Atlanta Braves Rumors

Atlanta Braves trade and free agent rumors from MLBTradeRumors.com.

NL East Notes: Desmond, Fedde, Maya, Braves, Phils

In response to a report from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports in which it was reported that the Nationals were looking to add shortstop prospects to their system, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post breaks down the reported offers to Ian Desmond and examines his contract situation. Desmond reportedly rejected an offer of $85-98MM over seven years this offseason, but as Kilgore notes, other shortstops with similar (or inferior) production have signed for more. Desmond has already said he feels financially secure — as well he should, having been guaranteed more than $23MM in his career — and he therefore doesn’t need to feel pressured to take a below-market deal, Kilgore writes. He concludes by noting that if Desmond finishes his career elsewhere, it’ll be because the Nationals let him walk, not because Desmond turned his back on the club.

Here’s more on Desmond and the NL East…

  • Desmond spoke with MLB.com’s Bill Ladson and flatly said that he expects to be a National in 2016 and beyond. “I can’t picture myself other than this,” said Desmond. “I can’t picture myself in any other uniform, clubhouse and Spring Training complex. I can’t see myself with any other coaching staff or anything like that. This is what I know. This is what’s on my mind. This is home for me.” Asked about the aforementioned Rosenthal report, Desmond declined to comment but added that there’s no ill will between him and the organization, and he has tremendous respect for GM Mike Rizzo’s decision-making skills.
  • In a second piece from Kilgore, he looks at the fact that three of the Nationals‘ top 10 picks in this year’s draft — including first-rounder Erick Fedde and second-rounder Andrew Suarez – are unsigned. The Nationals are unlikely to sign ninth-rounder Austin Byler, a source tells Kilgore, meaning the Nats will lose $145,900 from their bonus pool, further complicating their negotiations with Fedde — a Scott Boras client. Rizzo considers it a “cardinal sin” to leave a top pick unsigned, notes Kilgore, who expects both Fedde and Suarez to sign. He feels that negotiations could come down to the wire, however.
  • The Doosan Bears of the Korea Baseball Organization are working on a buyout of minor league right-hander Yunesky Maya of the Braves, reports Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net (on Twitter). The Cuban hurler was originally signed by the Nationals with much fanfare, but he never panned out in the Major Leagues. Maya, now 32, has a 2.63 ERA with 6.7 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 in 85 2/3 innings this season for Triple-A Gwinnett.
  • The Braves don’t have the financial wherewithal to take on Jake Peavy or any other significant salary, writes Mark Bowman of MLB.com. He notes that in 2011, when the team acquired Michael Bourn from Houston, GM Frank Wren included an additional prospect in the deal to avoid having to pay the remainder of Bourn’s salary.
  • David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News looks at Jonathan Papelbon‘s trade stock and a list of teams that will looking for bullpen help. He notes that there are a lot of excellent relievers on the market this year, all of whom make less money than Papelbon. Ultimately, he opines that a package of Papelbon and A.J. Burnett could be beneficial to the Orioles, though he feels the Angels and Tigers are other plausible destinations.
  • Antonio Bastardo is the name that Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com hears the most in trade buzz (Twitter link). Entering play today, the 28-year-old southpaw had a 3.60 ERA with 50 strikeouts against 24 walks in 40 innings. Bastardo is earning $2MM this season after avoiding arbitration for the second time this offseason. He is under team control through 2015.

Latest On Trade Talks Involving Red Sox Starting Pitchers

TODAY, 10:19am: The Braves are not interested in adding Peavy, sources tell David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link).

10:07am: While Peavy remains the pitcher that the club is most interested in dealing, Boston has fielded strong interest in fellow starter John Lackey, tweets Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. That is not terribly surprising: since the start of last year, Lackey has logged 306 2/3 innings of 3.64 ERA ball with 7.8 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9. And he is under contract for the league minimum for 2015.

