Results tagged ‘ tigers ’
We’re about 24 hours away from Wednesday’s non-waiver Trade Deadline, and it still has been a pretty quiet week. Some wheels were evidently set in motion on Tuesday afternoon, so let’s take a look at where some things stand around 5 p.m. ET:
- White Sox starter Jake Peavy and Astros starter Bud Norris were both scratched from their Tuesday starts, and rumors started flying. The D-backs have interest in Peavy — Arizona GM Kevin Towers has history with the right-hander dating back to their San Diego days — along with a handful of other clubs with starting pitching needs.
- The Phillies called up third base prospect Cody Asche, prompting rumors about Michael Young leaving town, but Young was slotted into Tuesday’s starting lineup when it was first unveiled this afternoon. There have been reports that Young’s no-trade clause would be waived only for a deal to the Rangers, though MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reported a Texas reunion is “unlikely” and the Red Sox and Orioles have also been tied to Young. And on top of the Young chatter, there are still rumors flying about Chase Utley, Jonathan Papelbon and Cliff Lee.
- Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski told reporters on Tuesday afternoon that the Jose Veras deal was the big one that Detroit wanted to take care of, and the Tigers are not looking for a bat (even with shortstop Jhonny Peralta looking at a possible suspension with his ties to Bioegenesis). Javier Lopez and Kevin Gregg are other bullpen names that have been floated in connection with the Tigers.
- A league source tells MLB.com‘s Joe Frisaro that if there’s any darkhorse team who could put together the right package to land Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton, it would be the Red Sox.
- Even with a wealth of quality relievers, it might be a quiet Trade Deadline for the Padres.
- The Cubs have already dealt away some big pieces, and manager Dale Sveum says that any rumors about starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija being the next to go are “far-fetched.” Kevin Gregg and right fielder Nate Schierholtz could be a different story, though.
– Joey Nowak
The Cubs are one of the teams to make an offer to free agent pitcher Anibal Sanchez, but reports that the deal is done are not true. According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports and MLB Network, the Cubs did discuss a five-year, $75 million deal with Sanchez. However, the Tigers are still in the mix. Sanchez, 28, would give the Cubs a more competitive rotation next season, and the team does have money to spend. However, what Sanchez has to weigh is that the Cubs are still in rebuilding mode. He began the 2012 season with the Marlins and was dealt to the Tigers in July. Sanchez finished 4-6 with a 3.74 ERA, and was 1-2 with a 1.77 ERA in the postseason. If he joined the Cubs, he’d be inserted into a rotation that includes Jeff Samardzija, Matt Garza, Travis Wood and newcomers Scott Baker and Scott Feldman. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported the Cubs and Sanchez deal was done, but sources have confirmed that’s not the case.
– Carrie Muskat
As the offseason ensues, and the chances of Torii Hunter returning to the Angels continues to look awfully bleak, the list of potential suitors for the veteran right fielder continues to grow.
On Monday, CBSSports.com reported that as many as 13-14 teams have checked in on Hunter, with the Tigers, Rangers and Braves being the most aggressive. The Dodgers are out on Hunter, according to ESPNLosAngeles.com, which said Hunter will make a decision on his 2013 destination within the next couple weeks.
As for the Angels? They haven’t offered Hunter anything more than a one-year, $5 million contract since mid-September, a source said, because they have plenty of depth in their outfield and need to allocate funds to shore up their pitching — specifically a rotation that has only two 2012 members guaranteed to return and a bullpen that blew 22 saves.
General manager Jerry Dipoto previously admitted that it’s “not likely” Hunter returns, and Hunter’s agent, Larry Reynolds, echoed those same thoughts. They could free up more money for Hunter if they get something back on the $42 million owed to Vernon Wells over the next two seasons, but that doesn’t seem favorable right now, either.
Hunter, 37, batted a career-high .313 with 16 homers and 92 RBIs in 2012. His production, health and athleticism at this stage in his career, coupled with his leadership and character, make him an appealing, affordable free agent. So does not having to give up a Draft pick to sign him, since the Angels didn’t tender a $13.3 million qualifying offer to Hunter.
“My plan is to win no matter what, and of course I’m going to try to get with a ballclub that’s trying to win,” Hunter recently told MLB.com. “That’s the plan.”
As Monday’s trade with the Tigers showed, the underachieving Marlins are sellers this July.
And that shifts the focus partly to Josh Johnson, the ace pitcher whose deal expires after the 2013 season.
