Tag:Astros
Posted on: July 22, 2010 4:05 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2010 4:31 pm
 

Top international bonuses

Baseball America today released a list of the top 15 all-time international signing bonuses, and four of them have come during this year's international signing period, which began July 2.

This year's signings include No. 4, Venezuelan pitcher Adonis Cardona (Blue Jays, $2.8 million); No. 5, Dominican outfielder Ariel Ovando (Astros, $2.6 million); No. 11 (tie), Dominican outfielder Phillips Castillo (Mariners, $2.2 million); and No. 11 (tie), Venezuelan third baseman Renato Nunez (Athletics, $2.2 million).

The top signing bonus ever, $4.25 million, was given by the Athletics in 2008 to Dominican right-hander Michael Ynoa. He missed 2009 with elbow problems and has pitched three games this year in the Arizona Rookie League

-- David Andriesen

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




Category: MLB
Posted on: July 21, 2010 11:17 pm
 

Is the front-runner for Oswalt the Cardinals?

Roy Oswalt Think the Phillies are on the verge of acquiring Roy Oswalt?

Think again, reports Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports.

The St. Louis Cardinals are reportedly in the lead for Oswalt's services, and are inching closer to a deal. Oswalt would be open to heading to the Cardinals, but would prefer if his 2012 team option was exercised. He is amenable to deferring some salary in that $16 million option, but it is difficult to imagine Oswalt agreeing to head to St. Louis without the option exercised.

That's because, when Oswalt signed his original deal with Houston, he agreed to make 2012 a team option as long as he received a full no-trade clause to ensure he stayed in Houston.

The Cardinals, for their part, are in "win-now" mode with Albert Pujols and Chris Carpenter headlining a quality roster. One curioyus aspect of chasing Oswalt is that the Cardinals are trying to free up as much money as possible to make a major push to extend Pujols once his deal expires after 2011. Picking up Oswalt's deal, on top of having Matt Holliday's contract, would make it difficult for the Cardinals to both sign Pujols to a massive deal and field a quality ballclub around the three.

Meanwhile, the Phillies are without two starting pitchers and are talking about dealing Jayson Werth in a companion deal for either Oswalt or another starting pitcher. The market for Oswalt is heating up, but it's anyone's guess if he actually exits Texas.
-- Evan Brunell

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

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 21, 2010 4:36 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2010 5:14 pm
 

Oswalt trade doesn't look imminent

If Roy Oswalt is on his way to Philadelphia or anywhere else, that's news to him. And he would know.

The Astros ace has no-trade rights, so the team would have to get his permission to trade him. He said Wednesday that hasn't happened.

"I don't know anything about it," Oswalt told the Houston Chronicle. "Saw it on TV this morning. ... Until [the Astros] come up to me, there's really nothing I can do."

Astros owner Drayton McLane told MLB.com that, despite reports of a trade with the Phillies being close, that is not the case.

"Trades really don't get done [until close to the deadline]," McLane said. "There is no imminent trade with the Phillies or anybody else. There have been lots and lots of discussions, nothing close to a trade."

-- David Andriesen

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


Posted on: July 20, 2010 11:29 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2010 5:20 pm
 

Report: Phils eyeing Oswalt, try to ship Werth

Jayson Werth Earlier today, we learned that the Phillies may make a deal for a starting pitcher who could then take the rotation spot vacated by Kyle Kendrick on Saturday.

Now, ESPN's Jayson Stark tweets that the Phillies are working on a "major deal" for a starting pitcher. Jayson Werth would be moved in another deal, likely to offset the salary Philadelphia would absorb in the acquisition of the starter. Coworker Buster Olney concurs, saying that Roy Oswalt is a logical fit.

The two starting pitchers on the market that could qualify as a major acquisition are Oswalt and Dan Haren, but Oswalt is far easier to pry. Plus, as Olney says, the Phillies have not discussed Haren, Ben Sheets (who has been linked to Philadelphia before) or any of the Rays pitchers. The Rays have been linked to Werth as they seek a major upgrade with the bat.

All that makes Oswalt the most likely name to be headed to Philly, especially given Oswalt's next start is -- surprise, surprise -- Saturday.