YESTERDAY, 10:12pm: Peavy said that he has spoken with Red Sox GM Ben Cherington and understands that there is a possibility he will be dealt, tweets Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. “Don’t think people are making stuff up,” he said.

6:31pm: Cardinals GM John Mozeliak says that the team believes it would need to give up one of its own starters to get a “top starter” in return, resulting in a net loss of years of control, tweets Goold.

6:06pm: The Cardinals are “looking for offense not Peavy” right now, reports Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (via Twitter). Goold says there is no match with Boston, given that Joe Kelly is expected to return to the rotation in short order.

5:52pm: Boston is discussing starting pitching — not just Peavy — with many teams, but there is “nothing imminent,” a team source tells Abraham (Twitter link).

4:20pm: The Braves are also involved in talks regarding Peavy, reports Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe.

4:16pm: The Cards and Red Sox are in active trade talks regarding Peavy, tweets Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.

12:45pm: ESPN’s Jayson Stark is now also hearing that the Cardinals are interested in Peavy, and he hears that something could come together quickly (Twitter link). The only Red Sox game that the Cards have scouted was the Peavy start that Edes originally referenced, according to Stark.

12:01pm: The Cardinals have had their share of pitching injuries of late, with Jaime Garcia out for the season and Michael Wacha out indefinitely, and Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com tweeted yesterday that the team scouted Jake Peavy‘s most recent start for the Red Sox. Peter Gammons also tweets that he’s hearing the Redbirds have interest in Peavy.

The 33-year-old Peavy has struggled, to an extent, this season in what has been one of the least-effective campaigns of his 13-year career. He’s posted a 4.64 ERA with 6.8 K/9, 3.4 BB/9 and a 39.2 percent ground-ball rate. His 89.9 mph average fastball velocity is the lowest mark he’s posted since his rookie campaign in 2002. He’s been healthy, however, and has averaged more than six innings per start this season. A move to the NL, of course, could help his numbers as well.

Then again, Peavy wouldn’t need to do much to be an upgrade to the back of the St. Louis rotation. With their current injuries, the Cardinals are using a rotation of ace Adam Wainwright and right-handers Lance Lynn, Shelby Miller and Carlos Martinez (with Joe Kelly set to come off the DL in the next few days). Miller has seen his control disappear, along with his ability to miss bats, and he’s posted a 5.50 ERA over his past nine starts as a result. Martinez has pitched well since transitioning from the bullpen, but he threw just 108 innings last year and is already at 53 in 2014. Marco Gonzales, the club’s 2013 first-rounder, served up 11 runs with more walks than strikeouts in a three-start cameo recently. Peavy could serve as a durable back-end piece to complement veterans Wainwright, Lynn and Kelly while serving as an insurance policy for the club’s younger arms.

Peavy is earning $14.5MM this season and has a vesting player option that he won’t trigger. That option, valued at $15MM, required that Peavy pitch 400 innings from 2013-14, but he is still 144 2/3 frames shy of that mark after spending time on the DL last season. As such, he’s owed roughly $6.58MM over the remainder of the 2014 campaign and will be a free agent at year’s end.

As Edes points out, this isn’t the first time that the Cardinals have had interest in Peavy. The team expressed interest in the former NL Cy Young winner last summer. The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo reported over the weekend that Peavy could be of interest to some NL clubs if Boston were to eat some of the remaining salary on his deal.

Jeff Todd contributed to this post.


NL East Notes: Mets, Murphy, Phillies, Braves, Miller

Mets GM Sandy Alderson maintains that the club is still assessing what course it will take at the trade deadline, reports ESPNNewYork.com’s Adam Rubin“Look, let’s see where we are at the end of this week,” said Alderson. “We’re always willing to listen. We may be thinking in terms of the second half of this season. We may be thinking more in terms of next season.” Alderson continued to note that, even if the team sells, it may not be willing to settle for lower-level talent: We’ve made a lot of deals in recent years where we’ve gotten prospects who are a good ways away. I don’t think we’re thinking that way these days, although sometimes that’s the value in a return.” 

