July 2010

Rosenthal’s Full Count Video: Salty, Braves, Cards

Ken Rosenthal has a new Full Count video up, so let's dive in…

  • The Red Sox scouted Jarrod Saltalamacchia hard before acquiring him this afternoon, and they feel that he is throwing better and will benefit from a change of scenery.  18 months ago the cost for Salty was Clay Buchholz, so they feel he's worth the gamble considering the uncertain futures of Victor Martinez and Jason Varitek.
  • The Braves didn't need either Kyle Farnsworth or Rick Ankiel, but picking up both improves their depth considerably. Ankiel will be the regular center fielder against righties, platooning with Melky Cabrera, while Farnsworth will help lessen the burden on Takashi Saito and Jonny Venters. The Braves are clearly going for it in Bobby Cox's final season.
  • It seems odd that the Cardinals would trade Ryan Ludwick given their offensive inconsistency this year, but the team likes what Jon Jay has done and they'll save big when Ludwick goes to arbitration for the final time next season.
  • Relative to its competition, no team did as poorly as the Mets at the deadline. They were outbid for Ramon Ramirez, and the Cubs wanted no part of a Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez for Carlos Zambrano swap. The Cubbies are hopeful that Big Z will come back and rebuild his value down the stretch.

Odds & Ends: Duffy, Tigers, Yankees, Reds, Red Sox

Some leftovers in the wake of another trade deadline…

  • I'll be appearing on Sporting News Radio at 8:25pm PT tonight to talk about the deadline. You can listen in here.
  • ESPN's Jayson Stark named his trade deadline winners and losers, with the Rangers, Padres, and Yankees among the teams earning praise.
  • The Phillies released Triple-A outfielder Chris Duffy, reports Matt Gelb of The Philadelphia Inquirer (via Twitter).
  • Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski told Steve Kornacki of MLive.com that he "had a chance to do something surprising and big," and that it was like "getting the wind knocked out of you" when it fell through. He didn't elaborate any further, so we'll have to keep playing the guessing game.
  • Joel Sherman of The New York Post says the Yankees took on $4.8MM at the deadline, more than any other team (Twitter links). The bankrupt Rangers came in second at $4.1MM. 
  • Reds GM Walt Jocketty told MLB.com's Mark Sheldon that he was working on some deals in recent days, but they "fell apart at the end." 
  • ESPN's Buster Olney tweets the Red Sox finished second in the Kerry Wood race, ditto the Rays and Lance Berkman, both of whom ended up with their biggest rival.
  • Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider tweets that Yunesky Maya's deal with Washington will be made official within the hour. 
  • The Padres inquired about Jacoby Ellsbury before picking up Ryan Ludwick, but were told he's not available according to ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes (Twitter links).
  • ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that the Dodgers took on about $3MM with all their deadline moves. Their financial situation has been in question basically all season.
  • Chad Tracy has exercised an opt-out clause in his minor league contract with the Yankees and is now a free agent, tweet Conor Foley with the Triple-A Scranton Yankees.
  • Barret Loux has joined the Cotuit Kettleers of the Cape Cod League according to the team's official Twitter feed. Loux was the sixth overall pick in last month's draft, but recently failed his physical with the Diamondbacks and could be looking to rebuild his stock.
  • The Royals traded minor league catcher Jeff Howell to the Twins for future considerations according to milb.com's official Twitter feed.

Quiet Deadline For Blue Jays

Many of the best trade chips in baseball play for the Toronto Blue Jays, but the team held onto all of them when their rivals didn’t meet the club’s asking price. Scott Downs, Jason Frasor, Kevin Gregg, Jose Bautista and John Buck remain in Toronto for one simple reason: in the end, no team presented GM Alex Anthopoulos with an overwhelming offer.

“I don’t think we were that close today,” Anthopoulos said. “There were things we had on the table that were available to us, but not enough to make us make a trade.”

A year ago today, the Jays held onto the biggest trade chip in baseball: Roy Halladay. This season Anthopoulos targeted the same kinds of players that his predecessor, J.P. Ricciardi did.

“The greatest challenge we have is getting those elite players,” Anthopoulos said. “We’re always going to continue to shoot high and try to get those impact players.”

Multiple teams considered Scott Downs an impact reliever. The 34-year-old may have been the best left-handed reliever available, but he remains a Blue Jay. After a few months, the rumors and speculation became a bigger part of everyday life for Blue Jays relievers.

“It started to,” Downs said. “I can’t lie, it started to a little bit, but it’s a business.”

Downs, Frasor, Gregg and Buck could potentially bring the Blue Jays draft picks in the 2011 draft. If the four players maintain their current standings in the Elias rankings and all turn down offers of arbitration from the Blue Jays, the team could be working with as many as six extra picks in next year’s draft. It’s a big ‘if,’ but one the Blue Jays were keenly aware of.

“It’s absolutely part of the criteria,” Anthopoulos said. “You look at players that are free agents that could have compensation attached to them and you have a lot of options.”

