Results tagged ‘ Erick Aybar ’

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

Angels, Cards discussing Freese trade …

UPDATE, FRIDAY A.M.: The Angels and Cardinals were deep in talks on a deal that would send David Freese to the Angels as of late Thursday night. Peter Bourjos would be the one expected to go to the Cardinals in exchange, but other players, and perhaps money, could also be involved. Talks are ongoing.

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The Angels and Cardinals have discussed a trade that would involve third baseman David Freese going to Anaheim to fill a void at the hot corner, FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reported on Thursday morning. In return, Rosenthal added, the Cardinals would seek outfield depth.

The Angels can easily part ways with outfielders without really affecting their everyday lineup, with the trio of Peter Bourjos, Kole Calhoun and J.B. Shuck all being expendable. The Cardinals need a shortstop, but Rosenthal said Erick Aybar is not on the table, which makes sense, since the Angels likely wouldn’t move Aybar — who plays a premium position they would have to fill externally — without getting some pitching in return.

The Angels are expected to use the trade market to acquire cost-controlled starting pitching, but also have a desperate need at third base, with several questionable internal candidates — including Luis Jimenez, Chris Nelson, Andrew Romine and Grant Green — and a weak free-agent market to supplement it. They could kill two birds with one stone if they can also snatch some cost-controlled starting pitching from the Cardinals.

St. Louis has become a hub for cost-controlled pitching, with eight pre-arbitration pitchers – Michael Wacha, Shelby Miller, Lance Lynn, Joe Kelly, Carlos Martinez, Trevor Rosenthal, Seth Maness and Kevin Siegrist – making big contributions in a pennant-winning season.

Alden Gonzalez

Dipoto: ‘Fair amount’ of interest in his hitters

The Angels front office is in Orlando, Fla., at the General Managers’ Meetings, and their main focus is to gauge the interest level of other teams in their pursuit of starting pitching.

Mark Trumbo, Howie Kendrick, Erick Aybar, Peter Bourjos and Kole Calhoun — maybe others — will be dangled by GM Jerry Dipoto, who’s trying to bolster the starting rotation with a depleted farm system and few available funds. Speaking to reporters (including our own Ken Gurnick), Dipoto said there has been “a fair amount” of interest in his hitters so far.

“We’ve got a talented group,” Dipoto said. “Our offensive players are fairly accomplished, some at a very young age. There have been a lot of inquiries on a lot of them. We’ve not predetermined to move any of them. We are open to solve our needs that are more on the pitching side than the offensive side.”

More here.

Alden Gonzalez

Angels emerge as possibility for Ian Kennedy

The Angels have expressed mild interest in acquiring D-backs starter Ian Kennedy for the last couple weeks, and reports on Tuesday suggested they may be closing in on the 28-year-old right-hander.

The Padres are also interested in Kennedy, MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert reported.

Kennedy has had a rough year, going 3-7 with a 5.22 ERA, but Angels like him in a buy-low deal. As one exec said, “That’s when those guys are available.” Acquiring Kennedy wouldn’t cost the Angels Howie Kendrick or Erick Aybar, the two guys who are basically considered their best trade assets right now. Likely prospects, as they try to make room to add another starting pitcher.

“Stuff is still good,” one scout in charge of NL West teams said.

According to MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, the D-backs are interested in adding Bud Norris, who was scratched from his Tuesday start with the Astros.

Kennedy went 10-12 with a 3.55 ERA in 624 1/3 innings, and Jerry Dipoto is very familiar with him from his days in the D-backs front office. He’s owed $1.4 million through the remainder of this season and would be under club control through 2015 as an arbitration-eligible player.

– Alden Gonzalez

Angels fielding lots of phone calls …

The Angels — 14 games out of first place and eight games below .500 — have been fielding a lot of phone calls in the last couple of days, with a multitude of teams gauging their interest in parting ways with some of their position players. One person familiar with the team’s thinking said Tuesday afternoon that the chances they strike a deal before Wednesday’s 1 p.m. PT non-waiver Trade Deadline are “better than 50/50.”

“Vultures appear to be circling,” the source said.

Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar appear to be the most likely to be traded, given how solid they’ve been on both sides of the field and the team-friendly extensions they signed last year. The Royals — with Chris Getz, Elliot Johnson and Miguel Tejada — are looking for a second baseman with offense and would be willing to include veteran starter Bruce Chen or Luke Hochevar, who’s been effective out of the bullpen but hasn’t started all year, in a deal. They also have two top guys in the Minors in Danny Duffy and Yordano Ventura, but Royals reporter Dick Kaegel doesn’t believe they’ll be included in a deal.

And according to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, the Royals are one of the 12 teams Kendrick could block a trade to this season.

Aybar, however, has no such no-trade protection in his contract. And if Jhonny Peralta gets suspended as part of the Biogenesis investigation, perhaps they get interested. So far, though, they’ve shown no signs of being on the lookout for a shortstop, per Tigers reporter Jason Beck.

So, we’ll see. There can be a lot of surprises this time of year, especially in the final hours. But there’s definitely incentive for the Angels to wait until the offseason to swap a position player for cost-controlled starting pitching. More teams can get involved, and plenty more time permits.

Early on Monday, the Angels traded veteran lefty reliever Scott Downs to the Braves in exchange for Minor League reliever Cory Rasmus.

– Alden Gonzalez

What’s next for Tigers after Veras

Though Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski told Joel Sherman of the New York Post that Jose Veras would likely be his team’s lone move before the July 31 nonwaiver Trade Deadline, that doesn’t mean Dombrowski isn’t going to try for something else. The next goal appears to be another left-handed reliever to slot with Drew Smyly.

Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reported late Monday night that the Tigers are among the many teams in the mix for Giants lefty Javier Lopez. The Giants have been scouting pitchers at Double-A Erie, including right-handed starter Drew VerHagen, according to a source.

There’s also buzz among other clubs that the Tigers could make a run at one more right-handed reliever for depth. Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune reported Detroit is in the mix for Cubs closer Kevin Gregg. However, there’s a recent history of misguided rumors regarding Tigers interest in Cubs players (Carlos Marmol, Matt Garza, Alfonso Soriano among them) which, along with Gregg’s recent struggles and his 4.27 career ERA and 1.44 career WHIP in the American League (well above his NL numbers) bring the level of interest into question.

The Tigers might be able to fill a right-handed relief spot internally. Octavio Dotel has resumed throwing side sessions in Lakeland in his attempt to come back from elbow inflammation. Meanwhile, Jeremy Bonderman threw two perfect innings of relief at Triple-A Toledo on Monday, stretching his streak to seven scoreless innings on one hit in the Mud Hens bullpen.

Though other teams continue to wait for the Tigers to try to add a shortstop in anticipation of a possible Jhonny Peralta suspension, they’ve no shown sign of heavy pursuit, even with the reported availability of Angels shortstop Erick Aybar and rumors the Giants might listen to interest on veteran middle infielder Marco Scutaro. Two thoughts could be in play: First, if Peralta were to appeal any suspension, it could well push back any discipline until next year. Second, if Peralta received a suspension that would allow him to return in time for the postseason, the Tigers would have to debate just how much production they need out of shortstop to win the AL Central.

Jason Beck

Other than those two areas, the Tigers are pretty well set.

No long-term deal for Angels’ Aybar — yet

UPDATE, 12:22 P.M. PT: Reached by phone, Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said today’s one-year agreement with shortstop Erick Aybar means nothing with regards to their quest to sign him to a long-term deal. In fact, the two sides continue to move forward in those negotiations.

“We’ll just have to let it take care of itself,” Dipoto said. “Obviously, it’s something that we’re interested in, something Erick’s interested in, and we’ll just let the negotiations and conversations take place as they will. There is no line in the sand right now on when we have to be done with it. Today’s agreement with Erick does nothing to keep us from moving the ball forward in that regard.”

If an extension does happen, the new deal would kick in for the 2013 season now, not 2012.

More will be up on Angels.com soon.

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The good news is the Angels have taken care of all their arbitration-eligible players before sides were even scheduled to exchange figures.

The bad news is shortstop Erick Aybar didn’t get his long-term deal. At least not yet.

Aybar and the Angels agreed instead to a one-year, $5.075 million contract on Tuesday, meaning he’ll be eligible for free agency after the 2012 season if the two sides can’t agree to something more long-term before then.

Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto had recently opened up extension talks with Aybar, probably in hopes of signing him to a deal similar to the one second baseman Howie Kendrick agreed to on Jan. 7 – a four-year, $33.5 million contract.

Aybar, like Kendrick, was drafted by the Angels in 2002. And like Kendrick, he’s coming off a career year, one that saw him win his first Gold Glove while batting .279 with a .322 on-base percentage and setting personal bests in home runs (10), RBIs (59) and stolen bases (30).

– Alden Gonzalez 

Callaspo done; only Aybar left for Angels

The Angels agreed to a one-year, arbitration-avoiding contract with infielder Alberto Callaspo on Monday. The deal is worth $3.15 million, which is slightly higher than the reported figure Kendrys Morales agreed to – $2.975 million – and right around what Callaspo was projected to garner via arbitration.

Callaspo, two seasons away from free agency, hit .288 with a .366 on-base percentage, six home runs and 46 RBIs while playing mostly third base in his first full season with the Angels in 2011.

The only arbitration-eligible player remaining now is shortstop Erick Aybar, who’s eligible for free agency after this season and who general manager Jerry Dipoto previously said is open to negotiating an extension with.

– Alden Gonzalez

Angels, Kendrys avoid arbitration

The Angels avoided arbitration with recovering first baseman Kendrys Morales by agreeing on a one-year contract Wednesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Morales was expected to get about $3 million via arbitration.

Since batting .306 with 34 homers and 108 RBIs in ’09, Morales has missed the last 1 1/2 seasons with a broken left ankle, which he suffered while stomping on home plate after a game-winning home run in May 2010 and has since had two procedures on.

Morales’ signing leaves infielders Erick Aybar, who general manager Jerry Dipoto has begun extension talks with, and Alberto Callaspo as their lone remaining arbitration-eligible players. Aybar is one season away from free agency, while Callaspo – like Morales was – has two years left before hitting the open market.

– Alden Gonzalez

 

Angels sign Kendrick to 4-year extension

The Angels signed second baseman Howard Kendrick to a four-year contract extension on Saturday night, an industry source confirmed.

The deal, which USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported to be worth $33.5 million, will take care of Kendrick’s final season of arbitration and his first three free-agent years, but won’t be official until Kendrick undergoes a physical on Monday. Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said recently that he had begun extension talks with Kendrick and shortstop Erick Aybar, his two arbitration-eligible players who are a season away from hitting the open market.

Kendrick is coming off arguably his best season in 2011, one that saw him bat .285 with 63 RBIs, 14 stolen bases and a career-high 18 homers. The 28-year-old right-handed hitter, who’s expected to bat in front of Albert Pujols this season, was a 10th-round Draft pick by the Angels in 2002 and has compiled a .292 batting average, .329 on-base percentage, 50 homers and 61 stolen bases in his first six seasons with them.

The Angels’ two other arbitration-eligible players are Kendrys Morales and Alberto Callaspo, both of whom are two years away from free agency.

– Alden Gonzalez

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