Results tagged ‘ Pirates ’

Angels’ chances of landing SP ‘below average’

The non-waiver Trade Deadline is now only five days away, and the Angels continue to work diligently to find a reliable starter for their rotation or an additional weapon for their bullpen, or both.

Can first-year general manager Jerry Dipoto work his magic to shore up some glaring holes on the Angels’ staff?

The chips are stacked against him, it seems.

A source with knowledge of the team’s thinking described the Angels’ chances of acquiring a starter as “below average and diminishing” on Thursday. The asking prices are too high, the competition for pitching is too intense – largely due to the additional Wild Card that has more teams in the hunt than ever – and the Angels don’t have an abundance of intriguing prospects to offer up.

That, and a $155 million payroll with little wiggle room, has made the Angels’ search for a starter “an uphill task,” the source said – before adding, “But don’t underestimate Jerry.”

The Angels continue to search for additional bullpen pieces, particularly a cost-controlled lefty. But it’s starting pitching – the one area that seemed rock solid at the start of the year – that seems most necessary considering the struggles of Ervin Santana and the recent back troubles of Dan Haren.

But how many feasible upgrades are out there?

Cole Hamels has agreed to a lucrative extension to stay in Philadelphia, the Marlins seem unwilling to part ways with Josh Johnson, Wandy Rodriguez has moved on to the Pirates, Matt Garza has some elbow issues, Ryan Dempster seemingly only wants to pitch for the Dodgers and Francisco Liriano is fresh off giving up seven runs in 2 2/3 innings, putting his ERA at 5.31.

That makes the competition for the likes of James Shields (signed pretty affordably through 2014) and Zack Greinke (free-agent-to-be) quite fierce.

It would be a shock, a source said, if the Angels were to move Garrett Richards, who’s 24, cost-controlled for five more seasons and boasts a ton of upside. Young center fielder Peter Bourjos, a reserve with Mike Trout now in the fold, is perhaps their biggest chip – though Dipoto has publicly said he’s unwilling to trade him because he’s still a big part of their future. Then there are prospects like middle infielder Jean Segura, catcher Hank Conger, first baseman C.J. Cron and pitcher John Hellweg, among others, who could be expendable in the right package.

More on Angels.com soon.

Alden Gonzalez

July 19 Late Night Roundup

  • The Cubs’ Ryan Dempster is said to be attracting a lot of trade interest. The Dodgers are one team that has proposed a deal for the veteran right-handed pitcher, according to Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com. The Cubs would like to add young pitching in return. Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports reported that the two clubs were “having somewhat constructive conversations” about a deal by Thursday but that the Tigers and Braves figure to be among the other teams vying for Dempster.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com tweeted that teams also are expressing interest in two other Cubs, infielder Jeff Baker and outfielder Reed Johnson, who could serve as right-handed bats off the bench.
  • Rosenthal and colleague Jon Morosi also reported that the Pirates, Red Sox and Tigers are among the clubs pursuing D-backs shortstop Stephen Drew. The Pirates are still after Arizona outfielder Justin Upton as well, according to Morosi.
  • The Tigers, Rangers and Pirates are a few of the teams that have asked the Rockies about second baseman Marco Scutaro, according to the Denver Post. With Colorado in last place in the NL West, the team also could deal relievers such as closer Rafael Betancourt, as well as catchers Ramon Hernandez and Wil Nieves.
  • Teams interested in outfielder Carlos Quentin and closer Huston Street of the Padres might end up disappointed. San Diego plans to sign both players to long-term deals before the trade deadline, reported Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
  • The Twins will look to acquire pitching in exchange for surging lefty Francisco Liriano, wrote Scott Miller of CBSSports.com. The Yankees, Mets, Angels, Braves, Blue Jays and Red Sox highlight the group looking into Liriano.

— Andrew Simon

Good morning from Pittsburgh!

It’s Opening Day, and here’s your Phillies lineup:

  1. Shane Victorino, CF
  2. Placido Polanco, 3B
  3. Jimmy Rollins, SS
  4. Hunter Pence, RF
  5. Ty Wigginton, 1B
  6. John Mayberry Jr., LF
  7. Carlos Ruiz, C
  8. Freddy Galvis, 2B
  9. Roy Halladay, P

Read more

Yankees, Pirates discussing A.J. Burnett trade

The Yankees and Pirates have discussed a possible A.J. Burnett trade, with the Yankees willing to pick up a portion of the $33 million they owe the right-hander over the next two seasons.

That figure has been said to be in the $8 million range. CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported in a blog post that New York and Pittsburgh are still separated by a few million dollars.

Burnett could be an extraneous piece for the Yankees, who currently have seven pitchers to fit into five rotation slots. He would head to Spring Training competing with Phil Hughes and Freddy Garcia for New York’s fifth starter job. Heyman notes that the Yankees asked for slugger Garrett Jones, but were rejected.

The New York Post’s Joel Sherman tweeted that the 10 clubs on Burnett’s limited no-trade list are all on the West Coast. Burnett signed a five-year, $82.5 million contract with the Yankees before the 2009 season and is 34-35 with a 4.79 ERA in his three seasons wearing pinstripes.