Complicating things is that Oswalt has a full no-trade clause and may want to be convinced by the Phillies that they have a legitimate shot at the playoffs. The Phillies may also be forced to pick up the $16 million club option for 2012, although Oswalt may not make that part of his demands. AOL Fanhouse's Ed Price reports the Astros are very close to putting the deal before Oswalt for a decision.

As for where Werth could go, that's not as obvious. Here are some candidates:
  • Braves: The Braves are thought to be 50/50 on adding another outfielder as Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports . If Nate McLouth can return from his concussion at full strength, the Braves would be fine given a hot Matt Diaz and the return of Jason Heyward. Complicating matters is that the Braves are a division rival, although Atlanta has young pitching Philadelphia undoubtedly covets.
  • Giants: The Giants are looking for a big bat, but GM Brian Sabean has been adamant that he will not acquire any rental players. Could the chance to get Werth change his mind for a suddenly streaking team who is now tied for second place, 3 1/2 behind the Padres? The Giants could move Jonathan Sanchez to Philadelphia or a stable of prospects. The Phillies will certainly have a desire to restock its farm system.
  • Padres: The division-leading Pads of the West have made no secret of their desire for Corey Hart. They can only wait so long, however, and Werth is not a bad consolation prize at all and could even be considered better than Hart, as the Philly right fielder is a five-tool player. It's unclear what pitching the Pads could possibly cough up, though, especially with Mat Latos on the DL. While they have some intriguing pieces down the farm, there are none that jump out.
  • Rays: The Rays have been seeking a big bat for quite a while, and Werth would certainly be that bat. They have a ton of pitching to deal along with prospects and could match up perfectly, with the Phillies spinning some prospects to Houston by way of Tampa. The Rays could give up Wade Davis or Jeremy Hellickson, as well as no shortage of position player prospects -- especially shortstop, where Houston might love to plug in Reid Brignac or add Tim Beckham to its farm. Olney and Stark both heard the Rays are involved in discussions with Werth, although that doesn't necessarily mean they're the front-runner.
  • Red Sox: The Red Sox could certainly use a big thumper, but the team is about to have a plethora of injured players return, one of which is an outfielder. While Jeremy Hermida doesn't make anyone quake in their boots, their outfield production has been surprisingly effective. They have inquired as to David DeJesus but find the price prohibitive, according to the Boston Globe 's Nick Cafardo. Cafardo also reports that Hart's price is too expensive, so imagine what Werth's price would be to them.
  • White Sox: The ChiSox have been hungry for Adam Dunn, but the Nationals aren't budging on an exorbitant price. A scout says that the Nationals are acting as if Dunn is like Ryan Howard -- which is not all that far off an actual comparison. Bottom line, if Dunn doesn't happen, you can't count Kenny Williams out of a deal for Werth. If Williams made Chicago's farm system available for Dunn, wouldn't it be so for Werth?
  • Yankees: The Yankees are miffed that they missed out on Cliff Lee, and despite their sudden need for a starting pitcher with the Andy Pettitte injury, certainly wouldn't turn down adding a bat to an outfield that needs it. It's unlikely Jesus Montero would be swapped, but they have enough complementary prospects to make a deal happen -- but not to the level as other teams on the list.
You can't have trade rumors without a dark horse, though.

My surprise team? The Athletics.

Think about it: They have no interest in trading Ben Sheets, which has to count for something. Then you have the team 8 1/2 games out of first but very much still in the hunt. They lost Ryan Sweeney for the year and need a stick in the middle of the order -- even when they had Sweeney. And of course, they'll recoup draft picks if/when Werth leaves as a free agent.

It'll certainly be an interesting storyline to follow.

UPDATE : And the Phillies may have just lost a little leverage. Starter Jamie Moyer left Tuesday's game with an injury and the latest report from Todd Zolecki has the lefty headed to the disabled list. Manager Charlie Manuel compared the injury to J.A. Happ's, who took over three months to get back on a mound. Ironically enough, Moyer's replacement will likely be Happ.

-- Evan Brunell

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 5:42 pm
Edited on: October 22, 2010 4:03 pm
 

This week in free stuff: July 19-26


What's better than a day at the ballpark? A day at the ballpark and free stuff.

