Tag:Carlos Beltran
Posted on: July 21, 2011 4:43 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 5:07 pm

Trade Deadline Primer: NL East

By Eye on Baseball team

Leading up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, the National League East has an actual race -- as well as a team with a bloated payroll and no hope -- which leads to a great chance of some pretty interesting trades to and from the division. Here's a look at the five teams in the NL Eeast:

Philadelphia Phillies

Status: Buyers

Needs: Bullpen, RH bat

Notes: Manager Charlie Manuel said he'd love a right-handed bat (Philadelphia Daily News), probably in the outfield, but this is the Phillies and expect the team to focus on pitching -- at least that's what history tells us. And because their rotation is pretty good (you may have heard about some of these guys), they focus on relievers, likely ending a streak of five years of adding a starter midseason. The team is likely one of the many suitors for Padres closer Heath Bell, although some suggest the Phillies prefer Mike Adams. Padres owner Jeff Moorad has reportedly told Adams he won't be traded. However, according to Tom Krasovic of Inside the Padres, the Phillies are willing to give up Class A first baseman/left fielder Jonathan Singleton in return for Adams.

Another bullpen trade partner could be the Orioles, CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler said. The Phillies could be interested in Jim Johnson or Koji Uehara.

MLB Trade Deadline

As for the right-handed bats, the Phillies are in on the same folks everyone's chasing -- Ryan Ludwick, Carlos Beltran, Hunter Pence and maybe Jeff Francouer. The biggest hurdle of all for the Phillies is money, as in they've already spent it and they're worried about the luxury tax. The team has just between $2 and $3 million to spend and avoid the luxury tax.

According to Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com, the Phillies and Royals have already exchanged names in a possible Melky Cabrera trade. Cabrera is a cheaper, younger switch hitter for those who fall short in the Carlos Beltran sweepstakes.

Now, if they're going big and bold, Buster Olney of ESPN.com, tweeted the Phillies could go for Pence, centering the deal around right-hander Vance Worley.

Atlanta Braves

Status: Bargain shoppers

Needs: Right-handed bat

Notes: The Braves need a right-handed bat like Roy Halladay needs air conditioning. Atlanta looks like the front-runner for the National League wild card, but don't have much money to spend. The biggest issue right now for Atlanta is its inability to hit left-handed pitchers. Braves hitters are hitting just .211/.285/.337 against lefties, with Jason Heyward, Nate McLouth and Jordan Schafer all below the Mendoza line against southpaws. That's why Jon Paul Morosi's report of the Reds' Jonny Gomes drawing the interest of the Braves makes sense, Gomes kills lefties to the tune of a .340/.446/.547 slash line this season and .281/..377/.510 in his career. There's also the regular names such as Ludwick and Beltran.

To make room for more payroll, the team could trade right-hander Derek Lowe, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's David O'Brien wrote. The Tigers could be interested in Lowe, but would have to take up the rest of the $20 million he's owed through 2012.

New York Mets

Status: One-stop shopping

Needs: Young talent under team control; pitching

Notes: Outfielder Carlos Beltran is the top position player on the market, but his future is clouded by the number of teams that could use an upgrade in the outfield and the fact that he's not for sale, he's for rent. Whatever team gets him won't even get compensation picks if he leaves as a free agent after the season.

The Mets would reportedly rather pay Beltran's salary and get a good young player or top prospect in return. They could unload him to a team willing to pay the roughly $8 million left on his contract, but then they wouldn't get much in return. The Mets would prefer big-league ready pitching talent. New York seems confident it can re-sign Jose Reyes, meaning they're not ready to throw in the towel and go full-on rebuilding anytime soon. 

Beltran, however, does have a no-trade clause. According to Tim Brown of Yahoo!, Sandy Alderson gave Beltran a short list of teams interested -- the Phillies, Red Sox, Braves, Giants, Brewers and maybe the Yankees -- and Beltran hasn't ruled any of them out.

It's pretty certain now that the Mets won't deal Reyes, but it appears they may be holding on to Jason Isringhausen, too, Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman tweets.

