Tag:White Sox
Posted on: July 26, 2010 4:40 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2010 4:41 pm
 

Red Sox ratings falling


Is the Red Sox bandwagon getting boring?

For the first time since 2003, the Red Sox don't lead Major League Baseball in local television ratings.

The Sports Business Journal has the latest numbers , and the Red Sox have dropped to fifth, behind the Cardinals, Twins, Phillies and Reds. The bottom five of the ratings are the White Sox, Dodgers, Nationals, Angels and A's.

The Nationals aren't last in ratings for the first time since they moved to Washington in 2005. The Nationals are aided by the Stephen Strasburg effect -- the team has an average rating of 1.34, but jumps to 4.4 when Strasburg starts.

The Red Sox find themselves behind the Yankees and Rays, eight games out of first in the American League East.

The Cardinals are the new top team in ratings, and that shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. St. Louis is the country's best baseball town and has its most loyal and educated baseball fans. The Cardinals are also third in average rating per radio broadcast, behind the Reds and Tigers.

Ratings of national games on Fox, ESPN and Turner are all about the same as last year.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: July 23, 2010 3:22 pm
Edited on: July 23, 2010 4:07 pm
 

Trade deadline buyer: Chicago White Sox

As the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline looms, the CBS Facts & Rumors team will look at the biggest players leading up to the deadline. This week we'll look at the teams who will be talked about the most; next week will be the players who might be moved.

Kenny Williams On June 8, the White Sox were nine games under .500 and 9 ½ games back in the American League Central. But then they roared back into the playoff picture with an amazing surge and now sit atop the division.

General manager Kenny Williams has said he wants to bulk up for the second half, and he’s one of the more mercurial figures in the game, prone to acting boldly and quickly. On the other hand, Williams has said he’s not impressed with what’s available and the asking prices, and might stand pat. There’s not much the White Sox could do this month that would shock anyone.

Record: 52-42, two games ahead of Detroit (50-44) and Minnesota (51-45) in the American League Central
General manager: Kenny Williams, 10th year
Expectations: High. The South Side got a championship fix in 2005, and White Sox fans are buzzing over the big rally they have made in the standings.
Payroll status: Opening day payroll was $108.2 million, seventh-highest in baseball. The White Sox have about $66 million committed for 2011.

What they need

Left-handed bat: The White Sox have gotten a collective .231 batting average from their designated hitters, so bringing in a slugger to upgrade there is an obvious target. They’ve been focusing on left-handed power.

Starting pitcher: Considering Jake Peavy is out for the year, Chicago is actually in pretty decent shape and could sit tight with the rotation. But Daniel Hudson’s name is coming up a lot as part of a package to get a hitter, and if the Sox lose him they’ll probably need to move on adding a starter.

Who may fit

Adam Dunn Left-handed bat: Reports indicate the NationalsAdam Dunn is Williams’ top priority, and Dunn would be a great fit. As of early this week, the asking price (Gordon Beckham or Carlos Quentin, for openers) was more than Williams was willing to pay.

The other big name connected to the Sox is Milwaukee’s Prince Fielder, though reports vary on whether Chicago is in that race. As with Dunn, the price would be steep.

On the next tier would be the AstrosLance Berkman, who is not having a great year and is expensive.  Also a possibility, though a remote one, is right-handed Toronto home run leader Jose Bautista.

Starting pitcher: Don’t expect Chicago to be in on the biggest names, but they could focus on a second-tier guy like Jake Westbrook, Kyle Farnsworth or possibly Fausto Carmona.

Trade chips

Young infielder Beckham (.241/.297/.341) is the first name to come up in talks, but the White Sox really want to hang onto the 23-year-old, whom they drafted in the first round in 2008. He’s still learning the ropes at the big-league level, but he has a huge upside at the plate.

Right-hander Hudson, also 23, is projected by most teams as a No. 3 or 4 starter, but the White Sox think his potential could be even higher.

They don’t want to move outfielder Quentin (.244/.344/.517), especially with the way he’s been hitting lately, but if it’s what it takes to get Dunn (who, in addition to bringing a high trade price would need a place to play, since he refuses to DH) without giving up Beckham, they might do it.

