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Chris Denorfia Rumors
The trade deadline is rapidly approaching and while things figure to get exciting over the next month and change, not everyone is drooling over what might be available. “To be honest, I don’t see much out there,” an official of one contender told Jayson Stark of ESPN.com. “Who’s even selling? And what are they selling? I know there will be guys to trade for. But where’s the quality?” The whole column is worth a read, but here are some of the highlights from Stark’s latest..
- The Rays front office believed that they had the talent to win it all this year and that optimism could play into how they approach the deadline. The Rays aren’t selling and Stark writes that if they believe what they have can power them to a championship next season, they might stand pat and keep the band together. Teams that have spoken with Tampa Bay see a fire sale as unlikely.
- The Rays might listen on Ben Zobrist, but one exec who has spoken with the club gets the sense that it would be “really, really difficult” for them to part with him. The exception to all of this, of course, is David Price.
- The Phillies are expected to be open for business between now and the deadline, but they might not like the offers that come in. “Look at their trade chips,” said an NL executive. “Even if they blow it up, dangle [Cole] Hamels and dangle all these other guys, each one of those guys has some reason it will be hard for them to get back what they want.“
- Meanwhile, one exec flatly said a Chase Utley trade is “not happening.” The sticker price might not be met on Phillies like Cliff Lee, Jonathan Papelbon, and Jimmy Rollins, but teams see Domonic Brown as someone whom the Phillies would like to swap for a different young change-of-scenery candidate.
- Teams that have spoken with the Cubs expect them to move pitcher Jason Hammel in the next two weeks. That could just be the warm up for Jeff Samardzija, but they continue to tell teams that they’d like to hammer out a new contract with him. This week we learned that the Cubs ace rejected a five-year, $85MM+ offer.
- While some teams are beating around the bush, the Padres are aggressively letting teams know that they want to sell. All of their outfielders, except Cameron Maybin, are available, and that includes Seth Smith, Chris Denorfia, and Will Venable.
- Several teams report the Dodgers are telling them they’ll listen right now on every one of their outfielders except Yasiel Puig.
- The Yankees have been asking almost exclusively about starting pitching in their preliminary conversations.
- Teams that have talked with the Tigers say they’re focused on bullpen upgrades, not shortstop.
- The Angels are in the bullpen market, but they’re looking hard at left-handed-relief options, not closers.
- Things are murky around the D’Backs since no one really knows who is in charge their or what their goals are.
- Royals GM Dayton Moore has indicated that the Royals can add payroll, but clubs believe that he won’t get to go-ahead to spend until mid-July. When and if KC starts buying, they are expected to target right fielders and bullpen arms since that is what they’ve been asking about in conversations.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Arizona Diamondbacks | Ben Zobrist | Chase Utley | Chicago Cubs | Chris Denorfia | Detroit Tigers | Domonic Brown | Jason Hammel | Kansas City Royals | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Los Angeles Dodgers | New York Mets | Newsstand | Philadelphia Phillies | San Diego Padres | Seth Smith | Tampa Bay Rays | Will Venable
The Padres are currently 10 games below .500 and 14.5 games behind in the NL West despite a pitching staff that ranks eighth in the Majors in ERA, and ownership is losing patience with the club, according to multiple reports. In an appearance with Darren Smith of Mighty 1090 radio in San Diego yesterday (audio link), Padres CEO Mike Dee said called the team’s current standing “unacceptable.” Dee notes that as an organization, “we’re all accountable,” but he made little effort to hide the fact that changes could be on the horizon.
“I wouldn’t be doing my job if I was not looking at everything and everybody in this organization from top to bottom … We increased payroll 25 percent. We got an enormous commitment by ownership to do that, and it’s not getting done. And when it’s not getting done, everybody and everything gets put under the microscope, and if changes are appropriate, changes will be made.”
While Dee declined to “put a shot clock” on when moves will be made (if at all), he went on to say, “Stay tuned. If it doesn’t turn around, invariably, we’re going to have to make some tough decisions.” Specifically, he was critical of the team’s offensive struggles. When asked if manager Bud Black was getting the most out of the roster, Dee replied by saying that even Black himself would answer “no” to that question, though he declined to place any significant amount of blame on the longtime San Diego skipper, stating “It’s not on Buddy, singularly, it’s on the organization. All of us are disappointed. All of us are accountable. The fanbase deserves more.”
This morning, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports exchanged emails with chairman Ron Fowler, who told him:
“At this time, we will not be discussing our situation with any parties outside of our senior management circle. That said, we are terribly disappointed in the team’s offense this year and staying the course (waiting for a turnaround) is becoming less appealing as the ugly losses continue.”
Rosenthal speculates that hitting coach Phil Plantier might be the one who is in the most immediate danger. The Padres are, after all, last in the Majors in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage, having batted just .216/.275/.344 as a team. Petco Park’s pitcher-friendly setting can’t even be blamed, as the Padres rank last in the Majors with a wRC+ of just 75, and that stat is both park- and league-adjusted. (In other words, Padres hitters have been, as a whole, 25 percent less effective than a league-average hitter, even when adjusting their hitting to account for a pitcher-friendly environment.)
Rosenthal points back to an article from the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Kevin Acee last month, in which Acee suggested that ownership was becoming impatient with Black. Within that piece, Acee noted that while the lack of offense isn’t necessarily Black’s fault, it is his problem. He went on to write that if the team doesn’t look better by season’s end, GM Josh Byrnes would also be a candidate to be replaced.
