Tag:trade deadline
Posted on: July 25, 2011 3:42 pm
Edited on: July 25, 2011 4:05 pm

Span's name hits trade rumor mill

By Matt Snyder

Twins center fielder Denard Span is high on the list of priorities for the Washington Nationals, reports Amanda Comak of the Washington Times.

The reasons Span to the Nats would work are plentiful. The Nationals haven't been too secretive in looking for a center fielder of the future -- with B.J. Upton being connected to them in several rumors -- and Span would certainly qualify, as he's locked up under contract through 2014 with a club option for 2015. He's only 27 and is a good leadoff option. Of course, the question now becomes what the Twins would get in return for Span, should a deal come to fruition.

MLB Trade Deadline
Comak reports that Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo would listen to offers including any players, though he won't cough up what he believes to be the nucleus for the future without getting a "hefty return." Would Span be a big enough return to give the Twins closer Drew Storen or All-Star reliever Tyler Clippard? We know the Twins are looking for late-inning relief and have extra outfielders. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, however, reports the Nationals are "unwilling" to trade Storen and "reluctant" to deal Clippard. Without including either one of those pitchers, the Nationals may not be able to land Span, so it might come down to how much Rizzo covets Span.

Span is hitting .294 with a .361 on-base percentage and 32 runs scored. He's currently on the disabled list as he recovers from a concussion, but is on a Triple-A rehab assignment.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 25, 2011 12:44 pm
Edited on: July 31, 2011 2:00 pm

Live trade deadline chat on Sunday

By Evan Brunell

Join us on this upcoming Sunday for a live trade deadline chat starting at 2 p.m.! Eye on Baseball will be here to talk about all things related to the deadline, plus you'll be updated on the latest breaking news possible. The deadline concludes at 4 p.m. ET.

For all Eye On Baseball trade deadline posts, click here.

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 25, 2011 12:13 pm
Edited on: July 25, 2011 12:27 pm

Report: Pena 'almost surely' will be traded

By Matt Snyder

Cubs first baseman Carlos Pena makes a lot of sense as a potential trade candidate. He's playing with a one-year contract and could provide some serious pop from the left side of the plate. He also plays sound defense at first base, so any contender looking for some offensive punch could use him.

Thus, the tweet from Jon Heyman of SI.com Monday, saying Pena will "almost surely" be traded, shouldn't come as much of a surprise.

Of course, this was only one day after a story in the Chicago Sun-Times that said there was a mutual interest between Pena and the Cubs for him to stick around past this season. So, with all things we hear this week, everything has to be taken with a grain of salt. No general managers are actually letting their full plans publicly known, so it's a bit of a guessing game.

For speculation's sake, let's mull this from the point of view that Pena is definitely getting traded. Two teams immediately come to mind as good fits for Pena: The Diamondbacks (as Heyman mentioned) and the Pirates. Asking prices and who pays Pena's remaining salary -- he's on a one-year, $10 million deal and we're a bit past halfway through the season -- will determine everything, but those two ballclubs could use a power bat at first base immediately.

Pena, 33, is hitting .221 with a .334 on-base percentage, 20 home runs and 51 RBI. He actually didn't hit his first homer until May 3, though, so he's been hot since -- with 20 homers, 45 RBI and an .870 OPS in his last 247 at- bats.

Putting him in the cleanup spot for the Pirates to protect Andrew McCutchen -- who makes more sense hitting third -- would give the offense a whole new look. Neil Walker could then bat second or fifth. Either way, it's much improved. The D-Backs would be in a similar situation, as they could plug Pena between Justin Upton and Chris Young.

For now, though, all we can do is speculate. It's that time of the season.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 25, 2011 10:54 am
Edited on: July 25, 2011 12:16 pm

Trade Deadline Primer: NL West

By Matt Snyder

We conclude our series of primers for the MLB trade deadline with the home of the defending World Series champions: The NL West. It feels pretty obvious here, as there are two teams in it, two definitely out of it and one just kind of lingering in mediocrity.

San Francisco Giants
Status: Buyers.
Needs: Offense. Offense. Offense.
Notes: The Giants did already trade for Jeff Keppinger and promoted prospect Brandon Belt to the majors in an attempt to jumpstart their offense. Still, they may not be done. Outfield, shortstop and catcher would seem the obvious spots where an offensive upgrade would help, and the word is they'd rather add salary than give up prospects. Carlos Beltran's name has been prominent when it comes to the Giants making a move, but B.J. Upton's name has surfaced as a possible alternative. Plus, general manager Brian Sabean told reporters the Giants aren't close to getting Beltran (SFgate.com). Ivan Rodriguez would make sense as a half-season rental behind the plate, but he's injured and not coming back anytime soon. Sabean also recently said he wants to significantly upgrade the offense, but doesn't feel as if any moves are imminent (MLB.com). So it sounds as if the Giants will be quiet at least for the first half of this week. But remember, the July 31 deadline is only a non-waiver trade deadline. Players can pass through waivers and be traded in August, and that's how the Giants landed postseason hero Cody Ross last season.

