Tag:trade deadline
Posted on: July 23, 2011 2:30 pm
Edited on: July 23, 2011 2:42 pm
 

Could B.J. Upton be on the move?

B.J. Upton

By C. Trent Rosecrans


If you weren't breathlessly following the baseball folk on Twitter around midnight Friday night, you missed the big B.J. Upton trade.

Or what turned out not to be a trade -- but Upton is still a Ray. For now, at least. ESPN.com's Buster Olney tweets the interest in Upton "is growing," but warns it may be "price-shopping comparison" to Hunter Pence and Carlos Beltran.

Upton was removed from Friday night's game in Kansas City in the eighth inning, about time word was coming out that the Rays had called up their top position prospect, Desmond Jennings.

After the game, reporters rushed to Upton, who told them he hadn't been traded. Instead, the team designated shortstop Reid Brignac and plan on using Jennings every day in the leadoff spot and in left field.

Upton would certainly be an interesting piece to a lot of teams -- the 26-year-old (who turns 27 next month) has one more year of arbitration before becoming a free agent following the 2012 season. The second-overall pick of the 2002 draft reached the big leagues at 19 in 2004 before really sticking in 2007, when he played 129 games. Since then, he's been a frustrating player, showing all the tools, but failing to put it all together at once and sometimes leaving teammates, his manager and fans alike questioning his effort.

This season he's hitting .232/.312/.400 with 15 home runs and 52 RBI to go along with 23 stolen bases. He's making $4.83 million this season and will likely get a bump in the arbitration process.

The Rays could just be putting Upton out on the trade block to see what the market will bear. With a player at a premium position such as center field, it's wise to see what he could bring in return -- much like the Diamondbacks did with his younger brother, Justin, this past offseason. It could also prove to be a long-term solution for a team like the Nationals, who are desperate for a center fielder. He could also produce some pop for any team looking for an offensive jolt.

One thing to consider may be that the Rays don't necessarily see themselves out of the playoff race. Tampa Bay currently sits 8 1/2 games behind the Red Sox in the AL East and 6 1/2 games behind the Yankees in the wild-card race. The reason for the optimism is their schedule. The team's next 19 games are against the Royals, A's, Mariners and Blue Jays. The Rays follow that stretch with three games in New York and another three in Boston.

That stretch would put the Rays through the non-waiver trade deadline before making a determination whether to buy or sell. It would be interesting to see if Upton would get through the wiaver process. If he is indeed the piece the Nationals covet, they would have a good chance of winning a waiver claim on Upton and then the two teams would have a chance to work out a trade.

As for the Rays, it makes sense to put him out there -- after all, listening doesn't cost a thing. 

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Posted on: July 22, 2011 11:13 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 11:25 pm
 

Pudge won't be back soon

Ivan RodriguezBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Ivan Rodriguez would seem like the perfect trade candidate for a team in need of a catcher -- except for the fact that he's on the disabled list and apparently isn't going to be ready to come back anytime soon.

Rodriguez was eligible to come off the disabled list Friday, but he suffered a setback to his strained right oblique, manager Davey Johnson told reporters, including Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post.

"Pudge is not doing too good," Johnson said.

Rodriguez is expected to spend a week in Miami with a physical therapist and could then miss several more weeks recovering.

"I'm not 100 percent right now," Rodriguez told The Post. "It's still right there. If you're still hurt, it's not 100 percent. That's what it is. That area, I asked guys that have had that before. It takes some time. It's one of those pain-in-the-butt injuries."

Rodriguez will likely spend time with the Nationals' rookie level team in the Gulf Coast League.

The Giants reportedly had some interest in the veteran catcher, but it doesn't seem Rodriguez will be headed anywhere before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Rodriguez could still be traded in August if he clears waivers.

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Posted on: July 22, 2011 2:49 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 3:20 pm
 

Friday's obligatory Beltran update

By Matt Snyder

With the trade deadline just nine days away, the Carlos Beltran rumors continue to swirl -- and they will until he either gets traded or we pass the deadline with him still wearing a Mets uniform.

Here's the latest:

- What CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler wrote two days ago still pretty much stands, which is that the Giants, Phillies and Braves are the front-runners in some order with the Red Sox and Rangers lingering.