Many teams liked Jose Bautista, but the MLB home run leader is still in Toronto. As far as he’s concerned, that’s a good thing.

“There were a lot of rumors out there,” Bautista said. “But the end result is I’m still here and this is where I wanted to be.”

The July 31st deadline means the end of non-waiver trades, but there’s still the potential for deals. Anthopoulos expects to explore trade possibilities next month, but most of his trade chips wouldn’t clear waivers. August will likely be quieter than July, but the Blue Jays are open to making deals.

“I’d say we’d be active in terms of exploring the waiver wire, talking to clubs, but in terms of actually getting a deal done, impossible to say,” Anthopoulos said. 

Players Not Traded At The Deadline

Even with all of the moves that occurred prior to this afternoon's non-waiver trade deadline, there are still plenty of players that did not change teams even though we thought they would. Let's recap the guys that did not move this year…

  • Adam Dunn: Nationals GM Mike Rizzo wanted to be blown away in any Dunn deal, and even though several clubs inquired, he never found an offer to his liking. Dunn isn't a lock to clear trade waivers in August.
  • Jose Bautista: The Major League homerun king drew plenty of interest for obvious reasons, but his versatility gave him even more value than your typical slugger. The Blue Jays are content keeping their top hitter after no one was willing to meet their demands.
  • David DeJesus: Nothing but a case of bad luck here, DeJesus tore a ligament in his thumb crashing into the wall last week, ending his season prematurely.
  • Joe Beimel: Lefty relievers are always on the move at the deadline, but Colorado couldn't find a taker for Beimel. He could easily be on the move next month.
  • Brett Myers: Even though Houston gutted their team by dealing Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman, they chose to not only hang onto Myers, but they're close to giving him a multi-year extension.
  • The Blue Jays Bullpen: The trio of Scott Downs, Jason Frasor, and Kevin Gregg were very much available, but the Matt Capps trade set the market, and no one was willing to go there for any of these guys.
  • Adam LaRoche & Kelly Johnson: The Diamondbacks held a mini-firesale, but the right side of their infield stayed put. Both could be had in August, LaRoche more likely than Johnson.
  • David Aardsma & Brandon League: Seattle was expected to shop their end-game bullpen duo, but with both players under team control for a few more seasons, the Mariners weren't desperate to move either. No one blew them away with an offer, so Aardsma and League stayed put.

For every team that made a move to improve, there was another that didn't do anything. Here is a look at the clubs that were unable to pull the trigger on a deal…

  • Red Sox: Even though the Sox picked up Jarrod Saltalamacchia, GM Theo Epstein told ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes that it was an "empty feeling" not being able to add a reliever or outfield depth.
  • Mets: The Amazins were reportedly after both rotation and bullpen help, but they didn't make a single move before the deadline.
  • Giants: GM Brian Sabean did add some reinforcements for his bullpen, but he did not add any offensive help despite casting a wide net.
  • Brewers: Milwaukee's deadline plans took a big hit when Corey Hart injured his wrist, keeping him on the bench for the last week or so. Even though Prince Fielder's name was mentioned in rumors, he was unlikely to be moved unless someone offered GM Doug Melvin a package he couldn't refuse.
  • Athletics: Like the Brewers, the A's deadline plans were sabotaged by injury. Ben Sheets hit the disabled list with an elbow issue, though the team didn't seem interested in moving him anyway. GM Billy Beane never seemed fond of moving Coco Crisp either.
  • Reds: Cincinnati was a somewhat surprise contender for both Cliff Lee and Dan Haren, but GM Walt Jocketty ended up sitting on his hands and making no trades before the deadline.
  • Rockies: Stuck trying to figure out if they were buyers or sellers, the Rockies didn't move any of their veterans: Aaron Cook, Brad Hawpe, and Melvin Mora among others.

There are sure to be plenty of moves made during the waiver period in August, so these teams will still have ample opportunity to fill these holes. If you're unclear how post-July 31st trades occur, make sure you check out our primer. Last year we saw players like Scott Kazmir, Jim Thome, Carl Pavano, Alex Gonzalez, Brad Penny, Aubrey Huff, Billy Wagner, Jon Garland, and Ivan Rodriguez change teams in August, so there are definitely going to be quality players available on the market next month.

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2010 Trade Deadline Recap

There was certainly no shortage of moves not just today, but in the several days leading up to this afternoon's non-waiver trade deadline. The dominoes started to fall when the Rangers beat out the Yankees for Cliff Lee and Dan Haren landed with the Angels, and the action hasn't stopped since. Here's a recap of all the major moves that were made recently…

AL East

AL Central

AL West

NL East

NL Central

NL West

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Red Sox Designate Jeremy Hermida For Assignment

5:11pm: WEEI.com's Alex Speier says the Red Sox will continue to explore deals for Hermida in August if he clears waivers, which Speier says is a near certainty (Twitter links). Hermida could end up back in Boston's farm system if they don't find any takers.

