Tag:trade deadline
Posted on: July 29, 2011 10:19 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2011 1:22 am

Astros add electric arm in Pence trade

Jarred Cosart

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Hunter Pence will now be a Phillie, but who are the newest Astros?

Well, they're not Astros yet, but the newest members of the Houston farm system give a jolt to a system ranked No. 26 in baseball by Baseball America before the season (and 30th in each of the two previous years). Here's a closer look at the three players the Astros will get in return for the All-Star outfielder in addition to a player to be named:

RHP Jarred Cosart: The 21-year-old from the Houston area wowed everyone in attendance at the Futures Game in Phoenix this month. His fastball was clocked at 98 mph as he had a pair of strikeouts in a perfect eighth inning of work for the United States team. The 6-foot-3 right-hander has a good curveball to go with the electric fastball. At high Class A Clearwater, he's struck out 79 and walked 43 in 108 innings and has a 9-8 record with a 3.92 ERA. He's seen his walks skyrocket this season after walking just 23 with 102 strikeouts in his first two pro seasons. The Phillies drafted him in the 38th round in 2008, but it's not because he was a 38th-round talent. Every team seemed to expect him to pitch at Missouri, and that's what he told them. But the Phillies drafted him and offered him a $550,000 bonus and he took it. He has a very high ceiling and a lot of potential, but he still needs a lot more polish, which is why he's in Class A. Baseball America ranked Cosart the No. 43 prospect in baseball in its midseason rankings.

1B/OF Jonathan Singleton: Ranked the Phillies' No. 2 prospect at the beginning of the season by Baseball America, Singleton doesn't turn 20 until September. At 6-foot-2, 225 pounds, Singleton has  the potential for a ton of power. So far this season he's hitting .282/.386/.411 at high Class A Clearwater with nine home runs and 47 RBI in 92 games. He's also show a good approach at the plate and the ability to take a walk, walking 56 times this season. He has struck out 83 times, though. Singleton has played some left field, but he's much better suited to first base. Baseball America ranked Singleton the No. 41 prospect in baseball in its midseason rankings.

RHP Josh Zeid: Zeid, 24, is 2-3 with a 5.65 ERA at Double-A Reading, striking out 56 and walking 27 in 63 2/3 innings. A former Vanderbilt and Tulane pitcher, Zeid dominated the South Atlantic League last year, but was one of the oldest players in the league, going 8-4 with a 2.93 and 111 strikeouts on 107 1/3 innings. Although he's started 38 games in the minors, he projects as a reliever if he gets to the majors. Since moving to the bullpen at Double-A, he has 24 strikeouts in 16 innings, while allowing just 10 hits. He pitched in the Arizona Fall League last season and made the Rising Stars Game, the All-Star game in the fall league.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 29, 2011 9:10 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2011 10:06 pm

Phillies to get Pence from Astros

By Danny Knobler

The Phillies have acquired outfielder Hunter Pence from the Astros, sources told CBSSports.com Friday night.

The deal was described by two sources as "very close," and was expected to be announced later in the evening.

Pence, a 28-year-old two-time All-Star, gives the Phillies the strong outfield bat that manager Charlie Manuel has been asking for. Pence hit .308 with 62 RBI in 100 games this year for the Astros.

While Pence isn't as dynamic a player as Carlos Beltran, the outfielder the Giants got this week from the Mets, he fits the Phillies' pattern of acquiring players they can control past the end of the year. Pence can't become a free agent until the end of the 2013 season. That's why the Phillies were willing to pay a bigger price for him than they would have for Beltran.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro also has a history of being able to make deals with Astros GM Ed Wade. The two worked together when Wade was with the Phillies, and last year they engineered the trade that sent Roy Oswalt to Philadelphia.

First baseman Jonathan Singleton, who was pulled out of Friday night's game at Class A Clearwater in the eighth inning, is thought to be one of the players going to Houston in the trade. Pitcher Jarred Cosart, who starred in the All-Star Futures Game, was also thought to be in it. CSN Philadelphia reported that minor-league pitcher Josh Zeid and a player to be named will complete the four-player package.

Pence started for the Astros Friday night, but was pulled out of the game in the fifth inning.

