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 28, 2010 6:55 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2010 6:57 pm

Padres' Blanks done for the season

The Padres have been rumored to be searching for more offense and that's not going to change with Wednesday's news.

Kyle Blanks, on the disabled list since May 17, will undergo "Tommy John" elbow surgery on Friday, Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports .

Blanks was a blast of power last season following his June call-up, but has been a disappointment this season. He hit just .157/.283/.324 with three home runs and 15 RBI in 33 games with the Padres this season. He hit 10 homers ad drove in 22 in 54 from June to August last season. He finished 2009 on the disabled list, as well, with plantar fasciitis.

Blanks has played the outfield and first base and had been viewed as the organization as its first baseman of the future if Adrian Gonzalez were no longer in San Diego.

Return from the surgery is usually about a year, meaning Blanks can't be counted on for the better part of 2011, either.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 27, 2010 10:34 am
Edited on: July 27, 2010 11:32 am

NL West teams interested in Royals' Podsednik

Scott Podsednik Well, the Royals have to trade someone at the deadline, don't they?

With David DeJesus on the shelf and therefore off the trading block, the Royals' are taking calls on outfielder Scott Podsednik according to multiple reports, including the Kansas City Star 's Bob Dutton .

The Padres, Dodgers and Giants are all interested in Podsednik, Dutton tweets. The Royals and Giants were reportedly close to pulling off a deal for DeJesus when the Royals center fielder suffered a season-ending thumb injury last week.

The Royals won't get the haul they were expecting for DeJesus that they will for Podsednik, but they will get something. Podsednik, 34, is hitting a respectable .308/.352/.400 with five home runs, 43 RBI and 30 stolen bases for the Royals this season and is signed to a reasonable contract, $1.65 million this season and a $2 million club option for 2011 with a $100,000 buyout. However, Podsednik can void the 2011 option with 525 plate appearances this season and he already has 425.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: July 23, 2010 10:28 pm
Edited on: July 23, 2010 10:50 pm

Hart exits game with wrist injury

Corey Hart Another of the most talked-about outfield trade targets went down on Friday.

A day after David DeJesus was lost for the season with thumb injury, the Brewers' Corey Hart left in the third inning of Friday's game against the Nationals with a right wrist injury.

Hart chased a Cristian Guzman liner to the right-field line and slid into the wall to attempt to catch the foul ball. He didn't catch it, but finished the inning. Jim Edmonds pinch-hit for Hart in the bottom of the third.

According to Jordan Schelling of MLB.com , Hart underwent X-rays on his wrist and they were negative. However, the same was said about DeJesus last night. Hart will undergo an MRI on his wrist Saturday.

Hart has been a popular name in trade talks for teams searching for a big bat. He's hitting .292/.349/.568 with 22 home runs and 70 RBI.

Hart's been named as a possibility for the Giants, Rays and Padres, among other teams.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: July 22, 2010 4:50 pm

Padres could be targeting Tejada

Miguel Tejada The Padres were already in need of offense, and now they have another hole to fill, at least for a few weeks, with David Eckstein on the disabled list.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that Baltimore's Miguel Tejada could be the Padres' target. He could fill in for Eckstein (if not at second base, with a little moving around by the San Diego infielders), who is out with a calf strain, and then get time in the infield and outfield when Eckstein returns.

Tejada (.274/.314/.374) is having an off year offensively, and he doesn't do much for your defense. But the Padres, who despite being in first place are 14th in the National League in slugging, could use any pop he can provide. Tejada has seven homes and 16 doubles this season.

Jed Lowrie could be another option for the Padres.

Last July, the U-T points out, the Padres went 4-16 with Eckstein on the DL for a hamstring strain, then 37-25 after he returned.

Most amazing fact you run across when analyzing this potential Tejada move: Tejada, who looks like he's 50, and Eckstein, who looks like he's 12, were born eight months apart.

-- 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 1:35 am

Marlins have Simmons on managerial list

Ted Simmons The Marlins are now 11-11 with Edwin Rodriguez as skipper, and the Puerto Rico native will get a chance to manage the team for the rest of the season.

Florida's doing its due diligence, however, when it comes to selecting the next full-time manager. While Rodriguez will get every shot at the full-time gig, the Marlins have their eye on Ted Simmons , currently bench coach of the Padres, reports Tom Krasovic of AOL Fanhouse.

Simmons had a 21-season career in the majors as a catcher, spending 13 with the Cardinals and making the All-Star team twice.. His best season came in 1977 when he hit .318/.408/.500 and cranked 21 home runs along with notching 95 RBI for the Cards. Making his debut as a 19-year-old in 1968, Simmons has been around the game for decades. It only took four years after his retirement following the 1988 season to make it big as a general manager.

Simmons served as GM of the Pirates for two years before stepping down after a heart attack. He spent the next several years in various roles, most notably as a director of the farm system for the Padres from 1999-2001. He returned to the field as bench coach for the Brewers in 2008 before joining Bud Black in San Diego in 2009.

"[Simmons will] come to managing with a great perspective because of where he's been his entire baseball career -- player, farm director, GM, scout," said Black. "He will truly have insights on what ideally makes an organization go. He blends a strong passion for the game with some absolutes that he truly believes in, but there is also a side in him that's innovative and creative."

Now 60, Simmons figures it's time to get on with his goal of being a manager. He has only interviewed once to be a manager, that being in 1998 when he was in the running to be Tampa Bay's first manager -- a gig that eventually went to Larry Rothschild.
-- Evan Brunell

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