Tag:MLB trade deadline 2010
Posted on: July 29, 2010 10:44 pm
 

Guillen has 'gut feeling' he'll be traded

Jose Guillen
The people who do the accounting for the Royals would sure be happy if Jose Guillen's instincts are right.

The Royals designated hitter/outfielder told MLB.com he has a "gut feeling" he's going to be traded before Saturday's trade deadline. Even though he's the most productive member of the Kansas City offense, the going-nowhere Royals would love to offload the roughly $7.4 million left of the impending free agent's salary.

The Giants are on the hunt for an outfielder, but it's not clear how Guillen and his gimpy right knee would hold up playing the field every day. On the American League side, the Yankees and Red Sox could be interested. Guillen is batting .272/.331/.457 with 60 RBI and 16 homers, and has a history of playing well when he's auditioning for free agency, so he could be a valuable pickup for a contender that can spend the money.

Guillen's gut feeling could be caused by a comment Wednesday by general manager Dayton Moore that Triple-A slugger Kila Ka'aihue would join the team "at some point very shortly." Ka'aihue can only play first base, and first base is occupied nicely by Billy Butler, who's batting .312. That would indicate that Ka'aihue would DH, which is Guillen's spot most days.

"He's the boss and he knows what he's doing," Guillen said of Moore. "He knows more than us. I respect Dayton, he's a very smart man. He's going to do whatever it takes for this organization to improve. So I cannot tell you what's going to happen, but it's my gut feeling that something is going to happen."

-- David Andriesen

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



Posted on: July 29, 2010 9:42 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2010 3:46 am
 

Rangers open to adding 2B

Jon Daniels
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels has had a great year, putting together a first-place team and then adding to it with Cliff Lee and Jorge Cantu despite financial constraints.

Well, Daniels might not be done. He indicated to the Dallas Morning News on Thursday that the groin strain suffered by All-Star second baseman Ian Kinsler is going to keep him out until "mid- to late-August," and he's open to another trade to make sure the Rangers are covered at second.

Cantu, acquired from Florida on Thursday, has played second, but not with any regularity since 2006. The Rangers want him to stick with first base.

"We're still open-minded," Daniels said. "I think we can be a little more selective now. I don't think we have to do anything else. But if we can improve the club without cutting into our core, we'd be open to that. I don't think you are ever done."

The Rangers are currently playing Joaquin Arias and Andres Blanco at second. There are a few players thought to be available who can play second, including Dan Uggla (although he's still owed about $2.6 million, and you'd think he would have been packaged with Cantu if Texas was interested), Ty Wigginton and possibly Adam Kennedy and Ryan Theriot.

-- David Andriesen

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



Posted on: July 29, 2010 8:20 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2010 8:26 pm
 

Signs point to slow deadline

Prince Fielder Thursday was a big day in trades, with Roy Oswalt, Jorge Cantu and Miguel Tejada, among others, on the move.

Monitoring the chatter in the baseball world, however, gives the indication that there might not be much more dealing to come.

"There's nothing really going on," general manager Doug Melvin told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about the Brewers' outlook. "I don't anticipate anything happening [before the Saturday deadline]. Things can change but that's the way it looks now. I don't have to trade players. I have to make sure anything we do makes absolute sense to do anything."

That's one of the main things driving -- or halting -- this trade season. Most of the teams with the attractive pieces don't really need to move them. There aren't the usual teams trying to unload salary ballast at all costs as they sink. The Brewers could trade Prince Fielder, but they don't have to. Ditto the Nationals with Adam Dunn. The Jays could move Jose Bautista, but he's also under team control and has Toronto fans buzzing.

Many of the big names -- Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Oswalt -- are now off the board. David DeJesus and Ben Sheets were knocked off by injuries.

The slate of potential buyers has gone down in the past two weeks. The Angels, Mets, Marlins and Rockies are taking a cold, hard look at the standings and realizing it doesn't make sense to mortgage the future on what's becoming an increasingly long shot. The Red Sox and Dodgers are potentially more aggressive but kind of in the same boat.

