Tag:Yankees
Posted on: July 26, 2011 8:24 pm
Edited on: July 27, 2011 6:56 pm
 

Yankees have best shot at Ubaldo

Of all the teams that showed interest in Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez -- and there were a lot -- the Yankees have the best chance of actually landing him, according to major-league sources.

The Rockies are still telling teams that they don't need to trade Jimenez, who is 27 years old and is signed to a team-friendly contract that could run through 2014. But it's clearer than ever that the Rockies are willing to make a deal, with the Reds, possibly the Red Sox and even the Indians as other teams that match up well enough to get a deal done.

The Rangers showed signficant interest in Jimenez early on, but sources said Wednesday that they were all but out now, in large part because the teams just don't match up on the value placed on prospects. Another impediment to a Rockies-Rangers deal is the lingering frustration over last year's failed talks for Michael Young, but it appears the bigger problem was a lack of a match on prospects.

Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd said earlier this month that he would require "a Herschel Walker-type deal" to trade Jimenez, but it appears that O'Dowd would be willing to accept something less than that, perhaps along the lines of deals that were made in recent months for Matt Garza, Zack Greinke and Cliff Lee.

The Yankees have basically declared top prospect Manuel Banuelos off-limits in talks, but they have enough depth that they could put together an attractive package without him. O'Dowd is said to want three or four players in return for Jimenez, and it's thought that some combination of Jesus Montero, Austin Romine, Dellin Betances, Ivan Nova or Phil Hughes could convince the Rockies to make a deal.

The Reds also have enough prospects to make a trade work, but they have indicated a strong reluctance to deal catcher Devin Mesoraco, the prospect who most interests the Rockies.

Talks with the Red Sox apparently haven't advanced as far, but it's believed that they would need to build a package around pitcher Kyle Weiland.

The Indians are also in on Jimenez, as first reported by Ken Rosenthal of Foxsports.com. But a source familiar with the talks described them as a longshot at best.

Other teams that showed early interest in Jimenez include the Tigers and Blue Jays, but the chances of a deal with either of those teams appear far more remote at this point.

The Yankees' pieced-together starting rotation has performed well, but they still don't have a clear No. 2 starter behind ace CC Sabathia. The Yankees have looked at many available starting pitchers, including Hiroki Kuroda of the Dodgers and Wandy Rodriguez of the Astros, but Jimenez is the one guy who could slot in behind Sabathia in their rotation and make them more dangerous in October.


Posted on: July 24, 2011 9:01 pm
Edited on: July 24, 2011 11:16 pm
 

3 to Watch: The White Sox (or white flag) edition

The White Sox are having the most disappointing season in baseball. The White Sox could still win the American League Central.

The White Sox could be 1 1/2 games out of first place by Wednesday. Or the White Sox could be sellers by Wednesday.

It's a time of year where things change quickly, with teams assessing their needs and chances daily.

Even by that standard, the White Sox are a team to watch this week.

They begin the week two games under .500, and 4 1/2 games behind the first-place Tigers. The Tigers are in Chicago for three games starting Monday night.

By the time the series ends Wednesday, the White Sox could be a true contender. Or they could be so far out of it that they go into full sell mode, looking to deal a pitcher like Edwin Jackson and perhaps outfielder Carlos Quentin.

Or maybe they're still left guessing whether they're in it or not. Maybe all they can do is to contemplate possible deals like the one the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on Sunday, where they would trade a major leaguer for another major leaguer (in this case, a pitcher like Jackson for Cardinals center fielder Colby Rasmus).

There are other teams to watch this week, notably the Rays, who have fallen 6 1/2 games out in the wild-card race after losing two of three in Kansas City. But the Rays were already telling teams that they don't plan to move pitcher James Shields.

But no team has been as disappointing this year as the White Sox, and no team will be as interesting to follow over the next few days.

On to 3 to Watch:

1. Partly because of the trade deadline, and partly because Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee won't start in the series, the Giants' visit to Philadelphia doesn't feel as big as it probably should. It's still worth watching, and it's worth noting that the Phillies allowed fewer runs over the first 100 games of the season (332) than any team since the 1989 Dodgers. Vance Worley is one of the surprising reasons for that, and Worley faces Tim Lincecum in Giants at Phillies, Tuesday night (7:05 ET) at Citizens Bank Park.

