rockies still must listen. This year’s injuries exposed a startling lack of starting depth, and they have to get it from somewhere.

– Thomas Harding

Are the Cardinals pursuing Jake Peavy again?

The Jake Peavy-to-St. Louis rumors picked up steam on Tuesday, perhaps more than the actual negotiations did.

The connection between Peavy and the Cardinals, who have targeted the Red Sox right-hander before, began late on Monday, when Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com reported that St. Louis had a scout at Sunday’s Red Sox-Orioles game, which Peavy started. Jayson Stark of ESPN.com later added that a deal between Boston and St. Louis could happen “quick.”

The reports, however, come just a day after Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak downplayed the club’s interest in the pitching market. Mozeliak said that most clubs willing to deal starters before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline were also looking for starting pitching in return. The tradeoff would be a loss in years of control for the Cardinals, who covet their young pitching.

“I think that would just make it problematic, so for us we feel pretty good where we’re at from a pitching standpoint,” Mozeliak said on Monday. “We expect to get [Joe] Kelly back at some point and feel pretty confident that those five [once Michael Wacha returns] can be successful.”

The Cardinals appear more interested in upgrading on the offensive side, since they believe Wacha will return to the rotation this season. Kelly could be back as early as Friday, and Carlos Martinez has held his own as a starter since being thrust into the role.

Peavy is owed about $7 million this season and will be a free agent at year’s end. The Cardinals would not be in line to collect any compensation for his departure, which makes it highly unlikely that they would part with any of their top talent to complete such an acquisition.

– Jenifer Langosch

Peavy could be on move again

Red Sox right-hander Jake Peavy, who has already been part of two July trade deadline deals in his career, could be on the move again at some point this month. It is the reality of being a veteran pitcher.

ESPN.com reported that the Cardinals have interest in Peavy, and scouted his last start on Sunday. Jayson Stark tweeted that something with Peavy and the Cardinals could happen “quick”.

There were no indications around the Red Sox on Tuesday that a deal was imminent. However, with Boston 10 games out of first place, it would not be surprising to see Peavy or other veterans moved before the deadline.

Peavy is earning a $14.5 million salary this season. One potential sticking point in a trade would be how much salary the Red Sox would eat to move the righty.

The Red Sox would like to open up a rotation spot for right-hander Rubby De La Rosa, who has been dominant at times this season when given the chance.

It was just last July that the Red Sox acquired Peavy from the White Sox. Peavy was a dependable starter for Boston during a World Series championship season.

Peavy has been victimized this season by inconsistency and a lack of run support. He is 1-7 with a 4.64 ERA in 18 starts.

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