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Tag:Vernon Wells
Posted on: December 7, 2010 6:12 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2010 6:42 pm
 

Rangers listening to offers on Michael Young

Young The Rangers are listening to trade offers for Michael Young, although no deal is close as FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports.

Young, 34, has been an integral part of the Rangers for the last nine seasons, constantly banging out big hits while playing at second, short and most recently third. The problem is Young is getting no younger and is approaching -- if he hasn't already -- liability status with the glove.

(In fact, it wouldn't be the worst idea in the world if the Rangers went after Adrian Beltre and shoved Young to first base.)

Young has three years left on his deal with an average annual salary of $16 million, which is significant dollars to give to someone who is just solid with the bat, not otherworldly. He hit .284/.330/.444 in 2010, although that came after 2009's .322/.374/.518 total. Young is generally good for around 20 home runs and good batting average but has also benefited greatly from his home park.

While Texas would probably love to shed his contract for a young, cost-controlled player, it's hard to fathom any other club being interested. Young will likely be swapped for another player with an onerous contract who still provides value on the field.

Who are those players?

Carlos Zambrano from the Cubs springs to mind. Other than that... well, the rest have warts, such as Vernon Wells of the Jays and his heavily backloaded deal... Carlos Lee and his inability to play defense... Alfonso Soriano could return to his former club but where would he play?

There isn't much room here for a high-salary swap to be had. Zambrano seems to be the best bet, and the Cubs could move Aramis Ramirez to first base.

This is one trade that doesn't seem to have any shot of happening although Texas certainly wouldn't mind if it did to clear up cash for Cliff Lee.

UPDATE: Nolan Ryan did not deny the availability of Young, as Danny Knobler reports. Ryan also doesn't intend Young to shift to first base as the president loves Mitch Moreland.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.


Posted on: July 12, 2010 8:27 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:18 am
 

Home Run Derby blog: Big Papi victorious

David Ortiz The 2010 Home Run Derby kicks off with four American League competitors trying to take out the National League competitors and establish some momentum heading into the All-Star Game Tuesday night.

The AL does battle with Miguel Cabrera, David Ortiz, Nick Swisher and Vernon Wells while the NL will answer with Corey Hart, Matt Holliday, Hanley Ramirez and Chris Young .

CHAMPION : David Ortiz. Eight, 13, 11 home runs by round, respectively. His 32 total blasts place him third on the list for most total home runs in a Home Run Derby. Bobby Abreu's 41 in 2005 and Josh Hamilton's 35 in 2008 are the top two.

Ortiz was most appreciative of the fans, saying that the players want to give the fans a good experience to thank them for following the team. He called Ramirez "a son" to him, saying "the longer he is here, I will be a mentor to him."

THIRD ROUND

Hanley Ramirez - 6

Hanley Ramirez couldn't find the magic even after David Ortiz gave him a mid-round hug, and Big Papi is the Home Run Derby champion.

Ramirez started off with two outs before blasting a 449-foot shot, but followed that up with two more outs to dig himself a big hole. He was able to start sending balls to the rocks in center field -- at one point ripping off consecutive shots -- but then fell back into a slump with two outs, making poor contact each time. That sparked the pep talk from Big Papi, but could only muster one more home run the rest of the way.

David Ortiz - 11

Hanley Ramirez has his work cut out for him, as Big Papi cranked 11 home runs in the final round. That's tied for the most in the final round, and Papi peppered the right-field bleachers with his longest blast in the right-field well, 450 feet away.

Papi continued his tradition of taking a drink and towel midway through but still couldn't recover his energy. He dinged three homers after the respite, but that's enough to get a comfortable lead over the Florida shortstop. Win or lose, it was a very impressive showing for the DH who has shown that he really is back to being a self-titled "bad man."

SECOND ROUND

Corey Hart - 0 (13)

Well, that was anti-climatic. After the possibility of a Hanley Ramirez-David Ortiz tiebreaker to see who advances to the finals, Corey Hart followed up with a disappointing oh-fer.

"I don't feel too tired but it was a long break and I wasn't able to get my body back [to where he could hit home runs again,]" Hart told a reporter after his second-round performance.

Ortiz and Ramirez will square off in the finals next.

Hanley Ramirez - 12 (21)

Hanley Ramirez certainly didn't go quietly, bashing 13 home runs to tie Big Papi at 21 home runs apiece, meaning Corey Hart needs to boom at least nine to assure himself of a place in the finals.

