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Tag:Scott Downs
Posted on: July 25, 2010 9:56 pm
 

Jays asking high price on relievers

Scott Downs The relief market may have just heated up in Boston.

Hideki Okajima continued his worst major-league season to date and was directly responsible for giving up three runs in a Mariners rally on Sunday.

That might be good news for the Blue Jays, who have Jason Frasor, Scott Downs and Kevin Gregg on the market. Downs would give the Red Sox a second lefty in the bullpen -- and their only reliable one. The Jays, however, are asking a ton for Downs.

As FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal says , the price is so high that the Dodgers went scurrying away.

Other teams named in the hunt for one or more of the Jays relievers include the Yankees, Mets, Reds and Twins, says Rosenthal's co-writer, Jon Paul Morosi. None of these names comes as a surprise -- virtually every team in contention every year is always in the market to add more relief pitching.

Toronto won't give away any for pennies on the dollar, though. Frasor is a free agent after the year and should theoretically be the easiest to get. By the same token, however, he's not as sought after as Gregg or Downs. Gregg has an affordable club option for 2011 -- and potentially one for 2012 as well. He's had a successful year closing for the Jays.

Downs, a lefty, has been one of the best setup men in the game for a while and will likely qualify as a Type A free agent. This means that if he signs with another team, the Jays could potentially get a first-round and complementary pick after the first round. That's keeping Downs' price up as even accepting arbitration wouldn't make Downs' 2011 salary prohibitive for Toronto. Understandably, then, they are asking a significant amount.

A deal can't get done, though, if Toronto doesn't realize that for all of Downs' talents, he's a reliever. You don't trade top prospects for a reliever unless young and extremely good -- like Joakim Soria. Downs' value is suppressed somewhat by saves, but he's still better than some of the closers in the game.

-- Evan Brunell

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

Posted on: July 22, 2010 9:17 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:39 am
 

Dodgers may be able to add payroll


Despite the nasty divorce of owner Frank McCourt that has been rumored to handcuff the Dodgers, the team may add to its payroll at the trade deadline, Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com reports .

The Dodgers are looking for pitching help and Jackson writes the team is "zeroing in" on Houston ace Roy Oswalt.

Jackson is one of several starters the team is interested in and made some initial contact about. The others are Ben Sheets, Dan Haren, Ted Lilly and Paul Maholm.

Jackson notes the team's more urgent need may be bullpen help. Toronto's Scott Downs and Jason Frasor have been "scouted heavily" by the Dodgers.

"Pitching continues to be our priority," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said. "With Manny [Ramirez] going down and Reed Johnson still out, we might look at trying to shore up our outfield as well."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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


Posted on: July 22, 2010 1:39 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2010 2:46 pm
 

Trade deadline sellers: Toronto Blue Jays

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.

Alex Anthopoulos The Blue Jays have a winning record, and for a while it sounded as if they were going to load up and make a serious run at the playoffs.  But after taking a realistic look at the landscape in front of them – they are fourth in their own division – it looks like the boys up north have decided to punt. They already pulled off one trade, swapping shortstop Alex Gonzalez for younger model Yunel Escobar on July 14.

Record: 48-47, 12 games behind and in fourth place in the American League East. Seventh in the AL wild-card race, 9 ½ games back.
General manager: Alex Anthopoulos, first year
Expectations: Building. The Jays are in the frustrating position of being a decent, but not great, team in a division that includes a couple of payroll bullies. But as the Rays have shown, you can overcome that by building smart.
Payroll status: Opening day payroll was $62.7 million, 22nd in baseball. The Jays have about $44 million committed to contracts and pro-rated portions of signing bonuses for 2011.

What they have to offer

Scott Downs might be the best reliever on the market. The left-handed middleman has a 2.52 ERA with 30 strikeouts in 39 1/3 innings, and hasn’t given up an earned run since June 6. He had some neck and arm soreness just before the break but has been unrestricted since.

The Jays are apparently asking a lot for Downs, scaring away some suitors. But he’s likely to be a Type A free agent after the season, which means Toronto could get two first-round picks if he leaves as a free agent. Even saving the rest of his salary (about $2 million left for the year) doesn’t make it worth trading him if they can’t get at least that level of talent back.

Major-league home run leader Jose Bautista (.238/.354/.542) is looking like a very attractive quick fix for teams in need of power. He can play any outfield position as well as third base. But he doesn’t hit for average, he will get a big salary bump in arbitration next year, and the Jays are reportedly asking a lot for him. Still, the Giants, Braves, Tigers and White Sox appear to be in play.

