Results tagged ‘ Royals ’
Pretty much since he took the job over the offseason, Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto has viciously tried to fend off rumors that the club considers center fielder Peter Bourjos — currently without an everyday role — a trade chip.
That took place again on Wednesday, in the midst of a couple of reports — from Jon Heyman and Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com — saying that Bourjos is available for the right deal. Dipoto publicly denied that once again, saying: “At no point have we offered Peter Bourjos for anyone, starter or reliever.”
The Angels are indeed looking for pitching, for the bullpen and rotation, and they’ve been linked to a bevy of player, like Francisco Liriano, Jonathan Broxton and, of course, Zack Greinke and Cole Hamels. But you can probably throw out 50 other names that the Angels have considered, tabled, had talks about and sent advanced scouts to watch. The Angels have been looking to upgrade the bullpen — particularly with another left-hander — for a while now.
As for starting pitching? The health of Dan Haren could go a long way in deciding how aggressive they get in that pursuit — and, perhaps, whether Bourjos is in fact dealt.
Here’s what Dipoto said when asked about how important the next week, with Haren returning and Ervin Santana making a couple of tough starts, is to their starting-pitching pursuit …
“We just want to get [Haren] back 100 percent healthy to compete. And we feel, and I’ve been very forthright with that, that he’s the best addition we can make. We anticipate that that’s the case. And in Ervin’s case, it’s not as simple as just determining where he is in the next two starts. Ervin’s got a history of being a better second-half performer than first. It’s the way it looks from last year. I’m just looking at his track record, what he does. And we’re not two starts away from kicking Ervin Santana out the door. Ervin’s going to be in our rotation. The Ervin component is not going to have any effect on what we do at all.”
The Royals had a scout at Comerica Park on Tuesday, and word is Kansas City is interested in designated hitter Kendrys Morales — despite the presence of Eric Hosmer and Billy Butler.
“We have nothing significant or imminent at this time,” Dipoto said. “Like everybody is, we’re just doing our due diligence.”
– Alden Gonzalez
The New York Post reports the Dodgers as the favorite to land Ryan Dempster before the Trade Deadline with the Tigers seen as “strong pursuers” and the Red Sox as long shots. FOX Sports reports the Cubs are exchanging names with teams interested in Dempster. The Red Sox are also interested in Matt Garza.
The Chicago Tribune noted on Wednesday that Stephen Fife, who made his ML debut, is a former Red Sox prospect who could be included in a Dempster-to-Dodgers deal. Fife, 25, filled in for injured Chad Billingsley, and gave up one run over six innings Tuesday night. The Dodgers acquired him from the Red Sox last summer in the Trayvon Robinson deal. A sinkerball pitcher, he’d be a good fit at Wrigley. Dempster has a 1.86 ERA, tops in the Majors.
CBSSports.com reported the Royals have inquired about Garza. They have had a scout at this week’s Cubs games. Dempster is in the last year of his $14 million contract, and, essentially a rental player for the final months of this year. Garza is under team control for 2013.
– Carrie Muskat
Despite their woeful record, the Royals could be looking to add pieces at the Trade Deadline, hoping to turn them into big pickups for next year’s campaign.
According to Danny Knobler over at CBSSports.com, the Royals have asked the Cubs about the availability of starting pitcher Matt Garza.
Garza has made 17 starts for the Cubs this season, holding a 5-7 record and a 4.02 ERA. He’s struck out 93 batters in 100 2/3 innings pitched.
There’s no doubt that the Royals could use starting pitching, a fact that’s been true most of this season but highlighted recently by back-to-back rough outings by Jonathan Sanchez and Ryan Verdugo.
Sanchez was designated for assignment Tuesday after allowing seven runs in 1 1/3 innings Monday against the Mariners. He had won just one game on the season and had a gigantic ERA of 7.76 in 12 starts.
Verdugo was called up for an emergency spot start Tuesday but didn’t fare much better than Sanchez, surrendering six runs to Seattle in 1 2/3 innings.
Additionally, Danny Duffy and Felipe Paulino are both out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, and they’re not expected back until the middle of next season.
– Vinnie Duber
ANAHEIM – Albert Pujols has said that his first Opening Day at-bat is one of very few times he’ll ever feel nervous on a baseball field – along with his first at-bat of Spring Training and his first at-bat of the playoffs.
But Friday night didn’t feel like just any Opening Day for the premier slugger. It was his first under the weight of a $240 million contract, his first without a Cardinals jersey on, and his first in front of a West-coast fan base eager to see great things.
Afterwards, Pujols maintained, it was no different.
