Aaron Cook Rumors
Cook, 34, was recently released by the Phillies, and the Rockies had been expected to pursue him. Cook pitched for the Rockies from 2002 through 2011. He spent last season with the Red Sox, pitching 94 innings with a 5.65 ERA, 1.9 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9. Despite the extremely low strikeout rate, Saunders notes that Cook "believes he can still pitch in the major leagues if given a chance." He may have found the right organization to pursue that goal -- the Rockies, who recently signed Jon Garland to be their fifth starter, don't have a strong starting rotation.
Making his first start in a Rockies uniform tonight, recently-signed Jon Garland made such an impression with his groundball-inducing ways that the club tweeted his groundout to flyout ratio (2.5:1) through five innings.
- Garland has substantial incentives in his contract with the Rockies that could raise its total value to $3.1MM, explains Troy Renck of the Denver Post. In addition to his base $500k deal, which will fully vest if he stays on the 25-man roster for 45 days, Garland can earn up to $1.35MM for innings pitched (the pay starts at 105 IP and increases up to 195 IP) and up to $1.25MM for starts made (with the incentives kicking in at 20 starts and continuing to 32 starts).
- The Rockies are expected to consider the possibility of inking righty Aaron Cook, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post tweeted earlier today. Cook, who was released earlier today by the Phillies, is (like Garland) known as a groundball artist.
- In spite of being sent to Double-A today by the Dodgers, Yasiel Puig has been so impressive that he may enable the club to effectively buy even more young talent from other clubs, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. As Rosenthal explains, if L.A. is able to replace either Carl Crawford or Andre Ethier with Puig, they could then offer to pay for much of the balance of the contracts of those expensive veterans to extract quality prospects from a trade partner. According to an unnamed rival executive, "It's smart actually -- the only way to really build a farm system under the new rules. And you can only do it if you've got big dollars."
- The Kyle Lohse signing was a substantial investment for the Brewers at three years and $33MM, but owner Mark Attanasio says that it will not prevent the club from "being able to make another move," reports Rosenthal. In particular, Attanasio expects to be in a position to re-sign first-baseman Corey Hart, who falls just outside the top 10 anticipated 2014 free agents in MLBTR's TIm Dierkes's 2014 Free Agent Power Rankings. While the Brewers sought to add to their rotation without losing a draft pick when they made an offer to Ryan Dempster before he joined the Red Sox for two years and $26.5MM, Attanasio explained that, "at the time we made the Dempster decision, we thought Kyle would go at a higher price." Finally, Rosenthal notes that Lohse can earn three separate paydays totalling an additional $1MM for reaching 190 innings pitched over each of the next three seasons.
- Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano has been a popular topic of trade speculation, with the presumption being that Chicago would try to get whatever prospects and/or salary relief it could. Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times wonders, however, whether Soriano is now too valuable for the team to consider dealing. For his part, Soriano raves about the team's new front office and coaching staff, explaining how they changed the culture from one in which he felt singled out for the team's failings to one in which, "if we lost, we lost like a team; if we won, we won like a team."
Cook, 34, posted a 5.65 ERA, 1.9 K/9, 2.0 BB/9, 1.44 HR/9, and 58.6% groundball rate in 94 innings for the Red Sox last year. He signed a minor league deal with the Phillies in mid-January. Cook still keeps the ball on the ground, but it's hard to survive with so few strikeouts.
Despite indications to the contrary, the Twins never called to inquire about the availability of pitcher Anibal Sanchez, according to Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500. Sanchez, of course, re-signed with the Tigers for five years and $80MM earlier this offseason. Here's more out of Minnesota, courtesy of Wolfson..
- The Twins still have interest in free agent outfielder Scott Podsednik, but they're not looking to sign free agent outfielder Ryan Sweeney. We recently learned that the Mets aren't among the teams in on Podsednik. The club had brief talks with Sweeney's representatives earlier in the winter.
- Minnesota had interest in signing free agent starter Freddy Garcia in December but they haven't checked in on him since. The Twins have also cut off contact with free agent pitcher Manny Parra. The Twins, along with the Reds and Rockies, were said to be interested in Garcia late last year.
- The Twins have not inquired about free agent shortstop Jason Bartlett, nor free agent second baseman Kelly Johnson.
- The Twins never made an offer to shortstop Cesar Izturis, who signed a minor league deal with the Reds on Wednesday. General Manager Terry Ryan & Co. never had an interest in free agent starter Aaron Cook before he signed with the Phillies either.
- Minnesota could have free agent starter Armando Galarraga on a minor league deal but aren't interested in him. The right-hander hooked on with the Astros on a minor league contract last year after being cut by the Orioles.
The Phillies signed free agent starter Aaron Cook to a minor league deal, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). The Pro Star Management, Inc. client would earn $1.625MM at the MLB level.
Cook started 18 games for the Red Sox in 2012 after signing with Boston last January. The 33-year-old posted a 5.65 ERA with 1.9 K/9, 2.0 BB/9 and a 58.6% ground ball rate in 94 innings. His fastball averaged 89.8 mph, but he generated swings and misses on just 3.7% of his offerings, according to FanGraphs.
Cook, an 11-year MLB veteran, has a 4.60 ERA with 3.7 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 at the big league level. The Rockies also appeared to have some interest in him this winter.
The Orioles showed serious interest in Justin Upton before talks with the Diamondbacks sputtered, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported last night. Here are some more of Rosenthal’s notes from around MLB...
