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SUNDAY: Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle says Oswalt "would invoke his no-trade clause if the White Sox attempted to acquire him." Ortiz also suggests that despite Scherrer's scouting mission, the White Sox and Astros are not in trade talks.
FRIDAY: According to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune, White Sox special assistant Bill Scherrer "is following Houston." Gonzales seems to wonder if Roy Oswalt could be the target, given Chicago's willingness to take on Jake Peavy's contract.
Pure speculation, but I wonder if the Sox could also be eyeing Miguel Tejada as a third base candidate. Thoughts?
We're getting into the summer months of the season, and the market for this year's deadline is slowly beginning to form. We heard a lot this week about teams identifying needs and creating their midsummer wish lists. Let's take a look back at what's happened in the MLBTR world since last Sunday!
- We'll start with the White Sox, because there's a lot there. The South-Siders acquired Ramon Castro this week, and subsequently DFA'ed Corky Miller. Almost as big of an impact as Jake Peavy, right? In all seriousness though, this is a nice pickup for the Sox, as it prevents them from having a black hole in their lineup every time A.J. Pierzynski sits. Miller was hitting just .205/.262/.282 and had scattered just five hits over his last 31 ABs with the Sox. Kenny Williams sent former first-rounder Lance Broadway to the Mets in exchange. Probably not what they had in mind when they drafted him.
- This isn't the end of dealing for the White Sox, though. The Sox are looking for starting pitching, and have their sights set on names like Erik Bedard and Roy Oswalt. Oswalt presents an interesting possibility; it's rumored that he might welcome a change of scenery.The Sox were scouting the Astros this week. I imagine Oswalt would command a bounty similar to what was offered for Peavy. This trade makes sense, though. The Sox need pitching and the Astros need to get younger in a hurry.
- Lots of teams looking for bats as well, and I'm sure a lot of fans out there drool over the thought of their teams acquiring Adrian Gonzalez. Unfortunately, they'll all have to keep dreaming. Gonzalez isn't available.
- The Cardinals are one team specifically looking for a bat, with the news that Troy Glaus may not be able to play at all in 2009. Mark DeRosa is a possibility, or they could buy extremely low on someone like Garrett Atkins and hope for a rebound.
- You can add the Giants to that list as well, and they've recently inquired about the availability of Dan Uggla. Uggla's been off to a terrible start, but he's picked it up the past few weeks, and his plate discipline is still there. When the line drives start dropping in, I expect his numbers to improve greatly.
- The Giants have been linked to Nick Johnson as well, and at this point, it's only a matter of who he gets traded to and when, not whether or not he will. The Nats are ready to start moving veterans, and Johnson's off to a phenomenal start to 2009, hitting .337/.438/.457. Mike Rizzo said that anyone on his team is available, if it makes a stronger team for the future. I've got to imagine that excludes Ryan Zimmerman, though.
- The month of May was an absolutely ridiculous one for Joe Mauer. Mauer posted a line of .414/.500/.838 this month, crushing 11 home runs, driving in 32, scoring 27, and drawing 19 walks to just 16 strikeouts. How much is Mauer worth when he reaches free agency? Mauer has said he'd like to stay in Minnesota, and Twins fans certainly seem convinced that their hometown hero will stay in the Twin Cities, but will a team like the Red Sox lure him away with one of the most lucrative contracts ever?
- Clint Hurdle is out as the Rockies' manager, but general manager Dan O'Dowd would like to keep him around in a front office role. The Rockies are off to a terrible start to the 2009 season. This move wasn't really a surprise to anyone.
- 2010 Options updates: Diamondbacks, Cardinals, Brewers, and Astros.
- And on a nice note to end this week (and this month, for that matter), let's once again congratulate Tim and his wife on their upcoming baby! Ben Nicholson-Smith will step up his role here at MLBTR for a few months. He already did a very nice job on the chat this week.
The St. Petersburg Times reports that the Rays' injured closer, Troy Pervical, may not be ready to call it quits on his career just yet.
Percival, 39, is working with a chiropractor, and needs to get feeling back in his right arm before he makes a decision on the season. Manager Joe Maddon commented on Percival's situation:
"He's going to continue to work on trying to get the feeling back in his arm, right shoulder down through the bicep area to his elbow," Maddon said. "We're just on hold."
Maddon had originally said he wouldn't be surprised if Percival hung it up.
Don't expect Kenny Williams to just sit back and wait for Jake Peavy to change his mind. According to Joe Cowley at the Chicago Sun-Times, the White Sox general manager "is rumored to be smack dab on the trail of the likes of an Erik Bedard or Roy Oswalt." Where Cowley heard these rumors, we do not know. Manager Ozzie Guillen told Cowley he never knows what's next with Kenny.
Cowley also has comments from A.J. Pierzynski, Jim Thome, and Clayton Richard on the situation.
We heard speculation from Jon Heyman earlier this week that if the Mariners move Bedard, they could require a package similar to or greater than what was offered for Peavy. I can't see Williams ponying up like that, but both aces will require a sizeable bounty from anyone who targets them.