Why not offer closer Bobby Jenks? Right-hander J.J. Putz and left-hander Matt Thornton both have closing experience and are pitching out of their minds right now, so Jenks, a pending free agent, is expendable.

Cuban infielder Dayan Viciedo, 21, also is attracting a lot of attention. He has batted .295 in limited major-league action this season.

Predictions

The White Sox don’t meet the Nationals’ price for Dunn, who stays in Washington. They end up with Berkman or turn to alternative options such as Kosuke Fukudome or Adam LaRoche.

-- David Andriesen

More trade deadline chatter (click on city name for blog)
Buyers: New York YankeesLos Angeles Angels
Sellers: Florida MarlinsToronto Blue Jays

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



Posted on: July 22, 2010 7:22 pm
 

Twins join Oswalt talks


Roy Oswalt Since Clff Lee isn't being traded again, the trade focus has quickly zeroed-in on Houston's Roy Oswalt. The latest team to throw their hat into the ring is the Minnesota Twins, the Houston Chronicle 's Zachary Levine reports .

Levine sources "a person with knowledge of the discussions" tells him the Twins have joined the Phillies and Cardinals in pursuit of the Houston right-hander.

The question then would be if Oswalt would OK a trade to Minnesota. The conventional wisdom is Oswalt would like to go to St. Louis and other reports have said he'd turn down a trade to the White Sox or Tigers, so it's unsure if he'd give the green light to another AL Central squad.

The Twins are in the thick of the AL Central race, 2 1/2 games behind the White Sox, but the back of the rotation has struggled and the team certainly needs an upgrade. Minnesota was thought to be a favorite in the Lee sweepstakes and are certainly willing to spend money with their new ballpark.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: July 22, 2010 11:01 am
Edited on: July 22, 2010 11:04 am
 

'Options open' for White Sox closer role

Bobby Jenks After blowing a lead in two of his past three appearances, Bobby Jenks' job as closer with the White Sox is no longer secure.

Manager Ozzie Guillen told reporters "our options are open" after Jenks surrendered a game-ending two-run single to Seattle's Franklin Gutierrez, sending the Sox to a 2-1 loss in the 11th inning.

In four outings since the All-Star break, Jenks has emerged unscathed just once, given up six earned runs in 2 2/3 innings and lost twice. His ERA is up to 5.09, which is not exactly what you want from your closer while trying to hold onto a division lead.

"I feel for him, like everyone else here," guillen said. "We win together, we lose together. But in the meanwhile, I wish he'd throw the ball better because of the last couple outings. Not because we lose the game, but because I don't see anything on the ball."

This isn't the first time this season Guillen has declared the closer's role open, though Jenks has managed to keep the job and prior to Wednesday had converted 15 consecutive save chances.

One reason Guillen is feeling antsy about Jenks is because he has other good options. Right-hander J.J. Putz, once a closer in Seattle, has made a franchise-record 25 consecutive scoreless appearances. All-Star lefty Matt Thornton hasn't been scored upon in his past 15 outings.

-- David Andriesen

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



Posted on: July 21, 2010 7:41 pm
 

At least four teams interested in Bautista

Jose Bautista Unsurprisingly, home-run leader Jose Bautista is drawing trade interest from multiple teams.

Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan reports that interest has been expressed by the Braves, Giants, Tigers and White Sox. All are in sore need of offense, and the versatile Bautista can play any outfield position as well as third base. While he doesn't have much experience at first and second, he has also appeared at those positions.

With 26 home runs, Bautista can bring serious punch to any offense willing to live with his .241 batting average backed up by an excellent .358 OBP. He is also tremendously affordable, making just $2.4 million in his third year of arbitration. He has one more year to go before becoming a free agent and will be in line for a massive pay raise, which is undoubtedly part of San Francisco's motivations.

SI.com's Jon Heyman says the Jays could be seeking middle infielders, with Emmanuel Burriss and Ehire Adrianza from the Giants drawing interest. It's unclear why Toronto would want middle infielders given they are pretty set with Aaron Hill and Yunel Escobar up the middle, but they don't have a ready-made long-term third baseman that one of these middle infielders could fill. Escobar has also been bandied about as someone who may eventually need to move to third.

