Results tagged ‘ Seth Smith ’
SAN DIEGO — The Indians and the Tigers have emerged as the most aggressive teams in talks with the Rockies about their ace pitcher, Ubaldo Jimenez. Of course, the Rockies want to extract a price that thus far several teams have decided not to pay.
For a time this week the Reds were the most prominent rumor, but starting pitchers Homer Bailey and Travis Wood, and either top catching prospect Devin Mesoroco or 100 mph-plus mph lefty Aroldis Chapman was too rich a ransom for a team below .500. The Yankees and Red Sox have made inquiries, and how aggressively you believe depends on which tweet or report you trust most.
The latest report from Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal has the Tigers willing to include righty prospect Jacob Turner, with Major League pitchers Rick Porcello and Max Scherzer being mentioned as possibly heading to the Mountains. The Indians have talked about not being willing to mortgage the future. However, there are at least indications that two prized pitching prospects, lefty pitcher Drew Pomeranz (at Double-A Akron) and righty pitcher Alex White (at Triple-A Columbus, but headed to Akron on a rehab assignment for a right middle finger injury) are in play. The Indians will not deal prized prospects for rental players, but Jimenez would be under club control through 2014.
The Rockies have shown no inclination to come down on their high price of Major League pitching and a top-of-the-line young player or prospect.
Jimenez is set to pitch for the Rockies on Saturday against the Padres.
In other trade-related news, the Rockies have been willing to discuss everyone except shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, outfielder Carlos Gonzalez and first baseman Todd Helton. Right fielder Seth Smith, who has proven to be a solid gap-to-gap hitter against right-handed pitching, is drawing the interest of multiple teams. The Rockies also are expected to see if they can find a taker for onetime top Draft pick Ian Stewart, a third baseman having a woeful offensive year.
– Thomas Harding
Rockies third baseman Ian Stewart was healthy enough to be on the roster for the Friday afternoon opener against the D-backs, but not healthy enough to start.
Ty Wigginton, signed as a free agent during the offseason, gets the start at third, and Jose Lopez, acquired in a trade with the Mariners, will start at second.
There had been talk of infield utility man Jonathan Herrera, who had an outstanding spring, (.371, four triples) getting the nod, possibly ahead of Lopez, but that was not to be. Herrera will be a versatile hitter off the bench.
Here’s the lineup:
Dexter Fowler, CF
Seth Smith, RF
Carlos Gonzalez, LF
Troy Tulowitzki, SS
Todd Helton, 1B
Ty Wigginton, 3B
Jose Lopez, 2B
Chris Iannetta, C
Ubaldo Jimenez, P
– Thomas Harding
Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd has said it’s doubtful he can land a big bat, but he’s trying. According to The Denver Post, the Rockies have aggressively pursued switch-hitting Lance Berkman to play the outfield corners and occasionally spell Todd Helton at first base.
The key here would be Berkman’s desire to return to the National League. Berkman saw a dramatic drop in his power with the Astros and Yankees last season, although finished he year with the Yankees as a designated hitter on an upswing as far as average is concerned.
An important aspect of the pursuit of Berkman, according to the Post, is Helton would be on board with bringing in Berkman. The two have the same agent. Helton helped the Rockies recruit Jason Giambi as his backup last season, but by season’s end Helton admitted not playing nearly every game was difficult. Still, the Rockies need a solid alternative, given Helton’s history of back problems and his age.
The Rockies desire a right-handed corner bat, preferably one that can play some first base. Berkman has more power from the left than from the right, but he fits — if the price is right. The Cardinals, Blue Jays and Athletics also have pursued Berkman.
The Mariners’ Jose Lopez, if he’s non-tendered, Jorge Cantu, whom the Rockies considered trading for last season, and Troy Glaus are acknowledged targets. The Rockies also are looking at the Athletics, who appear to be deciding whether to non-tender Edwin Encarnacion or Colorado native Kevin Kouzmanoff.
Some current Rockies will no doubt be watching the situation closely. Third baseman Ian Stewart and outfielders Seth Smith and Ryan Spilborghs could potentially lose playing time, depending on who is signed. Interestingly, the Rockies hired Carney Lansford as hitting coach and charged him with the task of waking up the bats of all three. Stewart and Smith didn’t meet the club’s expectations for production last year. Spilborghs finished strong but struggled with strikeouts early.
– Thomas Harding