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Tag:Phillies
Posted on: July 29, 2010 12:15 am
 

Rockies looking to sell


It appears there will be no Rocktober this year, as the Rockies have stopped their pursuit of Florida's Jorge Cantu and have flipped their store's sign from "buyer" to "seller," according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal .

The Rockies have put right-hander Aaron Cook, first baseman/outfielder Brad Hawpe and left-handed reliever Joe Beimel on the trade block.

The Phillies have "limited" interest in Cook, Rosenthal tweets .

With the limited options -- and high prices -- for relievers, Beimel could be an attractive candidate for those who fall short with the Blue Jays' trio of relievers.

The Rockies are unlikely to move left-hander Jorge De La Rosa, infielder Melvin Mora and outfielder Ryan Spilborghs.

The Rockies' home series with the Pirates was seen as an indicator of which way the team would go leading up to Saturday's deadline, and dropping the first two games to the National League's worst team is hardly an encouraging sign.

Colorado has now lost eight games in a row and are 2-11 since the All-Star break. They're now 8 1//2 games behind the Padres in the NL West and also have the Giants and Dodgers ahead of them. The Rockies are six games out of the wild card, but have four teams ahead of them.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: July 28, 2010 7:52 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2010 12:42 am
 

Phillies' Brown doubles in a run in first AB


Dominic Brown Phillies rookie Domonic Brown got a huge ovation as he stood at the plate for the first time in Philadelphia -- it was bigger after his RBI double off of Diamondbacks starter Edwin Jackson.

Brown pulled Jackson's 1-1 changeup to right and just barely missed a home run, but motored around the bases for a double and easily scored Jayson Werth, who led off the second with a  double. Brown showed why he was recruited to play wide receiver at Miami, with his long strides making what could have been a close play an easy double.

Brown went to third on a Carlos Ruiz single to left and then scored on Wilson Valdez' s groundout.

Brown's probably the Phillies' best offensive prospect since Ryan Howard. Brown had been the reason the Phillies were shopping Wertth, but he wasn't called up until the team put Shane Victorino on the disabled list. 

The 6-foot-5 outfielder was rated the No. 15 prospect in baseball before the season by Baseball America and didn't do anything this season to hurt that standing. In Double-A and Triple-A, Brown hit a combined .327/.391/.589 with 20 home runs and 68 RBI in 93 games.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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




Posted on: July 28, 2010 4:51 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2010 5:18 pm
 

Lilly-for-Happ rumor stinks

Ted Lilly AOL Fanhouse's Ed Price has an interesting rumor: J.A. Happ could be on his way to the Cubs for Ted Lilly.

Price cautions that it is an unconfirmed rumor. The rumor is interesting, as it may signify that the Phillies have decided assuming Roy Oswalt's contract and parting with multiple prospects is not the right decision .

Lilly's 3.69 ERA is belied by a .261 batting average on balls in play and a 4.48 xFIP, so are essentially moving to replace Jamie Moyer. Giving up Happ, a promising young-left hander, for Lilly seems like a steep price. Happ has three starts to his name in 2010 before falling to injury. He was optioned to Triple-A after a rehab stint and is trying to put his season back together (4.84 ERA, 1.47 K/BB in 22 1/3 innings).

Lilly, meanwhile, is finishing up a four-year, $40 million deal before hitting the free agent market.

The Phils are right in the thick of the division race, but swapping Happ for Lilly smacks of a desperation move after closing themselves off to an Oswalt deal. Whether or not one thinks that's the right call (it is, in this man's opinion), it doesn't give a team license to go and make another bad trade.

That's not even considering the fact that Lilly's no-trade clause has the Phillies on it, as Ken Rosenthal reports for FOX Sports.

SI.com's Jon Heyman, for his part, reports the Phillies are looking at Cleveland's Jake Westbrook and Fausto Carmona. Westbrook is essentially the right-handed version of Lilly, while Carmona is young, productive and locked up for years to come. Now that's someone you trade Happ for.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Category: MLB
Posted on: July 28, 2010 2:00 pm
 

Victorino DLed, Brown recalled, Oswalt possible

Shane Victorino The odds Jayson Werth gets traded may have just plummeted.