- Rosenthal hears from one executive who expects the Padres to make another significant move. However, the Padres like their group of young starting pitchers and aren’t inclined to make a strong play for one of the remaining free agent starters. San Diego could still trade for a pitcher such as Rick Porcello, Luke Hochevar or Aaron Harang.
- Talks about a deal involving Upton and Chase Headley didn’t progress, Rosenthal reports.
- The Orioles continue seeking starting pitching and Joe Saunders remains a target. The Orioles also checked in on Porcello, according to Rosenthal.
- Though the Orioles spoke with Lance Berkman before he signed with the Rangers, they weren’t interested in spending big for the switch-hitting DH.
- Jeff Karstens, Derek Lowe, Aaron Cook and Jair Jurrjens are among the possibilities the Rockies are considering. The Rockies wouldn’t offer all of those pitchers Major League deals, however.
- Rosenthal suggests free agent reliever Rafael Soriano could be a longshot for the Rockies. Colorado would have to surrender its second round draft pick to sign the Scott Boras client.
- The Phillies continue seeking a right-handed hitting outfielder, Rosenthal reports. They’re still considering free agent Scott Hairston and trade candidates Alfonso Soriano and Vernon Wells. It’s possible the Phillies will go with platoons in both corner outfield positions.
The Rockies have expressed "mild interest" in Jeff Karstens, reports Troy Renck of The Denver Post. Renck reiterates that the team also has some interest in Brandon Webb, plus they remain open to trades for pitching. They have not had conversations about free agents Derek Lowe or Aaron Cook, however.
The Pirates non-tendered Karstens in November rather than pay the 30-year-old right-hander a projected $3.8MM salary in 2013. He pitched to a 3.97 ERA with a 36.8% ground ball rate in 90 2/3 innings for Pittsburgh last season while missing time with shoulder and hip problems. Karstens posted a 3.38 ERA with 5.3 K/9, 1.8 BB/9, and a 46.2% ground ball rate in 162 2/3 innings in 2011.
The Rockies have been on the hunt for pitching this offseason after their staff produced an MLB-worst 5.22 ERA in 2012. So far this offseason they've re-signed Jeff Francis while trading for Wilton Lopez, though they've been connected to a number of free agents as well. Francis, Drew Pomeranz, Christian Friedrich, Jhoulys Chacin, Tyler Chatwood, and Juan Nicasio represent Colorado's returning starters.
The Red Sox have placed Aaron Cook, Felix Doubront, and Andrew Miller on trade waivers, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Cafardo notes that while Doubront won't be going anywhere, Cook is a trade candidate.
In ten starts this season, Cook has a 4.58 ERA with 1.1 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9. The 33-year-old inked a minor league deal with Boston over the winter, worth $1.5MM prorated upon his promotion to the big leagues. The Red Sox waited until the 11th hour to call him up rather than trigger his opt-out clause, but ultimately putting him on the big league roster in early May.
The Red Sox have a 51-51 record after taking two of three from the Yankees in New York over the weekend. Here are the latest rumors surrounding the Red Sox as they host the Tigers at Fenway Park...
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Mike Aviles have drawn interest from rival teams, Alex Speier of WEEI.com reports. The Red Sox are looking to add at the trade deadline, but a modest deal is more likely than a blockbuster.
- The Red Sox remain interested in Justin Masterson, even though they saw him struggle in his most recent start, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports (on Twitter). The Indians have told teams they will consider trading Masterson, who pitched for the Red Sox in 2008-09.
- A few teams inquired on Jacoby Ellsbury, but the Red Sox will likely wait until the offseason to seriously consider trading him, Cafardo reports (on Twitter). The Reds asked about Ellsbury, according to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com (on Twitter).
- The Rangers have pursued Red Sox players more aggressively than other teams, Cafardo reports (Twitterlinks). Texas has scouted both Aaron Cook and Kelly Shoppach and while Rangers officials have backed off on Cook, they maintain interest in Shoppach.
- Here’s the latest on Josh Beckett.
After tonight's 10-3 loss to the Yankees, the Red Sox have a 49-51 record through their first 100 games of the season. Time may be running out for the Sox to determine if they'll make a major acquisition at the trade deadline or if they'll decide to punt on the 2012 season. Here's the latest from Fenway Park...
- Josh Beckett said he hasn't been approached by the team about a trade, nor about waiving his 10-5 rights, reports WEEI.com's Rob Bradford. Beckett said he would consider accepting a deal if approached since "if you’re not wanted somewhere, why stay there?" though GM Ben Cherington "assured me during Spring Training that he wants me here, so as far as I’m concerned, [rumors are] just made-up fodder.” The right-hander stressed that he wanted to remain in Boston.
- The Rangers are interested in Cody Ross and had scouts at Yankee Stadium on Friday, reports Danny Knobler of CBS Sports. A source tells WEEI.com's Rob Bradford that the Red Sox have no plans to deal Ross despite "significant" interest from other teams.
- While the Red Sox are themselves looking for pitching, WEEI.com's Alex Speier thinks the team could be well-served to get something out of "a short-term asset" like Aaron Cook. Teams have had "modest interest" in Cook on the trade market, though Cook's rough start against the Yankees tonight can't help,
- The Marlins are the only team to "officially inquire" about Carl Crawford, tweets Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
- Cherington tells Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter links) that the team has no plans to trade Jacoby Ellsbury, as the Red Sox see Ellsbury as a key step to contending in 2013.
- From earlier today, Cherington discussed Beckett, Ellsbury and other topics during a radio appearance on WEEI's Dennis & Callahan show.