Tag:trade deadline
Posted on: July 28, 2011 10:45 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2011 12:05 am

Thursday night trade rumors roundup

By Matt Snyder

We're less than three days away to the non-waiver trade deadline in Major League Baseball. As we inch closer, it seems that more players are becoming available, so there are bound to be some fireworks this weekend. Let's check out what happened Thursday night.

CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler reports that the Braves and Phillies -- losers in the Carlos Beltran sweepstakes -- are interested in White Sox right fielder Carlos Quentin. Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the Braves are front-runners on Quentin.

MLB Trade Deadline
CBSSports.com's Scott Miller reiterates the Braves' desire for an outfield bat and throws the name of Padres' outfielder Ryan Ludwick into the discussion. Mark Bowman of MLB.com also reports the Braves are after Ludwick.

Knobler reports that, though the Blue Jays are believed to be done making moves after the Colby Rasmus trade, they still could deal relievers Frank Francisco and/or Jon Rauch.

• Some of the biggest movement of the day happened in terms of Hunter Pence's status. It had been reported for all the early part of this week the Astros were holding onto their All-Star right fielder tightly, but things may have changed. Knobler noted that interest has picked up with Beltran off the market, though some rival GMs still don't think Houston will deal Pence. Fox Sports reports the Braves are in on Pence but the Phillies are the most serious suitor. Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports added that the Indians are also in the mix and the chances of Pence being traded are better than 50-50. ESPN's Jayson Stark says the interest in Pence is "exploding" and the Braves, Phillies, Red Sox and Reds are in on him. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports said as many as eight teams are after Pence. In a contradiction to some of the above reports, however, is that Jon Heyman of SI.com earlier in the day reported the Phillies have given up on Pence and the Braves are the only team left with a shot.

Ubaldo Jimenez's name continues to bounce around, but the status is pretty much the same as before: The Yankees have the best shot, but it's not even close to being a sure thing and the Rockies may keep him.

Per Rosenthal, both the Yankees and Red Sox scouted A's starter Rich Harden during his outing against Tampa Bay Thursday.

• The Tigers are interested in Jason Marquis, reports Bill Ladsden of MLB.com.

• The Braves have had discussions about A's outfielder Coco Crisp, reports ESPN's Buster Olney. Rosenthal reports the Braves also have interest in A's outfielder Josh Willingham.

• Though Hiroki Kuroda's a hot name in the weak starting pitching market, as Knobler pointed out earlier Thursday, Newsday's Ken Davidoff reports that the Dodgers are not taking offers for him. Sherman reports the Yankees are in regular contact with the Dodgers about Kuroda, though.

• The Red Sox have the following starting pitchers on their radar, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe: Rich Harden, Erik Bedard, Hiroki Kuroda, Jeremy Guthrie, Aaron Harang, and Ubaldo Jimenez.

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Posted on: July 28, 2011 8:53 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2011 1:10 am

Five recent bad or worthless deadline deals

By Matt Snyder

We've all read the horror stories of botched trades, like when the Braves sent Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison, Jarrod Saltalamacchia for a year of Mark Teixeira. And they didn't even make the playoffs. You could dip back to the Mariners sending the Red Sox Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek for Heathcliff Slocumb or the Tigers coughing up a minor leaguer named John Smoltz for Doyle Alexander, if you wish. Lists of such failures are everywhere, so we'll narrow the field to five trades in the past three years and make it the last week before the non-waiver trade deadline, because that's where we are now. Here are five that, at this point, appear either worthless or bad for the "buyer" in the deal.

July 31, 2008: Yankees acquired outfielder Xavier Nady and pitcher Damaso Marte from the Pittsburgh Pirates for outfielder Jose Tabata and pitchers Daniel McCutchen, Jeff Karstens and Ross Ohlendorf

This was the only season since the strike that the Yankees didn't make the playoffs. Marte was bad out of the bullpen the remainder of the season and Nady wasn't much of a difference maker. In the deal, general manager Brian Cashman coughed up three players would could have been of some use either this season or in a better trade. Tabata's only 22 and has a .351 on-base percentage with 14 steals as the Pirates' left fielder (though he's presently on the DL). That's great potential from the leadoff spot. The Yankees don't need a starter in the outfield right now, but, again, Tabata could have been part of a trade for something better than the Nady/Marte combo. As for the pitching ...