Scott Downs Reliever Jason Frasor has been erratic this season (check out his ERA by month: April 8.38, May 0.82, June 6.75, July 1.35) but when he’s on he has shown the ability to be effective against righties and lefties.

First baseman Lyle Overbay (.251/.330/.412) is an impending free agent the Jays would like to deal, though there are better first basemen on the market and Overbay is making $7 million this year.

Catcher John Buck (.285/.315/.518) was an All-Star and is an attractive and cheap ($1 million left for this year) power option, and the Jays have prospect J.P. Arencibia waiting in the wings.

There are conflicting reports on whether Toronto is shopping closer Kevin Gregg, who has been reliable and has a manageable $4.5 million club option for next season.

What they want in return?

The Jays are reportedly asking for middle infielders, which is odd because they control both of their starters through at least 2013. Maybe they’re looking for someone they can convert to third base.

They could use some starting pitching prospects to throw into their mix, and if they trade more than one of their relievers they’ll need reinforcements there.

Predictions: Bautista goes to the Giants, who finally give in to Toronto’s demands. The Mets get either Downs or Gregg. Overbay goes and Buck stays.

-- David Andriesen

More trade deadline chatter -- Buyers: New York Yankees, Los Angeles Angels; Sellers: Florida Marlins

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

Posted on: July 21, 2010 2:17 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2010 3:32 pm
 

Trade deadline buyer: Los Angeles Angels

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.
Tony Reagins
The Angels are talking a lot of big talk about having the resources to get whatever is needed to overtake the Rangers -- who have added Cliff Lee and show no signs of slowing down -- in the American League West. So far, however, it hasn't amounted to more than talk. If Tony Reagins doesn't improve this team in the next couple of weeks, expect heavy criticism in L.A.

Record: 51-45, five games behind Texas and three ahead of Oakland in the AL West. Third in AL wild-card race, 6 1/2 games behind Tampa Bay.
General manager: Tony Reagins, third year
Expectations: High. The Angels are outspending Texas by $50 million in payroll and winning despite injuries and underperforming players. Nothing short of the playoffs will be acceptable.
Payroll status: Opening day payroll was over $105 million, eighth-highest in baseball, and the Angels already have more than $80 million committed for next year.

What they need

Bullpen help:
The Angels have been living on the edge in the late innings, and their bullpen has a 4.48 ERA, 12th in the AL. They haven't had anybody step up -- only Fernando Rodney (3.29) has an ERA under 3.80.

Starting pitching: The Angels are ninth in the AL in starters' ERA, and would like to at least find a fifth starter with nothing panning out in-house. They traded for Scott Kazmir at last season's deadline and he has been awful (and is now on the DL).

A bat: When first baseman Kendry Morales suffered his infamous celebratory injury, breaking his leg and knocking himself out for the year, it was a big
blow to the Angels' offense. If they are going to make a big move, it's probably going to be for a first baseman or third baseman with pop.

Who may fit

Derrek Lee Starting pitcher:
Not many teams could take on Roy Oswalt's contract, but the Angels -- cash-rich and prospect-poor -- might be a decent fit. Dan Haren would look good in Anaheim, but the Angels might not have the "wow" package the Diamondbacks say it would take. More likely than going ace shopping would be going to get someone like Kyle Farnsworth or Jake Westbrook.

Reliever: The market for relievers is not good. The Angels might be left to pick over the Toronto bullpen and decide whether they want Scott Downs, Jason Frasor or Kevin Gregg. David Aardsma is available in Seattle, or they could try to pry Royals closer Joakim Soria.

Bat: It's conceivable the Angels could be in play on any of the big names. First basemen Derrek Lee, Prince Fielder and Lance Berkman could be had for a price. That might seem short-sighted, given that Morales will be back next year, but the Angels are under the gun. They might be better off going after someone to play third, where the Angels don't have a good long-term option, but the crop there is less impressive. Or despite Adam Dunn's insistence that he doesn't want to be a DH, the Angels could get him and make him do it anyway.

Trade chips

Mike Trout Here's the biggest problem the Angels face: The cupboard is seriously bare in the upper minors. On Sunday, they used Paul McAnulty (called up July 4) to pinch-hit in extra innings, then designated him for assignment after the game. That's how thin they are -- guys they're calling up to help are throwaways.

