Tag:Jake Westbrook
Posted on: July 31, 2010 12:53 pm
Edited on: July 31, 2010 1:05 pm
 

Westbrook appears headed to St. Louis

Indians right-hanader Jake Westbrook has been a scratched from his start today amid swirling rumors about a trade, possibly a three-team deal.

Reports have been flying and constantly changing all day, but now Tom Krasovic of Fanhouse.com and Buster Olney of ESPN.com both confirm that the deal is in place and has been approved by the union:


Iniitial reaction: The Cardinals overpaid for a rental, probably because they're so impressed with rookie Jon Jay's great start. Ludwick is arbitration-eligible and could make around $7 million next year (according to MLB.com), so perhaps St. Louis thinks it's trading that salary for a minimum in Jay. Or maybe the Cardinals were just that motivated to add a starter. Westbrook isn't a huge difference-maker -- he's making $11 million this season with a WAR of 0.9 -- but he's one of those "nice to have" guys.

We don't know details on the prospects the Padres gave up, but it looks like they made out in this deal. Ludwick is exactly the kind of offensive boost they sorely need.

-- David Andriesen

UPDATE: Reports are saying the Padres are sending Double-A right-hander Corey Kluber to Cleveland and Class A lefty Nick Greenwood to St. Louis. The Cardinals' official release on the deal says the Indians are also sending cash to St. Louis.

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Posted on: July 26, 2010 9:55 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:57 am
 

Cardinals not optimistic they can get Oswalt


Roy Oswalt If you take most trade market musings from general managers with a grain of salt, this week keep a salt lick ready, because there's more bluffing this week than ever.

In that vein, here's a report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch 's Joe Strauss that says the Cardinals are bowing out of the Roy Oswalt sweepstakes.

"At this point, it's entirely possible that there may not be a deal out there," Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said. "We're continuing to explore avenues, but as we speak I can't say I'm encouraged."

What may have been left out is Mozeliak starting that sentence with "awww shucks" while pawing at the ground with his foot, before finishing it by pushing up his hat and adding another offer.

As it stands, Mozeliak would be more encouraged if the Astros had any interest in taking Brendan Ryan off his hands in return for Oswalt, but for now, the Astros seem to think they can get more than a nice hosiery model for the three-time All-Star.

Oswalt, for his part, reportedly wants to be a Cardinal and the Cardinals want him. He'd certainly be better than Jeff Suppan or the wildly inconsistent Kyle Lohse. The Cardinals may believe Lohse is just as good of a gamble as any of the other starters on the market, such as Jake Westbrook, Ted Lilly or Jeremy Guthrie.

Lohse is scheduled to pitch tonight at Triple-A Memphis and hopes to join the team next month. Brad Penny, on the other hand, may not be able to return this season, Mozeliak said.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: July 23, 2010 3:22 pm
Edited on: July 23, 2010 4:07 pm
 

Trade deadline buyer: Chicago White Sox

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.

Kenny Williams On June 8, the White Sox were nine games under .500 and 9 ½ games back in the American League Central. But then they roared back into the playoff picture with an amazing surge and now sit atop the division.

General manager Kenny Williams has said he wants to bulk up for the second half, and he’s one of the more mercurial figures in the game, prone to acting boldly and quickly. On the other hand, Williams has said he’s not impressed with what’s available and the asking prices, and might stand pat. There’s not much the White Sox could do this month that would shock anyone.

Record: 52-42, two games ahead of Detroit (50-44) and Minnesota (51-45) in the American League Central
General manager: Kenny Williams, 10th year
Expectations: High. The South Side got a championship fix in 2005, and White Sox fans are buzzing over the big rally they have made in the standings.
Payroll status: Opening day payroll was $108.2 million, seventh-highest in baseball. The White Sox have about $66 million committed for 2011.

What they need

Left-handed bat: The White Sox have gotten a collective .231 batting average from their designated hitters, so bringing in a slugger to upgrade there is an obvious target. They’ve been focusing on left-handed power.

Starting pitcher: Considering Jake Peavy is out for the year, Chicago is actually in pretty decent shape and could sit tight with the rotation. But Daniel Hudson’s name is coming up a lot as part of a package to get a hitter, and if the Sox lose him they’ll probably need to move on adding a starter.

Who may fit

Adam Dunn Left-handed bat: Reports indicate the NationalsAdam Dunn is Williams’ top priority, and Dunn would be a great fit. As of early this week, the asking price (Gordon Beckham or Carlos Quentin, for openers) was more than Williams was willing to pay.

