Results tagged ‘ Rangers ’
The Angels want to add a starter. It’s more likely that they don’t have the chips to acquire a premium one, but they’re doing their due diligence anyway.
This week could be a big one with regards to that pursuit.
This is the week when the erratic Ervin Santana will make two tough starts (against the Tigers on Monday and against the Rangers on Saturday), this is the week more will be known about the health of Dan Haren (he’ll make a rehab outing today, and if all goes well, he could start against Texas on Sunday), and this may be the week that dictates how aggressive Jerry Dipoto is in his pursuit of another rotation arm.
We’re now 15 days away from the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. And the more time passes, the less likely it seems that the Angels can acquire a guy like Zack Greinke or Cole Hamels.
First, there’s the fact each of their teams would like to resign them. The Phillies, Paul Hagen writes, are entering a critical stage with Hamels. The Brewers, according to Adam McCalvy, pushed back the struggling Greinke to give him a blow (making him less appealing on the trade market and more likely to be retained, perhaps?).
Second, there’s the whole “assets” thing. The Angels don’t have a lot of that to give up. As one executive said, if they’re going up against the Rangers for a starter (T.R. Sullivan says Roy Oswalt’s effectiveness could determine how aggressive they get) it would be “like taking a butter knife to a gunfight.” The only heavy artillery the Angels carry is Peter Bourjos, the high-upside center fielder who’s without an everyday role but is a big part of their long-term plans. Dipoto has continued to stress that the Angels will not trade Bourjos, but things can certainly change. The only way I see them giving him up is if it’s for a starting pitcher they can resign — not one who’s going to walk away in two months and leave them with nothing.
And that brings me to the third reason — the new CBA. The extra Wild Card has put more teams in the race for the playoffs, making less of them sellers in July. But a bigger reason for a possibly slow market could be that the only players who bring back Draft pick compensation upon signing with another club are those who spent the previous full season with the same team. For example, if a team trades for Hamels and he signs elsewhere, that team gets no additional Draft picks in 2013. If he stays with the Phillies and he signs elsewhere, the Phils do get the compensation. One scout said the trade market so far is “extra quiet” and “not much is happening” yet. No surprise there.
Of course, there are other, more-attainable starters out there (Wandy Rodriguez and Ryan Dempster come to mind). Will the Angels go outside of themselves to add another front-line guy?
It may depend on how this week goes.
– Alden Gonzalez
The Rangers will look for bench help leading up to the Trade Deadline. The Rangers have been hit hard by injuries on the pitching staff but believe Derek Holland, Alexi Ogando, Neftali Feliz and Koji Uehara will be back before the Deadline. The Rangers are looking for either utility help or a bat off the bench.
Despite a lack of financial flexibility, the Angels continue to seek ways to address their bullpen situation.
Depending on his price, one option may be veteran closer Francisco Cordero. His agent, Bean Stringfellow, told WEEI.com on Tuesday that the Angels are one of four teams in play for the right-hander, along with the Reds — his former team, which reportedly wants him back — the Red Sox and a fourth, unidentified club.
Cordero is perhaps the best — and most expensive — free-agent reliever remaining after Ryan Madson, making the Angels the least likely fit among the above-mentioned clubs. Stringfellow told WEEI.com Cordero is looking for a multi-year deal and is only interested in going into a situation where he’s the clear-cut closer (which, in Anaheim, would mean the young Jordan Walden is supplanted).
The Angels have also reached out to the representative of former reliever Darren Oliver, a source familiar with his thinking told MLB.com. Oliver’s preference is to return to Texas, but is “not ruling out other contending teams,” the source said, adding that in order to accommodate the Angels, Oliver would be willing to defer most of his salary. Oliver put up a 2.29 ERA in 61 appearances last year, but is 41 and would give the Angels three lefties in the bullpen — along with Scott Downs and Hisanori Takahashi.
Another interesting candidate is Joel Zumaya, the former Tigers flame-thrower who missed all of 2011 after undergoing exploratory surgery on his right (throwing) elbow. Zumaya performed in front of what was believed to be about 50 scouts in Houston last Wednesday, and some of them were members of the Angels, general manager Jerry Dipoto confirmed. Someone in attendance told FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal he threw his fastball from 93-96 mph and had a decent curveball and OK command.
Some other, cheaper, right-handed options in the free-agent bin: Luis Ayala, Juan Cruz, Scott Linebrink, Dan Wheeler and Jamey Wright. Most of them, however, may not sign deals until more materializes later in the offseason. Sources told MLB.com the Angels have yet to reach out to Ayala or Wheeler in particular.
The Angels previously added LaTroy Hawkins – on a one-year, $3 million contract — in hopes of improving a bullpen that was tied for the American League lead in blown saves last season. Dipoto previously said he’s looking for someone to “complement Jordan Walden; not replace Jordan Walden.”
– Alden Gonzalez
On Thursday, the list of suitors for Athletics starter Gio Gonzalez was deemed by FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal to essentially look like this: Mets, Mariners, Marlins, Red Sox, Reds, Rangers and Nationals. On Friday, a few more-specific rumors were thrown around regarding the 26-year-old left-hander.
CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman tweeted that the Mets wouldn’t include Jonathan Niese, Ike Davis, Matt Harvey, Jenrry Mejia or Jeurys Familia in a deal for Gonzalez, making it really hard to even fathom them in the race considering the A’s previous demands. Oakland, Heyman added, seeks a huge package for Gonzalez, who’s arbitration-eligible for the first time after combining to go 31-21 with a 3.17 ERA with 368 strikeouts and 183 walks the last two seasons.