Here’s the latest out of New York and the rest of the National League East:

  • After talking with people familiar with Alderson’s thinking, David Lennon of Newsday gets the sense that the Mets‘ GM isn’t necessarily committed to the idea of trading Daniel Murphy. Lennon does note that the team is eager to get another look at Wilmer Flores, who is playing second base at Triple-A Las Vegas these days.
  • Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. took to the air to defend the capabilities of several of the team’s veterans in a radio interview (audio link) with Mike Missanelli of 97.5 The Fanatic. “If you want to talk about declining, that happens,” said Amaro. “But that doesn’t mean they aren’t producing in some way shape or form and Chase [Utley] is one of those guys.” Nevertheless, Amaro acknowledged that several of the team’s long-term deals have not worked out as hoped: “Unfortunately these guys are human beings and they aren’t living up to what we expected and we’re trying to do something about that right now.” Going forward, the team is in a “fluid situation,” said the Philly GM. “I talk to [team owner] David [Montgomery] and our group all the time about what our direction is,” he said.
  • The Braves are prioritizing the acquisition of a “lockdown-type left-hander” for the bullpen, writes David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. O’Brien argues that the club should make a push to add Andrew Miller of the Red Sox, noting his outstanding 14.7 K/9 mark and domination of opposing left-handed hitters. The 29-year-old has indeed been outstanding, with a 2.41 ERA through 33 2/3 frames thus far in his walk year.

 Steve Adams contributed to this post.



Minor Moves: Clark, Ayala, Robinson, Sanchez, Janish

Here are today’s minor league transactions, with the newest moves at the top of the post…

  • The Brewers have signed first baseman Matt Clark to a minor league deal, the club’s player development department announced on Twitter. Clark had been hitting .297/.380/.498 at Double-A for the Mets before he was released recently. He will take the roster spot of Hunter Morris, the club’s tenth overall prospect coming into the year (per Baseball America), who was DL’ed after breaking his arm.
  • Veteran righty Luis Ayala has been released by the Blue Jays, according to the International League transactions page. The reliever had been working at Triple-A. As MLBTR’s Zach Links reported at the time of the signing, Ayala did not have the right to opt out of his deal. Though he worked to a 2.90 ERA with 5.8 K/9 against 3.8 BB/9 over 31 innings last year for the Braves, Ayala has not had an opportunity to throw in the bigs yet this season. Through 17 innings at the Double-A and Triple-A levels, he owns a 5.29 ERA (7.4 K/9, 3.2 BB/9)
  • The Braves officially acquired minor league right-hander Andrew Robinson from the Astros in exchange for cash considerations or a player to be named later, as per a Houston media release.  Sportsnet.ca’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reported yesterday that the trade was imminent.
  • The Cubs released left-hander Jonathan Sanchez, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports (Twitter link).  The Cubs signed Sanchez to a minor league deal in December but the southpaw has been injured for most of the season and only pitched 2/3 of an inning for Triple-A Iowa.  After being traded from the Giants following the 2011 season, Sanchez’s numbers ballooned to the tune of an 8.73 ERA over 78 1/3 IP with the Royals, Rockies and Pirates in 2012-13.
  • The Royals have signed infielder Paul Janish to a minor league deal, MLB Daily Dish’s Chris Cotillo reports (Twitter link).  Janish opted out of his previous minors deal with the Rockies on Tuesday.  Janish provided some good defense but only a .572 OPS in 1206 PA with the Reds and Braves from 2008-13, and he spent all of his season with Triple-A Colorado Springs.
  • The Blue Jays have released outfielder Brett Carroll, as announced via Twitter by the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons.  Carroll posted only a .438 OPS in 63 Triple-A plate appearances after signing a minor league contract with the Jays in February.  Carroll appeared in 173 games with the Marlins from 2007-10 and had cups of coffee with the Brewers and Nationals in 2011-12 before spending 2013 with the Pirates’ Triple-A franchise.