The other big name connected to the Sox is Milwaukee’s Prince Fielder, though reports vary on whether Chicago is in that race. As with Dunn, the price would be steep.

On the next tier would be the AstrosLance Berkman, who is not having a great year and is expensive.  Also a possibility, though a remote one, is right-handed Toronto home run leader Jose Bautista.

Starting pitcher: Don’t expect Chicago to be in on the biggest names, but they could focus on a second-tier guy like Jake Westbrook, Kyle Farnsworth or possibly Fausto Carmona.

Trade chips

Young infielder Beckham (.241/.297/.341) is the first name to come up in talks, but the White Sox really want to hang onto the 23-year-old, whom they drafted in the first round in 2008. He’s still learning the ropes at the big-league level, but he has a huge upside at the plate.

Right-hander Hudson, also 23, is projected by most teams as a No. 3 or 4 starter, but the White Sox think his potential could be even higher.

They don’t want to move outfielder Quentin (.244/.344/.517), especially with the way he’s been hitting lately, but if it’s what it takes to get Dunn (who, in addition to bringing a high trade price would need a place to play, since he refuses to DH) without giving up Beckham, they might do it.

Why not offer closer Bobby Jenks? Right-hander J.J. Putz and left-hander Matt Thornton both have closing experience and are pitching out of their minds right now, so Jenks, a pending free agent, is expendable.

Cuban infielder Dayan Viciedo, 21, also is attracting a lot of attention. He has batted .295 in limited major-league action this season.

Predictions

The White Sox don’t meet the Nationals’ price for Dunn, who stays in Washington. They end up with Berkman or turn to alternative options such as Kosuke Fukudome or Adam LaRoche.

-- David Andriesen

More trade deadline chatter (click on city name for blog)
Buyers: New York YankeesLos Angeles Angels
Sellers: Florida MarlinsToronto Blue Jays

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 5:49 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2010 7:35 pm
 

Mets have eye on Guthrie

Jeremy Guthrie The Mets are on the hunt for a starting pitcher. They weren't willing to pay the cost to acquire Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt seems like a mirage to the Mets.

As a result, the team is turning to the next tier of starting pitchers. While Jake Westbrook has been connected as a possibility to the Mets for months, there's zero indication that New York has interest. For a while, a Ted Lilly-Mets marriage seemed all but certain, but no longer.

AOL Fanhouse's Ed Price says that the Mets aren't sold on Lilly being an upgrade over Hisanori Takahashi and thus have turned their attention elsewhere -- from Chicago to Baltimore.

The Mets scouted Jeremy Guthrie's last start and may be considering making a play.

Guthrie, 31, has a 4.58 ERA in 118 innings over 19 starts for the Orioles and dazzled in Saturday's start despite ending up with a 3-2 loss. The righty held Toronto's homeriffic offense in check, walking one and whiffing six over 6 2/3 innings, allowing just one run and seven hits.

The question begs, however, why the Mets are interested in Guthrie but not Westbrook. Westbrook, just a year older, has a 4.67 ERA in 19 starts as well and is on a team that would love to ship him out and get quality building blocks for the future. Even xFIP suggests Westbrook is the better get: His 4.35 mark far outpaces Guthrie's 5.10. Guthrie has been rather lucky on BABIP so far on the year although one thing he has going for him is that his 1.22 home runs per nine innings would be suppressed in Citi Field, balancing any possible regression in BABIP.

The two are remarkably similar pitchers, with similar strikeouts and walks per nine inning and also with a similar reportoire -- although Guthrie doesn't have a cutter and uses his slider more liberally as a result. He also has a few extra ticks of velocity on his fastball, which the Mets may feel will play better in the NL.

In addition, Guthrie is just two years removed from a two-year stretch of being a quality workhorse. From 2007-08, he combined for a 3.66 ERA in 366 innings, starting 56 games and relieving in six. In addition, scouts feel that Guthrie can be better than he is, according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.

“He should be better than he is." a scout told Rosenthal. "He used to have a plus curveball. Now he hardly throws it. He’s not big [6-1]. He’s a fastball-slider guy with no depth or downward movement. Everything is hard. Everything is on the same plane. He needs the curveball.”

Guthrie's curveball usage has sank from an offering used roughly 12 percent of the time in his early career to a career-low of 2.3 percent in 2010. That's not going to fly, but the fix could be as simple as being told to throw it more.

And don't forget contract status -- that's a biggie.