McCutchen has a 2.21 ERA in 57 innings out of the Pirates' bullpen. Had the Yankees kept and developed him, he'd have come in handy this year as Rafael Soriano and Joba Chamberlain fell injured. Maybe it would have prevented the huge contract to Soriano, too. Also, Jeff Karstens has a 2.41 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in 119 2/3 innings. And the Yankees are looking for pitching help.

You can't win them all, and this is one the Yankees definitely didn't win.

July 29, 2009: Pirates trade RHP Ian Snell and SS Jack Wilson to Mariners for IF Ronny Cedeno and minor leaguers C/1B Jeff Clement, RHP Ben Pribanic, RHP Brett Lorin and RHP Nathan Adcock

File this debacle as worthless for both sides. The Mariners finished 12 games back in the AL West and 10 games out of the Wild Card. Wilson hit .224 with an abysmal .562 OPS the rest of the way and Snell was merely decent, at best (4.20 ERA, 1.56 WHIP). Wilson hasn't gotten any better while Snell was horrible in 2010 and is now retired. Meanwhile, nothing the Mariners sent back to the Pirates should be cause for regret. Clement was actually the linchpin of the move, but he's been a bust. It's just a seven-player deal that has had no impact on any pennant races.

July 31, 2009: Padres trade RHP Jake Peavy to the White Sox for LHP Clayton Richard, LHP Aaron Poreda and minor league RHP Dexter Carter and RHP Adam Russell

Peavy was actually a stud for three starts once he returned from injury in September, but the White Sox were already out of the race. Since then, he's been unable to stay healthy or consistent. He's still only 30, so there's time to turn this thing around and make it a good deal for the White Sox. His injury history says it's unlikely he'll ever be an ace for a full season again. Fortunately for the White Sox, Clayton Richard (5-9, 3.88) is the only thing of true substance the White Sox actually gave up. This is the most likely trade on this list that could be removed in due time.

July 31, 2009: Mariners trade LHP Jarrod Washburn to Tigers for LHP Luke French and minor league LHP Mauricio Robles

Washburn was brought over to solidify the Tigers' rotation in a playoff push. Instead, he may have cost them the playoffs. He went 1-3 with a 7.33 ERA and retired after the season. The Tigers ended up losing the AL Central to the Twins by a single game. Neither player the Tigers shipped to the Mariners has amounted to much, but does it matter? Acquiring Washburn ended up being self-sabotage.

July 31, 2010: Los Angeles Dodgers acquired RHP Octavio Dotel from Pittsburgh for RHP James McDonald and OF Andrew Lambo.

Looking to bolster their bullpen in hopes of making the NLCS for the third straight season, the Dodgers acquired a pitcher who wasn't even throwing well -- Dotel had a 4.28 ERA and 1.30 WHIP for the Pirates before the trade. The Dodgers ended up finishing fourth in the NL West and trading Dotel again before the season ended. McDonald, 26, is coming into his own for the Pirates this year, too. His numbers don't look awesome on the whole (7-4, 3.95 ERA, 1.54 WHIP), but he's been developing nicely. In his last 12 starts, he's 5-1 with a 2.62 ERA He would like nice in the Dodgers rotation somewhere behind Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley for the next several years. Instead they got some decent work out of Dotel for less than two months.

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Posted on: July 28, 2011 7:34 pm

Braves, Phillies like Carlos Quentin

By Danny Knobler

With the Tigers' loss to the Angels Thursday, the White Sox head into the weekend just three games out of first place in the American League Central.

Could they really trade Carlos Quentin, who is second on the team in both home runs and RBI?

Perhaps so, if the return is high enough. And with the Braves and Phillies both seriously interested, according to sources, the return may well be high enough.

The Braves are desperate to add an outfield bat, and the word Thursday was that they were making a big push for Quentin. The Phillies' wish list, according to Jim Salisbury of CSN Philadelphia, is topped by Hunter Pence, Quentin and Mike Adams. Many people still doubt that Pence will be traded, and people are starting to doubt that the Padres will move Adams, as well.

But what's in it for the White Sox?

That's more complicated. The Sox could call up Dayan Viciedo to replace Quentin. Viciedo has been dealing with what's described as a minor thumb issue, but he's hitting .307 with 16 home runs and 65 RBI in Triple-A. That's nice, but if the Sox believed Viciedo was their best option, he'd be in the big leagues already.

