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Tag:Athletics
Posted on: August 2, 2011 1:17 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Two-homer edition



By Matt Snyder

Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians. What a night and what a season for the now-star shortstop. He went yard twice, including a tie-breaking two-run shot in the eighth inning. On the night, Cabrera was 3-5 with three runs, four RBI and the two homers. The Indians won 9-6 and crawled within two games of the idle Tigers in the AL Central.

Derrek Lee, Pirates. Quite a debut for Lee as a Pirate. He homered off former teammates Carlos Zambrano and Kerry Wood en route to driving in all three Pirates runs. Alas, it was all for naught, as the Pirates dropped their fourth straight, this time 5-3. They're now 5 1/2 games out and just one game over .500.

Dan Uggla, Braves and Rick Ankiel, Nationals. We'll combo these two in order to fit everyone who hit two homers in a game Monday night. These two played in the same game, so it works, right? Uggla is absolutely scorching hot, as he hit his 21st and 22nd homers of the season while also extending his hitting streak to 23. But his team came up short, while Ankiel helped his club prevail. Ankiel took All-Star pitcher Jair Jurrjens deep twice as the Nats won 5-3.



Adam Dunn, White Sox. The White Sox lost 3-2 to CC Sabathia and the Yankees Monday night and fell 4 1/2 games back in the AL Central. Maybe if Ozzie Guillen didn't insist on a hole in the middle of the lineup against lefties, they'd have found a way to score at least one more run. Dunn hit cleanup and went 0-4 with three strikeouts. Put his full season totals aside -- as ugly as they are -- and consider Dunn against lefties. He's now 3-77 (.038) with 35 strikeouts against lefties. If you figure around 650 at-bats is a full season, he'd be on pace to be punched out nearly 300 times in a full season of left-handed pitching at this pace. If Guillen absolutely insists on playing Dunn against left-handers, he should probably at least bump him down toward the bottom of the order.

Trevor Cahill, Athletics. The Mariners had failed to score at least five runs 80 times this season heading into Monday night. Cahill coughed up five to the Mariners in the second inning alone Monday. We're talking about an offense with Mike Carp and Adam Kennedy hitting fourth and fifth. We're talking about a team that ranked dead last in the majors in runs, average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage heading into the game. And Cahill -- an All-Star and fringe Cy Young contender last season -- allowed six earned runs, two walks and a career-high 12 hits in just four innings. The A's lost 8-4 and are only 2 1/2 games ahead of the Mariners, who just had a historic losing streak.

Craig Counsell, Brewers. It may be time for the 40-year-old veteran of nearly 1,600 career games to hang it up. He hasn't had a hit since June 10, as he's zero for his last 45. The Brewers can't continue to give him opportunities much longer, especially as the pennant race heats up even more. On the other hand, the Brew Crew did pull through again Monday evening, 6-2, have won seven straight and own a 3 1/2 game lead in the NL Central.

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Posted on: August 1, 2011 4:16 pm
Edited on: August 1, 2011 5:24 pm
 

No moves at deadline is failure for five teams

Upton

By Evan Brunell

On Sunday, the trade deadline concluded with some teams coming away with the biggest pieces on the market (Indians with Ubaldo Jimenez, Phillies with Hunter Pence, Braves with Michael Bourn), some were able to get complementary pieces necessary for contention, and others continued their rebuilding phase by stocking up on prospects.

But there were other teams who bafflingly stood on the sidelines despite a necessity to make moves. That necessity is what excludes the Yankees from this group. While New York could have stood to make some moves, they have the AL's second-best record behind the Red Sox. The Yankees don't have any gaping holes, even if some of the band-aids over these holes may not hold through October.

Let's take a look.

A'sWhat the A's should have done: Traded two of their outfielders.

GM Billy Beane knows his A's aren't going anywhere this season, and he was in prime position to supplement the team over the next couple of years by dealing any of his three starting outfielders in Josh Willingham, Coco Crisp and David DeJesus. Instead, all three stayed and could potentially leave Oakland after the year. In Beane's defense, he told Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal "ultimately, a trade is a bilateral and not a unilateral process.”

