Results tagged ‘ Howie Kendrick ’

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

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.

——-

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

Can the Angels be a fit for David Price? …

In August 2009, the Angels acquired Scott Kazmir from the Rays in a four-player trade.

In July 2012, Peter Bourjos was so close to being dealt to the Rays — presumably for James Shields, but that part is unconfirmed — that they basically had his uniform ready in St. Petersburg.

This offseason, perhaps the two can come together again — this time for ace pitcher David Price.

The two haven’t been linked heavily in trade talks — yet — but it’s a pairing that would seem to make sense for both sides. The Rays are believed throughout the industry to be shopping Price this winter. It’s the kind of thing they’d do. The starting-pitching market is thin, which would maximize Price’s value; the 28-year-old left-hander is projected to make about $13 million in his second year of arbitration; and Tampa Bay has a gluttony of young, cost-controlled starting pitching, which could free the front office up to trade Price for the offense that may finally balance out their roster.

Meet the Angels. They’ll spend all offseason looking for pitching via the trade market and are more than willing to dangle offensive pieces to get it. Price only comes with two years of control, which doesn’t exactly meet the profile of cost-controlled arms that Jerry Dipoto specifically targets. But here’s the thing: The Angels don’t just have to improve the rotation. They have to get a lot better. Their staff ranked 11th in the American League in ERA last year, Jered Weaver basically loses a tick or two off his fastball every season, C.J. Wilson can drive you nuts every five days, Garrett Richards is still developing and Jason Vargas (if resigned) is 64th in ERA over the last four years.

This rotation looks a whole lot better if you slide Price at the top and move everyone down a spot.

Heck, it may rival some of the best in the league.

Will it happen? Maybe; most likely not, given how difficult it is to pull off trades this big. But it’s an interesting one to think about at this point. (Even a little fun, no?) Who would the Angels have to give up to get Price, you ask? One guy the Rays may really want — perhaps even demand — is Richards, and I can see that being the difference between real dialogue taking place or this being nothing more than a pipe dream. Besides Richards, Mark Trumbo – who you’d hate to lose, but would probably be willing to give up if it means getting someone this good — is probably a guy who would go to Tampa Bay, since he’d be a perfect fit in the middle of their lineup and first baseman James Loney is now a free agent. Maybe Bourjos gets thrown in there again, perhaps second baseman Howie Kendrick – born and raised in nearby Jacksonville — gets added to the mix, maybe some prospects, maybe all of them.

Two things are certain …

  1. The Angels would face a whole lot of competition, especially if Japanese sensation Masahiro Tanaka isn’t posted. And the Rays will seek a significant return since they don’t really have to trade Price this offseason.
  2. The Angels may have to take on money, since a big reason the Rays would do it in the first place is to free up some payroll flexibility. (I estimate that the Angels have something in the neighborhood of $15 million of wiggle room for 2014. Parting ways with Trumbo saves about $6 million for next season, while Kendrick saves about $9 million and Bourjos saves about $1.5 million.)

More on the Angels’ offseason search for pitching here.

– Alden Gonzalez 

Howie Kendrick staying put? …

With one hour and 25 minutes left before the 1 p.m. PT non-waiver Trade Deadline, it looked like Howie Kendrick will not be switching teams.

Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com first reported that the Angels are “likely to keep Kendrick” because they can’t find the right match for a starting pitcher, and a source familiar with the team’s thinking echoed that sentiment to MLB.com, saying it “appears” the veteran second baseman will stay put for the time being.

Kendrick’s agent, Larry Reynolds, said at 11:44 a.m. PT that he has not heard a word from the Angels about a potential trade or waiving his no-trade clause (Kendrick’s deal allows him to block a trade to 12 teams in 2013).

But (and this is worth repeating often) things change very quickly this time of year, and the Angels are definitely interested in using Kendrick as a chip to attain cost-controlled starting pitching. The Dodgers, Royals and Blue Jays were linked to Kendrick by ESPN’s Jim Bowden on Wednesday.

If not now, they’ll likely try again in the offseason.

– 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

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.

——-

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 

Dipoto sees no logjam at 1B/DH for Angels

A lot has been made about the logjam at first base and designated hitter the Angels’ signing of Albert Pujols created. General manager Jerry Dipoto, however, doesn’t see it that way.

With previous first basemen Mark Trumbo (stress fracture in his right foot) and Kendrys Morales (broken left ankle) still slowly recovering from injuries, Dipoto appears to prefer to go into Spring Training with the comfort of having Trumbo, Morales, Bobby Abreu and Alberto Callaspo — each of whom was at one point perceived as trade bait now that Pujols is the Angels’ first baseman — all on the roster.

Here’s what Dipoto said when asked about it on Tuesday, during an informal luncheon to announce Howie Kendrick’s four-year extension …

“A lot of times, the perception from outside is a little different than the perception from within. There’s different elements to each player. Albert Pujols right now is our everyday first baseman, and we have, if you view the position as first base in a combination with DH, and a combination with what you would consider the bat that fills the void in extra outfield, corner infield, utility-type role, you can conceivably turn what appears to the naked eye to be two positions into closer to four. As we sit here right now, we’re very uncertain about where Kendrys is with regards to his time on the calendar, and we go into the season for potentially four spots worth of plate appearances with right now three players. And when you can be in a situation, or when you find yourself in a situation where the upside of Kendrys Morales’ return is just that to your roster, I think you’re in a very good position.”

More coming soon on Angels.com.

– Alden Gonzalez 

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