Results tagged ‘ trade deadline ’
The Jake Peavy-to-St. Louis rumors picked up steam on Tuesday, perhaps more than the actual negotiations did.
The connection between Peavy and the Cardinals, who have targeted the Red Sox right-hander before, began late on Monday, when Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com reported that St. Louis had a scout at Sunday’s Red Sox-Orioles game, which Peavy started. Jayson Stark of ESPN.com later added that a deal between Boston and St. Louis could happen “quick.”
The reports, however, come just a day after Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak downplayed the club’s interest in the pitching market. Mozeliak said that most clubs willing to deal starters before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline were also looking for starting pitching in return. The tradeoff would be a loss in years of control for the Cardinals, who covet their young pitching.
“I think that would just make it problematic, so for us we feel pretty good where we’re at from a pitching standpoint,” Mozeliak said on Monday. “We expect to get [Joe] Kelly back at some point and feel pretty confident that those five [once Michael Wacha returns] can be successful.”
The Cardinals appear more interested in upgrading on the offensive side, since they believe Wacha will return to the rotation this season. Kelly could be back as early as Friday, and Carlos Martinez has held his own as a starter since being thrust into the role.
Peavy is owed about $7 million this season and will be a free agent at year’s end. The Cardinals would not be in line to collect any compensation for his departure, which makes it highly unlikely that they would part with any of their top talent to complete such an acquisition.
– Jenifer Langosch
The Cardinals find themselves bunched in the middle of the National League Central and still waiting for an underachieving club to start playing up to potential. The defending NL champs have plenty of room for improvement, yet they don’t necessarily have clarity in how to identify those needs.
The club has thus far been anchored by its rotation, though recent injuries to Jaime Garcia and Michael Wacha thinned that depth. Joe Kelly is poised to come off the disabled list later this week, and the Cardinals remain optimistic that Wacha will return next month. (Garcia is done for the year.) An MRI taken on Wacha’s shoulder on Monday revealed healing, but not enough for the righty to resume throwing. The Cardinals will reevaluate in two weeks.
Asked how Wacha’s status could affect the team’s Trade Deadline strategy, general manager John Mozeliak said: “It really doesn’t affect it one way or the other.”
He then elaborated.
“Well, we expect to get Kelly back at some point and feel pretty confident that those five can be successful,” Mozeliak said. “There are probably very few pitchers we could go out and acquire without having to give up one of those to begin with. I think that would just make it problematic, so for us we feel pretty good where we’re at from a pitching standpoint.”
Seeking to upgrade offensively would make a lot of sense for the Cardinals, who are at or near the bottom of the NL in runs scored, home runs and slugging percentage. But then the question becomes where to find the fit? Not only do the Cardinals have to find a seller who is not asking for a gaggle of prospects, but Mozeliak has to figure out where another bat would go.
The club is already struggling to find playing time for all its outfielders now that Oscar Taveras has been recalled. Across the infield, the only obvious opening would be to add someone at second or third and have Matt Carpenter play the other of those two positions. The Cardinals do not, though, want to block Kolten Wong for the long-term, so that, too could be troublesome.
“Certainly when you look at the sort of teams that are willing to trade players, there’s just not too many of them right now,” Mozeliak said. “Look, we’ll stay active on it, but as you guys know, that’s not something I report on, our day-to-day strategy, or who we’re talking to. If we’re able to do something to help the club we’re certainly going to try.
“I think you could say we could worry about a lot of things. The right strategy is if we think there’s an opportunity to improve, we’ll try. We’re not going to make a bad decision just in a panic situation.”
Perhaps a little more time will provide a bit more clarity.
– Jenifer Langosch
Jason Vargas would figure to be one of the more attractive arms leading up to the non-waiver Trade Deadline. He’s a free agent at season’s end, he’d cost the pro-rated share of $8.5 million this season, he’s on an Angels team that enters the second half nine games out of the final playoff spot and, well, he’s a solid left-handed starting pitcher.
Problem: He may still be on the disabled list by the time the non-waiver Trade Deadline comes and goes.
Vargas has been on the shelf since June 21 with a blood clot near his left armpit area. He had surgery, took two weeks off from throwing a baseball and has progressed since then, currently playing catch from 140 feet. But he has yet to get off a mound, and after he does that, he’ll likely have to go on a rehab assignment.
And the Trade Deadline is 13 days away.
“He’s got a little more work to do long-tossing before he can get on the mound,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “We’ll evaluate him through this next week.”
– Alden Gonzalez
The last-place Padres, 11 1/2 games back in the National League West, don’t appear to be buyers as the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline nears, general manager Josh Byrnes told UT-San Diego:
“I think the one thing our recent play has done is it doesn’t make sense for us to go for a rental,” Byrnes told the newspaper. “To say that we make a trade to bring in somebody who is on our team now and helping us but we also have beyond this year, we’re certainly knocking on those doors.”