The Braves had also tried to get Pence, but they weren't willing to surrender any of their top pitching prospects. The Phillies, who valued Pence more, were willing to come up with the players to convince the Astros to make the deal.

The Phillies originally expected that Domonic Brown could take over in right field this year, after they allowed Jayson Werth to leave for Washington as a free agent. But Brown got hurt in spring training and has struggled since then, and Manuel told reporters Friday afternoon that he would be better off developing in the minor leagues.

Earlier this week, the Phillies were still trying to decide whether to prioritize an outfielder or bullpen help. They decided to make Pence their top target, in part because they believe the bullpen will be strengthened in the playoffs by the addition of whichever starter they don't use in their postseason rotation (either Vance Worley or Oswalt).

The big question then was whether the Astros would truly consider dealing Pence, who is a favorite of outgoing Houston owner Drayton McLane. At one point this week, Astros officials were telling friends with other teams that they were much more likely to trade Pence this winter.

Once Beltran was dealt to the Giants on Wednesday, however, the Astros realized that the time to maximize Pence's value was now. Incoming owner Jim Crane intends to start a complete rebuild in Houston, likely dropping the Astros' payroll to around $60 million next year. So moving Pence, who makes $6.9 million this year and will be due for an arbitration raise, began to make more sense.

The Astros have also shopped center fielder Michael Bourn (the Reds are interested), and starting pitchers Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers. But Pence was always the one who would bring the biggest return.

The Braves move on to other targets. They could try to make a deal for White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin, but the Sox are believed to be asking for the same high-end pitching prospects that the Braves refused to deal for Pence. Atlanta could also step up efforts to get Ryan Ludwick from the Padres, or potentially try to get B.J. Upton from the Rays.

Ken Rosenthal of Foxsports.com first reported that the Phillies and Astros were close to a deal.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 29, 2011 7:48 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2011 7:54 pm

Five teams talking Dodgers' Kuroda

Hiroki Kuroda

By Scott Miller

Five clubs continue to engage the Dodgers in talks for right-hander Hiroki Kuroda in trade discussions that probably present the biggest wild card between now and Sunday's non-waiver trade deadline.

The YankeesRed SoxRangersIndians and Tigers all continue to push the Kuroda talks as the weekend nears, sources with knowledge of the discussions tell CBSSports.com.

As they do, there is still no indication as to whether Kuroda will waive his blanket no-trade clause. One source close to Kuroda says he continues to "seem apprehensive" about doing so, which is where the wild-card part of it comes in this weekend.

Several industry sources believe Kuroda will only accept a deal to the Yankees or Red Sox, but that has not stopped the Tigers, Rangers and Indians from positioning themselves to attempt to swing a deal.

As colleague Danny Knobler wrote Thursday, in a summer in which no clear ace is available at the July 31 deadline -- unlike, say, Cliff Lee last year or CC Sabathia in '08 -- the handful of mediocre starters has only muddled the trade market picture.

The Tigers have been tied to every pitcher this side of Walter "Big Train" Johnson, and the Red Sox and Yankees are expected to have a scout in Seattle on Friday night when Erik Bedard makes his long-awaited exit from another disabled list trip to start for the Mariners.

Jeff NiemannJeremy GuthrieJason MarquisAaron Harang?

You can see why Kuroda, who is just 34-43 with a 3.50 ERA in four big league seasons, is being hawked like a field mouse as contenders scramble to pick up any scrap of starting pitching they can.

Because of the glut of mediocrity combined with the high prices being asked, guys like Kuroda, Bedard, Harang and Co. probably will be last minute deals on Saturday or Sunday.

But one thing to remember about Kuroda: Because of his no-trade clause and the fact that he appears reluctant to leave Los Angeles, this one will take longer than others to put together. The process will involve the Dodgers putting a deal together (if they decide to pull the trigger), then taking it to Kuroda, then Kuroda taking time to decide on the no-trade clause.

In other words, this process for the Dodgers is going to have to begin with more lead time than, say, an hour before Sunday's 4 p.m. EDT deadline.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 29, 2011 5:59 pm

Ramirez wants to stay with Cubs

Aramis RamirezBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez said he was "misunderstood" on Thursday when it was reported he'd consider waiving his no-trade protectionfor the right deal, and on Friday he told reporters as much.

