Posted on: July 31, 2011 5:39 pm
Edited on: July 31, 2011 10:18 pm
By Evan Brunell
Rays general manager Andrew Friedman didn't make any trades on Sunday, instead choosing to retain B.J. Upton -- at least for the rest of the season.
It was a quiet day for someone who was expected to be active, and TBO.com's Roger Mooney reports that Friedman underwent an emergency appendectomy on Saturday afternoon. He was able to conduct his usual business from the hospital, so that did not affect any trades.
“We had numerous conversations with many different organizations leading up to the deadline, but none came to fruition. We will continue to be opportunistic in our approach after the deadline as before it,” Friedman said in a statement released by the team.
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Posted on: July 20, 2011 10:04 am
Edited on: July 20, 2011 11:05 am
By Matt Snyder
Bryce Harper is the top prospect in all of baseball. He has prodigious power and a huge outfield arm. Low-A ball proved no match for him this season, as he hit .318 with 14 home runs, 46 RBI, 19 steals and a .977 OPS in 72 games before being promoted to Double-A. But he's still only 18, and is having a rough transition to Double-A.
Through 10 games, Harper is hitting .171 with a .237 on-base percentage and has yet to record an extra-base hit (Nationals Journal). He also looked overmatched at the Future's Game. So what does this mean?
Not a damn thing.
He's 18. Making the transition from the lower levels of the minors (Rookie ball, Low-A, High-A) to the upper levels (Double-A, Triple-A) is the toughest transition for a player this side of when they hit the majors. He even skipped a level. Plus, 10 games is hardly a representative sample from which to draw conclusions and he started slow in Low-A. It's possible he tears up Double-A pitching starting next game.
If we can say anything definitively, maybe it's that this is good for the fans clamoring for a quick Harper promotion. He's going to be special in a Nationals uniform, just not in 2011 and probably not 2012 either.
NOT SATISFIED: After trading Tuesday night for infielder Jeff Keppinger, Giants general manager Brian Sabean said he was working on "something much bigger" before the move and that he's not done making an effort to improve the badly flawed offense (Extra Baggs).
GMs ON HOT SEAT: Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports breaks down some general managers who may be out of a job by the time we turn the page to next season. The ones he lists on the hot seat are Ed Wade of the Astros and Jim Hendry of the Cubs. I'd argue pretty vehemently both should be canned immediately, so no shock there. Also of intrigue, Rosenthal says Yankees GM Brian Cashman and Rays GM Andrew Friedman might step away from their current posts. It would be interesting to see how quickly each is snatched up by other teams.
TROUBLE ON THE HOMEFRONT? Before Tuesday night's loss to the Padres, the Marlins had won nine of their last 10 games, but not everyone was happy. Left-handed reliever Randy Choate was pulled from the game Monday after falling behind 2-0 to a hitter. Yes, in the middle of an at-bat. Considering Choate had struck out 23 lefties and walked just before the game, he felt his track record should at least allow him to finish the hitter. McKeon disagreed and yanked him, saying he was "out of sync." The two reportedly talked, but Choate was still upset. (Fish Tank blog)
IRRELEVANT NO-TRADE CLAUSE: Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano told reporters he didn't even know he had a no-trade clause. Then he said he'd be willing to waive it if it meant he could play for a contender. Of course, Soriano is owed about $61 million through 2014 and considering his age, how quickly he has regressed and his current level of production, there's pretty much no way anyone is giving much for him. The guess is he's stuck in Chicago -- and, for the record, Soriano did say he was happy in Chicago and wanted to win there. (Chicago Sun-Times)
BEDARD'S RETURN DELAYED: Erik Bedard's return from injury has hit a snag, and he'll be pushed back. He's likely going to need a simulated game before thinking about a rehab assignment. This is big news, because we're approaching the trade deadline and a healthy Bedard was likely to be a pretty solid trading chip for the Mariners. He still might go, but his injury history will be a sticking point for potential suitors. (Seattle Times)
BLYLEVEN ON Twins: Bert Blyleven will be enshrined in Cooperstown this weekend, as a new member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. MLB.com has a lengthy story in which Blyleven reflects on his time with the Twins. One thing that jumped out at me is how Blyleven was drafted out of high school and promoted to the majors after just 21 starts and at the age of 19. If that happened nowadays, how much would we have to hear about the Twins "rushing" him to the bigs? Just something to think about.