MLB Trade Deadline
Arizona Diamondbacks
Status: Buyers.
Needs: Pitching. Big bat.
Notes: The Snakes are reportedly after pitching of all kinds (Fox Sports). Wandy Rodriguez's name has come up in rumors, but the Astros have been said to be asking for a lot in return. Maybe the asking price comes down as the deadline gets closer. He's really the only starting pitcher heavily involved in rumors to the D-Backs. Otherwise, it's been all relievers' names that have surfaced. Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports the D-Backs are focused on less-expensive, veteran relief pitchers. The following names have all been connected in at least semi-legitimate rumors: Jason Isringhausen, Kerry Wood, Brad Ziegler, Jason Frasor, Frank Francisco, Octavio Dotel, Jon Rauch. Obviously, there are bound to be more guys on the radar of the D-Backs and not all those names would work. Wood, for example, is very unlikely to leave Chicago. Basically, it sounds as if the Diamondbacks will be relatively quiet as they tinker a bit with the bullpen. But things can easily change. UPDATE: Shortly after this posting, the Diamondbacks were reported to be a great fit for Cubs first baseman Carlos Pena.

Colorado Rockies
Status: Sellers.
Players available: Ian Stewart, Chris Iannetta, Huston Street, Rafael Betancourt, Jason Giambi, Matt Belisle, Ty Wigginton, Aaron Cook ... Ubaldo Jimenez?
Notes: Well, the big name here is obviously Jimenez, but the Rockies want an absolute killing in return. It would actually be pretty shocking to see him dealt, as it seems as if his name was only floated so the Rockies could get a realistic reading of his value. Instead, the focus with Rockies rumors should be more on the players most likely to be traded. There aren't many quality catchers on the open market, and Iannetta is reportedly expendable because of minor-league backstops Jordan Pacheco and Wilin Rosario, according to Peter Gammons of MLB Network. MLB.com reports that Street, Belisle and Betancourt are available for the right price, also adding that Cook could be had -- if anyone would want him. Tracy Ringolsby of Fox Sports reported that the Rockies are fielding calls about Street and Betancourt, and also threw Ryan Spilborghs in the mix. Troy Renck of the Denver Post echoed a few of the above names and also threw in Ty Wigginton. Gammons then reported the Rockies aren't interested in moving Spilborghs. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports has reported that Jason Giambi is garnering interest. Though the slugger reportedly wants to stay, he'll discuss any possible moves with the ballclub. Finally, one-time prospect Ian Stewart cannot seem to get things going and a change of scenery would probably be in the best interest of all involved parties. Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post reports the Rockies had been playing Stewart more frequently than usual because they were hoping another team saw something it liked and dealt for him. To sum things up, the Rockies are out of the race this season, but have a strong, young core and could easily compete in 2012. They'll likely only sell pieces that aren't part of the nucleus or could be replaced.

Los Angeles Dodgers
Status: Sellers.
Players available: Hiroki Kuroda, Rafael Furcal, Jamey Carroll.
Notes: If you're pining for your favorite team to land Matt Kemp in a blockbuster deal, you're going to be doing so for quite a long time. Kemp -- along with Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Rubby De La Rosa and Dee Gordon -- is unavailable as part of the future nucleus (MLB.com). Note the absence of Andre Ethier's name on that list. His name hasn't popped up much in legitimate rumors, but you never know. The Dodgers are pressed for money, and he's due a decent chunk next season before becoming a free agent after 2012. Much of the focus here has centered on Kuroda, though, and he's the most likely to be moved. General manager Ned Colletti has said he's ready to start dealing and is looking at 2012 (OC Register), so any prospects coming back would have to be nearly major-league ready. The Tigers are reportedly front-runners for Kuroda (Jeff Passan of Yahoo!), with the Brewers, Rangers and Indians in the mix. The Red Sox and Yankees are also reportedly interested, but Kuroda has said he's unsure if he wants to go to the East Coast and may use his no-trade clause to avoid the situation. Of course, now he's saying he's keeping his options open (Fox Sports). CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler notes that a trade might only be for two months, as Kuroda's a free agent at season's end and the Dodgers could just sign him back. Knobler said the Dodgers expect Kuroda to be pitching with them in 2012, if he stays in America. There have been whispers about Carroll heading to the Brewers and Furcal is surely available if a contender wants to take a shot at him staying healthy. Simply put, expect the Dodgers to be aggressive in dealing parts that aren't essential to building a contender for next season.

