- A.J. Burnett Expected To Miss Four Weeks With Flexor Strain
- Athletics Claim Danny Valencia
- Red Sox President Larry Lucchino To Be Replaced
- C.J. Wilson Likely Out For Season
- Dodgers, Braves, Marlins Complete 13-Player Trade
- Blue Jays Designate Danny Valencia, Ezequiel Carerra
- Orioles Designate Chris Parmelee
- Mets Acquire Yoenis Cespedes
- Pirates Acquire J.A. Happ
- Rangers Acquire Sam Dyson From Marlins For Tomas Telis
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- A.J. Burnett Expected To Miss Four Weeks With Flexor Strain
- Brandon Beachy Clears Waivers, Accepts Outright Assignment
- Athletics Claim Danny Valencia
- Blue Jays Claim Ben Rowen From Cubs
- Notable August Trades: 2012-14
- NL East Notes: Mets, Wheeler, Bour, Capps, Braves
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- How August Trades Work
- Rockies To Promote Jon Gray
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- East Links: Valencia, Lucchino, Utley, Espinosa
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- NL West Notes: Kennedy, Preller, Leake, Tulo
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Baltimore Orioles Rumors
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.
Yankees right-hander Michael Pineda is dealing with a right arm injury, as WFAN’s Mike Francesca first reported, although the injury’s severity remains unclear. Joel Sherman of the New York Post cites Yankees executives in saying that the issue is a strained muscle in Pineda’s forearm as opposed to anything in his elbow, and it’s not believed to be serious at this time (Twitter links). Nonetheless, Marly Rivera of ESPN tweets that Pineda won’t start tonight’s game for New York, as had previously been scheduled. While many will speculate that there’s an increased need to add pitching, there’s been no definitive report on Pineda requiring a lengthy absence from the rotation. (And while some have said otherwise, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News tweets that there’s no issue with Ivan Nova‘s arm at present.)
- The Yankees recently reached out to the Mariners to express interest in Dustin Ackley, reports Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News (Twitter link). The two sides discussed a scenario in which outfielders Ramon Flores and Ben Gamel would’ve gone to the Mariners, but Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik wanted more for Ackley, and talks have since cooled, per Feinsand. Ackley, the former No. 2 overall pick in the draft, is again struggling this season and has batted a mere .215/.270/.366. Many have speculated that Zduriencik is loath to undertake in any type of sale, as his job security could be tied to the Mariners’ finish this season. Nonetheless, it’s a bit surprising to hear him holding out for any sort of return on Ackley, though Flores and Gamel admittedly aren’t all that well-regarded. Flores ranked 27th on MLB.com’s midseason edition of the Yankees’ Top 30 prospects, while Gamel didn’t place.
- The Orioles are continually being asked for the likes of Kevin Gausman, Jonathan Schoop, Mychal Givens and even Manny Machado in trades, reports Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com (via Twitter). Each of those players is considered a deal-breaker for Baltimore, he writes. The Orioles have been seeking upgrades to their corner outfield situation recently.
- The Rays are indeed listening to offers on Nate Karns (as was reported earlier today), tweets Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. However, Topkin feels that the likeliest trade candidate, if the Rays move someone at all, remains right-hander Kevin Jepsen. Topkin reported last week that the Rays may very well trade a relief pitcher prior to the trade deadline.
The Reds are currently “examining offers” for closer Aroldis Chapman, tweets ESPN’s Buster Olney, but at this time, there’s no sense as to whether or not they feel “devoted” to finishing a trade as they did with Johnny Cueto over the weekend. Chapman’s name has been connected to the Nationals (who have since acquired Jonathan Papelbon), D-Backs, Blue Jays and others in recent weeks, but because he’s controlled through 2016, the urge to move him isn’t as great as the urge to move Cueto or teammate Mike Leake.
