Tag:Rich Harden
Posted on: August 20, 2011 4:28 pm
  •  
 

Yankees, other teams scouting Rich Harden

HardenBy Evan Brunell

On Friday night, Rich Harden showed flashes of the dominance that has given him chance after chance to pitch in the majors despite being one of the most brittle baseball players to play the game.

Harden struck out 11 batters, including striking out the side on nine pitches in the first after loading the bases on an error and two walks. He walked a total of four batters and allowed just two hits in a near-unhittable performance over seven innings, downing the Blue Jays. It was a great game for scouts to watch, as the San Francisco Chronicle notes that scouts from several teams in contention have been keeping tabs on Harden, including the Yankees, who took in Harden's previous two starts.

Any sour taste left in New York's mouth after seeing Harden give up four runs in four innings to the Rangers on Aug. 14 was certainly erased by this past outing, and it's easy to see Harden being moved before Aug. 31. After all, it's not as if he's untouchable -- Oakland had agreed to ship Harden to the Red Sox at the trade deadline for prospect Lars Anderson and a player to be named later. When the Red Sox didn't like Harden's medicals, they balked on the PTBNL, and the A's scrapped the deal entirely. Boston acquired Erik Bedard instead, and now it's entirely possible that Harden will be pitching against Boston down the stretch, donning pinstripes.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
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.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
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 ...

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

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.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 28, 2011 10:45 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2011 12:05 am
 

Thursday night trade rumors roundup

By Matt Snyder

We're less than three days away to the non-waiver trade deadline in Major League Baseball. As we inch closer, it seems that more players are becoming available, so there are bound to be some fireworks this weekend. Let's check out what happened Thursday night.

CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler reports that the Braves and Phillies -- losers in the Carlos Beltran sweepstakes -- are interested in White Sox right fielder Carlos Quentin. Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the Braves are front-runners on Quentin.

MLB Trade Deadline
CBSSports.com's Scott Miller reiterates the Braves' desire for an outfield bat and throws the name of Padres' outfielder Ryan Ludwick into the discussion. Mark Bowman of MLB.com also reports the Braves are after Ludwick.

Knobler reports that, though the Blue Jays are believed to be done making moves after the Colby Rasmus trade, they still could deal relievers Frank Francisco and/or Jon Rauch.

• Some of the biggest movement of the day happened in terms of Hunter Pence's status. It had been reported for all the early part of this week the Astros were holding onto their All-Star right fielder tightly, but things may have changed. Knobler noted that interest has picked up with Beltran off the market, though some rival GMs still don't think Houston will deal Pence. Fox Sports reports the Braves are in on Pence but the Phillies are the most serious suitor. Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports added that the Indians are also in the mix and the chances of Pence being traded are better than 50-50. ESPN's Jayson Stark says the interest in Pence is "exploding" and the Braves, Phillies, Red Sox and Reds are in on him. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports said as many as eight teams are after Pence. In a contradiction to some of the above reports, however, is that Jon Heyman of SI.com earlier in the day reported the Phillies have given up on Pence and the Braves are the only team left with a shot.

Ubaldo Jimenez's name continues to bounce around, but the status is pretty much the same as before: The Yankees have the best shot, but it's not even close to being a sure thing and the Rockies may keep him.

Per Rosenthal, both the Yankees and Red Sox scouted A's starter Rich Harden during his outing against Tampa Bay Thursday.

• The Tigers are interested in Jason Marquis, reports Bill Ladsden of MLB.com.

• The Braves have had discussions about A's outfielder Coco Crisp, reports ESPN's Buster Olney. Rosenthal reports the Braves also have interest in A's outfielder Josh Willingham.

• Though Hiroki Kuroda's a hot name in the weak starting pitching market, as Knobler pointed out earlier Thursday, Newsday's Ken Davidoff reports that the Dodgers are not taking offers for him. Sherman reports the Yankees are in regular contact with the Dodgers about Kuroda, though.

• The Red Sox have the following starting pitchers on their radar, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe: Rich Harden, Erik Bedard, Hiroki Kuroda, Jeremy Guthrie, Aaron Harang, and Ubaldo Jimenez.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: July 7, 2011 4:51 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2011 8:26 pm
 

On Deck: Looking out West

OD

By Matt Snyder


Thursday afternoon had one matinee, while the Pirates and Phillies both have the day off. That leaves us with 13 games for the night. Let's take a trip out West for three storylines.

