Tag:MLB 2010 Trade Deadline
Posted on: July 31, 2010 1:06 pm
 

Cards land Westbrook & Padres Ludwick in 3 way

Two National League contenders strengthened themselves impressively for the stretch run with one bold three-way trade on Saturday, with St. Louis acquiring right-handed pitcher Jake Westbrook from Cleveland, San Diego landing hard-hitting outfielder Ryan Ludwick from St. Louis and the Indians receiving a couple of prospects from the Padres, including Double-A pitcher Corey Kluber, multiple sources have told CBSSports.com.

While Cleveland rebuilds, the Cardinals and Padres, two clubs with serious playoff aspirations, landed exactly what they needed.

In Westbrook, the Cardinals gain a solid starter who adds significant depth to a rotation that will nevertheless continue to live and die with co-aces Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright.

A veteran right-hander who missed most of 2008 and 2009 following Tommy John ligament replacement surgery, Westbrook bounced back to make the opening day start for Cleveland in 2010 and has gone 6-7 with
a 4.65 ERA over 21 starts.

The Cardinals have been searching for a starter because things have been in flux in the rotation after Carpenter and Wainwright. Rookie Jaime Garcia has been sensational, but there is concern over his workload. Kyle Lohse has been out for much of the season due to a forearm injury. And Brad Penny has battled various nagging injuries.

Lohse has made an injury-rehabilitation start and the Cardinals hope he will return to the rotation in a few weeks.

"There is a better expectation [that he'll be good]," Cards manager Tony La Russa told reporters recently in St. Louis. "He's feeling really normal, and he says he likes the way he's responding."

In Ludwick, the surprising Padres got what they have been searching for: An outfielder who will help add pop to a sluggish offense. Ludwick is hitting .281 with 11 homers and 43 RBI for the Cardinals this year, and his defense is very underrated. In that department, he fits perfectly into a Padres team that is strong with the gloves and whose pitching staff leads the majors in ERA.

The Padres are sending Kluber to the Indians and minor-league right-hander Nick Greenwood to the Cardinals.

Posted on: July 30, 2010 11:13 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2010 11:29 pm
 

Busy Yankees acquire Cleveland's Kearns

The Yankees are moving quickly toward filling in the cracks in their roster: They acquired outfielder Austin Kearns from Cleveland within hours after reaching an agreement with Houston to bring Lance Berkman aboard.

The Yankees will send Cleveland a player to be named later or cash to complete the deal.

Kearns, 30, was hitting .272 with eight homers and 42 RBI in 84 games for the Indians this season and adds depth to the Yankees' stable of outfielders.

Kearns gives manager Joe Girardi another option in left field, where Curtis Granderson has struggled badly against left-handed pitching this season. Granderson, into Friday, was hitting just .214 against lefties with a .286 slugging percentage.

Kearns, meantime, is hitting .250 against lefties this year.

"A corner outfielder that gives us depth and experience," Yankees manager Joe Girardi told reporters in Tampa, where New York was playing the Rays, on Friday night. "A right-handed bat that has power. We can use him a lot of different ways. It will give me a chance to rest our left-handed guys."

Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira was thrilled to hear that both Kearns and Houston's Lance Berkman soon will be in the clubhouse as reinforcements for the stretch drive.

"That's great," Teixeira told reporters. "Two quality guys. I know both of them real well. They're both great guys. It's going to be good for the clubhouse."

Posted on: July 30, 2010 6:42 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2010 11:24 pm
 

Yankees to acquire Astros' Berkman Saturday

The Yankees and Houston have agreed to a deal that will send longtime Astros first baseman Lance Berkman to the Bronx, CBSSports.com has confirmed.

The trade is not expected to become official until Saturday because of a technicality -- Berkman has to waive no-trade rights as a 10-and-5 man, a player who has been in the majors for 10 years, the last five with the same team. But he has agreed to do so, according to a major-league official, and, barring a last-minute change of mind, Berkman will officially become a Yankee on Saturday.

In return, Houston is expected to receive two prospect, neither of them high-level. Several reports have pegged them as reliever Mark Melancon and infielder Jimmy Paredes. The Astros also reportedly have agreed to pay roughly $4 million of the $7 million owed Berkman.

The move fills a DH need for the Yankees, who earlier this season lost Nick Johnson to a right wrist injury, likely for the summer. It also gives them a bit more depth.

But make no mistake, this is nowhere close to an in-his-prime Berkman. At 34 now and a life-long Astro, Berkman was hitting .245 with 13 homers and 49 RBI. In 358 plate appearances this season, Berkman has struck out 70 times and walked 60.

