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Author Archives: Zach Links
On this date in 2004, at Wrigley Field, Albert Pujols went 5-for-5, including three home runs and five RBIs, as the Cardinals beat the Cubs, 11-8. The Redbird first baseman’s first three-homer career game helped St. Louis to erase a six run deficit. Here’s this week’s look around the baseball blogosphere..
- SB Nation discusses the Astros’ failure to sign Brady Aiken.
- A’s Farm caught up with A’s catcher Stephen Vogt.
- Inside The Zona makes the case for moving Miguel Montero.
- Redbird Rants spoke with Karl Ravech.
- Blue Jays Plus turns in their mid-season report card for Toronto’s pitchers.
- Sports Injury Alert breaks down the 2014 mid-season DL statistics.
- Baseball Hot Corner likes Arismendy Alcantara in the majors.
- Did The Tribe Win Last Night has some All-Star suggestions.
- Beyond The Box Score likes the way Casey McGehee is performing under pressure.
- MLB Reports looks at pitching payroll vs. positional payroll.
- Beisbol’s has hitters to watch in the second half.
In today’s column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe wonders if the Red Sox will succumb to fan pressure and re-sign Jon Lester. Lester turned down a four-year, $70MM offer from the Red Sox in spring training and other clubs will almost certainly offer six- or seven-year deals if he reaches the open market. Boston, of course, doesn’t want to go that far. “If that’s your philosophy you can’t make exceptions or it will be viewed as a joke,” said one American League general manager. “If you vary from it, that sends a weak message to the baseball community, agents etc., when it comes with dealing with other players. I think the players themselves need to know where you stand as an organization, and if you keep deviating that sends the wrong message.” Here’s more from today’s column..
- The Mariners don’t mind dealing for Rays ace David Price without an agreement in place for a long-term deal, but that’s not the case for everyone. The Cardinals are interested in Price but would want a financial commitment, a major league source tells Cafardo. Cafardo cautions not to rule out the Giants, who also have had interest in Ben Zobrist.
- The Phillies have been discouraged by what they’re hearing from other teams on Cole Hamels. The Phillies consider him their biggest trade chip, but will hold on to him if they don’t get what they consider a fair deal. The Red Sox sent their top pitching scout to watch the hurler before the break and the Phillies have scouted Boston’s major and minor league teams all season. One major league source said if the Phillies get a taker on the full contract and they get three top prospects, he’s gone, and Hamels, according to another major league source, wouldn’t mind.
- Joaquin Benoit is one of the most sought after relievers on the market but a Padres official tells Cafardo that they won’t just give him away.
- Chad Qualls has resurrected his career with the Astros and teams are calling on him, according to a major league source. Houston left-hander Tony Sipp has also drawn interest.
- A.J. Pierzynski, who cleared waivers Friday, has told agent Steve Hilliard that he would like to continue playing.
JULY 14: The Yankees have released Soriano, per the MLB.com transactions page.
New York will owe Soriano the remainder of the $5MM portion of his salary for which the team is obligated. He will be free to sign with any club (likely at a league-minimum rate), though Soriano has indicated that he would give at least some consideration to retirement.
JULY 6: Yankees manager Joe Girardi told reporters, including Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News (on Twitter), that Alfonso Soriano has been designated for assignment. Dropping Soriano from the roster will make room for the newly-acquired Brandon McCarthy.
Soriano has been struggling this season, batting just .221/.244/.367 with six homers in 238 plate appearances. Still, the news comes as a surprise given Soriano’s lifetime body of work. In fact, before this season, Soriano was in the midst of a career resurgence with a .258/.312/.494 slash line between 2012 and 2013 with the Cubs and Yankees.
The 38-year-old is in the final year of the eight-year, $136MM contract that he signed with the Cubs in November 2006. Soriano will earn $18MM on the year, but the Yankees are only on the hook for a portion of that with the Cubs paying the majority of the deal. The Cubs are paying out $13MM of Soriano’s 2014 salary while the Bombers are responsible for just $5MM.
Soriano is sure to find plenty of suitors looking for outfield help, but it remains to be seen how much longer he wants to keep playing. Soriano previously discussed retiring after the 2014 season but he also indicated that he might want to keep going through 2016. At the time, he said he’d like to finish his career with the Bombers, but that doesn’t appear to be in the cards now.