Kershaw looks to stop two streaks: The Dodgers are in an absolute tailspin, having lost five in a row and seven of their last eight. The good news for the Dodgers is that staff ace, All-Star and MLB strikeout leader Clayton Kershaw (8-4, 3.23) takes the mound Thursday night. He's going to have his hands full, too, because he's facing the Mets away from Citi Field. The Mets are 26-20 on the road, including winning three in a row and seven of their last eight. The only loss was against Justin Verlander, so it can be pretty easily forgiven. In those seven wins, the least amount of runs they've scored is five. They've even gone the last three with Jose Reyes. Dillon Gee (8-2, 3.47) is the Mets' starter. New York (NL) at Los Angeles (NL), 10:10 p.m. ET. Follow Live Gametracker

Texas taking off? The Rangers got off to a scorching hot start this season but have been pretty mediocre since. Each time it feels like the defending AL champs are going to take off, they scuffle for a short stretch. They recently lost two of three to the Marlins but are now coming off a sweep of the Orioles and begin a four-game series against the A's Thursday night. This could be the perfect opportunity to go into the All-Star break with some serious momentum. They'll square off against a former teammate, Rich Harden, for the first time since he departed. Harden was on the disabled list all season until making a quality start and picking up the victory July 1 against the Diamondbacks. It will be interesting to see which Harden shows up, because he can be dominant. Derek Holland (6-4, 5.10) gets the nod for the Rangers. Oakland at Texas, 8:05 p.m. ET. Follow Live Gametracker

Weaver's All-Star tuneup? Angels' starting pitcher Jered Weaver is probably the front-runner to be the American League starter in the All-Star Game next Tuesday, and Thursday evening he'll make his final start before the break. The Angels have fallen a game back of the Rangers in the AL West, so they'll once again need Weaver to step up. The odds are pretty good that he will, as Weaver is locked in again, just like he was in April. Also, he's facing a Mariners team that has scored either zero or one run 22 times this season. Doug Fister (3-9, 3.02) gets the task of matching pitches with Weaver. Seattle at Los Angeles (AL), 10:05 p.m. ET. Follow Live Gametracker

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: April 11, 2011 6:00 pm
 

Report: Harden shut down again

By Matt Snyder

Stop me when this sounds familiar: Rich Harden has been shut down. He was scheduled to throw to hitters, but instead was unable to do so and the next step in his recovery from a strained lat muscle is reportedly unclear. (Susan Slusser via Twitter)

If you're able to completely disregard the large amount of money Harden's made in his career -- it's north of $20 million -- you can't help but feel sorry for the guy. Even his longest stretches of clean health are less than a full season. He made 31 starts in 2004, but since then has never made more than 26 and has made less than 15 twice. When he used to take the hill fully healthy he was among the best pitchers in baseball -- witness 2008, when he was 10-2 with a 2.07 ERA and 181 strikeouts in 148 innings. But the past two seasons saw a drastic rise in ERA, hit rate and walk rate. In 2010, Harden also had his lowest strikeout rate ever. He's only 29, but it's possible his body is simply losing the ability to continue to heal back to what he once was.

As far as the A's go, do they even need him? It's only nine games, but the A's have a 2.47 ERA from starting pitchers thus far, which is the best mark in the majors. Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson and Gio Gonzalez have been brilliant. Brandon McCarthy has looked solid, especially for a No. 5. Dallas Braden has made just one start and didn't fare well, but his pedigree from the past two seasons suggests he'll be just fine over the long-haul.

If anything, maybe a healthy and effective Harden (which doesn't even sound natural to say anymore) could net some offensive help in a trade. Otherwise his value to the A's is very little.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Category: MLB
Posted on: March 15, 2011 10:22 am
Edited on: March 15, 2011 11:52 am
 

Pepper: Injury bug biting Brewers



By Matt Snyder


Whether it's Zack Greinke's rib injury, Yuniesky Betancourt's quad or Carlos Gomez's back, things generally haven't been feeling physically well at Brewers camp. They seem to have at least a minor malady for everyone on the team -- even two guys with an intercostal injury, which I didn't even know was a thing. Apparently they are muscles on the rib cage that help contract the chest.

Chris Dickerson is someone who has that issue. He hurt his Monday against the Giants, when he had an ugly collision with Pablo Sandoval. It wasn't exactly a Casey-level beatdown, but Dickerson seemed to have lost. The collision prompted a somewhat humorous/somewhat realistic quote from Randy Wolf.

"Thank God Sandoval lost 30 pounds or that might have been a decapitation," Wolf told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel . "I thought he dislocated his shoulder. It sounded bad."

Wolf later added he's afraid to walk to his car, and he may not have been kidding.

The Brewers can take solace in the fact that it's only spring and they haven't lost anyone for the season yet, like their division-mate Cardinals.

DREW'S MOOD HATS: Potential Nationals closer Drew Storen had struggled this spring, but put together a solid outing Monday. If you peered inside the brim of his hat, you'd have seen: "Down." "Precise." "Focus through the target." The youngster followed his own advice, setting the Tigers down in order in his one inning of work. Writing reminder messages in his hats isn't new for Storen, as he's already cycled through four this spring and has countless left from last year.