Washington Nationals

Status: Listening to all offers

Needs: Leadoff man/center fielder of the future

Notes: The Nationals have pieces to deal -- from catcher Ivan Rodriguez to relievers Tyler Clippard, Drew Storen, Todd Coffey and Sean Burnett, plus starters Jason Marquis, Livan Hernandez and Tom Gorzelanny. In short, they're open for business, with GM Mike Rizzo saying no player is "untouchable" -- but then following that up with "we're not going to touch our core." That means, "after a while, they don't ask for [Danny] Espinosa," Rizzo told the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore. Ryan Zimmerman is also likely untouchable, as well as catcher Wilson Ramos.

One name to watch is shortstop Ian Desmond, but that would take quite the return for the team to move the 25-year-old.

More likely to go are some of the team's relievers. The Nats are deep in the bullpen and it's a position that's always in demand. The top tier would be Clippard or even Storen, but that would require Washington receiving a leadoff-hitting center fielder in return, someone like B.J. Upton, Michael Bourn, Colby Rasmus or Denard Span, FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal writes.

Florida Marlins

Status: Sellers

Needs: Third baseman, starting pitchers

Notes: The Marlins have starting pitchers that would interest many teams, but they may not part with them. Next year they rename themselves the Miami Marlins when they move into a new stadium and ownership would like a competitive team on the field when that happens.

Ricky Nolasco is the top starter to be had, but Knobler says they'd have to get a younger, cheaper starter in return for the 28-year-old right-hander.

The one the team may part with is Javier Vazquez, but it's not really their decision. Vazquez has a full no-trade clause and isn't in any hurry to leave South Florida. There are few places he'd accept a trade.

Sure to be gone is closer Leo Nunez. The Phillies are interested in Nunez. The other teams desperate for bullpen help -- like the Cardinals and Rangers -- are likely to at least inquire what it may take to get him.

Randy Choate has been verbal this week about his problems with current manager Jack McKeon and could get shipped off for not being a good soldier.

Also on the block are free-agents-to-be Greg Dobbs and Omar Infante. Infante's value is a lot less than it was a year ago.

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Posted on: July 19, 2011 8:26 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2011 5:34 pm

Report: Giants, Red Sox hard after Beltran


By Evan Brunell

The top suitors for right fielder Carlos Beltran are the Phillies and Red Sox, Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports.

Both Philadelphia and Boston are hunting for a right-handed hitter to balance lefty-heavy lineups; Beltran is a switch-hitter, but that only works to his advantage. Both clubs also have two youngsters (Josh Reddick in Boston and Domonic Brown in Philly) getting playing time, but their ability to play full-time down the stretch and produce is unclear. The Mets' Beltran would certainly answer those questions as the 34-year-old is having a resurgent season with a NL-leading 28 doubles and 14 homers, checking in with a .287/.381/.512 line in 381 plate appearances.

There are other teams also in on Beltran -- the Braves, Giants, Indians and Tigers have also been connected -- and not only is demand so high that Beltran may be moved earlier than July 31, but the Mets may not need to pay all of his salary. Previously, it was reported that New York was willing to eat all of the money on Beltran's $18.5 million contract in order to receive a top prospect back in trade. Now, Rosenthal says the bidding is so high that covering the entire deal may not be necessary. Any way for the Mets to save money on the $6 million or so remaining on his deal at the deadline will be a boon to the Mets, who already cleared out part of their financial issues by dealing closer Francisco Rodriguez to the Brewers.

Both the Phillies and Red Sox don't have much financial flexibility as they are bumping up against the luxury tax cap of $178 million. Cot's Contracts has the Sox at $163.8 million and the Phillies at $165.9 million, but these figures are incomplete. Philadelphia, for its part, is telling other teams they can only take on up to $2 million in any deal. Beltran would be the cherry on top for these clubs, as he would give the Phillies a strong offense to go with a suffocating rotation while the Red Sox would make an already filthy lineup that much filthier to hide the chinks in the rotation.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed. Also, check out Danny Knobler's trade deadline news and rumors.

Posted on: July 19, 2011 4:05 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2011 6:05 pm

Victorino, Reyes activated

By Matt Snyder

Two NL East teams are bringing an All-Star off the disabled list Tuesday.

The Phillies have been without Shane Victorino since July 3, when he spraind his thumb. After a short rehab assignment, in which he felt "embarrassed" over a small gaffe, Victorino will re-join the Phillies lineup against the Cubs Tuesday night. Victorino brings multiple dimensions back to the Phillies, as he's a three-time Gold Glove center fielder who is hitting .303 with 14 doubles, nine triples, nine home runs, 53 runs and 13 steals. Earlier this month, he won the "Final Vote" for the second time, making him a two-time All-Star and the only person to win that particular vote twice.