- It also remains true that Beltran would rather stay in the National League and that he has a no-trade clause.

- Fox Sports reports, in addition to confirming the Giants, Phillies and Braves as front-runners, that the Mets likely need to wrap up a deal several days in advance of the deadline, in case Beltran exercises his no-trade clause.

- Buster Olney of ESPN.com thinks the Braves are the leader with the Giants second, mentioning starting pitcher Mike Minor as one of the pieces the Braves could move.

- Jon Heyman of SI.com throws the Brewers name in the mix, but -- as we noted in the NL Central primer -- they cannot complete with the type of prospects package the front-runners can put together. 

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Posted on: July 22, 2011 12:43 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 1:08 pm
 

Trade Deadline Primer: NL Central

By Eye On Baseball Team

We're approaching the one-week mark in the countdown to the trade deadline, and on this Friday afternoon we'll take a look at the one division in baseball with six teams. In addition to having six teams, the NL Central also shows four teams that are 100 percent in contention, so things should be quite interesting here as we move closer to July 31. Let's dive in.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Status: Buyers (now that just looks weird, no?).
Needs: Big bat -- likely corner infielder or right fielder -- setup reliever, shortstop.
Notes: The best news for Pirates fans is the increased attendance will help the budget and that the Pirates are looking to buy -- and they'll even trade prospects to help the present cause. That's quite the change, but a good one. Hunter Pence is the hot name here, but there are conflicting reports about whether he's available (see Astros below). Josh Willingham and Conor Jackson have been connected to the Pirates. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN adds Ryan Ludwick to that list, and ESPN's Buster Olney throws in David DeJesus. Remember, the Pirates don't really need a right fielder, but acquiring one would allow them to move Garrett Jones to first base and take Lyle Overbay's spot. Could Carlos Beltran be a fit? It's been reported he's a possibility. At first, the Pirates are reportedly not interested in Carlos Pena (Fox Sports). They haven't really been rumored to be in on other first basemen, either, so it would appear they prefer to move Jones from right. Some relief pitching names in the mix: Koji Uehara, Rafael Betancourt, Grant Balfour, Jason Frasor and Jon Rauch (via John Perratto). Olney reports the bullpen is the main focus. Finally, as if to rain on the parade, Olney reports that the Pirates are actually being pretty careful and don't want to cough up "major assets." So if everything is true, it sounds as if we'll see the Pirates add a lesser bat and some middle relief, but not make a huge splash.

MLB Trade Deadline
Milwaukee Brewers
Status: All in.
Needs: Shortstop, third base and outfield depth.
Notes: The most likely outcome this coming offseason is Prince Fielder signing elsewhere, so the Brewers are pushing all their chips into the pot for a run at the 2011 World Series. The farm system has very few trading chips, but the Brewers will still do pretty much anything they can to get better for the short term. Yuniesky Betancourt and Casey McGehee definitely show as weaknesses for this season, so the Brewers are looking for upgrades. They were looking at Wilson Betemit, but the Tigers snatched him up. Jamey Carroll could be a fit, and the Brewers have asked about him (Olney via Twitter). The Brewers have had "internal discussions" about Clint Barmes (Crasnick via Twitter). Also, it appears the Brewers will seek outfield help now that Carlos Gomez is injured (Tom Haudricourt), but no names have surfaced -- and they most certainly don't have the resources to get Beltran.

St. Louis Cardinals
Status: Buyers.
Needs: Pitching, possibly middle infield.
Notes: Colby Rasmus' name won't go away in terms of trade speculation, but the Cardinals continue to insist the young center fielder isn't going anywhere (Olney via Twitter). If the Rays worked up some creative proposal sending B.J. Upton and James Shields to the Cardinals for a package that included Rasmus and some prospects, however, that tune could always change. For now, though, we'll set that aside and concentrate on more realistic scenarios. The Cardinals are reportedly aggressive in trying to get a starting pitcher, with names like Chris Capuano and Jeff Francis being in the mix. Those names aren't really sexy, and that's likely because the Cardinals' budget is tight (St. Louis Post-Dispatch). Some reports make it seem as if the Cards are desperate for a right-handed reliever (Olney). How about former closer Jason Isringhausen, who said he feels as if there's "unfinished business" for him in St. Louis (Post-Dispatch)? Also, the Cards have reportedly shown interest in Blue Jays relievers -- such as Jon Rauch and Jason Frasor.