The days before the deadline are always filled with GMs expressing outrage at the hefty price tags being put on available players, hoping to force those prices down, but this year it really does seem like teams are taking a harder line because they have less pressure to sell. And teams have so much money invested in scouting and bonus money that they view prospects as high-value commodities rather than pawns. They are afraid to make lousy deals with young players.

There also is a trend toward making deals after the non-waiver deadline -- there's still a month left to trade after Saturday, just with different rules.

“Most of the guys available on July 31 are going to be available in August,” a National League GM told the New York Post.

That's not to say many of the names being thrown around this week won't be in different uniforms in the next 48 hours. Dunn probably will be traded, as will Ted Lilly, and the Blue Jays would be crazy not to trade Bautista when he's at peak value. But even more than most years, most of the talk will likely be for naught when it all shakes out.

-- David Andriesen

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



Posted on: July 29, 2010 6:59 pm
 

Padres, White Sox look at Hawpe

Brad Hawpe The market for lumbering outfielders/first basemen who can pop home runs is growing.

As teams shy away from Adam Dunn in what is probably an attempt to get Washington to lower its asking price, names like Lance Berkman pop up , along with Brad Hawpe.

Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that the White Sox and Padres have inquired as to Hawpe, who is in the final year of his guaranteed contract paying out $7.5 million. He has a buyout for $500,000 and a club option for $10 million that is a lock not to be picked up.

Hawpe, a liability on defense, is in the midst of his poorest season since 2005, when he appeared in 101 games as a 26-year-old. He is generally good for 25 home runs a year and cranked a career-high 42 doubles in 2009. His career average is .285, so he brings a solid, all-around offensive package to the table.

The knock against Hawpe is not only his defense but his poor play on the season. Hawpe got off to a scorching start in April but since then has been lousy. In June, he hit .228/.295/.329 in 88 at-bats and July has not been much better.

Renck says that Hawpe is owed $3 million the rest of the way, followed by the buyout. Someone so limited on defense and who has been in a deep slump for over a month has quite a difficult trade market. It's likely he'll be the prize that a jilted loser of the Adam Dunn sweepstakes scoops up.
-- Evan Brunell

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

Posted on: July 29, 2010 6:03 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2010 6:54 pm
 

Padres grab Tejada from O's

Miguel Tejada The Padres have acquired Miguel Tejada from the Orioles, as multiple sources have confirmed. The original report came from the Baltimore Sun .

Tejada will likely take over shortstop, stealing time away from Everth Cabrera and leaving Jerry Hairston, Jr. at second base. It's also possible that San Diego asks Tejada to move to second base with Hairston and Cabrera splitting time at short.

Tejada isn't exactly having a strong season, batting .269/.308/.362 in 428 plate appearances in his first year as a full-time third baseman. However, the Padres need all the help on offense they can get, and Tejada may be rejuvenated playing for a contender.

The Orioles will receive Wynn Pelzer in return for Tejada. Pelzer is old for his Double-A competition at 24, but is an intriguing arm. He is also late to the pro ball game, being taken in the ninth round of the 2007 draft and given an overslot bonus, debuting in 2008. He's made 18 starts on the season along with four relief appearances and has posted a 4.20 ERA in 94 1/3 innings. He has a solid 7.9 K/9 ratio, down from 8.8 the year prior. His 5.3 BB/9 is also down (or more accurately, up) from 2009's 3.5 mark. So while still a strong arm, he's taken a step back.

It wouldn't be surprising to see Baltimore try and convert Pelzer to a 'pen arm and try to make his live arm of a mid-90s fastball play there, especially as his command is deteriorating. Pelzer was ranked the No. 7 prospect in the Pads system by Baseball America entering the season, so there's quite a bit of promise there.

Baltimore is expected to send cash considerations to San Diego to help pay for Tejada's deal, as multiple sources report. The deal is pending league approval, which only occurs when cash exchanges hands.

-- Evan Brunell

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

Posted on: July 29, 2010 5:35 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2010 6:53 pm
 

Berkman may be on move

Lance Berkman Now that Roy Oswalt has been traded, the Astros are in full-fledged selling mode.

That includes the other face of the franchise in Lance Berkman, the Astros' all-time leader in OPS (.959) with at least 500 games played in an Astros uniform. Berkman has 1,592 and is second behind Jeff Bagwell in franchise home-runs. Clearly, he's been an important staple of Astros history and like Oswalt, has a full no-trade clause as well.

