Author Archives: Zach Links

Quick Hits: Harvey, Rodon, Dodgers, Astros

After going through a number of difficult times with MLB, Rob Manfred is more than ready to take over as commissioner, writes Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer. Manfred started working for MLB as an outside counsel in 1994, so he definitely knows what a crisis situation is all about.  More from around baseball..

  • In a radio interview last week, Matt Harvey reiterated that he is eager to get back to action for the Mets and said he is throwing in the mid-90s in his sessions. Later, manager Terry Collins got in touch with the star hurler. And I explained to him, I understand that,” Collins said of Harvey’s desire to get back to pitching, according to Newsday’s Marc Carig. “But the process is right now, you’ve got to understand it’s the big picture, and the big picture is 2015. So back off.” 
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post explores why the Mets and Cubs, who seem perfectly suited to swing a trade (pitching for a shortstop), have yet to take the leap. A NL executive tells Sherman the Mets “don’t make a lot of trades and that is because they really don’t like to give up what they perceive as their big talent, unless they can convince you to give them $2 for their 35 cents.
  • White Sox manager Robin Ventura told reporters, including MLB.com’s Scott Merkin, he will consider promoting Carlos Rodon (the third overall selection in this year’s draft) when the rosters expand in September. “If he’s doing well enough to come up here, yeah,” Ventura said. “If he’s available and he’s ready to go, he’s ready to go. I would like to see it but he’s got to be ready to go.” Rodon, who is not on the White Sox’s 40-man roster, was promoted to Triple-A yesterday.
  • Dodgers GM Ned Colletti told Jim Bowden of SiriusXM (on Twitter) if the club can “find a reliever that can help us late in the games we will consider it.”
  • The Astros have decisions to make on a pair of injured right-handed relievers, reports MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. Matt Albers (out since April with shoulder tendinitis) has a 2015 club option and Jesse Crain (who has been sidelined since undergoing surgery for biceps tendinitis last October) signed a one-year deal in January and Astros GM Jeff Luhnow would like to see them pitch this season before deciding their fates. “It would be nice to have those two guys in the bullpen in September to help us win some games.” said Luhnow. “I’m sure they want to do that as well so they can establish something going into next year.” 

Edward Creech contributed to this post.


AL Notes: Hamilton, Twins, Dunn, Yankees

Angels skipper Mike Scioscia is less-than-thrilled with Josh Hamilton and feels that he’s not quite the player he was when he was with the Rangers, writes Gerry Fraley of The Dallas Morning News.  “Josh is not the same that we saw when we were looking at the other dugout,” Scioscia said. “He’s not in the batter’s box with the confidence we know he has. He’s not attacking the ball like he can. He’s working hard to try to find it …but we need him to do what he’s capable of doing, or close to that.” More out of the American league..

  • The Brewers and other clubs are looking for relievers, but a Twins official tells Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (on Twitter) that another August deal is doubtful.
  • White Sox skipper Robin Ventura knows that Adam Dunn has a tough decision on his hands as he considers retirement after the 2014 season, writes Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com.  “That’s always a tough decision for guys,” Ventura said. “When they get where he’s at and Paul and all those guys that are of age, you get close and you might see the end. You don’t know. It’s a tough decision. This is something he’s done most of his adult life. It’s important. It’s still fun. You just never know. I’ve also heard guys talk that way and end up playing five more years.”
  • In case there was any doubt about his intentions, George A. King of the New York Post writes that Alex Rodriguez has been spotted working out at the University of Miami, where the baseball stadium is named after him, and at UCLA in Los Angeles.  The 39-year-old former MVP has three years and $61MM remaining on his contract with the Yankees.
  • The Yankees aren’t rushing Masahiro Tanaka back, but they are favoring an approach more proactive than protective, writes Brendan Kuty of the Star-Ledger.  “I think it’s important that we know he is healthy,” manager Joe Girardi said, “and the only way to find out is to get him in games.”  The Yankees’ $175MM investment threw fastballs from flat ground last week.

Red Sox Designate Corey Brown For Assignment

The Red Sox have designated Corey Brown for assignment, according to Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal (on Twitter).  The move will help create room for reliever Steven Wright.

Brown, 28, saw action in three games and made just one plate appearance in this year’s stint with the Red Sox.  Brown has spent the bulk of the year in Triple-A Pawtucket, where he posted a slash line of .226/.294/.452.  Over parts of five seasons at Triple-A, the outfielder has hit .249/.326/.459.



Cafardo On D’Backs, Red Sox, Lester, Nava

In today’s column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe looks at some of the recently suggestions put forth by Red Sox chairman Tom Werner to help make the game more marketable to young people.

