Tag:San Diego Padres
Posted on: July 30, 2011 3:31 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2011 3:31 pm
 

Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers in on LA's Kuroda

Maybe Rafael Furcal will be the only Dodgers player asked to waive a no-trade clause, maybe not.

Little more than 24 hours before Sunday's 4 p.m. EDT non-waivers trade deadline, three clubs continue to seriously engage the Dodgers in conversations regarding starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, according to CBSSports.com sources: The Yankees, Red Sox and Rangers.

It is not known if Kuroda will consent to a deal if traded. A source close to him told CBSSports.com earlier in the week that he still seems a "little apprehensive" about leaving Los Angeles, the only major-league organization he's known since leaving Japan following the 2007 season.

Kuroda is just one of the starters available in a fairly weak starting pitching market at the 2011 trade deadline. The biggest target remains Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez, who will make what could be his final start for the Rockies tonight in San Diego. However, it remains unclear whether Colorado will deal him. The Yankees and Red Sox both are interested.

Detroit acquired Doug Fister from Seattle earlier Saturday, taking him off the board. Other starting pitchers who could go include Baltimore's Jeremy Guthrie and Koji Uehara, San Diego's Aaron Harang, Tampa Bay's Jeff Niemann and Seattle's Erik Bedard.

Kuroda this season is 6-13 with a 3.11 ERA in 21 starts for the Dodgers.
Posted on: July 29, 2011 10:13 pm
 

Rangers, Padres find no middle ground on Bell

The Padres have vowed they will not deal closer Heath Bell for anything less than a highly attractive return, and heading into the final hours toward the trade deadline, they're putting the Rangers to that test.

The Padres and Rangers continue to discuss Bell, sources with knowledge of the talks told CBSSports.com, though those discussions did not advance much Friday from where they were a day earlier. The Padres' price has not come down, and Texas' offer has not increased.

Even at that, however, Bell still may be the Rangers' player to lose (if there is such a thing as "losing" a player you've never had): St. Louis continues to stay involved, according to sources, but only on the "fringe." And the Angels, who are said to be looking to boost their bullpen, currently are not involved.

That isn't to say the Angels or other clubs could not jump into the talks Saturday or sometime before Sunday's 4 p.m. EDT deadline. But as of now, the Rangers remain the biggest presence at the trade table, and they and the Padres continue to engage in a staredown.

According to CBSSports.com sources, the Padres are asking a three-player return for Bell, which surely could be adjusted down to two players if Texas produces the right two players. The Padres watched left-handed pitcher Robbie Erlin's last start for Double-A Frisco and are believed interested in him. A few other key names in the Texas system: Martin Perez, a left-hander pitching at Triple-A Round Rock, Frisco right-handers Tanner Scheppers and Joe Wieland, and shortstop Jurickson Profar, 18, currently playing at Class A Hickory.

Bell, who collected his 30th save on Thursday, owns a 2.34 ERA and said of a trade, "It's going to happen."

He predicted: "It probably will be down to the wire."

That's the way it looks now. Texas is intent on improving its bullpen: Its 4.46 ERA is fourth-highest in the AL and the Rangers' 15 blown saves were tied for the third-highest. And as highly regarded as closer Neftali Feliz is, Rangers manager Ron Washington said the other day that he would like to see "a little more fire" from the closer.

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels traveled to Toronto for this weekend's series with the Blue Jays, and several of his key advisers are with him as they sort through final offers and final moves between now and Sunday's deadline.

If the Padres elect to hold on to Bell and he leaves as a free agent this winter, they would receive two compensatory draft picks for him, the first one likely 20-something picks into the draft and the other in the 40s.


Posted on: July 28, 2011 5:49 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2011 6:20 pm
 

Braves, looking for bat, talk Ludwick with SD

Looking for an outfield bat, the Braves are engaging the Padres in trade discussions regarding Ryan Ludwick, multiple sources have told CBSSports.com.