Angels director of pro scouting Hal Morris was in Miami on Monday night, watching as Johnson gave up just one hit and struck out nine in six innings against the Braves. The Angels would no doubt love to get their hands on Johnson, who was having a disappointing year coming off surgery shoulder surgery before that outing (5-7, 4.35 ERA) but no doubt provides an instant upgrade to the rotation.
Johnson is one of many arms the Angels would consider, though — along with guys like James Shields, Matt Garza, Francisco Liriano and, as mentioned frequently, Cole Hamels and Zack Greinke.
If the Angels are to add a starter, though, the preference would be to add someone who’s under contract for more than just the next two months (like Shields, Garza and Johnson).
Any deal for Johnson would probably have to include center fielder Peter Bourjos, who the Marlins have targeted for quite a while.
– Alden Gonzalez
- The Cubs’ Ryan Dempster is said to be attracting a lot of trade interest. The Dodgers are one team that has proposed a deal for the veteran right-handed pitcher, according to Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com. The Cubs would like to add young pitching in return. Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports reported that the two clubs were “having somewhat constructive conversations” about a deal by Thursday but that the Tigers and Braves figure to be among the other teams vying for Dempster.
- Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com tweeted that teams also are expressing interest in two other Cubs, infielder Jeff Baker and outfielder Reed Johnson, who could serve as right-handed bats off the bench.
- Rosenthal and colleague Jon Morosi also reported that the Pirates, Red Sox and Tigers are among the clubs pursuing D-backs shortstop Stephen Drew. The Pirates are still after Arizona outfielder Justin Upton as well, according to Morosi.
- The Tigers, Rangers and Pirates are a few of the teams that have asked the Rockies about second baseman Marco Scutaro, according to the Denver Post. With Colorado in last place in the NL West, the team also could deal relievers such as closer Rafael Betancourt, as well as catchers Ramon Hernandez and Wil Nieves.
- Teams interested in outfielder Carlos Quentin and closer Huston Street of the Padres might end up disappointed. San Diego plans to sign both players to long-term deals before the trade deadline, reported Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
- The Twins will look to acquire pitching in exchange for surging lefty Francisco Liriano, wrote Scott Miller of CBSSports.com. The Yankees, Mets, Angels, Braves, Blue Jays and Red Sox highlight the group looking into Liriano.
– Andrew Simon
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
What went into the decision to keep Ellsbury in the leadoff spot? “Jacoby? Obviously we talk about the lineup as a group. It seems like in this grouping he looks really good being there and I also thought it would be apropos for you guys to write about the number one and number two in the MVP voting facing each other on a first pitch here in Detroit this year. And he liked it too. Talking to him, he kind of relished the idea.”
How can Ellsbury have another year like last year? “By taking it one pitch at a time. Obviously today, at the end of today, he’s not going to have the stats that he had at the end of last year. And, you know, the trap everyone always falls into is answering all those questions. How are you going to do better this year than you did last year? You start thinking that you have to hit a home run every time and a triple the next time and two doubles and steal bases, drive in the runs, all at once, and that’s not how it happens.” Read more
The Tigers indeed had interest in Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski confirmed Monday, and had contract talks with agent Adam Katz. However, Dombrowski said, they eventually determined they weren’t going to meet their contract demands.
Cespedes agreed to terms Monday with the Oakland A’s on a four-year contract worth $36 million, passing on a reported six-year offer worth the same amount from the Florida Marlins. It ended a courtship that supposedly involved more than a half-dozen teams and made Cespedes baseball’s highest-profile free agent left on the market for the last couple weeks.
The interest was high enough that Dombrowski traveled to the Dominican Republic to personally watch Cespedes work out.
“We liked him,” Dombrowski told MLB.com Monday in a phone interview. “We talked contract with him, but we were not in a position to pay for him the amount they wanted.”
For a good part of the offseason, Cespedes was believed to be the Tigers’ top free-agent target. Dombrowski was one of about a half-dozen top Tigers officials to see Cespedes, either in workouts last November or at international tournaments over the last couple years. Last month, Cespedes listed the Tigers among a half-dozen teams showing the most interest in him.
The fact that the Tigers kept their comments limited on Cespedes, and the fact that Detroit didn’t get heavily involved on high-profile free agents early in the offseason, added to the intrigue.
That level of interest didn’t change after the Tigers signed Prince Fielder last month, Dombrowski said. However, he cautioned, they determined pretty soon where their talks were heading, despite reports labeling them among the favorites.
