Andy Oliver Rumors

Pirates Acquire Andy Oliver

The Pirates acquired lefty Andrew Oliver from the Tigers for catcher Ramon Cabrera, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Oliver, 25, was drafted by the Tigers in the second round in 2009.  He was once pretty highly-regarded and had a taste of the Majors, but in 2012 his Triple-A walk rate soared to 6.7 per nine innings.  Baseball America has described him as "a power lefty who needs to throw more strikes."  Oliver had a dust-up with the NCAA in '08, winning a lawsuit against them after he was suspended for having an adviser in talks with the Twins.

Cabrera, 23, spent most of 2012 in Double-A, hitting .276/.342/.367 in 428 plate appearances.  He's a high-contact switch-hitter with a questionable arm, wrote BA.


AL Central Notes: Boesch, Oliver, Asdrubal Cabrera

Here are a few quick notes out of Nashville relating to AL Central clubs:

  • According to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (Twitter link), the Tigers are telling teams that Brennan Boesch and Andy Oliver could be had in a trade.
  • While the Red Sox are one of six teams on Asdrubal Cabrera's no-trade list, a source tells WEEI.com's Alex Speier that the Indians shortstop would be open to a deal and Boston's presence on that list wouldn't preclude a trade. The Yankees, Tigers, Nationals, Giants, and Mets are the other clubs on Cabrera's no-trade list.
  • Assuming A.J. Pierzynski doesn't re-sign with the White Sox, the club will be in the market for a left-handed bat, writes Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com.

Draft Notes: Diamondbacks, Zimmer, Red Sox, Astros

The latest on the MLB draft, which has reached its conclusion after three busy days… 

  • The Diamondbacks are "close" to agreeing to terms with first-round pick Stryker Trahan, tweets Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic.  The high school catcher was tabbed with the No. 26 pick.
  • The Royals appear to be close to a deal with fifth-overall pick Kyle Zimmer, tweets Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star.  The right-hander will likely start with the club's Arizona League affiliate but may go to Idaho Falls instead.
  • The Red Sox are nearing deals with supplemental first round selection Pat Light and second rounder Jamie Callahan, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports (on Twitter).
  • ESPN.com's Keith Law reviews the draft class of each National League team, noting that he loves what the Astros did. The Padres impressed Law early on, and he liked the Nationals' selection of Lucas Giolito.
  • A legal dispute in Ohio could impact the future use of advisors, as Darren Heitner explains in a piece at Forbes.com. The MLBPA has warned agents that a case involving the former representatives of Andy Oliver “could represent a significant threat” to agents by placing restrictions on who can represent athletes who live or attend school in Ohio.
  • There have been lots of pre-draft agreements between teams and players, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick hears (Twitter link). "It's a bigger joke this year than it's ever been,'' one agent told Crasnick.


Tigers Notes: Oliver, Marquis, Fister

The Tigers are looking for starters and relievers. Here's the latest on their trade talks:

  • Scouts tell Yahoo's Jeff Passan that the Tigers are dangling lefty Andy Oliver on a number of trade fronts including Hiroki Kuroda, Ubaldo Jimenez and Jason Marquis (Twitter link).
  • The Tigers and Mariners are engaged in active trade talks, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter links). Detroit is interested in Doug Fister and a reliever.
  • The Tigers are more interested in right-handed relief than left-handed relief, according to Morosi (on Twitter).

Hiroki Kuroda Rumors: Sunday

Hiroki Kuroda will listen to anything the Dodgers present to him before next Sunday's trade deadline, but as we learned yesterday, the team has yet to approach him about waiving his no-trade clause for any specific destination. With the Tigers, Indians, Yankees, Rangers, and Red Sox potentially in the mix for the right-hander, let's keep tabs on today's rumors here, adding the latest updates to the top of the list:

  • A scout who spoke to Yahoo's Jeff Passan (Twitter link) thinks the Tigers could be the favorites for Kuroda, and that they may not have to give up top prospects Jacob Turner, Andy Oliver or Nick Castellanos to land him.
  • We've already heard that Cleveland is targeting Kuroda, and Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer confirms (via Twitter) that the Indians have talked to the Dodgers about a deal.
  • Danny Knobler of CBS Sports (Twitter link) hears the Dodgers think Kuroda might agree to go somewhere for the next two months. The Dodgers believe, however, that if the right-hander is pitching in the Majors in 2012, it will be in Los Angeles.

Tigers “Comfortable” With Pitching Staff

Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski says he’s “comfortable” with the pitchers he has now, but expects to remain “open-minded” about potential changes or additions to the staff.

“We feel good where our pitchers are now,” Dombrowski said on a conference call with reporters.

The Tigers are content with their left-handed relievers, especially since the club expects a strong season from Daniel Schlereth. However, the front office will at least consider adding another southpaw to the ‘pen.

The Tigers’ rotation – led by Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello and Phil Coke – has its top four starters set and Armando Galarraga has an early lead on prospects like Andy Oliver for the fifth starting job. Dombrowski pointed out that a youngster could impress a win a starting job in Spring Training, as Porcello did two seasons ago. Not surprisingly, the Tigers are “not looking to trade” their young pitchers.

Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reported earlier today that the Tigers are considering veteran starters, including Brad Penny, to create competition for the fifth rotation spot.


Odds & Ends: Tigers, Orioles, Manny, Astros, Uribe

Happy birthday to two former All-Star catchers!  Future Hall-of-Famer Ivan Rodriguez turns 39 today, while Angels manager Mike Scioscia turns 52.

Some news items…


Meetings Rumors: A’s, Tigers, M’s, Red Sox, O’s

Baseball's general managers met in Orlando today and discussed potential changes to the collective bargaining agreement. MLB Executive Vice President Rob Manfred told reporters that he's optimistic about reaching a new CBA with the MLB Players Association and eager to hear the opinions of baseball's GMs. Manfred declined to go into detail on the talks, but the GMs addressed a number of hot stove topics with MLBTR soon afterwards. Here are the details (and be sure to follow @mlbtrorlando for more updates):

  • The A's are off to a busy offseason start, but it's not intentional. "I don't think any particular reason other than opportunities presented themselves when they did," A's GM Billy Beane said. "It wasn't by design or anything like that. [David]  DeJesus was somebody we inquired on back in August when he was hurt and we didn't control the pace of that negotiation, because they didn't move him until they were ready to move him."
  • Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski says the Tigers could add left-handers, right-handers or both to their bullpen this winter.
  • The Tigers expect Andy Oliver to be a quality big league pitcher, but they aren't counting on him for their 2011 rotation, according to Dombrowski.
  • Asked who will close for his team in 2011, Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik praised David Aardsma's recent body of work. Zduriencik also said he doesn't expect Milton Bradley's history with manager Eric Wedge to be an issue. 
  • The Mariners opened the 2010 season with a heavily right-handed bullpen and Zduriencik says "it'd be nice to have a left-hander or two out there" in 2011.
  • Red Sox GM Theo Epstein says the Red Sox need to get to know Andrew Miller and Taylor Buchholz before he knows specifically what to expect from the team's new acquisitions. He does like "the possibility of real upside" for both pitchers, and was impressed by Buchholz's 2008 season with the Rockies.
  • Epstein says the Red Sox bullpen is far from a finished product despite the acquisitions. "We probably have to acquire one or two relievers through trade or free agency and we will. I really believe in the guys we have in the back: [Jonathan] Pabelbon, [Daniel] Bard and possibly [Felix] Doubront. If he's not in the rotation, he could be a very valuable bullpen piece."
  • Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail says there haven't been major developments with free agents Cesar Izturis or Ty Wigginton since the O's expressed interest in both when the offseason ended.
  • For more GM Meetings coverage, see what Jed Hoyer of the Padres, Neal Huntington of the Pirates and Andrew Friedman of the Rays had to say.

Tigers Looking For Offense, Interested In Dunn

5:02pm: ESPN's Buster Olney says that the Tigers could avoid having to deal top prospects by acquiring someone like Jose Guillen, who's owed a substantial amount of money. As Olney points out, the Tigers haven't minded adding payroll at the deadline in the past.

Olney also notes that the Tigers did have scouts watching Jayson Werth over the weekend.

3:22pm: Alex DiFilippo of MLB.com writes that Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski is adamant about not trading top prospects for a rental player. Specifically, Dombrowski mentioned Andy Oliver and Jacob Turner:

"Other clubs look at us and say, 'Well, they are desperate so maybe they will trade us Oliver and Turner,' " Dombrowski said. "Well we aren't. I'm not meaning to say that anyone is untouchable. I'm not going to give away blue-chip young players for a guy for two months. It just doesn't make sense…"

Given reports of the Nationals' sky-high asking prices for Dunn (they asked for Gordon Beckham from Chicago), one side will have to back down from those demands for a deal to be worked out.

2:24pm: The Tigers suffered a big hit to their 2010 offense when they lost Magglio Ordonez for 6-8 weeks with a broken ankle. Ordonez, 36, was in the middle of a rebound season after seeing a sharp drop in his power numbers in 2009.

MLB.com's Bill Ladson tweets that in the wake of this injury, the Tigers now have "great interest" in acquiring Nationals slugger Adam Dunn to fill the void.

Acquiring Dunn is likely of such great interest not only due to how it would help their own club, but also due to how it could throw a wrench into the plans of a different team. Dunn's biggest suitor has currently been one of the teams that the third-place Tigers are chasing — the first-place Chicago White Sox.

Detroit's offense has been strong this season, as indicated by their .758 team OPS, good for seventh in all of baseball. However, with Ordonez out and rookie Brennan Boesch in the midst of a large slump, it makes perfect sense that the Tigers would like to add some support to Miguel Cabrera on his quest for his first MVP award.

Detroit's been linked to several pitchers, namely Dan Haren, but the Ordonez injury seems to have them on the lookout for additional thump in the lineup as well.