July 2013

Minor Moves: Adcock, Loe, Reynolds, Asencio, Pineiro

Here are your minor moves from Monday and Tuesday with the trade deadline having passed…

  • Nate Adcock was outrighted off the 40-man roster by the Diamondbacks, according to the Pacific Coast League transactions page. Adcock has an alarming 7.35 ERA in 89 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level this season between the D'Backs and Royals organizations.
  • The Braves outrighted Kameron Loe Triple-A Gwinnett after he cleared waivers, according to the International League transactions page. Loe was designated for assignment to clear 40-man roster space for Scott Downs. He threw 42 1/3 innings of 3.19 ERA ball at Triple-A Gwinnett before being called up to the Major League team last week.
  • Greg Reynolds cleared outright waivers and was assigned to Triple-A Louisville by the Reds, according to the team's assistant director of media relations, Jamie Ramsey (on Twitter). That seems somewhat surprising, as the former No. 2 overall draft pick posted a 2.54 ERA with 5.6 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 in 127 1/3 innings at Louisville this season before being designated for assignment. Ramsey also notes that the Reds signed Brandon Short to a minor league deal after the outfielder was released by the White Sox.
  • The Orioles have announced that right-hander Jairo Asencio has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A as well. Asencio was designated for assignment over the weekend.
  • The Orioles also released right-hander Joel Pineiro from Triple-A Norfolk yesterday, the team announced on Twitter. Pineiro, a veteran of 12 Major League seasons, was injured all season and didn't throw a pitch for the Tides in 2013. He last appeared in the bigs with the Angels in 2011 and has a career 4.41 ERA in 1754 1/3 innings.
  • Left-hander Duane Below has signed with the Kia Tigers of Korea, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (Twitter link) and Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net (also via Twitter). Below posted a 2.44 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 99 2/3 innings between the Triple-A affiliates for the Marlins and Tigers this season. He has a 4.27 ERA in 78 Major League innings.
  • Nine players are in DFA limbo: Steve Susdorf of the Phillies, Joe Martinez of the IndiansJason Bay of the Mariners, Brad Hawpe of the Angels, Yusmeiro Petit and Hunter Strickland of the Giants, Ted Lilly of the Dodgers, Brandon Inge of the Pirates and Carlos Pena of the Astros.

July Trade Recap: AL West

The trade deadline has come and gone, and while it wasn't as active as deadlines in recent years, plenty of action still took place in each division. Here's a recap of the trades involving AL West teams…

Astros

Angels

Athletics

  • Acquired second baseman/third baseman Alberto Callaspo from the Angels in exchange for second baseman Grant Green.

Mariners

  • Did not make a trade.

Rangers

Synopsis

Predictably, the Astros were the most active team on the trade front, dealing veterans in exchange for prospects to continue to bolster their farm system. The trade of Maxwell was a surprise, as he hadn't been involved and any rumors and was marketed as a building block prior to the season.

The A's and Angels pulled off a rare intra-division trade, with Oakland giving up on a former first-round pick in exchange for an immediate (and needed) upgrade at second base. The Angels also landed a high-strikeout arm with questionable command for Downs, who is a free agent at season's end.

The Rangers made perhaps the biggest trade of July, landing Garza from the Cubs. However, they neglected to add a bat, which could prove costly down the stretch, especially if Lance Berkman is lost for the year and Nelson Cruz ultimately serves a suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis investigation.

The Mariners stood pat entirely, which is questionable considering the reported interest in players like Mike Morse, Oliver Perez, Kendrys Morales, Joe Saunders and Raul Ibanez — all of whom are free agents at season's end. At 12.5 games out of first place and 8.5 games back from a Wild Card spot, this seemed to be a prime opportunity to improve for the future. However, many have speculated that GM Jack Zduriencik feels the need to finish with as strong a record as possible, given that he's not under contract for 2014 at this time.


Orioles Acquire Bud Norris

The Orioles have acquired Bud Norris and an international draft slot from the Astros in exchange for outfielder L.J. Hoes, left-hander Josh Hader and a 2014 Competitive Balance pick. The Orioles won the second pick of Comp Round A in this year’s Competitive Balance lottery. In 2013, that would’ve been the No. 35 pick, which carried a value of $1.588MM. The Astros will send the No. 91 international bonus slot in the deal, which is valued at $213K.

Norris

Norris, 28, has a 3.93 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 126 innings with the Astros this season. Despite being Houston’s highest paid player, Norris is earning just $3MM in 2013. He is controlled through 2015 and is eligible for arbitration for the second time this offseason. With Norris now in Baltimore, Erik Bedard becomes the highest-paid player on the Astros’ roster at just $1.15MM — an unthinkable concept in today’s game.