From the Chicago Tribune:

"I want to stay here and [general manager Jim Hendry] wants me here … If he doesn't want to trade me, he ain't gonna listen to offer."

As for if Ramirez would say no to a trade, well, he backed off the hard stance, "That has to happen first," he said. "After that happens, I'll see what's going on." 

Ramirez said he talked to Hendry on Thursday to make sure the GM knew Ramirez preferred to stay in Chicago.

The Cubs hold a $16 million option on Ramirez for 2012, but are unlikely to pick it up. CBSSports.com senior writer Scott Miller noted the Angels would love to add Ramirez to their lineup.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 29, 2011 5:31 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2011 6:51 pm

Looking back at impact of 2010 deadline deals


By Evan Brunell

As we hurtle toward the trade deadline on Sunday, it can be instructive to take a look back to the previous trade deadline. Looking at just the 30th and 31st, we see 13 trades were completed, with 10 on the day of reckoning. It's possible there could be a similar amount of deals this time around, but keep in mind that many teams are still in the postseason hunt, so that does limit the number of sellers and buyers.

Last season's deadline lacked one true blockbuster player, thanks to Cliff Lee being traded way back on July 9. That could change this year, with the increasing likelihood that both Hunter Pence and Ubaldo Jimenez will be traded, but last season still provides a good barometer of what to expect.

Many always think about the biggest names on the free agent market when the trade deadline rolls around, but players like Austin Kearns, Javier Lopez, Will Ohman and others were also on the move. It's not just big names teams deal for, and you'll see plenty of these small deals happen, even if they end up being insignificant in the long run.

Last year's deals can be broken up into three groups of similar size. Obviously, every team wants to be in the "paying dividends" category, but there are some that just plain "worked out," plus others that were irrelevant, either now or as early as the second the trade took place.

There's a bit of a mix of trades in here. We've got those that instantly bore fruit for the buyer, with Jake Westbrook helping to solidify what was a flagging rotation at the time. Interestingly enough, Edwin Jackson was just acquired by St. Louis to (wait for it...) solidify a flagging rotation -- and here he is, represented in this list from a year ago when Chicago's Kenny Williams irrationally sent Hudson and Holmberg packing for Jackson, whom he hoped to flip for Adam Dunn before Washington walked away. (And that deal, by the way, has worked out just splendidly for Arizona.)

Another mid-rotation starter was dealt in the Cubs deal, but Chicago walked away the losers. They thought they were getting a possible starting second baseman in DeWitt, but instead he's been buried on the bench. (The jury is still out on Smit and Wallach, but don't hold your breath; DeWitt was the main piece) The real winner has turned out to be L.A. with Ted Lilly, who pitched well down the stretch then re-upped with the team. He's struggling this year, but is still a solid starter.

MLB Trade Deadline
You may think it odd the Royals/Braves trade is on this list, especially since Ankiel and Farnsworth are gone from Atlanta and two of three players heading back to Kansas City were no one of note, but Tim Collins is certainly of note. The fireballing lefty has been fantastic for the Royals in his rookie season, posting up a 3.49 ERA in 49 innings. If he firms up his control, he could become an elite setup man. Heck, even if not, this trade has already paid off.

Another team that considered itself buyers but ended up shooting itself in the foot was the Dodgers, who sent away James McDonald for Octavio Dotel, a pitcher that was later moved to the Rockies, signed with the Blue Jays and was dealt again to the Cardinals along with Edwin Jackson. McDonald has been a dependable middle of the rotation starter, something that was already the case when he was traded. This deal was flat out dumb, but the Pirates are certainly happy.

The last trade was a swap between two contenders hoping for fresh starts. Texas wanted its haul to help restock the farm system to deliver dividends down the road while Boston was hoping to strike gold with Saltalamacchia. After getting the year off to a bad start, Salty is hitting .287/.359/.544 since May 15.

Sometimes, it's those trades taking fliers on players or sellers taking advantage of buyers to come out ahead just a year later.

