Author Archives: Edward Creech

MLBTR Originals

A look back at the original reporting and analysis found on MLBTR this past week:

  • MLBTR continued to break down the 2014 trade market position-by-position with Charlie Wilmoth’s look at corner outfielders, Jeff Todd’s survey of first basemen, and Steve Adams’ study of third basemen and center fielders.
  • Brad Johnson asked MLBTR readers whether the Phillies will swing a deadline deal. More than 82% of you believe Ruben Amaro Jr. will make a trade before either the non-waiver Trade Deadline (July 31) or during the August waiver trading period.
  • Steve hosted this week’s live chat.
  • Zach Links assembled the best of the baseball blogosphere for you in Baseball Blogs Weigh In.

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Minor Moves: Moseley, Tanaka, Crowe

Here are Sunday’s minor moves from around MLB:

  • The Marlins have signed pitcher Dustin Moseley, according to MiLB.com. Moseley, who missed 2013 and all of this season so far due to shoulder trouble, last appeared in the Majors with the Padres in 2012 and has also pitched for the Angels and Yankees. In June, MLBTR reported that Moseley was looking to sign with a new team. For his career, Moseley has a 4.67 ERA with 5.0 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in parts of seven big-league seasons, pitching both as a starter and in relief.
  • Infielder Kensuke Tanaka has requested his release from the Rangers‘ Triple-A club, tweets Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Tanaka made his MLB debut last season for the Giants slashing .267/.353/.267 in 34 plate appearances (15 games). The 33-year-old signed a minor league contract with the Rangers last December and has posted a .258/.340/.371 line in 245 plate appearances for Round Rock this year.
  • The Tigers have released outfielder Trevor Crowe from their Triple-A affiliate, per the International League’s transactions page.  The 30-year-old, who signed a minor league deal with the Tigers in January, slashed .240/.291/.349 in 278 plate appearances for Toledo with most of his playing time coming as the Mud Hens’ DH. Crowe, the 14th overall selection in the 2005 draft by the Indians, played 60 games for the Astros last year batting .218/.287/.291 in 181 plate appearances.
  • Per MLBTR’s DFA Tracker, three players currently reside in DFA limbo: Ian Stewart (Angels), Deck McGuire (Blue Jays), and Jimmy Paredes (Royals).

Charlie Wilmoth contributed to this post.


NL Central Notes: Reds, Cardinals, Brewers, Pirates

The National League Central saw a change atop its leaderboard as the Brewers fell out of first place for the first time since April 5 after a 5-4 walk-off loss to the Nationals. It could be temporary pending the outcome of the Cardinals’ game with the Dodgers tonight. Here’s the latest from the NL Central:

  • Reds General Manager Walt Jocketty has several of his inner-circle baseball operations people on the road with him and is eyeing some additions, but that doesn’t mean anything will happen this month. “I’d like to add a bat,” Jocketty said, according to MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon. “We just haven’t found anything that attracts us yet. It may not happen before the 31st.”  Jocketty went on to say if the Reds acquire a bat, the preference would be for the player to play multiple positions.
  • With Brandon Phillips on the disabled list, the Reds GM was asked about pursuing the recently released Dan Uggla. “We haven’t discussed that yet,” Jocketty said (as quoted by John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer). “I haven’t talked to our scouts that saw him. I don’t know. We’re going to meet tomorrow and go over some stuff.
  • In a chat with Jim Bowden of SiriusXM (via Twitter), Jocketty made it clear he’d like to acquire a middle of the order bat he could put into the Reds‘ lineup right away, not an injury risk type player.  When asked about Rays‘ second baseman Ben Zobrist (link), Jocketty said, “That’s a good name. That’s all I’ll say.”
  • The Reds have interest in the Phillies‘ Marlon Byrd and Antonio Bastardo, reports CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury.
  • The Cardinals‘ top Trade Deadline priority should be starting pitching and not a replacement for the injured Yadier Molina, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  • The Cardinals‘ due diligence with David Price is reminiscent of their pursuit of Matt Holliday in 2009, tweets Strauss’ colleague at the P-D, Derrick Goold (Twitter links).
  • Brewers GM Doug Melvin has downplayed the prospects of making a major deal before the Trade Deadline citing the lack of playing time for a bat and the limited impact a reliever can have because of the few innings they pitch, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Haudricourt.
  • Pirates GM Neal Huntington told reporters, including Karen Price of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the ask is still high on the trade market, but the club has the payroll flexibility to make a move. “It’s the basic law of supply and demand,” Huntington said. “There’s not a lot of teams that are looking to sell, and there are a lot of teams looking to buy. There’s not a ton of players out there who are significant upgrades. There are some guys you think can be, so as a result asking prices higher than you’d like. It’s a balance of what do you give up for projected current wins for projected future wins.

