Results tagged ‘ Reds ’

11/14 Roundup

Although the General Managers Meetings in Orlando, Fla., finished on Wednesday, the baseball world remained plenty busy on Thursday.

The Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera’ and the Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen were named the American and National League Most Valuable Players, respectively. The owners gave unanimous approval for funding an expanded instant replay system at their quarterly meeting, another key step on the way toward implementing it for the 2014 season. And Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball’s chief operating officer, revealed that MLB and Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball have hit a snag in their negotiations over the posting-fee system, casting doubt on whether highly touted right-hander Masahiro Tanaka will become available to MLB teams this offseason.

Even with the meetings over, rumors continued to circulate, with Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reporting that free-agent right-hander Ricky Nolasco already has received multiple four-year offers, in the neighborhood of $52-60 million. In other news from around the league:

AL East

  • With rumors flying about whether the Rays will trade ace left-hander David Price, our Bill Chastain examines the pros and cons of such a deal, which would be nothing new for the Rays. The club previously has gotten strong returns for pitchers Matt Garza and James Shields.
  • Jake Peavy’s championship-winning stay in Boston could be short-lived, with our Phil Rogers writing that the Red Sox could look to deal the veteran right-hander. He speculates that the Angels could be one of several clubs to have interest in Peavy.
  • Speaking of players leaving Boston, ESPN Boston’s Gordon Edes reports that shortstop Stephen Drew will not return to the Red Sox, who aren’t likely to match other teams’ multiyear offers.
  • Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos might have his work cut out for him as he tries to improve his club while staying within Toronto’s budget this offseason.
  • The Orioles might be considering trading catcher Matt Wieters and closer Jim Johnson, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and MLB Network.
  • Derek Jeter said he feels healthy and is “100 percent” sure he will be the Yankees’ everyday shortstop this season.

AL Central

  • Our Rhett Bollinger addresses some Twins issues, including Joe Mauer’s move to first base and the club’s interest in A.J. Pierzynski.
  • The Royals believe they need to add only one starting pitcher this offseason, writes Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star. That could mean re-signing Ervin Santana or replacing him.

AL West

  • The Rangers agreed to a one-year contract with versatile infielder Adam Rosales, who was eligible for arbitration.
  • Free-agent outfielder and Houston native Chris Young tells our Brian McTaggart that he would like to play for the Astros.

NL East

  • The Marlins are looking to build around their young core, including Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Fernandez, rather than continuing to deal away pieces. On the other hand, Rosenthal tweeted that Miami is listening to offers for first baseman Logan Morrison.
  • Veteran right-hander Alfredo Aceves “appears to be a good possibility” to sign with the Mets, reports ESPN’s Buster Olney.
  • Free-agent catcher Carlos Ruiz has been drawing plenty of interest this offseason, but our Todd Zolecki says he still could be a fit in Philadelphia.

NL Central

  • The Brewers have a hole to fill at first base, and while they could look to sign a free agent like James Loney or Justin Morneau or trade for someone like the Mets’ Ike Davis, another appealing option is to bring back Corey Hart. The veteran missed all of last season while recovering from knee surgery and is a free agent.
  • Speedy Reds prospect Billy Hamilton is playing winter ball in Puerto Rico and could get a chance to be the club’s center fielder if free agent Shin-Soo Choo signs elsewhere.

NL West

  • Dodgers club president Stan Kasten isn’t ruling out anything but said he doesn’t expect to make any splashy moves this offseason that would add significantly to the team’s already large payroll.
  • As the Rockies seek a replacement for retired first baseman Todd Helton, sources have told The Denver Post’s Troy Renck that they are interested in free agents Mike Napoli and James Loney.

