Tag:Brewers
Posted on: July 31, 2010 7:11 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2010 4:19 pm
 

Winners/losers of trading deadline

Now that the non-waiver trading deadline is past, it's time to take a look back at the winners and losers. While players aren't done switching teams and plenty more will find new zip codes on their mailing addresses in August via the waiver process, it becomes far harder to pull trades off.

Grades are relative to the team's window of contention, goals at the deadline and outcome -- not to other teams.

Angels: L.A. imported Alberto Callaspo from the Royals to plug the dike that was the third-base gaping hole, then absolutely pilfered Dan Haren away from the Diamondbacks. They promptly lost Joel Pineiro to injury, but do have a greater chance at competing this season, even as the Rangers improved themselves. For 2011 and 2012, they kept themselves right in contention to be division champions. With money coming off the books the next season and two, they should be players in free agency and now can trumpet Haren as a front-line pitcher for free agents to play with. Grade: B+

J.A. Happ Astros: The Astros did well in the idea of trading away Lance Berkman and Roy Oswalt to begin the trading process. The return for Oswalt from Philadelphia met with a few raised eyebrows. The team is high on J.A. Happ (pictured, left) even though no one else is. The deal was salvaged by flipping Anthony Gose from Brett Wallace. The Lance Berkman trade was tough to swallow. They traded a face of the franchise to the Yankees, picking up salary along the way for retread prospects. This was a deal strictly about money, not about helping the team -- although it did free up a spot for Wallace. Grade: C+

Athletics: The Billy Beane-led A's did nothing at the deadline, which wasn't the wrong choice. Texas and Los Angeles made too many steps to outpace a team that was going to have a hard time keeping pace anyways. What didn't make sense was their adamant position that they wanted to keep Ben Sheets and not trade him. But whoops -- a torn flexor tendon that knocks Sheets out for about a year and causes $10 million to go down the drain in Oakland happened. Grade: D

Blue Jays: Toronto had to give up intriguing prospects Tim Collins and Tyler Pastornicky to ship out Alex Gonzalez to the Braves, but got back young shortstop Yunel Escobar and pitching depth in Jo-Jo Reyes. Gonzalez was a great flier for the rebuilding Jays rather than the short-term Gonzalez -- There's tons of upside with Yunel. Demerits are assessed by a reportedly high price to trade Jason Frasor, Kevin Gregg or Scott Downs. None of them will help Toronto contend anytime soon, and the fact that Jesus Montero and Casey Kelly were prices for Downs is outrageous. They should have done everything they could to move Frasor, and probably could have gotten nice value for Gregg. The only defensible non-trade is Downs, who probably will be a Type-A free agent. Grade: C+

Braves: The Braves made moves for this year, but severely damaged their long-term chances in the process. Selling Yunel Escobar off for Gonzalez, Collins and Pastornicky was questionable enough, but then turned Collins, fungible reliever Jesse Chavez and outfielder Gregor Blanco. Huh? Grade: C- ... and it's not a D because they did at least improve their chances this year.

Brewers: The Brewers did nothing except try to improve their pitching and determine whether it was time to trade Prince Fielder or not. Fielder is likely a goner in the offseason or next season's trade deadline, but there's nothing wrong with hanging onto him. There wasn't much Milwaukee was in a position to do. Jim Edmonds reportedly didn't want to ship out, and past that they didn't have much in the way of valuable trade chips. Grade: N/A

Cardinals: The Cardinals brought in Jake Westbrook. That was good. They traded Ryan Ludwick. Not so good. There are hints that the Ludwick dealing was financially motivated to keep Albert Pujols in town. That's well and good, but Ludwick-to-Westbrook is largely a lateral move, even factoring in more playing time for Colby Rasmus. Grade: C

Cubs: It's tough to begin a rebuilding process once again, but Ted Lilly was a free agent so there was no overwhelming reason to keep him. Ryan Theriot has become punchless at the plate, and they upgrade with Blake DeWitt from the Dodgers anyways. Kyle Smit and Brett Wallach -- two young, minor-league pitchers -- are decent arms. They tried to deal Derrek Lee, but Lee nixed it with his no-trade clause. Can't penalize GM Jim Hendry for that. Grade: B-

Diamondbacks: The Dan Haren trade was odd, no two ways about it. Yes, Joe Saunders won quite a few games in Los Angeles, but so what? He's a No. 4 starter who has a shot at being a No. 3 by virtue of being in the NL, but that's about it. The prospects acquired were underwhelming, although the expected acquisition of Tyler Skaggs will soothe jilted D-Backs fans somewhat. Snyder was a pure cash dump -- but not indefensible. If the team's not contending, why pay a backup catcher millions? Even without receiving anyone of true value, except perhaps D.J. Carrasco, it was high time for Arizona to move on from Snyder. They won out on Edwin Jackson big time, shedding salary for an underperforming starter and getting a young, cost-controllable starter (Daniel Hudson) along with prospect David Holmberg.