Clarifications have been made to the original post. – Tim Dierkes
It's become a trend in baseball to hold top prospects back at the beginning of the season. We've seen the Rays do this with David Price, and the same situation would have occurred with Evan Longoria had it not been for injuries on the big league club. The Orioles finally just called up Matt Wieters this weekend, and the Brewers employed this method with Ryan Braun back in 2007.
Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi has a different outlook on the situation, and says that he has no regrets in making the decision to give Toronto's prized outfield prospect Travis Snider a shot on the big league club to start the season:
"I don't get caught up in the whole, 'Oh, we better hold this guy back, because we control him' [attitude]. I think what you want to do is take your best players and, if they have to go back down, they go back down. You can still get that time back a couple months down the road."
Snider certainly earned his way onto the club, hitting .381 while clubbing four home runs and driving in 10 runs through 22 games this Spring, but has gone into a deep slump after a hot start. In the month of May, Snider had posted a line of .213/.237/.243 and 11 strikeouts with just one walk.
Baltimore's Andy MacPhail commented on his own situation with Wieters, using Snider's struggles to support his decision to keep Wieters in the minors:
"We think Wieters is ready," MacPhail was quoted as saying in the Toronto Sun. "We don't want to be like Toronto with Snider and return the player to the Minors."
Did Ricciardi rush Snider to the Majors? What would the MLBTR readers have done in that situation, given Snider's strong Spring Training performance?
Blue Jays beat writer Jordan Bastian chatted with J.P. Ricciardi about the trade deadline.
"While that's still two months down the road, Ricciardi did say that he'd "owe it to the players" to pursue help at the deadline if the club was still performing this well."
According to Bastian, Ricciardi isn't concerned with pitching and would seek "'another thumper' for the middle of the lineup" depending on who's available and how much ownership is willing to expand payroll.
Some bullet points from around the internet:
- Despite immensely enjoying his experience with the Red Sox, Brad Penny is not letting the trade rumors distract him, says Rob Bradford of WEEI.
- Chris Gimenez was promoted to replace Grady Sizemore who hit the 15-day disabled list today. Gimenez can play corner outfield and serve as a backup catcher, says Anthony Castrovince.
- River Ave. Blues takes a look at the Yankees 25-man roster and suggests better options for the bench.
- The Mets and Phillies are both seeking a starting pitcher. The Phillies want a front-of-the-rotation guy while the Mets want a bottom-of-the-rotation guy. New York Post columnist Larry Brooks wonders in jest which role Pedro Martinez could fill.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe has his share of rumors every Sunday. Let's have a look.
- The Tigers, Giants, and Red Sox have either scouted or discussed Corey Hart. While the Sox have the pitching the Brewers need, with Mark Kotsay expected back soon and Rocco Baldelli not on the disabled list, I'm not sure an everyday player like Hart makes as much sense for Boston as he does for the Giants. Thoughts?
- Jeff Francoeur used to carry a Red Sox Mastercard until his teammates made him cancel it. Cafardo says one Sox official was unaware of any interest in Francoeur, who has struggled for two years now.
- The Astros would consider dealing Miguel Tejada if they could net a pitching prospect in return. Cafardo notes Tejada's reputation as a great teammate. MLBTR speculated the White Sox could be interested in him as a solution at third base.
- Speaking of White Sox third basemen, watch out Josh Fields. Cafardo notes Gordon Beckham was promoted from Double-A to Triple-A and moved to third base.
- Cafardo also notes Jake Peavy's willingness to reconsider a trade to the White Sox down the line, and that the White Sox "will surely make that deal again" if in contention.
Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune says "general manager Ken Williams will continue to seek ways to improve the White Sox" and that "more deals seem imminent." Gonzales notes that the pool of prospective players will expand on June 15 when teams can deal free-agent players signed last winter without their consent.
"If the White Sox put themselves in serious contention, there's no question… Williams will do whatever it takes to move his team a step or two further. Take Friday's late-night trade, as an example. It might seem minor in the grand scheme of things, adding backup catcher Ramon Castro for middle reliever Lance Broadway, but with all due respect to Corky Miler, Castro gives the White Sox a greater presence with the glove and with the bat in games which A.J. Pierzynski doesn't start. [Manager Ozzie] Guillen knows that Williams isn't finished with roster adjustments if other needs arise."
Despite starting the month with 12 losses in 16 games, the White Sox have finished strong in May, going 8-3 with 4 straight series victories. We know they're seeking starting pitching and there's speculation that they have been scouting Roy Oswalt. Jake Peavy insists he could reconsider a deal later in the season. White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf implied nobody is untouchable. How would you improve the White Sox?
The Chicago Tribune has some rumors for our consumption:
- Would Roy Oswalt waive his no-trade clause if he were dealt? The paper suggests he just may want a change of scenery. He is disappointed that the Astros haven't made an effort to acquire Jake Peavy and has seemed "at odds with manager Cecil Cooper."
- The Yankees and Braves are apparently possible destinations for Mark DeRosa. MLBTR discussed the Yankees as well as the Mets and Cardinals. The Indians are seeking Major League-ready pitching for the 34 year-old DeRosa, who will be a free agent this offseason.
- Peavy "insists he could reconsider" a trade to the White Sox later in the season, although the scenario seems a long shot.