Results tagged ‘ Ian Stewart ’
The Rockies are putting the final touches on a three-year signing of outfielder Michael Cuddyer to a three-year, $31.5 million contract, a Major League source confirmed to MLB.com on Friday morning.
The right-handed hitting Cuddyer, 32, hit .284 with 20 home runs and 70 RBIs for the Twins last season. He has hit at least 20 homers three times in his career, including a career-high 32 in 2009. In 1,139 career games, all with the Twins, Cuddyer is a .272 hitter with 141 homers and 580 RBIs.
Cuddyer figures to fit in the lineup in left field, but also could move to first base on days Todd Helton is not in the lineup. The Rockies could use him in the No. 5 spot behind shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, or at No. 6 if the Rockies want the left-handed hitting Todd Helton to continue to bat behind Tulowitzki.
The Rockies also were looking to re-make the flavor of the clubhouse, after finishing 73-89 last season and not showing the toughness that had become a trademark of the club in recent seasons. The team has added a pair of veterans via free agency – catcher Ramon Hernandez for two years and $6.4 million, and Cuddyer.
The Rockies still aren’t likely to be done with building the 2012 roster. Left-handed hitting left fielder Seth Smith is the team’s main trading chip, who figures to be supplanted by Cuddyer, is the team’s main chip in attempts to deal to fill other holes. A key one is the need for a starting pitcher capable of 200 innings, with left-hander Jorge De La Rosa having to come back from Tommy John elbow surgery and out until sometime around June .
The Rockies rid themselves of $7 million in salary by dealing relief pitcher Huston Street to the Padres and further trimming the payroll of a projected $2.6 million when they sent arbitration-eligible third baseman Ian Stewart to the Cubs as part of a four-player trade, the Rockies achieved enough payroll relief to make an offer to an outfielder.
But signing Cuddyer means the Rockies will not be able to continue to pursue Hiroki Kuroda, a right-hander reportedly looking for a one-year deal in the $13 million range.
The Rockies began pursuing Cuddyer early in the free-agency period, but needed the market to fall into place. That occurred on Tuesday, when news surfaced that outfielder Josh Willingham moved toward accepting an offer from the Twins. The original thought Twins were not going to sign both players, but the Twins remained in the running.
According to reports, the Phillies and Mariners were still trying to sign Cuddyer as of Thursday.
— Thomas Harding
The Twitter universe says Michael Cuddyer will reach an agreement with the Rockies by the end of today. From what I’ve been told, the sides continue to negotiate but the end of today may not be feasible. Terms aren’t known, but it could be lucrative: Cuddyer was reported to have a three-year deal for around $25 million from the Twins on the table. I’m reading the Mariners and Reds also have approached Cuddyer.
If or when it does happen, don’t be surprised if left-handed hitting Seth Smith is dealt quickly. Such a deal would clear a crowded outfield, and it would be the best way for the Rockies to fill other holes, especially pitching. Whatever the Rockies cleared in trading pitcher Huston Street to the Padres and infielder Ian Stewart to the Cubs will be spent on Cuddyer, or another outfielder if the Rockies go in that direction (such as Carlos Beltran).
Smith ranks as the best hope for acquiring a pitcher capable of 200 innings to help the rotation along until Jorge De La Rosa completes his comeback from Tommy John left elbow surgery, which should be sometime around June. Lower-cost options such as Kevin Millwood, Jeff Francis or recently non-tendered Joe Saunders will come into play, also.
As for free-agent right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, the chances of such a signing are doubtful considering what the Rockies will spend on the outfielder.
— Thomas Harding
The Cubs and Rockies are reportedly talking about a trade in which third baseman Ian Stewart would go to Chicago in exchange for outfielder Tyler Colvin. Such a swap would make sense for both teams. Stewart, 26, batted .156 in 48 games with the Rockies, and .275 with 14 homers and 10 doubles in 45 games with Triple-A Colorado Springs. In August 2007, he was called up to the Rockies when Jeff Baker had to go on the DL. Stewart made his Major League debut on the day he was called up, Aug. 11, and hit a grand slam 10 days later for his first home run. This year, he got off to a rough start this year, and was sent down to Triple-A on April 19. Colvin, 26, batted .150 in 80 games with the Cubs and hit six homers and drove in 20 runs. In 2010, he hit .254 with 20 homers, 18 doubles and 56 RBIs. A change of scenery may be good for both players.