Dodgers: The Dodgers gave up quite a bit for Octavio Dotel, even if Dotel is cost-controllable through 2011 on a team option. That trade may come back to bite them hard, even if they needed Dotel to challenge for the division. The Ted Lilly acquisition was nice, and if you concede that Blake DeWitt was the price for Lilly, then Ryan Theriot wasn't a bad grab either. They definitely put the pieces together to contend, but is it too little, too late? Grade: C+

Giants: San Francisco tried to bring in a bat. They really did. They tried for Adam Dunn, David DeJesus (and if he hadn't gotten hurt for K.C., might be in San Fran right now), Scott Podsednik... but nothing came together. They instead settled for two middle relievers: Ramon Ramirez and Javier Lopez. Giving up John Bowker and Joe Martinez for Lopez is a curious move, even if they have strong outfield depth. Jonathan Sanchez was a popular name in talks for a bat, but S.F. was understandably leery of dealing the lefty. The Ramirez trade cost them an average middle relief prospect. They'll continue mixing-and-matching on offense, and the bullpen is definitely better off for the adds. Grade: B

Jake Westbrook Indians: The Indians wanted to get rid of people they didn't want and had no need for. The millions they saved in shipping Kerry Wood and Austin Kearns off -- even without getting any players of consequence in return -- were worth it. Westbrook (pictured, right) finally was shipped out as well, and while prospect Corey Kluber isn't an exciting name, he's enough of an intriguing player that the Indians clearly came out ahead in this season's trade deadline, which was all about shedding irrelevant pieces. Would have been nice for a rebuilding team to get a good prospect, though. Grade: B

Mariners: The Mariners dealt Cliff Lee to get Justin Smoak and a bevy of prospects. That was a solid deal, even if Smoak has just been demoted to Triple-A. That was it, however. While Seattle is in a different place than most rebuilding clubs because they are contenders just struggling through an awful season (advice to GM Jack Zduriencik: bring in some bats next year for a change). Still, it's surprising they weren't more active. The reason Russ Branyan was acquired and then not flipped is... heck, I don't know. Grade: C

Marlins: The Marlins shipped off Jorge Cantu, who was playing third base. That temporary lack of depth at third hurts, although Chris Coghlan will man the hot corner once he returns from injury. It was nice to see the Marlins bring in Will Ohman to contribute out of the bullpen, however. Florida was in a tough place: a team good enough to contend, but not quite good enough to be true buyers. They essentially held serve here while saving a bit of money and importing Evan Reed from the Cantu trade, who has a chance to develop into a nice arm. Grade: B-

Mets: The Mets did nothing here, even though they would have loved to get rid of Luis Castillo, Oliver Perez and Jeff Francouer. No one was having any of it, though, and New York was adamant in not trading its top prospects. You can argue they should have loosened the purse strings a bit to bring in someone, but there was no one overwhelming that made sense for a team slipping out of the division race. A middle-of-the-rotation starter would have been a lateral move, while only a major hitter could have been considered an upgrade -- and then you're back to having to deal top prospects. One problem: their window of contention is now. Grade: C-

Nationals: The Nationals failed to trade Adam Dunn. There is zero reason why they shouldn't have. Grade: F

Orioles: The Orioles are once again a team with no plan, trading away reliever Will Ohman for a fringe major-league reliever. For a squad headed to one of the worst finishes in team history, why exactly they weren't more aggressive sellers is baffling. Ty Wigginton is still on this team... why? The one saving grace is shipping Miguel Tejada off for Wynn Pelzer, who might turn into quite a relief arm. Grade: D+

Ryan Ludwick Padres: I think this Jed Hoyer guy is going to end up a nice GM. The Miguel Tejada trade was OK -- nothing special, but didn't exactly cost much either and the Padres had a real need for someone with decent pop who can play the infield. The Ryan Ludwick (pictured, right) trade was incredible -- he immediately becomes the team's second-best hitter, trading away no one of consequence. Grade: B+