Too many people are leaving games in the sixth and seventh innings because they can’t watch 3½-hour games, so they’re leaving the game at the point where the game should be getting exciting,” Werner said. “You wouldn’t make a 3½-hour movie. The NFL makes changes almost on an annual basis. They’re considering making the extra point from 35 yards rather than from the 8-yard line… I respect tradition, but I don’t revere it.”

Among Werner’s ideas: instituting a pitch clock, limiting the number of times a batter can step out of the box, and putting a cap on the number of catcher and pitching coach visits to the mound.  More from today’s column..

  • Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson could be on the hot seat and there has been a lot of speculation about Joe McEwing, a third base coach with the White Sox, or Mike Aldrete, the bench coach for the Cardinals.  If Gibson is canned it would mark Tony La Russa‘s first big decision but GM Kevin Towers would also likely to have a say.
  • In a chat with Cafardo, David Ross spoke glowingly of the amenities or “little things” that the Red Sox do for their players and Cafardo wonders if that could keep Jon Lester in Boston beyond this season.  Lester’s family was always taken care of the team’s traveling secretary and while other teams can offer similar services, the consensus among players who have been multiple places is that Red Sox and Yankees are the teams that offer more to their players.
  • Ross tells Cafardo that even though there have been no contract talks with the Red Sox yet, he would like to return.  Boston would certainly love for him to keep working with Christian Vazquez, but Ross’s recent bout with plantar fasciitis has slowed him.  Ross is finishing up a two-year, 6.2MM deal.
  • Daniel Nava drew interest from the Tigers and had interest from the Royals before they traded for Josh Willingham, but he has yet to be put on waivers.  It’s not a certainty that he’ll clear and but the Red Sox will likely put him on revocable waivers later in the month to see what type of interest he’ll get.  The Sox’ outfield looks crowded next season with Allen Craig, Jackie Bradley Jr., Shane Victorino, Yoenis Cespedes, Mookie Betts, and Brock Holt all in the mix so it makes sense to see what can be had for Nava.
  • In a separate tweet, Cafardo reports Nava, Mike Napoli, Koji Uehara, and Will Middlebrooks have been placed on revocable waivers.

Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Cahill, Gose, Swisher

On this date in 2008, Josh Hamilton became only the sixth major leaguer to be intentionally walked with the bases loaded.  Rays manager Joe Maddon’s decision to give the Rangers slugger a run-producing free pass in the ninth inning proved to be successful when Tampa Bay went on to win the game in Arlington, 7-4.  Here’s this week’s look around the baseball blogosphere..

Please send submissions to Zach at ZachBBWI@gmail.com.


Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Orioles, D’Backs, Buchholz

On this date in 2006, Red Sox ace Curt Schilling surrendered ten extra-base hits to the Royals, tying an American League record.  The nine doubles and homer equals the dubious mark set by Dale Gear (1901 Senators) and Luis Tiant (1969 Indians).  Here’s this week’s look around the baseball blogosphere..

Please send submissions to Zach at ZachBBWI@gmail.com.


West Notes: Goldschmidt, Angels, Sizemore, Dodgers

Diamondbacks slugger Paul Goldschmidt is likely out the rest of the season after being hit in the hand by Pirates reliever Ernesto Frieri, AZCentral.com’s Nick Piecoro tweets. After finishing second in NL MVP balloting in 2013, Goldschmidt was in the midst of a strong follow-up season, batting .300/.396/.542 in 479 plate appearances. Here’s more from the West divisions.

  • The Angels were counting on the returning C.J. Wilson to have the same effect as a major trade deadline pickup but that wasn’t the case in his outing last night, writes Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times.
  • The A’s could be in need of infield depth after Nick Punto suffered a hamstring injury and Susan Slusser of San Francisco Chronicle hears that they were talking with Scott Sizemore‘s agent even before the injury.  Sizemore was released by the Yankees on Friday.  Sizemore has seen time in parts of four MLB seasons, with his best work coming in 2011 when he compiled a .245/.342/.399 line through 429 plate appearances with the Tigers and Athletics.
  • Despite rumors to the contrary, top Dodgers prospects Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, and Julio Urias stayed put through the trade deadline. “If we didn’t think Joc, Corey or Urias had a chance to be impact players, they’d be out of here,” Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti said, according to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.  The Dodgers were linked to several high-end trade candidates, including David Price.

Charlie Wilmoth contributed to this post.