Also, on Wednesday, Jon Heyman reported the Yankees inquired about Padres third baseman Chase Headley, but San Diego told the Yanks there wasn’t a fit.
Heyman also speculates that the Twins will retain manager Ron Gardenhire after his contract runs out this year. Twins general manger Terry Ryan recently told MLB.com Gardy’s job is not in jeopardy:
“There’s no validity to it,” Ryan said of a recent column in the Minneapolis Star Tribune speculating the ending of Gardenhire’s tenure. “He and I are the leadership of this organization, and we take accountability. He is basically in the clubhouse and in the dugout, and I’m in charge of the whole operation, and we both are feeling like we’re letting the people down. It’s as simple as that.”
In International news, one day after MLB.com reported Cuban right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez could sign with a club as early as next week, the El Nuevo Herald reported 24-year-old pitcher Misael Siverio has defected from Cuba.
“It is not easy leaving behind what is yours, but after a giving it a lot of thought I made this decision for my future and for my family,” Silverio told the paper. “My dream, of course, is to make the Major Leagues, and starting today I will start doing what I need to do to accomplish that.”
- Cash Kruth
A source told CBSSports.com’s Danny Knobler the Dodgers are “getting close” to acquiring right-hander Ricky Nolasco from the Marlins, a deal first reported by Ken Rosenthal of Foxsports.com.
Knobler reports the Dodgers would send three Minor Leaguers to Miami and also absorb the remaining money on Nolasco’s $11.5 salary this season.
Nolasco, 30, has been linked to nearly all National League West teams in the past few weeks. The right-hander is 5-8 with a 3.85 ERA in 18 starts this season.
If the deal goes down, Nolasco would fit in behind Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu in the Dodgers rotation.
- Cash Kruth
CBS Sports.com and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported Tuesday that the Dodgers could be interested in Phillies second baseman Chase Utley — a Pasadena, Calif., native who played collegiately at UCLA.
Heyman notes it’s unclear whether the Dodgers have contacted the Phillies, though Los Angeles is believed to be looking for infield help because of Mark Ellis’ struggles and Juan Uribe’s lackluster play.
Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti declined to talk with Heyman about any players not in the Dodgers system, while the Phillies and general manager Ruben Amaro are still hoping to turn around their season.
Utley, who is hitting .284/.348/.517 with 11 home runs, recently told MLB.com he is aware he might be shopped.
“Any time you’re at the end of your contract and your team isn’t doing as well as it could be doing, your name is going to be out there in trade talks,” Utley said. “I get it. Everyone in this clubhouse gets it. We still have a month to play. We can put ourselves back in contention pretty easily. But we’ve got to play good baseball.”
- Cash Kruth
Ryan Dempster’s scoreless inning streak ended Friday while the countdown continued for how long he will remain with the Cubs. Dempster, who was being aggressively pursued by several teams prior to the July 31 Trade Deadline, served up four runs on seven hits and two walks over six innings in the Cubs’ 4-1 loss to the Cardinals. His ERA rose to 2.11, but it’s still best in the National League. He’s aware of the rumors.
“I’m not naive,” Dempster said. “I realize everything that’s going on. I’m well aware [a trade] can happen at any minute. I’m not going to walk on eggshells or worry about that. I can only focus on what I can focus on, and that’s going out there today and trying to pitch and do my job. Now my focus is to work hard tomorrow and get ready five days from now.”
Perhaps the reason he can be so calm is that Dempster is calling the shots. As a player with 10 years in the big leagues and five with the same team, he can veto any deal.
“It’s awesome being the hammer and not the nail,” Dempster said.
He didn’t take the mound at Busch Stadium thinking it might be his last start for the Cubs.
“Maybe that’s why I’m not so uneasy about it because at the end of the day, it’s my decision,” he said.
Was it his last start for the Cubs? Dempster most likely didn’t follow the rumors on Twitter on Friday, which ranged from him being dealt hours before his start, to talks dragging out for a few days.
“[The media] has a job to do and I understand that,” Dempster said of the rumors. “For me, it’s just business as usual and I have to do what I have to do. Nothing has changed for me. I have to go out and get ready for my next start. I’m sure if they have something of any substance to it, they’ll come up and ask me, but until then, I just worry about what I can do.”
He doesn’t hesitate when his phone rings.
“I’m hoping its Publisher’s Clearing House — Ed McMahon maybe,” he said.
Here’s the real shocker — despite all the rumors, Dempster could end up staying with the Cubs.