Cincinnati Reds
Status: Buyers.
Needs: Starting pitching, middle relievers, possibly shortstop or left field.
Notes: The Reds have been connected to the Rockies in the Ubaldo Jimenez rumors, but Jeremy Guthrie is much more likely, per Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. The interesting new name is James Shields, as the Rays are reportedly at least considering moving the All-Star starter who outdueled CC Sabathia last night. Hiroki Kuroda and Francisco Liriano could also surface, but those are long shots. Something to watch: Catcher Ramon Hernandez is having a good season and is a free agent after the season. Devin Mesoraco could be ready to step in, making Hernandez someone the Reds could part with, and several contending teams could use a rental catcher. The prospect-rich Reds could certainly make a huge splash if they wanted to -- and they're definitely buying (MLB.com) -- but the inability to add tons of salary might prevent a blockbuster.

Chicago Cubs
Status: Sellers, kind of.
Players available: Not nearly enough.
Notes: General manager Jim Hendry is insistent that the Cubs can be competitive next season, so he's holding on tightly to far too many players. You want left-handed reliever Sean Marshall or utilityman Jeff Baker? Nope. Can't have them. Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza are also reportedly unavailable, per Peter Gammons of MLB Network. Aramis Ramirez has publicly stated on several occasions he wants to remain with the Cubs and won't waive his no-trade clause for anyone. Meanwhile, Alfonso Soriano said he'd waive his, but he has an albatross of a contract. Still, the Cubs are reportedly willing to eat a large chunk of his remaining salary just to move him (ESPN Chicago) -- the only question is if he's attractive enough to anyone to add. An American League team could make him a DH and just hope he gets hot, as he's been known to do for stretches. Marlon Byrd and John Grabow do appear to be available, and the Indians have reportedly shown interest in Kosuke Fukudome. Still, the most interesting storyline with the Cubs appears to be Hendry holding on to so many players so tightly. Shouldn't Starlin Castro be the only truly untouchable player?

Houston Astros
Status: Sellers
Players available: Wandy Rodriguez, Brett Myers ... Hunter Pence?
Notes: There have been conflicting reports on Pence's availability for the past week or so. Every time someone says the Astros are shopping Pence, another reporter has a source say they really aren't. Jon Heyman of SI.com reported Friday that the Astros were asking for so much for Pence that opposing general managers weren't sure he was being seriously shopped. Heyman did note the Astros are working much harder to move Rodriguez and Myers, even willing to absorb salary in order to trade either. Gammons reported the Astros want as much for Rodriguez as the Rockies do for Ubaldo Jimenez, which doesn't seem realistic. As for Michael Bourn, he doesn't seem available. One reporter noted the only reason you hear his name is that reporters keep asking about him.

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Posted on: July 21, 2011 5:26 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 5:36 pm
 

Beltran's concerns: pitching, DH

Carlos BeltranBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The biggest thing to remember with Carlos Beltran is that the veteran still has full no-trade protection, so he's not going to go anywhere he doesn't want to go.

Speaking to David Lennon of the Newsday, Beltran said there are two big factors that will influence his stay-or-go decision: 1. the quality of the pitching staff of his new team and 2. the designated hitter, and his desire not to play that position.

Now, Beltran said that doesn't necessarily mean he will veto a trade to the American League, but it's something to keep in mind.

"Right now, if it happens that I have to choose between one of the two (Red Sox or Phillies), then I have to sit down, and say you know what, the decision will be based more on the chances of being able to say they have a good pitching staff," Beltran told Lennon. "Remember, baseball is about pitching, so you want to be on a team where they have a good pitching staff, because those are the guys that are going to get you to the playoffs."

And advance you in the playoffs.

Beltran also noted that he feels his knees are in good enough shape to make a long run into October. He's played in 93 of 98 the Mets' games this season.

On Thursday, Beltran played in what may have been his last game as a Met at Citi Field, flying out to left in the ninth inning of a 6-2 loss to the Cardinals. He received a loud ovation before his at-bat and even received some applause as he jogged back to the dugout.