– Andrew Simon

Teams inquire about Rockies’ Fowler

The idea that the Cardinals and Rockies would discuss a trade involving shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was the big rumor going into the General Managers Meetings in Orlando this week, but that never happened. However, industry sources said several teams inquired about the availability of center fielder Dexter Fowler. As the Denver Post’s Troy Renck reported this week, the Rockies have asked Carlos Gonzalez, who has extensive experience in center, if he would switch from left to center if Fowler is dealt.

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com explains the Rockies’ position, and his report involving the Mets and first baseman Ike Davis could point to a possibility, and Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com (via Twitter) identifies the Mariners as a suitor. ESPN Insider AJ Mass reports that the Reds and Rockies have talked, with three-time Gold Glove second baseman Brandon Phillips possibly coming to Denver, and the Reds moving speedy Billy Hamilton from center field to second.

But the Rockies have a lot of thinking to do before dealing Fowler. Although Fowler suffered finger, ankle and knee injuries and saw his numbers drop (.263, .369 OBP, .407 SLG, after .300/.389/.474 in 2012), the Rockies aren’t forgetting his .399 OBP before he was hit on the right hand by a pitch in June and the spiral began. Fowler also finished with 12 home runs, one shy of his career high, in 119 games.

The Rockies are already seeking a power bat for a corner position, either right field or first base, help in the starting rotation and a hard-throwing veteran for their bullpen. Any deal would most likely have to address one of the existing needs and replacing Fowler.

Fowler is due $7.35 million in 2014, and is still under club control for 2015.

In other Rockies Hot Stove-related developments:

–The Rockies, who have depended on the Draft and player development (more successfully in the past than with the current team), are reluctant to lose a 2014 pick by signing a player who received a qualifying offer from his former club. It wouldn’t hurt the Rockies as much as another team because the pick would be their second-highest rather than the first-rounder because the Rockies select in the top 10. Still, if the Rockies fill their corner bat hole through free agency, it will more likely be a player that doesn’t cost compensation — for example, James Loney, Justin Morneau, Corey Hart — than Carlos Beltran, Nelson Cruz or Mike Napoli, all of whom turned down qualifying offers.

– The Rockies made a play for catcher Carlos Ruiz but got sticker shock after hearing rumors he had received a two-year, $20 million offer, but they continue to monitor the situation and could be in play if the bidding doesn’t go that high.

– Thomas Harding

Report: Yankees inquired on Phillips

Reds 2B Brandon Phillips has already been the subject of trade rumors in the still-early off-season. On Tuesday, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported that the Yankees contacted the Reds about Phillips’ availability should free agent 2B Robinson Cano not return to New York.

Heyman also reported the initial price the Reds wanted was “way too steep.”

Phillips has four years and $50 million remaining on his six-year, $72 million deal with the Reds that was signed in April 2012, which makes moving him more difficult for Cincinnati. But big market teams like the Yankees would be able to take on such a contract with less issue. When you consider that Cano is reportedly seeking a $300 million contract, Phillips would be a relative bargain in the Bronx.

Last month, Reds GM Walt Jocketty maintained he wasn’t actively shopping Phillips but stopped short of guaranteeing the All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winner would be with the team in 2014. Jocketty noted he was looking at all ways to improve his club.

Phillips, 32, batted .261 with 18 home runs and a career-high 103 RBIs. But his on-base percentage was .310 and slugging percentage was at .396 while he often struggled following a June 1 hit-by-pitch on his left forearm. He was also involved in a pair of incidents that embarrassed the Reds — an August cover story and interview with Cincinnati Magazine had Phillips complaining about how his contract negotiations were handled and he portrayed Jocketty and CEO Bob Castellini as liars. Phillips also verbally attacked a newspaper reporter in a moment that was caught on camera.

– Mark Sheldon

Reds inquired on Pence?

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweeted on Monday that the Reds “inquired” about Giants OF Hunter Pence, and that it didn’t look like a match so far.