“If I’m going to go, I want to go win,” Dempster said. “For right now, I’m a member of this team and I want to do the best I can to be a good teammate and go out there and do my job when I’m asked to do my job.”
– Carrie Muskat
That hasn’t really been decided yet.
Since Carlos Beltran officially joined the Giants on Thursday, no big moves have been made — at least not as of late afternoon on Friday. So, with the non-waiver Trade Deadline now less than two days away, and lots of big names remaining, we’re almost bracing for an avalanche of deals to be carved out just in time.
Before then, here are Friday’s biggest rumors …
* Ubaldo Jimenez is still the big ace that’s apparently being dangled, but nobody seems to have stepped up. Jon Heyman of SI.com and MLB Network said the Red Sox are aggressively pursuing Jimenez, the Yankees are “lurking,” and the Indians, Reds and Blue Jays are also in the mix. Jayson Stark of ESPN.com then stated that the Yankees’ interest has waned, and the Indians are the ones emerging.
* The Astros remain in “intense” trade talks for Hunter Pence, according to MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. Pence was removed from Thursday’s lineup because of a potential trade, McTaggart added, and said a direct two-team deal remains general manager Ed Wade‘s preference. The Phillies have made Pence their top target, but how much are they willing to give up?
* The Tigers are a contending team, and they need starting pitching. That’s no secret. The question is who they can get — or better yet, who can they get without giving up top prospect Jacob Turner? One way or another, MLB.com’s Jason Beck wrote, the Tigers’ search for a starter is nearing a resolution.
* The Reds may be 6 1/2 games out of first place after losing four straight, but GM Walt Jocketty said this much: “We are not selling.”
* If you need a third baseman, don’t look to the Cubs. Aramis Ramirez and his no-trade clause are not on the market.
* The Mariners traded Ryan Langerhans to the Diamondbacks for cash considerations, in order to clear room on the roster for former D-backs outfielder Wily Mo Pena.
* The Rangers are pushing hard to get closer Heath Bell, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan writes. Whether or not that materializes, the Padres have a lot of interesting pieces, and things should pick up between now and the Deadline.
* Jason Marquis, Jeremy Guthrie, Koji Uehara, Hiroki Kuroda, Erik Bedard (who pitches tonight), Doug Fister, Mike Adams, Wandy Rodriguez, Grand Balfour and Kevin Slowey are some of the arms that can be had before 4 p.m. ET on Sunday. B.J. Upton, Denard Span, Michael Bourn, Jamey Carroll, Carlos Quentin, Jason Kubel, Delmon Young and Josh Willingham are some of the position players to be had. But no movement yet.
So we wait.
The Astros remain in intense trade talks regarding All-Star right fielder Hunter Pence on Friday afternoon, specifically with the Philadelphia Phillies.
MLB.com has confirmed Pence was briefly removed from the lineup prior to Thursday’s game in St. Louis because of potential trade, but wound up staying in the order and going 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles in the Astros’ win. Pence was in the lineup on Friday night for Houston’s series opener against the Brewers, batting fourth.
Although there are reports the Astros and Phillies have discussed a three-team deal, a person close to the situation told MLB.com Friday that a two-team swap remains Houston’s focus. The Astros are coveting several prospects for Pence, who’s the top name on the trade market in the wake of the Carlos Beltran trade.
The Atlanta Braves are also reportedly in the mix for Pence’s services, along with the Reds and a handful of other teams.
Astros general manager Ed Wade had no comment.
The Astros are also getting heavy interest about Gold Glove center fielder Michael Bourn, left-hander Wandy Rodriguez and, to a lesser extent, right-hander Brett Myers. The non-waiver Trade Deadline is 3 p.m. CT on Sunday.
– Brian McTaggart
The closer we get to Sunday’s Trade Deadline, the more likely it appears that Astros All-Star outfielder Hunter Pence will remain in Houston.
Peter Gammons of MLB.com reported earlier this week that word spread around the general managers’ world on Monday that Pence was essentially off the market, and an industry insider believes he will stay with the Astros. If the Astros were to make a deal at this point, left-hander Wandy Rodriguez appears the most likely candidate.
The Braves and Phillies have reportedly shown interest in Pence, but he would come with a high price tag considering he’s the Astros best and most popular player. And he’s under club control for two more years after 2011.
The Astros are positioning themselves to unload some payroll, and Rodriguez is owed the remainder of his $7 million salary this year, $10 million next year and $13 million in 2013. He has an option for 2014 with $13 million, with a $2.5 million buyout.
It’s unknown if the Astros would be prepared to take on some of that money to get a deal done. Houston is still paying $10 million of Roy Oswalt’s contract this year.
– Brian McTaggart