“It was the same nerves I’ve been going through my first 11 years in the big leagues,” he said after going 0-for-3 with a strikeout and an intentional walk. “It’s just something that my dad told me – if you don’t go through that, whether it’s when you walk in early to the park and get ready, excited for the game, he always told me you ain’t ready. I knew I was ready because I was going through that, and I wanted to do something special. But that’s the way it goes. We got a win. I think that’s the most important thing.”
The Angels drew a sold-out crowd, as expected, on Opening Night against the Royals – an eventual 5-0 win sparked by a Jered Weaver gem and an eighth-inning surge.
Three hours before game time, the parking lot was almost full. When gates opened at 5 p.m. PT, a sea of red flooded in. And when players were introduced, the noise was almost deafening.
In many ways, it was a typical Opening Day for the Angels.
In many ways – because of the expectations and buzz surrounding the Pujols and C.J. Wilson signings – it wasn’t.
“For sure, this is the most exciting it’s been in the area for the Angels,” said Jared Pfeifer, a long-time Angels fan who resides in Yorba Linda, Calif. “I have never seen more people wearing Angels gear in one area my entire life.”
The opening ceremonies included a David Cook National Anthem, ceremonial first pitches thrown out by three members of the 2002 World Series team – Tim Salmon, David Eckstein and Troy Percival – and a C17 flyover.
Before that, an announced crowd of 44,106 provided a loud ovation for Pujols, who doffed his cap from the third-base line in appreciation.
“They were excited,” Pujols said. “They couldn’t wait until this day. Neither could we. We were looking forward to it, and it was great to come up with the win today.”
Angels fans have been jubilant about their club before.
There was that inspiring run to the 2002 World Series. There was the signings of Vladimir Guerrero and Don Baylor. The trades for Rod Carew and Nolan Ryan.
But this, perhaps, is different.
“This is definitely the most excited I’ve ever been going into a season,” added Adam Rank of Huntington Beach, Calif. “There’s just a lot of really high expectations.”
– Alden Gonzalez
Not much cooking for the Royals as Tuesday’s second day of the Winter Meetings wound down.
“It’s been slow, it really has,” general manager Dayton Moore said.
A search for a situational left-handed reliever isn’t likely to be resolved through a free-agent signing.
“I think it’s going to have to come through a trade or within, from the guys we currently have on the roster, whether it be Tim Collins or Everett Teaford or Ryan Verdugo or Aaron Laffey. Those are guys who are going to get long looks in Spring Training,” Moore said. “Every single one of those pitchers has options so if we acquire somebody who gives us more depth or is more of lock at the Major League level it’s something we would look at. But, as I’ve said, it’s not an easy ‘get.’ “
The Royals haven’t been shy in contacting other clubs about possibilities for deals. “We’ve talked to basically all of them – either myself or one of our people have touched base with everybody,” Moore said.
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
In the market for starting pitchers, the Royals are taking a look at free-agent Roy Oswalt and are expected to meet with his agent during the General Managers Meetings going on in Milwaukee, according to ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick.
Oswalt was 9-10 with a 3.69 ERA for the Phillies last season but was limited to 23 starts by back problems. Despite that, the 34-year-old right-hander’s agent, Bob Garber, is looking for a long-term deal.
That probably wouldn’t be a logical move for the Royals who are trying to avoid long-term commitments to veterans who might not fit in the optimistic future of a very young club. But general manager Dayton Moore has made it clear that he’s willing to explore all possibilities.
The Yankees, Nationals and Diamondbacks reportedly have interest in Oswalt. Garber also represents free agent starter C.J. Wilson but he seems far out of the Royals’ price range.
With the trade of infielder Mike Aviles to the Red Sox, the Royals have moved both of the third baseman that started the season as alternating regulars. Earlier, Wilson Betemet was dealt to the Tigers.
With less than 24 hours to go to the Trade Deadline, general manager Dayton Moore said he had no other deals pending. As he duly noted, something could pop up but apparently nothing more was in the Royals’ sights as the countdown headed for the final hours.
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.
Now that the Royals have cracked the Trade Deadline by dealing third baseman Wilson Betemit, can something else be in the works? Like a deal for closer Joakim Soria?
Not very likely, according to what general manager Dayton Moore told the Kansas City Star as he tempered a suggestion he made on MLB Network Radio that the asking price for Soria would be two impact starting pitchers, one ready now and one by 2013. Moore told the newspaper he was only suggesting any trade for Soria would command “a heavy price.” Certainly the Royals’ prime need is starting pitchers but that doesn’t make them any different from most clubs.
Just a couple of days ago, Moore told MLB.com he was rather happy with the makeup of his current club including such younger veteran outfielders as Jeff Francoeur and Melky Cabrera, who might attract interest. He didn’t seem like an overly eager “seller.”
The Betemit deal, though, made sense because with Mike Moustakas taking over third base, there was no spot for him.