Ludwick is not the only outfielder with whom the Braves are exploring a trade, but they are described as having significant interest in the 33-year-old. The Braves also have talked about Oakland's Josh Willingham, the White Sox's Carlos Quentin, Houston's Hunter Pence and Tampa Bay's B.J. Upton.

The difference is that Ludwick and Willingham will cost less than Pence, Quentin and Upton.

Ludwick was held out of San Diego's lineup Thursday afternoon against Arizona, though manager Bud Black brushed off any suggestion that it was because a trade was imminent. The Padres acquired Ludwick from St. Louis at last year's trade deadline during a surprising season in which they won 90 games.

However, Ludwick was a bitter disappointment down the stretch in 2010 (.211, six homers, 26 RBIs in 239 plate appearances). While he's been better in 2011 (.238, 11, 62 in 412 plate appearances), he clearly is not in San Diego's future plans. A free agent this winter, it is believed that Ludwick will seek something in the neighborhood of a three-year deal. With his game not translating well in Petco Park, the Padres are not interested.

Willingham is hitting .240 with 13 homers and 50 RBIs for an Oakland team that long ago fell out of the race this summer.

There are two problems with the White Sox's Quentin, whom the Braves really like and have serious interest in:

One, he's more expensive than Ludwick or Willingham, according to sources. And, two, the Tigers apparently refuse to allow the White Sox to become full-blown sellers. Detroit lost again on Thursday, this time to the Angels, allowing idle Chicago to pull to within three games of the AL Central lead despite a 51-52 record. The White Sox are only two games behind Detroit in the loss column.

As for Pence, his market has exploded since San Francisco traded for Carlos Beltran. My colleague Danny Knobler writes that the Braves, Phillies and several other clubs checked in with the Astros on Thursday.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 28, 2011 4:19 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2011 7:59 pm
 

Bell talks continue, Rangers balk at high price

What we know right now is that the Rangers and Padres have spent significant time on the telephone over the past 24 hours with Texas taking a hard run at acquiring closer Heath Bell.

But while talks have been significant, substantive, pick your word, the potential deal continued to just sit there Thursday while the Rangers balked at the Padres' asking price, sources with knowledge of the talks told CBSSports.com.

The Padres, according to sources, are asking a three-player return for Bell, a price Texas is not eager to pay. Whether Texas' pause could open the door for St. Louis, the Los Angeles Angels or another suitor to move in is unclear.

"It's going to happen," Bell said of a trade after he collected his 30th save of the season in San Diego's 4-3 win over Arizona. "It will probably be down to the wire."

Bell thinks he'll end up in Texas. The Rangers remain very interested, according to sources, and talks are said to be ongoing -- though, as of early afternoon Thursday in San Diego, they were not hot.

San Diego had a scout watching Texas pitching prospect Robbie Erlin at Double-A Frisco the other night. Erlin, Texas' third-round pick in the 2009 draft, is 5-2 with a 4.32 ERA in 10 starts this season, with 61 strikeouts in 66 2/3 innings.

The Rangers and Padres have had "good talks" over the past 24 hours, one source said, though Thursday's cooling is an indication that if there is to be a deal reached, it likely will not happen before Friday. Rangers general manager Jon Daniels is said to be traveling with the Rangers to Toronto for this weekend's series and further trade deadline discussions.

Texas has settled on bullpen help as its top priority, and manager Ron Washington lately has become disenchanted with closer Neftali Feliz, saying publicly the other day that he wants to see "a little more fire" from the closer.

"I just don't see the urgency," Washington said. "I'm not saying it's not there, but he's not exuding urgency."

Bell, tied for third in the NL with 29 saves and a three-time All-Star, is full of energy, and his presence -- or that of another reliever like him -- probably would jack up Feliz a little bit.

The Rangers are said to be honed in on Bell, and indications are that they do not believe the Padres are going to trade set-up man Mike Adams.

One Padres source said the other day that the club believes Bell would sign a discounted multi-year deal in San Diego as a free agent this winter and, as such, suggested the club could keep him this summer.