What Beane is getting at here is there has to be a second team willing to deal. The new wave of GMs into the game have changed things somewhat, setting prices for players and not budging from them. In other words, trading has gone from a negotiating and bargaining process to one where you peruse the shelves for what's available and have to buy it at sticker price. Still, there were no shortage of outfielders in demand and it's difficult to imagine that Oakland couldn't come to accord with another team for the services of one of the outfielders. Beane did make one deal, sending away reliever Brad Ziegler to Arizona, but that's hardly enough.

In Beane's defense, Willingham currently projects to be a Type-A free agent as MLB Trade Rumors points out, but he's right on the line and could easily slip into Type-B status. Beane may have taken the stance that he needed to do better than the two compensatory picks Willingham would have fetched as a Type-A free agent, but that's far from a lock. DeJesus will be a Type B, which doesn't preclude a trade. Crisp isn't set for any compensation.

AngelsWhat the Angels should have done
: Acquired a bat, possibly starting pitcher

The Angels bizarrely stood pat at the trade deadline, as owner Arte Moreno shut off the spigots for more money... but is still keeping the GM responsible for putting Los Angeles in this position. Tony Reagins is overseeing a broken-down club with Vernon Wells and Torii Hunter manning the outfield corners. Scott Kazmir has finally been mercifully released, but L.A. is still on the hook for money.

Somehow, even though Reagins' decisions the last couple of years have defied logic, they were two games out of first on Sunday. This despite a 69-run differential separating the Angels from the Rangers, who added two top-flight relievers to its team to gear up for the playoffs. For comparison, there are 57 runs separating Philadelphia and Atlanta, with the Braves six games behind. Even if Aramis Ramirez wasn't willing to waive his no-trade, there were other directions L.A. could have gone.

Instead, its fans will now watch the Angels slide into mediocrity, with not much on the horizon other than Mike Trout for help. With only Joel Pineiro and Fernando Rodney slated to be free agents and some hefty arbitration raises on the way, this team will be stagnant for  some time.

RaysWhat the Rays should have done: Traded B.J. Upton and fungible pieces

GM Andrew Friedman landed in the hospital Saturday for an emergency appendectomy, but said it didn't affect his work at all Sunday. Perhaps he should have pretended it did, because otherwise this is a poor showing for Tampa. Most notably, the Rays had B.J. Upton available, and despite his .224/.306/.394 batting line, was highly coveted. As a 26-year-old under club control through 2012, Upton (pictured atop the article) would have fetched a very nice price.

There were many discussions revolving around Upton, but obviously nothing came to fruition. But maybe it should have. The Rays need to restock for another move forward, and Upton won't be part of the next stretch of dominance. The Rays have some nice high-minors prospects nearing the majors, but there is still plenty of need for more reinforcements, especially given the value the Rays received from the Matt Garza trade in the offseason was mostly tied up in the low minors.

Upton should have been traded. It's hard to imagine his price being the same or higher in the offseason now that there's one less postseason race to handle. Plus, he'll now be looked at as a one-year rental whose contract will probably hit around $6 million. It's not just Upton that could have been dealt, though. While the Rays have a chance to walk away with the wild card if the Yankees collapse, it's the slimmest of chances.

KCWhat the Royals should have done: Traded anyone irrelevant for 2013

The Royals' inactivity at the deadline wasn't surprising only because GM Dayton Moore already indicated he would drive a hard bargain on the pieces he might otherwise be expected to be traded. So Melky Cabrera remains in town. Jeff Francouer, Jeff Francis, Bruce Chen... the list goes on. Moore did trade backup infielder Mike Aviles to Boston for a solid return, but that only underscores how K.C. failed here.