Bryan Hoch

1/10 Cubs sign Paul Maholm

The Cubs have signed free agent Paul Maholm to the rotation, a move first announced by the left-handed pitcher on Twitter.

“I hope to get to continue some things when I visit [Pittsburgh] during the year and start some great things as I start my Cubs career,” wrote Maholm on Monday.

Maholm, 29, will receive $4.25 million this year with a club option of $6.5 million in 2013, or a $500,000 buyout. The lefty, who has spent his entire career with the Pirates, gives the Cubs more depth, something GM Jed Hoyer has said they’re trying to do. The team does not want to be short-handed as it was last season when both Andrew Cashner and Randy Wells were hurt after their first starts of ths season. The candidates for the rotation now include Maholm, Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, Travis Wood, Chris Volstad, Randy Wells and Casey Coleman. Wood is the only lefty in that group. However, there has been interest in Garza this offseason by teams such as the Tigers, Yankees and Blue Jays.

– Carrie Muskat

Low-cost pitching options abound for Angels

The question is how long they’re willing to wait out the likes of C.J. Wilson and Ryan Madson. As The Los Angeles Times pointed out on Monday — Day 1 of the Winter Meetings — new general manager Jerry DiPoto plans to meet with Wilson’s agent here in Dallas. Frankly, why wouldn’t he? The real question is whether it’s possible — or even practical — for the Angels to fork over most of their remaining payroll on one arm, to address the best aspect of the team no less.

If they don’t want to go that route, or commit to Madson — remember, the Phillies reportedly offered four years at $44 million — there are a few low-cost options to be had.

Starting pitcher-wise, Mark Buehrle is the logical fit. Problem: A lot of teams want him, and he’s said to be looking for a no-trade clause as part of at least a three-year deal. Some other lefties to keep in mind: Jeff Francis (4.82 ERA in 31 starts for the Royals last year), Erik Bedard (3.62 ERA in 24 starts for the Red Sox and Mariners) and Paul Maholm (3.66 ERA in 26 starts for the Pirates).

As for the right-handed bullpen arms, there are plenty from which to choose. The most intriguing may be Octavio Dotel, because of how well he pitched down the stretch for the World Series-champion Cardinals and because of his experience as both a setup man and closer. Dotel (38) shifted from a Type A free agent to a Type B under the new CBA, so he won’t cost the team that signs him a Draft pick.

Some others: LaTroy Hawkins, Francisco Cordero, Takahashi Saito, Frank Francisco, Mike MacDougal, Scott Linebrink and Luis Ayala, among a host of others.

– Alden Gonzalez

Rumors Continue to Rumble for Rays

According to multiple reports, the Rays continue to listen to offers for B.J. Upton. Teams said to be interested include the Cardinals, Reds, Pirates, Royals, Nationals and Braves. However, while they are listening to possible deals, they aren’t willing to just give him away, which could lead to Upton finishing the season with the team.

Meanwhile, James Shields appears to be off the market, though according to CBSSports.com, right-handers Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis are in play.

–Bill Chastain

Bucs still finding trade demands to be too high

The Pirates continue to look to add pieces — in particular, a corner infield/outfield bat and relievers — before Sunday’s trade deadline. But to this point, general manager Neal Huntington continues to find the asking prices to be exorbinant.

Asked on Monday if other teams are beginning to come down on their demands now that the there is less than one week before Sunday’s deadline, Huntington responded: “Oh, they’re getting worse. I don’t know if it was the three-game losing streak, or Alex Presley’s injury or what, but they are trying to exploit our situation. If I were in other teams’ shoes, I would try to leverage the situation as much as possible, too.”

That’s not encouraging for a team that, if it wants to contend in the NL Central through September, must fill some holes. Huntington maintained that while he won’t give up the farm system, he does sincerely want to add to the current roster to give it a chance to stay in a playoff hunt. The Pirates are hopeful that as Sunday approaches, demands from other clubs will begin to lessen.

