Tag:White Sox
Posted on: July 29, 2010 5:35 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2010 6:53 pm

Berkman may be on move

Lance Berkman Now that Roy Oswalt has been traded, the Astros are in full-fledged selling mode.

That includes the other face of the franchise in Lance Berkman, the Astros' all-time leader in OPS (.959) with at least 500 games played in an Astros uniform. Berkman has 1,592 and is second behind Jeff Bagwell in franchise home-runs. Clearly, he's been an important staple of Astros history and like Oswalt, has a full no-trade clause as well.

He's not quite the same hitter he has been in the past, however. He's batting .240/.372/.436 on the year with 13 home runs in 358 plate appearances. Berkman has been terrible since the All-Star break but prior to that, was having a field day in July.

CBS Sports' Danny Knobler adds that discussions are taking place for Berkman. That doesn't mean Berkman will be traded, but it's unsurprising that he may be on the move. There is no longer any reason for Houston to retain Berkman and try to contend and make nice with fans -- the 'Stros are now finally in their long-awaited rebuilding phase.

Earlier in the day, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal said  that the White Sox were exploring alternatives to Adam Dunn, Thursday's trade profile at MLB Facts and Rumors.

Could the White Sox be one team in on Berkman?

It certainly wouldn't be surprising, as Berkman fits the profile of what the White Sox are looking for: a DH that could also play left field or first base (or in Berkman's case, both). One thing Berkman has over Dunn is that he is an adequate fielder at first base.

-- Evan Brunell

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

Posted on: July 29, 2010 12:19 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2010 5:28 pm

Trade deadline profile: Adam Dunn

Leading up to Saturday's trade deadline, the MLB Facts & Rumors team takes a look at the biggest names on the trade block. Wednesday examines one of the best home-run hitters in the game, Washington's Adam Dunn.

Adam Dunn Career stats: .251/.382/.522, 339 HR, 840 RBI
2010 stats : .275/.362/.553, 23 HR, 63 RBI
Contract status: Signed a two-year, $20 million contract prior to the 2009 season with Washington. Making $12 million in 2010 and projects to be a Type-A free agent after season.

Why he's desirable
Adam Dunn can change the game with one swing as one of the most prodigious home-run hitters of the 21st century. Dunn is currently enjoying a renaissance in batting average over the last two years as well (2005-08: .245 batting average, .270 since) which makes him more attractive, although his value remains tied up in walks and home runs. He is an absolute butcher on defense, although has been minimized somewhat by a move from left field to first base.

Dunn would immediately add sock to any lineup trying to make a push for the playoffs and does so at an affordable price. Any team could also offer Dunn arbitration (and be thrilled if he picks it up). If not, they grab two top draft picks to restock their farm system with. It's rare a player comes along like Dunn who fills such a perfect need with a win/win proposition in arbitration.

Why he's available
Simply by virtue of being a free agent on a team going nowhere, Dunn has been bandied about as a trade candidate all year. Reports surfaced earlier that Dunn approached the Nats about a contract extension, but these talks have gone nowhere.

While Dunn would prefer to stay with an up-and-coming team, it seems that Washington isn't prepared to commit a four-year extension to Dunn. Just 30, the odds are that the lefty stays productive for at least a couple more years and probably longer given his "old people" skills, but it's understandable why the Nationals would be sketchy of a four-year deal. A three-year deal might be in the cards, but it's not known if Washington is interested in that scenario as well.

There is no first-base prospect banging on the door, although the Nats may be gearing up for a big financial payout to Prince Fielder or Adrian Gonzalez after 2011.

Who is interested
The fact that Dunn is anti-DH hasn't stopped AL clubs from taking a look at the slugger. The White Sox have been hot to trot after Dunn for a while, at one point reportedly making their entire farm system available for him -- and the Nats weren't biting. You can bet GM Kenny Williams will do everything he can to integrate Dunn into the fold. There is a ready-made DH position for him to get at-bats in a ballpark that is a dream for home-run hitters.

The Yankees have also been linked to Dunn, who would pepper the right-field bleachers like nobody's business. The Rays have also checked into Dunn, who could really use his pop at DH as they scramble to keep pace with the Yankees. The Angels are seeking an upgrade, although the loss of Joel Pineiro for over a month may have adjusted their thinking on a contention window. The Giants are also hot after Dunn and may have a leg up on the competition both due to losing out on Scott Podsednik (although one argues that may be a good thing) and the appeal of being a NL team.

Adam Dunn The problem here is that Dunn is anti-DH. He does not want to DH, and there are questions around just how happy and productive he would be as a DH. Fortunately for Dunn, as an impending free agent, he can control his future after the year. For the next two months, Dunn can just deal with being the DH, and the high probability of playing in October might adjust his thinking -- Dunn's only taste of contention came when he was dealt to Arizona in 2008.

The D-Backs finished two games behind the Dodgers. Back then, Dunn said he truly enjoyed playing meaningful baseball down the stretch, although he then found himself frozen out of the free-agent market and joining a down-and-out team like Washington.