He's also hitting only .188 against left-handers this season with one homer in 64 at-bats. But he gives the Yankees a veteran bat, be it from the DH slot or off the bench, which they hope will aid them down the stretch.

Berkman is due roughly $5 million this season with a club option for $15 million -- or a $2 million buyout -- for 2011. It is not yet clear what the Astros will receive in return, but they are not expected to receive high-level prospects for Berkman. Also unclear is how much of the $7 million or so Berkman is owed will be picked up by Houston.

As for why the deal must wait until Saturday even though Berkman already has agreed to waive his no-trade powers, as Joel Sherman explains in the New York Post, Article 19 of the Basic Agreement provides that trades involving players with 10-and-5 rights cannot be announced until 24 hours after the player gives his consent.

Berkman, who was held out of Friday night's lineup against Milwaukee, would not confirm that he agreed to the deal earlier Friday.

"I'm from Texas," Berkman told reporters in Houston on Friday night. "Heck, I played at Rice. This city is like the womb. I feel very comfortable here. To think about the possibility of going anywhere else is kind of scary.

"My ideal situation is to win a title here. If this organization feels those aims are better accomplished by trying to strip down this roster and reload with younger guys, I don't want to stand in the way of that."

One other Houston icon who was traded in recent days, pitcher Roy Oswalt, thinks the move to New York will rejuvenate his old teammate.

"I think it would be good for him," Oswalt told reporters in Washington on Friday after making his first start for Philadelphia since the Phillies acquired him from Houston on Thursday. "Sometimes you get a change of scenery [and] it turns you all the way around. Sometimes you get in a rut of doing the same thing over and over again."

Berkman acknowledged that Astros general manager Ed Wade approached him two days ago with a list of "probably eight teams" that had expressed interest in the 12-year veteran.

"There were four yeas and four nays," Berkman said.

In the end, as we've seen in the past, the Bronx came up with the biggest yea.

"You don't always get to pick how you leave an organization," Berkman said. "If and when it comes time to move on, I'll do it with as much grace as I can muster."

 

Posted on: July 30, 2010 4:24 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2010 6:17 pm
 

Dunn says he will DH: "My options are awesome"

Washington slugger Adam Dunn, subject of raging trade speculation as the Chicago White Sox, San Francisco Giants and others attempt to acquire him, is in the Washington lineup tonight and says he's amenable to going to an American League team to DH.

Dunn just finished speaking with reporters before heading out for batting practice, and colleague Danny Knobler is in D.C. for tonight's Roy Oswalt debut.

Here's what Danny passes along from Dunn:

"My options are awesome," said Dunn, who notoriously in the past has said he is not interested in being a designated hitter and prefers to stay in the NL.

Even if he's dealt to the AL and is asked to DH for the rest of the season?

"This will be a DH situation for two months," said Dunn, a free agent at season's end. "It's not career-ending."

Dunn, in good humor, also had a great line when asked his feelings about going to the White Sox if Chicago GM Kenny Williams is able to build the right package around pitcher Edwin Jackson.

"I like their uniforms," Dunn said. "I like black."

When the session ended, several reporters covering the Nationals shook Dunn's hand and wished him well.

"I'm not going anywhere," Dunn responded. "I'll see you guys after the game."

He may wind up being right or, at the very least, right for right now.

Even with fewer than 24 hours remaining before Saturday's 4 p.m. trade deadline, the Nationals are holding steady and not on the verge of dealing him.

"Suffice to say, he's a very popular player right now," Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo said during batting practice before the Nats-Phillies game.

As for the Nationals' high asking price, Rizzo said: "I will come to the price we set or we won't trade him. The price will not come down."

Posted on: July 30, 2010 3:35 pm
 

Aggressive Rangers acquire Nats' Guzman

The high-flying, first-place Texas Rangers, leaving their fingerprints all over this year's trade deadline, have scooped up infielder Cristian Guzman from Washington as a replacement for injured second baseman Ian Kinsler.

Guzman, 32, has played second base and shortstop for the Nationals this season and, occasionally, right field. A former shortstop who came up in the Twins' organization, Guzman has lost range at second and is considered by scouts to be better suited for second base at this stage of his career. He was hitting .282 with a .327 on-base percentage for the Nationals, who are expected to assume most of the pro-rated portion of his $2.87 million salary for this year.

The Rangers, leading second-place Oakland by 8 1/2 games in the AL West, need a short-term fix at second base Kinsler, who landed on the 15-day disabled list the other day with a strained groin.

