Results tagged ‘ indians ’

Grady Sizemore: Sizing up the Market

Free-agent outfielder Grady Sizemore expects to be completely healthy by the start of Spring Training and is keeping his options open for 2012.

On Monday, the Indians announced they were declining Sizemore’s $9 million option for 2012, instead choosing to pay the $500,000 buyout. On Thursday, Sizemore’s agent, Joe Urbon, said the interest in his client’s services is best described as “steady” and he has heard from a number of clubs.

Urbon declined to name the clubs that have inquired or the parameters of a deal Sizemore is seeking. He added that there is not a timetable for a decision.

Sizemore has been mentioned in reports as a possible target for Washington, San Francisco and Milwaukee, among other teams.

“The minute they chose not to exercise the option we informed Grady that we will find the best opportunity to allow him to show his health and that he is the elite player that everyone was used to seeing from 2005 to 2008,” said Urbon, co-head of CAA Baseball. “It’s rare for a two-time Gold Glove winner to have the power and ability to produce like a corner outfielder. It’s rare and rarely exists.”

One option for Sizemore could be shifting from center field to left or right if it’s the right fit. He could also seek a one-year incentive-based deal that would make him a free agent at the end of the 2012 season. Sizemore might believe his value will increase for the ’13 season with improved health and full season under his belt.

One thing is certain: Sizemore will be ready and looking to rebound. He hit .224 with 10 homers, 21 doubles and 32 RBIs in 71 games for Cleveland this past season and has not played a full season since 2008.

He has had two knee surgeries — one on each knee — in the last year and a half, including microfracture surgery on his left knee last year. He also suffered a sports hernia and a right knee injury. He is recovering from an Oct. 3 arthroscopic procedure on his right knee, which had a bone bruise and was part of the reason he was off the field for most of the second half of the season.

“The microfracture is not an issue,” Urbon said. “He’s as structurally as sound as you can be, and nothing he has suffered is chronic. He missed parts of three years. I’m not going to dismiss health, nor should it be, but it will all be cleared up by due diligence.”

As of Monday, the Indians had not ruled out Sizemore’s return to Cleveland.

“We will still stay in touch with his representatives and Grady throughout the offseason and remain hopeful he will remain part of this organization,” Indians GM Chris Antonetti said. “I think both parties remain open-minded to continuing the relationship. It’s just not at the option value.”

- Jesse Sanchez

 

Moving day for the Padres?

Is there another organization in baseball with as many interesting and attractive pieces to move between now and Sunday’s trade deadline as the Padres?

Before now and Sunday’s 1 p.m. PT deadline, consider what might happen with the Padres.

Three-time closer Heath Bell figures to be on his way out of town, possibly to the Rangers, who to date have shown the most interest. Bell would love to stay in San Diego, but if the Padres truly aren’t interested in trading set-up guy Mike Adams, they almost certainly have to move Bell.

Reliever Chad Qualls also figures to be traded. A former closer, Qualls has been healthy this season and rediscovered his power sinker. Better still, he could be a low-cost option for a contender.

Outfielder Ryan Ludwick, who can play left or right field, has 62 RBIs this season and could help a team looking for a bat for the stretch run. Ludwick is also a great clubhouse guy who would have no trouble assimilating himself wherever he goes. The Braves and Indians have shown interest.

Pitcher Aaron Harang’s homecoming to his native San Diego has gone well. He’s 9-2 with a 3.45 ERA, granted that a lot of his success has come at pitcher-friendly PETCO Park. Still, for a team looking to add a starter, he could be a viable option.

The Padres are looking to add impact players with upside and I would imagine they want to add a catcher and possibly a shortstop in at least one of these deals.

– Corey Brock

7/28 Fukudome to Indians?

Could the Cubs deal Kosuke Fukudome? Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweeted on Thursday that the Indians are talking to the Cubs about the right fielder. Danny Knobler of CBS Sports says the deal is “very close to happening.” Both Shin-Soo Choo and Grady Sizemore are on the disabled list, and the Tribe needs help. Fukudome, 34, is batting .273 with the Cubs. He’s owed about $4.7 million for the rest of the season. He has a limited no-trade clause but it’s not known which teams are on the list.

– Carrie Muskat

Indians not on Beltran’s radar

Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran said Tuesday that his agent, Scott Boras, never asked him if he would be willing to waive his no-trade clause to join the Indians. MLB.com’s Peter Gammons wrote a column earlier Tuesday divulging details of the potential deal.

“No one has come to me,” Beltran said after Tuesday’s victory over the Reds. “When they come to me, we can talk about it.”