He's not quite the same hitter he has been in the past, however. He's batting .240/.372/.436 on the year with 13 home runs in 358 plate appearances. Berkman has been terrible since the All-Star break but prior to that, was having a field day in July.

CBS Sports' Danny Knobler adds that discussions are taking place for Berkman. That doesn't mean Berkman will be traded, but it's unsurprising that he may be on the move. There is no longer any reason for Houston to retain Berkman and try to contend and make nice with fans -- the 'Stros are now finally in their long-awaited rebuilding phase.

Earlier in the day, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal said  that the White Sox were exploring alternatives to Adam Dunn, Thursday's trade profile at MLB Facts and Rumors.

Could the White Sox be one team in on Berkman?

It certainly wouldn't be surprising, as Berkman fits the profile of what the White Sox are looking for: a DH that could also play left field or first base (or in Berkman's case, both). One thing Berkman has over Dunn is that he is an adequate fielder at first base.

-- Evan Brunell

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

Posted on: July 29, 2010 5:22 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2010 11:18 pm
 

Report: Rangers add key piece in Cantu

Jorge Cantu
Looks like the Rangers are getting their right-handed bat.

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Marlins on Thursday agreed to send third baseman Jorge Cantu to Texas for right-handers Evan Reed and Omar Poveda. The deal had been rumored to be on the brink for a couple of days. Joel Sherman of the New York Post says via Twitter that the Marlins will pay $600,000 of the $2.18 million left on Cantu's contract. The Rockies and Giants had also been rumored to be pursuing him.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram is saying the deal is not quite done, and as of this writing, Cantu is still playing in the Marlins' game against the Giants in San Francisco. It's customary for a player who is even close to being traded to be held out or removed from a game to guard against injury.

(UPDATE: Cantu was removed from the game in the eighth inning.)

Texas has a healthy 7 1/2-game lead in the American League West, but the Rangers feel like they might finally have a real championship contender on their hands and are trying to bolster any weak spots. Their biggest weak spot is at first base, where the departure of Justin Smoak in the Cliff Lee deal left them with the seriously underperforming Chris Davis (.188, four RBI and no homers in 31 games). They've been trying to find a right-handed hitter to platoon with him.

Cantu has been primarily a third baseman in Florida but has played 238 career games at first and should have little problem adjusting. He also has played 218 games at second, and the Rangers have a need there right now until Ian Kinsler returns from the disabled list (groin strain).

Cantu is batting .259/.308/.408 with 10 homers and 54 RBI -- not overwhelming numbers but a definite upgrade from Davis. And it's quite an accomplishment by Texas GM Jon Daniels to get the Marlins, not exactly known for throwing money around, to cover part of Cantu's salary.

The prospects, Reed and Poveda, are both Double-A level pitchers, and Poveda, a starter, is on the disabled list after Tommy John ligament replacement surgery. Reed, a late-inning reliever, is 1-1 with a 1.76 ERA in 30 games for Double-A Frisco.

-- David Andriesen

UPDATE: So much for the idea of a left-right Davis-Cantu platoon at first. After Thursday night's game, the Rangers sent Davis to Triple-A to make room for Cantu on the roster.

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



Posted on: July 29, 2010 2:13 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2010 5:24 pm
 

Oswalt headed to Philly

Roy Oswalt The Phillies have completed a deal for Houston's Roy Oswalt, which will give the Phillies a vaunted Big Three in the rotation along with Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels.

Wednesday night, we learned that the Phillies and Astros agreed on an Oswalt trade, with only the ace's approval needed. That has come.

Oswalt will bring a 6-12 record that will unquestionably start trending positive with the Phillies behind him. What the Phillies want more than that record is his 3.42 ERA in 129 innings, having struck out 120 and walked 34. Oswalt looked like the years of being a bona-fide ace were behind him after a poor 2009, but his 2010 has answered those questions and more.

While Philadelphia clearly erred in letting Cliff Lee go, it's to GM Ruben Amaro's credit that he struck for another pitcher and hasn't allowed the trading of Lee in the offseason to impact his decisions. Unlike some would do in his position, Amaro realized that the Lee deal was done -- finished. A sunk cost. You don't make decisions about the best way to improve your club moving forward by bemoaning moves of the past.

