Tag:Scott Miller
Posted on: July 28, 2011 5:57 pm
 

Braves looking for bat, talk Ludwick with SD

By Scott Miller

Looking for an outfield bat, the Braves are engaging the Padres in trade discussions regarding Ryan Ludwick, multiple sources have told CBSSports.com.

Ludwick is not the only outfielder with whom the Braves are exploring a trade, but they are described as having significant interest in the 33-year-old. The Braves also have talked about Oakland's Josh Willingham, the White Sox's Carlos Quentin, Houston's Hunter Pence and Tampa Bay's B.J. Upton.

The difference is that Ludwick and Willingham will cost less than Pence, Quentin and Upton.

Ludwick was held out of San Diego's lineup Thursday afternoon against Arizona, though manager Bud Black brushed off any suggestion that it was because a trade was imminent. The Padres acquired Ludwick from St. Louis at last year's trade deadline during a surprising season in which they won 90 games.

However, Ludwick was a bitter disappointment down the stretch in 2010 (.211, six homers, 26 RBIs in 239 plate appearances). While he's been better in 2011 (.238, 11, 62 in 412 plate appearances), he clearly is not in San Diego's future plans. A free agent this winter, it is believed that Ludwick will seek something in the neighborhood of a three-year deal. With his game not translating well in Petco Park, the Padres are not interested.

Willingham is hitting .240 with 13 homers and 50 RBIs for an Oakland team that long ago fell out of the race this summer.

There are two problems with the White Sox's Quentin, whom the Braves really like and have serious interest in:

One, he's more expensive than Ludwick or Willingham, according to sources. And, two, the Tigers apparently refuse to allow the White Sox to become full-blown sellers. Detroit lost again on Thursday, this time to the Angels, allowing idle Chicago to pull to within three games of the AL Central lead despite a 51-52 record. The White Sox are only two games behind Detroit in the loss column.

As for Pence, his market has exploded since San Francisco traded for Carlos Beltran. My colleague Danny Knobler writes that the Braves, Phillies and several other clubs checked in with the Astros on Thursday.

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Posted on: July 28, 2011 1:58 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2011 4:32 pm
 

Bell talks continue, Rangers balk at high price

By Scott Miller 

What we know right now is that the Rangers and Padres have spent significant time on the telephone over the past 24 hours with Texas taking a hard run at acquiring closer Heath Bell.

But while talks have been significant, substantive, pick your word, the potential deal continued to just sit there Thursday while the Rangers balked at the Padres' asking price, sources with knowledge of the talks told CBSSports.com.

The Padres, according to sources, are asking a three-player return for Bell, a price Texas is not eager to pay. Whether Texas' pause could open the door for St. Louis, the Los Angeles Angels or another suitor to move in is unclear. The Rangers remain very interested in Bell, according to sources, and talks are said to be ongoing -- though, as of early afternoon Thursday in San Diego, they were not hot.

San Diego had a scout watching Texas pitching prospect Robbie Erlin at Double-A Frisco the other night. Erlin, Texas' third-round pick in the 2009 draft, is 5-2 with a 4.32 ERA in 10 starts this season, with 61 strikeouts in 66 2/3 innings.

The Rangers and Padres have had "good talks" over the past 24 hours, one source said, though Thursday's cooling is an indication that if there is to be a deal reached, it likely will not happen before Friday. Rangers general manager Jon Daniels is said to be traveling with the Rangers to Toronto for this weekend's series and further trade deadline discussions.

Texas has settled on bullpen help as its top priority, and manager Ron Washington lately has become disenchanted with closer Neftali Feliz, saying publicly the other day that he wants to see "a little more fire" from the closer.

"I just don't see the urgency," Washington said. "I'm not saying it's not there, but he's not exuding urgency."

Bell, tied for third in the NL with 29 saves and a three-time All-Star, is full of energy, and his presence -- or that of another reliever like him -- probably would jack up Feliz a little bit.

The Rangers are said to be honed in on Bell, and indications are that they do not believe the Padres are going to trade set-up man Mike Adams.

One Padres source said the other day that the club believes Bell would sign a discounted multi-year deal in San Diego as a free agent this winter and, as such, suggested the club could keep him this summer.

Still, it's hard to see the Padres not dealing him and getting something in return, even if talks between the closer and the team would lead toward belief that they could reunite this winter.

Padres GM Jed Hoyer was not available at Thursday afternoon's Arizona-San Diego game. But on Wednesday, he told AM1090, the Padres' flagship radio, "I think we should [trade]. We don't have the talent base here that we need two have in order to be successful."

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Posted on: July 27, 2011 3:20 pm
Edited on: July 27, 2011 3:51 pm
 

Deal in place to send Beltran to San Francisco

By Scott Miller

San Francisco struck trade-deadline gold Wednesday, agreeing acquire Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran in exchange for minor league pitcher and former first-round pick Zach Wheeler, according to multiple CBSSports.com sources.

The Mets also will pick up the "majority" of the $5 or so million owed Beltran this year before he becomes a free agent this winter, believed to be around $4 million.

The deal cannot become official until Thursday because of rules surrounding Beltran's 10/5 status. This came up last year when the Yankees acquired Lance Berkman from Houston. When a player has been in the majors for 10 seasons, the last five with the same club, he has no-trade rights and a deal does not become official until 24 hours after it's been agreed to.

In this case, sources say that Beltran has agreed to accept a deal to San Francisco, and that the Mets and Giants have agreed that the right-handed Wheeler will go to New York. One source close to the talks said the Mets will pick up a "significant" portion of the remainder of Beltran's 2011 salary, though it was unclear of how much.

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson has been fielding offers for Beltran for weeks, and Philadelphia, Texas and Atlanta have been among the most intense suitors. The deal began breaking the Giants' way earlier this week when the Phillies cooled on Beltran because the Mets refused to reduce their asking price, and Texas dropped out Wednesday morning.

The Giants clinched the deal with the inclusion of Wheeler, a top pitching prospect who was San Francisco's first-round pick in the 2009 draft. Beltran's bat will be a huge addition to a San Francisco team already in first place in the NL West.

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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