The Giants, Rangers, Braves, Phillies, Red Sox and Brewers reportedly remain the leading candidates to land Beltran prior to Sunday’s deadline. He has already said publicly that he would waive his no-trade clause to join any of the first five teams on that list.

–Anthony DiComo

Indians asking about top names

Indians manager Manny Acta said recently that fans of the Tribe would be “shocked and surprised” at the effort the front office is putting forth in an effort to pull off a trade or two before Sunday’s 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trad Deadline.

On Tuesday, Cleveland was named as an interested party for two of the top players presumed to be available.

In a piece for MLB.com, columnist Peter Gammons wrote that the Indians were willing to give up a good player and take on salary in order to acquire Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran. Unfortunately, Cleveland “did not fit” for Beltran, who has a right to veto any trade. Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated tweeted that the Indians have shown interest in Colorado starter Ubaldo Jimenez.

Prior to Tuesday’s game in Cleveland, Indians general manager Chris Antonetti held court with reporters to discuss the upcoming Deadline. Antonetti indicated that acquiring offense is the Tribe’s top priority, but he noted that the Indians have also had plenty of conversations about pitching help.

While Antonetti would not deem any of the club’s top prospects as “untouchable,” he did say that it would take a “compelling” deal to pry them away. Antonetti added that the Tribe was not likely to part with any of its top core prospects in a trade for a player who would only be around for this season’s final two months.

All of that said, the Indians are definitely in buying mode.

“We want to take advantage of every opportunity that we have to get to the postseason and advance in the postseason,” Antonetti said. “That said, you have to be mindful of the cost of doing that. I think we are prepared, and have talked about it, to do what we can, what’s reasonable, to improve the team.”

–Jordan Bastian

Indians pursuing Rays’ Upton?

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Indians are one of a growing number of teams  talking to Tampa Bay about outfielder B.J. Upton. Cleveland is hunting for outfield help and Upton fits the mold.

Upton would not likely cost as much in prospects as Carlos Beltran or Hunter Pence, and the Rays outfielder is under contractual control through 2012. Upton isn’t having a stellar year — he’s hitting .232/.312/.400 with 15 homers and 52 RBIs — but he still provides speed and power potential.

Upton is under contract for $4.825 million this season and is eligible for arbitration for the 2012 campaign.

As things currently stand, the Indians are without center fielder Grady Sizemore (right knee injury and sports hernia surgery) and right fielder Shin-Soo Choo (broken left thumb) Both could be back in late August or early September.

The Tribe has also been linked to Coco Crisp, Josh Willingham and Ryan Ludwick, among others, in various reports and rumors.

Cleveland — also possibly in the market for rotation help — has also reportedly shown interest in pitcher Hiroki Kuroda of the Dodgers.

–Jordan Bastian

Indians searching for outfield help

Cleveland’s need for outfield assistance is clear. On Thursday, center fielder Grady Sizemore underwent surgery to correct a sports hernia — an operation initially planned for the offseason — meaning he will be sidelined for four to six weeks.

Sizemore injured his right knee on Sunday (the same knee he hurt in May) and was going to probably need at least a month to recover. Under the circumstances, the Indians felt it made sense to tackle both issues — rest for the knee and surgery for the hernia — right now.

Unfortunately for the Tribe, that leaves the outfield short Sizemore and Shin-Soo Choo (broken left thumb) until late August or early September, if their respective rehabs go well. Over the past two games, Cleveland was also missing Michael Brantley and Travis Buck due to health issues, exposing the club’s depth (or lack thereof).

Naturally, the Indians are being mentioned in a variety of trade rumors and reports for outfielders. Cleveland has been tied to outfielders such as Josh Willingham, Ryan Ludwick and Coco Crisp. Jeff Francoeur and Melky Cabrera also would make sense as targets. Carlos Beltran and Hunter Pence seem unrealistic.

The Indians are open minded about pursuing a right-handed or left-handed bat, but the organization does not plan on parting with top core prospects for a perceived “rental” player. Such prospects that appear to be off limits include lefty Drew Pomeranz, righty Alex White, third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall and second baseman Jason Kipnis.

The outfield is the most glaring area of need, but the Indians have also explored available options to boost their rotation as well.

–Jordan Bastian

7/16 Cubs hold onto Baker

FOX Sports reported Saturday the Cubs are “open for business” but infielder Jeff Baker is not available. The Cubs have no intention of parting with Baker, 30, who was batting .304 this season. His versatility and the fact that he’s still under team control as an arbitration eligible player next season are key reasons the Cubs want to hold onto him. According to FOX Sports, the Red Sox and Indians showed interest Baker.

