Chad Tracy Rumors
JULY 1: According to Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com, Tracy has cleared waivers and opted to be released rather than go to the minors.
JUNE 25: The Cubs designated Chad Tracy for assignment, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times (via Twitter). The Cubs had to create roster space for Aramis Ramirez, who is coming off the DL.
Tracy, 30, hit .250/.327/.295 for the Cubs in 49 plate appearances this year. He did not come close to matching the success he had with the D'Backs earlier in his career. From 2005-06, Tracy posted an .848 OPS and averaged 24 homers and 38 doubles as a corner infielder and outfielder. He signed a minor league deal worth $900K with the Cubs over the winter.
Links for Friday night, as Edwin Jackson tosses a 149-pitch no-hitter against his former team....
- Madison Bumgarner was scratched from tonight's Triple-A start, fueling speculation that the Giants would call him up to start tomorrow's game. However, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets that the team still plans to start Joe Martinez tomorrow, with Bumgarner as the backup option.
- In his weekly appearance on WEEI's Big Show, Peter Gammons discusses the Red Sox' bullpen issues and the best one-year signing of this past offseason.
- Bill Ladson of MLB.com wonders if the Nationals will be interested in the recently DFA'd Chad Tracy, given Tracy's connection to Nats GM Mike Rizzo.
- Although it looks as if the Rangers won't be able to afford Roy Oswalt, you can add Texas to the list of teams the pitcher would be willing to play for, according to the Dallas Morning News. Oswalt has previously said he'd accept a trade to anywhere he could contend.
- Garrett Atkins tells MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli (Twitter link) that being released by the Orioles would be a "welcome opportunity." It appears as though Atkins will soon be designated for assignment.
- Following a blow-up during today's game, Carlos Zambrano has been suspended indefinitely by the Cubs, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. When Zambrano returned to the Cubs' rotation, we discussed Tom Gorzelanny as a trade chip, but as long as Zambrano remains suspended, that possibility looks less likely.
- The Astros signed their second-round pick, right-hander Vincent Velasquez, per a team release.
- Dusty Baker says Gary Matthews Jr. "has got to get his act together" before the outfielder earns a shot at the Reds' big league lineup, writes MLB.com's Mark Sheldon.
The Cubs officially signed infielder Chad Tracy to a minor league deal today. ESPN's Bruce Levine and Jayson Stark first reported the agreement last night, which is worth $900K if Tracy makes the team and another $525K if he reaches 450 plate appearances.
Tracy, 30 in May, struggled to a .237/.306/.389 line in 288 plate appearances for the Diamondbacks last year. Tracy's future looked bright in May of '06, when he inked a three-year, $13.25MM deal with the D'Backs coming off a .308/.359/.553 season. But even then he was shielded against lefties, against whom he's never had success. Tracy's left knee began to bother him, and he had microfracture surgery in September of '07. A blood clot complicated his recovery. In March of '09, Tracy told MLB.com's Steve Gilbert the knee was no longer a factor.
Tracy gives Chicago a left-handed reserve bat and corner infield backup for Aramis Ramirez and Derrek Lee. The Rockies, Orioles and Mets had also shown interest in the veteran infielder, who will be changing addresses for the first time in his six-year major league career.
Tim Dierkes contributed to this post.
The latest on the Mets' search for starting pitching:
- Ben Sheets appears to be the team's top target, according to Ken Davidoff of Newsday.
- The Mets have been in touch with Sheets since watching him throw Tuesday, according to Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News.
- Alan Nero, one of Chien-Ming Wang's representatives, tells McCarron that the Mets are one of 15 teams interested in the former Yankee.
- McCarron hears that the Mets have had discussions about Chad Tracy.
- Remember, Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog tweeted this morning that the Mets are close to making a deal.
The Orioles' search for a corner infielder begins with a pair of Scott Boras clients and extends to Puerto Rico, but with a number of alternatives available, the club can afford to wait. Boras, who spoke recently with team president Andy MacPhail, tells Dan Connolly and Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun that Hank Blalock and Joe Crede are options for the Orioles.
"They are fits for Baltimore," Boras said. "It just really depends on whether they want a first or a third baseman."
