Results tagged ‘ Rockies ’

Minor Moves: Eyes on Hawpe

At least three teams have expressed interest veteran outfielder Brad Hawpe and he could be close to signing a Minor League deal that includes an invite to Spring Training, according to an industry source.

Hawpe, who had Tommy John surgery in August, is said to be healthy and eager to compete for a spot on a big league roster this spring. He fits best with a team in need of depth at first base and at the corner outfield positions.

Hawpe, 32, hit .231 in 62 games for the Padres last season and .245 in 103 games with the Rockies and Rays in 2010. Signed by Colorado in the 11th round of the 2000 First-Year Player Draft, he hit .280 in 816 games during his seven seasons with the Rockies. An All-Star in 2009, he averaged 25 home runs, 93 RBI and 33 doubles for four consecutive seasons while with Colorado starting in 2006.

–Jesse Sanchez

Angels reportedly nearing deal with INF Cantu

The Angels are nearing a deal for free-agent infielder Jorge Cantu, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported via Twitter on Friday afternoon.

Cantu, a 29-year-old with experience at third, second and first base, could provide the Halos with some flexibility in the infield in case they want to make a trade. Whether or not the Halos gave him a Major League contract is still not known.

Cantu was a steady presence in the middle of the Marlins’ lineup from 2008-09 – batting a combined .283 with 45 homers and 195 RBIs – but has struggled ever since.

The Padres signed him to an $850,000 contract last offseason, then released him in June after he hit just .194 in 57 games for them. The Rockies picked Cantu up in late July, and he spent the rest of the season in Triple-A.

– Alden Gonzalez 

Rox, Cuddyer reach three-year, $31.5 million agreement

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

Rox talk to Cuddyer; Twins back in the mix

Negotiations continued Thursday between the Rockies and free-agent outfielder Michael Cuddyer. The Mariners, Phillies and a somewhat unexpected suitor, the Twins, are also in the mix. It’s not clear how quickly the Rockies or anyone else can come to an agreement.

Cuddyer has spent his entire Major League career with the Twins, who made him a three-year offer. It was believed that the Twins were no longer a possibility when outfielder Josh Willingham signed for three years and $21 million. But multiple reports said the Twins had not dropped out of the running.

The Rockies’ prime focus is Cuddyer. The team has expressed interest in six-time All-Star outfielder Carlos Beltran, but he is considered a longshot for the Rockies, mainly because of health concerns. Beltran has dealt with serious knee issues, including arthroscopic surgeries on both of them before the 2007 season and a further surgery on the right knee in 2010. The Mets had to be careful with his playing time early last season. Beltran put up strong numbers after being traded to the Giants for their lat-season run. However, the Giants have not signed him even though they have a need in the outfield.

Cody Ross remains a possibility to be signed to work in a tandem in left field with Seth Smith. If Cuddyer is signed, expect the Rockies to attempt to trade Smith to fill other holes.

– Thomas Harding

Cuddyer, Rox continue to talk

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

Padres land Street, might not be done

The Padres nearly-singular focus during these Winter Meetings have been finding a closer to replace Heath Bell, who signed a three-year deal worth $27 million with the Marlins on Monday.

General manager Josh Byrnes believes he filled that role Wednesday after trading for former Rockies closer Huston Street, sending a Minor League player to be named later to Colorado in exchange for the 28-year-old Street and cash.

But just because the Padres have scratched the top item off their winter to-do list doesn’t mean they’re finished with business here in Dallas.

Byrnes indicated that something could be in the works later Wednesday or possibly Thursday, even as he heads back to San Diego and later Phoenix.

The Padres still needed something that resembles an eighth-inning specialist, though Byrnes said talks in that regards had made “adequate progress but not substantial [progress].”

Could the Padres be looking for a position player? An option for the bench? Stayed tuned, business continues after these Winter Meetings and the Padres still have work to do on the roster before Spring Training.

– Corey Brock

12/7 Cubs, Rockies reportedly talking

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

Padres set to acquire Street from Rockies

On Monday, the Padres official lost closer Heath Bell, as the three-time All-Star completed his deal with the Marlins.

It didn’t take the Padres long to find a replacement.

On Wednesday morning, the Padres were putting the finishing touches on a deal with the Rockies for closer Huston Street.

The deal is believed to be for a player to be named with the Rockies picking up a good chunk of the $7.5 million he’s owed for 2012.

Oddly enough, Bell made $7.5 million last season, though he was due for a raise after the Padres offered him arbitration. Instead, he received a three-year deal (with a fourth year vesting) for $27 million.

More later at Padres.com.

– Corey Brock

Cubs’ interest in Rox’s Stewart wanes

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

Rockies agree to acquire Slowey from Twins

DALLAS — The Rockies have agreed to acquire right-handed pitcher Kevin Slowey from the Twins for a player to be named.

Slowey, 27, is coming off a difficult 2011 in which he struggled a switch to the bullpen early, battled forearm and abdominal injuries, and finished the year 0-6 with a 6.67 ERA in 14 appearances, including eight starts.

Slowey went 13-6 with a 4.45 ERA in 30 games, 28 starts, in 2010.

– Thomas Harding

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