Results tagged ‘ Cliff Lee ’

Roundup: Tigers looking in Drew’s direction?

In search of middle-infield depth and a stable shortstop, the Tigers are “in the market” for the D-backs’ Stephen Drew, according to FOXSports.com. In Drew, the Tigers could improve their offensive production at shortstop — where a revolving door has led to a team-wide .235 batting average heading into Monday — and get a stable presence there. Drew isn’t a free agent until 2012. 

MLB.com reporter Jason Beck believes the Tigers don’t see Ramon Santiago as a long-term solution at shortstop and added: “If they have a chance to add a young shortstop they could keep around for a few years, there’s a good chance they’ll look into it.”
It’s unknown just how closely the Tigers are monitoring the market for Drew — who, like many of his Arizona teammates, is expected to be made available before the non-waiver Trade Deadline — but they’ll also need help at catcher, starting pitching and possibly reliever at some point, and it’s impossible to think they can get all of that. So they’ll have to prioritize. 
Here’s more from around the league … 
* The Rangers, Twins, Yankees and Mets are among the teams most active in discussions for much-desired starter Cliff Lee, according to FOXSports.com. The Cardinals and Phillies all had scouts watching Lee’s Sunday start — when he gave up a run in eight innings to move his ERA to 2.34 — but aren’t considered to have as strong an interest. The Dodgers also had a scout there, and they’re interested, too. 
* The further the Marlins drop out of the race in the National League East, the more likely it is that they become sellers, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro wrote. The most likely to be jettisoned is probably Jorge Cantu, who is a free agent after this season. So can Nate Robertson, Cody Ross, Dan Uggla and Ricky Nolasco
* The Braves signed veteran outfielder Willy Taveras to a Minor League contract recently and assigned him to Triple-A Gwinnett. Taveras was released last week by the Phillies, marking the third time he’s been released this year. 
Alden Gonzalez

Roundup: Lee’s landing spot still talk of MLB

Amidst the All-Star Game announcements, rumors continued to swirl on Sunday about a potential landing spot for Cliff Lee. The Twins and Yankees are still being tossed around as potential front-runners for the Mariners’ Cy Young hurler.

The possibility has also been raised by Tyler Kepner of the New York Times that Lee may be destined to become a Yankee, but not until the offseason when New York would be better equipped to sign him to a long-term deal. Others have suggested that Yankees GM Brian Cashman’s hand could be forced by A.J. Burnett’s recent struggles.

A baseball source outside of the Twins organization reportedly told the St. Paul Pioneer Press that he believes the Twins are the front-runners to land Lee at this point.

The Mets, Rangers and Dodgers also remain possible contenders to land Lee before the Trade Deadline.

Here’s a look at happenings around the league on Sunday:

- SI.com’s Jon Heyman tweeted on Sunday that he believes the Astros might be willing to pay some of Oswalt’s contract, if they can get the right pieces in return.

With regard to the O’s mangerial search, Heyman said on Twitter that he believes it is now down to Wedge and Showalter, despite the players’ support of interim manager Juan Samuel.

- Kansas City utility man Willie Bloomquist has been drawing attention from a few clubs, according to a report in Sunday’s Kansas City Star. With Dustin Pedroia on the shelf right now, the Red Sox join the Phillies, Yankees and Rockies as potential interested parties, the report suggests.

- The D-backs designated Dontrelle Willis for assignment on Sunday, raising the question of his future once again. There were several teams interested in Willis after he was designated earlier this summer by the Tigers, before Arizona acquired him on June 1. Will another team take a chance on the hurler down the stretch?

Alonso to get Lee?

In a tweet on Saturday, ESPN’s Buster Olney wrote: “SEA continues to look for big bat potential in a Lee deal, and 2 guys fit the description:Justin Smoak of TEX and Yonder Alonso of the Reds.”

Alonso is at Triple-A Louisville and is definitely blocked at first base by Joey Votto. Even with the experiment of trying him in left field in the Minors, Jonny Gomes has played well enough in the Majors to be the every day guy there.

However, one reason why the Reds wouldn’t be so quick to part with prospects to get Cliff Lee from the Mariners is Edinson Volquez.

Volquez, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery, has another rehab start with Triple-A Louisville on Sunday. After that, it’s possible he will re-join the rotation. And if he doesn’t, it will happen right after the All-Star break.

Both GM Walt Jocketty and manager Dusty Baker view the impending Volquez arrival as the equivilent of making a trade. The first-place Reds might be more willing to save their bullets to possibly shore up the bullpen, but really don’t have too many gaping holes to deal with.

— Mark Sheldon

Upton to Seattle?

ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark wrote about the many suitors interested in Mariners left-hander Cliff Lee, who appears to be the prize for this year’s trade season.