  • Yankees acquired 1B Lance Berkman and cash considerations from Houston for RHP Mark Melancon and INF Jimmy Paredes.
  • Yankees acquired RHP Kerry Wood and cash from Cleveland for a player to be named or cash.
  • Pirates acquired RHP Joseph Martinez and OF John Bowker from San Francisco for LHP Javier Lopez.
These trades here all essentially worked out, but not for typical reasons you would expect.

Mark Melancon was the true prize in the Berkman trade, and has established himself as the closer in Houston. Of course, he won't get many save chances, but has racked up 10 in 49 1/3 innings, posting a 3.10 ERA while Berkman was just a passing wind, but now the Yankees get to claim that yet another 90-00s star wore pinstripes if only for a second, a la Ivan Rodriguez. Ditto the Kerry Wood deal, but Wood was actually lights out down the stretch and was a major boon to New York. This is one deal that doesn't matter anymore, but was huge for the final months of 2010.

Javier Lopez, of course, walked away with a ring in San Francisco and developed into a devastating weapon in the playoffs, giving up nothing of consequence.

  • Indians traded OF Austin Kearns to the New York Yankees in exchange for a player to be named or cash.
  • Orioles traded LHP Will Ohman to Florida for RHP Rick VandenHurk.
  • Diamondbacks acquired OF Ryan Church, INF Bobby Crosby and RHP D.J. Carrasco from Pittsburgh for C Chris Snyder, INF Pedro Ciriaco and cash considerations.
  • Rays acquired RHP Chad Qualls from Arizona for a player to be named.
  • Tigers traded OF Wilkin Ramirez to Atlanta for a player to be named or cash considerations.
  • Braves traded OF Mitch Jones to the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash.
These deals are irrelevant, so we won't write much about them. But note that just as many deals paying dividends were made as irrelevant deals. Some of these, like Qualls or Snyder, were flyers that just didn't work out. It happens, but you can't blame the teams for trying. Most of these, though, were minor deals that didn't affect much of anything.

So what have we learned? The takeaways should be this: The one player that you may see in a trade deadline and not register at all may end up walking away the best player in the deal, and it may not take years for that to happen. And that for all the hubbub around big names being traded, most of the deals that go down are of the garden variety. A small deal can win a World Series (ask the Giants) just as much as a blockbuster.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 29, 2011 1:32 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2011 3:23 pm

Friday afternoon trade rumor roundup


By Evan Brunell

Today's the last weekday prior to the trade deadline, which expires on Sunday. Will there be a flurry of activity much like there was Wednesday when Colby Rasmus was part of a three-team deal and Carlos Beltran headed to San Francisco? It's too early to tell, but here's the latest rumors, headlined by Hunter Pence. If you're looking for information on Ubaldo Jimenez, we've broken that off into its own story -- head here and check it out.


MLB Trade Deadline
Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal says the Reds are on Michael Bourn, Houston's center fielder. An odd fit, given the team has Drew Stubbs, but Stubbs has been struggling this year and Bourn can impact Cincinnati at the top of the lineup. The team is also in on Hunter Pence, but Rosenthal tabs Pence as the "Phillies' to lose."

On Thursday, a deal between Philadelphia and Houston was so close that Pence was told during the game that night he was being removed due to a trade, as Heyman reports, but he never came out of the game. That's because a potential deal Philadelphia would have engineered with Jonathan Singleton, Jared Cosart and a third piece fell through when the 'Stros wanted Domonic Brown. Both sides are so close, though, it's hard to imagine a trade doesn't eventually happen. Heyman, for his part, thinks a deal will happen if it's Brown and Cosart for Pence.

However, Joel Sherman of the New York Post isn't ready to count out Atlanta. The 'Stros appear to prefer the Braves' prospects, but Atlanta refuses to deal Mike Minor. If that changes, Pence could be a Brave. Will that be enough to keep him out of Philly, a team Heyman says will "do whatever it takes" to get Pence?
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: July 29, 2011 1:14 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2011 1:33 pm

Ubaldo Jimenez rumors flying hot and heavy


By Evan Brunell

Could Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez really be on the move? Joel Sherman of the New York Post has an interesting revelation, that being that Jimenez was out of shape in the spring, which Colorado is upset about. On Jimenez's side, he's upset that Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki got massive contracts and has "shut off" pitching coach Bob Apodaca. Funny, because Apodaca said the other day that he had the most open relationship of any pitcher with Jimenez.