The Phillies placed Shane Victorino on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday after suffering an abdominal strain while diving back into first base on a pickoff play in the first inning of Tuesday's contest against the Diamondbacks. He is hitting .250/.311/.438 on the season, down from his previous levels but has cranked a career-high 15 home runs over 441 plate appearances.

To replace Victorino, the Phillies have called up top prospect Domonic Brown, who the Phils have been eyeing to call up for some time now. The minor-league phenom has hit for a combined .327/.391/.589 line over stints with Double- and Triple-A. His power numbers were greater for Double-A (.318/.391/.602) but in Triple-A he's been hitting the cover off the ball with a .346 batting average.

Brown hasn't exactly flashed much plate discipline in Triple-A (just eight walks in 118 plate appearances) but that figures to improve if and when he doesn't rake to the same clip as he is currently. He's a five-tool star who should start in right field, with incumbent Jayson Werth sliding over to center field.

On Tuesday, CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler reported that teams believed the Phillies were motivated to move Werth. However, with Philadelphia having won six straight and 3 1/2 games behind the Braves, that view has suddenly changed in light of the Victorino injury. Now, Werth is needed to plug the gap for a team that might be able to add Roy Oswalt at the trading deadline.

FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal says the Phillies have the general parameters of a deal agreed to for Roy Oswalt. The only problem? Philadelphia is not sure it wants to do the deal. The farm system would be even more depleted, as prospects along with J.A. Happ would be sent off to Houston. In addition, Philly has one of the largest payrolls in the game and that's not changing anytime soon. Oswalt would add to that, especially with a 2012 option for $16 million that the righty wants picked up.
-- Evan Brunell

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

Posted on: July 28, 2010 12:21 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2010 2:16 pm
 

Trade deadline profile: Scott Downs

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 perhaps the best reliever on the market, Toronto's Scott Downs.

Scott Downs Career stats: 26-28, 3.80 ERA, 359 G, 50 GS, 551 2/3 IP, 204 BB, 433 K
2010 stats : 4-5, 2.34 ERA, 47 G, 42 1/3 IP, 10 BB, 35 K
Contract status: Signed a three-year, $10 million contract for the 2008 season. Making $4 million on the year and is an impending free agent who stands to be Type A.

Why he's desirable
At 35 years old, Downs doesn't exactly have many years remaining in him. However, the former starter-turned-reliever has emerged as one of the best left-handed relievers in the game. Over the last four seasons from 2007-10, Downs has appeared in 242 games, posting a 2.27 ERA.

Of non-closers, that's the second-best ERA of any reliever with at least 150 games over the same time period -- Arthur Rhodes has a 2.10 ERA in 174 games (128 1/3 innings). Rhodes, however, missed the entire 2007 season due to injury.

Including closers and Rhodes, Downs has the sixth-lowest ERA in the bigs since 2007 (Mariano Rivera, Rhodes, Joakim Soria, Jonathan Papelbon, Billy Wagner). In short: He's good.

Why he's available
The Blue Jays are a rebuilding club, their seemingly-annual first-half run of success notwithstanding. The team is 12 games behind the Yankees, fourth in the AL East with a dwindling 52-49 record. With Downs an impending free agent and a strong market for quality arms in a quality-depleted environment, Downs is a hot commodity. He can bring back a strong prospect that can further Toronto's rebuilding efforts. And let's get real -- when the Jays are ready to seriously contend, Downs could very well be retired.

Scott Downs Who is interested
The Yankees and Red Sox seem most hot after Downs services, as both AL beasts are contending with left-handed relief struggles as well as poor bullpen performance overall. While the Yankees and Red Sox should be considered forerunners, the list of suitors for Downs is expansive. Among the suitors are: Dodgers, Mets, Phillies, Reds, Rockies and Twins.

Of that list, it's tough to imagine the Mets and Rockies pulling off a deal. The Mets are falling behind the division race and recent reports have the Mets seeking an underpriced reliever. The Rockies, for their part, are also slipping out of the race and may choose to stand pat now that they've gotten Troy Tulowitzki back. Philadelphia is in a similar position with many injured and the Braves pulling away in the East.

The Twins are more interested in a starting pitcher, but could choose to bolster the bullpen instead. The Dodgers have some space to add payroll at the deadline, but like the Twins, are more focused on starting pitching. The back of the Reds' bullpen is fairly thin, so Downs could combine with Rhodes for to bring two shut-down lefties to the NL Central race.