Instead of driving a hard bargain on Cabrera, who would have been in major demand once Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn came off the board, Moore decided to keep Cabrera, which in turn keeps the center fielder of the future in Lorenzo Cain down in Triple-A. It's possible Cabrera can keep up this production and the Royals will make him part of the long-term future once he becomes a free agent after 2012, but possible does not mean probable. The Royals received a replacement backup infielder for Aviles in Yamaico Navarro who has a chance to be more than that, plus a flier on a minor-league arm. Navarro is far more integral to Kansas City's bright future than Aviles is, just like whatever Cabrera or any of these other players might have fetched are more important than the incumbents by default.

Even when the Phillies, Braves and Pirates closed up shopping by dealing for other outfield arms, other teams could have still used upgrades. It's hard to imagine offers weren't there for Cabrera, nor that some teams wouldn't have liked a lefty in the back of the rotation the caliber of Francis or Chen. And Francouer, for all his warts, has a reputation as a fast starter for a new team, plus he can hit left-handers well. But instead, he's going to be in Kansas City sucking up valuable playing time with no clear benefit to the Royals.

RedsWhat the Reds should have done: Improved team

The Reds were a feel-good story last season, winning the division and playing baseball in October in Cincinnati for the first time since 1995. They looked like a team to beat entering 2011, but so far are comfortably in fourth place in the NL Central, winning on Sunday to push their record to 53-55 and edge closer to third and second place.

The Reds, lacking a bona fide ace, refused to part with the assets needed to acquire Ubaldo Jimenez despite no shortage of pitchers that profile as Nos. 3 or 4 starters in the majors and a healthy farm system. Fine, sometimes pitching depth with no discernible top-end talent can still end up a good thing. Injuries always strike, and there's a chance Edinson Volquez figures things out or Homer Bailey reaches his ceiling. But the Reds did absolutely nothing, including refusing to trade catcher Ramon Hernandez to the Giants, who would have been more than willing to send pitching or other help to the Reds. Top prospect Devin Mesoraco is probably ready, right now, to outproduce Hernandez.

And yet, Hernandez, plus every single other tradeable commodity, remained. The Reds didn't lift a finger to bring in outfield help or to shore up the left side of the infield, never mind decline to go big for an ace pitcher. It's a disappointing result for a team and a fanbase that knows October is possible again and could have used an injection of both talent and the mental optimism that would have come along with a trade.

We only looked at five teams and excluded the Cubs. But never fear, we have more on the Cubs' shocking futility at the trade deadline, plus here is what I wrote about the Cubs' performance at the deadline in the trade deadline winners and losers article:
You will hear much more on Monday [night] about the Cubs' massive failure at the trade deadline thanks to GM Jim Hendry, who really should be fired on the spot. But while we're here, we might as well recap the Cubs' situation. That situation is a 42-65 record, which is just a few losses away from a 100-loss pace. The Cubs are loaded with unseemly contracts, ranging from the obscene (Alfonso Soriano) to the bad (Carlos Zambrano) to the unnecessary (John Grabow).

And yet, not only was Hendry content not to move any pieces but he was fine encouraging Aramis Ramirez to stay in town. He was fine ruling out the trading of a backup platoon infielder in Jeff Baker. (Read that last sentence again.) The only player Hendry parted with was Fukudome, and he never had fans in the front office and was a lock to leave after the season, anyways.

Instead of trying to set the Cubs up for future success, Hendry seemed paralyzed by which direction to go and while choosing to become buyers would have been ludicrous, it would have been a more palatable direction than just staying pat. Of course, the Cubs aren't flush with a deep farm system, especially after trading for Matt Garza. So Hendry's stuck pretending to be a contender for what, at least from this side of things, seems to be nothing more than a desperate attempt to save his job by pretending his team is close to contention and does not need a fire sale -- a fire sale that would have been entirely Hendry's fault.
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Posted on: July 31, 2011 8:54 pm
Edited on: July 31, 2011 10:18 pm
 

A's owner speaks out against McCourt

WolffBy Evan Brunell

The A's owner, Lew Wolff, is the first baseball owner to come out against Frank McCourt in his never-ending battle to keep control of the Dodgers.

