July 2013

Schierholtz Staying With Cubs

29-year-old Cubs right fielder Nate Schierholtz is one of the better bats on the trade market.  He deserves credit for his strong work this year against right-handed pitching, but it's also a weak market for bats.  Schierholtz is under team control for 2014 as an arbitration eligible player, and MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz suggests a salary in the $4.2MM range.  33-year-old center fielder David DeJesus is another candidate to be moved today; he comes with a $6.5MM club option for 2014.  DeJesus recently returned from a shoulder sprain. The latest on that pair as well as the Cubs' other trade chips…

Earlier Cubs Updates


Orioles Looking For Starters, Bats

1:55pm: The Orioles are lukewarm on Morneau as well as Mike Morse, tweets Scott Miller of CBS Sports.

12:11pm: Saunders is not a target for the Orioles right now, hears Connolly.

12:02pm: The Orioles are interested in a reunion with Joe Saunders, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. They also have some degree of interest in Oliver Perez, he adds.

10:57am: Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets that the Orioles feel the asking prices remain too high in their pursuits of upgrades to their offense and rotation.

10:47am: Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun tweets that the O's kicked around the idea of acquiring Morneau but don't see a fit due to his contract and lack of production. Nothing has heated up in recent days, he adds.

10:23am: The Orioles are still engaged in trade talks for Astros righty Bud Norris and Twins first baseman Justin Morneau, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio (on Twitter).

Baltimore's interest in both players has been well-documented to this point, though they appear to have shown more interest in Norris than Morneau. Norris is controllable for two additional seasons and earning just $3MM in 2013, while the slumping Morneau is a free agent at season's end and is owed an additional $4.6MM through season's end.


Padres Acquire Ian Kennedy

The Padres have bolstered their rotation for the present and future, acquiring righty Ian Kennedy from the division rival Diamondbacks for lefty reliever Joe Thatcher, Double-A reliever Matt Stites, and a compensation round B draft pick, according to a tweet from MLB.com's Corey Brock.  It's a surprisingly light haul for Kennedy, a 28-year-old who is under team control through 2015 as an arbitration eligible player.

USATSI_7329036

Drafted 21st overall by the Yankees in '06, Kennedy joined Arizona in the December 2009 three-team trade with the Yanks and Tigers, at a time when Josh Byrnes was the Diamondbacks' GM.  Byrnes was fired the following year and later landed the GM job in San Diego, while Kevin Towers took over for Arizona.  Clearly, Byrnes has an affinity for Kennedy, who tossed 624 1/3 regular season innings from 2010-12 with a 3.55 ERA and finished fourth in the NL Cy Young voting back in 2011.  Kennedy's walk rate worsened this year, en route to a 5.23 ERA in 124 frames.  His skills suggest something closer to 4.00 moving forward.  As a fly-ball pitcher, Kennedy will likely benefit tremendously from leaving the hitter-friendly Chase Field to a more pitcher-friendly stadium in Petco Park.

Thatcher is a useful left-handed specialist who joined the Padres in a July 2007 trade brokered by Towers.  The 31-year-old has a 2.10 ERA, 8.7 K/9, 1.2 BB/9, 0.90 HR/9, and 42.4% groundball rate in 30 innings this year.  He's faced 70 lefty batters and held them to a .212/.257/.231 line.  Earning $1.35MM this year, Thatcher is under team control through 2014 as an arbitration eligible player.

Stites, a 23-year-old reliever, has a 2.08 ERA, 8.8 K/9, 1.4 BB/9, and 1.04 HR/9 in 52 Double-A innings this year.  Prior to the season Baseball America ranked the 5'11" Stites 27th among Padres prospects.

To clear space on the 40-man roster following the trade, the D'Backs have outrighted Nate Adcock to Triple-A Reno, according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (on Twitter).

The draft pick headed to the D'Backs is San Diego's competitive balance lottery pick, which is the first pick of Comp Round B (between the second and third rounds). As such, it will likely fall in the 70 to 75 range; Comp Round B consisted of picks 69 to 73 in this year's draft. Those picks carried assigned values of between $808K and $759K, according to Baseball America.

Towers and the Diamondbacks clearly thought Kennedy to be expendable with Trevor Cahill and Brandon McCarthy on the mend and Archie Bradley in the minor leagues. Kennedy scored a near-record $4.265MM salary for 2013, his first arbitration year.  MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projects a mild raise to the $5.9MM range for 2014, so there's a financial element to the trade as well. Still, it seems to be an underwhelming return for a pitcher with Kennedy's upside, even in a down season.

As shown in MLBTR's Transaction Tracker, Towers and Byrnes have connected on a pair of past deals for Tony Clark and Scott Hairston back in 2008 and 2007, respectively.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.



Blue Jays Interested In Howie Kendrick

1:30pm: The Angels are likely to keep Kendrick, sources tell Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).  The Halos couldn't find the right match for a starting pitcher but could revisit things this offseason.

10:43am: In recent days, the Blue Jays have expressed geniune interest in Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick, according to Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.  While the Blue Jays aren't buyers in the traditional sense, they are looking at ways of addressing needs for 2013 and beyond.

