Tag:Derek Norris
Posted on: December 23, 2011 10:30 pm
 

Beane expects A's to make more deals

Billy BeaneBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Billy Beane's Oakland swap meet is open and ready for business -- just don't show up on Christmas Day.

"We won't do [any moves] on Christmas, as a matter of principle," Beane said Friday night on a conference call after making the Gio Gonzalez trade official. "We're still having conversations and I anticipate on having conversations [Saturday]."

The team sent Gonzalez to Washington for a package that included left-hander Tom Milone, right-handers A.J. Cole and Brad Peacock, along with catcher Derek Norris. Oakland also send right-hander Rob Gilliam to the Nationals, as part of the deal agreed upon Thursday and finalized Friday. It wasn't the team's first deal, sending Trevor Cahill to Arizona earlier this month, and it's unlikely to be the last.

"We're trying to collect as many young players as we can," Beane said. "I think that's our best long-term strategy."

Beane made no bones that Oakland would have a hard time competing with the Rangers or Angels this season, or really in the next couple of seasons. The A's, instead, are building for the future and know times will be difficult in the next couple of years.

"We've been through this cycle numerous times and it gets shorter and shorter because the gap between us and everyone else grows and grows. For us to compete, we need a new stadium," Beane said. "I don't think there was a move we could make to compete with the Angels and Texas in the moves they're making. They're going to be somewhere around $150 million payroll. We're not a business that can put that payroll on the field. For us to catch up to Seattle we'd have to spend an extra $40 or $50 million. From our standpoint, I don't know that there's a move we could make to compete with them this year."

While Beane said he hopes to hear soon about a new stadium, the team will continue to build for an opening of a new stadium a couple of years down the line and would like to follow the model set forth by the early-to-mid-'90s Indians, who had a core group ready in the big leagues when they opened Jacobs Field.

"That's the blueprint, the template," Beane said. "They went through some pain there. That was when I had just quit playing and was scouting. They had the guts to do it right and they did it best."

As for closer Andrew Bailey, Beane wouldn't discuss individuals, but made it clear he's open to trading just about anyone on the roster, and Bailey would be an obvious candidate.

"We're still going to be very open-minded," Beane said. "The fact of the matter is, we're putting together the team with the idea that we're going to get a new stadium. We don't have any other choice."

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Posted on: December 22, 2011 4:34 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2011 10:15 pm
 

Gio Gonzalez traded to Nats for four prospects



By Matt Snyder


The Washington Nationals have landed left-handed starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez, CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman has confirmed. In return, the A's will receive a veritable killing that is usually reserved for an ace-type pitcher. Tommy Milone, Brad Peacock, Derek Norris and A.J. Cole are headed to Oakland's system in a trade that was first reported by ESPN.com. In fact, Peacock and Milone are probably going to be thrown into the A's starting rotation. UPDATE: CBSSports.com's Scott Miller reports that the Nationals will also get right-handed pitcher Robert Gilliam.

"It's 99 percent done," Gonzalez said (Associated Press). "It's pending a physical and I'm just waiting to hear from my agent."

On the Washington end, they are getting a 26-year-old lefty who isn't eligible to be a free agent until 2016. Gonzalez was 16-12 with a 3.12 ERA and 197 strikeouts in 202 innings last season for the A's. Of course, he also led the majors with 91 walks. Still, he's pretty tough to hit, holding opposing hitters to a .230 batting average and .336 slugging percentage last season.

With Gonzalez alongside Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann, the Nationals have a formidable trio to lead their rotation for several years. Further, with John Lannan and Chien-Ming Wang -- and Ross Detwiler as insurance -- the Nats have a very strong rotation top to bottom. They are coming off their best NL East finish since the move to Washington -- third place -- as they'd previously finished in last place five times and fourth place once.

Gilliam, 24, appears to be a throw-in. He was 12-7 with a 5.04 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in High-A ball last season. He did strike out 8.5 batters per nine innings, though.