A few more general trade notes for all you late-night readers…
- ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick gets the sense that the Athletics won’t move right-hander Jesse Chavez (Twitter link). I listed Chavez in my breakdown of the trade market for starting pitching, but as Crasnick notes, he’s controlled through 2016 at what should be a reasonable rate. Chavez is owed just $2.15MM in 2015 and should get a nice, but not enormous raise in arbitration this winter. Following today’s trade of Ben Zobrist, A’s general manager Billy Beane said that he didn’t plan on moving pieces that are controlled beyond the current season.
- Sticking with the ESPN group, Jayson Stark noted in today’s roundup of trade rumors that one exec predicted to him that James Shields would end up with the Giants. However, Stark hears that the Padres have changed their stance on trading within the division and now may be hesitant to trade their top chips to a division-rival. San Diego, of course, made a huge intra-division trade by acquiring Matt Kemp from the Dodgers this offseason.
- Speaking of the Dodgers, Stark also hears that L.A. could land two starting pitchers instead of one this week. He goes on to add that the Dodgers have a limited number of prospects they’re actually willing to deal, though, so if they can line up on a trade for a big name like Cole Hamels, they may not have the remaining pieces to add a second arm.
- One executive tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that he doesn’t think the Brewers particularly want to trade Carlos Gomez (Twitter link). The asking price on Gomez at this time is “very” high, the exec tells Rosenthal, adding that he thinks Milwaukee is hoping to get blown away but may otherwise hang onto the center fielder.
- The Pirates have interest in Padres right-hander Shawn Kelley, reports John Perrotto of the Beaver County Times (on Twitter). A free agent following the season, Kelley has turned in a very strong 3.09 ERA with excellent strikeout-to-walk numbers in 2015. He’s averaged 10.9 K/9 against a minuscule 1.8 BB/9 in his first season with San Diego.
- The Orioles‘ interest in Carlos Gonzalez was characterized by one source as “mild,” tweets Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. However, Morosi tweets that the Orioles are still in the Justin Upton market. Baltimore is known to be looking for a corner outfield upgrade but has limited prospect depth from which it can deal to achieve that goal.
- Morosi also notes (via Twitter) that the Nationals are interested in upgrading their bench, but the want to fully assess the health of Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth, both of whom are now off the disabled list. He notes that an extra outfielder would be a nice pickup for the team, speculatively listing both Will Venable of the Padres and Gerardo Parra of the Brewers as fits.
Full Story | 31 Comments | Categories: Aroldis Chapman | Baltimore Orioles | Carlos Gomez | Carlos Gonzalez | Cincinnati Reds | James Shields | Jesse Chavez | Jonathan Papelbon | Justin Upton | Los Angeles Dodgers | Milwaukee Brewers | Oakland Athletics | Pittsburgh Pirates | San Diego Padres | San Francisco Giants | Shawn Kelley | Washington Nationals
Though the Braves have fielded plenty of interest in the revived Cameron Maybin, and have considered moving him, the team now feels it “would need to be blown away with an offer” to make a deal, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Contrary to an earlier report, Bowman adds, an Atlanta source vehemently denied the suggestion that Maybin had been dangled in an earlier effort to add Angel Pagan of the Giants. Maybin, 28, has been one of the game’s best turnaround stories, with his play dramatically altering perceptions of both his contract and the deal that brought him to Atlanta (which was already widely viewed as a Braves win).
- The Athletics seem unlikely to move outfielder Josh Reddick, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. In his comments after today’s Tyler Clippard trade, GM Billy Beane said that his club is not presently working on deals involving players who are under future control.
- Despite a trio of acquisitions already completed, the Mets are still looking at a handful of outfield options, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com tweets. New York has, of course, just brought up top prospect Michael Conforto with Michael Cuddyer on the DL, but the team also designated John Mayberry Jr. and could use another quality option.
- A source also tells Marc Carig of Newsday that the Mets are still shopping for outfield bats. Carig notes that the team could wait for asking prices to drop on deadline day.
- The Angels are also still looking at left-handed hitting outfielders after adding Victorino, and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets that Jay Bruce (Reds), David Murphy (Indians), and Ben Revere (Phillies) are all still on their radar.