There are multiple reasons this wouldn’t be match: Jay Bruce, Shin-Soo Choo and soon, Ryan Ludwick will be manning the Reds outfield. Ludwick is currently on a rehab assignment and could be back later this month. GM Walt Jocketty told me late last week he would like to add a right-handed bat, but is hesistant to make a deal because any addition would make it hard to play Ludwick.

The 30-year-old Pence is batting .277/.320/.457 this season for SF. According to MLB Trade Rumors, he had $4.6 million remaining on his contract.

– Mark Sheldon

Things quiet for Reds

The non-waivers Trade Deadline is less than a week away (Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET) and there hasn’t been much in the way of rumblings from the Reds.

“It’s very quiet. There have been a lot of conversations but nothing of substance,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said on Thursday during batting practice at Dodger Stadium.

Jocketty and much of his inner circle is on the road trip. Among the things the Reds have their eye on is a right-handed bat to help the offense. But the team is in a situation where they feel they can afford to wait on the return of left fielder and right-handed bat Ryan Ludwick, who began a rehab assignment on Wednesday. It’s a similar situation with pitching as the Reds await the return of ace Johnny Cueto and key relievers Jonathan Broxton and Sean Marshall.

“When we get them back, it strengthens our club even more,” Jocketty said. “I don’t want to trade prospects to improve the club.

“Unless something develops in the next week, I’m not sure you’ll see us do anything.”

– Mark Sheldon

Frenchy and the Reds?

Recently released Royals OF Jeff Francoeur has interest from three teams, including the Reds, according to a tweet from FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal. The other two clubs in pursuit were not known.

Francoeur is a right-handed bat, which would fit the profile of something the Reds could use while they await the return of an injured Ryan Ludwick sometime in August. Francoeur, also known for being a good guy with fans and in the clubhouse, would fit the profile of a veteran good character guy that the Reds often try to acquire.

Bottom line: How much boost would Francoeur really give Cincinnati? He batted .208/.249/.322 for the Royals this season and .235/.287/.378 with 16 home runs in 2012. Current left fielders Xavier Paul and Derrick Robinson have been better than that this season. And Chris Heisey, who has struggled himself this season but hit two doubles on Sunday, is already in house.

– Mark Sheldon

What might the Reds do?

The Reds have, thus far, been relatively quiet on the trade rumor front this summer. It’s not that they don’t have needs, however.

Cincinnati’s bullpen has been taxed by the injuries to its two set-up men — lefty Sean Marshall and right-hander Jonathan Broxton. Both could be back around the All-Star break, possibly. The Reds and GM Walt Jocketty must decide if they can wait for Marshall and Broxton, which would be a big help, or seek outside assistance.

It’s a similar situation in left field. Ryan Ludwick, expected to be the cleanup hitter this year, has been out since suffering a right shoulder injury on Opening Day. Ludwick could be back some time in August. But with Chris Heisey and Todd Frazier yet to really ignite, the Reds have lacked right-handed production much of this season. Another bat would certainly help, but might the “addition” of Ludwick provide the requored boost?

Either way — if the Reds make a deal before or on July 31, it would likely be in one or both of these areas.

– Mark Sheldon

Angels continue to search for relievers

Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said after signing Ryan Madson that he’s not done addressing the bullpen “by any stretch.” And that search has intensified at the Winter Meetings here in Nashville, Tenn., where the Angels are focused on adding one starting pitcher but are keeping their ears open for additional bullpen options.

The Angels, a source confirmed, are one of several teams with a keen interest in former Nats left-hander Sean Burnett, who has posted a 2.76 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP in 176 1/3 innings from 2010-12, averaging 7.8 strikeouts and 2.7 walks per nine innings. Acquiring Burnett would give the Angels a second lefty to complement Scott Downs, who has been reliable the last few years but struggled in the second half of 2012.

It would also let the young Nick Maronde start full-time in the Minor Leagues. Some in the organization, however, believe his future is as a reliever anyway.