More Hot Stove
As for the A's, they are clearly rebuiling, just as we've known all winter. They already traded All-Star pitcher Trevor Cahill to the Diamondbacks and are still rumored to be close to trading closer Andrew Bailey.

This deal will go a long way toward setting up the future, and -- as I mentioned earlier -- Milone and Peacock probably step into the rotation with Brandon McCarthy and two others (Brett Anderson and Dallas Braden are still recovering from season-ending surgeries) immediately.

Milone is a 24-year-old left-hander. He was 12-6 with a 3.22 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 155 strikeouts in 148 1/3 innings in Triple-A last season. He was then promoted to the big-league club and made five starts, with decent success. He had a 3.81 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 26 innings with 15 strikeouts and four walks (and two of those were intentional).

Peacock was pretty dominant last season at three different levels. The 23-year-old right-hander started the season in Double-A, where he went 10-2 with a 2.01 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 129 strikeouts in 98 2/3 innings. He then struck out a batter per inning in Triple-A for nine starts and was moved up to the Nationals. In 12 big-league innings, Peacock only gave up seven hits and one run (0.75 ERA).

Norris, 22, is a high-on-base, power-hitting catcher. Last season, he hit just .210 but had a .367 on-base percentage with 20 home runs in Double-A. He also stole 13 bases and threw out 40 percent of would-be base-stealers.

Cole, 19, is a bit away from the bigs but has high upside according to many scouting services. The 6-foot-4 right-handed pitcher went 4-7 with a 4.04 ERA for Class-A Hagerstown last year, but he also struck out 108 batters in 89 innings.

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Posted on: November 19, 2011 6:32 pm
 

Arizona Fall League wraps up season

Nolan ArenadoBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Salt River Rafters wrapped up the Arizona Fall League season with an 9-3 victory over the Surprise Saguaros on Saturday, and with it came a flurry of awards.

Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (pictured) won the league's Most Valuable Player Award. The 20-year old, playing for the Rafters, hit safely in 27 of his 30 games, including a 2-for-4 performance with a solo homer in Saturday's championship game. Arrando led the minor leagues with 122 RBI at High-A Modesto in 2011.

Miami outfielder Kevin Mattison won the Dernell Stenson Sportsmanship Award. Mattison tied for the league lead in triples (five) and second in runs scored (29). Mattison was added to the Marlins' 40-man roster on Friday.

Arenado and Mattison were also members of the league's Top Prospects Team.

The entire team:

Outfield

Bryce Harper (Nationals): .333/.400/.636, 6 HR, 26 RBI

Michael Choice (Athletics): .318/.423/.667, 6 HR, 18 RBI

Robbie Grossman (Pirates): .375/.472/625, 7 HR, 22 RBI

Kevin Mattison (Marlins): .349/.433/.624, 6 HR, 23 RBI

Adam Eaton (Diamondbacks): .344/.410/.475, 2 HR, 16 RBI

Wil Myers (Royals): .360/.481/.674, 4 HR, 18 RBI

Third base

Nolan Arenado (Rockies): .388/.423/.636, 6 HR, 33 RBI

Mike Olt (Rangers): .349/.433/.764, 13 HR 43 RBI

Shortstop

Junior Lake (Cubs): .296/.352/.548, 5 HR, 21 RBI

Brandon Crawford (Giants): .276/.315/.414, 2 HR, 12 RBI

Second base

Joe Panik (Giants): .323/.394/.473, 2 HR, 13 RBI

Brian Dozier (Twins): .296/..358/.454, 3 HR, 22 RBI

First base

Joe Terdoslavich (Braves): .321/.424/.548, 3 HR, 14 RBI

Matt Adams (Cardinals): .250/.258/.475, 4 HR, 19 RBI

Catcher

Christian Bethancourt (Braves): .306/.324/.556, 5 HR, 13 RBI

Derek Norris (Nationals): .276/.367/.382, 2 HR, 11 RBI

Designated hitter

Jedd Gyorko (Padres): .437/.500/.704, 5 HR, 22 RBI

Josh Vitters (Cubs): .360/.383/.540, 4 HR, 17 RBI

Starting pitchers

Danny Hultzen (Mariners): 1-0, 1.40 ERA, 19.1 IP, 18 SO, 5 BB

Terry Doyle (White Sox): 4-0, 1.98 ERA, 27.1 IP, 22 SO, 5 BB

Relievers

Brad Boxberger (Reds): 3 saves, 5.40 ERA, 13.1 IP, 22 SO, 6 BB

Jacob Diekman (Phillies): 2 saves, 0.79 ERA, 11.1 IP, 14 SO, 6 BB

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Posted on: July 4, 2011 10:57 am
Edited on: July 4, 2011 12:44 pm
 

Harper headed to Double-A

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Bryce HarperBryce Harper, the game's top prospect, has been promoted to Double-A, the Nationals announced.

Harper dominated the low-Class A South Atlantic League, hitting .318/.4232/.554 with 14 home runs in 72 games and 305 plate appearances for Hagerstown. He will skip high-Class A Potomac, reporting to the organization's Double-A affiliate in Harrisburg, Penn.

"This is a developmental issue," Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo told reporters, including Ben Goessling of MASNSports.com. "We're happy that he progressed as much as he did in that league and showed us that he could handle top-flight velocity and breaking pitches and that type of thing. We feel he's ready to take the next step. This was a plan I had in my mind for a long, long time." 

Harper is just 18 and nearly four years younger than the next-youngest player on the Senators, catcher Derek Norris (22). Norris was born in February 1989; Harper's birthday is Oct. 16, 1992. Harper is more than 11 years younger than Senators lefty (and former Mets scapegoat) Oliver Perez, the team's oldest player at 29.

Harrisburg begins a four-game homestand tonight.

Goessling said Rizzo denied the Nationals skipped high-Class A Potomac of the Carolina League because the team is unhappy with ownership about the condition of the team's facility, Pfitzner Stadium. 

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Posted on: May 26, 2011 7:15 pm
Edited on: May 26, 2011 8:55 pm
 

MRI reveals no knee damage for Posey

Buster Posey

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Buster Posey sustained no knee damage in his collision with the Marlins' Scott Cousins, Giants head trainer Dave Groeschner told reporters, including Al Saracevic of the San Francisco Chronicle, meaning he may be able to return to the Giants this season. It was feared he was out for the season following Wednesday night's scary incident at home plate.

Posey is expected to be out six to eight weeks or longer after suffering a broken fibula and severely strained ligaments in his left ankle. The 2010 Rookie of the Year underwent three MRIs on Thursday to determine the extent of the injury.

"The fracture will be fine," Groeschner said. "The ankle injury is most concerning to us."

Posey will have surgery to repair ligaments on both sides of his ankles and may insert a screw into his ankle to help set the bone. The team expects Posey to have surgery within a week. Groeschner would not give a timetable for Posey's return, but did say he would be "out for a while."

Groeschner said the team has had other catchers sustain similar injuries and return.

Even if Posey does return this season, it would be late in the season and the team is already looking for possible short-term upgrades. Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com tweets that the Giants have already asked about Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez. Rodriguez, 39, has been supplanted as the team's starting catcher by Wilson Ramos and is in the second year of his two-year deal, paying him $3 million this season. Rodriguez's offense hasn't been good this season -- he's hitting .205/.256/.342 with two home runs in 79 plate appearances -- but he's still a force defensively, throwing out five of the 12 baserunners who have attempted to steal on him. The Nationals also have Jesus Flores on the 40-man roster as well as Derek Norris, a top prospect, at Double-A Harrisburg.