Hoes, a 23-year-old outfielder, ranked as Baltimore’s No. 6 prospect prior to the season according to Baseball America. Selected by the Orioles in the third round of the 2008 draft, Hoes is batting .304/.406/.403 in 430 plate appearances for Triple-A Norfolk this season. BA notes that Hoes is a pure hitter with a nice line-drive swing with plenty of patience that should lead to high on-base percentages. If his power develops, he profiles as an everyday left fielder, according to BA.

Hader ranked 19th among Orioles prospects prior to the season according to BA, but MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo has him ranked fifth among O’s prospects in the midseason edition of his list, thanks to a strong season at Class-A Delmarva. In 85 innings this season, the 19-year-old Hader has a 2.65 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9. According to Mayo, Hader sits 89-93 mph with his fastball, and his curveball and changeup both project to be average pitches at the least.

The Orioles were the most aggressive team in trades this July, acquiring Scott Feldman, Francisco Rodriguez and Norris to bolster their pitching staff. The Astros, meanwhile, dealt Norris and Jose Veras to continue to build what has become a strong farm system.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported that the two sides had reached an agreement for Hoes and a Competitive Balance pick (Twitter links). Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reported that Hader was involved in the deal (on Twitter).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.



Dodgers Acquire Drew Butera

The Dodgers acquired catcher Drew Butera from the Twins, tweets ESPN's Jayson Stark.  The Twins will receive a player to be named later or cash.

Butera, 29, appeared in two games for the Twins this year.  At Triple-A, he has a .229/.258/.325 line in 90 plate appearances.  He missed a chunk of time this season with a broken left pinkie finger.  He'll provide organizational depth at catcher, notes Yahoo's Tim Brown.  Drafted by the Mets in the fifth round in 2005, Butera was traded to the Twins in the July 2007 Luis Castillo deal.  He's earning $700K this year as a first-time arbitration eligible player.  The Dodgers already had an open spot on their 40-man roster to accommodate Butera.

And thus ends your 2013 MLB Trade Deadline.


Giants, Javier Lopez Have Mutual Interest In Return

Javier Lopez is staying put and the left-hander says he and the Giants have already discussed his impending free agency and there is mutual interest in a return, tweets Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com.  The veteran said that he signed his two-year extension with every intention of playing it out and is glad that he'll get that chance, tweets Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.

The reliever's name popped up multiple times throughout the day in trade rumors but nothing came to fruition.  With minutes to go before the deadline and multiple teams still linked to Lopez, Giants skipper Bruce Bochy said he was confident Lopez would staying put, according to Alex Pavlovic of the Mercury News (via Twitter).

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported that the Giants kept a high asking price on Lopez and the Reds were among the teams vying for him, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.  The Indians and Giants also had discussions regarding Lopez, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported yesterday the Giants asked the Indians for young starter Danny Salazar, which was not going to happen. 

The Tigers were believed to be interested in Lopez, but Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (Twitter links) reported that Detroit never tried to land the lefty.

Zach Links contributed to this post.


Yankees Getting Offers For Phil Hughes

2:41pm: The Braves talked to the Yankees about Hughes but it won't happen, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.  Sherman hears the Braves' interest was mild, anyway.

1:39pm: The Yankees are getting offers for righty Phil Hughes now, tweets Bob Nightengale of USA Today.  Hughes, 27, has a 4.58 ERA, 7.5 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, 1.61 HR/9, and 30.1% groundball rate in 112 innings for the Yankees this year and will be eligible for free agency after the season.  Hughes' home run problems have been much worse at Yankee Stadium, so a change of scenery leading up to free agency would be to his benefit.


Orioles Making Progress On Deal For Bud Norris

Reports this morning have indicated that the Orioles are still in on Bud Norris, who is controllable through 2015 via arbitration. Norris has been one of the most talked about players leading up to this season’s deadline. Here’s the latest on the 28-year-old…

  • The Orioles are making progress on a trade for Norris, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).

