Baltimore Orioles Rumors

Baltimore Orioles trade and free agent rumors from MLBTradeRumors.com.

AL East Notes: Revere, Orioles, Red Sox, Jays

A look at the AL East..

  • The Orioles came “very close” to acquiring Ben Revere from the Phillies before the Blue Jays swooped in and got him, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com tweets.
  • Orioles GM Dan Duquette said that designating Bud Norris for assignment was “a personal disappointment,” as Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com tweets.  Baltimore explored trades with every team they talked to before DFA’ing him, so they’re not terribly optimistic now, she adds.
  • The Red Sox didn’t make big moves today but GM Ben Cherington says he now has a better sense of what Boston could do in the offseason in terms of trades, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe tweets.
  • Rays President of Baseball Operations Matthew Silverman says he will continue to explore waiver deals in August, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets.
  • Red Sox manager John Farrell says he’s excited to see what he can get out of the newly acquired Ryan Cook, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald writes.  “This is a guy that’s been a closer in the past,” Farrell said. “I know that there’s been some change of role out in Oakland. As we did with (recently acquired reliever) Jean Machi to come in and take a look at him, this will be a similar situation.”

Orioles Designate Chris Parmelee

5:19pm: The Orioles have announced that they’ve actually designated Chris Parmelee, not Snider, to clear space for Parra. Parmelee, a lefty-hitting outfielder and first baseman, was hitting .216/.255/.433 in 102 plate appearances with the O’s. The Orioles signed him to a minor league deal last winter, and he hit well in 265 plate appearances for Triple-A Norfolk before being promoted in mid-June. Since then, his good power but low batting average and on-base percentage have been consistent with his performances over parts of four previous seasons with Minnesota.

2:07pm: The Orioles will designate outfielder Travis Snider for assignment, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun tweets. He’ll lose his roster spot to make way for the just-acquired Gerardo Parra.

Snider, 27, had been hitting .239/.318/.344 in 233 plate appearances since arriving in a trade last winter. He was coming off a good season in a part-time role in Pittsburgh last season, but didn’t provide enough offense in Baltimore, particularly given that he’s purely a corner outfielder. The hot-hitting Parra, who also bats lefty, made Snider mostly superfluous. He’s making $2.1MM in his second season of arbitration eligibility, and the Orioles will be responsible for most or all of that amount unless he’s claimed.


Cubs Acquire Tommy Hunter For Junior Lake

The Cubs have acquired right-hander Tommy Hunter from the Orioles, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. ESPN’s Buster Olney adds that outfielder Junior Lake will go back to Baltimore in the deal.

[RELATED: Cubs Acquire Dan Haren]

Hunter, 29 this month, has a 3.63 ERA, 6.4 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, 0.60 HR/9, and 46.3% groundball rate in 60 2/3 innings for the Orioles this year. Hunter joined the Orioles four years ago along with Chris Davis, in a trade with the Rangers for Koji Uehara. Since 2013, he has a 3.05 ERA in 191 2/3 innings out of the Orioles’ bullpen. He’s earning $4.65MM this year, and will become a free agent after the season. He’s the lone addition to a Cubs bullpen that includes Hector Rondon, Pedro Strop, Jason Motte, Justin Grimm, Rafael Soriano, and James Russell.

Lake, 25, has struggled in the Majors with a .241/.283/.380 career line. He has played well at Triple-A this year, with a .315/.404/.472 line in 231 plate appearances. Prior to the 2013 season, back when Lake was still an infield prospect, Baseball America said he had “tantalizing tools and inconsistent performance.” If Lake does become a useful big leaguer, he’ll be a late bloomer. He’s the second outfielder the Orioles acquired today, as they made a bigger splash earlier by acquiring Gerardo Parra from the Brewers.



Yoenis Cespedes Rumors: Friday

Yoenis Cespedes is the Tigers’ top rental piece now that David Price is in Toronto. He’s widely expected to be dealt today following the trades of Price and Joakim Soria, especially because he cannot receive a qualifying offer at the end of the year, even if the Tigers keep him. (Cespedes’ contract calls for him to be released at its end so he can reach free agency despite not having six years of service.)