After two outs, Ramirez decided that the center left-field bullpen and rocks had angered him and pummeled them without mercy. He amassed five home runs before turning his attention to left field and cranking a 476-foot blast followed by a 465-foot bomb. He then eked one over the left-field bleachers by the foul pole for a puny 373-foot home run. After seven straight home runs, he took several pitches before launching his final homer of the round to tie Big Papi.

Miguel Cabrera - 5 (12)

Miguel Cabrera only hit five home runs and won't reach the final round as he couldn't even combine to defeat Corey Hart's first-round total. However, he had some doozies, denting the rocks in center field with the farthest going 474 feet. An ice-cold streak halts his night, however

David Ortiz - 13 (21)

David Ortiz just put on an incredible power display, bashing 12 home runs with his longest going 478 feet. He made his living hanging around right-center field and the right-field well, chipping in a 413-foot wraparound of the right-field foul pole at one point. With five outs and nine homers in the bank, Ortiz grabbed a drink and towel but couldn't sustain his barrage, "just" hitting four bombs the rest of the way.

Ortiz stuck to pulling the ball, averaging 420 feet with his homers. Only his second home run of the day has been on the left side of center field. Big Papi seems near guaranteed to reach the finals now, but there's still plenty more Home Run Derby to be had.

FIRST ROUND

Miguel Cabrera - 7

Miguel Cabrera, a veritable Triple Crown candidate, will finish off the first round by stepping to the plate with 22 long balls on the season. He got things started with what seemed to be a requisite first round. He then rocked four straight home runs, the farthest going in deep left at 469 feet. It's not the farthest homer he would blast, however, which went 476 feet. It looked like he'd be stuck on six after four straight outs to take him to eight outs, but blasted one more to solidify his ranking in the second round.

It's Corey Hart, David Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez and Cabrera who advance.

Hanley Ramirez - 9

Hanley Ramirez gets things started with a home run to center as Will Ferrell is delivering plenty of punch lines on the air as an announcer, complimenting the broadcasters for their difficult job as HanRam rips off three straight outs before skying a 417-foot fly for his second homer.

Ramirez then put on a power display, jacking three straight with a deep fly of 472 feet. He spread his homers between left and center and took a cue from Big Papi by summoning a drink and towel -- except earlier in the round than Ortiz did. The renewed strength got Ramirez to power past Big Papi for nine total home runs, popping a 462-foot and 455-foot home run as part of his barrage, causing Ferrell to claim "If that ball wasn't hit hard, I'm Santa Claus!"

David Ortiz - 8

David Ortiz, continuing his resurrection from a pitiful April, blasts eight home runs and is in prime position entering the second round. Hitting off of Yankees coach Tony Pena who also delivered to Swisher, Ortiz' first fly came after one out and was straight away into the rocks after initially looking it would die a quick death.

His next swing saw his farthest pitch, a 440-foot shot, end up in right field before getting friendly with the area by the right-field foul pole. His next four home runs spread over four outs were in the vicinity of the foul pole. Ortiz, wearing padded cleats to protect his feet in case of foul balls, then moved over to traditional right field for his remaining home runs. After eight outs, he grabbed a towel and drink although it didn't do any good as he registered two outs.

Matt Holliday - 5

It looked like Matt Holliday was going to follow in the footsteps of Chris Young with just one home run a 434-foot bomb to left field once he reached nine outs. However, he took a liking to the gold ball and ripped four consecutive home runs which may be enough to land him in the second round.

He skied an absolute bomb over the left-field foul pole, going an impressive 497 feet and drawing quite the impression from teammate Albert Pujols who was on the sidelines. Two of his home runs landed in the bullpen and averaged 441 feet, the longest average to date.

Nick Swisher - 4

Nick Swisher -- who, let's be honest, shouldn't have beaten Kevin Youkilis in the Final Vote -- cranked four home runs to pull into second place on the leaderboard. The switch-hitter batted lefty, where he has had the most success in the power department over his career.

He got things started with a 424-foot home run pulled into the left-field bleachers and wrapped one around the foul pole as well to jump out to two home runs against one out. He'd crank just two the rest of the way, although he did bomb a 440-foot home run. Eyeing several balls with eight outs left wasn't enough as a fly ball dies at the wall to finish the first round for Swish.

Corey Hart - 13

Corey Hart certainly put on a show, registering back-to-back deep flies after his first out to immediately pull even within Vernon Wells for the lead in the Home Run Derby.