Continuing the middle infield theme, the Braves could dangle All-Star utility infielder Omar Infante, who could stand to grab more playing time. They don't have a top prospect down the farm, although third baseman Mycal Jones is intriguing.

The Tigers have a sore spot in middle infield, so they wouldn't seem to be a fit there. In fact, Bautista would be leveraged to help fill the hole that was created by Brandon Inge's injury.

The White Sox have top prospect Gordon Beckham, but he's not moving unless for a major piece like Prince Fielder. Brent Morel or Dayan Viciedo -- both third basemen -- could be had, however.

It's certain that the Jays will also be on the hunt for an outfielder to replace Bautista as well as the biggest commodity in ball: pitching.

-- Evan Brunell

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

Posted on: July 21, 2010 5:40 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2010 6:23 pm
 

White Sox angling for Fielder

Prince Fielder The White Sox continue to pursue a big bat and have turned their attention to Prince Fielder, reports FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.

Chicago has been tied with Adam Dunn, but Washington's exorbitant price tag has scared off GM Kenny Williams, who made anyone in the farm available for Dunn. The Nats, however, reportedly are holding out for, among others, Gordon Beckham.

While Williams isn't willing to move Beckham for Dunn, he may for Fielder as Buster Olney of ESPN notes . However, the Brewers' primary goal is to acquire a starting pitcher. While the Pale Hose have Daniel Hudson in that category, the Brew Crew view Hudson as only a No. 3 starter at his best, which isn't enough to deal Fielder.

One thought could be to acquire Beckham and Hudson and then seek to flip second baseman Rickie Weeks or third baseman Casey McGehee for a starting pitcher, although the caliber of pitcher the Brewers would get back for one of the two would also be a No. 3 type. Milwaukee has a decision to make, then: try to acquire two No. 3 starter types or hold Fielder out for an ace.

Milwaukee's pitching depth is so thin that the former opportunity is not all that terrible, but it's difficult to move such an important part of the team's offense and only come away with two middle-of-the-rotation types.

Fielder is making $10.5 million on the year and will be eligible for arbitration one final time in 2011 before hitting the free agent market. His value may not be higher than it is now, as many scouts are concerned about his bad body and how well it will hold up over the length of his free-agent contract. Agent Scott Boras is currently talking as if Fielder deserves a bigger contract than Mark Teixeira got from the Yankees.

It's highly doubtful that Milwaukee will retain Fielder after becoming a free agent, so the Brewers may be forced to take the best deal they can get now -- it's unlikely they could get a better deal in the offseason or at the trade deadline next season.

-- Evan Brunell

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

Posted on: July 20, 2010 11:29 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2010 5:20 pm
 

Report: Phils eyeing Oswalt, try to ship Werth

Jayson Werth Earlier today, we learned that the Phillies may make a deal for a starting pitcher who could then take the rotation spot vacated by Kyle Kendrick on Saturday.

Now, ESPN's Jayson Stark tweets that the Phillies are working on a "major deal" for a starting pitcher. Jayson Werth would be moved in another deal, likely to offset the salary Philadelphia would absorb in the acquisition of the starter. Coworker Buster Olney concurs, saying that Roy Oswalt is a logical fit.

The two starting pitchers on the market that could qualify as a major acquisition are Oswalt and Dan Haren, but Oswalt is far easier to pry. Plus, as Olney says, the Phillies have not discussed Haren, Ben Sheets (who has been linked to Philadelphia before) or any of the Rays pitchers. The Rays have been linked to Werth as they seek a major upgrade with the bat.

All that makes Oswalt the most likely name to be headed to Philly, especially given Oswalt's next start is -- surprise, surprise -- Saturday.

Complicating things is that Oswalt has a full no-trade clause and may want to be convinced by the Phillies that they have a legitimate shot at the playoffs. The Phillies may also be forced to pick up the $16 million club option for 2012, although Oswalt may not make that part of his demands. AOL Fanhouse's Ed Price reports the Astros are very close to putting the deal before Oswalt for a decision.