Here are today’s Cespedes rumors…

  • The Angels have had discussions with the Tigers regarding Cespedes, tweets Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.

Earlier Updates

  • Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post tweets that the Nationals do not have interest in Cespedes.
  • The Nationals are a surprise possibility for Cespedes, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. GM Mike Rizzo is said to love him, Heyman notes. It’s somewhat unclear where Cespedes would slot into the Nationals’ outfield if everyone is healthy, though. Heyman also lists the Mets as suitors for Cespedes, and rumors do suggest that the two sides are at least having preliminary talks.
  • The Tigers‘ asking price on Cespedes is currently high, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, with the belief being that Detroit would ask the Orioles for Kevin Gausman in return. The Orioles, reportedly, are loath to part with the former No. 4 overall pick.
  • The Orioles could still make a Cespedes trade work even after acquiring Gerardo Parra, tweets ESPN’s Buster Olney. Corner outfield help has been the Orioles’ top target over the past week.
  • Olney’s colleague, Jayson Stark, tweets that other clubs feel that the White Sox are struggling with how the impact of Cespedes or fellow corner outfielder Justin Upton would impact the current roster. The ChiSox already have a logjam at first base, DH and the corner outfield. I’d suggest that Avisail Garcia could be demoted to Triple-A. The Sox remain high on him, but he’s not showing much power and has struggled in the field. As of yesterday, the Sox had flipped the switch from “seller” to “buyer” and were said to be aggressively pursuing offensive upgrades, including Cespedes and Upton.

Orioles Designate Bud Norris For Assignment

The Orioles announced that they have designated right-hander Bud Norris for assignment in order to clear space on the 40-man and 25-man rosters for newly acquired outfielder Gerardo Parra.

Norris came to the Orioles two years ago to the date in a deadline deal that sent Josh Hader and L.J. Hoes to Houston. After delivering a season and a half of solid results for Baltimore, the 30-year-old has taken an alarming step backwards in 2015. Norris has a 7.05 ERA on the season to go along with diminished strikeout (6.8 K/9) and walk (3.4 BB/9) rates. Norris has always been a bit homer prone, but the 14 homers he’s served up in just 66 1/3 innings this season are particularly troublesome.

Norris is slated to hit the open market this winter as a six-year free agent, so the timing of his struggles was unfortunate. He’s earning $8.8MM this year, making him a lock to clear waivers. He’ll have the option to reject an outright assignment without forfeiting the remainder of his salary as a player with five-plus years of service time, and the Orioles could conceivably also ask for his consent to option him to Triple-A (another right that is afforded to five-plus players).


Orioles Acquire Gerardo Parra

The Orioles have officially acquired Brewers outfielder Gerardo Parra, as first reported by Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter). Prospect Zach Davies will go to Milwaukee in return.

Jul 17, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA;  Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Gerardo Parra (28) reacts after driving in a run with a double in the fifth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Milwaukee drew fairly wide interest in Parra, though other teams with reported interest (such as the Angels) had already opted to move for other pieces. The club had been hoping to add two prospects in exchange for Parra, but ultimately decide to take one more highly regarded prospect from Baltimore, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel tweets.

It’s been a career-year thus far for the 28-year-old, who owns a .328/.369/.517 slash over 351 plate appearances. He’s added nine home runs and nine steals as well. While Parra has graded surprisingly poorly in the outfield, he has a sterling reputation in that regard and has generally received above-average ratings from metrics.

If teams believed that level of production was sustainable, of course, Parra would have drawn much more interest. But his track record suggests he’s more of a league-average bat, and he has benefited quite a bit from a .372 BABIP.

Regardless, Parra looks like a quality rental piece for a contender — he’ll be a free agent after the season — and Baltimore will be the one to take the plunge. Though the O’s already have left-handed-hitting platoon outfielders in Travis Snider and David Lough, but both have been underwhelming.

Baltimore had to part with its eighth-rated prospect, per Baseball America’s mid-season ranking (subscription link), to get the deal done. He’s not an overpowering pitcher, but gets by on finesse and is near to the big leagues, per BA’s Josh Leventhal. Davies has posted excellent results this year at Triple-A, racking up 101 1/3 innings of 2.84 ERA pitching with 7.2 K/9 against 2.9 BB/9.