NL East Notes: Mets, Detwiler, Penny

We heard earlier today about Bartolo Colon possibly being a trade candidate this summer, and now here’s some more items from around the NL East…

  • There isn’t any reason for the Mets to fire GM Sandy Alderson or manager Terry Collins since such moves would only prolong the club’s rebuilding process, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post opines.  While the Mets are on pace for another losing, the team is in good shape for the future with young talent on the rise and Chris Young‘s contract seems to be the only true mistake on the current roster.
  • Nationals lefty Ross Detwiler could be a trade target for teams looking to add rotation help, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter link).  Detwiler “could start for most” teams, as Heyman notes, and the southpaw has had trouble finding a spot in Washington’s deep rotation despite some good career numbers.  Detwiler currently has a 4.00 ERA, 1.29 K/BB rate and 5.5 K/9 in 36 relief innings for the Nats, and he’s had control issues, as his 4.3 BB/9 is markedly up from his 2.6 BB/9 over the previous three seasons.
  • Brad Penny and Marlins GM Dan Jennings talk to Greg Stoda of the Palm Beach Post about Penny’s minor league comeback attempt and why Miami brought Penny back to his original franchise.
  • The impending trade of minor league right-hander Andrew Robinson from the Astros to the Braves is taking an unusually long time to complete for a move outside the 40-man roster, which makes MLB Daily Dish’s Chris Cotillo think Robinson could be part of a larger transaction between the two clubs.  Cotillo makes it clear that he is just speculating, however.

Minor Moves: Snyder, Clark, Robinson, Dobbs

Here are today’s outright assignments and minor moves from around the league…

  • Brad Snyder, who recently elected free agency after being outrighted by the Rangers, has signed with the LG Twins of the Korea Baseball Organization, Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net reports (via Twitter). Snyder has crushed Triple-A pitching to the tune of a .288/.351/.507 batting line in his career but has never received an extended look in the bigs.
  • First baseman Matt Clark, who recently opted out of his minor league deal with the Mets, tweets that he has signed a new minor league deal with the Brewers (hat tip: Adam Rubin of ESPN New York on Twitter). Clark hit .297/.380/.498 with 10 homers for Double-A Binghamton this season, one year after he posted a .785 OPS and hit 25 bombs for the Chunici Dragons of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball.
  • Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet reports that the Braves are set to acquire right-hander Andrew Robinson from the Astros. The 26-year-old Robinson, a former 12th-round pick by the Astros, has excelled in 41 1/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A this season, posting a combined 2.40 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9. Further details of the deal aren’t known at this time.
  • The Nationals announced that Greg Dobbs has accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Syracuse.  The 35-year-old was designated for assignment last week.  He has largely struggled in a limited bench role for the Marlins and Nats this year and owns a .171/.186/.195 line through 43 plate appearances on the season.  Over parts of 11 seasons in the bigs, Dobbs has slashed .261/.306/.386 over 2,272 plate appearances.

Minor Moves: Collier, Loe, Pineiro, Maine

Here are today’s minor league transactions from around baseball, with the newest moves at the top of the post…