AL East Notes: Red Sox, Price, Prado, Smyly, Johnson

Joe Kelly first found out that John Lackey was traded to the Cardinals on Twitter and, 15 minutes later, learned he was part of the package heading to the Red Sox in return, writes Rob Harms of the Boston Globe.  “Hectic,” Kelly said of the deadline’s personal impact on him. “It’s something that happens in baseball, and, like I said, it could happen to anyone. When I got the news I was definitely shocked and surprised, but I found out it was Boston, and I figured it was one great baseball town to another. So definitely looking forward to it.”  More out of the AL East..

  • Rays executive VP Andrew Friedman says that if he waited until the winter to deal David Price, the return would have been somewhere between “a good bit less to dramatically less,” writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.  While some see their haul for the ace pitcher as light, Topkin says that in reality, they were pleased to get as much as they did.
  • There’s no reason for Red Sox GM Ben Cherington to stop wheeling and dealing now, writes Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. The Red Sox already have shipped out 11 of the 25 players who were on their World Series roster only nine months ago, but Lauber is dreaming big and thinking of names like Giancarlo Stanton and Chris Sale.
  • Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal breaks down the questions the Red Sox still need to answer in the aftermath of their recent roster maneuvers.
  • The Yankees are helping Martin Prado through his “strange” transition to a new team and new position, writes Brendan Kuty of the Star-Ledger.  Prado hadn’t taken a single practice fly ball in right field this season even though that’s his new spot. The veteran mostly played third base and left field while with the Braves and Diamondbacks.
  • While he knows that he has “very big” shoes to fill, Drew Smyly is excited to be a member of the Rays, Topkin writes.
  • Jim Johnson is now free to sign with any club after his release by the A’s Friday. Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com writes the Orioles maintain a high level of interest in signing their former closer to a minor league deal, but are not the only team pursuing the right-hander.
  • Johnson will throw a side session for the Orioles tomorrow in Sarasota in front of rehab pitching coordinator Scott McGregor, tweets Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun.

Edward Creech contributed to this post.


Cafardo On Blue Jays, Kemp, Red Sox, Stanton

In today’s column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes that the waiver deadline period could produce some significant deals around baseball. The Phillies probably won’t find deals for Jonathan Papelbon (contract) and Cliff Lee (health concerns plus contract) but A.J. Burnett could conceivably be moved.  Meanwhile, the Blue Jays continue to, as one executive said to Cafardo, “kick the tires on just about everything but never seem to do anything.”  More from today’s column..

  • The Red Sox may have been scouting Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, but their dialogue with the Dodgers was virtually nonexistent despite the constant rumors connecting the two.  The Dodgers, Cafardo writes, were never going to deal Kemp, who has been one of their best right-handed hitters.
  • The Dodgers were also never really in on Red Sox hurlers Jon Lester or John Lackey but really wanted Andrew Miller and came close to giving Boston one of their best pitching prospects for him.
  • It seems as if the Red Sox and other teams have finally come to the realization that Marlins star Giancarlo Stanton isn’t going anywhere and that could be a reason why the Red Sox obtained Yoenis Cespedes, who obviously isn’t as good but has the power and athleticism to improve. For now, he seems to feel that Miami is moving in the right direction and appears to be all in on staying with the Marlins.
  • The buzz around baseball is that the Cubs will be all in on Jon Lester.  Cubs president Theo Epstein, GM Jed Hoyer, and Jason McLeod were in Boston with Lester during his trying times.  Also, the Cubs will have to rebuild their rotation at some point and adding Lester would be a major, major step in that direction.

Yankees Notes: Robertson, Ackley, Prado

The Yankees bullpen has emerged from Mariano Rivera‘s shadow to carve out their own place, writes Tyler Kepner of the New York Times. “Those two guys, they are amazing,” catcher Francisco Cervelli said of Dellin Betances and David Robertson. “If they’re facing, in the seventh or eighth, a guy throwing 100, and then Robertson comes in at 91 with cutters and curveballs, it’s difficult timing.”  More on the Bombers..

  • Before acquiring Martin Prado from the Diamondbacks on Thursday, the Yankees inquired about the Mariners’ Dustin Ackley, according to George A. King III of the New York Post.  However, those talks ended when the M’s asked for minor league right-hander Bryan Mitchell because the Yankees view the 23-year-old right-hander as a rotation candidate either this year or next.
  • Robertson continues to lock up saves and Yankees GM Brian Cashman should lock up the closer, writes Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News.  The Yankees broke their long-standing rule of not extending players beyond their current contracts when they inked Brett Gardner to a four-year, $52MM deal during spring training and that’s looking like a smart move now.  Now that Robertson has proven himself to be a strong closer, the Bombers should make sure he’s there for the long haul.
  • The Yankees‘ acquisition of Prado means that they can be more patient in getting Carlos Beltran back from injury, writes Roger Rubin of the Daily News.