IKE'S SEASON STILL IN QUESTION: Earlier Tuesday, a story about Ike Davis saying he feared he was done for the 2011 season broke, but then later Tuesday he changed his tone a bit. There's still a question on if he'll be able to get his ankle healed and make it back on the field, but Davis wasn't ready to rule anything out: "I'm not throwing the towel in," he said (ESPN New York). "I'm going to do everything I can to get healthy. And if I don't, I can't really do anything. My body is just not right. I'm working hard and I want to get back on the field."
ANOTHER RIPKEN: Cal Ripken Jr.'s son, Ryan Ripken, is going to play in the Under Armour All America Baseball Game at Wrigley Field next month. The young Ripken hit .353 as a junior this season and the first baseman is fielding scholarship offers from several colleges. Fortunately, Cal is not pushing his son to baseball, saying he just wants Ryan to do whatever makes him happy (Associated Press).
HOMETOWN DISCOUNT: Padres closer Heath Bell is one of the biggest names being thrown around in trade talk, but he's actually willing to take a "hometown discount" to stay in San Diego. The problem is, he's not likely to have that choice. The Padres are in rebuilding mode, and he's their most attractive trading chip. (Sports Radio Interviews)
TEAM FOR SALE: The Dodgers aren't the only team in financial danger out west, as the Padres' Triple-A affiliate will be put up for sale if plans for a new stadium aren't finalized soon. There were plans for a 9,000-seat stadium in Escondido, but the funding for the stadium is now unavailable in the new state budget. Padres CEO Jeff Moorad said he is still holding out hope that things get worked out before the end of the year. (SignonSanDiego.com)
WANG BACK SOON: Nationals starting pitcher Chien-Ming Wang is scheduled to make one more Triple-A start before joining the majors (Adam Kilgore via Twitter). For more on Wang's return to the majors, check out my short article from this past weekend.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: AL Central, Alfonso Soriano, Andrew Friedman, Astros, Bert Blyleven, Brian Cashman, Brian Sabean, Bryce Harper, Cal Ripken, Chien-Ming Wang, Cubs, Ed Wade, Erik Bedard, Giants, Hall of Fame, Heath Bell, Ike Davis, Jack McKeon, Jim Hendry, Mariners, Marlins, Matt Snyder, Mets, Nationals, NL Central, NL East, NL East, NL West, NL West, Padres, Randy Chaote, Rays, Twins, Yankees
Posted on: March 15, 2011 12:09 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
It's Ear on Baseball time again -- the Eye on Baseball team's podcast is back for Episode 7.
After a brief discussion of Andrew Bailey and Neftali Feliz, Matt Snyder and I talk to Jonah Keri, the author of The Extra 2%: How Wall Street Strategies Took a Major League Baseball Team from Worst to First, a look at the brief, but fascinating history of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Keri tells the tale of an exhibition team started by an owner with contempt for fans and not much interest in building a winner, and then its sale and ultimately the building of a modern franchise.
The title comes from a quote Rays principle owner Stuart Sternberg, when he's talking about how the Rays have to do things smarter and better to get that extra two percent edge, whether it's selling tickets, player signings or how to treat customers.
Under Sternberg, Matthew Silverman and "boy genius" general manager Andrew Friedman, the Devil Rays have gone from laughingstock to the Rays, a model franchise for the 21st century.
We talk to Keri about why the Rays won't move and Sternberg won't own the Mets, as well as Keri's role on a focus panel to build a new stadium for the Expos.iTunes , Zune or XML.
Ear on Baseball, Volume 7 (50 minutes, 11 seconds)
Posted on: December 1, 2010 12:42 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2010 1:10 pm
From December 6-9, baseball's offseason will kick into high gear as team officials, agents, players and media descend upon Orlando, Fla. This week, MLB Facts and Rumors will preview an aspect of the Winter Meetings each day. Today: The top 5 GMs expected to make noise at the meetings, plus those who should remain quiet.
There figures to be plenty of action at the Winter Meetings and much of it will happen on the floor with agents, media and team representatives, but those responsible for all the machinations will be ensconced in hotel suites, directing the action from above.