  • Phillies outfielder Zach Collier cleared waivers and was outrighted to Double-A, the team announced.  The Phils designated Collier for assignment earlier this week.  Collier, picked 34th overall in 2008, has a .240/.312/.349 slash line over 2084 career minor league plate appearances.
  • The Braves released righty Kameron Loe, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (via Twitter).  Loe posted an 8.83 ERA in 17 1/3 relief innings with Triple-A Gwinnett after signing a minor league deal with the Braves last month.  This is Loe’s third change of teams in 2014, as he already opted out of a minor league deal with the Giants in March and was released by the Royals in May.
  • The Angels released right-hander Joel Pineiro, Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports (Twitter link).  Pineiro struggled to a 7.48 ERA over four Triple-A starts after signing a minor league deal with the Halos earlier this month.  Pineiro was attempting a comeback after missing most of 2012 and all of 2013 recovering from shoulder problems,  and the Angels were his second stop after already being released by the Cubs earlier this season.
  • The Reds have signed left-hander Scott Maine to a minor league deal and assigned him to Double-A.  Maine had been pitching for the Bridgeport Bluefish of the independent Atlantic League, and the transaction was announced via Bridgeport’s team website.  The southpaw had a 4.95 ERA, 10.4 K/9 and a 5.75 K/BB rate in 20 innings for the Bluefish this season, with all but one of his 19 appearances coming out of the bullpen.  Maine posted a 5.59 ERA and 48 strikeouts over 46 2/3 IP with the Cubs and Indians from 2010-12, though he was plagued by both the long ball (1.5 HR/9) and walks (4.8 BB/9) over his brief stint in the bigs.  Maine spent 2013 pitching in the Marlins’ farm system.

Quick Hits: Headley, Braves, Uehara, Peavy

The results of today’s Giants-Reds and Dodgers-Cardinals games look like the crest of a sea change that has reshaped the NL playoff race. Homer Bailey took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning against the Giants, and the Reds emerged with a 4-0 win. Meanwhile, Clayton Kershaw struck out 13 Cardinals in seven innings as the Dodgers cruised to a 6-0 victory. The Dodgers, 9 1/2 games out of first in the NL West three weeks ago, are now even with the Giants, and the Reds are now tied with St. Louis for second place in the Central. With two teams near the top in the NL East as well, and a wide-open Wild Card picture, there could be plenty of competition for veteran talent at the trade deadline. Here are more notes from around the big leagues.

  • Third baseman Chase Headley says he doesn’t feel the Padres are the reason he’s inconsistent, and doesn’t think a change of scenery will help him, Chris Jenkins of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes. “Even when things are going full-on crappy, like now, I’m confident that sometime in the near future, I’m going to get healthy, stay healthy and start playing the way I know I’m capable of,” says Headley. “I don’t look at it like, ‘Man, I gotta get out of here to be me again.’ I’m going to be me again, whether it’s here or somewhere else.” Headley is currently hitting .207/.294/.332 while dealing with a herniated disk in his back, but his banner 2012 season likely ensures there will be plenty of interest in him, both at the trade deadline and when he becomes a free agent this offseason.
  • The Braves‘ constant stream of young talent helps keep them consistently competitive and prevents them from having to rebuild, Marc Narducci of Philly.com writes.  “What they have done in our organization is pretty special,” says Freddie Freeman. “They have great development people and it seems like when a guy is ready, they don’t let him sit there and they give him at-bats – and that is what they did with me.” Narducci contrasts the Braves’ approach with that of the Phillies, who seem to keep older players longer and often lack interesting young players to plug into their lineup when playing time finally becomes available.
  • The Red Sox should consider trading Koji Uehara, John Tomase of the Boston Herald writes. Tomase points to the Rangers’ 2003 trade of Ugueth Urbina to the Marlins for Adrian Gonzalez and two other players as evidence of the good things that can happen when a team deals an experienced closer. As Tomase himself notes, of course, it’s very rare to receive a player of Gonzalez’s caliber in return for a reliever. And of course, first the Red Sox need to figure out if they’re buyers or sellers. “Here’s how I view it from the outside. The first thing you have to do is cross that bridge and say, ‘Is it even worth it for us to go out and try to fill two or three holes?‘” says John Hart, the former Rangers GM who pulled off the Gonzalez deal.
  • Sox starter Jake Peavy will be a free agent this winter, and the emergence of Rubby De La Rosa has led to speculation about the possibility Peavy could be traded. But Peavy says he’s not concerned about trade rumors, WEEI.com’s Alex Speier writes. “I have a great relationship with my pitching coach (Juan Nieves), my manager (John Farrell) and my general manager (Ben Cherington). We’re all very open with each other. I don’t need any clarity on any situation involving anything,” says Peavy. “If you start worrying about stuff like that, your focus is off where it needs to be and it’s going to affect things.”

