Results tagged ‘ Chris Iannetta ’

Angels making Mark Trumbo available (maybe) …

Mark Trumbo is “in play” for clubs looking to add right-handed power at the Winter Meetings, FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reported via Twitter on Monday.

His availability, however, could greatly hinge on how the Angels can bolster their rotation via free agency.

Matt Garza is perceivably at the top of their list in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., because he’s 30 years old, isn’t tied to Draft-pick compensation, is from Southern California and has posted a 3.76 ERA while averaging 175 innings over the last six innings. If the Angels can work something out with the Nez Balelo client — who also represents the already-signed Jason Vargas and Phil Hughes — they’re in good shape, with a front four of Jered Weaver-C.J. Wilson-Garza-Garrett Richards.

If they can’t, they may have to get creative.

The free-agent market after Garza could drop considerably. Consider: The Angels haven’t shown a willingness to sign anyone tied to Draft-pick compensation, which eliminates Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana; they’ve expressed interest in Bronson Arroyo, as the right-hander reiterated to MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon earlier today, but are less willing to overpay for a 36-year-old; they aren’t interested in Bartolo Colon, who’s 40 years old and has a history of PED suspensions; A.J. Burnett has previously had trepidations about pitching in the West coast; and Masahiro Tanaka, who is expected to be posted this week, remains a long shot.

Once you get past those guys, and Garza, you have to move on to the likes of Jason Hammel, Mike Pelfrey, Chris Capuano and Paul Maholm. That’s a big drop.

Howie Kendrick continues to be available, and the Angels could look to part ways with a catcher (Hank Conger or Chris Iannetta) and a reliever (Michael Kohn, Dane De La Rosa, Kevin Jepsen among them). If Garza signs elsewhere, though, Trumbo and potentially shortstop Erick Aybar could join that list.

– Alden Gonzalez

Angels remain flexible in pursuit of SP …

They could sign two moderately-priced free-agent starters, they could sign one high-priced free-agent starter and leave the fifth spot open for competition, or they could sign one free-agent starter and trade for another. The latter remains the most likely scenario, but with three days left before the Winter Meetings, the Angels are keeping their options open as they try to patch up the two holes remaining in their rotation.

Matt Garza, who’s 30 years old, is from Southern California and isn’t tied to Draft pick compensation, is a target. But they could turn to the next tier down — guys like Jason Hammel, Chris Capuano, Mike Pelfrey and Paul Maholm — if his price tag remains too high. The Angels aren’t particularly interested in Bronson Arroyo or Bartolo Colon at this time, and they still have no plans to sign any of the three starters tied to Draft pick compensation (Ubaldo Jimenez, Ervin Santana or Hiroki Kuroda, who’s almost surely returning to the Yankees).

Howie Kendrick continues to be dangled, with shortstop Erick Aybar and outfielder/first baseman Mark Trumbo still unlikely to be dealt (that, however, can change if the Angels don’t like what’s available to them in the free-agent market). The Angels also have flexibility in their bullpen, allowing them to dangle the likes of Michael Kohn, Kevin Jepsen and Dane De La Rosa. Catchers Chris Iannetta and Hank Conger could also be made available in a package for starting pitching.

The Angels really like Masahiro Tanaka. But with a proposed maximum bid of $20 million, the Japanese star may not be posted by his current team, the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, and if he is, most of if not all teams will throw their hat in the ring (the proposed agreement between Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball allows the posted player to negotiate with any teams that are tied for the highest bid).

– Alden Gonzalez

Rockies acquire P Chatwood from Angels, close to signing C Ramon Hernandez

The Rockies have acquired right-handed pitcher Tyler Chatwood from the Angels on Wednesday for catcher Chris Iannetta in a deal that increases Colorado’s stable of young pitchers and puts it in position to pursue another veteran catcher.