In addition, while Lee is a superior pitcher to Oswalt, Amaro also positions his rotation better for future success what with Oswalt under contract for 2011. Lee, of course, will command an exorbitant price as a free agent this offseason.

The Phillies also scored a coup by getting Oswalt to agree not to demand his 2012 option be exercised. According to ESPN's Amy Nelson, Philadelphia will instead allow Oswalt's no-trade clause to be retained as well tacking on an extra million to his 2012 buyout.

FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal says that the 2012 option is actually a mutual option, and if Oswalt declines his end of the option, the buyout is unchanged. If the Phillies exercise their end and Oswalt opts out, that's when the buyout increases -- thought to be $2 million.

Given Philadelphia still retains the potential to pick up the option for $16 million, that extra million is certainly worth the protection of not having to lock into 2012. Given Oswalt has had multiple back problems along with a bevy of wrist issues, not being locked into a soon-to-be 33-year-old is a smart move. 

But that's not all the money Philly saves. The organization will also receive cash to help cover Oswalt's deal -- $11 million to be exact, according to ESPN.com . Oswalt is due roughly $25 million for the rest of the contract, including the 2012 buyout. The fact that Houston will foot the bill for almost half that total is impressive.

The trade is a three-for-one deal, with J.A. Happ the centerpiece headed to Houston along with two minor-leaguers.

Happ broke through in 2009 with a sterling 2.93 ERA in 23 starts and 12 relief appearances. While he helped propel Philly to a second consecutive NL pennant, he is simply a mirage. His BABIP has been unbelievably low in his major-league stints with a sky-high runners-stranded-on-base rate without a K/BB ratio approaching solid. It's why his xFIP last season was 4.49, and why one shouldn't be fooled by his 1.76 ERA through three starts in 2010 with an xFIP of 6.33. Anyone who strikes out five batters a game and walks seven will not see a sub-2.00 ERA last long.

Happ was injured in mid-April after making two starts and recently completed a rehab assignment but was assigned to Triple-A to continue his rehab. He was called up to the bigs to start on Sunday after Jamie Moyer hit the disabled list. Happ is essentially the NL version of Daisuke Matsuzaka -- doing it all with smoke and mirrors.

The two prospects in the deal are Anthony Gose and Jonathan Villar .

Gose is only 19, and is currently trying to make his bat come alive at High Class A Clearwater, an aggressive level for his age. He's hitting .263/.325/.385 in 461 plate appearances, swiping 36 bases. He has a lot to learn about baserunning, however, as he's tacked on 27 times being caught stealing. Gose was ranked the No. 6 prospect by Baseball America in the offseason and was also named the best defensive outfielder in the system.

Gose is being spun to Toronto, who wanted the youngster in the Roy Halladay deal -- and uses a trade chip acquired in the Halladay deal to get it done. According to Rosenthal, Brett Wallace is being sent to Houston, whowas traded to Toronto from Oakland for Michael Taylor, who had been acquired from Philadelphia in the Roy Halladay trade. One could argue, then, that the Jays apparently preferred Gose to Taylor, but that Philadelphia wouldn't give him up.

The 23-year-old Wallace is hitting .301/.359/.509 for Triple-A and is in his first season as a full-time first baseman. He figures to be the long-term replacement for Lance Berkman in Houston, although one has to wonder about Wallace's talent now that he's been traded three times in a two-year span. (He was sent to Oakland by St. Louis in the Matt Holliday trade last season.)

As for the prospect from Philly that is staying in Houston, the 19-year old Villar is playing for Class A Lakewood and hitting .271/.322/.358. There is not a lot to like here about the shortstop, though he is admittedly raw. Gose is raw too, but has a higher ceiling and some semblance of tools. One thing Villar has going for him is he can pick it on defense despite a staggering 42 errors in 99 games which isn't really indicative of fielding talent at that level.

Altogether, it is a rather underwhelming return Houston received for Oswalt. It is clear that the Astros sold Oswalt at a discount, much like Arizona and Dan Haren.

-- 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