Jose Reyes will also re-join his ballclub's lineup Tuesday, as the Mets square off against the Cardinals. The Mets' superstar shortstop was one of the best players in all of baseball for 2011 when he was sidelined with a hamstring injury July 2. He's hitting .354 with 16 triples, 30 steals and a .927 OPS. He's in line for a huge payday this coming offseason when he hits free agency, the only question is if it will be the Mets doing the paying. The Mets also get Carlos Beltran back in the lineup after missing a few games due to a pretty bad case of the flu, so they'll have a significantly stronger lineup than last time out.

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Posted on: July 18, 2011 9:30 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2011 9:36 pm

Angels GM says he can add payroll

Tony ReaginsBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Angels general manager Tony Reagins says he's hasn't been given orders not to spend money at the trade deadline, as had been reported recently.

"I haven't been limited in any way," Reagins told Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. "I've never had a conversation of that sort with Arte [Moreno] and any writer who writes something like that is misinformed."

However, the Angels currently have a $140 million payroll with approximately $28 million going to Scott Kazmir, Kendrys Morales and Gary Matthews Jr. That doesn't even take into offseason additions of Vernon Wells, Hisanori Takahashi and Scott Downs -- none of whom came cheap.

The Angels have come up in rumors about Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran and Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez. Another name that's popped up is Kansas City's Wilson Betemit and Melky Cabrera. There's also San Diego relievers Heath Bell and Mike Adams, who are the top relievers available.

Anaheim is entered Monday four games behind Texas in the American League West and could use some help in the bullpen and on offense. 

"You always look to upgrade if you can. If the right situation comes along, we'll be open to it," Reagins said. ""But the biggest improvement is going to come from within.

"Each situation [in the past, such as Mark Teixeira in 2008, Scott Kazmir in 2009 and Dan Haren last season] was trying to put the club in position to win a championship. … If that situation presents itself at this deadline, we'll be ready to act."

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Posted on: July 18, 2011 8:51 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2011 11:29 pm

Mets willing to pick up Beltran's salary

Carlos BeltranBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The willingness to spend money isn't just important to the buyers at trade deadline time -- a loose pocketbook can also help sellers.

It could really help the Mets, who have outfielder Carlos Beltran available to interested parties. And because the Mets are willing to pay the remainder of his $18.5 million contract this season, the team can ask for more talent in return.

"From what I gather, they are asking a lot for him because they are willing to pick up all of his salary," a source told ESPNNewYork.com's Adam Rubin.

Beltran would be due nearly $6 million on July 31, but if the team takes on that money, they can possibly get a top-tier prospect in return, something they didn't get for closer Francisco Rodriguez in last week's trade with the Brewers.

Beltran will be a rental, but if the rent is cheap, more teams may be interested. Among those teams would be the Diamondbacks, Pirates, Red Sox, Phillies, Braves and Angels.

Some teams, however, would rather give up money than prospects. Andrew Baggarley of the San Jose Mercury News writes that the Giants would rather pay in dollars instead of players. The Tigers would also prefer to pay cash, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes, as would the Indians, CBSSports.com senior writer Danny Knobler notes.

Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman reports the Mets don't expect Beltran to pass through waivers in August, so if he's going to be traded, it'll be this month. The Mets are 8.5 games behind the Braves in the National League East, but don't have any games against either the Braves or Phillies before July 31. 

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Posted on: July 13, 2011 12:47 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2011 4:21 pm

K-Rod out of New York, Beltran may be next

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Carlos BeltranPHOENIX -- Francisco Rodriguez was the first Met to be dealt and Carlos Beltran could be the second.

Before Tuesday night's All-Star Game, Giants closer Brian Wilson said on Fox that there had been talks about the Giants adding Beltran. After the game, he stood by those comments.

"You know, talking facts. I guess we're in talks and we're talking about Beltran," Wilson said.