And that's why the return in a potential Quentin deal is so important. If the Braves were willing to include a few of their top pitching prospects -- the same guys they refused to trade for Carlos Beltran -- the White Sox could become convinced that a deal would give them a much better chance to compete next year, while not totally giving up on this season.

If the Phillies were willing to deal Domonic Brown and one or two of their top pitching prospects, the Sox could do the same thing.

Quentin can't be a free agent until after the 2012 season, so it's not out of the question that the Braves or Phillies would pay a higher price for him than they would have agreed to give up for Beltran, a true rental player.

The White Sox could decide that while they may have enough to win a weak AL Central this year, but not enough to compete in October.

"They just don't like their team," said one baseball man who speaks regularly with White Sox officials.

The Braves and Phillies aren't the only teams that like Quentin. The Reds and Red Sox have both shown interest in the past, although it's not clear whether they are working to get him this week.

Quentin is making $5.5 million this year and would be due a raise next year (when he'll again be arbitration-eligible), so by trading him the White Sox would also free up payroll that could allow them to make other moves.

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Posted on: July 28, 2011 6:27 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2011 6:38 pm

Ramirez reverses field with no-trade clause?

By Matt Snyder

Considering the dearth of good offensive third baseman around baseball this season, Aramis Ramirez would be a pretty hot commodity on the trade market. Scott Miller of CBSSports.com reported earlier this week the Angels have discussed the Cubs' third baseman. It's just that to this point, Ramirez and his agent have stated that he's not interested in waiving his no-trade clause.

After Thursday's loss to the Brewers, however, it would appear Ramirez is close to singing a different tune.

"They come to me with a trade, we'll see," Ramirez said (Chicago Sun Times via Twitter). He also noted that if the Cubs are rebuilding, he's not a fit and he understands this is a business.

Ramirez, 33, is hitting .293 with 19 home runs, 63 RBI and an OPS well over .800. He's been with the Cubs since a trade in July of 2003. He has a $16 million option for the 2012 season that would vest upon a trade, but it's possible Ramirez, his agent and an acquiring team would restructure that part of the contract.

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Posted on: July 28, 2011 5:57 pm

Braves looking for bat, talk Ludwick with SD

By Scott Miller

Looking for an outfield bat, the Braves are engaging the Padres in trade discussions regarding Ryan Ludwick, multiple sources have told CBSSports.com.

Ludwick is not the only outfielder with whom the Braves are exploring a trade, but they are described as having significant interest in the 33-year-old. The Braves also have talked about Oakland's Josh Willingham, the White Sox's Carlos Quentin, Houston's Hunter Pence and Tampa Bay's B.J. Upton.

The difference is that Ludwick and Willingham will cost less than Pence, Quentin and Upton.

Ludwick was held out of San Diego's lineup Thursday afternoon against Arizona, though manager Bud Black brushed off any suggestion that it was because a trade was imminent. The Padres acquired Ludwick from St. Louis at last year's trade deadline during a surprising season in which they won 90 games.

However, Ludwick was a bitter disappointment down the stretch in 2010 (.211, six homers, 26 RBIs in 239 plate appearances). While he's been better in 2011 (.238, 11, 62 in 412 plate appearances), he clearly is not in San Diego's future plans. A free agent this winter, it is believed that Ludwick will seek something in the neighborhood of a three-year deal. With his game not translating well in Petco Park, the Padres are not interested.

Willingham is hitting .240 with 13 homers and 50 RBIs for an Oakland team that long ago fell out of the race this summer.

There are two problems with the White Sox's Quentin, whom the Braves really like and have serious interest in:

One, he's more expensive than Ludwick or Willingham, according to sources. And, two, the Tigers apparently refuse to allow the White Sox to become full-blown sellers. Detroit lost again on Thursday, this time to the Angels, allowing idle Chicago to pull to within three games of the AL Central lead despite a 51-52 record. The White Sox are only two games behind Detroit in the loss column.

As for Pence, his market has exploded since San Francisco traded for Carlos Beltran. My colleague Danny Knobler writes that the Braves, Phillies and several other clubs checked in with the Astros on Thursday.