"My hope is that the Dodgers will be sold to a party that will restart this great franchise, and that Frank and his family will benefit from a positive sale," Wolff said, according to the Los Angeles Times. "But to try and equate or compare what Bud Selig has done with the administration of the current Dodger franchise is unsupportable."

Wolff is especially displeased with McCourt's attempted smearing of Selig publicly and in court. McCourt and his lawyers challenged Selig's authority in court and made the ludicrous argument that even if McCourt took out money from the Dodgers for personal use, it was far greater than the amount Selig has taken out of MLB. The commissioner pulls in an average annual salary of $18.35 million, set by major-league owners.

"Even taking the commissioner's false claim that $100 million was taken out of the Dodgers at face value," McCourt's attorneys wrote ina  filing disputing how much money McCourt has taken out of the Los Angeles club. "It is difficult to understand how the commissioner can complain about this when he pays himself a salary of approximately $20 million a year — meaning that he has taken out between $120 million and $140 million from baseball revenues during the same period that he complains about $100 million being taken out by the owner of a team."

That didn't sit too well with Wolff.

"For anyone to seek to diminish Bud's accomplishments in order to rationalize their own actions is, in my opinion, ludicrous and hugely disingenuous," the A's owner said. Wolff has been a part of the A's since 2005 and is trying to get Oakland a new ballpark but has met resistance and has been waiting over two years for Selig to issue a ruling on the decision. If anyone might have cause to be frustrated with Selig and perhaps side with McCourt, it would be Wolff. But:

"I can't think of one owner that is not supportive of the actions taken by MLB," Wolff said.

He added that he is not speaking out in an attempt to get on Selig's good side for the ballpark ruling and proposed move to San Jose. While it's unsurprising to know that all the other owners are arrayed against McCourt, it's surprising to see Wolff speak out, as Selig is attempting to keep the distraction McCourt has wrought to a minimum.

Currently, McCourt is attempting to keep the Dodgers despite no available funds after he and his ex-wife used the Dodgers as a personal piggy bank. After an embarrassing and expensive divorce, McCourt has been limping along until he was forced to file for bankruptcy in order to hang onto the Dodgers.

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Posted on: July 30, 2011 9:58 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2011 10:49 pm
 

Report: A's send Harden to Red Sox

By Matt Snyder

With Hiroki Kuroda and Ubaldo Jimenez coming off the trade block Saturday, the Red Sox had to resort to a lesser addition. They got it in the injury-prone yet very talented Rich Harden, from the A's. The Red Sox are sending Lars Anderson and a player to be named later to Oakland (Danny Knobler).

Harden, 29, has long been one of the more talented pitchers in the majors, but his arm has deteriorated over the years due to many injuries. He went 5-1 with a 1.77 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 89 strikeouts in 71 innings after he was traded to the Cubs in July of 2008. This season, however, Harden's got a 4.30 ERA and 1.16 WHIP with a lower strikeout rate. He's only made five starts this season, all in July after returning from injury.

Anderson, 23, is a Triple-A first baseman. He was expendable for the Red Sox with Adrian Gonzalez in house. Anderson is hitting .261/.362/.420 with 10 homers and 57 RBI in 102 games.

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Posted on: July 30, 2011 5:15 pm
 

Saturday's late afternoon trade rumor roundup

By Matt Snyder

We're less than 24 hours on the countdown to the MLB's non-waiver trade deadline -- 4:00 p.m. ET Sunday -- and the rumors are flying left and right. We've seen the Phillies make a huge splash by acquiring Hunter Pence, and already Saturday three trades have been agreed upon -- the Tigers getting starting pitcher Doug Fister (Knobler), the Brewers acquiring Jerry Hairston (Miller) and the Red Sox acquiring Mike Aviles (EOB). More moves are certainly on the way, if not Saturday night, sometime Sunday. Let's dive in to what we've seen since the early afternoon post -- and remember, everything is fluid right now. Things could change in a literal heartbeat, so make sure to follow us on Twitter for the latest.