San Diego Padres
Status: Sellers.
Players available: Heath Bell, Ryan Ludwick, Mike Adams, Aaron Harang, Chad Qualls and maybe more.
Notes: We talked to Corey Brock of MLB.com -- the Padres beat writer -- and he said they love Adams, see him as a possible replacement for Bell, but he's not off the table. Brock also said they need a young, controllable shortstop and a catcher. General manager Jed Hoyer reportedly said he's going to make multiple deals to get prospects and the ballclub is not in the position to have any untouchables (Marty Caswell). As far as Adams goes, we've seen a report that he's not going to be traded and a report that the report wasn't true. So, yeah, your guess is as good as ours. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports that the Padres' trade talks are focusing on moving Bell, Qualls, Ludwick and Harang. Crasnick also notes that Jason Bartlett is going to remain in San Diego. On the other hand, Bell himself has said he expects to be traded. The Tigers have been said to be interested in Harang heavily, which is interesting because of the Kuroda-to-Tigers rumors. Ludwick has been connected to the Indians, Red Sox, Phillies, Reds and more. Adams and Bell have been rumored to pretty much every team in the race that is seeking bullpen help. The bottom line is that the Padres look to be the busiest team in the division and are looking to stock their farm system.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 24, 2011 8:45 pm
Edited on: July 24, 2011 9:01 pm

Giants turn eyes toward B.J. Upton

UptonBy Evan Brunell

Is it leverage or is there actual interest?

The Giants have been after Carlos Beltran hot and heavy these last few days, and apparently the idea of giving up top pitching prospect Zach Wheeler has grown to be more and more acceptable in fan and media circles as a price. That's hooey -- you don't trade an elite prospect for two months of an aging slugger, no matter how important he may be to the lineup.

Perhaps as a rebuttal to New York's demands, word has gotten out that the Giants are interested in the Rays' B.J. Upton, reports Fox Sports. While Upton's price isn't lower than Beltran's -- in fact, it might be higher -- two things work in Upton's favor. First is his age, as Upton will turn 27 in late August, while Beltran is 34. Add in Beltran making $18.5 million on the year, plus the inability for the team to offer arbitration, as it was written in his contract, and suddenly Beltran pales in comparison to Upton, who is under team control for one more season and is playing for the relatively cheap price of $4.825 million.

Of course, production has to be considered. Beltran is raking to the clip of a .291/.393/.520 mark while Upton struggles along at .229/.310/.395. This is a player, though, that once hit 24 home runs at age 22 (and batted .300) while stealing over 40 bases a year regularly. The potential for Upton is off the charts, and the feeling in baseball is that he's primed for a breakout as soon as he gets out of Tampa Bay.

Wheeler makes sense as a cost for Upton, but not Beltran. San Francisco isn't the only one with this idea, though, as a fellow Beltran suitor has been linked to Upton lately, with the Indians inquiring.

This seems more likely to be mere leverage the Giants are exercising, though. Right now, they're in "win now" mode, plus GM Brian Sabean is loathe to trade away his top prospects. That would seem to work against an Upton deal moreso than  a Beltran one. But Sabean needs to do his due diligence and show Alderson there are other options out there. Because the way it stands, there won't be a deal between San Francisco and New York -- not if Wheeler is the asking price.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: July 24, 2011 7:09 pm
Edited on: July 24, 2011 8:45 pm

Red Sox to place Drew on DL, on hunt for OF

DrewBy Evan Brunell

The Red Sox will place J.D. Drew on the disabled list on Monday with an impingement in the left shoulder, Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com reports.

Drew has suffered through a subpar season at the plate, hitting just .219/.317/.305 in 271 plate appearances -- not exactly the greatest way to perform in a contract year. He recently lost his right-field job to Josh Reddick and underwent an MRI for his shoulder issue, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported earlier.

Putting Drew on the DL at this point is a no-brainer. He's riding the bench as a veteran hitter in the midst of an awful season. Drew will now get an opportunity to rest and come back healthy, which could make all the difference in his hitting numbers.

In the interim, the Red Sox will continue starting Reddick, but there's that problem of a backup outfielder. Darnell McDonald can hit against lefties but is challenged against right-handers. Currently, he's the only backup outfielder of any relevance on the 40-man spot. Boston could recall backup infielder Drew Sutton, who has a couple games experience in the outfield. Similarly, backup infielder Yamaico Navarro has outfield experience, already appearing in two games in left field at the major-league level, plus seeing time at all three outfield positions at Triple-A in addition to his infield duties.

