Posted on: July 13, 2010 6:52 pm
Edited on: July 13, 2010 7:58 pm

Rays, Giants interested in Hart

Corey Hart Could Corey Hart be on the move?

The Brewers' outfielder, who has 21 home runs at the break and participated at the Home Run Derby, has the Giants, Rays and Padres interested, says John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle .

Hart is under team control through 2011, which certainly works in his favor as the cash-strapped Giants, Rays and Padres would like to make a move with the long-term in mind. However, Milwaukee is expected to ask for starting pitching in return and the Giants have stated they will not be trading any.

Closer Brian Wilson believes the Giants are just fine without Hart.

"I think we've got just what we need," he said. "Would it help [to add a bat]? Of course it would help. Putting a big hitter in the lineup would help any team. We're excited about what we have."

On Sunday, Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune tweeted the "Rays appear to be getting serious" about Hart and have Jeremy Hellickson available. Hellickson is 11-2 in Triple-A as a starter with a 2.21 ERA. The lefty is banging down the door to the majors, but the Rays are deep with top prospect Wade Davis occupying the fifth spot and Andy Sonnastine in the bullpen.

Although Davis has a ton of promise, he has a 4.69 ERA and Hellickson may be better prepared to give the Rays quality innings down the stretch. The Brewers would be able to afford to groom Davis for the remainder of the year and have to love his strikeout potential -- but not his four walks per nine innings.

One thing is clear: the Brewers need pitching and the Rays may be the best fit with a stockpile of young pitching and a clear need for offense, whether that's out of the DH spot or outfield.

-- Evan Brunell

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

Posted on: July 9, 2010 8:09 pm
Edited on: July 9, 2010 8:11 pm

Huff bashes 'sham' All-Star Game

Aubrey Huff Aubrey Huff's numbers border on All-Star status. But no matter how many injury replacements are needed, you probably shouldn't expect to see the Giants outfielder in next week's All-Star Game. Or probably any future All-Star Game.

In a phone interview with CSNBayArea.com on Friday, Huff called the game "retarded" and "a sham," and said it's ridiculous that fans get to vote for the team when home field advantage for the World Series is at stake.

"If the game’s that big of a deal, it should be the managers and players picking the team, because they really know who the best players are," Huff said. "Let the fans pick that last guy in the internet thing. That’s enough. The way they have it now, though, with the fans picking the starters, it’s either the most popular players or the guys on the big-market teams -- the cities with the most fans, like the Yankees and Boston and Philly -- just dominating the voting."

Huff, 33, is on pace for the best season of his 11-year major-league career. He entered Friday batting .298 with 17 homers, 54 RBIs and a .940 OPS. So maybe he's just bitter about not being selected -- pitchers Tim Lincecum and Brian Wilson will represent the Giants.

"It’s a sham," Huff said. "To me, the All-Star Game is retarded."

-- David Andriesen

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

Posted on: July 8, 2010 1:14 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2010 2:23 pm

Ranking the suitors for Lee

Cliff Lee Is your team in on the Cliff Lee sweepstakes?

Chances are -- unless you're a Pirates or Orioles fan, the answer is yes.

An anonymous source tells Newsday's Ken Davidoff that "pretty much every team within five games of the playoffs" has called the Mariners about Lee.

So, if you're counting, that's 17 teams, nine National League squads and eight American League clubs.

Besides the whole 15 games under .500 thing, Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik must feel like the prettiest girl in school.

This is far from a final list, and I could be completely wrong -- but here's a listing of the possibilities in some semblance of an order. Feel free to offer your own favorites.

1. Twins -- still a good possibility, they've got the desire, the prospects (Wilson Ramos, Aaron Hicks) and with a new ballpark, they also have an influx of cash and urgency to do something special. With Lee, we could have some postseason snow-outs.

2. Mets -- the other New York team is always out there trying too hard -- like your one friend who gets a little too dressed up and has that extra spray (or four) of cologne when you go out. Sadly, he always seems to strike out.

3. Reds -- never underestimate the desire of an owner to make a splash. Bob Castellini is an emotional owner and believes firmly in his town's desire to see a winner and ultimately support it. If the Mariners want corner prospects, the Reds could dangle Yonder Alonso and Juan Francisco -- blocked by Joey Votto and Scott Rolen's three-year extension, respectively. There's also Todd Frazier, who can play about anywhere, and pitchers Matt Maloney and Travis Wood, who could be added to the rotation right away.