Zach Links contributed to this post.



Anthopoulos On Payroll, Trade Deadline, Injuries

Blue Jays General Manager Alex Anthopoulos met with the media (including Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca and Sean Fitz-Gerald of the National Post) for 30 minutes today before Toronto’s game with Texas. Here are the highlights:

  • Anthopoulos addressed recent reports he isn’t allowed to add payroll at the Trade Deadline. “I don’t think it’s about being ‘allowed’ or anything like that at all. We’re having dialogue with teams.” Anthopoulos added the club has always kept payroll projections in house. 
  • Anthopoulos says he has the freedom to make the necessary moves to keep the Blue Jays in the playoff hunt. “I don’t have any doubt that we have the ability to add players. How that gets done, we can always be creative, but I’ll say this: we have a very healthy payroll, we have a very strong payroll.
  • Anthopoulos denied ownership will stand in the way of a possible deal because of money. “Ownership’s been outstanding with us from that standpoint. If a baseball trade lines up for us, I don’t see any reason we’re not going to be able to add players at the trade deadline if we can line up in terms of talent.
  • No trades are pending with discussions still in the “conceptual stage,” but Anthopoulos is willing to deal prospects. “It’s really as much about what you get back, as much as what you give up. The more talent you give up, the more years of control, the more talent you get back. It’s a sliding scale.
  • Optimistic injured starters Adam Lind, Brett Lawrie and Edwin Encarnacionwill have a chance to come back sooner than we all think,” Anthopoulos will still look to bolster the Blue Jays‘ offense before the Trade Deadline. 

MLBTR Originals

A look back at the original reporting and analysis found on MLBTR the last seven days:


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Antonetti Talks Trade Market, Dickerson, Maronde

Entering the All-Star break, the Indians find themselves at .500 and in third place in the AL Central, trailing the Tigers by 7.5 games. Before Cleveland’s 3-2 win over the White Sox, GM Chris Antonetti chatted with reporters for 25 minutes. Here are the highlights (MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian has the complete transcript) :

  • Antonetti hasn’t decided whether the Indians will be buyers or sellers at the Trade Deadline. “We’re exploring a lot of different things, opportunities to improve our team for the balance of this season and then position us better moving forward, too. We’ve spent a lot of energy on fits for acquiring guys that we’d have control over beyond this year, not just guys that would just be here for the balance of the year.
  • The Indians’ trade strategy is muddied by the fact there isn’t one glaring weakness on the roster. “It’s actually one of the interesting challenges that we have,” Antonetti said. “So, for us to improve, we need to improve upon a higher standard. And, in some cases, we’re counting on guys that we’ve already made commitments to rebounding. So, it’s a little bit of a different dynamic for us as we look to try to improve our roster.
  • The Indians will “potentially” explore the trade market for starting pitchers. “The one thing we continue to believe is we have quality Major League starting pitchers,” said Antonetti. “Anytime you acquire a guy, you have to think about who it displaces from the team and the rotation, in that case. You have to have a high degree of confidence that it’s an improvement.
  • Antonetti traded for Chris Dickerson because his ability to play all three outfield positions and his success against right-handed pitching is a nice complement to the club in the wake of Michael Bourn‘s hamstring injury. Antonetti added he had interest in Dickerson as a free agent this past offseason, but couldn’t commit at-bats to him at the time.
  • Yesterday, the Indians acquired Nick Maronde from the Angels. Antonetti has liked the left-hander “for quite a while” and acknowledged the 24-year-old has had “some trouble throwing strikes, but we think that there’s significant upside there and a guy worth taking a chance on. 

Hill Talks Trade Deadline, Rotation, Second Base

The Marlins were tied for first place in the NL East on June 8, but have posted an 11-20 record since and have fallen to fourth place, 7.5 games behind the Braves and Nationals. Before losing their fourth in a row, Marlins President of Baseball Operations Michael Hill held court with reporters at Citi Field:

  • The Marlins are in the market for starting pitching, but want controllable arms. “A rental, it may help you in the short term,” Hill said (as quoted by MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro). “We want something we can move forward with. I think that will definitely influence the direction we go.
  • Hill added (also quoted by Frisaro) putting a premium on team control is part of the franchise’s philosophy, “We’re never [shortsighted] with anything that we do. There is always an eye on the present. We never lose sight of the future and what we’re trying to build. We want to build sustained winning here. We do control all of our roster, for the most part.
  • Failing to swing a trade, internal rotation options include Jacob Turner and Brad Penny, who was promoted recently to Triple-A after signing a minor league deal last month, reports the Miami Herald’s Manny Navarro.
  • The search for rotation reinforcements does not signal a lack of faith in the Marlins’ young arms, including Anthony DeSclafani and Andrew Heaney. “We have the people to do the job,” Hill explained (as quoted by Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel). “We’ve had varied success. Some of our young starters have shown their youth and we’ll always try to do what’s in the best interest of our players. If DeSclafani needs more seasoning we’re going to give him that. If the decision is Heaney needs more seasoning, we’re going to give him that, but we still have all the faith in the world in our young players.
  • The Marlins are also looking to fill the void at second base created last month when Rafael Furcal landed on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring. “We thought he would be that speed/leadoff player for us,” said Hill (also quoted by Rodriguez). “Injuries have prevented him from doing that. That’s still a part of our team that’s missing and we feel we would like to have, whatever form or shape that comes in.
  • Hill expects to sign the two remaining holdouts among their top top ten picks (seventh-round shortstop Anfernee Seymour and 10th-round left-hander Dillon Peters) prior to Friday’s deadline, per Navarro.

MLBTR Originals

A look back at the original reporting and analysis found on MLBTR this past week:

  • Zach Links participated in the conference call with Cubs President Theo Epstein announcing the Jeff Samardzija/Jason Hammel trade and reported Epstein’s desire never to be a Trade Deadline seller again. “We thought a lot internally as we went through this process that we hope that this is the last year that we’ll be obvious sellers at the deadline. And, nothing would make us happier than aggressively adding to the big league team and enhancing chances for a World Series.
  • Tim Dierkes was the first to report the Rays claimed right-hander Cory Burns off waivers from the Rangers.
  • Tim analyzed the trade market for catchers.
  • Steve Adams provided a primer on the 2014-15 international free agent signing period, which began July 2 and runs through June 15, 2015.
  • Brad Johnson asked MLBTR readers who will be the first position player traded. Martin Prado was the top pick followed by Chase Headley, Luis Valbuena, Dayan Viciedo, and Ben Zobrist.
  • Steve hosted the MLBTR live chat this week.
  • Zach put together the best of the baseball blogosphere in a double dose of Baseball Blogs Weigh In.

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Minor Moves: Kameron Loe, Chance Ruffin

Here are Saturday’s minor moves from around MLB:

  • The Diamondbacks announced the signing of right-hander Kameron Loe to a minor league deal, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. Loe, who will report to Triple-A Reno, was released by the Braves last Monday and will now be joining his fourth organization this year after stints with the Giants and Royals. The 32-year-old has posted a 6.99 ERA, 6.4 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, and 11.8 H/9 in 28 1/3 innings (19 games) for the Triple-A affiliates of the Royals and Braves.
  • Mariners right-hander Chance Ruffin has voluntarily retired and returned home to be with his wife and newborn baby, writes Tacoma Rainiers broadcaster Mike Curto for the Olympian. Ruffin, the 48th overall selection in the 2010 draft, was acquired from the Tigers in the 2010 Doug Fister trade and made 22 relief appearances for the Mariners to the tune of a 5.70 ERA, 11.4 K/9, and 5.3 BB/9 in 23 2/3 innings. The 25-year-old, who was not on the Mariners’ 40-man roster, pitched to a 5.31 ERA, 7.4 K/9, and 3.7 BB/9 in 61 innings (22 games including seven starts) for Triple-A Tacoma this year.
  • Per MLBTR’s DFA Tracker, there are seven players in DFA limbo: Kenny Wilson (Blue Jays), Nick Buss (A’s), Jeff Francis (A’s), Nolan Reimold (Orioles), Justin Maxwell (Royals), Pedro Ciriaco (Royals), and Jerome Williams (Astros).

Pirates Claim Dean Anna From Yankees

The Pirates have claimed infielder Dean Anna off waivers from the Yankees and he will report to Triple-A Indianapolis, reports Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. Anna was designated for assignment by the Yankees Thursday.

Anna made the Yankees’ Opening Day roster and appeared in a dozen games slashing .136/.200/.318 in 25 plate appearances. The 27-year-old has posted similar numbers in Triple-A hitting .192/.283/.292 in 152 plate appearances (36 games).  Anna, however, is only a year removed from being a Pacific Coast League All-Star and leading the PCL in batting average while producing a .331/.410/.482 line in 132 games for the Padres’ Triple-A affiliate.

The Pirates’ 40-man roster is now at capacity.