Unlike Rodriguez, though, Beltran has a complete no-trade clause and could seek compensation to waive it, FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal writes. Rosenthal also adds Beltran's agent, Scott Boras, may prefer Beltran to go to the American League where he could serve as a designated hitter. However, as CBSSports.com senior writer Danny Knobler points out, Beltran isn't crazy about DHing. He served as DH just three times during the Mets interleague games this season. It would also stand to reason that Beltran would be better off showing potential teams he could still play a full season in the outfield, because having 30 teams bid on you is better than 14.

Rosenthal notes the Mets may not hurry to deal Beltran, but they are expected to move him. And they hope to get more in return for Beltran than they did for Rodriguez.

And, just because, here's video I shot of Wilson last night talking about his shoes with his own picture on them:

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Posted on: July 12, 2011 10:03 pm
Edited on: July 12, 2011 10:43 pm

Halladay works two perfect innings

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Roy HalladayPHOENIX -- Even without a plan, Roy Halladay dominated.

When asked if he and catcher Brian McCann had a gameplan for Tuesday night's start for the National League in the All-Star Game, Halladay said they didn't.

"We talked a little bit about the guys. I knew some of these guys, I've faced them," Halladay said. "We didn't go over it. Coming in with the catcher, it's too overwhelming if you've got to catch 15 guys and go over everyone with all of them, so we kept it simple."

The result? Six up and six down in two innings. Halladay threw 19 pitches, 14 strikes. He struck out Carlos Beltran, got three groundouts and two fly outs. He was the first pitcher to throw two perfect innings with a strikeout since Roger Clemens in the 2001 All-Star Game in Seattle. He was the sixth starter to pitch at least two perfect innings with a strikeout, joining Clemens, Pedro Martinez (1999), Frank Viola (1988), Clemens (1986) and Steve Stone (1980).

One particular batter was of particular concern -- Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista. But Halladay handled him easily.

"To get out there and get one pitch and get him to fly out was incredible," Halladay said.

His teammate, Cliff Lee, pitched a perfect third inning -- marking the first pair to start an All-Star Game with three perfect innings since 2001, when Clemens and Freddy Garcia achieved the feat. However, Lee gave up three hits and a run -- including a homer to Adrian Gonzalez in his second inning.

For complete All-Star Game coverage, keep up with Eye on Baseball in Phoenix

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

Posted on: July 8, 2011 5:07 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 1:05 pm

Loaded pitching highlights NL East All-Stars

By Matt Snyder

2011 All-Star Game
SEE THE OTHER DIVISION ALL-STARS: AL East | AL Central | AL West | NL Central | NL West
The strength of this divisional All-Star team is going to be mitigated by the fact that we're only picking one starting pitcher, one non-closing reliever and one closer, because this sucker is stacked with pitching. The lineup is no slouch either, in what is probably the second-best division in the majors, if not better than the vaunted AL East. I would have said the NL East was better top-to-bottom if it wasn't for that dreadful June by the Marlins. Anywho, let's get to it.

C Brian McCann, Braves: It's an easy choice, but that doesn't mean the other guys suck. Not by any stretch. Carlos Ruiz, Ronny Paulino, John Buck and Wilson Ramos are admirable backstops to varying degrees, but McCann is the best catcher in baseball this season, hands down. He's hitting .314 with 14 homers and an OPS over .900, not to mention he calls the games for one of the best pitching staffs in baseball.

1B Gaby Sanchez, Marlins: Before freaking out, Phillies fans, remember we're using DHs in this little exercise (wink, wink). We're also going to set Michael Morse aside for later and Ike Davis is injured. So it boils down to Freddie Freeman and Gaby Sanchez. Freeman's been hot of late and is hitting .279 with 13 homers, 42 RBI and a .354 OBP. Sanchez is hitting .290 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and a .370 OBP. He's also superior defensively be several metrics, so it's Sanchez in a close call.

No. Name Team Pos
1 Jose Reyes NYM SS
2 Shane Victorino PHI CF
3 Gaby Sanchez FLA 1B
4 Ryan Howard PHI DH
5 Carlos Beltran NYM RF
6 Michael Morse WAS LF
7 Brian McCann ATL C
8 Danny Espinosa WAS 2B
9 Placido Polanco PHI 3B
2B Danny Espinosa, Nationals: Tough call over Chase Utley here, but Espinosa has played in 89 games to Utley's 38, so that makes the choice much easier. Espinosa, the NL Rookie of the Year front-runner at this point, has played a great second base for the Nats in addition to developing as a power hitter. He has 16 home runs and 52 RBI to go along with 11 stolen bases.