2. The White Sox began the second half by beating Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer on back-to-back days in Detroit, then missed a chance to sweep the series when they lost to Brad Penny. They get Verlander and Scherzer again in this series, with Verlander facing Mark Buehrle in Tigers at White Sox, Tuesday night (8:10 ET) at U.S. Cellular Field. Also worth watching: Jake Peavy's velocity when he faces the Tigers on Wednesday. In Peavy's last start, in Kansas City, his average fastball was below 90 mph.

3. The Mariners are also a team to watch this week, and not just because they've lost a club-record 15 straight. On a market short of starting pitcher, the M's have made Jason Vargas and Doug Fister available, and those two start Monday and Tuesday against the Yankees. They have not made Felix Hernandez available, and they're hoping that Felix won't be trying to break a 17-game losing streak when he faces Phil Hughes in Mariners at Yankees, Wednesday afternoon (1:05 ET) at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees will be hoping that Hughes looks a lot better than he did in his last start, last Friday against the A's. The M's have won each of Hernandez's last five starts against the Yankees.



Posted on: July 24, 2011 9:00 pm
 

3 to Watch: The White Sox (or white flag) edition

The White Sox are having the most disappointing season in baseball. The White Sox could still win the American League Central.

The White Sox could be 1 1/2 games out of first place by Wednesday. Or the White Sox could be sellers by Wednesday.

It's a time of year where things change quickly, with teams assessing their needs and chances daily.

Even by that standard, the White Sox are a team to watch this week.

They begin the week two games under .500, and 4 1/2 games behind the first-place Tigers. The Tigers are in Chicago for three games starting Monday night.

By the time the series ends Wednesday, the White Sox could be a true contender. Or they could be so far out of it that they go into full sell mode, looking to deal a pitcher like Edwin Jackson and perhaps outfielder Carlos Quentin.

Or maybe they're still left guessing whether they're in it or not. Maybe all they can do is to contemplate possible deals like the one the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on Sunday, where they would trade a major leaguer for another major leaguer (in this case, a pitcher like Jackson for Cardinals center fielder Colby Rasmus).

There are other teams to watch this week, notably the Rays, who have fallen 6 1/2 games out in the wild-card race after losing two of three in Kansas City.

But no team has been as disappointing this year as the White Sox, and no team will be as interesting to follow over the next few days.

On to 3 to Watch:

1. Partly because of the trade deadline, and partly because Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee won't start in the series, the Giants' visit to Philadelphia doesn't feel as big as it probably should. It's still worth watching, and it's worth noting that the Phillies allowed fewer runs over the first 100 games of the season (332) than any team since the 1989 Dodgers. Vance Worley is one of the surprising reasons for that, and Worley faces Tim Lincecum in Giants at Phillies, Tuesday night (7:05 ET) at Citizens Bank Park.

2. The White Sox began the second half by beating Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer on back-to-back days in Detroit, then missed a chance to sweep the series when they lost to Brad Penny. They get Verlander and Scherzer again in this series, with Verlander facing Mark Buehrle in Tigers at White Sox, Tuesday night (8:10 ET) at U.S. Cellular Field. Also worth watching: Jake Peavy's velocity when he faces the Tigers on Wednesday. In Peavy's last start, in Kansas City, his average fastball was below 90 mph.

3. The Mariners are also a team to watch this week, and not just because they've lost a club-record 15 straight. On a market short of starting pitcher, the M's have made Jason Vargas and Doug Fister available, and those two start Monday and Tuesday against the Yankees. They have not made Felix Hernandez available, and they're hoping that Felix won't be trying to break a 17-game losing streak when he faces Phil Hughes in Mariners at Yankees, Wednesday afternoon (1:05 ET) at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees will be hoping that Hughes looks a lot better than he did in his last start, last Friday against the A's. The M's have won each of Hernandez's last five starts against the Yankees.


Posted on: July 24, 2011 6:18 pm
 

Putting 15 straight losses in perspective

The Yankees have been around for 111 years, and they've never lost 15 games in a row.

Neither have Cubs or the White Sox, or the Indians or the Giants (New York or San Francisco).

It's not unheard of for a team to lose 15 in a row, but it's not exactly common. And it's not good.

When the Mariners lost their 15th straight Sunday in Boston, they became just the 12th team in the last 50 years with a losing streak that long. Ten of the previous 11 went on to lose 100 games, while the 11th (the 1982 Mets) lost 97.

What kind of team loses 15 straight? Teams like the infamous 1962 Mets, who went on to lose 120. Teams like the 1988 Orioles, who lost 21 straight to start the season.