Kendrick, 30, will earn the prorated portion of $8.75MM in 2013, $9.35MM in 2014, and $9.5MM in 2015 before hitting free agency.  This season, Kendrick is hitting .301/.344/.446 with eleven homers and is looking stronger than he did in 2012.

The Angels have also discussed Kendrick with the Royals as Kansas City combs the market for a second baseman. According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, the Halos would require a front-line, Major League or MLB-ready starting pitcher for Kendrick or Erick Aybar. This morning, DiGiovanna noted that the club is fielding numerous inquiries on Kendrick, who has a no-trade list of a dozen teams.


Padres To Keep Gregerson

The latest on the Padres, who host the Reds today 20 minutes prior to the trade deadline…

Earlier Updates


Yankees Not Close To Landing Third Baseman

The Yankees aren't getting very far in their search for a third baseman, sources tell Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter).  The Marlins still expect that the Bombers will ramp up their interest in Placido Polanco, but the Yankees aren't too keen on that idea at this point.

The Yankees have been linked to Phillies third baseman Michael Young, but things have cooled off on that front.  Young isn't expected to OK a deal to anyone except for the Rangers and even then, the Phillies seem more focused on working something out with the Red Sox than the Yankees. 

As for Polanco, we heard this morning that the Marlins were gauging interest in the third baseman along with outfielder Juan Pierre.  Polanco is hitting just .259/.315 /.301 on the year.


Padres Closing In On Trade For Ian Kennedy

28-year-old Diamondbacks righty Ian Kennedy is having an off year, but he is under team control through 2015 as an arbitration eligible player.  The latest:

Earlier Updates

  • There are legs to the Kennedy to San Diego rumors, tweets Yahoo's Jeff Passan, who says Thatcher would be one of the players going to Arizona.  The Padres are in active discussions to acquire Kennedy, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  Speaking on 620 KTAR today, D'Backs GM Kevin Towers said, "I'm fairly confident that there will be some trade news involving the Diamondbacks probably by the end of the day."
  • Kennedy to the Padres "could happen," hears Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.
  • The D'Backs could move Kennedy as a way to improve the back end of their bullpen, writes Scott Miller of CBS Sports.  They've inquired with the Padres on Luke Gregerson and Joe Thatcher.
  • The D'Backs are still considering offers for Kennedy even with potential replacement Jake Peavy landing in Boston, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.  The Angels would love Kennedy and the Padres are also in.

Latest On Perkins, Willingham, Morneau

The latest on Twins trade chips Glen PerkinsJustin Morneau and Josh Willingham (who is currently on the DL)…

  • The Twins are receiving lots of calls on Perkins but still telling teams they won't trade him, tweets Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. The team is also receiving interest in Willingham, despite the fact that he's currently on the DL.
  • Berardino writes that Willingham is drawing interest, and one rival talent evaluator told him he could see a scenario where Willingham is dealt. GM Terry Ryan spoke to the media about trade chips last night, adds Berardino. While he didn't mention Willingham's name, he referenced the recent trade of Jesse Crain and a previous trade the Twins had made with injured players: "We did that once with the Dodgers, way back in the day, so it can be done."

Earlier Updates

  • An August trade of Morneau is a more likely outcome than a deadline deal, according to Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The Rangers are a long shot to make a run at Morneau, the Orioles have cooled on him and the Pirates have other targets atop their wish list at this time.
  • The Pirates, Orioles and two unidentified teams make up the market for Morneau at this time, writes Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The Rangers don't appear to be a fit, as they're seeking a right-handed bat, and the Yankees are content with Lyle Overbay as a lefty swinging option at first base.
  • Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN tweets that the Twins are willing to eat some of the remaining $4.6MM on Morneau's contract if it means receiving a decent return.
  • Reports from earlier today stated that Morneau wasn't a fit with the Orioles due to his contract and lack of production.

Teams Showing Interest In Marlon Byrd

12:48pm: There are suitors for Byrd but right now, but no one seems to be willing to meet the Mets' asking price, tweets Marc Carig of Newsday.  Meanwhile, Byrd is the only Mets player that has come up in trade conversations (Twitter link).

Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com (on Twitter) notes that the Reds were kicking the tires on Byrd at one point but have since backed off.

12:28pm: While things were quiet on the Marlon Byrd front, the Mets are suddenly getting hits on the veteran, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter).  The Mets have made counteroffers to clubs and are waiting to see if anyone budges.  The Pirates are believed to be among the teams interested in Byrd.

Earlier this week we heard that the Orioles also had some interest in Byrd, but the Mets were unlikely to move him unless they were really blown away by an offer.  This morning, the Mets were contending that they still weren't planning to make any moves, but things might have changed this afternoon.


Tigers Talking Relievers With Blue Jays

The Tigers have been in contact with the Blue Jays regarding bullpen arms, tweets Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.  It was previously reported they were talking to the Giants about Javier Lopez, and the Jays have their own veteran southpaw in Darren Oliver.