Results tagged ‘ Cardinals ’

How would Carlos Beltran look in purple pinstripes?

Open-market musings:

How would Carlos Beltran look in right field for the Rockies?

The club is weighing various options in free agency, with a big bat being one of the priorities. While trads are an option, the Rockies are more likely to go the free agency route. That’s what they did two years ago when they signed Michael Cuddyer, who paid off for them by winning the National League batting title this year.

Don’t be surprised if the Rockies don’t at least seriously consider making a run at Beltran, who made his first World Series appearance this year while with the Cardinals. He’ll be 37 to start next season, but was quite productive in 2013 — .296, .339 OPB, .491 SLG. Those aren’t far from the numbers over his career. With a team that includes Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki and Cuddyer, it could be a fit. He could come in at two years and $30 million, as the MLB Trade Rumors Web site predicts. The Rockies had interest in him in the past.

Of course, there are many was for the Rockies to spend their money on a slugger, who can fit in at either first base or right field with Cuddyer playing the other position. Nelson Cruz, who is expected to turn down the Rangers’ qualifying offer and test the market, Justin Morneau, Marlon Byrd, James Loney (.338, nine home runs, 54 RBIs, .957 OPS in 55 games at Coors Field) and Corey Hart also could fit the bill. Brian McCann can catch and play first base, but at the top of his earning value in terms of money and years it’s doubtful the Rockies will be a serious competitor for his services.

The Rockies will attempt to bring in a pitching leader, and are expected to inquire about Tim Hudson — despite the fact the Braves, Royals, Indians and and Red Sox have already identified themselves as contenders — and Josh Johnson. The price figures to be high for Ricky Nolasco or Ervin Santana, as SI.com and others report, but the Rockies need a stalwart and can’t be counted out in those sweepstakes. Matt Garza, who could score big in free agency, and Jason Vargas also could be possibilities.

Also, add the name of righty reliever Jesse Crain to the list of publicly identified free-agency targets. The Denver Post has identified Brian Wilson, Grant Balfour, Joe Smith and Jose Veras as bullpen possibilities. ESPNNewYork.com reported the club is looking at LaTroy Hawkins.

The Rockies are also pursuing free-agent catcher Carlos Ruiz, although the Phillies are making a push to keep him. If the Rockies sign him, the intriguing situation is what becomes of catcher Wilin Rosario, a slugger who doesn’t have Ruiz’s experience or ability defensively.

– Thomas Harding

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

7/8 Matt Garza rumors

Matt Garza has been rumored to be traded since Spring Training. Could the Cubs keep the right-hander and sign him to a long-term deal? CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman reported Monday the Cubs have talked to Garza’s agents about a possible long-term contract. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal confirmed that the Cubs and Garza have had recent talks. Rosenthal reported that signing Garza has always been one of the Cubs’ options. The team also could make him a one-year qualifying offer at the end of the season.

Garza is considered the top pitcher available on the trade market, and there is still time before the July 31 deadline for teams to make a deal with the Cubs. One scout told MLB.com that because Garza will be a free agent at year’s end, and a possible short-term rental, teams don’t want to give up top top prospects in exchange. The Cubs, obviously, are looking for top prospects.

The Rangers, Red Sox, Indians, Rockies, Giants, Padres, Nationals and Cardinals all need starting pitching, and the number of scouts has increased each time Garza pitches. Garza, who is making $10.25 million this year, will be a free agent after this season, and could demand a deal similar to what Anibal Sanchez got — five years, $80 million.

Garza will be on the mound Monday night when the Cubs face the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field in a makeup game.

– Carrie Muskat

July 28 Late Night Roundup

  • The A’s will send right-handed reliever Fautino De Los Santos to the Brewers in exchange for catcher George Kottaras, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Kottaras was designated for assignment on Thursday, but no trade has officially be announced.
  • Zack Greinke is off the board, and the Braves might not be able to close a deal for Ryan Dempster either. That has led Atlanta to search elsewhere for starting pitching help while also taking a look at the market for relievers, reported our own Mark Bowman.
  • The Cardinals are looking to upgrade their starting pitching, according to Scott Miller of CBSSports.com. Francisco Liriano was one option, but the White Sox nabbed him on Saturday night. That could lead St. Louis to focus more heavily on the Rays’ James Shields, who is attracting interest from several clubs.
  • The race for Padres third baseman Chase Headley is hotly contested but apparently no longer includes the A’s, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
  • Should the struggling Phillies decide to sell, Shane Victorino could be at the front of the line heading out of Philadelphia. Talks regarding the veteran center fielder are “getting warm,” according to CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury. Outfielders Juan Pierre and Hunter Pence and starting pitcher Joe Blanton also could be trade bait.

– Andrew Simon

More Teams Interested in Shields

Earlier reports had the Rangers, Angels and Dodgers interested in James Shields.  Now, according to a report by Fox Sports, the Braves and Cardinals can be added to that mix.

