Tag:Wes Helms
Posted on: July 20, 2010 1:37 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2010 3:04 pm

Trade deadline seller: Florida Marlins

As the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline looms, the CBS Facts & Rumors team will look at the biggest players leading up to the deadline. This week we'll look at the teams who will be talked about the most; next week will be the players who might be moved.

Dan Uggla It's the time of the year where the Marlins get rid of future payroll considerations. The Marlins are only two games below .500 after their current three-game winning streak, but still trail three teams in the NL East and six teams in the wild-card race. Many other organizations may see this as a chance to make a move, but not the Marlins.

Record: 45-47, nine games out of the NL East, three behind third-place Philadelphia and three-and-a-half behind the second-place Mets. Six games back in the wild card.
President of Baseball Operations:  Larry Beinfest
Expectations: None. Really, how many people would notice if the Marlins moved from South Florida? If anything, the Marlins have more of an eye on 2012 when their new stadium opens.
Payroll status: The Marlins had an opening day payroll of more than $47 million, but just $18.75 million tied up in 2011.

What they have to offer

Dan Uggla (.277/.364/.467) is a free agent after the 2011 season, but the Marlins know they can get more for him now rather than next July. He's been mentioned as a match for the Rockies -- and he'd do great at Coors Field, but the Marlins may need to hang on to him…. he's no prize defensively, but he can flat rake.

It also makes financial sense for the Marlins to hold on to Uggla. The Marlins are the only team in the majors with a salary floor, because of an agreement they reached without the players union in January. Josh Johnson is slated to make $7.5 million in 2011 and with another chunk of money going to Uggla -- who is making $7.8 this season and is arbitration eligible -- the Marlins could satisfy their part of the agreement with the union without overpaying for a player on the free-agent market.

That could be bad news for not only the Rockies, but also the Tigers, Red Sox, Yankees, Rangers, Braves and Phillies, who have been rumored to have interest in Uggla. He will likely get dealt by the deadline -- next year's deadline.

So who may get dealt?

Jorge Cantu (.261/.311/.417) has cooled since his white-hot start to the season, but is still a proven RBI producer, Cantu has 53 RBI so far this season. He's played third and first base this year, but is a better fit for an American League team looking for help at the DH spot. A free agent after the season and owed the rest of his $6 million salary for 2010, he could be a bargain for teams -- like the Angels or White Sox -- not looking to spend what it takes for a guy like Adam Dunn or Derrek Lee. He'd also be a nice piece for the Yankees and could certainly provide some pop off the bench.

Wes Helms (.241/.296/.388) is an option for teams wanting some of what Cantu provides without the price tag. Helms is making less than $1 million this year and is a free agent after the season. He'd be a rental player, but it's cheap rent and won't upset a clubhouse or make anyone nervous about their future with the team. Like Cantu, he can play first, third or DH.

Cody Ross Cody Ross (.280/.332/.408) is one of the more attractive outfielders on the market. He's arbitration eligible at the end of the season and making just $4.45 million this year. He'll get a good raise for 2011. With Chris Coghlan, Cameron Maybin, Logan Morrison and Mike Stanton, the Marlins could part with the 29-year old Ross. The Red Sox and Yankees reportedly have had preliminary discussions with the Marlins about Ross. The Braves are also interested.

Leo Nunez (3-2, 2.79 ERA, 22 saves) is attractive to any team looking for relief pitching, which is basically any team that considers itself still in the race. Relief pitching is scarce and expensive near the deadline, which makes Nunez more valuable. He's making just $2 million this year and is arbitration eligible after the season.

Ricky Nolasco (9-7, 4.66) is under team control for two more seasons, which makes him attractive to both the Marlins and suitors. He's making $3.8 million this season and is eligible for arbitration. He's been decent, but should receive a budget-busting raise in the offseason. Some reports have said he's available and others say the Marlins want to keep him.

Nate Robertson (6-7, 5.10) is a free agent after the season, but he's very cheap for the Marlins, despite his $10 million pricetag for this season. The Tigers are paying $9.6 million of his salary.

What they want in return?

The Marlins feel pretty good about their future outfield, with Stanton, Maybin and Morrison and if Ross is moved, expect Coghlan to move to third base. Rookie first baseman Gabby Sanchez is playing well and the shortstop spot is more than ably handled, so the team will likely be looking for arms in return or maybe a catching prospect -- really, not that much different than what every team wants.

Uggla stays put and Helms is dealt to the Yankees. Cantu's name pops up a couple of places, but he's not moved. The asking price is too high for Ross and the team is stuck with him.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

More trade deadline chatter -- Buyers: New York Yankees

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 19, 2010 1:21 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2010 4:16 pm

Trade deadline buyer: New York Yankees

As the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline looms, the CBS Facts & Rumors team will look at the biggest players leading up to the deadline. This week we'll look at the teams who will be talked about the most; next week will be the players who might be moved.

Every transaction talk, be it trades or free agents, seems to start with the Yankees and this time is no different.

