Results tagged ‘ White Sox ’

Rockies won’t deal Cuddyer, believe they’re a contender

The Rockies enter the second half four games under .500, but at 4 1/2 games behind the National League West-leading D-backs, which has Rockies owner Dick Monfort believing the team is a contender. That assessment will color the team’s approach to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, even though they tend not to make huge moves.

The Rockies were 35-32 when shortstop Troy Tulowitzki left the lineup with a broken rib. Tulowitzki returned for the final series before the break, and team could improve if he can stay healthy and performs to his current numbers (.332, 16 HRs, 52 RBIs in 64 games).

“You’ve got him back — you don’t know for how long; he’s got a history – but if he stays healthy, yeah I think so,” Monfort said when asked if he believes the Rockies have a shot.

Monfort threw cold water on the suggestion that the club could trade All-Star right fielder Michael Cuddyer.  Speculation during the break was that the Rockies could deal him for an established pitcher, such as the Cubs’ Matt Garza.

“Not a chance,” Monfort said. “You look at how vulnerable we are when we lose ‘Tulo,’ he [Cuddyer] is a right-handed bat,” Monfort said. “Right-handed corner bats with power are pretty important. You put into the mix he’s a guy that has Major League at-bats, and he plays first base.”

Monfort said he could see trading for “the right starting pitcher,” but he said he will not deal key lineup parts or prized prospects. That’s especially true in the case of Garza, who is a free agent at season’s end. Still, there are holes in the rotation. Juan Nicasio threw well in his final start before the break, after a brief demotion to the Minors. Lefty Drew Pomeranz has yet to have a strong start in the Majors this year.

That could mean the Rockies are more in the market for bullpen help. White Sox All-Star right-hander Jesse Crain has been a prime target, but he currently out with a shoulder injury and it isn’t certain if he’ll pitch before the deadline.

“We’re hoping Nicasio stays good, but that still leaves a hole until [veteran Roy] Oswalt comes back [from a hamstring injury], but that’s no given,” Monfort said. “I guess that’s where you’d look first, but bullpen is something else.

“Starting pitchers don’t profile well here. You just never know when you get one of those, a la [Jeremy] Guthrie, a la Jason Marquis.”

Monfort allowed for the possibility that the right starter at the right price could be had closer to the deadline.

“Everybody’s asking price is huge for these pitchers right now,” Monfort said. “You never know what happens [close to the deadline when teams struggle]. Look at San Diego. They went from a buyer to potentially a seller.”

Thomas Harding

Red Sox add left-hander Thornton to bullpen

The Red Sox addressed their need for a left-handed relief pitcher on Friday night, swinging a deal with the White Sox for veteran Matt Thornton. Chicago also sent Boston cash considerations in exchange for Minor League outfielder Brandon Jacobs.

Thornton is 0-3 with a 3.86 ERA in 40 appearances for the White Sox this season. The 36-year-old has struck out 21 and walked 10 over 28 innings, holding left-handed batters to a .173 average (9-for-52).

Since 2008, Thornton leads all Major League left-handed relievers with 382 strikeouts. In eight seasons with the White Sox, the 2010 AL All-Star compiled a 3.28 ERA.

Thornton is making $5.5 million this season, the last of a two-year deal that includes a $6 million team option for 2014, with a $1 million buyout.

Jacobs was Boston’s 10th-round pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. The 23-year-old has split this season between Class A-Advanced Salem and Double-A Portland, batting .246 with 24 doubles, 11 home runs and 44 RBIs. He was ranked as the organization’s No. 11 prospect by MLB.com

— Andrew Simon

Is there still room on the Angels’ 2013 payroll?

The acquisition of Josh Hamilton was, in many ways, a two-for-one signing because it also allows general manager Jerry Dipoto to trade a suddenly-expendable player for another starting pitcher.

Question is: Can the Angels take on more payroll in the process?

Hamilton’s five-year, $125 million contract will pay him $17 million in 2013 ($15 million in salary, plus a $10 million signing bonus that’s dispersed evenly over the course of his five-year contract). That, in addition to arbitration projections and minimum contracts, puts the Angels’ 2013 payroll at roughly $159 million, which is about where they finished at last year.

Asked about expanding it further in case of adding a pricey arm, Angels president John Carpino basically said it would be considered on a case-by-case basis.

“Instead of putting [the payroll] at a place where it’s, ‘This is where we’re at,’ it’s, ‘What’s the opportunity cost of doing it?'” Carpino said at Hamilton’s Saturday news conference. “So, if something became available that’s an opportunity cost, it just comes down to wanting to win. But it also has to make sense fiscally.”