Another option for the Angels is right-hander Mike Adams, who posted a 1.60 ERA and a .92 WHIP from 2010-11. The 34-year-old Adams finished last season with a 3.27 ERA with the Rangers, the highest since his rookie year in 2004, due in large part to a rough September that ended with him being shut down due to a right shoulder ailment.

The Angels checked in on Joakim Soria at the General Managers Meetings, but Soria’s preference is to sign somewhere he can close — and with Madson on board, that’s no longer a selling point for Dipoto.

Burnett, Adams and Soria are sure to use the three-year deals signed by Jeremy Affeldt ($18 million), Brandon League ($22.5 million) and Jonathan Broxton ($21 million) as a starting point. That means signing one of them would almost certainly take the Angels out of the Zack Greinke sweepstakes, though a source said they’re “not closing the door on anything.” According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, the Angels have checked in on the two starting pitchers a tier below Greinke — Anibal Sanchez and Kyle Lohse.

Alden Gonzalez

Angels, Madson close on one-year deal

UPDATE, WEDNESDAY, 10:46 A.M. PT: Madson finalized his contract with the Angels. It’s for a base salary of $3.5 million and can be valued up to $7 million. There’s up to $2.5 million based on time on the active roster, and $1 million for amount of games finished.

——-

The Angels’ desire to upgrade the bullpen has seemingly taken them to Ryan Madson, who missed last season with Tommy John surgery but could be a big addition if he reverts back to form next year.

A source confirmed to MLB.com on Tuesday morning that the Angels and Madson are closing in on a one-year contract, following an initial report by CBSSports.com. Details are still being ironed out and the team hasn’t commented on the deal, which wouldn’t be official until Madson passes a physical.

A Madson-Angels pairing would in many ways be ideal, given Jerry Dipoto’s aspirations to add to the ‘pen but also balance that with the need for starting pitching, particularly Zack Greinke. Madson’s new contract is expected to be low in base salary and high in incentives, perhaps mainly based on games finished.

Madson, represented by Scott Boras, was born and raised in Southern California, currently lives in Temecula, Calif., and rehabbed from Tommy John surgery in Anaheim under the watch of Angels doctors. He had a base salary of $6 million during his lost season with the Reds in 2011, then declined his half of the $11 million mutual option for 2013 in order to get the $2.5 million buyout (the Reds would’ve declined their half anyway).

The Angels ranked fourth with a $159 million payroll last season, but cleared a lot of it by not resigning fan favorite Torii Hunter – quickly signed to a two-year, $26 million deal by the Tigers – paying $3.5 million to buy out Dan Haren’s option and sending more than 90 percent of Ervin Santana’s 2013 contract to the Royals.

With the remaining money, the Angels hope to fill two spots in their rotation and strengthen a bullpen that has totaled an American League-leading 47 blown saves the last two years.

If this deal gets finalized, and Madson bounces back, they can perhaps scratch that last part off their list.

– Alden Gonzalez 

Reds, Broxton in ‘serious talks’?

FoxSports.com/MLB Network’s Ken Rosenthal is reporting Monday afternoon that the Reds and free agent reliever Jonathan Broxton are in serious talks about a three-year contract. The story is based info from anonymous sources.

I have calls out to Reds GM Walt Jocketty and BB Abbott, the agent for Broxton.

By signing Broxton to a long-term deal, the path would be paved for the Reds to move current closer Aroldis Chapman into the rotation — something that they wanted to do in 2011 before injuries crushed the bullpen during Spring Training. If Chapman was unsuccessful in the transition, he could always return to closing and Broxton can go back to setting up for Chapman.

Broxton, 28, was acquired by Cincinnati from the Royals on July 31. Overall in 60 appearances totaling 58 innings, he posted a 2.48 ERA, 56 hits, 17 walks and 45 strikeouts. While Chapman missed 10 days with shoulder fatigue in September, Broxton stepped up and was 4-for-4 in save chances.


– Mark Sheldon

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 652 other followers