The Rangers, Rockies and Tigers have also been connected to the lefty.

Expected return
Nats GM Mike Rizzo has reportedly attached a high price to Dunn, considering Dunn just as good as Ryan Howard. (And he's not far off the mark when talking just offense.) He proposed swapping Dunn to the White Sox for Gordon Beckham, something the ChiSox rejected out of hand, telling Beckham he would not be traded.

The Nats came back with an offer of Daniel Hudson along with a prospect -- either Jordan Danks, Tyler Flowers or Brent Morel says Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago. The Nationals might be able to make the White Sox blink as the trade deadline approaches and make a swap, but it would be a tough pill to swallow. Many in the game believe Rizzo's demands will dwindle the closer the deadline is.

No names have been considered from the Yankees' end, although it wouldn't be a surprise if the Nationals asked for Ivan Nova, a similar quality pitcher to Hudson -- young and breaking into the majors. The Rays likely won't deal Jeremy Hellickson for Dunn, but Jacob McGee is a possibility.

What happens
It would be a disservice to the Nationals' future for Dunn to stay in town. Staying in town has no bearing on any possible contract extension with Washington, in addition to the fact the Nats are going nowhere. The quality of prospects being discussed for Dunn means that, at the very least, Washington should get a solid building block for the future. Washington needs to think of an actual contention window of 2012-2015, and the player acquired for Dunn has a far better chance of having an impact in those years.

The guess is that the White Sox will send Hudson along with a prospect slightly below the tier of Danks/Flowers/Morel for Dunn. Dunn won't be pleased about DHing, but will do his job, try to get Chicago into October, then run back to the NL in the offseason.

More trade deadline targets -- Jorge Cantu (trade profile ) | Scott Downs (trade profile ) | Roy Oswalt (trade profile )

-- Evan Brunell

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

Posted on: July 28, 2010 2:33 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2010 2:56 pm

Rangers trying for Fielder

Prince Fielder Could the market for Prince Fielder be heating up?

It was reported several days ago that the White Sox inquired on Prince Fielder, but trade rumors swirling the big man have been strangely quiet.

No longer. SI.com's Jon Heyman notes that the Rangers have joined the chase for Fielder, with the Angels also in the hunt.

One has to wonder how the Rangers could pull off a deal given that their budget is pretty much zero, although you would imagine trade discussions would start with Derek Holland.

Fielder is making $10.5 million in his second-to-last year of arbitration, at which point he will command a hefty price according to Scott Boras. A hefty price for a hefty man, after all. Makes sense.

Fielder got 2010 off to a slow start but has heated up as of late and checks in with 24 bombs and a sterling .262/.400/.504 line. Can you imagine how ferocious he would be in the Rangers' or ChiSox's park?

The Brewers will want pitching, and plenty of it, for Fielder. The Rangers have the best young arm close to big-league ready in Holland, but the White Sox are also doing what they can with Daniel Hudson available. They could also bite the bullet and deal Gordon Beckham, although they would likely prefer to part with Dayan Viciedo.

For Texas' part, if Holland is not available, Martin Perez certainly would be part of the discussion. The Angels simply don't have any hope of beating the top-end talent that Chicago or Texas can offer unless they drop for sale uber-phenom Mike Trout -- perhaps the best prospect in the minor leagues now that Dominic Brown has hit the majors.

Any top-end pitching L.A. could afford to deal went away with the shipping of Sean O'Sullivan to Kansas City for Alberto Callaspo and young Tyler Skaggs rumored to be the player to be named later in the Dan Haren steal -- er, deal.

It's still very unlikely that Fielder is traded by the deadline, especially to a team unable to take on payroll like Texas, but of the three teams, the Rangers have the best fit with Milwaukee. And if Fielder joined that lineup, can you imagine the fireworks he would display along with Josh Hamilton and Vlad Guerrero?

-- Evan Brunell

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

Posted on: July 28, 2010 12:15 am
Edited on: July 28, 2010 2:00 am

Vizquel wants White Sox to add piece

Ozzie Guillen
Count Chicago's most veteran player among those who think the White Sox need one more player if they are serious about being a contender. Though he doesn't seem particularly, uh, particular about what kind of player.

"If it's not another pitcher, probably it's another hitter," Vizquel told the Chicago Tribune. "This is a time where we really need to make a step toward getting better and to separate between the teams that are around, having a chance, and the teams that really need to go on to the playoffs.

"This is the last time to make a change, and I think that with another guy on the team we might secure the next step."

Manager Ozzie Guillen thinks Vizquel needs to quit playing junior GM.

"His job is to play, not to make trades," Guillen said. "I know how the players feel. I always give my players the freedom to talk and say how they feel. I think if they feel that way, we know that. I think [general manager Kenny Williams] is aware of that."

-- David Andriesen

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

Posted on: July 27, 2010 5:21 pm

That's the (fake) ticket

The Rays are the latest team to capitalize on the ridiculous new trend of selling people mementos of an experience they didn't have.