"That's the key right there," Bell said after Thursday's game. "Honestly, with everything that's happened, I wouldn't rule out anything. I said I'd take a discount, and I want to stay here. Everyone knows that."

Still, it's hard to see the Padres not dealing him and getting something in return, even if talks between the closer and the team would lead toward belief that they could reunite this winter.

Padres GM Jed Hoyer was not available at Thursday afternoon's Arizona-San Diego game. But on Wednesday, he told AM1090, the Padres' flagship radio, "I think we should [trade]. We don't have the talent base here that we need two have in order to be successful."

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 28, 2011 1:45 pm
 

Rangers, Padres Bell talks continue Thursday

The Rangers are targeting Padres closer Heath Bell and pushing hard in trade talks today, talks that one source with knowledge of the clubs terms "good talks." But as of midday Thursday, a source said that the talks have not yet reached the point where a deal is imminent.

Talks remain fluid as the Rangers look to strengthen their bullpen and it is hard to say whether a deal can be reached yet today, or even before the July 31 non-waivers trade deadline. One Padres source said the other day that the club believes Bell would sign a discounted multi-year deal in San Diego as a free agent this winter and, as such, suggested the club could keep him this summer.

Still, it's hard to see the Padres not dealing him and getting something in return, even if talks between the closer and the team would lead toward belief that they could reunite this winter.
Posted on: July 27, 2011 8:38 pm
Edited on: July 27, 2011 8:49 pm
 

Finally home, Harang contemplates moving

Aaron Harang does not want to be traded.

No. I mean, the Padres' starter REALLY does not want to be traded.

"You hear the rumors and hope it doesn't happen," says the native San Diegan, who signed with his hometown Padres as a free agent last winter.

His wife just gave birth to a twin son and daughter seven months ago. Three uncles, two aunts, both of his grandmothers and six cousins all live in San Diego. Two of the cousins have children the same age as Harang's oldest daughter, who will turn 5 in October. Not only do Harang's parents live in the area, so, too, do his wife's parents.

No, this guy wants nothing to do with a deal.

Yet ... with the Padres out of the race, Detroit is interested in Harang. Boston is watching. So, too, are several other clubs.

Somebody is not going to land Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez. Somebody is going to miss on the Dodgers' Hiroki Kuroda. After that ... well, there's just not a lot out there this summer in the starting pitcher department.

"I'd like to stay here," says Harang, who has bounced back from back, appendix and forearm issues over the past three seasons to go 9-2 with a 3.45 ERA over 17 starts this season. "I want to stay here.

"It's been nice for me. My family is here. It's a comfortable fit. I like the guys in the clubhouse.

"I feel like this is where I'm meant to be."

Over the next four days, we'll see whether the Padres feel the same way.

In his favor to stay: He and the Padres have a mutual $5 million option for 2012. That's very affordable, even for the Padres, for a starting pitcher.

Working against him: The Padres need a major influx of talent and are not exactly overloaded with trade chips. And there is no reason why they can't trade Harang while at the same time telling him they'd like to re-sign him as a free agent this winter.

Amid the uncertainty in the Padres' clubhouse, Harang has plenty of company with whom to discuss things. Closer Heath Bell, set-up man Mike Adams, reliever Chad Qualls and outfielder Ryan Ludwick all are in play at the trade deadline.

"We talk about it a little bit," Harang says. "We're all in the same boat. We don't know what's going on. Until we get told something ... we hear all the rumors. We get family and friends texting us telling us, 'We hear this' or 'We hear that.'

"There's nothing we can do to control it."

The bright side for Harang is, hey, at least he's healthy and productive. That's the whole reason he's in this fix.

"Obviously, people who are seeing me know I've been throwing well," Harang says. "I had a little fluke setback with my foot, but that had nothing to do with my arm or my back."
Posted on: July 27, 2011 7:53 pm
Edited on: July 27, 2011 10:08 pm
 

Padres taking lots of calls re. Bell, others

While the Rangers and Cardinals led a hard-charging pack Wednesday focused on San Diego relievers Heath Bell and Mike Adams, according to CBSSports.com sources, the Padres' asking price remains high.