3B Placido Polanco, Phillies: We'd be a lot stronger here if David Wright, Ryan Zimmerman and Chipper Jones were completely healthy and hitting up to their full potential, but things haven't gone that way. Jones is in obvious age decline, Zimmerman has struggled -- until very recently -- after a lenghty stint on the DL and Wright has been on the shelf for all but 39 games. Polanco, on the other hand, has provided steady defense for the Phillies at the hot corner and is hitting .274 with a .331 OBP. 

SS Jose Reyes, Mets: Back in early April, we may have thought this would be a three-horse race between Hanley Ramirez, Jimmy Rollins and Reyes, but it's not even close. Ramirez had been awful up until the past few weeks and while Rollins is good, Reyes has been an MVP candidate -- at least until he fell injured a few days ago. Reyes leads the majors in hits, triples and batting average while also leading the NL in runs scored.

LF Michael Morse, Nationals: Hey, he's played 27 games in left, even though he's primarily a first baseman now. I'm using him here because we wanted to put together the best possible lineup and the other choices out in left in this division weren't great. Logan Morrison was the next best choice, while Raul Ibanez and Jason Bay are simply far overpaid at this point. Morse, however, has been tearing the cover off the ball since the beginning of May. He's hitting .303 with 15 homers, 48 RBI and an .887 OPS.

CF Shane Victorino, Phillies: The All-Star is really the only choice here. Angel Pagan was injured for a while Victorino has far exceeded the production of Roger Bernadina. Victorino's hitting .303 with a .376 OBP, 53 runs and 13 steals. He also plays a stellar center field behind that vaunted Phillies pitching staff.

RF Carlos Beltran, Mets: Who woulda thought this one coming into the season, huh? You've got the young studs Mike Stanton and Jason Heyward out in right in this division, meanwhile Beltran had to move to right from center to keep his knee injury from reaggravating. All he's done is go out and make his sixth All-Star team. In addition to leading the NL in doubles (26), Beltran is hitting .283 with 13 home runs, 57 RBI and a robust .372 OBP.

DH Ryan Howard, Phillies: If Chipper Jones or Ryan Zimmerman were having better seasons or David Wright and Ike Davis were healthy, this might have been a much tougher choice. Stanton could be an option, too, but I'm going Howard. He has 18 homers, an NL-best 71 RBI, an .842 OPS and just feels like a menacing DH in the batter's box.

SP Roy Halladay, Phillies: Do I seriously have to pick just one? We could put together a five-man rotation of ace-caliber pitchers -- Halladay, Jair Jurrjens, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Tommy Hanson -- and still have the likes of Anibal Sanchez, Jordan Zimmermann and the injured Josh Johnson left over. What if Johan Santana and Stephen Strasburg were healthy? This is the most pitching-rich division in the majors, including the bullpen. And it's only going to get better as the young arms further develop and a dude named Stephen Strasburg gets healthy. Anyway, I have to pick one, so it's the best pitcher in baseball. Maybe Justin Verlander has a case over Halladay, but he's not in this division. Just remember, if we went out to 25-man rosters, this division would have the sickest pitching staff of all.

RP Jonny Venters, Braves: Antonio Bastardo has been excellent for the Phillies. He has a 0.87 ERA and has stranded over 99 percent of his baserunners. He's struck out more than 10 batters per nine innings and has now collected five saves. Tyler Clippard has also been outstanding. He has a 1.86 ERA and strikes out batters at an even higher pace than Bastardo. But Venters has been dominant in 53 1/3 innings (Bastardo has 31) and has thrown in more high-leverage situations than Clippard. According to FanGraph's wins above replacement player, the only relief pitcher in the NL more valuable than Venters this season has been Craig Kimbrel, who you'll see below.

CL Craig Kimbrel, Braves: Drew Storen and Francisco Rodriguez have been good, but Kimbrel leads the majors with 27 saves and has struck out 70 batters in just 45 innings. Sure, he's blown five saves, but none since June 8. Since then, he's closed all nine opportunities and hasn't even given up a run in his last 13 games. He definitely looks the part of a young Billy Wagner. Only workload is a concern for the 23-year-old at this point.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com