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Posted on: April 2, 2011 1:25 pm
 

Ivan Rodriguez willing to accept backup role

Rodriguez

By Evan Brunell

Although Ivan Rodriguez drew the start on Opening Day, manager Jim Riggleman admitted that the eventual Hall of Famer would split time evenly with Wilson Ramos to start.

"I think we literally kind of have two No. 1's there," Riggleman told CSNWashington.com. "Right now, I think we're going to move towards that."

At I-Rod's stage in his career, he best profiles as a platoon or part-time catcher, as he can't really justify a full-time role anymore with a disappearing bat. However, the 39 year old still hopes to play three or four more years in his quest for 3,000 hits (he is 183 hits away). And in what is a mild surprise, Pudge is completely accepting of a transition to a backup role and is willing to step aside for Ramos, the future behind the dish for Washington.

"He's the future of our ballclub," Rodriguez said, who figures to lose more and more playing time to Ramos as the season goes on. "I'm here to work with him. I don't have no problem with that. ... The most important thing for me is to help the ballclub."

Riggleman noted that his conversation with Rodriguez about the new situation was "one of the best conversations I've ever had with a ballplayer since I've been managing."

Although Rodriguez is willing to give way to Ramos behind the plate and serve as a mentor, he feels he still has plenty to offer.

"There's still a lot of baseball in me," he noted. "I feel like I can help this team in so many ways: in the field, off the field, with my teammates. ... I would like to finish here. That's my goal, to stay here and accomplish my goals I want to accomplish: be in another playoffs, another World Series and reach 3,000 hits."

It's unclear whether Washington has interest in bringing Rodriguez back after the season given Jesus Flores and Derek Norris are in the minors and will be knocking on the door fairly shortly. Even if Rodriguez doesn't return in Washington, however, he shouldn't have much difficulty finding a backup spot now that he's indicated a willingness to play in that role.

Don't be surprised to see him on the move this summer, though. The Nationals aren't going anywhere and can benefit from trading Rodriguez. The Houston Astros, who are desperate for a catcher, could be a fit later this season. First things first, Ramos needs to show he can produce.

"I'm very excited for this opportunity," Ramos said. "I was waiting for this. I will learn with Pudge, he's going to teach me a lot. I want to learn with him so I will try to do the best I can."

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Posted on: March 12, 2011 6:14 pm
Edited on: March 12, 2011 6:25 pm
 

Red Sox may trade Matsuzaka, Cameron, more

By Evan Brunell

MatsuzakaThe Red Sox are busy making several players available for trade, reports Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston. Players thought to be available include right-handers Daisuke Matsuzaka (pictured) and Tim Wakefield along with outfielders Mike Cameron or Darnell McDonald and shortstop Marco Scutaro.

Out of these names, Matsuzaka is both the most well-known and also unlikeliest to be traded. After taking America by storm his first two seasons in town -- nabbing a ring in his rookie campaign back in 2007 -- Matsuzaka has struggled with injuries, integrating himself into the clubhouse and being completely ineffective as his 11.42 ERA in three spring training starts reveals.

"His rhythm was all out of whack,'' the source who indicated Dice-K was on the block said. "I don't know if it's because that's what the team wants, but I think he's become too much of a conventional pitcher. He's got to go back to pitching 'left-handed' again, dropping down at times, throwing from all kinds of angles, turning the ball over. He's not doing that as much.''

Matsuzaka has a full no-trade clause and is due $20 million over the next two seasons, making it difficult for a team to jump for Matsuzaka, no matter the talent that caused Boston to splurge for a $51.1 million posting fee just to talk to the Japanese phenom. However, there are enough teams in need of pitching and Matsuzaka's ace-caliber talents remain hidden somewhere in his body. It appears, though, that both Matsuzaka and the Red Sox are ready to move on, and Boston would do just that if they could add a young catcher to the team.

