June 2009

Huntington: Snell Deal A “Mistake”

As Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports, Pirates GM Neal Huntington says signing Ian Snell made "all the sense in the world" on paper, but the move failed.

"It certainly feels like a mistake on out part," Huntington said.

Before last season, the Pirates signed Snell to a multi-year deal that guaranteed him $8.6MM. They have the option of keeping him through 2012, but, as Kovacevic points out, it's unlikely they'll pick up the options on his contract.

Snell, who just struck out 17 in Triple A, could soon be someone else's concern. Huntington's been trying to trade him for months and he may be content to dump the $5.75MM remaining on Snell's deal at this point.

Olney On August Moves, Mauer, Indians

After explaining how Ricky Romero's change-up has become such a weapon, ESPN.com's Buster Olney provides us with some new rumors:

  • We should expect a buyer's market in August when few teams will submit waiver claims on players for fear of getting stuck with a contract they can't afford.
  • Some good news for the Twins fans who are dreading the day Joe Mauer hits free agency: his agent, Ron Shapiro, represented Kirby Puckett and Cal Ripken Jr., who both stayed with one team their entire career. Mauer becomes a free agent after next year.
  • Rafael Betancourt, Carl Pavano and Jamey Carroll could be the next Indians moved. None of the three are under contract for 2010.

Odds And Ends: Snell, DeRosa, Kearns

Some links to start the week off…

Estes Hopes To Play In Majors

Shawn Estes told Chris Gabel of the Reno Gazette-Journal that he "retired from Triple A," not from baseball. Earlier in the month we heard that Estes had retired, but his recent comments make it clear that he wants to pitch in the majors again.

He was tiring of the minor league lifestyle and decided not to pitch in Triple A anymore. All the major league teams received an e-mail explaining that any interested club should contact Ned Colletti and the Dodgers, who say they won't ask for a significant return. 

Yankees Rumors: DeRosa, Molina, Duncan

Joel Sherman of the New York Post tells us why the Yankees weren't serious about Mark DeRosa and adds a couple other rumors:

  • They never made a strong push for DeRosa, since they had no logical place to put him.
  • The Yankees will have three catchers when Jose Molina joins Francisco Cervelli and Jorge Posada, but they have no plans to deal Molina.
  • They would consider promoting Shelley Duncan, who has 21 homers in Triple A, if they want a right-handed bat.

Reds Seek Bats

Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Reds are actively seeking right-handed hitting, especially after losing out on Mark DeRosa to the rival Cardinals. Here are a few options for the Reds, who could improve at third base, shortstop and left field:

  • They have considered dealing for Josh Willingham.
  • Ty Wigginton could fit their needs as well.
  • Adding Matt Holliday would be huge for the Reds, but he'd command the biggest return of all.
  • Gary Matthews Jr. could fit in Cincy if the Angels are willing to pay a considerable portion of his contract. The Angels would likely want relief help in return.
  • Since the Red Sox may be prepared to eat a considerable portion of Julio Lugo's salary, the Reds could consider dealing for him and asking for Boston to pay most of his $9MM salary.

Odds & Ends: Indians, Pirates, Zambrano

Some links to wrap up a relatively busy weekend, with more on the way:

Rangers Shifting Focus To Starters?

With starter Matt Harrison hitting the DL, T.R. Sullivan at MLB.com says that Rangers GM Jon Daniels could comb the starting pitching market for help. We've known that the Rangers have been looking for arms, but the priorities could be shifting from RPs to SPs:

"We probably have more internal options in the bullpen than in the rotation. [Starting pitching] is something we're looking at but there are not that many starting pitchers available and I don't expect that to change," Daniels said.

The Rangers field some of the best pitching prospects in baseball, but most aren't close to major-league ready. The team ERA sits at 4.41, which is 19th in the majors and might slip with the depleted depth. Kevin Millwood has been the only reliable piece of the rotation this year.

Texas is now 40-33, one game behind the surging Angels. We checked in on a similar debacle a few weeks ago when Brandon McCarthy hit the DL, and at that time the Rangers were comfortably ahead of the Angels by 4.5 games. The Rangers have plenty of pieces to offer potential suitors, but Daniels believes the market to be "thin." They've been reported as being reluctant to add any salary as well.

If you're Daniels, is it your only choice to stand pat and hope it all pans out? Or is this team for real, and does the market have more valuable pieces to offer than they're letting on? Do we re-visit the ever-fascinating Ben Sheets and Pedro Martinez talks? Discuss your thoughts.

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Brewers, D’Backs Talk Trades

Steve Gilbert at MLB.com talked to Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash, who said there had been "conversations" with the Diamondbacks:

"I think it speaks to what I talked about earlier, that because they are one of the few clubs that have available pieces, the asking price is way too high," Ash said. "So they don't have to make a deal yet."

Gilbert notes that the Brewers are in the market for help in starting pitching and at second base. Though the D'Backs have potential fits there with both Felipe Lopez and Doug Davis in the final years of their contracts, it's unclear if the talks were centered around those players.

The Brewers sit at 40-35, a percentage point above the Cardinals for first place in the NL Central, but were knocked around by the Giants today 7-0 and saw the rival Cards pick up Mark DeRosa last night.

Manuel Wants Bat For Mets?

According to Brian Costello at the New York Post, Mets manager Jerry Manuel had this to say about the Mets' potential need for a big bat:

"If we get below [.500] and we continue to struggle offensively as we are, I think that [a trade] is a no-brainer," Manuel said today. "I think we have to visit that. I think that has to be visited or talked about at some point. It would be dishonest if I said no."

Costello notes that this is Manuel's "strongest statement" for endorsing outside help. The Mets were said to be players for the services of Mark DeRosa, and it seems that the DeRosa trade has upped the pressure level on the front offices of the many teams in playoff limbo.

Is this going to push GM Omar Minaya to make a deal? Is there anyone attainable out there who makes sense for the Mets? Do they have the moveable pieces to get the big bat they desire? Discuss your thoughts here.

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