Chatwood, who turns 22 on Dec. 16, went 6-11 with a 4.75 ERA in 27 games, including 25 starts, for the Angels as a rookie last season. A second-round Draft pick of the Angels in 2008 out of Redlands (Calif.) East Valley High School, Chatwood becomes the third highly touted young pitcher the Rockies have acquired since last July.

The Rockies received left-hander Drew Pomeranz, who turned 23 on Nov. 22, and right-hander Alex White, 23, from the Indians for former staff ace Ubaldo Jimenez in July just before the non-waiver Trade Deadline.

With Iannetta gone, the Rockies are expected to pursue a veteran catcher to solidify the young pitching staff this season and work in tandem with prospect Wilin Rosario, who showed promise during a September callup. The club is close to signing veteran backstop Ramon Hernandez to a two-year deal, according to Major League sources. Hernandez spent the past three seasons with the Reds.

Hernandez, who turns 36 on May 20, hit .282 with 12 home runs and 36 RBIs last season in 91 games. A 2003 All-Star Game participant with the Athletics, Hernandez is a .266 hitter with 161 homers and 723 RBIs in 13 seasons with the Athletics, Padres, Orioles and Reds.

Chatwood is often compared to veteran standout pitcher Roy Oswalt because he is an undersized (listed at 6-foot) righty with a strong arm. He entered last season ranked by MLB.com as the No. 5 prospect in the Angels’ system. Early-season injuries to Joel Piniero and Scott Kazmir forced the club to call him up in early April after just 6 2/3 Triple-A innings.

Chatwood had typical big league growing pains last season, when he finished with 74 strikeouts to 71 walks and gave up 14 home runs. He endured two demotions to Triple-A Salt Lake. But Chatwood possesses a fastball that can reach 96 mph and curveball, and he is developing a cut fastball and a changeup. He could make a major forward step if he improves his command.

Iannetta, who turns 29 on April 8, has batted .235 with 63 home runs and 236 RBIs in 458 games over six seasons. A fourth-round pick out of the University of North Carolina in 2004, Iannetta hit .264 in 104 games in 2008, but he struggled the following two years and was demoted to Triple-A Colorado Springs each season. Last year, Iannetta regained his big league footing, playing in 112 games and finished with a .238 batting average and .370 on-base percentage, with 14 home runs and 55 RBIs.

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

Giambi might have to leave to chase ring; Iannetta ignoring rumors

Jason Giambi loves Colorado, but realizes he might have to go elsewhere to chase his goal.

At 40, Giambi signed with the Rockies before the season hoping to win a World Series ring for the first time in his career. But with the team needing a major turnaround now, if not yesterday, to become relevant in the playoff race, general manager Dan O’Dowd recently met with Giambi and acknowledged that some prime playoff contenders have expressed interest in him. The Phillies and the Pirates are known to have expressed interest in Giambi to serve as a left-handed bat off the bench and a first baseman.

Even if he is not dealt before Sunday’s non-waiver Trade Deadline, he can be moved later in a waiver deal. As long as he is on the new team’s roster before Sept. 1, he will be eligible for the postseason roster. Although Giambi is under a regular one-year deal, because of his experience and the respect he has earned from the Rockies, he will be consulted before any trade occurs.

“I’m definitely in open communication with Dan, and I’m open to whatever,” Giambi said. “That’s part of this game. But I love it here. The Colorado fans have been incredible. The front office has been unbelievable. I love Jim Tracy and my teammates. It would definitely have to be the right situation.”

Giambi said he hasn’t thought about whether he’d prefer to continue his current role with a National League team or return to the American League, where he spent his entire career before joining the Rockies in 2009, as a designated hitter. He said the team would need to have a solid plan for days off for him if it is counting on him as part of the first base equation.

Also high on the list of Rockies players who could be moved is catcher Chris Iannetta. The Pirates, a contender, have surfaced as a possibility. The Padres, who aren’t contending but like Iannetta’s experience and ability to reach base, are another team believed to be interested. Iannetta is avoiding following the rumor mill.