4. Rangers -- they're not as long of a long shot as you might think. Lee's not about money. It's about prospects, and Justin Smoak is a prospect that would fit perfectly. Roy Oswalt would be costly; Lee is only $4 million for the rest of the season. If money's still an issue, they could sweeten the pot with another prospect. MLB -- the organization -- has a vested interest in the Rangers and they'd likely loan the Rangers the money to make it work. A Rangers team in the playoffs is more valuable to a bidder than one that breaks down in August.

5. Yankees -- the team could go get him, but why rent him now and give up prospects when you've still got a good shot at winning and will just buy him in the offseason, anyway. That way you keep the prospects. But with the Yankees, you've always got to have them in the discussion. They're a courtesy top five, due to the fact they're the Yankees.

6. Rays -- pitching depth isn't a problem in this system, but they have a potential impact bat in B.J. Upton, and a serviceable catcher in Dioner Navarro. A Lee-David Price front of the rotation could be lights-out in a short series.

7. Phillies -- yeah, the Phillies could add the former Phillie, but it would likely cost them Domonic Brown -- who GM Ruben Amaro Jr. wouldn't give up for Roy Halladay. The desire is there, but the prospects may not be.

8. White Sox -- the news on Jake Peavy makes them the highest-riser on the list, plus GM Kenny Williams loves to make a splash, and this would certainly qualify.

9. Cardinals -- despite needs to fill out their rotation, the Cardinals are reportedly looking for bats more than arms. Still, it's tempting to think of a playoff rotation of Lee, Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright -- that would make them a favorite based on "the great" Albert Pujols' offense alone.

10. Tigers -- Detroit could use him, that's for sure. GM Dave Dombrowski has never shied away from a big deal, but it's unclear whether Detroit has the juice in either prospects or cash to get it done.

11. Red Sox -- a lot of needs with all their injures, Lee would be a luxury -- not that they haven't indulged in those in the past.

12. Braves -- Atlanta could certainly use Lee -- who couldn't? -- but they don't seem like a fit in either needs or assets. The Braves, more likely will be crossing their fingers that Lee doesn't land in the NL East, which is still up for grabs.

13. Rockies -- they are more likely to fine-tune than to do anything big. GM Dan O'Dowd has prized prospects and is unlikely to mortgage the future for a rent-a-player.

14. Padres -- sure, they're broke and they're pitching well, but there is some reason here. 1. Owner Jeff Moorad has said he'll deal for an arm if he can, and 2. most of the Padres arms are young arms. Mat Latos, Wade LeBlanc and Clayton Richard may not only tire down the stretch, Latos, at least, is on an innings count of 150 to 180 and he's already an out away from 100 innings on the season.

15. Giants -- looking for bats, not arms.

16. Angels -- ditto.

17. Dodgers -- Jamie McCourt is unlikely to give any of her alimony to help Frank out.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: July 4, 2010 1:25 pm

Report: Giants have eye on Hart

Corey Hart The Giants are desperate to upgrade their offense, and Prince Fielder has been one of the more popular names linked to them. However, a new name has emerged, and that's Fielder's teammate in Corey Hart.

The report from Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe notes that while the Giants may be interested, the Brewers may elect to hang onto the outfielder currently enjoying a career season with 18 home runs -- .287/.351/.566 overall. He's making $4.8 million the year and has one more year of arbitration ahead of him; he figures to rake in the money after the year he's having.

The Brewers aren't dead yet in the NL Central as they are just 8 1/2 games out. It would be a tough road, but Milwaukee could conceivably rally and make a tight race out of it. As the Rocies and multiple other teams have shown us in recent years, it's not to count anyone out for dead until mid-August if there's still a chance.

That aspect will play a large part in the coming weeks as GM Doug Melvin will have to decide whether to go for it or trade off some valuable pieces, preferably for starting pitching. Corey Hart is just one of several whose futures in Brewers garb could be decided by the team's play leading up to July 31.

-- Evan Brunell

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

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 2, 2010 9:42 am

Your call is very important to Brian Sabean

Brian Sabean Seeing a baseball general manager without a phone to his ear is like a Bigfoot sighting. The phone is a GM's life.

So Giants GM Brian Sabean did not take kindly to an ESPN.com blog that reported the results of a poll of general managers, suggesting the Sabean is the toughest to deal with because he won't return phone calls.

Sabean, the longest-tenured GM in baseball, seemed to suggest he has little patience for the new breed of GM, the young Ivy League types who lay all their cards on the table and play real-life fantasy baseball via telephone.

"Let's not be naive," Sabean told the San Francisco Chronicle. "There are 30 teams. Some teams, we have nothing in common with, including the front-office dynamics. Some might be younger guys cutting their teeth or chatterboxes throwing things at the wall to see what sticks, or just gathering intelligence."

Sabean said his understanding was that 12 GMs were chosen for the survey and seven responded.