Phillies: The Phillies gave up J.A. Happ and two far-away prospects for Roy Oswalt, emphatically closing the book on the idiotic idea to trade Cliff Lee in the offseason. It would have been nice if they could have imported a utility player like Ty Wigginton or Willie Bloomquist for the stretch run, as Chase Utley isn't exactly on the verge of returning and the depth on the bench is thin. However, after the initial trade for Lee and later the Oswalt deal, the Phillies are near tapped out on money and prospects. Bottom line: they did what they could. Grade: B+

Pirates: The Bucs were quiet then exploded in a frenzy, acquiring Chris Snyder in a buy-low move that saw them give up absolutely no one of consequence . Ryan Church is a backup outfielder, D.J. Carrasco is a solid middle reliever and not much else and backup infielder Bobby Crosby. If he plays full-time, Snyder has a real chance to reclaim the value that made Arizona sign him to a contract extension in the first place -- which 'Zona will help pay. Pittsburgh then shipped out a lefty reliever best used against just lefties for a swingman in Joe Martinez and a solid outfielder who can give them years of cheap production, even if he never morphs into a starting regular. The Octavio Dotel trade to L.A was sublime , getting a viable starter who could end up a strong reliever and one of the Dodgers' best prospects in Andrew Lambo. Grade: A

Rangers: Boy howdy, was Texas busy. They bit the bullet to bring in Cliff Lee, which instantly made it viable World Series contenders, then continued to supplement with Jorge Cantu and Cristian Guzman. Obviously, the Rangers are going for it this year and it's hard to fault them when they have such a strong team. It hurts to lose Smoak, but there are questions about his long-term success anyways, and first-base is not exactly impossible a void to fill. Cantu and Guzman cost them a few average prospects, ones that can easily be mortgaged for a chance like this to win a ring. Grade: A

Rays: Tampa Bay brought in a reliever with an ERA over 8, and that was it. (Okay, so Chad Qualls has a chance to be a solid reliever for the team.) The team desperately needs a thumper, although Matt Joyce is currently making everyone smile since being recalled from Triple-A. Tampa is in an interesting position: able to take on payroll for a playoff push, but which is slashing payroll to around $60 million next year. Adam Dunn would have been a great fit, but Tampa can't concede future seasons just for one "win-now" year -- that would be irresponsible. Grade: C+

Red Sox: The Red Sox were largely quiet until the very end, when they shipped off Ramon Ramirez to San Francisco for an average middle-relief prospect. This trade was more about opening space for intriguing names at Triple-A. The team then struck for Jarrod Saltalamacchia, long coveted by the team, for an average first-base prospect and intriguing, but raw, Class A arm. They were unable to make anything come together to supplement the major-league roster, but figure to be active in waiver trading. For a team falling out of the race, besieged by injuries, it was probably prudent not to do anything drastic and instead build until next year while integrating its returning players and seeing who pops up in August. Grade: C

Reds: Cincy is in the hunt for the division but may have benefited by seeing the Cardinals trade away Ryan Ludwick. They have Aroldis Chapman presumably coming up to help the bullpen shortly and no overwhelming holes. Making a trade would have smacked of making a deal for deal's sake. It would not be surprising to learn that they shot high with their targets and couldn't make anything come together. They could stand to add a middle reliever, but also have Aaron Harang and Homer Bailey on the recovery trail. Staying pat was probably smart. Grade: B

Rockies: The Rockies couldn't make anything happen despite a team falling out of the race which had a really good shot at the division. They couldn't trade Brad Hawpe with Todd Helton's struggles. When Troy Tulowitzki went on the disabled list two months ago, it was very disappointing that Colorado decided to stand pat and see how the team played without Tulowitzki to determine whether to be buyers or sellers. They were already planning to buy to help the team with Tulowitzki, so it should be no surprise Colorado found itself out of the race. They should have done more. Grade: D

Rick Ankiel Royals: It's not often there are good things to say about the Royals, but there's a time for everything. Kansas City did fantastic in shedding Rick Ankiel (pictured, left) and Kyle Farnsworth to Atlanta. Farns is a strong middle reliever, but that's all he is while Ankiel was blocking other players with a better impact at helping K.C. contend in 2012. The return for Callaspo wasn't terrible, but not great. Grade: B-