– Carrie Muskat

Roundup: Arbitration decisions looming

Thanksgiving week is upon us, but there’s still plenty of time for the Hot Stove before the turkey hits the table. There’s also tomorrow’s deadline for team’s to decide if they want to offer arbitration to their eligible free agents. A lot of factors go in to team’s decisions this time of year, but keep in mind that teams can make offers of arbitration to free agents, even if they plan to decline and depart, in order to reap the draft benefits. What impact will this have on the free agent market? Only time will tell but with these decisions on the horizon, let’s take a brief look at what’s going on around the league: 
-Speaking of the arbitration deadline, one of the Orioles biggest decisions leading up to it will be whether or not to offer arbitration to reliever Koji Uehara. According to MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli, the O’s have shown significant interest in retaining Uehara, and have remained in contact with his representatives. Uehara, who served as the O’s closer down the stretch, registered a 2.86 ERA out of the ‘pen in 2010. His strong season could put him in line for a significant raise, perhaps netting upwards of $8 million, Ghiroli speculated. 
- Justin Upton talks have continued after the general manager meetings. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported last Friday that 15-16 teams had approached the D-backs about acquiring the young slugger. Upton has four teams on his no-trade list, including the Athletics, Mariners, Tigers and Royals. On Monday, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.com clarified on Twitter that the Mariners were one of the teams Upton had chosen to block from acquiring him, not the Indians as he had previously reported. The Blue Jays, Marlins, Orioles, Red Sox, Royals and Yankees have been said to have interest in Upton. 
- Free agent Eric Hinske is being courted in the early stages of the offseason by the Braves and the Brewers, according to a Twitter report from Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports. The 33-year-old hit .256 with 11 home runs in a bench/platoon role with Atlanta last year. Hinske has said he’d like to return to the Braves, who according to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman offered the outfielder/first baseman a one-year deal in the range of $1.5 million last week. Hinske is said to be looking for a two-year deal. 
- There are six or seven teams interested in free agent right-hander Brandon McCarthy, according to a report from Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com. Teams interested in McCarthy include the Athletics, Astros, D-backs, Brewers, Padres, Mariners, and Tigers. McCarthy, who has endured his share of shoulder injuries, has been looking good in the Dominican Winter League, Morosi noted. 
- The A’s pitching situation for 2011 is apparently still evolving amidst the news that talks with Japanese pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma have stalled. The two sides will still have until Dec. 7 to hammer out a deal, but it’s not looking good. According to Iwakuma’s agent Don Nomura, the A’s offered Iwakuma a four-year deal worth $15.25 million. Iwakuma and his agent, though, were looking for something more similar to the contracts of Hiroki Kuroda (three years, $35.3 million) and Daisuke Matsuzaka (six years, $52 million).
Stay tuned to the MLB.com Hot Stove blog for updates on all the action. 
Bailey Stephens

Roundup: Yanks stake their claim on Jeter

On the day the Yankees signed Larry Rothschild to a three-year contract
to be their new pitching coach, New York reportedly reached out to its
shortstop. The Yankees, SI.com reported on Friday afternoon, are about
to offer Derek Jeter a three-year contract worth $45 million.
That may not be enough, though, as several outlets have stated that “The
Captain” seeks a four- or five-year deal.

Here’s more from around the league …

* New Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers is a popular man these
days, considering he recently said his club would listen
in on offers
for young star Justin Upton. According to The New York
Post, at least half the league — not including the Yankees — have shown
interest in the outfielder, and five clubs have wanted to move negotiations
forward. The Blue Jays, Mariners, Marlins, Rays, Orioles, Red Sox and Rays have
all been linked to Upton recently.

* The Yankees would like another left-hander in their bullpen besides Boone
Logan
, so they are showing interest in free agent J.C. Romero,
according to FOXSports.com. New York has also been linked to Pedro Feliciano

* The Indians might have re-gained a stud outfielder without having to spend an
extra penny. Shin-Soo Choo has probably avoided
required military service
after leading his South Korea club to the gold
medal.

* In need of a shortstop, the Orioles are expected to bid on Japanese infielder
Tsuyoshi Nishioka, according to a Sports Hochi report relayed by NPB
Tracker. The Mariners, Padres, Dodgers and Cardinals have also been linked to
the 26-year-old switch-hitter, who batted .346 with 22 steals last year.

* Veteran designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero is talking to the Rangers and three other American League teams, according to SI.com.   

– Alden Gonzalez  

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