Teams are a lot more willing to give up a would-be free agent than a cost-controlled arm, of course.

That’s why, with R.A. Dickey off the board, names like Ricky Nolasco of the Marlins ($11.5 million in his walk year), Gavin Floyd of the White Sox ($9.5 million in his walk year) and Matt Garza of the Cubs (projected $10 million in his final arbitration year) seem to be the most feasible. Rick Porcello of the Tigers (projected $4.7 million in his second arbitration year) has also been mentioned.

Peter Bourjos, who’s still a year away from arbitration and will make about $500,000 in 2013, appeals to many teams. Kendrys Morales, Vernon Wells and — seemingly to a lesser extent — Mark Trumbo can also be made available.

The Angels’ preference would be to acquire a young, pre-arbitration starter who won’t add to the budget (Jeremy Hellickson and Matt Moore of the Rays comes to mind). But whether or not that situation presents itself remains to be seen.

— Alden Gonzalez

Haren’s market leaning East

Former Angels starter Dan Haren, who was bought out of his 2013 option for $3.5 million, is drawing heavy interest from several teams, most of them residing in the East coast.

Haren’s most aggressive suitor thus far, according to a person with knowledge of his free agency: The Red Sox. The Nationals, Orioles, White Sox, Padres and Blue Jays are among other clubs that have expressed interest. Haren, however, is said to be in no hurry to sign, preferring to let a lot of the smoke clear before making his decision.

The Angels recently checked in on Haren, but nothing had changed from a negotiating standpoint. After trading for Tommy Hanson, only one spot is left in their rotation — and their desire to resign Zack Greinke remains. If Greinke’s price tag reaches $150 million, as has been reported, the Angels will go with a much cheaper free-agent starter and sign at least one more upper-tier reliever, joining Ryan Madson.

Haren, who wants to keep pitching in Southern California, could make sense given his price tag, track record and familiarity. For now, however, a return remains unlikely.

Haren is coming off his first rough season in quite a while, going 12-13 with a 4.33 ERA, a stint on the disabled list with lower back problems and a drop in velocity. From 2005-11, though, he was one of baseball’s most consistent starters, winning 101 games, posting a 3.49 ERA and averaging 226 innings per season.

The Angels also had the framework of a deal in place with the Cubs in early November, sending Haren to Chicago for closer Carlos Marmol. In it, an industry source said, the Cubs were slated to take on most of Haren’s salary and Marmol’s. But according to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney, the Cubs backed out due to concerns over Haren’s hip — not his back.

— Alden Gonzalez 

Williams still working to strengthen White Sox

When Ken Williams was asked during Sunday’s conference call as to whether more White Sox trades were possible before Tuesday’s 3 p.m. CT non-waiver deadline, the team’s general manager answered with one word.

“Yes,” Williams said.

That reply was followed by silence, a sort of dramatic pause.

Williams already has done major work on a White Sox team that surprised people even without the new additions. But when third baseman Brent Morel developed back issues and veteran Orlando Hudson wasn’t a fit at a position where he previously never had played, Williams went out and acquired Kevin Youkilis from Boston on June 24.

When he needed a veteran reliever to help his youthful bullpen, Williams picked up Brett Myers from Houston. And when the White Sox needed another quality, frontline starter to also help lessen the workload on young rotation members such as Chris Sale and Jose Quintana, Williams added Francisco Liriano Saturday night from the Twins. Utility infielder Eduardo Escobar appeared to be the only player given up in these three deals combined who still figured prominently in the White Sox future.

So, what’s left for Williams and the White Sox?

He still could add to the bench, with Rey Olmedo taking Escobar’s place as utility infielder and rookie Jordan Danks serving as the extra outfielder. Williams also could pursue another left-handed reliever to complete a veteran southpaw tandem with Matt Thornton.

Then again, where Williams and pushing toward the ultimate prize of winning a World Series is concerned, no trade, big or small, becomes unexpected at this time of year.

“You plot out a course and go down that course and try to take action,” Williams said. “If you lose out on one, turn the page and move on to the next.”

Scott Merkin

White Sox upgrade starting pitching, add Liriano

The White Sox moved to solidify their starting rotation shortly after Saturday night’s win over the Rangers, acquiring lefty Francisco Liriano from the Twins in exchange for infielder Eduardo Escobar and lefty Pedro Hernandez.

Liriano, 28, is only 3-10 with a 5.31 ERA this season but has pitched much better since returning May 30 from a stint in the bullpen. In 10 starts since then, he owns a 3.68 ERA, 79 strikeouts and 29 walks in 66 innings, despite a rough outing on Monday. Coincidentally, that came courtesy of the White Sox, who also fell victim to a Liriano no-hitter last May 3.