• As you may have seen, CBSSports.com's own Scott Miller reports that the Yankees, Red Sox and Rangers are hot on the trail of Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda.

Miller also reported that the Cardinals and Dodgers are very close on a trade that would send shortstop Rafael Furcal to the Cardinals.

MLB Trade Deadline
Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports that the White Sox are willing to part with right fielder Carlos Quentin and left-handed reliever Matt Thornton, but the price is high. Also those are the only two pieces general manager Kenny Williams is willing to move.

Miller reports the Twins would like to trade pitcher Kevin Slowey to the Rockies, but the Rockies are unmotivated to make such a move at this time.

• In our earlier roundup, we noted the Red Sox have talked to the A's about outfielder Josh Willingham and starting pitcher Rich Harden, and Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston adds outfielder Coco Crisp's name to the mix, though it sounds like there's no match there.

ESPN's Jayson Stark reports the Nationals are making progress on a deal that would land Twins center fielder Denard Span, but the Twins are insisting closer Drew Storen be included in the deal. The Nationals would prefer to deal Tyler Clippard instead, reports Miller. Miller also mentioned the Twins would not trade for a setup man -- but that was earlier this morning -- so it's possible Stark's report is a signal the Nats are thinking of moving Storen or are warming up to Clippard. Also, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reported that the Twins will want center fielder Roger Bernadina along with a reliever for Span.

• The Pirates and A's are talking a bat and a reliever, reports Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports.

• Finally, the Ubaldo Jimenez rumor mill is running at full capacity. Here's what is new since earlier this afternoon: Per Morosi, the Reds aren't talking to the Rockies about Jimenez any longer. Troy Renck of the Denver Post says the Rockies haven't spoken with the Yankees Saturday, but the Yankees are unlikely to include both Jesus Montero and Dellin Betances, two of their most highly-touted prospects. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports the Rockies have a scout watching Ivan Nova Saturday night. Possibly a package revolving around Montero and Nova? We'll see ...

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Posted on: July 30, 2011 1:07 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2011 2:04 pm
 

Saturday afternoon trade rumors

By Matt Snyder

We're approaching the 24-hour mark on the countdown to the MLB's non-waiver trade deadline and things are definitely starting to heat up. We've seen the Phillies make a huge splash by acquiring Hunter Pence, and already Saturday two trades have been agreed upon -- the Tigers getting starting pitcher Doug Fister (Knobler) and the Brewers acquiring Jerry Hairston (Miller). There's bound to be more on what should be a big day in Major League Baseball. Let's dive in to what we've seen thus far -- and remember, everything is fluid right now. Things could change in a literal heartbeat, so make sure to follow us on Twitter for the latest.

Ubaldo Jimenez's name just won't go away, so let's sum up all the rumors here. Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports not much has changed, as the Yankees and Red Sox have the best shot, while the Indians and Blue Jays are on the fringe -- also reporting that the Rockies might just keep Jimenez. The Yankees are "all over" him, reports ESPN's Tim Kirkjian. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports the price for Jimenez may go down, though Troy Renck of the Denver Post says it won't. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports the Yankees and Rockies aren't even close to finding "common ground" on Jimenez's value. SI.com's Jon Heyman has the Red Sox, Reds, Blue Jays, Indians and Yankees in on Jimenez.

• The Twins are unlikely to trade Jason Kubel or Michael Cuddyer, reports Miller.

MLB Trade Deadline
• The Rangers are after White Sox reliever Matt Thornton, reports Rosenthal. He added that the White Sox want starter Derek Holland in return, but the Rangers wouldn't do that unless they got a starter like John Danks in return.

Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports the Red Sox have discussed a deal for Josh Willingham and Rich Harden with the A's.