He then tacked on three additional home runs before his second out. He flashed tremendous opposite-field power on his third and fourth blasts, knocking homers over 420 feet away. His deepest home run was his ninth, just after eking a 382-foot shot into the bullpens in left field. This one went into deep left at 464 feet but he wasn't done with the long bombs. He skied a 459-foot shot, lined an out into center then rapped a 453-foot bomb. He ended his barrage with a 451-foot drive into the rocks in center field and finished with an average of 433-foot home runs.

Vernon Wells - 2

Vernon Wells ripped some traditional big flies, but most didn't have much juice on it. He received a gift with his first home run after three outs when a fan caught a 361-foot homer by sticking his glove out over the fence, much to Wells' amusement. He then skied some shots dying at the warning track before ripping the most legitimate home run of the night, a 428-foot blast.

That's all Wells can do, however, and takes quite the imposing lead with two home runs. While most of Young's shots were liners, Wells at least had the pretty looping fly ball, just not enough distance.

Chris Young - 1

Young could only grab a single home run, going 410 feet after notching two outs. The outfielder predominantly pulled the ball but could only get major air on the lone home run, the rest dying out as liners. Several went foul, a groundball was mixed in there and the only ball not to be pulled was on the last out of round one when Young skied one to center field.

-- Evan Brunell

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



Posted on: July 8, 2010 10:57 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2010 10:59 pm
 

Ramirez might back out of Derby

Hanley Ramirez If this trend continues, will anyone be willing to compete in the Home Run Derby a few years from now?

Hours after Hanley Ramirez was announced as a participant in next week's event, the Marlins shortstop said Thursday night he was pulling out. Then he changed his mind back. Halfway.

"I'm not doing that," Ramirez told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "I'm going to cancel it." A few moments later he said it was "50-50."

Ramirez said he was worried about how participating might affect his swing in the second half, a sentiment that's getting very familiar.

It doesn't seem like participating in one unconventional batting practice, which is essentially what the Derby is, could throw off a player's swing on a long-term basis, but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence of the "Derby curse," and participating is becoming seen as a real risk.

Where sluggers used to clamor to get into the showcase, baseball seems to have more trouble filling the field every year. And teams are telling players not to participate, as the Yankees did this week with Robinson Cano.

At the moment, assuming Ramirez is in, he's on the NL squad with Corey Hart and Matt Holliday. The AL squad is Miguel Cabrera, David Ortiz and Vernon Wells. Both leagues still need to add one hitter. If they can find one.

-- David Andriesen

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



Posted on: July 7, 2010 10:42 am
Edited on: July 7, 2010 3:11 pm
 

Yankees not happy with Cano's Derby debut

Robinson Cano Teams don't get to choose whether their players participate in the Home Run Derby.

That doesn't mean they have to like it.

Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano will be one of eight players in the hitting contest next Monday, but the team would prefer he weren't involved. There is mounting anecdotal evidence that participating in the Derby -- which involves repeating an unnatural, go-for-the-fences swing dozens of times -- can have lasting effects on a player.

In 2008, Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton put on an amazing display at the Derby, hitting a record 28 home runs in the first round. His home run production took a pronounced drop, 21 in the first half of the season and just 11 in the second, and Hamilton has said the Home Run Derby threw off his swing. Bobby Abreu and Albert Pujols have similarly slumped and said the Derby affected them.

More and more players are declining Derby invitations, but Cano couldn't resist the chance to take center stage. He'll be joined by Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers, David Ortiz of the Red Sox, Vernon Wells of the Blue Jays, Corey Hart of the Brewers and Matt Holliday of the Cardinals. The National League has yet to name its two other participants.

"I would prefer he's not involved in it, but that's not my decision," Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long said of Cano in the New York Daily News. "History suggests that guys that do the home run hitting contest get fatigued and exhausted from the process. I'm happy for the fact that he's maybe getting the opportunity, but in the same breath we have to be careful in how he goes about this."

Cano has said he's just going to take the normal swings he would take in batting practice, and manager Joe Girardi hopes that's true.

"I think it's a lot of swings for a player; physically, I think it's somewhat of a grind, but it's an honor to be involved," Girardi said. "The biggest thing is that we keep Robinson Cano healthy and strong the whole year. If that in any way would fatigue him, then I would prefer that he didn't get fatigued."

-- David Andriesen

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


Posted on: July 6, 2010 6:43 pm
 

Six confirmed for derby


Corey Hart Six players have confirmed that they don't fear the Home Run Derby curse and will take part in the exhibition on Monday.

It's not like there were going to draft people, but Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, David Ortiz, Vernon Wells, Corey Hart and Matt Holliday are in.

Albert Pujols has already said he's not interested, as has Josh Hamilton, who suffered the curse two years ago.