Nathan Bishop of Lookout Landing suggested just this scenario could be in the works on Twitter yesterday. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweeted that the deal was close. Roch Kubatko reported this morning that it was in the works. 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.


Asking Price On Revere Too High For Blue Jays; Orioles Still Involved

11:03am: The Orioles are still in the mix for Revere, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, who adds that one source said it’s “50-50″ when it comes to Revere and the O’s.

10:50am: ESPN’s Buster Olney now reports that the Blue Jays aren’t interested in Revere at the Phillies’ current asking price (Twitter links). The Phillies are discussing Revere with a different club, per Olney.

10:04am: The Blue Jays are talking with the Phillies about a potential Ben Revere trade, and talks between the two sides are “heating up” tweets Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. Revere is widely expected to be traded today. MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki tweeted that the Orioles are still in on Revere as well even after landing Gerardo Parra.

The Blue Jays expected Michael Saunders to play left field this year, but a knee injury has cost him most of the season. Chris Colabello has hit well in his stead, but he’s a poor defender in left, and bringing Revere into the fold would allow them to rotate Colabello, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion between the DH spot.

Revere is hitting .298/.334/.374 with a homer and 24 steals this season. His all-speed approach would give the Jays’ lineup a bit of a different dynamic. Revere is earning $4.1MM in 2015 and is controllable through 2017 via arbitration.


Orioles “Closing In” On Gerardo Parra Deal

The Orioles are “closing in” on a deal for Brewers outfielder Gerardo Parra, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets. Prospect Zach Davies is expected to be the return to Milwaukee. Nathan Bishop of Lookout Landing suggested just this scenario could be in the works on Twitter yesterday.


Orioles Weighing Gerardo Parra, Ben Revere; Discussing Tommy Hunter With Cubs

The Orioles are looking at a pair of left-handed hitting outfielders in Gerardo Parra of the Brewers and Ben Revere of the Phillies, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports. The club was talking about a deal involving minor league hurler Zach Davies (in addition to other pieces). Baltimore already has Travis Snider and David Lough as left-handed options in the corner outfield, but has long been said to be looking at new options.

Confirming and building on that report, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says Baltimore is indeed pursuing talks on both Parra and Revere (Twitter links). Baltimore is also working on a deal with the Cubs involving reliever Tommy Hunter, per the report. The team would look to save some cash (around $1.5MM) while adding a minor leaguer from Chicago. The 29-year-old has been a steady contributor in the pen, though he failed in an early stint as the team’s closer last year.

The O’s would presumably put some of the savings achieved on Hunter, should that deal come to fruition, towards a new outfielder. Parra ($6.24MM annual salary) and Revere ($4.1MM) would both cost Baltimore a fairly tidy sum to field the rest of the way, in addition to whatever the acquisition cost would be from their respective clubs. Both are different players who represent different kinds of assets: Parra is a better defender with decent pop (particularly this year), and is a pure rental, while Revere is a singles hitter with outstanding speed who can be controlled for two more seasons.


Orioles, Brewers Discussing Gerardo Parra

The Orioles and Brewers are in trade discussions regarding outfielder Gerardo Parra, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Tom Haudricourt tweeted recently that Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin said his trade of Carlos Gomez wouldn’t preclude a trade of Parra, adding that the Orioles have interest. MLB.com’s Britt Ghiroli tweets that the Orioles “like Parra a lot.” Lookout Landing’s Nathan Bishop, who earlier pegged the Brewers’ return for Gomez and Mike Fiers, tweets that right-hander Zach Davies could be in play.

The Orioles aren’t alone in their pursuit of Parra as the Angels and Mets have also been linked to him recently.  Parra, 28, has hit .326/.367/.517 with nine homers in 347 plate appearances this season.  His .884 OPS so far this year beats his previous watermark – a .784 OPS with the D’Backs in 2011 – by a healthy margin.  For his career, Parra owns a .279/.330/.407 batting line across seven big league seasons.

While he’s doing well at the plate, his usually solid defense has taken a step back this season.  Parra owns a -20.5 UZR/150, which casts him as a pretty bad outfielder defensively.  In 2014 Parra graded out as roughly average and in other seasons he has been strong in the field, per the advanced metrics.