Andrelton Simmons Rumors
The day after he was rocked for six earned runs in 1 2/3 innings, the Phillies placed lefty John Lannan on the DL with a strained quadriceps in his left knee. There's no word yet on who will replace him in the rotation, but he could be out six-to-eight weeks. Tonight, the fourth-place Phillies and Cole Hamels host Adam Wainwright and the first-place Cardinals. Elsewhere in the NL East:
- "Let's just say if this continues, certainly we've gotta start visiting that here pretty soon," Mets manager Terry Collins told Mike Francesa of WFAN in regard to a question about quality reinforcements including top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler. The Mets' rotation has struggled beyond Matt Harvey and Jon Niese. GM Sandy Alderson was noncommittal, telling Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News, "It was always a case that it would be Zack’s sufficiency and the major-league team’s need. If those two things merge, the need and the performance converge, then it is a possibility. That could happen sooner or it could happen later." Ackert hears that people within the organization privately do not feel Wheeler is ready, plus the Mets would like to avoid the pitcher achieving Super Two status after the 2015 season (necessitating a promotion in mid-June or later).
- Meanwhile, another top Mets prospect won't be seeing Citi Field anytime soon. Catcher Travis D'Arnaud, acquired from Toronto in the R.A. Dickey trade, fractured a bone in his left foot yesterday in a Triple-A game.
- The Nationals' depth is on display, explains James Wagner of the Washington Post, with Kurt Suzuki seamlessly taking over as the starting catcher after Wilson Ramos suffered a hamstring injury.
- Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons is now represented by SFX, MLBTR has learned. He'd previously been with The Sparta Group, up until the August switch. A few new additions to our agency database include Jonathan Gray (advised by Jay Franklin of BBI Sports Group), Oswaldo Arcia (Martin Arburua), and Tony Cingrani (Curtis Dishman).
- "He's decent for a club that needs a starter. There are worse No. 5 starters in the big leagues right now, but he's not the pitcher he used to be," a scout told Jon Heyman of CBS Sports in reference to the Marlins' Ricky Nolasco. Nolasco, Miami's highest-paid player by a long-shot at $11.5MM, is a strong candidate to be traded this summer.
In yesterday's round of Justin Upton rumors, we heard that the Rangers were still in touch with the Diamondbacks, who also met with the Mariners in the evening. As we wait to see if Tuesday brings further developments on the Upton front, we'll track the latest updates right here:
- The Braves, Mariners, and Indians were all collecting background information and character assessments on Upton to ensure he'd be a good fit, one source told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic today.
- Upton has drawn "active interest" from the Mariners, Rangers, and Indians today, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
- The D'Backs are looking at three-or-more team deals, tweets MLB.com's Steve Gilbert, as the Rangers are not willing to trade Jurickson Profar or Elvis Andrus and the Mariners are not a match.
- The Braves and Diamondbacks have concluded there's not going to be a fit for an Upton trade, tweets ESPN's Jayson Stark. The Braves do not intend to trade shortstop Andrelton Simmons
- Although the D-Backs have been aggressive in shopping Upton in Nashville, no team has stepped up to offer a frontline shortstop, tweets Bob Nightengale of USA Today
- MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince notes that Upton trade rumors are becoming an annual tradition, and wonders if this could be the year he's finally moved. "It sounds like they kind of want to," said a rival NL scout. "But it's hard to pull the trigger."
The Mets are talking R.A. Dickey trades, the Marlins' highest-paid player wants out and the team is shopping its second-highest, and the Phillies have moved on to other outfielders with Angel Pagan off the board. More from around the NL East...
- Nationals GM Mike Rizzo does not "see a fit financially or term-wise" with free agent lefty Sean Burnett, he told reporters including Mark Zuckerman today, but he won't rule anything out as the team seeks a second lefty in the bullpen to pair with the newly re-signed Zach Duke.
- Braves GM Frank Wren spent part of the day talking to the agents of free agent bench candidates, tweets David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. O'Brien says the team is believed to have an offer out to bring back outfielder Reed Johnson.
- Wren told reporters including MLB.com's Mark Bowman that while no player is untouchable, shortstop Andrelton Simmons is "unreachable." Pitching prospects Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado aren't off-limits, but "if we’re going to trade one of those guys it’s going to be a significant deal," explained Wren.
- Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post has more from Nolasco's agent Matt Sosnick, who explained that his client would "be a completely happier player playing somewhere else."
The third episode of Rosters and Rumblings, the new podcast featuring MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith and Jason Martinez of MLB Depth Charts, was recorded today. Check out the podcast for discussion of the non-tender deadline, the David Wright extension and the Russell Martin signing. Here's the latest from around the league...
- The Diamondbacks want Andrelton Simmons from the Braves in a Justin Upton trade, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Earlier this month we heard the Rangers tried to acquire Simmons so they could flip him to Arizona for Upton.
- Meanwhile, Dave O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal Constitution says (on Twitter) the Braves have interest in free agent outfielders like Ryan Ludwick, Shane Victorino, and Cody Ross even after signing B.J. Upton.
- Both the Braves and Reds are trying to acquire a leadoff hitting left fielder, reports ESPN's Jim Bowden (on Twitter). Both teams had interest in Denard Span before he was traded to the Nationals.
- The Reds have had conversations with the representatives for Victorino and Angel Pagan, GM Walt Jocketty confirmed to John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer. "Nothing formal though," added the GM, who confirmed speaking with Ludwick's agent as recently as last week.
- Even after claiming and signing Phil Humber, Astros GM Jeff Luhnow told MLB.com's Brian McTaggart that he is still in the market for pitching (Twitter link).
It was reported over the weekend that the Rangers attempted to acquire Andrelton Simmons from the Braves in order to flip him to the Diamondbacks as part of a package for Justin Upton. Danny Knobler of CBS Sports takes the story one step further, adding that the Rangers are so interested in Upton that they were willing to flip top prospect Mike Olt for Simmons to facilitate the trade. Knobler reports that the D-backs want Simmons, but the Braves will keep him rather than making a run at Upton to fill their own corner outfield needs (Twitter links).
The attachment to Simmons isn't a surprise. He batted .289/.335/.416 with three homers in 49 games this season, but was far more impressive with his glove. Simmons posted an astounding 31.6 UZR/150, and John Dewan's Fielding Bible pegged him at +19 runs despite totaling only 426 innings.
Arizona would like a young shortstop in a trade for Upton, but the Rangers are reluctant trade either Elvis Andrus or top prospect Jurickson Profar. The 24-year-old Olt ranked 43rd on Baseball America's Top 100 prosspect list prior to 2012, but emerged as one of the game's top prospects with a monstrous season at Double-A. He batted .288/.398/.579 with 28 home runs and made his Major League debut, appearing in 16 games for the Rangers down the stretch.