At a minimum, the Angels are going to have to part with switch-hitting Triple-A catcher Hank Conger, who's batting .265 at Salt Lake City. There's also Triple-A first baseman Mark Trumbo, who hits a lot of homers but strikes out a lot.

Of course, the Angels do have one monster prospect in outfielder Mike Trout at Class A, but he's considered a potential superstar and it's tough to see them giving him up even under the current win-now pressure.

Predictions


The Angels will find a way to get one of the big bats and add at least one reliever. Reagins is going to have to gut what's left of his farm system to do it, so he'd better hope it works.

-- David Andriesen

More trade deadline chatter -- Buyers: New York Yankees ; Sellers: Florida Marlins

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




Posted on: July 20, 2010 9:53 am
 

Fading Dodgers searching for arms


The Dodgers are looking for pitchers -- any pitchers, starters, relievers, batting practice… it doesn't matter. If you can throw a baseball 60 feet, 6 inches, the Dodgers are interested.

So far, the team has been "very aggressive" in their pursuit of pitching, Yahoo!'s Tim Brown writes . The Dodgers have called about Houston's Roy Oswalt, Chicago's Ted Lilly, Arizona's Dan Haren and Cleveland's Jake Westbrook and Fausto Carmona.

The team has also called Toronto about their reliever trio of Scott Downs, Jason Frasor and Kevin Gregg.

Los Angeles was just swept in St. Louis and dropped their opener against San Francisco last night. The team is now 49-44 and with 12 of its next 16 against San Francisco and San Diego -- two of the three teams ahead of them in the National League West, L.A. could quickly be out of the race. If a move isn't made soon -- and even then, if it doesn't work immediately -- the season could be lost.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Posted on: July 19, 2010 3:41 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:55 am
 

Relievers on the block 'terrible'


Is your team one of the many out there looking for bullpen help? Good luck.

Here's what ESPN's Buster Olney hears:


Right now the cream of the crop seems to be a trio of Blue Jays: Kevin Gregg, Jason Frasor and Scott Downs. Also, available could be the likes of Pittsburgh's Octavio Dotel, Houston's Brandon Lyon, Seattle's David Aardsma, Kansas City's Kyle Farnsworth, Florida's Leo Nunez, Washington's Matt Capps and Arizona's Chad Qualls and Aaron Heilman. The trade market even had a hiccup when Kerry Wood went on the DL -- that tells you about everything you need to know.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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 13, 2010 5:51 pm
Edited on: July 13, 2010 5:52 pm
 

Blue Jays put three relievers on market

Scott Downs The Toronto Blue Jays have made three veteran relievers available, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.

Kevin Gregg, Jason Frasor and Scott Downs may all be on the way out shortly as the Blue Jays have fallen out of the AL East race. Now, the Jays can take their veteran commodities and turn them into young, cost-controllable players.

Bradford notes that the intradivision rival Red Sox are on the hunt for bullpen help and may be prime candidates for one of the three relievers.

It is hard to imagine the Red Sox being interested in Gregg, who is a middling reliever that has snagged 20 saves on the season. He has a 3.67 ERA and is making an affordable $2.75 million on the year. However, whichever team he is on has a $4.5 million option for 2011, or a combined $8.75 million option for 2011-12.

By virtue of being a closer, the Jays would likely give Gregg a higher price tag than either Downs or Frasor, and since Boston already has a closer (Jonathan Papelbon) plus an elite setup man (Daniel Bard), why would they pay a higher price to import a closer worse than either Papelbon or Bard?

Frasor, on the other hand, is a solid middle reliever who wouldn't cost much and could slide in nicely to the back of the rotation. However, is he any better than Michael Bowden? Bowden has been a long-time starter in the minors for the Red Sox who has been on a tear lately and was just converted to relief.

The scuttlebutt is that his promotion is nearing, so it's difficult to envision Boston grabbing Frasor when they have Bowden, Manny Delcarmen and Ramon Ramirez in relief. Something else Frasor has in common with Ramirez is that both struggle against left-handers. One pitcher that does is OK. Two that does suddenly eats into depth. Frasor is also an impending free agent, making $2.65 million.

Downs (pictured) is the most intriguing name. Part of his appeal is the fact he is left-handed. The other part is that he actually produces, having been one of the best relievers the last four years. In the final year of his contract paying out $4 million on the year, Downs has a 2.65 ERA and is a lefty-killer. The Red Sox prefer to have two lefties in the bullpen and while Dustin Richardson figures to be a staple in the bullpen eventually, his time is not now.

-- Evan Brunell

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

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