Jim Bowden of ESPN reports the Red Sox have pulled out in front in the race for Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda, though he was emphatic the Cardinals wouldn't trade Colby Rasmus. Rosenthal reports the Red Sox interest picked up after Erik Bedard's bad start Friday night. Olney reports the Yankees and Dodgers haven't discussed Kiroda for a bit.

• The Phillies called the Twins about Jim Thome, reports ESPN's Jayson Stark.

• Finally, having lost out on Pence, the Braves are looking for outfield alternatives. Marlon Byrd of the Cubs could be an option, reports David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Rosenthal reports the Braves are "almost certain" to land someone before the deadline, naming B.J. Upton, Michael Bourn, Ryan Ludwick, Josh Willingham and Carlos Quentin. ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports Bourn is definitely on the Braves' radar. Bob Nightengale of USA Today says the Braves are heavily in on Quentin. Of course, Nightengale also notes the Red Sox are hot after Quentin. And Fox Sports reports the Indians, Nationals, Braves and Reds are after Bourn.

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Posted on: July 30, 2011 1:36 am
 

Friday night trade rumor roundup

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Now that Hunter Pence is off the table, it seems Heath Bell is the latest big name certain to move. But that doesn't mean he's the only one. There are plenty more rumors out there.

One of the most interesting is the Cardinals having interest in Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports

This comes after the Post-Dispatch's Joe Strauss tweeted shortstop had become the team's "priority" at the non-waiver trade deadline. 

Furcal, 33, is struggling this season, hitting .195/.267/.241 coming into Friday's game but could still help the Cardinals -- which tells you all you need to know about the team's struggles at the position.

• A new hot rumor is that the Tigers are making a push for Ubaldo Jimenez and have offered top prospect Jacob Turner, according to FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal. Turner, the team's 2009 first-round pick, is 3-5 with a 3.48 ERA at Double-A Erie this season. He has 90 strikeouts and 32 walks in 113 2/3 innings. The Tigers would prefer not to deal anyone from their big-league roster.

The Tigers are also dangling lefty Andy Oliver in return for a pitcher that can help them now, such as Jimenez, Hiroki Kuroda or even the Nationals' Jason Marquis, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! tweets. Oliver was rated as the team's No. 3 overall prospect by Baseball America heading into the season. He's 6-7 with a 4.64 ERA at Triple-A Toledo with 102 strikeouts and 52 walks in 106 2/3 innings. He was the team's second-round pick in 2009. He made five starts for Detroit last season and two this season. Overall he's 0-5 with a 7.11 ERA in the big leagues with 23 strikeouts and 21 walks in 31 2/3 innings.

• The Astros dealt Pence on Friday, but MLB.com's Brian McTaggart tweets the Astros have told inquiring teams that shortstop Clint Barmes is unavailable.

• The Pirates are still looking for an outfield bat, Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com tweets, and that bat may be the Twins' Jason Kubel, MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch writes.

• Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers tells Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that the odds of his team making a deal are "50/50."

Towers also said there are six or seven prospects he doesn't want to deal.

• Brewers general manager Bob Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he is still looking at deals, but wasn't hopeful of completing another. On Thursday the Brewers acquired Felipe Lopez from the Rays and brought him from Triple-A Durham where he was playing for Tampa Bay before bringing him to Milwaukee to replace the injured Rickie Weeks.

Melvin said the team would love to find another infielder, but isn't seeing many on the market. The Brewers have rumored to have talked to the Dodgers about both Jamey Carroll and Furcal.

However, the Los Angeles Times' Dylan Hernandez tweets the Dodgers' conversations about Carroll "have died."

• Orioles reliever Koji Uehara is a hot name, Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman tweets. He says Uehara will go somewhere. He'll make any bullpen better. However, Rosenthal tweets that it's only a 50-50 chance the Orioles move Uehara. He is 13 appearances shy of a $4 million vesting option for 2012. The Baltimore Sun links Uehara with the Pirates, Diamondbacks, Rangers, Phillies and Tigers and notes all five of those teams have had scouts around the Orioles in recent series.