Brian Cashman Record: 58-33, three games ahead of the Rays and 6 1/2 in front of the Red Sox.
GM: Brian Cashman
Expectations: Anything short of another World Series title is failure, plain and simple.
Payroll status: Not that it matters, the Yankees had an opening day payroll of more than $213 million and already have more than $144 million on the books for 2011.

What they need

Starting pitcher: With Andy Pettitte on the disabled list and A.J. Burnett's recent hissy fit, the Yankees suddenly look to need at least one starter. Until now, the opening day rotation of CC Sabathia, Pettitte, Burnett, Javier Vazquez and Phil Hughes had started all but two of their games. That could be matched this week alone. The team may also be wary of letting Hughes' innings add up through a pennant race and the playoffs. Sergio Mitre is scheduled to start in Pettitte's place, but until now, he's been more successful as a reliever than a starter.

Bullpen help: Starting pitching isn't the only pitching concern the Yankees have as Joba Chamberlain's days as the bridge to Mariano Rivera may be numbered, and it's not as if Chan Ho Park is going to step up and replace him.

Damaso Marte was placed on the disabled list this weekend with Boone Logan called up as the team's only left-handed reliever.

Big bat: Marcus Thames has been better than expected as the Yankees designated hitter, hitting .287/.396/.437 with three homers and 13 RBI in 87 at-bats, but he's hardly a difference-maker. This spot -- especially if Jorge Posada is healthy enough not to need a DH safety net -- could be upgraded, especially if that upgrade could be a spot starter in the outfield.

Bench help: After the regulars, the Yankees feature the likes of Ramiro Pena and Colin Curtis. The team could certainly upgrade its depth in both the infield and the outfield.

Who may fit

Ted Lilly Starting pitcher: Cliff Lee would have been a great fit, but he's gone. Lee was the marquee name available and there's a decided step down after the newest Texas Ranger. Other starters out there are Ted Lilly, Jake Westbrook, Brett Myers, Roy Oswalt, Dan Haren and maybe even someone like Brian Bannister.

Reliever: There are stop-gap attempts like David Aardsma and Leo Nunez, or the Yankees could go for the kill with someone like Royals closer Joakim Soria. Soria is under club control until 2014, so it would take more than just cash, but also top-flight prospects to get the Royals closer and team him with Rivera to make a formidable back of the bullpen.

Other, less expensive, fits could be either of the Blue Jays pair of relievers, Scott Downs or Jason Frasor.

Bat: Again, going for the kill would be Adam Dunn. Dunn in new Yankee Stadium would be a marriage made in heaven. Dunn doesn't want to DH and he doesn't really have any other value, but he would flourish both in the American League and in pinstripes. Still, the Yankees may not want to give up too much for a player they can just buy in the offseason.

If the Yankees can find a top-end starter, they could send Vazquez to Philadelphia for Jayson Werth. David DeJesus would upgrade the outfield, as well.

Bench help:
Wes Helms and Ty Wigginton are corner possibilities and Wigginton can play second, as well. Xavier Nady and Austin Kearns are possible outfield bats that may not be big, but could work for the Yankees.

Trade chips

Jesus Montero Catching prospect Jesus Montero was reportedly only available for Lee, however the almighty dollar is always available. Any team looking to clear cash off the bottom line will talk to the Yankees, who could send middling prospects loaded up with money sacks to any team that's interested. And there are always teams interested in that kind of prospect.

Right-hander Zach McAllister is 7-6 with a 4.82 ERA in 18 starts at Triple-A. He doesn't have dominant stuff, but has good control and projects as a back of the rotation-type pitcher.

Right-hander Ivan Nova, 23, has better stats than McAllister (7-2, 3.21, 78 strikeouts in 103 2/3 innings) and has an impressive fastball. Nova has impressive talent, but has also struggled with consistency as a pro. This season is his best yet, and there's a question as to whether he's reached his ceiling. Still, he's got enough talent to be intriguing to other teams.

Mark Melancon has long been bantered about as the replacement for Rivera when Mo decides to turn his sights to Cooperstown, but Melancon has yet to live up to that hype. He could be one of those players that need a change in scenery to live up to his potential, and there's enough potential for other teams to take a chance on him.

Other possibilities include SS Eduardo Nunez and 2B David Adams, who was one of the other guys mentioned in the Lee trade.

Predictions: The Yankees will add a reliever and a starter -- possibly Lilly and the lefty Downs. Other than that, the team may think it doesn't have to do too much to keep ahead of the Rays and Red Sox.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 4, 2010 6:00 pm

Marlins beginning to think about selling

Dan Uggla The Florida Marlins are slipping out of contention and may be making some players available. Joe Frisaro of MLB.com notes that except for Hanley Ramirez and Josh Johnson, any player who is eligible for arbitration and free agency can be available.

Frisaro notes that such players include Jorge Cantu, Ricky Nolasco, Cody Ross and Dan Uggla.