Tigers: Detroit had far too many holes to do much of anything. They lost Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Guillen and Brandon Inge all to the disabled list in a short span of time. They bought low on Jhonny Peralta who hammered two home-runs in his Tiger debut. You would have liked to see the Tigers be a bit more aggressive with the AL Central division crown available, but it's hard to blame them for holding onto their major prospects. There is no silver bullet available to make up for all the losses. Grade: C +

Twins: The Twins really love saves, as they traded one of the best prospects in Wilson Ramos for Matt Capps of Washington. Take the saves out, and Capps is an approaching-overpriced solid middle reliever. Even though Ramos had lost his luster somewhat, it's still a confusing move. They didn't get the starting pitcher they coveted either. Grade: D

White Sox: The ChiSox did everything they could and more to bring in Adam Dunn, but refused to sacrifice their future in Gordon Beckham. They acquired Edwin Jackson for Daniel Hudson and a minor leaguer, perhaps hoping to flip Jackson to the Nationals. That's a no-go, so while the White Sox did technically upgrade their rotation, it's unclear whether they would have done so if they knew they wouldn't get Dunn. Plus, Jackson makes $8.35 million next year. Grade: C

Yankees: The Bronx Bombers wielded their financial might to bring in Lance Berkman, Austin Kearns and Kerry Wood at minimal cost. Berkman has the most chance to make an impact, taking on the role the Yankees thought Nick Johnson would. Kearns and Wood are supplemental pieces to the bench and bullpen, respectively, and won't be a huge loss if they don't work out. Overall, they gave up next-to-nothing in talent and cash they could burn anyways. The team made an aggressive push for Cliff Lee, but fell apart. In a market with no other clear upgrade than Lee, the Yankees decided to play it safe and keep their minor-league chips. Grade: B

-- Evan Brunell

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


Posted on: July 30, 2010 8:16 pm
 

Brewers 'highly unlikely' to deal Fielder, Hart

Corey Hart
The Brewers haven't taken the "For Sale" sign out of the window, but they're not expecting any buyers, either.

Assistant general manager Gord Ash told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that there was no truth to reports earlier Friday that the Brewers had pulled Prince Fielder and Corey Hart "off the table," saying he's still open to offers. But he said it was doubtful either would be moving before the trade deadline of 4 p.m. ET Saturday.

"In a perfect world, you'd like to be able to [tell the players they won't be traded]," Ash said. "But you can't do that because at 2 o'clock tomorrow somebody could call and offer the world.

"We haven't pulled anybody off the table. I'd say it's highly unlikely [they would be traded] but you don't know."

Ash is saying the same thing people are hearing around baseball -- we're not trading unless it makes sense.

"It's not appealing fan-wise but you have to resist the temptation to make a deal just to make one," said Ash. "It takes a certain amount of experience and patience to avoid that. You don't want to shuffle the chairs just to shuffle them."

-- David Andriesen

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


Category: MLB
Posted on: July 30, 2010 7:00 pm
 

Red Sox asked about Edmonds

Jim Edmonds said he's been promised by Brewers GM Doug Melvin that Melvin will come to him with any potential trade before pulling the trigger. So far that hasn't happened, but MLB.com reports that the Red Sox asked about Edmonds.

The 40-year-old is having a nice season (.289/.353/.513 with eight homers), but he's got a sore Achilles tendon and has only started one of the past seven games. He's inexpensive (owed about $325,000 for the rest of the year) and will be a free agent after the season, so he's a cheap risk for someone who needs a hitter but not necessarily an everyday starter.

"I'm still thinking about all that's going on," Edmonds said. "I might have more later, maybe even later today. I'm kind of kicking it around: Should I or shouldn't I? If something comes up, what should I do? ... [A trade] is still not beyond the question."

-- David Andriesen

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

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 30, 2010 5:04 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2010 11:21 pm
 

Brewers getting back to basics

Doug Melvin Give credit to Brewers general manager Doug Melvin for wanting to explore what his organization can do to better select and develop pitchers. The Brewers haven't done a great job at it during Melvin's tenure.

So he commissioned scouts and staffers to develop a 30-page report: "Milwaukee Brewers Pitching Development Organizational Plan." It explores scouting, the rate at which players are developed, and looks at teams that have done well in developing pitching within their systems.