"I heard the fans cheering," Beltran told the Associated Press. "It was great. Let's hope I can come back."

Beltran was 0 for 3 with a walk, extending his streak of reaching base safely to 27 games.

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Posted on: July 21, 2011 4:43 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 5:07 pm
 

Trade Deadline Primer: NL East

By Eye on Baseball team

Leading up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, the National League East has an actual race -- as well as a team with a bloated payroll and no hope -- which leads to a great chance of some pretty interesting trades to and from the division. Here's a look at the five teams in the NL Eeast:

Philadelphia Phillies

Status: Buyers

Needs: Bullpen, RH bat

Notes: Manager Charlie Manuel said he'd love a right-handed bat (Philadelphia Daily News), probably in the outfield, but this is the Phillies and expect the team to focus on pitching -- at least that's what history tells us. And because their rotation is pretty good (you may have heard about some of these guys), they focus on relievers, likely ending a streak of five years of adding a starter midseason. The team is likely one of the many suitors for Padres closer Heath Bell, although some suggest the Phillies prefer Mike Adams. Padres owner Jeff Moorad has reportedly told Adams he won't be traded. However, according to Tom Krasovic of Inside the Padres, the Phillies are willing to give up Class A first baseman/left fielder Jonathan Singleton in return for Adams.

Another bullpen trade partner could be the Orioles, CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler said. The Phillies could be interested in Jim Johnson or Koji Uehara.

MLB Trade Deadline

As for the right-handed bats, the Phillies are in on the same folks everyone's chasing -- Ryan Ludwick, Carlos Beltran, Hunter Pence and maybe Jeff Francouer. The biggest hurdle of all for the Phillies is money, as in they've already spent it and they're worried about the luxury tax. The team has just between $2 and $3 million to spend and avoid the luxury tax.

According to Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com, the Phillies and Royals have already exchanged names in a possible Melky Cabrera trade. Cabrera is a cheaper, younger switch hitter for those who fall short in the Carlos Beltran sweepstakes.

Now, if they're going big and bold, Buster Olney of ESPN.com, tweeted the Phillies could go for Pence, centering the deal around right-hander Vance Worley.

Atlanta Braves

Status: Bargain shoppers

Needs: Right-handed bat

Notes: The Braves need a right-handed bat like Roy Halladay needs air conditioning. Atlanta looks like the front-runner for the National League wild card, but don't have much money to spend. The biggest issue right now for Atlanta is its inability to hit left-handed pitchers. Braves hitters are hitting just .211/.285/.337 against lefties, with Jason Heyward, Nate McLouth and Jordan Schafer all below the Mendoza line against southpaws. That's why Jon Paul Morosi's report of the Reds' Jonny Gomes drawing the interest of the Braves makes sense, Gomes kills lefties to the tune of a .340/.446/.547 slash line this season and .281/..377/.510 in his career. There's also the regular names such as Ludwick and Beltran.

To make room for more payroll, the team could trade right-hander Derek Lowe, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's David O'Brien wrote. The Tigers could be interested in Lowe, but would have to take up the rest of the $20 million he's owed through 2012.

New York Mets

Status: One-stop shopping

Needs: Young talent under team control; pitching

Notes: Outfielder Carlos Beltran is the top position player on the market, but his future is clouded by the number of teams that could use an upgrade in the outfield and the fact that he's not for sale, he's for rent. Whatever team gets him won't even get compensation picks if he leaves as a free agent after the season.

The Mets would reportedly rather pay Beltran's salary and get a good young player or top prospect in return. They could unload him to a team willing to pay the roughly $8 million left on his contract, but then they wouldn't get much in return. The Mets would prefer big-league ready pitching talent. New York seems confident it can re-sign Jose Reyes, meaning they're not ready to throw in the towel and go full-on rebuilding anytime soon. 

Beltran, however, does have a no-trade clause. According to Tim Brown of Yahoo!, Sandy Alderson gave Beltran a short list of teams interested -- the Phillies, Red Sox, Braves, Giants, Brewers and maybe the Yankees -- and Beltran hasn't ruled any of them out.

It's pretty certain now that the Mets won't deal Reyes, but it appears they may be holding on to Jason Isringhausen, too, Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman tweets.