But these are backup middle infielders with some ability to play outfield, not a lot. If the Red Sox want a true backup outfielder, they'll need to continue carrying Navarro as their only backup infielder and go the external route, as the only other outfielder on the 40-man spot is Ryan Kalish, who has been sidelined since April with a torn labrum in his shoulder. Adding Daniel Nava back to the 40-man and calling him up is one possibility. Cafardo bandies about another possibility on Twitter in a trade, as he says the Sox may be on the hunt for someone to fill Drew's spot.

It's possible the Red Sox will acquire strictly a backup outfielder, but more than likely they have their eye on someone who can start or platoon with Ryan Kalish. One of the more popular "middle value" outfield targets available is Ryan Ludwick. The Red Sox could also be gearing up to acquire Carlos Beltran, but it would be surprising for the BoSox to give up one of the prospects they would be required to with Beltran bidding running hot and heavy.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: July 24, 2011 12:21 pm
Edited on: July 24, 2011 1:05 pm

Cardinals could deal Rasmus to White Sox


By Evan Brunell

Despite constant denials, the Cardinals appear to have made center fielder Colby Rasmus available in discussions with the White Sox, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Rasmus and the Cardinals have never had a strong relationship, with the center fielder requesting a trade multiple times last season. Given his potential as a middle of the order hitter, however, it's no surprise that St. Louis has hung on. But with Rasmus struggling and recently being supplanted by Jon Jay in center field, the Cardinals may now be willing to move the 24-year-old, who is hitting just .241/.327/.402 in 374 plate appearances, a far cry from his .276/.361/.498 mark last season, when he cranked 23 homers. The Cardinals know darn well just how important Rasmus can be to a team, whether it be St. Louis or another club, so the switch-hitter will cost another team a pretty penny.

Discussions have taken place around one of Chicago's starting pitchers, especially Edwin Jackson, slated to become a free agent. It's unlikely the team would consider trading its other pitchers in Gavin Floyd, John Danks and Mark Buehrle, although the latter grew up (and remains) a Cardinals fan, with many believing the left-hander will eventually pitch for the Cardinals. Buehrle is also an impending free agent, but it's unlikely Chicago will want to part with the lefty who has succeeded for so many years in the hitter's park that is U.S. Cellular. The Post also suggests the name Matt Thornton, a left-handed reliever who could bolster St. Louis' bullpen and even serve as its closer.

The trade appears so far apart that there is talk of bringing in a third team to complete the deal. That suggests that a deal is not particularly close, but things can always change once the clock ticks closer to 4 p.m. next Sunday. Part of the issue is the White Sox trying to decide if they are buyers or sellers. The upcoming three-game series against Detroit should help determine that. If it's time to sell, a Jackson-for-Rasmus trade suddenly becomes far more possible.

Rasmus also interests the Nationals and Rays, with Tampa Bay also willing to give up starting pitching. The best piece Washington could cough up is shortstop Ian Desmond, of which there are conflicting reports as to his availability. The Nats had a scout follow St. Louis on a nine-game road trip that ends Sunday.

While it's a no-brainer for Chicago to acquire a young centerfielder of the future, especially if all they give up is a pitcher that was going to hit free agency anyway, it would represent a roster crunch. Carlos Quentin, he of 20 bombs on the season, isn't going anywhere in right field. Alex Rios has been a massive disappointment in center and could move to left to make room for Rasmus, but that would displace Juan Pierre, a personal favorite of manager Ozzie Guillen.

Also complicating matters is the presence of left-field prospect Dayan Viciedo, who deserves to be starting in the majors now, but is blocked by Pierre. Unless Viciedo is part of this Rasmus deal, he would be certain to open 2012 in left, so that may require Rios to hit the bench.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 23, 2011 6:53 pm
Edited on: July 23, 2011 8:28 pm

Red Sox owner says team will likely stand pat

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Red Sox owner John Henry told WEEI.com that he expects a quiet week for his team leading up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

From Rob Bradford of WEEI.com:

"We have a tendency to spend pretty much everything we can in the offseason. And we were successful in doing so. I don't know if it's overly different this year. If something comes up we'll make room," Henry said. "But the big deal isn't so much money as it is prospects. We can have Player X, but this is what it's going to cost [player-wise], and it usually costs something.

"I felt going into spring training this was as good a team as we've had, at least on paper, and we've been able to execute. After those first 12 games we've been the best team in Major League Baseball. Since we watch every game, every day, we're aware of every little weakness we have, and some of the weaknesses we had in the first half may not be weaknesses as much in the second half."

Henry said the team could "use" a right-handed bat, but noted that commodity is pretty hot right now and the market may be more than the team is willing to spend (in prospects, not cash).

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com