Cantu, who nailed 100 RBI exactly last year, is a free agent after the season who can play first and third. He's hitting .265/.318/.434 on the year and could grab the attention of the Texas Rangers. A Type B free agent, Cantu would give the Rangers a compensatory draft pick if he left via free agency -- but only if Texas offered arbitration. Unless Cantu picks it back up to the 25-home run power he once displayed, however, the Rangers would certainly pass as he could command over $10 million in arbitration.

Nolasco is just 27 and has been unlucky for the second year in a row, flashing an ERA around 5 when his peripherals indicate that his ERA should be a full run lower, if not more. The Marlins certainly know this and won't be giving Nolasco away for pennies on the dollar -- teams will have to pay for how well Nolasco has pitched, not how well his games have turned out. For this reason, it's unlikely that any team will match up with Florida. Nolasco has one year of arbitration left.

Ross is an intriguing bat who is serviceable against right-handers and completely annilihates lefties. Boston has been linked to him for quite a while now, but many teams would love to have Ross start or in a luxurious position as a fourth outfielder. He has an extra year of arbitration before he can become a free agent. Even though the Red Sox have been linked to Ross before, it's unclear if there is a fit -- Darnell McDonald can be considered a poor man's Cody Ross and despite the tattered outfield, Boston has more pressing needs.

Dan Uggla (pictured), making $8 million in his final year of free agency, could be attractive to teams in need of a second- or third-baseman. That means Boston, Colorado and Philadelphia will inevitably be linked to the two. Of the three, the Phillies make the most sense because they have the longest-term need (Chase Utley will miss all of July and August at the very least) and the most money available what with Boston bumping up against the luxury tax. Other teams in need of a bat, such as the Rangers, will certainly inquire.

The best thing for all teams with multiple needs is for Florida to continue falling out of contention. The Marlins would then enter a semi-rebuilding phase and there would be plenty available to suit near every team's need. In addition to the four names above, Frisaro notes that pinch-hitter Wes Helms and back-of-the-rotation starter Nate Robertson would be available. There are certainly other candidates to be moved as well. Despite a tattered bullpen, closer Leo Nunez and relievers Clay Hensley and Brian Sanches would draw interest.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 14, 2010 9:00 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:23 am

Rangers seeking right-handed bat

Ty Wigginton The Texas Rangers have long been searching for a reliable right-handed bat who can come off the bench.

In the offseason, GM Jon Daniels thought he found his man in Mike Lowell when the Red Sox agreed to swap Lowell to Texas for catcher Max Ramirez and a hefty sum of cash to help offset Lowell's $12 million salary.

Even though that trade fell apart once it was revealed Lowell needed surgery on his right thumb, the Rangers haven't stopped their search.

Ryan Garko was claimed off waivers from the Seattle Mariners and was so unimpressive, he was sent to Triple-A on May 14. Even calling up top prospect Justin Smoak to man first (with Chris Davis joining Garko in Oklahoma City) hasn't lessened the need for a backup right-handed bat.

Now, the Rangers have turned their sights onto Baltimore Oriole Ty Wigginton and Florida Marlin Wes Helms, reports Jeff Wilson of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram .

Both Wigginton and Helms (as well as Lowell) would predominantly play against left-handers, if acquired, filling a glaring weakness on the club. While Smoak's numbers against righties are more than fine (.283/.408/.485), he has just five hits against lefties, "good" for a .098 batting average.

Wigginton, 32, has bounced around several clubs and is currently with the Baltimore Orioles. Despite getting off to a fast start and being a strong full-time player for the O's, Wigginton has proved in his career thus far that his game is best suited to starting against lefties and being a top option off the bench against righties. Baltimore may want more than Texas is willing to give up, however, given Wigginton's strong start to the season plus his ability to play multiple positions.

That's where Helms, 34, comes in.

Helms has carved out a nice career for himself as a bench player, and has amassed at least 231 at-bats in each of his nine full-time seasons save for 2005 with Milwaukee. While he finds himself challenged by righties over his career (.712 OPS), he has no such qualms against lefties, cranking them to the tune of a .803 OPS. Helms would come at a lower price than Wigginton by virtue of age and production.

The cash-strapped Rangers may also prefer Helms' $950,000 salary on the year over Wigginton's $3.5 million. While the team works through the debts of owner Tom Hicks and the morass that is the sale of the team, Texas can't afford to take on much salary without the consent of the powers that be in the MLB offices. A report earlier today linking Roy Oswalt to the Rangers was debunked, largely due to the Rangers' inability to take on salary.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 8, 2010 9:49 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:30 am

Stanton's OK, too

Stephen Strasburg showed why his debut was a big deal and the other rookie making his debut Tuesday night hasn't had too bad of a game, either.

Marlins right fielder Mike Stanton has two hits as the Marlins lead the Phillies 8-7 in the middle of the eighth. Stanton reached on an infield single in his first at-bat and then single again in his fourth. Stanton led off the eighth inning with a liner to right and then scored on Wes Helms' triple.

Stanton has a reputation for his amazing power, but went the other way off of Phillies reliever Jose Contreras for his second hit of the night. Stanton also struck out once. Along with his 21 minor league homers at Double-A Jacksonville, Stanton also struck out 53 times in 190 at-bats.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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