Washington Nationals

Status: Listening to all offers

Needs: Leadoff man/center fielder of the future

Notes: The Nationals have pieces to deal -- from catcher Ivan Rodriguez to relievers Tyler Clippard, Drew Storen, Todd Coffey and Sean Burnett, plus starters Jason Marquis, Livan Hernandez and Tom Gorzelanny. In short, they're open for business, with GM Mike Rizzo saying no player is "untouchable" -- but then following that up with "we're not going to touch our core." That means, "after a while, they don't ask for [Danny] Espinosa," Rizzo told the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore. Ryan Zimmerman is also likely untouchable, as well as catcher Wilson Ramos.

One name to watch is shortstop Ian Desmond, but that would take quite the return for the team to move the 25-year-old.

More likely to go are some of the team's relievers. The Nats are deep in the bullpen and it's a position that's always in demand. The top tier would be Clippard or even Storen, but that would require Washington receiving a leadoff-hitting center fielder in return, someone like B.J. Upton, Michael Bourn, Colby Rasmus or Denard Span, FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal writes.

Florida Marlins

Status: Sellers

Needs: Third baseman, starting pitchers

Notes: The Marlins have starting pitchers that would interest many teams, but they may not part with them. Next year they rename themselves the Miami Marlins when they move into a new stadium and ownership would like a competitive team on the field when that happens.

Ricky Nolasco is the top starter to be had, but Knobler says they'd have to get a younger, cheaper starter in return for the 28-year-old right-hander.

The one the team may part with is Javier Vazquez, but it's not really their decision. Vazquez has a full no-trade clause and isn't in any hurry to leave South Florida. There are few places he'd accept a trade.

Sure to be gone is closer Leo Nunez. The Phillies are interested in Nunez. The other teams desperate for bullpen help -- like the Cardinals and Rangers -- are likely to at least inquire what it may take to get him.

Randy Choate has been verbal this week about his problems with current manager Jack McKeon and could get shipped off for not being a good soldier.

Also on the block are free-agents-to-be Greg Dobbs and Omar Infante. Infante's value is a lot less than it was a year ago.

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Posted on: July 21, 2011 1:54 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 2:07 pm
 

Lohse sent back to St. Louis with 'finger issue'

Kyle LohseBy C. Trent Rosecrans 

The Cardinals sent right-handed starter Kyle Lohse back to St. Louis on Thursday to have a finger on his pitching hand examined by the team's doctor, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes.

The Cardinals have already been rumored to be searching for starting pitching, and any kind of injury to Lohse would magnify that need. It could also affect the bullpen, as any starter added to the rotation was expected to bump Kyle McClellan back to the bullpen.

Manager Tony La Russa wouldn't give many specifics about Lohse.

"He's still scheduled to be our guy Sunday," La Russa told Goold. "We'll keep our fingers crossed."

Lohse, 32, is 8-7 with a 3.45 ERA in 19 starts this season, but he has struggled in July, going 0-3 with a 7.64 ERA in three starts. He's 1-5 with a 5.70 ERA since the start of June.

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Posted on: July 21, 2011 9:42 am
 

Padres owner says Adams won't be traded

Mike AdamsBy C. Trent Rosecrans

One of the hottest names on the trade market is Padres reliever Mike Adams, but team owner Jeff Moorad has told Adams he won't be traded, Yahoo!'s Jeff Passan writes.

Citing a team source, Passan reports Moorad told the right-handed reliever, "you're not going anywhere."

Adams, 33, is 3-1 with a 1.23 ERA, striking out 43 batters and walking nine in 44 innings. He's allowed just 23 hits, for a WHIP of .727. Most importantly, he's under team control for 2012, his last season of arbitration. That's what makes him more valuable in many team's eyes than Padres closer Heath Bell -- any team that acquires him can count on his services for not just this season, but next season as well. He will likely get a nice raise from the $2.533 million he earns this season.

Bell has been linked to just about every team still in the hunt. Passan says 12 teams have inquired on Adams. That would likely include the Red Sox, Rangers, Phillies, Yankees and Brewers.

Moorad knows the game, he's a former agent, so he could just be trying to play a game to improve his leverage or he could really want to keep Adams and use him as a closer after Bell departs.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com