While the idea of the Rays trading Shields when the team is just 2 1/2 games out of the Wild Card spot still seems remote, there are some interesting aspects to this year’s trade market.  The Rays have never felt any pressure to make moves due to deadlines such as the trade deadline and actually have taken the stance that players usually have better value in the off-season when more teams are interested.  But, if in fact there are as many teams interested in Shields as reported, the Rays might be able to get the deal that blows them away that could pry away Shields.

Shields’ recent numbers have not been good, but he is healthy and could help any team by the fact he eats up innings alone.  In addition, he is under control for another two years for reasonable sums.  So his attractiveness is understandable.

–Bill Chastain

Cardinals pick up where they left off

MLB.com Cardinals beat reporter Jen Langosch, who dominated the field in the MLB.com Blogs Latest Leaders rankings for March that we will be posting in the next day, wrote this in her post on Opening Night in Miami:

  • There was plenty of oohing and ahhing over the unique new park during Tuesday’s workout. Not today. For those in red, this is game No. 1 of 162. That’s it. Asked if there would be a different feel to the night given all the pregame ceremonies and build up in Miami, starter Kyle Lohse might have put it best: “It’s another game. Pitching in the World Series last year, that’s different.”

There was plenty of evidence of that, as Lohse shut down the Marlins and spoiled their opener, carrying a no-hitter into the seventh inning and settling for an impressive 4-1 decision. The defending world champs picked up where they left off, with David Freese driving in the decisive runs on a two-run single [WATCH video] in the first and collecting three hits.

Pretty fantastical opening ceremonies at new Marlins Park, which is getting rave reviews so far, especially if you like bright green. Not so sure about Jose Feliciano’s rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner” … at least we think that was the “Star-Spangled Banner.” Really didn’t sound anything like it. There will be many more National Anthems to come in Miami and they’ll go up from there. No doubt our fellow MLB.com Blogs voice Ozzie Guillen will expect the host’s performance to do the same.

Beltran deal done

The Cardinals have officially announced that they’ve agreed to a two-year deal with free agent outfielder Carlos Beltran, pending a physical.

 

The deal is reportedly worth $25-26 million. That would be the largest outlay by the Cardinals to a free agent not already in the organization since Jason Isringhausen received a guaranteed $27 million before the 2002 season.

 

A switch-hitting outfielder, Beltran has one of baseball’s most well-rounded offensive games. He is a lifetime .283 hitter with both on-base ability (a career .361 average) and power (.496 slugging percentage). He’s one of the most efficient base-stealers in Major League history, with 293 steals in 334 attempts for an 87.7 percent success rate. In 2011, he put up a combined .300/.385/.525 line in 142 games with the Mets and Giants.

 

Beltran, a three-time Gold Glove winner in center field, moved to right field in 2011 as he made his way back to full strength from knee surgery. He will likely start the 2011 season in right field, with Lance Berkman moving to first base in place of Albert Pujols, while Allen Craig is out due to his own offseason knee operation.
Once Craig comes back, Beltran would probably still play plenty of right field. But he also could get more time in center field, spelling Jon Jay against left-handed pitchers and allowing new manager Mike Matheny a great deal of flexibility in making out his lineup.

 

–Matthew Leach

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

Pujols’ message to Cardinals fans

New Angels first baseman Albert Pujols was asked while meeting with reporters on Saturday what he would say to Cardinals fans, who rooted for him in his first 11 years, are heartbroken with his decision to leave town and may have a hard time accepting why a player would decide to play somewhere else.

Here was Pujols’ response: “You know what, it was hard for me, too. It’s been hard for almost a year. Obviously, you don’t want to blame anything because I’m a guy that I don’t look for blame, how my first two months of the season were. But, you know, it was hard, and it was emotional, and obviously you’re going to have some people and friends and family that are agreeing with you, and fans, and you’re going to have other people that don’t like it. And you know what, at the end, you know what, that you can’t control. But what I want the fans to know is, I love them, I respect how they treated my family, I respect the support that they have given me for 11 years, and I thank them for helping me be the man that I am today, because if it wouldn’t be for that city, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Pujols’ 10-year, $254 million deal includes an extra 10 years for after he’s done playing, which will have him serve as a consultant to owner Arte Moreno.

– Alden Gonzalez 

Furcal returns to Cardinals

Rafael Furcal, a key player to the Cardinals down the stretch in their 2011 World Series championship run, has re-upped with St. Louis on a two-year deal on Saturday.

A baseball source confirmed to MLB.com that the deal is worth $14 million.

The 34-year-old Furcal was sent over to the Cards from the Dodgers in a Trade Deadline deal and hit .255 with a .316 on-base percentage in 50 regular-season games with his new club. Furcal had a rough time at the plate in the playoffs, hitting below .200 in both the National League Championship Series and World Series.

About to enter his 13th Major League season, Furcal is a lifetime .282 hitter with a .348 on-base percentage. He’s twice been an All-Star.

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