But you can't help but make a little bit of fun of the checklist the team will now use in evaluating starting pitchers:

1. Owns "plus" fastball velocity?
2. Can throw a quality breaking pitch?
3. Has "solid arm action and delivery"?
4. Is 6-foot-2 or taller?

Just missing the cut, No. 5: "Has at least one arm?"

Really, they needed a report to tell them the ideal starter throws hard with a good breaking pitch and solid delivery? The height requirement is pretty much standard at this point as well. If this baseball thing doesn't work out, Melvin and his staff have a bright future working on government task forces.

-- David Andriesen

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




Category: MLB
Tags: Brewers
 
Posted on: July 29, 2010 8:20 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2010 8:26 pm
 

Signs point to slow deadline

Prince Fielder Thursday was a big day in trades, with Roy Oswalt, Jorge Cantu and Miguel Tejada, among others, on the move.

Monitoring the chatter in the baseball world, however, gives the indication that there might not be much more dealing to come.

"There's nothing really going on," general manager Doug Melvin told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about the Brewers' outlook. "I don't anticipate anything happening [before the Saturday deadline]. Things can change but that's the way it looks now. I don't have to trade players. I have to make sure anything we do makes absolute sense to do anything."

That's one of the main things driving -- or halting -- this trade season. Most of the teams with the attractive pieces don't really need to move them. There aren't the usual teams trying to unload salary ballast at all costs as they sink. The Brewers could trade Prince Fielder, but they don't have to. Ditto the Nationals with Adam Dunn. The Jays could move Jose Bautista, but he's also under team control and has Toronto fans buzzing.

Many of the big names -- Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Oswalt -- are now off the board. David DeJesus and Ben Sheets were knocked off by injuries.

The slate of potential buyers has gone down in the past two weeks. The Angels, Mets, Marlins and Rockies are taking a cold, hard look at the standings and realizing it doesn't make sense to mortgage the future on what's becoming an increasingly long shot. The Red Sox and Dodgers are potentially more aggressive but kind of in the same boat.

The days before the deadline are always filled with GMs expressing outrage at the hefty price tags being put on available players, hoping to force those prices down, but this year it really does seem like teams are taking a harder line because they have less pressure to sell. And teams have so much money invested in scouting and bonus money that they view prospects as high-value commodities rather than pawns. They are afraid to make lousy deals with young players.

There also is a trend toward making deals after the non-waiver deadline -- there's still a month left to trade after Saturday, just with different rules.

“Most of the guys available on July 31 are going to be available in August,” a National League GM told the New York Post.

That's not to say many of the names being thrown around this week won't be in different uniforms in the next 48 hours. Dunn probably will be traded, as will Ted Lilly, and the Blue Jays would be crazy not to trade Bautista when he's at peak value. But even more than most years, most of the talk will likely be for naught when it all shakes out.

-- David Andriesen

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 24, 2010 5:01 pm
 

Good news for Hart

Trade targets David DeJesus and Ben Sheets are going nowhere after suffering serious injuries this week, but it looks like Corey Hart can at least still be found in the "slightly irregular" sale bin.

Hart told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that an MRI of his right wrist, which he injured trying to make a sliding catch Friday night, showed no damage. Hart expects to miss only a few days.

"I got lucky," said Hart. "It's just jammed."

That's good news for the Brewers and for potential suitors for Hart, who is having a big season (.292/.349/.568, 70 RBI, 22 homers).

-- David Andriesen

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

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 23, 2010 10:28 pm
Edited on: July 23, 2010 10:50 pm
 

Hart exits game with wrist injury


Corey Hart Another of the most talked-about outfield trade targets went down on Friday.

A day after David DeJesus was lost for the season with thumb injury, the Brewers' Corey Hart left in the third inning of Friday's game against the Nationals with a right wrist injury.

Hart chased a Cristian Guzman liner to the right-field line and slid into the wall to attempt to catch the foul ball. He didn't catch it, but finished the inning. Jim Edmonds pinch-hit for Hart in the bottom of the third.

According to Jordan Schelling of MLB.com , Hart underwent X-rays on his wrist and they were negative. However, the same was said about DeJesus last night. Hart will undergo an MRI on his wrist Saturday.

Hart has been a popular name in trade talks for teams searching for a big bat. He's hitting .292/.349/.568 with 22 home runs and 70 RBI.

Hart's been named as a possibility for the Giants, Rays and Padres, among other teams.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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