“I really wouldn’t have ruled us as a favorite to sign him, based upon where some of our preliminary conversations went with his agent,” Dombrowski said.
Those early talks apparently showed where Cespedes wanted to go — not just in terms of annual salary, but the length of contract. Dombrowski confirmed that a four-year deal was a big point, since it would allow him to hit the free-agent market sooner rather than later.
“That was pretty much always something that they outlined,” Dombrowski said. “If you were going to sign him, you would have to agree to that.”
With Cespedes off the market, the Tigers are now set with their position roster. Dombrowski said they were likely set before Cespedes signed, believing they weren’t likely to add him.
Katz told MLB Network Radio on Monday afternoon that the Marlins were the only team that met Cespedes in person during his visit to Miami last week.
– Jason Beck
Credit Angela Wittrock of MLive.com for getting Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski to mention Prince Fielder by name during the Tigers’ winter caravan stop Thursday afternoon at the Michigan state capitol in Lansing. He normally doesn’t do that with free agents.
Dombrowski’s answer on the subject went about as expected.
“Of course we’d consider Prince Fielder,” Dombrowski is quoted as saying. “But realistically, it’s probably not a good fit.”
Agent Scott Boras, Dombrowski reportedly said, probably wouldn’t agree to a one-year contract, and that’s the kind of deal the Tigers are seeking to replace Victor Martinez, who suffered what is expected to be a season-ending knee injury last week.
“We anticipate Victor Martinez coming back in 2013 and playing at the level he was at last season,” Dombrowski said.
As witnessed from the Johnny Damon saga two years ago, Boras has a talent for negotiating directly with owners. But given that experience, it’s hard to imagine Dombrowski making his remarks without feeling highly confident that’s not going to change.
“I would just say the fit is really not there at this point,” Dombrowski said.
Realistically, if Fielder can get a long-term deal somewhere else, it’s hard to envision him passing it up. And if Boras can take the Tigers’ desire for a one-year fix and tie it to another of his many free-agent hitters, Boras could be in better shape.
– Jason Beck
Joel Zumaya’s comeback isn’t going to happen in Detroit, but he’s going to a very familiar place. The hard-throwing, injury-riddled reliever has agreed to terms with the Minnesota Twins, Zumaya told MLB.com.
The deal reached Saturday gives Zumaya the roster spot he wanted going into Spring Training with a bullpen that could use his services. He could make anywhere from $800,000 to $1.7 million depending on appearance-based incentives. The Twins can part ways out of camp and owe Zumaya about half his full salary.
A Twins official would neither confirm nor deny the deal to MLB.com, but said they’ve been in negotiations since December.
Zumaya had what he called “good offers” from three other clubs, but the Twins included guaranteed money rather than a minor league deal with a Spring Training invite. If he’s healthy, they’ll bring him to the same mound at Target Field where he last threw a Major League pitch. He fractured his elbow throwing for the Tigers against the Twins on June 28, 2010.
As it turns out, that was his last appearance as a Tiger. Though the Tigers had an offer out to him for a minor-league contract with a non-roster invitation to Spring Training, they made it clear they weren’t going to guarantee him a spot. Zumaya told MLB.com in November he was most likely moving on, and in the end, the Tigers were not on his short list.
Zumaya joins a Twins bullpen in transition. having lost closer Joe Nathan to the Rangers earlier in the offseason. Minnesota re-signed Matt Capps at closer and returns Glen Perkins coming off an impressive season of middle and late-inning work, but while Perkins blossomed into a high-strikeout lefty last year, the Twins haven’t had a truly overpowering reliever in a while.
If Zumaya’s healthy, he has that potential. Though he hasn’t topped 32 games or 40 innings in a season since his impressive rookie season of 2006, he has been an effective reliever when he hasn’t been hurt. He was showing flashes of his old form in 2010 before he was hurt, striking out 34 batters over 38 1/3 innings while allowing 32 hits and posting a 2.58 ERA.
Zumaya underwent surgery after that July injury to repair a fractured bone at the tip of his elbow, a procedure that included inserting a screw to hold the elbow together. He had to undergo a follow-up surgery to replace the screw after complaining of elbow pain last Spring Training.
The surgery cost Zumaya the entire 2011 season. He threw for interested teams last month and reportedly hit the mid-90s on the radar gun. Since then, Zumaya and his agents, Randy and Alan Hendricks, have been negotiating with clubs, trying to land him a Major League contract in a situation where he could fit into a good bullpen role.
– Jason Beck