MacPhail would prefer to play Garrett Atkins at first, according to the Sun, so Crede might makes more sense for the O's. Crede will be looking for the kind of make good contract that fellow Boras client Adrian Beltre signed last week: a short term deal that allows the player to demand a bigger contract if he succeeds.
As expected, the Orioles scouted Carlos Delgado in Puerto Rico last week, according to Roch Kubatko of MASN.com. Kubatko names Russell Branyan, Ryan Garko and Chad Tracy as alternatives the O's could pursue.
The Sun notes that the O's signed former Marlin Andy Gonzalez to a minor league deal.
- The O's will scout Carlos Delgado in Puerto Rico next week; they would consider him as a first baseman.
- They also have interest in first basemen Hank Blalock, Adam LaRoche, Russell Branyan and Chad Tracy, but don't want to offer multi-year deals to any of them. LaRoche is probably the only one of those players with much of a chance at a multi-year contract.
- Miguel Tejada remains a long shot for the Orioles. Unlike Dan Uggla, Tejada's open to playing third, so he's ahead of Uggla on Baltimore's wish list.
Rockies manager Jim Tracy doesn't "want to be the organization that pops up every three years or so," according to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post. Renck offers up a look at the needs the Rockies will need to address at this year's Winter Meetings in order to strengthen the club's chances to be perennial contenders:
- General manager Dan O'Dowd will meet with Rafael Betancourt's representation today. We've heard that Betancourt may accept arbitration from the Rockies, but with the Red Sox and Phillies interested in his services, that may change. O'Dowd says he wants things to work out with Betancourt, but they've identified alternatives in the event that they don't.
- Colorado would be interested in bringing LaTroy Hawkins back to Coors Field. Hawkins is coming off a strong year with the Astros in which he posted a 2.13 ERA through 63.1 innings, fanning 45 and walking 17. His FIP checked in at a much more pedestrian 3.97, however.
- The Rockies have requested Justin Duchscherer's medical records and will meet with his agent today.
- They've inquired on free agent Chad Tracy in an attempt to add a left-handed bat off the bench. Even without Tracy, however, they could still find a suitable backup to Todd Helton in their own clubhouse, as Brad Hawpe is open to spelling Helton from time to time.
- O'Dowd will keep the team's struggles against left-handers in mind if teams inquire about names like Brad Hawpe and Jorge De La Rosa.
- O'Dowd says he'll remain open to anything, but the difference between this year and last year is that he's not specifically looking to move some players.
Troy E. Renck of The Denver Post has some Rockies rumors for us...
- GM Dan O'Dowd called Brad Hawpe a "legitimate alternative" that can spell Todd Helton at first base. The team had been looking for a bench player capable of playing both first and third.
- The Rockies have expressed preliminary interest in free agents Chad Tracy and Jamey Carroll.
- O'Dowd confirmed that he's not looking to move Ryan Spilborghs.
- Contrary to reports, the Rockies are not interested in Gregg Zaun, though they still hope to bring Yorvit Torrealba back.
- Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com say that reports about hard feelings between Jason Marquis and the Rockies about not getting a playoff start are untrue.
The Rockies' interest in Bobby Crosby might not amount to anything if there are teams interested in him a starter, according to MLB.com's Thomas Harding. The Rockies would like to sign Crosby as a utilityman, but the Red Sox and other clubs that have been linked to the shortstop might be willing to give him a chance to start, which Crosby would prefer. Here are a few of Harding's other Rockies-related rumors....
- The team will likely have "internal discussions" about signing Chad Tracy as a bench player.
- The Rockies won't pursue any free-agent relievers until they see what happens with Rafael Betancourt, who has been offered arbitration and is their top bullpen priority.
- If they can't retain Betancourt, LaTroy Hawkins could be a target.
- The club would like to re-sign Yorvit Torrealba, but will have to wait for him to test the market.
- Long-term contracts for Huston Street and Clint Barmes are another priority. One Rockies official says that it's too early in talks with Street to see how far apart the two sides might be.
MLB.com's Steve Gilbert tweets that Arizona will not be offering arbitration to free agents Doug Davis, Scott Schoeneweis or Chad Tracy. Davis (a Type B) is the only ranked free agent of the trio. Gilbert blogged yesterday that the D-Backs were likely to pass on making Davis an offer since the team didn't want to risk bringing him back in 2010 at a higher salary.