The Mariners' streak is the longest in the big leagues since the 2005 Royals lost 19 straight, and ties the third longest in the last 30 years. If they lose Monday in New York, the Mariners will become just the fifth team in the last 40 years to lose at least 16 straight.

It's already a club record -- and it would already be a club record for 13 of the other 29 big-league teams.

The Yankees club record is 13, set in 1913. They haven't even lost 10 in a row since then.

The White Sox club record is 13, set in 1924. The Giants' is also 13, set in 1902 and tied in 1944. The Indians set a record with 12 straight losses in 1931.

The Mariners have only been around since 1978.

Oh, and those other teams that have never had a 15-game losing streak? Here's the list:

Angels, Astros, Blue Jays, Brewers, Diamondbacks, Marlins, Padres and Rockies.


Category: MLB
Posted on: July 24, 2011 3:20 pm
Edited on: July 24, 2011 3:54 pm
 

Dodgers think Kuroda would OK deal

Hiroki Kuroda has generated lots of interest on the trade market, but also lots of intrigue.

The reason for the interest is obvious. Plenty of teams would like to add a starting pitcher, Kuroda is a decent starting pitcher (3.52 career ERA, 3.19 this year) on a one-year contract, and his Dodgers team is obviously out of the race in the National League West. The Tigers have been very interested in Kuroda, and the Yankees, Red Sox, Indians and Brewers are all believed to have shown interest, as well.

The reason for the intrigue: Kuroda has a full no-trade clause, and some people in the game believe that he would invoke it to block a trade.

But the Dodgers continue to explore possible trades, and according to sources they believe that Kuroda could be persuaded to go to a contending team for the final two months of the season. The same sources said that if Kuroda decides to pitch in the major leagues again next year, he would likely only agree to pitch for the Dodgers.

Despite their financial troubles, the Dodgers don't appear to have any interest in dealing their more established stars. The only other Dodgers player whose name regularly comes up in trade talks is Jamey Carroll, who has drawn interest from Brewers.


Posted on: July 19, 2011 4:15 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2011 5:01 pm
 

Do the Yankees need relief?

With the development of David Robertson, the probability that Rafael Soriano will return from the disabled list and the continued excellence of Mariano Rivera, the Yankees have been suggesting to teams that they're happy with their bullpen.

But eyes were raised in the scouting community when the Yankees had one high-level person in San Diego last week, then dispatched another to Kansas City this week.

The Yankees have long had interest in Royals closer Joakim Soria. They've also shown interest this summer in Padres relievers Mike Adams and Heath Bell.

The Royals haven't been very open to trading Soria. Teams that have spoken to them say the most available players on the roster are starting pitchers Jeff Francis, Bruce Chen and Kyle Davies, outfielder Jeff Francoeur and utility man Wilson Betemit. It's unlikely that the Yankees would see any of the Royals starters as a significant upgrade. Betemit could be a short-term fit, while Alex Rodriguez is out after knee surgery.

Many teams have shown interest in the Padres relievers, including the Rangers, Reds and Phillies, in addition to the Yankees.


For more trade deadline news, click here.
Posted on: July 17, 2011 10:45 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2011 6:11 am
 

3 to Watch: The streaking Rangers edition

Since 1996, the Yankees have five World Series titles and no 11-game winning streaks.

The Rangers just won 11 in a row for the second straight year.

Since 2003, four teams have had a 12-game winning streak. Three of those four didn't make the playoffs, and the fourth didn't make the World Series.

Winning streaks make you look like you're the best team in baseball. All too often, the long season proves that you're not.

Winning streaks feel like they ought to be important. History shows that all too often, they're not.

So what does all this mean for the Rangers, who have swept the Orioles, A's and Mariners for their 11 straight wins?

Nothing, except that Texas has once again taken command of the American League West race, and has a chance to open up an even bigger gap with three games against the Angels this week in Anaheim.

With the Mariners' collapse -- they've lost nine straight, scoring just 11 runs total -- and with the A's continuing struggles, the Angels are the lone remaining challenger to Texas. And even the Angels have now fallen four games behind.

The Angels are supposed to be the Rangers' opposites. The Rangers are third in the league in runs, while the Angels are fourth from the bottom. The Angels are second in the league in pitching, while the Rangers are . . . moving up.

In fact, if there's anything to take from the 11 straight games they've won, it's that the Rangers' pitching has been outstanding. The team ERA through the 11-game streak is an impressive 2.09 (although maybe the three weak opponents had something to do with that).