Posted on: July 30, 2010 1:57 pm
 

Dodgers, Cubs talk Lilly-Theriot -- or just Lilly

Seven games behind San Diego in the NL West and at a clear crossroads in their season, the Dodgers continue to pound the phones searching for starting pitching and are looking at all options.

The latest on Friday involved discussions with the Cubs on a couple of different fronts: One involving a package that would send left-hander Ted Lilly and infielder Ryan Theriot to the Dodgers, the other a deal that would only involve Lilly, according to CBSSports.com sources.

The Dodgers are not overly enamored with Lilly in that, at 34, he is not the same pitcher he was a few years ago. But, the trade market is what it is and, with Roy Oswalt, Cliff Lee and Dan Haren off the board, contenders looking for starting pitching are left to sort through the Lillys, Jake Westbrooks and Jeremy Guthries.

Any deal sending Lilly, or Lilly and Theriot, to the Dodgers would have to include the Cubs shipping cash as well. One other factor that makes Lilly less attractive is that he's owed about $4 million for the rest of the summer. And given the Dodgers' precarious financial situation -- the divorce trial between owners Frank and Jamie McCourt is expected to kick off in August -- they cannot take on much salary.

A Lilly-Theriot package certainly would be more attractive to the Dodgers at this point in that Theriot, who has a .285 batting average and .321 on-base percentage, would give them more options. Bench depth has become an issue for the Dodgers, who acquired outfielder Scott Podsednik on Wednesday to help get them through Manny Ramirez's third disabled list stint of the season.

The Dodgers -- or, more likely if a deal is consummated, the Cubs -- would owe Theriot a pro-rated portion of his $2.6 million 2010 salary.

While Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti -- among the more creative GMs -- is determined to find a way to add a starting pitcher, he did note earlier this week that he would not jump at something undesirable in July because there are always ways to add help in August as well.

"We'd like to get it done by Aug. 1," he said Wednesday. "But sometimes other people come available."

Remember, the Dodgers last August alone acquired starting pitchers Vicente Padilla and Jon Garland, pinch-hitter Jim Thome and infielder Ronne Belliard. And two years ago, they added starting pitcher Greg Maddux in August.

Posted on: July 30, 2010 1:05 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2010 2:53 pm
 

White Sox acquire D-backs RHP Edwin Jackson

Right-hander Edwin Jackson is headed back to a pennant race and back to the American League Central -- for now.

The White Sox acquired Jackson, the author of a no-hitter earlier this year, sending right-handed pitcher Dan Hudson and a minor-league lefty, David Holmberg, to the desert as the stripping of the Arizona Diamondbacks continues.

But Jackson's stay in the Windy City could be short-lived. Sox general manager Kenny Williams was working on multiple fronts Friday as the July 31 non-waivers trade deadline moved to within 24 hours away, and there remains a very real chance that Chicago could flip Jackson to the Washington Nationals in a deal for slugger Adam Dunn.

The White Sox very much want to add a hitter to their lineup and have been talking to the Nats about Dunn for some time.

However, with Jake Peavy out for the season and having traded prospect Hudson to the Diamondbacks, the White Sox also are running short of starting pitchers. If they do deal Jackson to Washington for Dunn, it will create a hole in their rotation that would need to be filled. Bob Nightengale of USA Today is reporting that the White Sox are talking with Houston about Brett Myers in a potential deal if they do ship Jackson to the Nationals. 

Jackson was 6-10 for the Diamondbacks this season, and his clear highlight was no-hitting Tampa Bay on June 25. Jackson has fanned 104 batters and walked 60 over 134 1/3 innings in 21 starts.

Pitching for Detroit last summer, Jackson earned his first All-Star appearance.

"He's either really good, or he's bad," says one scout from a club looking for starting pitching -- but which had little interest in Jackson. "He doesn't have command of his stuff all the time. He can't pitch at lower-level velocity. When he's pitching at 92, 93 m.p.h., he doesn't always know where it's going. He's better off pitching at 96."

Hudson, 23, was rated as the third-best prospect in the White Sox organization last winter by Baseball American and won raves from the White Sox at mid-season when he was summoned to the big leagues following Jake Peavy's season-ending injury.

"Great stuff," Sox slugger Paul Konerko told CBSSports.com at the All-Star Game of Hudson. "Great arm. Great change-up. ... I really think he's the guy. He doesn't get hit hard. When he throws strikes, they're good strikes. You look at his numbers. ... I know they're minor-league numbers, but he's a winner."

Holmberg, 19, was rated by Baseball America as the White Sox's eighth-best prospect.

The Diamondbacks now, according to sources, are turning their attention to dealing catcher Chris Snyder and reliever Chad Qualls.

 

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com