One club source cautions that the Padres could reach Sunday's trade deadline without having made any deal for Bell, who has made it clear wants to remain in San Diego and who the Padres think would re-sign for a discount this winter.

That isn't diminishing enthusiasm shown on Wednesday. And there is no reason why the Padres couldn't trade Bell now, get some pieces back and then re-sign him this winter as a free agent if he'll take such a discount.

The Padres have several trade chips that have general manager Jed Hoyer working overtime: Bell, Adams, reliever Chad Qualls, starting pitcher Aaron Harang and outfielder Ryan Ludwick.

"Our guys who are being talked about are handling it well," Padres manager Bud Black says. "It's part of baseball. It's happening in 29 other clubhouses right now, too. You can't stop it.

"Our players know their focus is on our game at 7:05."

Bell is a free agent after the season, the Padres control Adams through 2012. Among the other clubs who are checking: The Phillies.

Harang and the Padres have a mutual club option for 2012 at a $5 million salary. Ludwick is a free agent this winter, while the Padres own a $6 million club option on Qualls for 2012 with a $1.05 million buyout.

"Qualls gets less out of good stuff than anybody I've ever seen in my life," one NL scout says. "His fastball has great movement, he has great sink, and yet he comes in and screws up more games than anybody I've seen."

As for Bell, sources from several rival clubs say the Padres' price right now is high. Another scout, noting that as a Type A free agent the Padres (or an acquiring club) would receive two picks for Bell -- "probably one in the 20s and then probably a compensation pick in the 40s" -- if he flees via free agency, says, "My opinion, if they think they're getting two big-time prospects for Heath, I don't see it. Because I think he's a short-term rental" before he becomes a free agent.

Cleveland, Atlanta and Pittsburgh are among those clubs who have inquired on Ludwick, who is hitting .240 with 11 homers and 62 RBI this summer.

While the Padres are expected to deal Ludwick because there is virtually no interest on either side of his returning in 2012, one source says, as with Bell, they could opt for draft picks as compensation for losing him via free agency. The Padres believe Ludwick wants at least a three-year deal via free agency and they are not interested in doing that.

Posted on: July 11, 2011 7:54 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 8:11 pm
 

Padres' Bell open to set-up duties down stretch

PHOENIX -- San Diego closer Heath Bell, a man now expecting to be traded, said Monday that he would be fine working as a set-up man for a contender down the stretch this season as long as everyone understands that he will return to being a closer in 2012.

With St. Louis already believed to be hot on his trail, this revelation could spark even more interest in Texas (where Neftali Feliz is closing) and in New York (where the Yankees need help in front of Mariano Rivera).

Bell, a free agent this winter, briefly talked contract extension with the Padres this spring -- but those talks long since have been tabled.

When San Diego won 10 of 13 at one point in late June and early July, it delayed what appeared to be the inevitable. General manager Jed Hoyer certainly wasn't going to unload Bell, reliever Chad Qualls and outfielder Ryan Ludwick and lose what's left of the Padres' fan base at that point.

But a 3-7 trip to Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles to close the first half has left the Padres both 12 games under .500 (40-52) and 12 games behind first-place San Francisco in the NL West.

Worse has been the manner in which the Padres have been losing. They lost 1-0 to the Dodgers on Friday night despite loading the bases with nobody out in the ninth, then they lost 1-0 to the Dodgers on Saturday despite pitching a tag-team no-hitter for 8 2/3 innings.

In fact, the Padres were swept by the Dodgers over the weekend despite holding Los Angeles to 12 hits in the three games. It was a historic weekend: According to the Elias Sports Bureau, no team has held another to 12 hits while getting swept in a three-game series since 1966. Then, the White Sox won three over Washington.

"The last two or three months of the year, I'm good, I'll set up," Bell, who has 27 saves in 37 appearances, said Monday. "Because I think I showed everyone that I can close.

"But I definitely want to close next year."




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