- Gerardo Parra of the Brewers is also a player that the Angels are interested in, per Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (via Twitter). Heyman breaks down his market, citing the Mets and Orioles as prime suitors (along with the Halos) for the left-handed hitter. There’s also a classic mystery team involved, per the report.
- Heyman adds that some in the Brewers organization do not believe that Carlos Gomez will end up being dealt. Milwaukee is somewhat hesitant to move an affordable, in-prime player with control remaining.
- Be sure to check out MLBTR’s Trade Market series for all the most likely outfield trade pieces. We’ve covered both center field candidates as well as corner options.
Full Story | 9 Comments | Categories: Angel Pagan | Atlanta Braves | Baltimore Orioles | Ben Revere | Cameron Maybin | Carlos Gomez | Cincinnati Reds | Cleveland Indians | David Murphy | Gerardo Parra | Jay Bruce | Josh Reddick | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Milwaukee Brewers | New York Mets | Oakland Athletics | Philadelphia Phillies | San Francisco Giants | Tyler Clippard
JULY 27: Duquette reiterated today that he does not see any circumstances in which the Orioles would turn into sellers before the deadline, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports (Twitter links). “We may make some trades, but anything that we do we’re gonna try and improve our ballclub for this year,” said Duquette.
There had been some suggestion that Baltimore could switch into sell mode after slipping under .500, but the team’s top baseball decisionmaker certainly did not appear to leave any room for that possibility with the deadline just days away.
JULY 22: Orioles executive vice president/general manager Dan Duquette held court with the Baltimore media prior to today’s game and definitively said that the club will be buyers at the trade deadline regardless of how the team plays over the next week (via Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun, on Twitter). Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com tweets that Duquette specifically said that the team needs better production from its outfield and pitching depth. Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com tweets that Duquette said the team is not looking to trade right-hander Kevin Gausman, but he’s the type of piece that other clubs will routinely ask about. (As Encina notes, Duquette’s comments don’t necessarily squash the rumor that he’s willing to listen to offers on Gausman.)
The Orioles are currently a .500 club at 46-46, which places them five games out of the division lead in the American League East. The Yankees are presently in the division lead, with the second-place Blue Jays just a half-game ahead of Baltimore.
Outfield production has indeed been a problem for Baltimore in 2015. A year after letting Nick Markakis and Nelson Cruz walk as free agents, Orioles left fielders are batting a putrid .219/.289/.344. Baltimore right fielders have produced a more palatable .285/.321/.440 triple-slash, and Adam Jones, of course, has contributed his typical brand of strong offensive output in center field.
Duquette and the Orioles hoped that the combination of Alejandro De Aza, Delmon Young, Steve Pearce, Travis Snider and David Lough would sufficiently cover their corner outfield needs, but that hasn’t been the case. However, De Aza and Young were both designated for assignment, with the former headed to Boston via trade and the latter ultimately getting released. Pearce hasn’t come close to reproducing his 2014 breakout, Snider’s offense is down significantly from 2014, and Lough’s value was always going to come more from his ability to prevent runs than his ability to create them.
In the rotation, Chris Tillman, Bud Norris and Miguel Gonzalez have all struggled, although Tillman’s shown signs of life over his past four outings, posting a sub-2.00 ERA with a 24-to-3 K/BB ratio in 24 1/3 innings. Ubaldo Jimenez. who is enjoying one of the best rebound campaigns in all of baseball this season, has been an unexpected bright spot as well. Nonetheless, Baltimore’s rotation has turned in a collective 4.22 ERA that ranks 22nd in the Majors. What’s worse is the fact that Baltimore starters haven’t pitched deep into the game, either; the team’s 523 innings out of the rotation is the fourth-lowest total in all of Major League Baseball, leading only the Rockies, Royals and Diamondbacks.