I remember as a kid going to a Tidewater Tides (as the Norfolk Tides were called then) and getting a Tides batting glove. I wore that batting glove even though it was for my left hand and I was a left-handed hitter. I loved that thing, with the Tides logo and elastic wristband. Since then, I've loved ballpark giveaways (or SGA as you can find them on eBay) and have a collection of odds and ends such as an Endy Chavez bobblehead or a Macon Braves batting helmet (I only get them now as a paying fan, not as part of the job). As a proud owner of a Savannah Sand Gnats Gnic the Gnat bobblehead, I often check around to see what's being given away at ballparks around the country. So here it is, this week in free stuff, from the majors and minors. Keep in mind, this isn't a complete list, just the ones I find most interesting, and even if many think bobbleheads are passe, I'm still a big fan and you'll see most of them here.

Tonight, July 19
Chicago Cubs -- a Cubs mouse pad… if you still use one of those. Ask your parents, kids.
Johnson City Cardinals (Rookie Appalachian League) -- seat cushion. One of the more underrated and classic give-aways, you don't see them as much anymore, yet your butt could still use a cushion after nine innings.

Tuesday, July 20
Los Angeles Dodgers -- James Loney bobblehead
New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Eastern League) -- Dustin Pedroia bobblehead
Richmond Flying Squirrels (Southern League) -- logo ball. I'm not usually a big logo ball fan, but this logo is a flying squirrel.
Lakewood BlueClaws (South Atlantic League) -- paint your own Clawd bobblehead. Clawd is the team's mascot.
State College Spikes (New York-Penn League) -- eco-friendly cooler bag. I was at a Marlins game once and they gave out gas cans. I'm usually a big fan of practical give-aways, but I didn't take that one.

Brookly Cyclones Wednesday, July 21
Baltimore Orioles -- foam finger. A classic. I'd love to see the foam finger make a comeback, even if a No. 1 is a little unrealistic for the Orioles.
Chicago Cubs -- key chain. This one is actually a nice, simple design, something that can often be done wrong and is done well here.
Brooklyn Cyclones (New York-Penn League) -- "Jersey? Sure!" Jersey. It's actually kinda great. The Cyclones are one of the minor league leaders in both quantity and quality of giveaways.

Manny Ramirez Thursday, July 22
Pittsburgh Pirates -- T-shirt. I don't normally get too excited by free t-shirts, but this one has a nice Pirate theme with a ship and all.
Los Angeles Dodgers -- Manny Ramirez action figure. Action figures are this year's attempt at replacing bobbleheads. The Dodgers went the extra mile and made each of their three action figures as superheroes, but it still doesn't quite work.
Bowie BaySox (Eastern League) -- Nolan Reimold bobblehead. The Orioles prospect is getting his own bobblehead.
Iowa Cubs (Pacific Coast League) -- Casey Blake bobblehead. Blake is an Iowa native.
Portland Sea Dogs (Eastern League) -- Adrian Gonzalez bobblehead.
Corpus Christi Hooks (Texas League) -- Aussie hat. Not bad for a day at the beach on North Padre Island.
Lakewood BlueClaws (South Atlantic Laegue) -- Dusty Wathan bobblehead. Wathan, son of former Royals manager John "Duke" Wathan, was the manager of the BlueClaws last season when the team won the South Atlantic League title and like most of his players, got called up. He's now the manager of the High-A Clearwater Threshers in the Phillies organization.
Great Lakes Loons (Midwest League) -- Bill Freehan bobblehead. The Loons are honoring Tiger legends with bobbleheads this season and Freehan is Michigan through-and-through. Freehan was born in Detroit, played football and baseball at the University of Michigan and then spent his entire 15-year career with the Tigers.
Orem Owlz (Frontier League) -- Torii Hunter bobblehead.