2:40pm: The Red Sox designated outfielder Jeremy Hermida for assignment, tweets NESN's Heidi Watney.  The 26-year-old signed with the Sox as a free agent after being non-tendered by the Marlins, but hit just .203/.257/.348 in 171 plate appearances.  He dealt with rib and forearm injuries from a collision with Adrian Beltre.

Giants Acquire Ramon Ramirez

The Giants have acquired righty reliever Ramon Ramirez from the Red Sox in exchange for minor league pitcher Daniel Turpen

Ramirez, 28, had a 4.46 ERA with 6.6 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 42.1 innings out of Boston's bullpen this season. There is approximately $555K left on his contract this season, and he is arbitration eligible in each of the next two seasons.

Turpen, 23, had a 4.09 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 50.2 innings for San Francisco's Double-A affiliate this season, working mostly in relief. The 254th overall pick in the 2007 draft was not ranked as one of the Giants' 30 best prospects before the season according to Baseball America. 

WEEI.com's Rob Bradford first reported the deal while Henry Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle added some details.

Mike Axisa contributed to this post.

White Sox, Rays, Angels Asked About Manny Ramirez

3:47pm: Dodgers GM Ned Colletti says he believes Manny will stay with the team for the rest of the year, tweets Nightengale.

12:49pm: Brown says the Angels are not the third team he was referring to earlier.  ESPN's Jayson Stark tweets that there are absolutely no indications the Dodgers are trading Manny today. 

12:36pm: The Angels also asked about Manny, tweets Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times.  I wonder how recently that happened.

12:26pm: The White Sox haven't heard a counter-offer from the Dodgers on Manny, tweets USA Today's Bob Nightengale, and the Sox are moving on.

11:35pm: The Dodgers asked the White Sox for Dayan Viciedo in exchange for Ramirez, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com on Twitter. The Manny market is heating up, according to Yahoo's Tim Brown on Twitter. The Rays, White Sox and a mystery team are all involved. The Dodgers are considering dealing Manny, according to Brown, who explains that the Dodgers are not shopping him. The left fielder is said to be open to a trade.

11:18am: The Sox intend to make one more run at Manny today, tweets RosenthalYahoo's Steve Henson tweets that the Dodgers would love to move Manny but they don't want to eat his contract.

11:15am: SI's Jon Heyman tweets that Manny appears amenable to going to the White Sox but the Dodgers want big prospects back.

11:06am: The Rays inquired on Manny a while back and it went nowhere, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

10:28am: The White Sox made a failed run at Manny Ramirez, report Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  Ramirez has over $7MM remaining on his contract, and Rosenthal tweets that the Sox wanted the Dodgers to pay all but $1MM and did not want to send any players to Los Angeles.  This was apparently what Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times was referring to when he said GM Kenny Williams was trying to "shock the world" before yesterday's Edwin Jackson trade.

Though the Sox were rejected, Manny makes for an interesting DH target for multiple teams.  Ramirez is having a strong year statistically, but he was otherworldly after the '08 trade to the Dodgers.  Obstacles abound: Manny has a full no-trade clause, he's on a rehab assignment for a calf strain, and as we mentioned he has over $7MM remaining on his contract (much of it deferred).  The contract makes Ramirez an August trade candidate, if the Dodgers feel they can spare him.

Red Sox Acquire Jarrod Saltalamacchia

The Red Sox acquired catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia from the Rangers, tweets Dan Roche of WBZ TVWEEI's Alex Speier tweets that the Red Sox are sending Roman Mendez, Chris McGuiness, a player to be named later, and cash to Texas in the deal. ESPN's Jayson Stark tweets that Boston will send $350K the Rangers' way.

The 25-year-old Saltalamacchia was hitting .244/.326/.445 with 11 homers in 270 plate appearances for the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate this season. He's a career .251/.313/.388 hitter in 874 big league plate appearances, and is coming back from a case of the yips, meaning he was having trouble making normal throws back to the pitcher. Salty is owed approximately $152K for the remainder of the season, and may qualify as a Super Two after the season. He was optioned to Triple-A by the Red Sox immediately after being acquired.

Mendez, 20, has a 6.56 ERA with 9.9 K/9 and 5.4 BB/9 in A-ball this season, though Baseball America considered him Boston's 23rd-best prospect before the season. They noted that he has one of the best arms in the system, touching 97 mph with his fastball. 

McGuiness, 22, has hit .298/.416/.504 with 20 doubles and 12 homers in A-ball this season, playing first base exclusively. He was not among Boston's top 30 prospects before the season, though that could change after his big year.

Mike Axisa contributed to this post.

Braves Inquired On Chone Figgins

3:38pm: The Braves asked the Mariners about the availability of Figgins, tweets Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times, and were denied.  It seems odd to me that Figgins would be unavailable – would he even be claimed on waivers next month?

2:35pm: The Mariners approached the Braves about taking Chone Figgins off their hands, tweets ESPN's Jerry CrasnickCrasnick adds that the Braves are also making a late bid for a reliever.

1:43pm: The Braves are working on potential deals for hitters and relievers, tweets David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Consitution, and there's a "reasonable chance" something gets done by the deadline.