Of note to Rays fans, Stark writes: “There have been rumblings that Seattle could be a match for the Rays if they move B.J. Upton, so who knows where that could lead.

– Bill Chastain

Roundup: Yankees, Phillies going after Lee?

That’s what FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal and ESPN.com’s Buster Olney are entertaining. Rosenthal heard through Major League sources that the Phillies want a top-of-the-rotation starter and that general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has no qualms about trading for a pitcher he jettisoned in the offseason. Enter Cliff Lee, the best starting pitcher who will likely be available prior to the non-waiver Trade Deadline, and one who’s a free agent after this season. Meanwhile, Olney believes the Yankees and Mariners will at least talk about Lee before the Deadline. 

Still, FoxSports.com calls a reunion between Lee and the Phills “a longshot” and “perhaps unrealistic.” Philadelphia already gave up a bevy of prospects to acquire Roy Halladay this past offseason, and their focus right now is on acquiring infield help, since second baseman Chase Utley and third baseman Placido Polanco are on the disabled list. As for the Yankees, Olney states that the club has a recent history of reluctance to lose top prospects in gaining starting pitching, and he noted that the Yanks and M’s don’t have a very good trade history. 
The Rangers have been looked on as a team that has a strong chance at landing Lee. The Mets and Dodgers are also in need of starting-pitching help and could look in Lee’s direction. 
Here’s more from around the league … 
* Lee and the Yankees may be in the back burner, but the Yankees’ priority right now is improving their bench, general manager Brian Cashman told The Newark Star Ledger. Ty Wigginton, according to the Star Ledger, is someone in particular the Yankees have shown interest in. 
* Given a choice, Mets manager Jerry Manuel would prefer the club acquired a starting pitcher, though another option in the back end of the bullpen would be a nice consolation prize. 
* The Nationals signed Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez to a Minor League contract on Friday. Orlando, half-brother of Nats starter Livan Hernandez, is 44 years old and hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2007. He’ll start a throwing program in Viera, Fla., then work his way up to the Minors and hopefully join the Nats as a reliever. 
* Jermaine Dye, who hasn’t played this season but hasn’t retired, has been getting interest from the Rockies, Rangers and Padres, according to FoxSports.com. 
Alden Gonzalez

Roundup: A’s kick off int’l signing with 3B

The international signing period began Friday, 29 days before the non-waiver Trade Deadline, and the Athletics were the first to make an imprint by signing Venezuelan third baseman Renato Nunez to a $2.2 million contract, according to Baseball America.

Nunez, 16, was deemed the top hitter available out of Venezuela this year by several international scouts, Baseball America wrote. The international signing period is for players born outside of the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico and are thus ineligible for the First-Year Player Draft. Players must be 16 years old when they sign and turn 17 by either Sept. 1 or the end of their first pro season, whichever comes later. 
Here’s more from around the league … 
* With Chase Utley out about eight weeks after surgery on his right thumb, the Phillies suddenly need help at second base. And though assistant general manager Scott Proefrock told MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, “I don’t think it’s necessarily a situation where we have to go get somebody,” names like Ty Wigginton, Miguel Tejada and Kelly Johnson have been mentioned. The Orioles recently promoted third baseman Josh Bell, which could make Wigginton and Tejada available. But O’s president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail told MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli that’s not necessarily the case
* Because he’s a free agent after this season, he’ll come rather affordable at a pro-rated share of $8 million, the Mariners are currently not in contention and, well, he has a track record for making an impact on a new team after the Trade Deadline (see: 2009 Phillies), Cliff Lee will likely be the most sought-after player this month. But a source with knowledge of Seattle’s thinking told The New York Daily News the Mariners have not yet made Lee available. A host of teams — most notably the Mets and Dodgers — will undoubtedly be interested when he is. 
* Lee is Plan A for many teams seeking starting pitching, and Roy Oswalt may be Plan B. But Oswalt — making $15 million this season, $16 million next season and with a full no-trade clause in his contract — will be more difficult to acquire. MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart wrote recently that the Astros would be willing to pay a portion of Oswalt’s remaining salary if they get premier prospects in return. 
* The Giants traded Bengie Molina to the Rangers on Thursday. And according to MLB.com’s Chris Haft, that deal could open the door for San Francisco to add a badly needed productive hitter, particularly a corner infielder. 
* The Pirates and Blue Jays, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, are bidding on Mexican pitching prospect Luis Heredia. A source told the Post-Gazette the Blue Jays offered the 15-year-old right-hander $2.8 million, while the Pirates offered $2.5 million. Heredia can’t sign until Aug. 16, when he turns 16. 

Alden Gonzalez
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 698 other followers