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Posted on: July 28, 2011 5:31 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2011 5:38 pm

Thursday afternoon rumor roundup

By C. Trent Rosecrans

It appears the Padres' Heath Bell may be the next big name off the trade board. CBSSports.com senior writer Scott Miller writes the talks are heating up, but there's still plenty of other trade rumors out there, so here we go:

• The Red Sox are looking at starting pitching, but they are telling team's they're focused on a right-handed-hitting outfielder, CBSSports.com senior writer Danny Knobler tweeted.

• Knobler also reports the Tigers are down to three options for a starter -- Hiroki Kuroda, Aaron Harang and Jeremy Guthrie.

• Have the Red Sox and Mariners matched up for a deal? FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal reports the Mariners had two scouts watching the Red Sox's Triple-A team on Wednesday and another eyeing the Double-A team. The Red Sox are "all over" left-hander Erik Bedard, a source told Rosenthal. Boston could also be interested in right-hander Doug Fister or closer Brandon League, too.

• Bell expects to be a Ranger by Friday. Why? His parents are flying in from Texas on Thursday to spend 10 days with his family in San Diego, Bell joked to reporters after Wednesday night's game. Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune also says the Braves, Indians and Reds are the most interested in Ryan Ludwick, but you may want to cross the Indians off the list after they acquired Kosuke Fukudome from the Cubs on Thursday. Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman tweets that the Philles are also interested.

• After Wednesday's loss to the Rockies, Kuroda -- who has a no-trade clause -- told reporters, "My honest feeling is that I can't fathom wearing another uniform [other] than the Dodgers uniform right now." Still, MLB.com's Ken Gurick writes the Indians, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Tigers are still making a push for the right-hander. 

• The Brewers are interested in the Dodgers' Rafael Furcal and Jamey Carroll, but the Dodgers will only trade one of the two, Rosenthal writes. ESPN.com's Jayson Stark said the Giants have talked to Los Angeles about Furcal.

• La Valle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune says the Twins aren't looking to deal Denard Span, but notes the Nationals may be interested in Ben Revere or prospects Joe Benson and Aaron Hicks.

The rumor on Wednesday was that the teams were considering a Span for Drew Storen trade, but MLB.com's Bill Ladson cites a "baseball source" as saying the Nationals wouldn't do that deal.

• The Twins are looking for bullpen help, FoxSports.com's Tracy Ringolsby writes, and could be targeting the Rockies. Colorado could deal right-handers Rafael Betancourt, Matt Lindstrom and Matt Belisle, and could even give up closer Huston Street for the right price. The Rockies would be interested in Minnesota's Kevin Slowey.

• Rangers manager Ron Washington reiterates his call for bullpen help. The team is apparently interested in Bell and Leo Nunez, with Robbie Erlin and Chris Davis being dangled.

• The Phillies have given up on getting Houston's Hunter Pence, Heyman tweets. The Braves are the last team in on Pence, he said.

• The Mariners will be busy selling off pieces between now and Sunday's deadline, Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times writes.

• The Cardinals are focusing on middle-infield help, Rosenthal tweets, as shortstop Ryan Theriot struggles.

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

Posted on: July 28, 2011 4:49 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2011 5:23 pm

5 under-the-radar trade targets to watch

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Sure, Carlos Beltran has been traded and there are still waves about Ubaldo Jimenez and other big names, but often it's the role players that are important in a pennant race. Here's guys that won't exactly stop the press, but could make a new team very happy they made a deal:

Josh Willingham1. Josh Willingham, Athletics: While not quite as sexy an acquisition as Carlos Beltran, Hunter Pence, B.J. Upton or even Ryan Ludwick, Willingham is certainly in demand.

Willingham is currently hitting .240/.327/.428 -- turning in his lowest OPS since becoming a regular big-leaguer. Playing in pitcher-friendly Oakland certainly doesn't help, but he does have 13 home runs in 324 plate appearances and a career .363 on-base percentage. Willingham has 116 career homers and could supply some pop to a team that needs a right-handed bat, and there are plenty of those. Both the Braves and Red Sox are in need of a right-handed bat in the outfield.

Willingham is a free agent after the season and currently projects as a Type A free agent, so it's possible the A's keep him if nobody meets their asking price.

Jamey Carroll2. Jamey Carroll, Dodgers: Carroll was a guy that was getting interest from Milwaukee before Rickie Weeks suffered a severely sprained ankle on Wednesday, and now he makes even more sense.