The Orioles face an uphill battle if they’re to add a significant piece to their big league club, as the Baltimore farm system is commonly regarded as one of the worst in the league. (Forfeiting two picks in the 2014 draft to sign Cruz and Jimenez, plus failing to sign their second-round pick in the most recent draft haven’t helped matters.) Duquette’s comments seem to suggest that the Orioles aren’t actively shopping Gausman, though as Encina noted above, he also declined to make a definitive statement that Gausman is off the table. Perhaps that’s reading too much into his comments, but I’d imagine that with scant depth in the farm, teams would be intrigued by an MLB-ready arm such as Gausman.
To this point, the Orioles have been connected to many of the impact bats on the market, including Justin Upton and Carlos Gomez. Jay Bruce‘s name has surfaced as a target as well. Things on the pitching side of the equation are a bit murkier, though one name that’s been tied to the Orioles is Cincinnati’s Mike Leake.
The Padres have discussed a Justin Upton trade with the Orioles, sources tell Jayson Stark of ESPN (Twitter link). According to Stark, the two sides could try to expand talks to include some of the Padres’ controllable pitchers. He lists Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross as two possibilities. San Diego is reportedly “pushing hard” to trade some its expensive, big-name talent.
Stark’s latest report adds to the deluge of mixed signals regarding the Orioles’ trade deadline direction. Just last week, general manager Dan Duquette told the media that he planned on being a buyer regardless of how his club performed in the days leading up to the deadline. However, multiple reports have surfaced since that time to indicate that the Orioles may yet consider selling veteran pieces. Stark himself heard earlier today that the Orioles have at least gauged interest in impending free agents like Matt Wieters, Wei-Yin Chen, Chris Davis and Tommy Hunter, adding that if the Orioles did pick up a bat, it may only be a bench piece.
Clearly, Upton is considerably more than a bench piece. Although he isn’t hitting like he did in his best years with the D-Backs and Braves, he’s still been a very sound producer in his first (and perhaps only) four months with the Padres. The 27-year-old Upton is batting .251/.330/.429 with 16 homers on the season. The temptation of many would be to blame his offensive woes on the Padres pitcher-friendly home environment, but Upton’s OPS at home is more than 300 points higher than his road mark. He’s batted an enormous .297/.354/.558 at home compared to a putrid .208/.308/.306 on the road.
Upton is controlled only through the end of the year and is earning $14.5MM this year — of which a not-insignificant $5.55MM remains. A trade for him could be good news, as it’d prevent him from receiving a qualifying offer at the end of the year, which would serve to boost his free agent stock a bit.
The Orioles, though, aren’t in a great spot to pay for only a rental. Their farm system already ranks among the worst in baseball, and as previously mentioned, they’re set to lose a number of key players to free agency (Wieters, Davis, Chen, Hunter). In my eyes, that makes the addition of Cashner or Ross — particularly Ross — a logical path to explore.
Both Cashner and Ross are controlled beyond 2015, though Cashner is a free agent after the 2016 campaign. Ross is controllable through 2017. Either would serve as an upgrade and could reasonably stake a claim to being Baltimore’s best pitcher based on their track records, though each is also having somewhat of a down season. Cashner’s strikeout, walk and ground-ball rates are all about even with his 2014 marks, causing xFIP and SIERA to give him similar grades, but his ERA has ballooned a bit due to difficulty in terms of stranding runners and serving up home runs. Ross has never been known as a pitcher with pinpoint control, and his previously diminished control issues have now resurfaced in 2015. He is, however, whiffing more hitters than ever before and racking up grounders at a career-best rate, so there’s some reason for optimism.
The question for Baltimore would be what it could offer to entice the Padres to part with what is unequivocally a significant amount of win-now talent. Some reports have indicated that the Orioles are willing to listen to offers on former No. 4 overall pick Kevin Gausman — a big-league ready power arm that, at present, hasn’t grabbed hold of a long-term spot in the Baltimore rotation.
In terms of upper-level talent in the minors, the Orioles have some big-league ready pieces in the form of outfielder Dariel Alvarez and pitchers Mike Wright and Tyler Wilson, but none of that trio has a particularly high ceiling, per most scouting reports. Right-handers Dylan Bundy and Hunter Harvey certainly do, but each has also suffered a lost season due to injuries (the second such season, in Bundy’s case). Turning to the big league roster, the Orioles have young pieces such as Jonathan Schoop, who missed much of the season with a knee injury but has hit reasonably well and played sound defense in limited action.