Troy Renck of the Denver Post couldn't stand those statements though, making a lengthy statement on Twitter about these accusations.

I don't understand the continued characterization of Jimenez nationally as a malcontent. You'd think he was Terrell Owens. It's beyond unfair. Perception isn't reality when it comes to Jimenez. If people really knew him they would realize how wrong they are about these statements. Jimenez is not mad at Tulo-CarGo.. .He signed his own contract at family's insistence. ...He and Apodaca are not on the outs. I am not questiong other people's sources.. I am just saying I have known Jimenez for five years.He's the hardest working pitcher they've ever had. He's been a role model in Latin America. A mentor to young players. He admitted he made a mistake going to Europe in January. And he should have spoken up about hip flexor in spring training. If Rox trade him. I get it. But please know it's not because he's a bad guy or teammate. There are no questions about his character. Zero.
Renck could be correct for all we know, but all due respect to the reporter -- who has been with the Rockies virtually day in and day out for years and certainly has a far better pulse of the team than Sherman -- it seems like his main argument is "I know Jimenez, and it just can't be true!" Jimenez's character appears above reproach -- not just based on Renck's comments, but over the past few years, but that doesn't mean Jimenez is not upset about the big deals or that he has decreased his working relationship with Apodaca.

The Tigers are making another run at starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez of the Rockies as CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler wrote, but Colorado wants Jacob Turner or Rick Porcello, which is a tall task for Detroit to meet in any deal for Jimenez.  Also, the Red Sox have entered the race "aggressively," as SI.com's Jon Heyman reports. Also in the hunt are the Indians, Reds and Jays. And yeah, the Yankees are in the hunt too, but the the Post's Sherman hears that the Yankees value Jimenez as a No. 2, not an ace, which is affecting trade talks.

All told, it's clear that the possibility of a Jimenez deal is better than originally thought.

There is a live trade deadline chat Sunday on CBSSports.com. Tune in at 2 p.m. ET!

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

Posted on: July 29, 2011 11:40 am

Tigers chasing after Ubaldo Jimenez

By Danny Knobler

With their once-lengthy list of starting pitching targets shrinking, the Tigers are making another longshot run at top choice Ubaldo Jimenez.

The Tigers were considered to be basically out of the Ubaldo derby, because the Rockies valued other teams' prospects more highly.

But the Tigers are increasingly desperate to improve their rotation, fueling one more run at Jimenez, sources confirmed to CBSSports.com Friday morning.

MLB Trade Deadline
It still seems unlikely that the Tigers could actually get Jimenez. According to one source with knowledge of the talks, a Tiger package would need to start with Jacob Turner and/or Rick Porcello. Turner is the Tigers' top prospect, and has been declared near-untouchable in trade talks. Porcello is their 22-year-old third starter, and while Jimenez would be an upgrade, the Tigers would still have a hole in their rotation.

Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski has been willing to move "untouchable" prospects in the past, if he likes the return enough. Both Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller were considered untouchable when Dombrowski put them together in a package for Miguel Cabrera at the winter meetings in 2007.

The Yankees and Red Sox are better positioned than the Tigers to get Jimenez, because of the value the Rockies put on their prospects. But it's possible that neither of the two American League East powers would budge on the players the Rockies covet, and perhaps that could put the Tigers in position to land Jimenez.

The Rockies continue to say that they won't trade Jimenez at all if they don't get the package they're looking for. The Indians, Reds, Rangers and Blue Jays have all been involved in Jimenez talks.

The Tigers remain interested in Hiroki Kuroda, and to some extent in Jeremy Guthrie and Aaron Harang. There was talk in baseball that they might go after Jason Marquis of the Nationals (one source suggested that the Nats like young Tiger reliever Ryan Perry), but that seems to be a lesser possibility at this point.

The Tigers also plan to have a scout watching Erik Bedard when he comes off the disabled list to start for the Mariners Friday night, but a move for Bedard is also considered unlikely.

The Tigers' renewed interest in Jimenez was first reported by Foxsports.com.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com