"It's kind of like a mood ring, it's a mood hat," he told the Washington Times . "I keep them all. Since there's so much going on, I'll be the first to admit, you get caught up in thinking about throwing things and try to do too much. It's just a nice, easy way to bring your mind back into it."

If a quirk like this seems weird, you've never been around a baseball locker room. In fact, this is relatively normal. Hey, whatever works.

STRASBURG PROGRESSING: Speaking of Nationals pitchers drafted in the first round in 2009, Stephen Strasburg is reportedly making good progress as he rehabs from Tommy John surgery. He's now throwing 90 feet off flat ground and eyes a September return. As you might remember, he had the surgery last September and the normal recovery period is 12-18 months. But just because he has high expectations doesn't mean he's impatient.

"I have to no choice [but to be patient]. I can't just wake up the next morning expecting to get on the mound. It's a slow gradual process. It's about the slow steady progress. It has to take its time and let the body heal naturally." (MLB.com )

IN OR OUT? Luis Castillo might win the second base job for the Mets out of camp because they have no better options. But manager Terry Collins reportedly doesn't really want Castillo around -- only he hasn't officially said as much. Some believe the higher-ups on the Mets would rather Castillo start, but J.P. Ricciardi backs Brad Emaus. Basically, no one really knows what is going on. (ESPN New York )

BELTRE BACK:
Monday, Adrian Beltre made his spring debut, and it went off without a hitch. The third baseman -- who had been sidelined with a strained calf -- played five innings, going 1-3. His only issue had nothing to do with his calf and should be completely expected under the circumstances. "I felt a little bit rusty," he told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram .

PLAY IT AGAIN, RICH: In the least surprising news of the spring, Rich Harden needs to see a doctor. He hasn't thrown a bullpen since February 15, but felt an issue in his lat muscle Sunday and it looks like he's going to be shut down again. (MLB.com ) It's sad to say, but even at age 29, it's hard to see him ever regaining form for an extended period of time. That sparkling 2008 season -- 10-2, 2.07 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 181 K in 148 innings -- will likely go down as his best. With the kind of stuff he has, when healthy, that's a shame. UPDATE: Susan Slusser reports Harden will throw Wednesday and he hasn't suffered a setback.

WHAT IF ... : MLB Trade Rumors has put together a list of what the free agent class might look like at the end of this season if no one had signed extensions. It's worth a look for entertainment purposes.

IT'S ONLY SPRING, BUT ... : ... the Diamondbacks suck. The always-great Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic points out the Snakes would have a record of 4-13-3 if you only count the first five innings of every game this spring -- which is when the major-league starters are still in the game. Perhaps nothing could be more telling than a quote from manager Kirk Gibson: "I'm ready to be impressed, I can tell you that." Such a statement in the spring is troubling, because most of the time optimism is in the air.

BARTMAN MOVIE OUT SOON: Catching Hell , an ESPN 30-for-30 documentary about the infamous Steve Bartman foul ball (Cubs, Moises Alou, Marlins, 2003 NLCS, Game 6 ... c'mon, you know this) will debut at the Tribeca Film Festival, which takes place April 20-May 1 in New York City. The one thing that's amazing to me in the years since that inning is how much people -- non-Cubs fans, to be specific -- seem to enjoy pointing out the loss wasn't Bartman's fault. The insinuation behind this is that all Cubs fans blame the loss on Bartman, which couldn't be further from the truth. Go talk to a group of educated Cubs fans and Alex Gonzalez's name is much more blasphemous. I'll reserve judgment on the movie until it comes out, but I can't help but think some myths are going to be further perpetuated because a few jerk fans threw things at Bartman -- which was reprehensible. In fact, expect a further rant from me on the subject when the movie is released. (Chicago Tribune )

"BEST SHAPE OF MY LIFE!" We've all heard it in spring training. We've all mocked it. But a sample of players the past few years who have declared they are in the best shape of their life have actually outperformed expectations more than players who didn't make such a declaration in the spring. It doesn't mean there's always merit behind the claim, but it's certainly an interesting query. (Baseball Prospectus )

THE GREEK GOD OF JOKES:
Kevin Youkilis walked and then struck out to Yankees 20-year-old prospect Manny Banuelos Monday night. So, naturally, Banuelos is a stud, right? "He's going to be a Hall of Famer," Youkilis told reporters (New York Times ). He made it clear he was kidding, but didn't want to go overboard. When he got serious about the potential phenom, he was respectful.

"He's got three pitches he can throw pretty good, now he has to learn how to pitch," said Youkilis, adding: "If he figures it out, he'll be all right. Being left-handed and throwing hard, if you throw three good pitches and you're left-handed, you don't even have to throw 90."

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

 

More MLB coverage

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