While some hotel suites will have plenty of neighbors looking over with a scowl at all the noise, others figure to stay quiet -- well, as quiet as one can amongst the hubbub, anyways. Let's look at who figures to be splashed among the headlines and those who will wait for another day.
WAKE ME UP WHEN IT'S OVER
Dayton Moore (pictured): Moore has perhaps the best player on the trade market (unless one wants to pitch in Adrian Gonzalez' name) in Zack Greinke, but Greinke ain't going anywhere until Cliff Lee signs -- and even then it's a big if.
While one can't rule out Cliff Lee signing next week, there stands a good chance that may not come to fruition until the week or two after the winter meetings. Remember, Mark Teixeira inked with the Yankees January 6. Lee's market is more defined and aggressive than Teix, but the fact remains: the Lee saga could be far from over.
Sure, Moore figures to make his annual overpay for a mediocre player (cough Jeff Francouer cough), but that'll get overshadowed and is essentially a non-story anyways until K.C.'s baby boom arrives.
Sandy Alderson : Alderson was thought to be close to a deal with starting pitcher Chris Young, although those talks have not progressed as quickly as originally thought. This is roughly the caliber of player New York will be seeking. The core of the team (both financial and talent-wise) is already on the club. It's Alderson's job to supplement the team with the best opportunity to win in 2011 with the resources it has, while leaving the future (as immediate as 2012) open for making the team the way Alderson wants it.
That leaves Alderson discussing deals with lower-tier free agents, not enough for people to really sit up and take attention of at this point. However, his has been a bit of an aggressive free-agent market, so while lower-tier names usually don't fly off the board early, Alderson could net some in Orlando. Alderson is also thought to be trying to clear out salary, but that won't be easy to do and any proposed deal that hits the rumor page doesn't make sense.
Michael Hill : Larry Beinfest is still attached to the Marlins publicly in his role as president for any moves in baseball operations, but Michael Hill is the general manager in name and practice so he is the one of record making the moves Florida has done lately. And they've been plenty: trading Dan Uggla, Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller and signing John Buck along with Javier Vazquez.
Is Florida done? No. Are they nearly done? Yep. Florida could stand to add one more bat, either at second, third or center, but may choose not to do so. The Marlins have wrapped up so much of their business quickly that there simply isn't much left to do.
Neal Huntington: The Pirates aren't high on anyone 's wish list, so even if Huntington is much in the same position as Alderson in only being able to afford mid- and lower-tier free agents as the Bucs desperately try to reverse the stink of 2010, no players will be signing in town anytime soon. There are no major trades on the horizon either.
Dan O'Dowd : O'Dowd is in a similar situation to Hill in that he's made most of his major moves. A mega-million extension for Troy Tulowitzki and enticing Jorge de la Rosa back to town were his grand strokes. Up next is fortifying the bench and infield, which may be done with a trade of Seth Smith or Ryan Spilborghs which would only register as a minor rumble on the Winter Meetings-ometer.
Ah, but as Michael Buffer (pictured) is famous for saying, these GMs figure to be prominently displayed...
"LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE!"
Brian Cashman : Cashman has his fingers in pretty much every major storyline this offseason. Let's look:
Andrew Friedman : Friedman has a major task ahead of him in rebuilding the Rays back to the level they achieved just months ago in the 2010 season. He has to start over with a bullpen while replacing Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena. The two major trade chips are Jason Bartlett and to a lesser extent, either Matt Garza or James Shields. Bartlett should be moved quickly, but Tampa's work will be far from done. The club needs to get as many chips as it can in order during the meetings.
Kenny Williams: No Winter Meeting is complete without a patented Kenny Williams move. Unafraid to be aggressive in free agency and trades, Williams always seems to have something cooking. The team needs a catcher, outfielder and could even strike for a third or first baseman. How good would Adam Dunn look on that club?
Tony Reagins : The Angels have sure been quiet for a team expected to make a splash. Where's the Adrian Beltre signing? The flash of bulbs as Carl Crawford holds up his jersey? Rafael Soriano grinning as he assumes the mantle of closer?
You may see all (or some) of those at the Winter Meetings. The Angels have been laying in wait, shuffling their cards behind the scenes and could be poised to break through.
-- Evan BrunellFor more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.