The Red Sox are set to go into the season with Jarrod Saltalamacchia starting with team captain Jason Varitek backing up. While the club has a few young catchers in the minors, they lack someone with a high ceiling. Despite Salty's pedigree, he has yet to put it all together in the majors and Boston would doubtless prefer to create more depth in the position.

One potential thought could be the Nationals, who have Wilson Ramos and Jesus Flores as young catchers. While Ramos is expected to open the year as backup catcher to Ivan Rodriguez and eventually supplant the Hall of Fame catcher, Flores is out of options. Flores is likely of little concern to Boston, who would prefer a player they can send to the minors and groom. Washington has such a catcher in Derek Norris, who was ranked as the No. 47 prospect in all of baseball by CBS Sports.

However, while the Nationals would love to stockpile quality pitching and could be intrigued by Matsuzaka, all the issues surrounding the 30-year-old and Norris' ceiling would make any such deal difficult to bridge unless Boston is willing to eat some salary.

Red Sox

If the Red Sox do move Matsuzaka, it would open up a hole in the rotation that could be filled by Tim Wakefield, reliever Alfredo Aceves or prospects Felix Doubront and Andrew Miller.

However, Wakefield is thought to be on the block himself despite stating he has no interest in playing for another team. Due just $1.5 million in 2011, the Red Sox could dangle the swingman for left-handed relief. The club has no shortage of left-handed relievers in camp vying for a job, but none are clear front-runners. If both Wakefield and Matsuzaka remain, the knuckleballer will pitch out of the bullpen.

Also available are backup outfielders Mike Cameron and Darnell McDonald. Cameron is due $7.25 million in the final year of a two-year deal. Slated to start in center for the Red Sox last season, injuries derailed his season and now have him set to be the No. 4 outfielder. McDonald, meanwhile, took advantage of all the playing time afforded him in the outfield last season to finally establish himself in the majors after being a minor-league journeyman. He's making the league minimum so is the more valuable outfielder from a cost perspective, although Cameron holds the edge on offense and defense, which he is renowned for.

The Red Sox do need right-handed outfielders to complement their all-lefty outfielder along with DH David Ortiz, also a lefty. Given right fielder J.D. Drew has a checkered injury past, there's plenty of playing time in store for Cameron and McDonald. One of them is being made available likely to fill more pressing holes, such as left-handed relief. In addition, both outfielders rake against left-handers and are effectively filling the same role.

Cameron and McDonald could draw interest from the Phillies, who have to deal with top prospect Domonic Brown (No. 3 on the Top 100 prospects list) fracturing his hamate bone and likely out for all of April. He appears ticketed for Triple-A after that given his poor start to spring training and newfound need to get at-bats. That opens up a gaping hole in right field for Philly, trying to withstand the loss of incumbent Jayson Werth while worrying about replacing the offense of second baseman Chase Utley, who is unlikely to begin the season with the team. Backup outfielder Ben Francisco is expected to win the starting role.

The Phillies already have a payroll in the mid-$160 million range and would like to avoid paying a payroll tax that would be incurred upon hitting $178 million, so while Cameron makes more sense to become the starter, McDonald appears the more cost-effective solution who could platoon with Francisco as well as fill in for Raul Ibanez in left field. The Red Sox would replace their backup outfield spot with one of Ryan Kalish, Josh Reddick or Daniel Nava.

Boston will also listen to offers on starting shortstop Marco Scutaro, who is in the final year of a two-year pact paying $5 million. He would be attractive to other teams given the price and ability to play second, short and third base, with a team option of $5 million for 2012 or a player option of $3 million. The Sox are able to listen to offers on Scutaro thanks to the play of backup Jed Lowrie, who has struggled with injuries the last few years but turned heads with his play late last season. The club also has heralded prospect Jose Iglesias (No. 36) who is widely considered Boston's shortstop of the future. While he could stand to cut his teeth a bit more in the minors with the bat, it wouldn't be outrageous for Boston to promote him.

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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