Fans attending "Joe Maddon's Summer Social," part of a charity event on August 15, will receive a game ticket from Monday night's Matt Garza no-hitter. A game ticket. Printed after the game was played. And thus not a ticket to anything except maybe lying to your grandchildren someday.

There were 17,009 tickets sold for Monday's game (attendance was even lower due to season ticket no-shows), and the capacity is around 45,000, so that's 28,000 people who can own a piece of fake history.

At least in this case the tickets are being distributed to help promote a charitable event. The Marlins took a much more unseemly route after Roy Halladay's perfect game against them on May 29, selling the unpurchased tickets at face value. Making a cash grab to take advantage of your own team's failure? That's just sad.

The White Sox also are in the fake ticket club, selling "souvenir" unused tickets from Mark Buehrle's perfect game last season. But at least they were selling them as souvenirs of something one of their own players accomplished.

Does this seem crazy to anyone else? It's one thing to collect used, actual tickets from historically significant games. But to manufacture "pieces of history" that didn't exist when the history happened, it feels like it cheapens the event.

-- David Andriesen

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

Posted on: July 27, 2010 12:56 am

GMs position themselves with public statements

A few general managers popped their heads out of their war rooms Monday to give impromptu briefings.

When GMs speak publicly this time of year, the general message is almost always the same: "We might do something if it makes sense, but we might not." Which is, of course, saying nothing, but it serves one of two purposes:

1. Telling the fan base not to expect anything, because there's really nothing out there that's good for the team, in order to pre-emptively minimize negative reaction when you don't do anything.

2. Giving the impression that you're doing No. 1 to convince other teams that you really are fine standing pat, in order to spur those other teams to budge on talks that are stuck.

Kenny Williams Kenny Williams had a lengthy conversation with reporters in which the central message was that he's not willing to meet ridiculous demands just to make a trade.

"Prices are still too high as far as I'm concerned," he said. "You know, we have a plan and that plan resulted in this team being constructed the way it is. ... So you have to be cognizant of making a move that is a little too shortsighted and jeopardizes your future"

It's not clear whether there was visible eye-rolling at these statements. Seeing as they were made by the same guy who said the same thing at this time last year, then got Mark Kotsay on the 28th and Padres ace Jake Peavy 23 seconds (literally) before the deadline.

"I can't [lie to] you guys; you've seen it before," Williams said. "If there's an opportunity to do something in a major way that doesn't disrupt what we have and adds to it, we'll take that shot."

Rays vice president Andrew Friedman said he's looking for an "impact player," though he doesn't feel the need is as pressing as it has been the past couple of years.

"So we're working hard not to create the illusion of that player and make sure that it's someone we really want," Friedman said. "And there are guys who fit that description. Hopefully we'll be able to do something that makes us better, but only time will tell."

Marlins president Larry Beinfest said he's going to work on long-term deals with more than one player (a source tells the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that he's talking about Dan Uggla and Ricky Nolasco), and seems ready to accept that even though the Marlins are playing pretty well, there's just too much real estate and too many teams between them and the playoffs to be aggressive.

"If there's something we think makes sense, we'll do it. Are we going to force anything at this point? I wouldn't say so. Are we driven by the need to move money? That's a no," he said. "We're going to open a new ballpark in 18 months and everything we do now is going to be very important as we look forward to opening that building, and we want to be very competitive when we move in there. There may be moves now that may [bear] fruit when we get there into '11 and onto '12, so we're looking at that as well."

-- David Andriesen

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

Posted on: July 26, 2010 5:21 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2010 8:54 pm

Dunn an option for reeling Tigers?

Adam Dunn The Nationals and White Sox have apparently been locked in a stalemate over Washington outfielder Adam Dunn for the past week, the Nationals not backing down on their demand that Chicago include Gordon Beckham or Carlos Quentin. The Nationals, meanwhile, have sent out word that they're working on an extension with Dunn and will just keep him unless they are overwhelmed by an offer.

Entering the fray: The injury-stung Tigers, who suffered their most damaging blow Saturday when Magglio Ordonez broke his ankle. William Ladson of MLB.com reported Monday that the Tigers have "great interest" in Dunn.

The question is whether the Tigers, two games back in the American League Central, are now desperate enough to pay the Nationals' price. Lynn Henning of the Detroit News thinks the Tigers can make the deal without surrendering top pitching prospects Jacob Turner and Andy Oliver, but that seems like a longshot considering the hard line the Nationals have been taking.

In addition to trying to make the playoffs, Henning points to another motivation the Tigers have to get a strong hitter: Miguel Cabrera's chase for a Triple Crown. Cabrera is currently leading the AL in RBI and is second in average and home runs, but with nobody left to protect him in the middle of the lineup, he's not going to see many good pitches unless reinforcements arrive. Dunn would be a heck of a reinforcement.

-- David Andriesen

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

Posted on: July 26, 2010 4:43 pm
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