Friday, July 23
Evan Longoria Baltimore Orioles -- tankard. More realistic than the foam finger, Orioles fans can drink away their problems in style.
Houston Astros -- gym bag. Again, one of the practical giveaways. I have a Braves bag I still use.
Montgomery Biscuits (Southern League) -- Evan Longoria bobblehead.
Clearwater Threshers (Florida State League) -- Mike Schmidt bobblehead.
West Michigan Whitecaps (Midwest League) -- Larry Herndon bobblehead. It's a big week for former Tigers, apparently. Herndon caught the last out of the 1984 World Series.
Brooklyn Cyclones (New York-Penn League) -- Fireman Sandy bobblehead. A bobblehead of the mascot Sandy in a fireman's uniform.
Vermont Lake Monsters (New York-Penn League) -- Champ bobblehead. A friend of mine has a large collection of bobbleheads and says the mascot ones go for the most money on the secondary market.

Saturday, July 24
New York Yankees -- lunch box. I love the metal lunch boxes, they're a popular giveaway -- and for good reason.
Grady Sizemore Cleveland Indians -- Grady Sizemore bobblehead. One of the few chances to see Grady Sizemore in action at Progressive Field.
Houston Astros -- rainbow sleeve t-shirt.
Milwaukee Brewers -- grill master apron.
Las Vegas 51s (Pacific Coast League) -- wall clock.
Inland Empire 66ers (California League) -- James Loney bobblehead.
Visalia Rawhide (California League) -- beach blanket.
Kinston Indians (Carolina League) -- Lonnie Chisenhall bobblehead. The Indians prospect is nearly ready for the big leagues and he already has a bobblehead.
Hagerstown Suns (South Atlantic League) -- Little Heiskell bobblehead. Little Heiskell is a German soldier weathervane figure that has become a symbol of the city.
Rome Braves (South Atlantic League) -- Tommy Hanson bobblehead.
West Michigan Whitecaps (Midwest League) -- glow-in-the-dark baseball.
State College Spikes (New York-Penn League) -- kids fielding glove giveaway. As a kid, these always kinda bummed me out, because it's not like they have a left-handed option. Sure, they're never good enough to actually use, but that's little consolation to a sad little left-handed kid.
Everett AquaSox (Northwest League) -- fleece blanket. One of my favorites, although many teams are moving toward Snuggie-like blankets instead of the usual throw.

Sunday, July 25
Philadelphia Phillies -- Chase Utley action figure. Like the real Utley, this one no longer has a cast on his hand.
Milwaukee Brewers -- Robin Yount bobblehead. Not only is Yount wearing a great old Brewers uniform, the Yountstache is in full effect.
Albuquerque Isotopes (Pacific Coast League) -- Orbit bobblehead. Another great mascot bobblehead. Most minor league mascots are better in bobblehead form than mascot form.
Reno Aces (Pacific Coast League) -- skateboard deck. Another new one this season, the Aces deck is one of the best.
New Britain Rock Cats (Eastern League) -- paint your own bobblehead.
Greensboro Grasshoppers (South Atlantic League) -- Chris Coghlan figurine.
Bowling Green Hot Rods (Midwest League) -- lunch box.
Lake County Captains (Midwest League) -- Skipper leg lamp bobblehead. It's the leg of the mascot, Skipper, and it's a leg lamp, just like Cleveland's own A Christmas Story.
Lowell Spinners (New York-Penn League) -- Allie Gator bobblehead.

-- 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 16, 2010 9:08 pm
 

Lee benched for missing voluntary workout


Major League Baseball doesn't allow mandatory workouts following the All-Star break, but the Astros' non-mandatory workout was apparently mandatory as Carlos Lee was benched for Friday's game for missing Thursday's workout.

"We feel it's necessary for him to go through the baseball things that we went through last night before he gets ready to play and be back in there," Astros manager Brad Mills told reporters, including the Houston Chronicle 's Bernardo Fallas . "He understood why he is not playing."

According to Lee, he had a problem with the private jet he used to return from his native Panama.

"One of the pilots that i was using, his license expired on Wednesday and Thursday morning when we got there, the FAA didn't let us take off because he couldn't fly," Lee told the newspaper. "That was the reason I couldn't make the [team charter], but I was scheduled to land at 11 [a.m. in Houston], it didn't work out the way I wanted."

Lee said he apologized to the coaching staff and was going to talk to his teammates.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

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