The Tigers are only deemed to be on the “outskirts” for Gonzalez, according to ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick, and the Yankees are unwilling to surrender top prospects Jesus Montero, Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances, according to Heyman. MLB.com’s Bill Ladson reports that the Nationals are “all but out” on Gonzalez because of that asking price.
The Rangers, however, could be in play, considering they have top prospect Mike Olt and the A’s are looking for a future third baseman, notes FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi. However, as ESPN.com’s Buster Olney says, 20-year-old Rangers lefty Martin Perez would “almost have to be” included in a deal between the A’s and Rangers.
For now, the situation remains awfully fluid.
And it should gain a lot more steam once the Yu Darvish situation is settled.
– Alden Gonzalez
In a Twitter post early Friday morning, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the Mets and Mariners have joined the Marlins, Reds, Red Sox and Rangers as clubs checking up on Oakland’s Gio Gonzalez.
From a New York perspective, that one is tough to figure. This is the first time all winter the Mets have been rumored to be looking into acquiring an established Major League player, as opposed to trading one away. As recently as last week, the Mets had discussed dealing their own young left-handed starter, Jon Niese, with a list of teams including the Angels and Yankees.
General manager Sandy Alderson has been adamant in saying that he is looking at trades to improve the Mets both for the future and for 2012. Gonzalez would certainly represent more of the latter than the former; though just 26 years old, he is arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, meaning his salary is poised to skyrocket.
What’s more, Alderson stated publicly last week that the top-tier prospects in New York’s farm system — Zack Wheeler, Matt Harvey et al — are the only untouchables in the organization outside of David Wright. Given that such prospects are presumably what Oakland would be seeking in a deal for Gonzalez, it is unclear what the Mets could offer in a swap.
Industry sources have told Rangers MLB.com reporter T.R. Sullivan that C.J. Wilson has agreed on a five-year, $77.5 million contract with the Angels, joining Albert Pujols in Anaheim and providing a serious threat to the division-rival Rangers.
– Alden Gonzalez
ESPN reported late Wednesday the Cubs have talked to the Rangers about a possible deal involving pitcher Matt Garza. However, the price is likely very high. Theo Epstein has said Garza is the type of pitcher a team builds around. The Cubs sent five players to the Rays for Garza, including top prospects Chris Archer, Hak-Ju Lee and Robinson Chirinos. Early Thursday morning, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported the Rangers are not confident about their chances of acquiring Garza, saying the Cubs’ asking price is too steep.
– Carrie Muskat
The Rangers, according to beat writer T.R. Sullivan, have resigned to the possibility of C.J. Wilson parting ways, leaving the Angels and Marlins in what appears to be a two-horse race for the ace left-hander.
Stopped in the lobby at the Hilton Anatole on Wednesday afternoon, though, Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto wouldn’t comment on Wilson, saying only that the Halos continued working to also try and add a reliever.
“Bullpen,” he said. “Look for bullpen.”
Despite the Marlins’ signing of Mark Buehrle, they’re still believed to be in the market for Wilson. In fact, Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com tweeted on Wednesday that the Marlins are the “best bet” to land Wilson, with the Angels a “close second.” There are reports that the Marlins have offered him a six-year contract, which could be the difference if true.
Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison communicated with Wilson on Twitter, telling him ..
“[I] want to sing you a song — I’m so excited, I just can’t hide it, and I know, I know, I know, I want you. I want you.”
– Alden Gonzalez
With the Marlins committing four years and $58 million to Mark Buehrle — the other top free-agent starter — the Angels’ chances of obtaining C.J. Wilson have only improved.
Word is the Marlins still aren’t done — they could still pursue Wilson, and they may still even have a chance to reel in Albert Pujols. But with Buehrle on board, the sense of urgency to land Wilson is nowhere near as strong as before, and the available funds may not be as high.
In the end, it could come down to a two-horse race between the two American League West rivals, the Angels and Rangers. The Angels have prioritized starting pitching and are going hard after Wilson, amping up their efforts to obtain the Newport Beach, Calif., southpaw and hoping to get an agreement by Wednesday. They may be more willing to go five years with C.J., and that may be what it takes to land him.
Also on Wednesday, Aramis Ramirez’s agent, Paul Kinzer, said the Angels and Brewers met with his client at the end of the season and are finalists to land the free-agent third baseman — along with another unidentified team.
If the Angels can’t land Wilson, Ramirez could be a fallback option.
– Alden Gonzalez
If the Angels are indeed stepping up their efforts to sign C.J. Wilson, their general manager, Jerry DiPoto, isn’t saying.
Meeting with the media in the early part of Wednesday afternoon – the last full day of the Winter Meetings – DiPoto wouldn’t comment on the progress with Wilson, but did say smaller, cheaper bullpen additions could be on the forefront.
“I can’t say that we’re certain we’re creeping up on anything,” DiPoto said. “We’ve certainly continued to make progress on the things that we’re pursuing. If anything, I feel like we’re getting closer to solving some of our desire to get deeper in the bullpen. If I had a sense as to what might happen quickly, that may be the thing. But no certainty.”
An industry source told MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro that the Halos are increasing their efforts to sign Wilson, with hopes of a deal getting done on Wednesday. But the situation remains fluid, and it could hinge on whether or not the Marlins are able to acquire ballyhooed slugger Albert Pujols.
Multiple reports said on Wednesday that the Marlins had offered six years to Wilson, probably as a backup plan if they’re not able to retain Pujols.
“We’re very comfortable with the conversations we’ve had with a variety of players and teams,” DiPoto said, “and we’ll see where it goes.”
Late Tuesday night, the Angels were deemed to be the third team – along with the Marlins and Cardinals – in the hunt for Pujols. For his part, DiPoto didn’t categorically deny the Angels’ interest in Pujols, but did restate: “That’s not where our focus has been.”
– Alden Gonzalez