Posted on: December 14, 2011 11:56 am
Edited on: December 14, 2011 4:18 pm
By Matt Snyder
New Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow has made his trade, and it just so happens to be the first big-league trade for new Red Sox GM Ben Cherington as well. The Astros have acquired shortstop Jed Lowrie and pitcher Kyle Weiland from the Red Sox in exchange for relief pitcher Mark Melancon. The Astros officially announced the move Wednesday afternoon.
Is it possible the Red Sox are going to make Melancon their closer, instead of going after a potentially high-priced free agent like Ryan Madson? With Jonathan Papelbon out the door, the Red Sox are in need of a closer and have seemed reluctant to spend tons of money this offseason. Melancon, 26, had 20 saves in 25 chances with a 2.78 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. He struck out 66 batters in 74 1/3 innings.
Of course, the Red Sox have been discussing a move of Daniel Bard to the starting rotation -- and reports from the Boston area say it's already been decided -- so maybe they sign Madson and use Melancon in the eighth? The back-end of the bullpen would seem awfully shaky going with Bobby Jenks in the eighth and Melancon in the ninth. Adding another arm seems more likely than standing pat. Also note: The Red Sox have been connected with A's closer Andrew Bailey in trade rumors.
Update: CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler reports the Red Sox are still seeking a closer. They see Melancon as a setup man with the potential to close eventually.
Lowrie, 27, hit .252/.303/.382 last year in a big-time disappointing performance. He had a great small-sample showing in 2010 (.907 OPS), so there's potential here. I'd guess Lowrie becomes the Astros' starting shortstop, but there's so much unknown with the club now under new direction. We really have no idea how much tinkering will be done before opening day.
Weiland, 25, was a rookie last season for the Red Sox and got knocked around pretty well. He went 0-3 with a 7.66 ERA, 1.66 WHIP and gave up 29 hits in 24 2/3 innings. The 25-year-old right-hander was 8-10 with a 3.58 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in 24 Triple-A starts. Of note, Weiland moves much closer to his roots than he would have been in Boston, as he went to high school in Albuquerque, N.M.
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Posted on: December 6, 2011 6:54 pm
By Matt Snyder
DALLAS -- The Houston Astros are working through the Winter Meetings without a new general manager, but they're continuing the interview process. A source has told CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler that Logan White, the current assistant general manager of scouting for the Dodgers, will interview for the position.
White has overseen drafts when the Dodgers selected star players Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp, in addition to other quality selections like Russell Martin, Chad Billingsley and Kenley Jansen.
White joins Royals assistant GM of scouting and player development J.J. Picollo, Cardinals vice president of player procurement Jeff Luhnow and Rockies assistant GM Bill Geivett as a serious candidates for the job.
Dream candidate Andrew Friedman will not take the job, and instead stay with the Rays. Rangers assistant GM Thad Levine has also pulled out of the running.
"We are searching for a candidate who has the knowledge, skills and experience to build a winner and a strong commitment to player development in order to sustain success. Our goal is to consistently compete for a championship, and we know the first step towards that goal is to develop one of the top farm systems in baseball. We will hire the best candidate available to achieve our goal."
The Astros have not set a timetable on hiring a new GM. Dave Gottfried, who was Wade's assistant, is currently serving as the interim GM, but is not a candidate to land the full-time gig.
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Posted on: December 2, 2011 9:40 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
We're getting closer to the winter meetings in Dallas, so talks and rumors will just intensify over the weekend. Expect some deals to get done by this time next week, and by that I mean something bigger than Chris Capuano signing with the Dodgers.
New Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine will be in the Dominican Republic this weekend to meet with David Ortiz, who said he hasn't decided whether he'd accept arbitration from the Red Sox. Ortiz said there have been several teams reach out to him, but wouldn't name those teams. (Boston Herald)
While a lot of the attention around the Astros general manager job has been about who isn't interviewing, but Colorado's Bill Geivett and St. Louis' Jeff Luhnow have interviewed with the Astros. (MLB.com)
Dave Magadan will return as the Red Sox hitting coach under Valentine.
The Marlins have a team policy that they won't include no-trade clauses in their contracts and it was reported that the policy could hurt the team in its pursuit of some of the biggest free agents. However, president Larry Beinfest said the policy has never hurt them before. (Palm Beach Post)
Japanese shortstop Munenori Kawasaki said in a press conference that he was becoming a free agent and was interested in playing in the United States, but only for the Mariners. Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik said he was aware of Kawasaki's statement and would consider signing the former Softbank Hawk. Kawasaki said he'd be willing to accept a minor-league deal. (Seattle Times)
The Royals announced TV analyst Frank White wouldn't return in 2011. While that's not a big deal on the national scale, White is one of the franchise's best players. A Kansas City native, White is one of just two players to have their number retired by the team. White had served as an analyst the last three years and had resigned as a full-time employee of the Royals in January to concentrate on his TV duties. Jeff Passan of Yahoo! tweeted that White was fired because the team thought he was too critical, which is a shame. White is one of the all-time great Royals and deserved better.@eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: 2012 free agency, 2012 MLB Free Agency, 2012 MLB Free Agents, 2012 MLB Hot Stove, AL Central, AL East, AL West, Astros, Bill Gelvett, Bobby Valentine, C. Trent Rosecrans, Chris Bosio, Cubs, Dave Magadan, David Ortiz, Frank White, free agency, free agent tracker, Indians, Jeff Luhnow, Larry Beinfest, Mariano Rivera, Mariners, Mark DeRosa, Marlins, MLB Free Agency, MLB Free Agents, MLB Hot Stove, Munenori Kawasaki, Nationals, NL Central, NL East, Pirates, Rangers, Red Sox, Reds, Royals, Yankees