• The Rangers are certainly interested in bullpen help, but San Diego may not be their only trading parter. Brady Tinker of Fox Sports Southwest, tweets Andrew Bailey of the Athletics is the "most likely top bullpen addition" by Texas.

• The Braves may be reluctant to make much of a deal at the deadline so they don't repeat the Mark Teixeira mistake when the team sent, among others, Neftali Feliz and Elvis Andrus to Texas, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. The Braves are refusing to give up any of their top four pitching prospects -- Julio Teheran, Arodys Vizcaino, Randall Delgado or Mike Minor. They could look at dealing from that grow in the offseason when the team could be searching to fill more holes. Atlanta has placed center fielders Nate McLouth and Jordan Schafer on the disabled list in the last two days with Jose Constanza starting on Friday, making his big-league debut. Yahoo!'s Passan tweets the team is targeting center fielders. Rosenthal writes Atlanta is looking not only at center fielders such as B.J. Upton and Michael Bourn, but also corner outfielders such as Ryan Ludwick, Carlos Quentin and Josh Willingham.

• The Marlins appear to be holding pat at the deadline, MLB.com's Joe Frisaro reports. That means they'll keep closer Leo Nunez and left-handed reliever Randy Choate.

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Posted on: July 28, 2011 11:47 pm
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Wright powering Mets



By Matt Snyder


David Wright, Mets. The Mets completed a four-game sweep of the Reds with a 10-9 victory Thursday afternoon, and Wright went 3-5 with two runs and an RBI. Since coming off the disabled list, Wright is scorching hot, as he's gone 15-33 (.455) with three doubles, two home runs and 12 RBI. The Mets are 5-2 in that seven-game span and -- don't look now -- trail the Braves by 6 1/2 games in the Wild Card race. Maybe they should've kept Carlos Beltran?

Mark Trumbo, Angels. The Angels roughed up the Tigers' pitching staff to the tune of 12 runs on 17 hits. The rookie Trumbo got things started in the second with a two-run homer and ended the game with five RBI. He ended up a single shy of the cycle on his 3-5 day. The Angels kept pace with the Rangers and are still just two games out in the AL West.

Wandy Rodriguez, Astros. Granted, the Cardinals were missing Lance Berkman, but Rodriguez likely upped his trade value a bit in his last start before the non-waiver deadline. He worked seven innings in a 5-3 win, allowing just five hits and one earned run. He struck out six and walked only one. The best part? He worked on top. He threw a first-pitch strike to 22 of the 26 batters he faced (Alyson Footer via Twitter).



A's bullpen. The A's got five runs in the first inning from their anemic offense and also received a quality start from Rich Harden. Yet they still ended up losing 10-8 to the Rays. Craig Breslow, Brad Ziegler and Brian Fuentes had a pretty big hand in the loss. The trio combined to allow five hits, three walks and seven earned runs in the top of the seventh inning. It's pretty tough to win a game when the bullpen coughs up a seven-spot.

Mark Reynolds, Orioles. He's got loads of power, but it comes at quite the price. Reynolds went 0-3 with a strikeout Thursday, while also committing an error at third base when he was unable to haul in an attempted pickoff throw. Only four players in the majors have struck out more often than Reynolds, but he's now the league leader in errors. It's probably time to move him to DH, so only his strikeouts are an issue -- and you can live with those from a guy hitting lots of home runs.

Davey Johnson, Nationals. Was Jim Riggleman really doing that great a job managing? It's probably a mere coincidence -- though the Marlins managerial change has made them into a different team -- but Johnson is 9-17 now as manager of the Nats. They were 39-37 when he took over. After a 5-2 loss to Jack McKeon's Marlins Thursday, the Nats have now lost five in a row and seven of eight. They're 3-9 since the All-Star break and are now in last place by 2 1/2 games.

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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