As for where Werth could go, that's not as obvious. Here are some candidates:
  • Braves: The Braves are thought to be 50/50 on adding another outfielder as Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports . If Nate McLouth can return from his concussion at full strength, the Braves would be fine given a hot Matt Diaz and the return of Jason Heyward. Complicating matters is that the Braves are a division rival, although Atlanta has young pitching Philadelphia undoubtedly covets.
  • Giants: The Giants are looking for a big bat, but GM Brian Sabean has been adamant that he will not acquire any rental players. Could the chance to get Werth change his mind for a suddenly streaking team who is now tied for second place, 3 1/2 behind the Padres? The Giants could move Jonathan Sanchez to Philadelphia or a stable of prospects. The Phillies will certainly have a desire to restock its farm system.
  • Padres: The division-leading Pads of the West have made no secret of their desire for Corey Hart. They can only wait so long, however, and Werth is not a bad consolation prize at all and could even be considered better than Hart, as the Philly right fielder is a five-tool player. It's unclear what pitching the Pads could possibly cough up, though, especially with Mat Latos on the DL. While they have some intriguing pieces down the farm, there are none that jump out.
  • Rays: The Rays have been seeking a big bat for quite a while, and Werth would certainly be that bat. They have a ton of pitching to deal along with prospects and could match up perfectly, with the Phillies spinning some prospects to Houston by way of Tampa. The Rays could give up Wade Davis or Jeremy Hellickson, as well as no shortage of position player prospects -- especially shortstop, where Houston might love to plug in Reid Brignac or add Tim Beckham to its farm. Olney and Stark both heard the Rays are involved in discussions with Werth, although that doesn't necessarily mean they're the front-runner.
  • Red Sox: The Red Sox could certainly use a big thumper, but the team is about to have a plethora of injured players return, one of which is an outfielder. While Jeremy Hermida doesn't make anyone quake in their boots, their outfield production has been surprisingly effective. They have inquired as to David DeJesus but find the price prohibitive, according to the Boston Globe 's Nick Cafardo. Cafardo also reports that Hart's price is too expensive, so imagine what Werth's price would be to them.
  • White Sox: The ChiSox have been hungry for Adam Dunn, but the Nationals aren't budging on an exorbitant price. A scout says that the Nationals are acting as if Dunn is like Ryan Howard -- which is not all that far off an actual comparison. Bottom line, if Dunn doesn't happen, you can't count Kenny Williams out of a deal for Werth. If Williams made Chicago's farm system available for Dunn, wouldn't it be so for Werth?
  • Yankees: The Yankees are miffed that they missed out on Cliff Lee, and despite their sudden need for a starting pitcher with the Andy Pettitte injury, certainly wouldn't turn down adding a bat to an outfield that needs it. It's unlikely Jesus Montero would be swapped, but they have enough complementary prospects to make a deal happen -- but not to the level as other teams on the list.
You can't have trade rumors without a dark horse, though.

My surprise team? The Athletics.

Think about it: They have no interest in trading Ben Sheets, which has to count for something. Then you have the team 8 1/2 games out of first but very much still in the hunt. They lost Ryan Sweeney for the year and need a stick in the middle of the order -- even when they had Sweeney. And of course, they'll recoup draft picks if/when Werth leaves as a free agent.

It'll certainly be an interesting storyline to follow.

UPDATE : And the Phillies may have just lost a little leverage. Starter Jamie Moyer left Tuesday's game with an injury and the latest report from Todd Zolecki has the lefty headed to the disabled list. Manager Charlie Manuel compared the injury to J.A. Happ's, who took over three months to get back on a mound. Ironically enough, Moyer's replacement will likely be Happ.

-- Evan Brunell

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


Posted on: July 20, 2010 1:37 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2010 3:04 pm
 

Trade deadline seller: Florida Marlins

As the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline looms, the CBS Facts & Rumors team will look at the biggest players leading up to the deadline. This week we'll look at the teams who will be talked about the most; next week will be the players who might be moved.

Dan Uggla It's the time of the year where the Marlins get rid of future payroll considerations. The Marlins are only two games below .500 after their current three-game winning streak, but still trail three teams in the NL East and six teams in the wild-card race. Many other organizations may see this as a chance to make a move, but not the Marlins.