If Soriano packs it in at the end of the season, or in a couple of years from now, he won’t be hurting for cash. According to Baseball-Reference, Soriano has earned nearly $158MM over the course of his big league career. In 16 seasons for the Yankees, Rangers, Nationals, and Cubs, Soriano posted a lifetime .270/.319/.500 slash line and earned seven consecutive All-Star selections from 2002 through 2008.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
On this date in 2012, Zack Greinke became the first pitcher to start three consecutive games in the same season since Red Faber did so for the White Sox in 1917. The Brewers’ right-hander was the starting pitcher in the team’s final two games before the All-Star break. Greinke started the Saturday prior to the break only to be ejected for arguing a close call at first base after throwing just four pitches, so manager Ron Roenicke let him start the next day’s game. Greinke then made it three straight starts when he took the mound to begin the second half of the season for the Brew Crew. Here’s this week’s look around the baseball blogosphere..
- Inside The Zona wants to see the D’Backs move Wade Miley in the right trade.
- Blue Jays Plus grades Toronto’s offense so far.
- Beisbol’s talks Masahiro Tanaka.
- MLB Reports examines what Tanaka’s injury means for the Yanks in 2014 and ’15.
- Sports Rumor Alert runs down trade targets for the Yankees, including Cliff Lee.
- The Sideline praises A’s GM Billy Beane.
- Infield Chatter has some take aways from the A’s-Cubs blockbuster.
- Baseball Hot Corner has 20 players the Blue Jays could go after.
Jeff Samardzija couldn’t be happier to be joining the A’s, writes MLB.com’s Jane Lee. “Billy asked me how I felt,” said Samardzija. “I was supposed to pitch today, so I’m a day past my due date to pitch. I’m chomping at the bit. I don’t think there’s any better way to get acclimated than to do it on the mound. It was a no-brainer for me, and I look forward to it.” Here’s more from around baseball.
- Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (Insider sub. req’d) looks at what it would take for the Marlins, Giants, and Cardinals to land Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist.
- David Golebiewski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review looks at the advanced stats and says that the Pirates came away as the winners in the Ernesto Frieri-Jason Grilli swap.
- White Sox slugger Dayan Viciedo says that he’s not fazed by the trade rumors surrounding him, writes Daniel Kramer of MLB.com. In last night’s MLBTR poll asking which position player will be dealt first, Viciedo finished third behind Martin Prado and Chase Headley.
- Mariners skipper Lloyd McClendon would like to see his club get an offensive upgrade, but he also doesn’t want to see them sell off top prospects for rental players, writes Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times.
- The Padres are seeing immediate returns on Cuban pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne, writes Jeff Sanders of U-T San Diego.
- The Diamondbacks probably aren’t done trading after sending Joe Thatcher and Tony Campana to the Angels, writes Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. “We plan on being active,” Diamondbacks General Manager Kevin Towers said. “This is the start.“
- Troy Tulowitzki‘s trade value may never be higher for the Rockies, argues Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. Tulo is saying the right things and hasn’t asked for a trade but a change makes sense for both sides at this time.
- Tulowitzki deserves better that what he’s getting with the Rockies, writes Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post. “I want to be somewhere there’s a chance to be in the playoffs every single year,” Tulowitzki said.
- Cardinals GM John Mozeliak tells Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the club sees the cost of trading as high.
- Phillies right fielder Marlon Byrd was dealt Aug. 27 last year from the Mets to the Pirates and he could be traded again this summer. However, the veteran says he’s not thinking about that, as Marc Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes.
- Corey Seidman of CSNPhilly.com looks at how the Cubs-A’s blockbuster deal helps the Phillies.
- The Indians talked to the Cubs about Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel and it would have cost them Francisco Lindor, Tyler Naquin, and Danny Salazar to make the same kind of deal that the A’s did, writes Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer.
The Red Sox have been receiving decent trade interest in recent days in third baseman Will Middlebrooks, but Red Sox people are said to seem quite reluctant to deal him, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Middlebrooks is on injury rehab following his slow start in Boston but the Sox seem intent on keeping him past July.