The Mets maxed out with a payroll almost at $150 million in 2009 and began opening day with a $126.5 million payroll. The team has some flexibility to add, but not all that much, especially as the Metropolitans already have $108 million committed to next year's roster.

Westbrook is finishing up a three-year deal that pays him $11 million, and is then an unrestricted free agent. Guthrie is making just $3 million and has two more years of arbitration control, which is a biggie.

Add it all up, and Guthrie looks to be more valuable than Westbrook -- someone with potential to be better than he is currently instead of being who he is (ala Westbrook) and who has two more years of team control.

The only question left is if the Mets want Guthrie enough to pry him from Baltimore.

-- Evan Brunell

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 7, 2010 7:23 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2010 7:23 pm
 

Dodgers searching for pitching

Roy Oswalt The Dodgers have spoken to the Astros, Blue Jays, Diamondbacks, Indians and Mariners about solutions to the Dodgers' pitching conundrum, reports Evan Drellich of MLB.com. The Dodgers need both starters and relievers.

Manager Joe Torre said that pitching is what the Dodgers are focusing on in any particular deal and expects a deal to eventually be swung. Complicating things is that Los Angeles doesn't have much left in the budget to add, thanks to the brewing divorce between owner Frank McCourt and his wife as well as a current payroll of $102 million according to Cot's Contracts.

So which pitchers could the Dodgers get from the aforementioned teams? Let's take a look.

Astros: Houston has starting pitcher Brett Myers available who is on a one-year deal and has been the second-best starter on the team with a 3.57 ERA. Of course, there's also Roy Oswalt (pictured), who has a standing trade "request" but is due $15 million over the balance of 2010 and $16 million in 2011. And who's to say Oswalt won't demand the $16 million team option for 2012 be picked up if he's traded? With a full no-trade clause, Oswalt has that ability.

The Astros also have a number of relief arms, but none that stand out as an optimal replacement for the Dodgers' current arms -- at least, that would be available. Brandon Lyon is near untradable and it's tough to imagine Houston parting with Matt Lindstrom.

Blue Jays:
The Jays have lost 12 of the last 15 and are in fourth place in the AL (B)East, 11 1/2 games out. It's safe to say the honeymoon is over, and the Jays have plenty of pitching available. Their starting pitching are all young, cost-controllable and quality so it's hard to imagine Toronto dealing any of those. The relievers, on the other hand, should be plentiful.

Kevin Gregg has extensive experience pitching in the NL and in close games. He's posted a 3.94 ERA over 32 innings. Left-hander Scott Downs, one of the best setup men in the bigs, is having another fantastic season and Shawn Camp has emerged as another qualty bullpen arm. Casey Janssen is just 28 and is a quality middle relief arm but certainly fungible to a rebuilding squad.

Diamondbacks:
Now that the GM and manager have been offered a ticket out of town, interim GM Jerry DiPoto has a lot of decisions to make. One of which is if Dan Haren should be traded, something outgoing GM Josh Byrnes also grappled with. Haren is inked through 2012, getting $8.25 million in 2010 and $12.75 million in 2011 and 2012, affordable for a perennial Cy Young contender. The question here is two-fold:

First being if the Diamondbacks would be willing to swap Haren to an intradivision rival, the second if the Dodgers have enough in the farm system to acquire Haren. The Dodgers were ranked No. 21 in minor-league talent rankings by Baseball America prior to the season and Haren figures to command more than Lee will.

Indians:
The Indians have Jake Westbrook most available, who is finishing up a contract that pays him $11 million on the season. Cleveland is ready to have a fire sale (as detailed here ) but has yet to find anyone to their liking that has been dangled for Westbrook. Westbrook would cost significantly less than one of the top-tier pitchers on the market in terms of prospects due to the contract and the fact he is a mid-rotation starter.

Kerry Wood, provided the Indians chipped in a healthy sum of money to make up for about $5 million remaining on Wood's deal, could also head to the Dodgers.

Mariners:
The obvious one is Cliff Lee, of course. With about $4 million remaining to Lee, he would easily fit into the Dodgers' payroll. He would also allow Los Angeles a way to beef up its farm system by offering arbitration to the lefty after the season -- which Lee would certainly decline. The Dodgers' payroll collapses to a projected $61 million next year, so a Lee extension is possible as well.

Other potential names that may have been swapped could include closer David Aardsma who could fit in a pitcher's park throwing gas as a setupman. Relief pitcher Brandon League is having a solid season as well.

-- 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