“It’s counterproductive,” Iannetta said. “So I just avoid it all together and focus on what I can control.”

Stewart not in lineup for opener

Rockies third baseman Ian Stewart was healthy enough to be on the roster for the Friday afternoon opener against the D-backs, but not healthy enough to start.

Ty Wigginton, signed as a free agent during the offseason, gets the start at third, and Jose Lopez, acquired in a trade with the Mariners, will start at second.

There had been talk of infield utility man Jonathan Herrera, who had an outstanding spring, (.371, four triples) getting the nod, possibly ahead of Lopez, but that was not to be. Herrera will be a versatile hitter off the bench.

Here’s the lineup:

Dexter Fowler, CF

Seth Smith, RF

Carlos Gonzalez, LF

Troy Tulowitzki, SS

Todd Helton, 1B

Ty Wigginton, 3B

Jose Lopez, 2B

Chris Iannetta, C

Ubaldo Jimenez, P

– Thomas Harding

A Torrealba reunion? Interesting possibility

Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors predicts that catcher Yorvit Torrealba, who has cut ties with the Padres and disagrees with the direction of the team, could end up with the Dodgers and take over as No. 1 catcher. But Dierkes also sees a reunion with the Rockies, where he could team with Chris Iannetta as co-catchers the way the two did in 2008 and 2009. With the Rockies still hoping Iannetta, who signed a three-year deal last winter, takes the reins, Torrealba’s best bet may be elsewhere. But Rockies fans can dream. In 2007 and 2009, seasons in which Torrealba was healthy, his clutch hitting was a key to playoff runs. … Free agent pitcher Bartolo Colon is on the Rockies’ radar. He said as much in October to  ESPN Deportes and the Denver Post mentioned it, as well. 

Rockies deal Olivo to Blue Jays

The Rockies traded catcher Miguel Olivo to the Blue Jays on Thursday night for a player to be named or cash considerations, the Rockies announced.

The deal occurred just before Thursday night’s deadline for picking up Olivo’s 2011 option for $2.5 million. Olivo, 32, hit .269 with 14 home runs and 58 RBIs as the Rockies’ No. 1 catcher for much of last season. It was unclear whether the Jays would pick up the option. They could allow him to become a free agent, and receive a pick between the first and second rounds of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.

The trade leaves Chris Iannetta, 27, as the lone catcher on the Rockies’ roster with significant Major League experience, although the club is expected to obtain another backstop through free agency or a trade.

Iannetta, an organization product who showed promise in an extended look in 2008 (.264, 18 HRs, 64 RBIs), but has struggled since and has not grabbed the No. 1 job. Last season, after signing a three-year, $8.35 million contract, Iannetta spent part of last season at Triple-A Colorado Springs and finished with a .197 average, nine home runs and 27 RBIs in 61 Major League games.

The Jays also are formulating their catching plans. They picked up a $1.2 million option on Jose Molina and have a top prospect in J.P. Arencibia. John Buck, the Jays’ No. 1 catcher and an All-Star in 2010, is a free agent. Like Olivo, Buck is a Type B free agent.

Rockies mulling Olivo option

Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd said he will take until Thursday’s deadline before deciding whether to pick up catcher Miguel Olivo’s $2.5 million option for 2011. Even if he decides, the Rockies still have to determine whether Olivo, Chris Iannetta or a combination of both are solid enough to handle catching duties. Do the Rockies seek a trade or free agency? That’s one of this winter’s big questions.

The Rockies will not pick up left-hander Jeff Francis’ $7 million option for 2011. Three years of shoulder problems makes it too risky, but O’Dowd says he wants Francis back.

It should be an interesting free agency season. The big question is whether the Rockies can retain lefty Jorge De La Rosa, who could have numerous bidders.

 

My thoughts? If the bidders stay in the three-year range, the Rockies can compete. If someone goes overboard on years, the Rockies will wish him well.

 

– Thomas Harding

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