"I'm a cut-to-the-chase guy. I think there are well over 20 GMs we are dealing with firsthand. We do return phone calls. I return phone calls. If I don't, there's a specific reason.

"The article is what it is. It's kind of backhanded because it comes down to management style, and there should be a further explanation, and there's not. To my knowledge, he didn't poll 30 teams."

-- David Andriesen

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

Category: MLB
Tags: Giants
Posted on: June 30, 2010 10:58 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2010 11:29 pm

Rangers acquire Molina from Giants

Bengie Molina The San Francisco Giants have traded catcher Bengie Molina to the Texas Rangers for reliever Chris Ray and a player to be named later, USA Today reports .

The deal is pending approval from commissioner Bud Selig and should be official shortly.

The deal makes sense from both sides. The Rangers are hurting at catcher and have had to go with Matt Treanor and Max Ramirez as the backstops after Jarrod Saltalamacchia had his season derailed by injury and the yips while Taylor Teagarden has been a mark of offensive futility so far.

Treanor is a 34-year-old backup catcher while Max Ramirez is an unproven rookie with questions about defense.

Molina, at .257/.312/.332 through 221 plate appearances, isn't exactly lighting the world on fire but does have a history of being able to hit the longball and should find the going easier after moving to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Defensively, Molina is also a strong defender, which is no surprise given the Molina pedigree in the bigs.

Saltalamacchia does deserve to head back to the majors and figures to do that at some point, but its clear the team isn't ready to rely on him just yet. As for Ramirez, his defense has been considered a liability for quite a while. Back in the offseason, the Rangers were reportedly poised to send Ramirez to Boston for Mike Lowell and the sense was that Boston would shift him out from behind the dish.

For San Francisco's part, the trade frees up the catcher's spot for Buster Posey to move there full-time. It will allow the Giants to upgrade their offense by either moving Aubrey Huff back to first base and giving Nate Schierholtz and Aaron Rowand more playing time, as Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News notes . Another alignment would be moving Pablo Sandoval to first and moving Juan Uribe to third base. That would free up regular playing time for Edgar Renteria.

Chris Ray was dealt for Kevin Millwood in the offseason and has pieced together a 3.41 ERA over 31 2/3 innings. He would likely pitch out of the Giants' bullpen, although he may have an option left, according to Baggarly. That would allow San Francisco to ship him to Triple-A in the event of a roster crunch.

Molina is on a one year, $4.5 million deal with about $2.3 million left to be paid. If the Rangers are assuming much of Molina's contract, Selig may be examining the move closely thanks to Texas' financial straits. The sale from owner Tom Hicks is constantly being held up and MLB is responsible for the team's finances until the sale goes through.

-- Evan Brunell

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

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 24, 2010 3:23 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2010 3:44 pm

Giants' Posey to start catching

Buster Posey Buster Posey is finally getting a chance to get behind the plate for the Giants.

Ever since being recalled from Triple-A, the rookie sensation has been plying his trade at first base. His .303/.338/.421 line has been good enough for manager Bruce Bochy to look at ways to get Posey in the lineup on a regular basis.

That means Posey will start catching some games after coming up through the minor leagues as a catcher. He'll catch at least once a week, Bochy said according to MLB.com, and possibly even take one turn each time through the rotation.

The plan goes into effect Saturday when Posey catches Joe Martinez against the Red Sox. His defense at catcher still has to develop, the Giants say. One way Posey has kept sharp at the position is by catching the pitcher's bullpen sessions and doing catching drills.

If Posey can stick behind the plate, it would be a tremendous coup for the Giants who could then look for another bat to play first base -- which is always easier to find than a catcher who can hit.

Posey had caught just two games for the major-league squad since his call-up, starting one. The incumbent catcher, Bengie Molina, is hitting .265/.319/.344 on the year, and his numbers look worse if you throw out April (.224/.274/.304).

-- Evan Brunell

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

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 22, 2010 7:26 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2010 12:24 am

Surgery for Giants' DeRosa

Mark DeRosa Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News reports via Twitter that Giants outfielder Mark DeRosa will have surgery on his troubled left wrist and is done for the year.

DeRosa, 35, is in his first season for San Francisco, his sixth major-league team. The Giants' opening day left fielder, DeRosa hasn't played since May 8. He was hampered by the wrist and batted .194 in 26 games.

DeRosa had surgery last October to repair a torn tendon sheath, but in May he said the surgery was "a total failure." He and the team had been hoping rest would help the numbness in his ring and pinkie fingers.

DeRosa is in the first year of a two-year, $12 million contract with the Giants. The Giants have been playing Aubrey Huff, Andres Torres and Pat Burrell in left.

-- David Andriesen

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