Last year, the Rangers' 11-game winning streak came in June, and it was quickly followed by the Cliff Lee trade that turned Texas into a World Series team for the first time. It's hard to know whether this streak will be followed by any kind of impact trade -- or if the Rangers even need that kind of impact deal this year.

All we really know is this: If the Rangers win Tuesday, they'll be the first team since the 2006 Red Sox to win 12 in a row. If they win Tuesday and Wednesday, they'll be the first team since the 2002 A's to win more than 12 in a row (the A's won 20).

And whether the streak ends at 11, 12 or more, we also know that history tells us it's not as important as it seems.

On to 3 to Watch:

1. There's still no game-changer like Lee on the July trade market, but the market did get a lot more interesting with the news that the Rockies would listen on Ubaldo Jimenez. The asking price is admittedly huge -- according to the reliable Jon Heyman of SI.com, the Rockies wanted Manuel Banuelos, Delin Betances, Ivan Nova and Jesus Montero from the Yankees -- but at least there is an asking price. Most likely, Jimenez will make his next scheduled start, in Braves at Rockies, Tuesday night (8:40 ET) at Coors Field, but you never know. It's a safer bet that scouts will congregate in Denver, where Derek Lowe is scheduled to start for the Braves a night before Jimenez is scheduled for the Rockies.

2. Rangers manager Ron Washington chose Jered Weaver to start the All-Star Game, but he also agreed to Angels manager Mike Scioscia's request that Weaver pitch only one inning. That enabled Weaver to start Saturday in Oakland (where he won for the 12th time this year), and it also set up Weaver to start against fellow All-Star C.J. Wilson in Rangers at Angels, Thursday afternoon (3:35 ET) at Angel Stadium.

3. I'm still not sure who baseball's best pitcher is -- Verlander? Halladay? Felix? I do know that CC Sabathia is baseball's winningest pitcher (he's 14-4, with wins in each of his last seven starts), and that he's also baseball's hottest pitcher (5-0, 0.45 in his last five starts, with nine walks and 50 strikeouts in 39 2/3 innings, with a .449 OPS against). I also know that Sabathia has an All-Star matchup coming up, in Yankees at Rays, Thursday night (7:10 ET) at Tropicana Field. And I know that this is the last game of what the Rays saw as a critical 10-game stretch against the Yankees and Red Sox. By Thursday, the Rays figure to have a better idea of whether a run at the playoffs is realistic.


Posted on: July 9, 2011 7:15 pm
Edited on: July 9, 2011 7:29 pm
 

Fan who caught 3,000: 'Mr. Jeter deserved it'

NEW YORK -- As they were being whisked away by Yankees security, Raul Lopez turned to his 23-year-old son Christian.

"All I said is, 'The ball is worth some money. What do you want to do?'" Raul Lopez said later.

Here's what Christian Lopez wanted to do: He wanted to give the 3,000-hit ball right back to Derek Jeter.

"I mean, Mr. Jeter deserved it," Lopez said. "Money's cool and all, but I'm only 23 years old, and I have time to make it."

He's 23 years old, a one-time defensive lineman from St. Lawrence University, who lives in Highland Mills, N.Y., about an hour north of Yankee Stadium. He still has student loans to pay off. He's headed to graduate school (although Verizon, his current employer, will pay for that).

But he's also a huge Yankee fan -- his license plates honor Babe Ruth, his favorite player -- and he felt strongly that giving the ball back to Jeter was the right thing to do.

"That's who he is," Raul Lopez said proudly. "My son would get $1 million and shrug his shoulders."

They got the tickets for Saturday as a birthday present to Christian from his girlfriend. They were sitting in left field, and when Jeter hit his third-inning home run, the ball came right to them.

Raul Lopez was actually the one with the first chance to catch it, but he couldn't hold it ("My dad has awful hands," his son joked). It rolled to Christian Lopez, and he covered it.

"I've recovered a few fumbles," he said.

He told Yankee security he wanted to meet Jeter. They gave him front-row seats for Sunday's game, four suite-level season tickets for the remainder of the season (and postseason), and three Jeter-signed bats, three Jeter-signed balls and two Jeter-signed jerseys.

And he was thrilled.

His dad was . . . proud.

Raul Lopez first said he would have done the same thing. But he also said he had told Christian, "If you were still in school, you wouldn't be giving that ball away."


 
 
 
 
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