— Carrie Muskat
The Cubs are in a wide-ranging search for a third baseman, but they’ve backed away from trying to acquire the Rockies’ Ian Stewart, at least for now. The situation remains fluid, however, so it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that they’ll jump back in.
The Rockies discussed at various points acquiring infielder Blake DeWitt and outfielder-first baseman Tyler Colvin, and the Denver Post reported that the Rockies asked about infielder DJ LeMaiheu and left-handed reliever Scott Maine.
Stewart’s name has come up in talks with various teams since last summer’s non-waiver Trade Deadline. The Rockies and D-backs talked back then. But if no deal is reached, expect Stewart to compete for the starting third base job with Brandon Wood, signed to a Minor League contract, and Jordan Pacheco. Chris Nelson and Jonathan Herrera, who are in the mix for playing time at second base, also play third.
— Thomas Harding
The Rockies like Mets right-handed pitcher Mike Pelfrey, but it doesn’t look as if the parts for a trade fit.
One issue is the Mets have little starting pitching depth and are loath to part with Pelfrey, who went 7-14 with a 4.74 ERA during a difficult Mets 2011 season but was 15-9, 3.66 the previous year.
Also, while the Mets are seeking bullpen help, they’re not going to take the Rockies’ Huston Street. The Mets’ bench coach is Bob Geren, who was Street’s manager with the Athletics before the Rockies acquired him. Street and Geren feuded back then, and the Mets would prefer to stay away from that situation.
Dealing Street and outfielder Seth Smith appears to be the Rockies’ best route to improving the club quickly. Also they’ll see how much interest there is in third baseman Ian Stewart, with the Cubs mentioned prominently, and outfielder Ryan Spilborghs.
Baseball’s Winter Meetings opened Monday in Dallas.
— Thomas Harding
Major League sources tell MLB.com that talks have not reached a serious point regarding a potential trade between the Rockies and the Cubs, with the Rockies sending third baseman Ian Stewart away for versatile infielder Blake DeWitt.
But the fact such a notion exists on any level gives a clearer window into how the Rockies feel about Stewart, a former top Draft pick who has fallen on hard times the last couple of years. The earlier notion was Stewart, a classic change-of-scenery candidate, could bring a Triple-A pitcher. But the Rockies aren’t 100 percent convinced Stewart can’t turn things around. They are not afraid asking for a useful Major League player or pitcher in return.
— Thomas Harding
The Cubs’ pursuit of a third baseman may lead them to Colorado. The Denver Post reports the Cubs are interested in Ian Stewart, and the Rockies have asked for versatile infielder Blake DeWitt in return. A left-handed hitter, Stewart battled injuries in 2011, and batted .156 in 48 games with the Rockies. He was the Rockies’ starting third baseman to begin the season but suffered a season-ending wrist injury at Triple-A Colorado Springs on Aug. 4 but took part in instructional league in the fall. He has a career .236 average with 54 homers and 187 RBIs. A first-round pick in 2003, Stewart also injured his wrist in the Arizona Fall League in ’05.
— Carrie Muskat
The Cubs are known to be interested in Rockies third baseman Ian Stewart, and the Denver Post reported Friday that the Rox have asked for versatile infielder Blake DeWitt in return. The paper says talks have quieted but could kick up again during baseball’s winter meetings in Dallas. Teams begin arriving Sunday.
DeWitt could be a nice fit. The Rockies would like a veteran presence who could start in stretches if necessary. But the organization believes former top Draft pick Chris Nelson could produce if given a clean opportunity at second base, and the team will not throw up road blocks for third base prospect Nolan Arenado, a second-round pick in 2009.