All of the names mentioned as possible pieces of interest for the Padres are, of course, pure speculation on my part, but it stands to reason that the Orioles would need to put together a creative offer — perhaps even one involving MLB-ready talent or talent from the current big league roster — in order to land the likes of Upton and Cashner and/or Ross. One potential alternative would be to bail the Padres out of the Melvin Upton Jr. contract, though that seems exceptionally unlikely considering we saw the team essentially sell a Competitive Balance draft pick to the Dodgers by packaging it with in order to free themselves of Ryan Webb‘s roughly $2.75MM salary.
Early Sunday morning, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports released his latest edition of Full Count (video link). Let’s dive in and take a look at some of the highlights..
- A trade of highly-regarded young right-hander Kevin Gausman would be quite unpopular with many members of the Orioles organization, Rosenthal hears. It was reported late last week that the O’s appeared to be willing to discuss the 24-year-old but skipper Buck Showalter said on Saturday called that notion “comical.”
- Tyson Ross is drawing the most interest of any Padres starting pitcher, thanks in large part to his contractual status. Ross is under control through 2017 while Ian Kennedy is a potential pending free agent and Andrew Cashner can be a free agent after next season. Unsurprisingly, the Padres want a greater haul for Ross than any of their other arms.
- Dan Haren is on pace for about 33 starts and 205 innings, totals that would trigger an additional $3MM in incentives. The Marlins could have some extra incentive of their own to move the veteran starter since they’d only be on the hook for the prorated portion of that, saving them roughly $1MM.
- With the pending returns of Jaime Garcia and Marco Gonzales, the Cardinals are one team that is not in the hunt for starting pitching.
The Giants could pursue Tigers ace David Price if he’s made available, tweets Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. Per Morosi, substantive talks will await the Tigers decision to compete or sell. Detroit won earlier this afternoon to improve to 48-49. They’re currently 4.5 games back in the AL Wild Card race. The Blue Jays, Dodgers, and Cubs are also interested in Price (tweet).
Here’s more from the West divisions:
- Astros owner Jim Crane is pleased with the acquisition of Scott Kazmir, reports Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston in a series of tweets (1, 2, 3, 4). Crane says the club will absolutely make a run at the postseason, and he seems confident that “there’s some deals to be done.” Houston is open to taking on a pricey contract for the right guy, “if it makes good sense.” Crane also confirmed that a hitter is among the many things GM Jeff Luhnow is seeking to acquire. Luhnow himself said he expects to be involved in at least one more trade, reports Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle.
- The Padres are “ready to sell,” tweets Scott Miller of Bleacher Report. However, the club will first see how they perform in a four game set against the struggling Marlins. San Diego is currently seven games below .500 and 7.5 games back in the Wild Card race. Four teams stand between the Padres and a Wild Card berth, but the Braves have already started to disassemble. A sweep could put the Friars back in the thick of the race.
- While San Diego waits to see how the upcoming series transpires, they continue to shop starter James Shields, tweets Jayson Stark of ESPN. Stark spoke with one executive who said the Padres would have to eat a big portion of the $65MM remaining on Shields’ contract. Shields is owed $21MM over each of the next three seasons with a $16MM option for 2019 ($2MM buyout). While he’s struggled with home runs this season, he’s also posted career bests in strikeout rate (10.13 K/9) and swinging strike rate.
- The Mariners have asked the Orioles about Triple-A catcher Steve Clevenger, tweets Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports. Talks did not advance. The 29-year-old is hitting well in the minors with a .327/.402/.408 line in 246 plate appearances. He also performed well in a brief major league audition earlier this season, going 5-for-11.
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels told reporters that a big weekend could lead the club to simply buy, writes Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Texas is expected to market short term assets like Yovani Gallardo as they walk the line between contending and building for next season.