UPDATE: The Giants are also in on Downs, but they figure to focus on acquiring a bat.

Expected return
The Blue Jays are asking for a ridiculous amount in return for Downs. As a potential Type-A free agent, Downs can bring back a first-round pick plus a complementary pick after the first round, provided the Jays offer arbitration. Even if Downs accepts, he would make in the neighborhood of around $4-6 million for 2011, a more than affordable deal for such a prime shut-down reliever.

George King of the New York Post reports that the Jays asked the Yankees for top prospect Jesus Montero, an exorbitantly high price for a middle reliever about to become a free agent. GM Brian Cashman of the Yankees had previously made Montero available in a deal for Cliff Lee but maintains that was the only player on the market Montero would have been swapped for.

The Jays also had a high price for the Red Sox, requesting either starting pitcher Casey Kelly or shortstop Jose Iglesias in return for Scott Downs. You can bet Theo pressed the "end call" button on his cell phone seconds after that request. Alex Speier of WEEI.com reported that the Jays have been heavily scouting Roman Mendez of Boston. Mendez is currently pitching for low Class-A Lowell.

While a prospect the caliber of Montero, Kelly or Iglesias is simply impossible to happen, the Jays can definitely extract a blue-chipper with an intriguing profile -- ala Mendez -- for Downs and could even haggle a second prospect out of the interested team. The only question is if it will be enough for Toronto to trade in the division. None of the other suitors seem remotely close or as interested in Downs as Boston or New York.

What happens
The guess here is that while the Jays like Mendez and move to acquire him, the Yankees will sweep in with an offer just good enough to bring Downs in. New York has designs on a second straight World Series, but that won't happen with a bullpen as porous as it currently is. It needs massive upgrading, and Downs is the salve to the Bronx Bombers' open wound.

More trade deadline targets -- Jorge Cantu | Roy Oswalt

-- Evan Brunell

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

Posted on: July 26, 2010 4:43 pm
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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 26, 2010 1:42 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2010 1:43 pm
 

Trade deadline profile: Roy Oswalt


Leading up to Saturday's trade deadline, the MLB Facts & Rumors team takes a look at the biggest names on the trade block. First up is the best starting pitcher left on the market, Houston's Roy Oswalt.

Roy Oswalt Career stats: 143-82, 3.24 ERA
2010 stats : 6-12, 3.42 ERA
Contract status: Oswalt is under contrac through 2011 with a club option through 2012. He'll be paid $16 million in 2011 and has a club option for the same amount for 2012 with a $2 million opine. Oswalt can opt out of the 2012 option and take a reduced buyout. He also has a full no-trade clause.

Why he's desirable
Oswalt is the last difference-making starter on the market (unless the Royals are giving up on ever winning and trade Zack Greinke). His W-L isn't good, but that's because he plays for the Astros, and if you haven't noticed, they're not very good. His ERA is its lowest since 2007 and he has his lowest WHIP (1.109) since his rookie season. Looking across the board at Oswalt's numbers, he's really not performing any different than he has for most of his career. He's not necessarily an ace, but he's a good pitcher to have on your side.

Why he's available
The Astros aren't very good and don't seem to be getting much better -- that's why Oswalt has asked for a trade. To get better, the Astros need more talent and wouldn't mind having $16 million taken off the total payroll for next season, because if you're going to stink, it's best to at least do it on the cheap.

Roy Oswalt Who is interested
Dodgers, Phillies, Cardinals. The Twins would be a decent fit, but they're not making too much noise about it. Of course, the Angels weren't a team too many people were talking about in connection with Dan Haren.

The Astros asked the Dodgers for James Loney and front-line prospects. The Phillies aren't willing to give up more than one of their top-end prospects and the Cardinals don't have enough prospects to deal.

Expected return
The Astros want a big-league player to contribute immediately, two high-end prospects and another player. Considering the Diamondbacks didn't get anything near that for Haren, it seems like that's a bit much to ask for Oswalt and the rest of his contract.

What happens
Roy Oswalt is an Astro for the rest of 2010 and we go through this in 2011, as well. Oswalt is one win shy of setting the franchise record for pitching wins and is an icon in the city. If the Astros aren't overwhelmed by an offer, they'll hold on to him and what's left of the goodwill owner Drayton McLane and the team has in Houston.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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