Earlier Updates

  • The Orioles are still in the mix for Norris, while the Giants are doubtful, tweets Stark.
  • Talks for Norris have accelerated in the past hour, and the Pirates, D’Backs and Orioles have been in contact, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link).
  • ESPN’s Jayson Stark tweets that the odds of a Norris trade are up to 75 percent, and multiple teams are still involved.
  • The D’Backs are a “distant maybe” for Norris at this point, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
  • Knobler also tweets that the Indians have had some recent talks with the Astros regarding Norris, though it’s not clear how strong their interest is. Cleveland is reportedly working hard to acquire a starter.
  • The Rangers have interest in acquiring Norris, possibly for the purpose of flipping him for a hitter, according to Danny Knobler of CBS Sports (Twitter link).
  • The Braves have indeed jumped into the mix, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter). The Orioles, Pirates and D’Backs remain possibilities, and there’s a general sense that Norris will be dealt, adds Passan.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports disagrees, reporting that the Braves aren’t in on Norris and never have been (Twitter link). MLB.com’s Mark Bowman tweets a similar report.
  • Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review tweets that the Pirates have the interest and ability to put together a package of lower-level prospects if that type of return interests Astros GM Jeff Luhnow.
  • The Giants and Pirates continue to show a lot of interest in Norris, while the Rangers and D’Backs are in the background as well, according to Peter Gammons of the MLB Network (Twitter link).
  • The Astros need to lower their asking price on Norris significantly for the Orioles to be serious players, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com (Twitter link).
  • Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle writes that the Astros have standing offers for Norris but are hoping someone ups their bid as the deadline nears. The Pirates, Orioles and Diamondbacks have shown interest, and a fourth team is in the mix as well. Offers to this point “have been pretty soft,” Smith adds.
  • The Astros appear to be collecting their final offers for Norris, tweets ESPN’s Jayson Stark. The Giants could be a dark horse for Norris, and the Orioles are in the mix, according to Stark.
  • Interest in Norris is picking up, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (on Twitter). The Orioles are in the mix, and Cafardo reports that the Braves have re-joined the talks as well.
  • The Diamondbacks and Pirates don’t seem to be aggressively pursuing Norris, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (on Twitter). Heyman notes that there’s a chance the Astros hang onto Norris.

Royals Acquire Justin Maxwell

The Royals have acquired Justin Maxwell from the Astros, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).  The Astros receive minor league pitcher Kyle Smith, tweets Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.Maxwell

Maxwell, 29, can play all three outfield positions and is hitting .241/.311/.387 with a pair of homers and four steals in 151 plate appearances this season. He slugged 18 homers last season for Houston and has hit lefties at a .253/.370/.455 clip throughout his career. Maxwell is controllable through the 2016 season and will be eligible for arbitration for the first time this offseason.

Smith, 20, has a 2.85 ERA, 8.3 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, and 0.78 HR/9 this year in 104 1/3 High-A innings.  Prior to the season, Baseball America ranked him 12th among Royals prospects, noting a No. 3 starter ceiling.

While many have speculated that the Royals should ultimately be sellers, the team certainly took a win-now approach this offseason in trading a prospect package highlighted by Wil Myers for James Shields and Wade Davis. They're riding a seven-game winning streak that has pushed them back above .500. Maxwell should be able to platoon with David Lough in right field and fill in around the outfield when needed.

Maxwell is the second significant piece to be moved by the Astros this week, as general manager Jeff Luhnow traded closer Jose Veras to the Tigers in exchange for outfield prospect Danry Vasquez and a PTBNL earlier this week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.


Latest On Michael Young

The latest on Phillies third baseman Michael Young

Earlier Updates

  • Young would approve a trade to the Yankees, according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News (on Twitter).
  • Two executives believe the Phillies and Red Sox are discussing Young, and the Yankees would have interest if that falls through and Young would waive his no-trade for them, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
  • Young is unlikely to waive his no-trade clause for anywhere but Texas, hears Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald, while WEEI's Rob Bradford has a source who's not confident Young will accept a trade to any team.
  • It is doubtful the Red Sox will make a move for Young, tweets Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.
  • As of a few minutes ago the Phillies hadn't called the Red Sox about Young's willingness to go there, and Boston's interest is not certain, tweets Peter Gammons of Gammons Daily.
  • Young is unlikely to get through waivers in August, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
  • Young has changed his mind and is now willing to waive his no-trade clause to go to the Red Sox, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  Previously, he was only willing to go back to the Rangers.

Pirates Attempted To Land Mark Trumbo

The Pirates tried to make a play for Angels first baseman/outfielder Mark Trumbo, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter).  Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter links) heard rumblings of interest from the Pirates earlier today and noted that they might have been open to parting with a young starter.

Meanwhile, Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (via Twitter) hears that the Angels had no interest in a Trumbo deal with the Bucs.

Even though Trumbo's name has come up at times in recent years due to a surplus, the Halos are high on the 27-year-old and didn't want to part with him this summer.  In 448 plate appearances this season, the 2012 All-Star has a .249/.313/.473 slash line with 23 homers.