– Jenifer Langosch

Roundup: Garza too pricey for Yanks

The free agent market may be thinning, but some teams are still very much in the hunt for pitching as Spring Training looms in the not-too-distant future.
The Yankees are one such team that remains in the market for quality pitching at this stage of the game, especially with the growing uncertainty surrounding Andy Pettitte’s status. The Yanks did have interest in the recently-traded Matt Garza, but that quickly became unlikely after general manager Brian Cashman learned how much the Rays wanted for Garza, the New York Daily News reported on an otherwise quiet Saturday. 
“We never got off the dime, but strong impressions were that it would be something that would cost us more because we are in the division, kind of like Roy Halladay,” Cashman told the Daily News. “We like Matt Garza and I had a conversation early in the winter and it was clear that what it would take would be more significant than I wanted to do.
Their desire for pitching won’t drive the Yanks to sign a Type-A free agent and give up their 2011 first round Draft pick, as reported by multiple media outlets over the weekend. While there have been conflicting reports about what that means for their pursuit of reliever Rafael Soriano, Cashman seemed firm in his decision.
“I would’ve given up the draft pick for Cliff Lee,” Cashman said to the Daily News. “But I’m going to retain our No. 1 pick for ourselves. Once Cliff Lee came off the board, I called Damon [Oppenheimer, the Yanks’ vice president for amateur scouting] and said, ‘You’re going to have your No. 1 pick, you’re in the hunt for a first-round pick.” 
Here’s a look at other news and notes from around the league on Sunday: 
- Left-hander Scott Schoeneweis still feels he can be successful in the Majors, the Boston Globe reported. Schoeneweis saw his performance on the field dip after the tragic death of his wife in 2009. The veteran, who was released by the Red Sox in May, believes he would be a fit somewhere as a situational lefty.
- The White Sox added some pitching depth on Sunday, agreeing to Minor League deals with Josh Kinney and Shane Lindsay, according to ESPN Chicago.com. Kinney, 32, has appeared in parts of three Major League seasons with the Cardinals, compiling a 4.56 ERA. Lindsay, an Australian-born hurler, has struggled with his control over the years.
- Last month, several teams were mentioned as having interest in reliever Brian Fuentes, including the Pirates. While the Bucs could be interested in adding another veteran reliever, Fuentes’s cost would likely be prohibitive at this point, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Sunday. 
– Bailey Stephens

Roundup: Rays looking to deal?

The Hot Stove took a bit of a backseat on Wednesday, with the announcement that Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this July dominating the baseball headlines.

With Adrian Beltre‘s signing with the Rangers now official, the rumor mill did ramp up on the trade market — namely, on Tampa Bay starter Matt Garza and a possible deal to the Cubs, reported on Tuesday night by the Chicago Sun-Times. That story was news to the Cubs, according to MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat, who also reported that the Rays are more likely to wait until the summer to move Garza.

Here’s the rundown of the rest of the news from Wednesday:

- Staying in the NL Central, the Cardinals have resumed extension talks with their own potential Hall of Famer, first baseman Albert Pujols. Pujols could hit the free-agent market following the 2011 season.

- The latest out of Southern California is that the Angels have interest in signing Vladimir Guerrero.

On MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM, Angels manager Mike Scioscia told co-hots Jim Duquette and Kevin Kennedy that the Angels are not closing the door on the possibility of Guerrero returning to his former home after one season in Texas.

After hitting .300 with 29 homers and 115 RBIs in 2009, the Angels’ American League Most Valuable Player in 2004, accepted a one-year contract with the Rangers and helped the AL West rivals reach the World Series.

Guerrero, whose career began with nine games in Montreal in 1996, is a .320 career hitter with a .383 on-base percentage and .563 slugging mark.

- The Mariners are working on a potential two-year deal with recently acquired shortstop Brendan Ryan, according to MLB.com’s Greg Johns. Ryan, who came over from St. Louis in a December trade, is eligible for arbitration for the first time in his career.

- The Red Sox claimed catcher Max Ramirez off waivers from the Rangers, tweeted MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan. Ramirez, you may remember, was close to going to Boston last off-season in exchange for Mike Lowell. Ramirez hit .217 in 28 games for the Rangers in 2010.

- The Blue Jays announced that they claimed left-handed reliever Wil Ledezma on waivers from the Pirates. Ledezma was 0-3 with a 6.86 ERA for Pittsburgh in 2010.

- The Diamondbacks resigned lefty reliever Clay Zavada to a Minor League deal, as reported by Baseball America. Zavada pitched in five games for Triple-A Reno in 2010 before undergoing Tommy John surgery. Zavada posted a 3.35 ERA in 49 games for Arizona in 2009.

- The Rangers and Beltre made it official on Wednesday, with the club announcing the addition of the third baseman in an afternoon press conference. The signing of Beltre means that the Rangers are no longer interested in their former DH Vladimir Guerrero, according to a tweet from the Dallas Star-Telegram’s Anthony Andro.

- Likewise, the Brewers finalized their deal with Takashi Saito. As reported by MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, the right-hander’s base salary will be under $2 million, but he can make more than $3 million in incentives.

- The Rockies have signed utilityman Hernan Iribarren to a Minor League contract. Iribarren, 26, last played in the Majors with Milwaukee in 2009, spending last season with Texas’ Triple-A affiliate.  The deal includes an invitation to Colorado’s Major League Spring Training camp.

-  The Padres signed versatile Kevin Frandsen and catcher Guillermo Quiroz Minor League contracts.  The deal will pay Frandsen $575,000 if he makes San Diego’s Major League roster, according to ESPN.

Frandsen, 28, has played several positions during his MLB career with the Giants and Angels, playing primarily third base last season for the Angels, who did not tender him a contract for 2011.

Quiroz, 29, has played parts of the last seven seasons in the Major Leagues with the Blue Jays, Mariners, Rangers and Orioles. He is a career .208 hitter in 255 at-bats.

–Tim Britton

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