A former Dodgers prospect, DeWitt has hit .260 with a .329 on-base percentage in 404 games over four seasons with the Dodgers and the Cubs with periodic shots at everyday duty.
— Thomas Harding
SAN DIEGO — The willingness of the Tigers and Indians to discuss their most prized pitching prospects makes them the prime contenders to meet the Rockies’ price and pry right-handed pitching ace Ubaldo Jimenez from the Rockies.
According to reports, the Yankees also are making a big push, but those same reports also indicate the Yankees believe the Rockies will lower their asking price. But the Rockies themselves have not indicated to anyone that they will ask for less for Jimenez, their ace and a pitcher with a club-friendly contract. The names that are in play with the American League Central-leading Tigers and the Indians, second in the Central, suggest that they do not have to take less from the Yankees.
The Rockies appear to be asking for one of two members of the Tigers’ current starting rotation, either Rick Porcello or Max Scherzer, top pitching prospect Jacob Turner (called up for a spot-start Saturday against the Angels), and CBSSports.com reported Saturday that the Rockies also have inquired about the No. 2 hitter in the Tigers order, outfielder Brennan Boesch.
The Tigers were known to be looking for rotation help, and they acquired Mariners right-hander Doug Fister on Saturday morning for the back of the rotation. That would give them five starters, but if they put together a package for Jimenez they could theoretically send the Rockies Porcello or Scherzer and still have five.
The Indians emerged as a player during the week, and the Rockies have asked for their top pitching prospects, Drew Pomeranz and Alex White, or at least some combination involving one of the two. The phone lines are still open.
The latest reports seem to indicate the Red Sox are not prime players for Jimenez, although they did make calls to Colorado during the week.
Jimenez pitches against the Padres tonight at PETCO Park.
Jimenez is the talk of the deadline, but the Rockies appear to be more likely to move right-handed setup man Rafael Betancourt, who has shaken off a slump and is pitching well. The Angels, Twins, Rangers and Cardinals are among those who could be looking to the Rockies for relief help, according to the Denver Post. The Rockies have long coveted Twins right-handed pitcher Kevin Slowey.
The Rockies are more likely to move Betancourt than two younger relievers they like who have been mentioned in reports — Matt Lindstrom and Matt Belisle. Indications throughout the last couple of weeks have been that the Rockies definitely do not want to move Linstrom.
— Thomas Harding
SAN DIEGO — The Indians and the Tigers have emerged as the most aggressive teams in talks with the Rockies about their ace pitcher, Ubaldo Jimenez. Of course, the Rockies want to extract a price that thus far several teams have decided not to pay.
For a time this week the Reds were the most prominent rumor, but starting pitchers Homer Bailey and Travis Wood, and either top catching prospect Devin Mesoroco or 100 mph-plus mph lefty Aroldis Chapman was too rich a ransom for a team below .500. The Yankees and Red Sox have made inquiries, and how aggressively you believe depends on which tweet or report you trust most.
The latest report from Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal has the Tigers willing to include righty prospect Jacob Turner, with Major League pitchers Rick Porcello and Max Scherzer being mentioned as possibly heading to the Mountains. The Indians have talked about not being willing to mortgage the future. However, there are at least indications that two prized pitching prospects, lefty pitcher Drew Pomeranz (at Double-A Akron) and righty pitcher Alex White (at Triple-A Columbus, but headed to Akron on a rehab assignment for a right middle finger injury) are in play. The Indians will not deal prized prospects for rental players, but Jimenez would be under club control through 2014.
The Rockies have shown no inclination to come down on their high price of Major League pitching and a top-of-the-line young player or prospect.
Jimenez is set to pitch for the Rockies on Saturday against the Padres.
In other trade-related news, the Rockies have been willing to discuss everyone except shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, outfielder Carlos Gonzalez and first baseman Todd Helton. Right fielder Seth Smith, who has proven to be a solid gap-to-gap hitter against right-handed pitching, is drawing the interest of multiple teams. The Rockies also are expected to see if they can find a taker for onetime top Draft pick Ian Stewart, a third baseman having a woeful offensive year.
— Thomas Harding