Gavin Floyd Undergoes Season-Ending Surgery

JUNE 26: The Braves announced that Floyd underwent surgery to repair the issue yesterday and described the operation as “season-ending.” Floyd’s surgery was performed by Dr. David Altchek — the same surgeon who performed his Tommy John surgery in 2013.

JUNE 19: Braves right-hander Gavin Floyd has suffered a broken olecranon bone in his right elbow and will be placed on the disabled list, the team announced (Twitter links). While the recovery time has yet to be announced, Yahoo’s Jeff Passan notes that Joel Zumaya suffered the same injury on June 28, 2010 and missed the remainder of the season (Twitter link). Floyd’s case, of course, is its own case and doesn’t necessarily have to follow the same timeline.

The silver lining for the Braves, if there is one, is that the team has a very capable replacement in the minor leagues in the form of left-hander Alex Wood. The 23-year-old Wood owns a 3.30 ERA in 101 career innings as a starter but found himself as the odd man out when Atlanta elected to go with a starting rotation of Floyd, Mike Minor, Julio Teheran, Ervin Santana and Aaron Harang.

Still, there will likely be some hot stove repercussions of the injury. For one, Floyd himself had been mentioned as a possible trade chip to help the Braves secure some bullpen help. Additionally, his injury leaves the Braves a bit thinner in terms of rotation depth, which could limit their willingness to trade from their remaining depth in order to improve areas of need.

Atlanta signed Floyd to a one-year, $4MM contract as he returned from Tommy John surgery. The 31-year-old has pitched very well in his 54 1/3 innings for the Braves, posting a 2.65 ERA with 7.5 K/9, 2.2 BB/9 and a 49.5 percent ground-ball rate.


Minor Moves: Whiteside, Texeira, Slowey, Bell, Schlereth

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves from around the league right here…

  • Cubs backstop Eli Whiteside has cleared outright waivers and been assigned to Triple-A, reports Carrie Muskat of MLB.com (via Twitter). The 34-year-old, who saw only minimal action with the Cubs, was designated for assignment on Sunday.
  • The Braves have inked righty Kanekoa Texeira to a minor league deal, according to the MLB transactions page. The 28-year-old, who last threw in the bigs in 2011 with the Royals, threw effectively over each of the last two seasons at Triple-A with the Reds. He had been pitching for the independent Bridgeport Bluefish in 2014 before joining Atlanta.
  • Righty Kevin Slowey has been released by the Marlins, reports MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro (via Twitter). Slowey owned a 5.30 ERA through 37 1/3 innings this year, most of which came in relief. He had been a starter for much of his prior time as a big leaguer, and owns a 4.62 ERA over 662 career MLB frames.
  • The Yankees have released reliever Heath Bell, reports MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch (via Twitter). Bell, who recently signed a minor league deal, had a 7.50 ERA in five appearances at Triple-A Scranton. In 17 1/3 frames at the major league level with the Rays this year, Bell threw to a 7.27 ERA with 6.2 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9.
  • The Tigers have acquired southpaw Daniel Schlereth from the Pirates, reports John Wagner of the Toledo Blade. James Schmel of MLive.com tweets that the Pirates will receive cash considerations. This will be Schlereth’s second stint with the Tigers, as he spent the 2010-12 seasons in Detroit’s bullpen after coming over in the three-team Max Scherzer/Curtis Granderson/Ian Kennedy/Austin Jackson blockbuster. Schlereth’s long-standing control problems have been very apparent this season at Triple-A; he’s walked 18 batters and surrendered 18 hits in 18 2/3 innings en route to a 7.23 ERA. On the plus side, he’s also fanned 18 hitters in that time.