Not a bopper by any stretch of the imagination (he has just 12 career homers in 3,273 career plate appearances -- that's one homer every 272.75 plate appearances, and none since 2009), but he's a solid, steady bat hitting .291/.362/.356, a line that's pretty consistent with his .277/.356/.349 career slash line.

The 37-year-old can play around the infield and would step in at second for the Brewers -- and even be part of a mini-youth movement in Milwaukee where he'd take over the spot of 40-year-old Craig Counsell

The Indians are also interested in Carroll, who played in Cleveland in 2008 and 2009. There he would be used to back up rookies Jason Kipnis at second and Lonnie Chisenall at third base.

Coco Crisp3. Coco Crisp, Athletics: Crisp isn't having his best season, but the veteran center fielder could still help plenty of teams looking to shore up an outfield rotation or add a fourth outfielder.

Hitting .266/.317/.384 for Oakland this season, the 31-year-old has seen his stats drop from last season, and his .317 on-base percentage is his lowest since 2006. He does have 27 stolen bases, just five from his career-best.

CBSSports.com colleague Scott Miller made an interesting observation about Crisp, saying he's similar to Dave Roberts in 2004. Red Sox fans don't have to be reminded about Roberts' impact on Boston's title chase. 

The Indians and Reds have shown interest in Crisp, who could also help out the Pirates.

Koji Uehara4. Koji Uehara, Orioles: He's not exactly a household name, but the 36-year-old Japanese right-hander has been one of the game’s best relievers the last couple of years. 

Uehara has a 1.80 ERA this season in 45 innings, striking out 59 and walking eight. His WHIP is down to 0.689, but he has given up six homer so far this season, but that's about the only chink in his armor. In his career he's struck out 6.48 hitters for every walk.

Last season he closed some for the Orioles and converted 13 of 15 chances, so he could even fill that role if needed.

The Rangers, Pirates, Tigers and Twins have shown interest in him. He would upgrade any bullpen he joins.

Clint Barmes5. Clint Barmes, Astros: In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. And in the NL Central, Clint Barmes is a legitimate shortstop.

The Astros traded for the player better known as the guy before Troy Tulowitzki in Colorado or the guy who fell down the stairs carrying deer meat, but he's had a decent season in Houston. He's hitting .254/.320/.402 with seven homers for the Astros. Better yet, he's a good defensive shortstop -- and Ozzie Smith compared to the likes of Yuniesky Betancourt, Edgar Renteria and Ryan Theriot.

CBSSports.com senior writer Danny Knobler wrote the Brewers are interested in Barmes. The Brewers added Felipe Lopez on Thursday, but Lopez is not a legitimate shortstop (of course, neither is Betancourt) and will report to Triple-A.

Another team to watch may be the Diamondbacks, who lost Stephen Drew to a broken ankle. 

Barmes is a free agent after the season.

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Posted on: July 28, 2011 4:26 pm

Cubs dangling Zambrano, no takers yet

By Matt Snyder

As CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler pointed out a few minutes ago, the starting pitching market for the trade deadline this season is pretty weak. Thus, the Cubs have been trying to offload mercurial starter Carlos Zambrano. Several reports Thursday indicated the Cubs are trying to convince the Yankees to deal for Zambrano -- with the Cubs even trying to grease the wheels by paying a portion of Zambrano's remaining salary (nearly $24 million through 2012). So far, no dice for the Cubs, as the Yankees are said to have "no interest." (Chicago Sun Times)

Zambrano, 30, has insisted for several years he wants to remain with the Cubs and he reiterated those feelings after his loss Wednesday night.

“I do want to stay here, but at the same point, I want this team to make some changes," he said (Sun Times). If we want to win here, we need to make some changes. If I have to go, I have to go, but I [will] still have the Cubs in my heart.’’

Zambrano is 7-6 with a 4.59 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. He's a three-time All-Star and has a career 3.57 ERA. Part of the reason the Cubs contacted the Yankees about Zambrano is that it would reunite him with former pitching coach Larry Rothschild. Of course, the Yankees are also rumored to have interest in starting pitching. A deal between the two teams would make sense, but apparently Zambrano's performance this season isn't enough to convince Brian Cashman and company.

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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