Still only 25, Middlebrooks has power, and it isn’t easy to come by power bats in baseball these days. On top of that, if Middlebrooks can show something in the second half, he could be a piece if the Sox try and make a run at Marlins star Giancarlo Stanton. It would obviously take much more than Middlebrooks to get a deal done, but Miami did have some interest in Middlebrooks last winter. Stanton would provide a huge boost for the Red Sox and Boston can build a package with some of the best prospects in baseball to entice Miami if they make Stanton available over the winter. In 21 games this season, Middlebrooks has hit just .197/.305/.324 with two homers.
On this date in 2003, Tampa Bay skipper Lou Piniella was a man of his word. The manager promised his club that if they won three in a row he’d dye his hair and after the Devil Rays topped the White Sox the night before, Lou become a blond. Here’s this week’s look around the baseball blogosphere.
- Camden Depot says the O’s starting rotation still needs improvement.
- Inside The Zona breaks down the Joe Thatcher deal from the D’Backs’ perspective.
- National League Theory breaks down Brewers GM Doug Melvin.
- Orioles Nation doesn’t think the O’s have the pieces needed to land a top-tier talent.
- MLB Reports gives us a roster tree of how all the Angels’ hitters were acquired.
- Infield Chatter proposes a trade that sends David Price to the Cardinals.
- Baseball Hot Corner says the Blue Jays need another righty bat.
- FanDuel looks at who’s hot and who’s not in fantasy.
- Steel City Buzzin‘ looks at the buyers and sellers in the National League.
- Baseball Hot Corner says Derek Jeter shouldn’t be starting in the All-Star game.
Baltimore was looking at trade options for the outfielder but were unable to find any. Reimold has been hampered by multiple neck surgeries over the last few seasons but has posted a .902 OPS over 17 games on a Double-A rehab assignment.
The 30-year-old was once considered a top 100 prospect but has never been able to realize his potential due to health problems. In parts of five big league campaigns, Reimold owns a .252/.327/.439 slash line.
There are now six players in DFA limbo, as shown in MLBTR’s DFA Tracker.
Ramirez threw a grand total of one major league inning for the Orioles this season. Over parts of nine big league seasons with the Rockies, Royals, Red Sox, Giants, Mets, and Orioles, Ramirez owns a 3.42 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9.
10:44am: The Diamondbacks will eat $2.05MM of the $4.1MM owed to McCarthy for the rest of the year, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN.com. Meanwhile, the Yankees will pay the $1MM assignment bonus to McCarthy.
10:21am: The D’Backs will be eating money in the deal, tweets ESPN’s Buster Olney. McCarthy is owed the prorated portion of his $9MM contract, plus the $1MM assignment bonus he is set to earn after being traded.
The prorated portion of McCarthy’s deal comes out to roughly $4.1MM, not counting the assignment bonus.
Nuno, 26, owns a 5.42 ERA with 6.9 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 through 14 starts and three relief appearances this season. While McCarthy is on an expiring contract, Nuno won’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2019 season.
The left-hander was originally in the Indians’ system before being released in March 2011. The Yankees picked Nuno up a couple of months later and after getting 17 big league starts out of him across the last two seasons, they have parlayed him into the 6’7″ McCarthy.
10:10am: The Yankees have acquired Brandon McCarthy from the D’Backs, according to Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish (on Twitter). The two sides were discussing a deal involving Vidal Nuno last night, sources tell Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter), but it’s unclear if Nuno is in fact in the trade.
McCarthy, 30, has a 5.01 ERA with 7.6 K/9 – a career best if it holds – and 1.6 BB/9 through 18 starts this season. While the 5+ ERA isn’t particularly attractive, advanced metrics such as McCarthy’s 2.89 xFIP indicate that he has been much better than that would indicate.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reported late last month that McCarthy would earn a $1MM assignment bonus if he was traded. Olney added that the D’Backs would likely have to pick up the tab on that sum.
The Diamondbacks made a smaller move yesterday when they shipped Joe Thatcher and Tony Campana to the Angels for outfielder Zach Borenstein and right-hander Joey Krehbiel. Between that deal and today’s trade of McCarthy, it’s clear that the 36-53 Diamondbacks are going to be committed to selling this month.
Despite their underwhelming performances so far this season, veterans Cody Ross and Aaron Hill could also be on the move. Eric Chavez, Bronson Arroyo, and Mark Trumbo could also be of interest to teams if they show that they’re healthy. And while Thatcher is already gone, fellow lefty Oliver Perez should have some value. Thatcher is merely a rental for the Angels but Perez is controlled through the 2015 season.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.