Record: 45-47, nine games out of the NL East, three behind third-place Philadelphia and three-and-a-half behind the second-place Mets. Six games back in the wild card.
President of Baseball Operations:  Larry Beinfest
Expectations: None. Really, how many people would notice if the Marlins moved from South Florida? If anything, the Marlins have more of an eye on 2012 when their new stadium opens.
Payroll status: The Marlins had an opening day payroll of more than $47 million, but just $18.75 million tied up in 2011.

What they have to offer

Dan Uggla (.277/.364/.467) is a free agent after the 2011 season, but the Marlins know they can get more for him now rather than next July. He's been mentioned as a match for the Rockies -- and he'd do great at Coors Field, but the Marlins may need to hang on to him…. he's no prize defensively, but he can flat rake.

It also makes financial sense for the Marlins to hold on to Uggla. The Marlins are the only team in the majors with a salary floor, because of an agreement they reached without the players union in January. Josh Johnson is slated to make $7.5 million in 2011 and with another chunk of money going to Uggla -- who is making $7.8 this season and is arbitration eligible -- the Marlins could satisfy their part of the agreement with the union without overpaying for a player on the free-agent market.

That could be bad news for not only the Rockies, but also the Tigers, Red Sox, Yankees, Rangers, Braves and Phillies, who have been rumored to have interest in Uggla. He will likely get dealt by the deadline -- next year's deadline.

So who may get dealt?

Jorge Cantu (.261/.311/.417) has cooled since his white-hot start to the season, but is still a proven RBI producer, Cantu has 53 RBI so far this season. He's played third and first base this year, but is a better fit for an American League team looking for help at the DH spot. A free agent after the season and owed the rest of his $6 million salary for 2010, he could be a bargain for teams -- like the Angels or White Sox -- not looking to spend what it takes for a guy like Adam Dunn or Derrek Lee. He'd also be a nice piece for the Yankees and could certainly provide some pop off the bench.

Wes Helms (.241/.296/.388) is an option for teams wanting some of what Cantu provides without the price tag. Helms is making less than $1 million this year and is a free agent after the season. He'd be a rental player, but it's cheap rent and won't upset a clubhouse or make anyone nervous about their future with the team. Like Cantu, he can play first, third or DH.

Cody Ross Cody Ross (.280/.332/.408) is one of the more attractive outfielders on the market. He's arbitration eligible at the end of the season and making just $4.45 million this year. He'll get a good raise for 2011. With Chris Coghlan, Cameron Maybin, Logan Morrison and Mike Stanton, the Marlins could part with the 29-year old Ross. The Red Sox and Yankees reportedly have had preliminary discussions with the Marlins about Ross. The Braves are also interested.

Leo Nunez (3-2, 2.79 ERA, 22 saves) is attractive to any team looking for relief pitching, which is basically any team that considers itself still in the race. Relief pitching is scarce and expensive near the deadline, which makes Nunez more valuable. He's making just $2 million this year and is arbitration eligible after the season.

Ricky Nolasco (9-7, 4.66) is under team control for two more seasons, which makes him attractive to both the Marlins and suitors. He's making $3.8 million this season and is eligible for arbitration. He's been decent, but should receive a budget-busting raise in the offseason. Some reports have said he's available and others say the Marlins want to keep him.

Nate Robertson (6-7, 5.10) is a free agent after the season, but he's very cheap for the Marlins, despite his $10 million pricetag for this season. The Tigers are paying $9.6 million of his salary.

What they want in return?

The Marlins feel pretty good about their future outfield, with Stanton, Maybin and Morrison and if Ross is moved, expect Coghlan to move to third base. Rookie first baseman Gabby Sanchez is playing well and the shortstop spot is more than ably handled, so the team will likely be looking for arms in return or maybe a catching prospect -- really, not that much different than what every team wants.

Predictions:
Uggla stays put and Helms is dealt to the Yankees. Cantu's name pops up a couple of places, but he's not moved. The asking price is too high for Ross and the team is stuck with him.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

More trade deadline chatter -- Buyers: New York Yankees

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