Unfortunately, Chris Berman hasn't suffered said curse, so we're stuck with his yelling for another year.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: July 3, 2010 12:23 am
Edited on: July 3, 2010 2:38 am
 

Andrus, Wells, Rios snubbed in All-Star voting

Elvis Andrus All-Star voting was halted Thursday night, with the most recent vote totals being released Monday and Tuesday. The final results will come out on Sunday, and some of the results will certainly be different than the most recent vote tallies.

However, the latest vote tallies are a great indicator of whom will get the All-Star nod, who will be snubbed and who doesn't belong on the list at all.

Let's take a look at the last-known vote totals for the AL and NL and see what jumps out, with the AL in this article and the NL up next...

In the AL, Mark Teixeira is somehow second in first base voting with 1.86 million votes. Justin Morneau leads with 2.1 million, so the chance is there for Tex to pull it out. However, he has gotten 2010 off to a very slow start and the two players behind Teixeira have had much, much better seasons: Miguel Cabrera and Kevin Youkilis. Simply put: Tex's .234/.345/.413 line prior to Friday play does not even sniff Morneau, Cabrera or Youkilis and he shouldn't be named to the team, let alone start.

Robinson Cano, Evan Longoria and Joe Mauer lead 3B, 2B and C candidates, respectively, by a wide margin -- no complaints there. (But what's with Adrian Beltre fourth with just over 600,000 votes?) Shortstop has Derek Jeter leading Elvis Andrus (pictured) by almost two million votes. Jeter is certainly a deserving All-Star especially with a weak shortstop crop, but Andrus should have gotten more respect.

Jeter: .283/.343/.410, 8 stolen bases, 3 caught stealing, 361 plate appearances, 51 runs, 39 RBI, -1.7 UZR/150 , 2 +/-
Andrus: .292/.374/.332, 22 SB, 9 CS, 344 PA, 55 R, 24 RBI, 5.7 UZR/150, 8 +/-

To recap: Andrus kills Jeter on defense and stolen bases. Their batting averages are similar, but Andrus gets on base a lot more. Jeter has more pop, but is that really enough to beat out Andrus?

The DH has Vladimir Guerrero over a million ahead of second-place DH Hideki Matsui. Vlad leading the DH candidates isn't a shocker, as he's been on fire all year long and deserves the nod. But Matsui over David Ortiz, who hasn't even cracked a million votes? Ortiz has been one of the better power hitters in the game since putting his terrible slump to bed. Blame the Red Sox fans for not coming out in force for this one.

In the outfield, it's tight with Ichiro Suzuki and Josh Hamilton each with 1.9 million votes, but Carl Crawford and Nelson Cruz are nipping on their heels. Nick Swisher, Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner -- the entire Yankees outfield mind you -- follow in the 5-6-7 spots. Granderson shouldn't even be in the top 10 and Gardner is a reach, but they are there because they play for the Yankees. Torii Hunter, Magglio Ordonez and B.J. Upton round out the top 10 with Vernon Wells a curious 11. And somehow, Alex Rios isn't even in the top 15 despite being one of the best all-around outfielders in the league. The same goes for Shin Soo-Choo.

My personal ballot would mark off Choo, Wells and Suzuki as the starters with Nick Markakis representing the Orioles. I could easily be talked out of Markakis -- he's simply on my ballot as the Orioles representative. But to not have Choo, Wells and Rios at or near the top of the voting leaderboard confirms that this is all just a popularity test. But you already knew that.

-- Evan Brunell

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

Posted on: June 27, 2010 4:55 pm
 

Moyer gives up 506th HR of his career

Jamie Moyer The 47-year old Jamie Moyer set yet another record on Sunday, allowing the 506th home run of his career.

No pitcher has allowed more homers than Moyer, who broke the previous mark of 505 held by another Phillie, Robin Roberts. The two are the only members of the 500 home run club.

In the third inning of the Phillies' "road" game against Toronto in Philadelphia, Vernon Wells hit Moyer's first pitch for a two-run homer. It was Wells' 19th home run of the season.

Wells was 7 years old when the Phillies' Juan Samuel  (now the Orioles' interim manager) homered off of Moyer on June 23, 1986, for the first homer allowed of Moyer's career. Mike Schmidt also hit one in that game.

It was Wells' third career homer against Moyer, who didn't allow any other runs in the Phillies' 11-2 victory over the Blue Jays. Moyer moved to 9-6 with a 4.30 ERA. Moyer also became the 40th pitcher in major-league history to throw 4,000 career innings.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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