Escobar, 23, has spent the entire season on Chicago’s 25-man roster, appearing in 36 games at second base, third base and shortstop. He is hitting .207 with four doubles and a triple.

Hernandez, also 23, has posted a 2.94 ERA over 15 appearances, including 14 starts, between Double-A and Triple-A this season. He also made one start with the White Sox, giving up eight runs on 12 hits July 18 at Boston.

— Andrew Simon

Myers heading to White Sox

The Astros have acquired right-hander Matt Heidenreich, left-hander Blair Walters and a player to be named later from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for veteran Brett Myers.

Heidenreich (6-5, 185) was  9-4 with a 3.95 ERA in 18 combined starts at Winston-Salem (Class A) and Birmingham (Double-A) with two complete games and a shutout. He was a Carolina League mid-season All-Star and earned the league Pitcher of the Week award for the week of June 2nd. The 21-year-old, who was the White Sox fourth-round selection in the 2009 draft, has a 25-17 record in four Minor League seasons with a 3.87 ERA in 75 appearances (56 starts). He will be assigned to Corpus Christi (Double-A).

Walters, 22, was 4-6 with a 3.96 ERA in 18 combined starts with Kannapolis (Class A) and Winston-Salem (Class A) this season while tallying 93 strikeouts in 97 2.3innings with 22 walks. Walters, who was taken in the 11th round of the 2011 draft by the White Sox, has a 13-6 record in his two minor league seasons with a 3.99 ERA in 32 appearances (31 starts) with 165 punchouts in 171 1/3 innings of work. He will be assigned to Lancaster (A).

 “The pitchers we are receiving are talented, young prospects with big league upside,” Luhnow said. “They have had success in their young careers and we’re excited to add them to the mix.”

This season, the 31-year-old Myers was 0-4 with a 3.52 ERA in 35 relief appearances for Houston with 19 saves in 21 chances as he made the transition from starter to reliever.

“Brett showed that he was a real team player by going to the bullpen for us and was very successful as our closer,” Luhnow said. “We appreciate everything he has done for us.”

Quentin dealt to Padres for two hurlers

The White Sox and Padres pulled off a trade Saturday afternoon that sends outfielder Carlos Quentin to San Diego in exchange for two Minor League pitchers.

The White Sox will receive 23-year-old right-hander Simon Castro and 22-year-old lefty Pedro Hernandez from the Padres.

Quentin, 29, is a two-time All-Star who has hit at least 21 homers in each of the last four seasons with Chicago. He was drafted by the D-backs in the first round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft and spent two seasons with Arizona.

His first year with the White Sox, in 2008, was his best so far, as he hit .288 with 100 RBIs and 36 homers. He has played either left or right field his entire career.

“Improving our offense is a priority this offseason,” Padres general manager Josh Byrnes said. “And the acquisition of Carlos gives us a proven middle-of-the-order bat. We specifically targeted Carlos because of his production and his hard-nosed style of play.”

Castro, the Padres’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2009, split time between Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A Tucson in 2011, posting a 7-8 record with a 5.63 ERA and 94 strikeouts in 22 starts overall. He began the season with San Antonio, where he was 5-6, before moving up to Tucson, where he was 2-2 with a 10.17 ERA.

He has been in the Padres’ Minor League system for six seasons, and he was named to the Texas League mid- and postseason All-Star teams in 2010, while also pitching for the World Team in the All-Star Futures Game in Anaheim.

Hernandez spent time at Class A Lake Elsinore this season, along with Tucson and San Antonio, posting a 10-3 record with a 3.49 ERA in 28 games (18 starts) overall. He recorded 94 strikeouts in 116 innings of work.

The southpaw is 25-11 over five seasons in the San Diego Minor League system.

— Joey Nowak

Low-cost pitching options abound for Angels

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

Yankees keeping an eye on Danks

The Yankees have been linked to White Sox left-hander John Danks for some time, with little movement on the situation. Meanwhile, Brian Cashman has been talking about how he’s made his calls, but some teams seem to be asking for too much from New York’s farm system.

This could be an example. Jon Heyman tweets that the White Sox asked the Yankees for both catcher Jesus Montero and left-hander Manny Banuelos in exchange for the 26-year-old Danks. The Yankees weren’t interested at that price, but they will keep listening with regard to Danks, who was 8-12 with a 4.33 ERA in 27 starts this year for Chicago.

– Bryan Hoch

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