Rosenthal writes that Black is still among the game’s most respected managers when talking to rival executives, and he could land another managerial job in short order were he to be dismissed in San Diego. Beyond that, Rosenthal writes that roster changes could be on the horizon as well, noting that the team is expected to move multiple veteran pieces prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. He lists Seth Smith, Huston Street, Ian Kennedy and Chris Denorfia as candidates to be shipped out.
The Athletics have been successful recently because they excel at finding role players, and because manager Bob Melvin helps keep them happy, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News writes in a piece contrasting the A’s with the Yankees and Mets. “(Melvin) has a good feel of the heartbeat of the clubhouse. You can look around and see when a guy is unhappy, and he calls him in the office. The rest of us might not even know he is doing it,” says Nick Punto. The A’s also get lots of mileage out of players acquired from outside their organization, like Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss and Jesse Chavez. Being in a lower-pressure environment may also help the A’s, who managed to keep their GM in place and take the time to build a top team despite not having a winning season from 2007 through 2011. Here are more notes from around the big leagues.
- The Phillies deny that they make a mistake in including prospect Domingo Santana on a list of potential players to be named in the 2011 Hunter Pence trade with the Astros, Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports. A story in the Houston Chronicle last week stated that Santana had been placed on the list of potential PTBNLs by accident. “There was no mistake,” says Phillies GM Ruben Amaro. “If someone said that, they are misinformed because it’s absolutely, unequivocally wrong. It’s false.” Then-Astros GM Ed Wade requested that Santana be placed on the list, Amaro says. Santana, 21, is now a top prospect with the Astros, hitting .292/.368/.485 so far this season with Triple-A Oklahoma City.
- The biggest problem in the Red Sox‘ disappointing season has been its outfield, Tim Britton of the Providence Journal writes. Britton suggests that the team’s decision to allow Jacoby Ellsbury to leave appears defensible, but there weren’t many good backup plans available if Jackie Bradley Jr. struggled, which he has. In addition, Daniel Nava has played poorly, and Shane Victorino has had injury trouble. In hindsight, Britton suggests, the best reasonable move might have been to acquire an outfielder like Chris Denorfia of the Padres in a trade.
- Denorfia could be a hot name on the trade market this summer, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports predicts (scroll down). Denorfia can play all over the outfield and hit lefties, and he’ll be a free agent after the season. The Padres, meanwhile, have struggled, going 27-34 so far. Denorfia is hitting .265/.313/.368 in 167 plate appearances so far this season, although he’s hit better than that in four straight seasons before this one.
In today's column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes that there were two disasters in the city of Toronto last year: mayor Rob Ford and the Blue Jays. Despite the high expectations, the Blue Jays fell flat and they'll have to rally back this season to re-energize their fan base. The Blue Jays are at a disadvantage, Cafardo writes, because players aren't always open to playing north of the border and tend not to realize how great it is until they're there. More from this week's column..
- The Brewers need a first baseman and Mike Carp of the Red Sox appears to be a good fit. Whether Boston would deal him remains to be seen, however, as they enjoyed his off-the-bench contributions last season. Carp has shown that he can play every day but he won’t get that opportunity with the Red Sox unless there’s an injury to Mike Napoli.
- While the Red Sox don’t believe they can carry another outfielder, they have expressed some interest in the Padres' Chris Denorfia, a righthanded bat with a little power who can play center field. The Red Sox might be able to swing a move like this, Cafardo writes, if they deal Carp or Daniel Nava somewhere.
- A few general managers think that a one-year pillow contract would make sense for free agent outfielder Nelson Cruz. It seems that he needs to reestablish his value and if he'd do a one-year pact, it could open more opportunities for him with clubs like the Mariners, Mets, Blue Jays, Orioles, and others. The 33-year-old remains one of the best power hitters out there, but teams are wary about PED guys after they’re off the stuff.
- Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp could still be trade bait as he starts to show what he can do in spring training. Said one scout familiar with Kemp, “I think he’s going to be a guy who will be OK this year, but you’ll get the best of Kemp the following year as he’s recovered completely from the ankle.”
- The Reds have been very quiet this offseason, but Homer Bailey’s name has come up quite often as possible trade bait. In fact, they could possibly bring back Bronson Arroyo if they can deal Bailey.
Here are some hot stove items from Peter Gammons in his latest piece for his namesake website, GammonsDaily.com…
- Gammons adds the Phillies to the list of teams who "have taken a run" at acquiring Brett Gardner from the Yankees. Philadelphia is one of "at least a half-dozen teams" who have checked in on Gardner — we've seen the Tigers, Reds, Indians, and Giants also linked to Gardner earlier in the offseason. Both Yankees president Randy Levine and GM Brian Cashman have said they admire Gardner's play and aren't willing to move him, though Gammons feels that Cashman "won’t move [Gardner] until and unless [Cashman] has to for starting pitching." This is just my speculation, but Gammons' phrasing could be a hint that the Yankees could shop Gardner if they fail to land Masahiro Tanaka.
- The Rangers, Red Sox and Rockies are three of "at least a half-dozen teams" who have asked the Padres about Chris Denorfia. Colorado's interest has presumably dried up due to their acquisition of Drew Stubbs. San Diego GM Josh Byrnes isn't willing to discuss trading Denorfia as long as he feels the Padres can be contenders, and Byrnes thinks his club's offseason moves could put them in the playoff mix. The Rangers also showed interest in Denorfia last July before the trade deadline.
- Mets assistant GM J.P. Ricciardi recently claimed that his team was happy with Ruben Tejada as a starting shortstop and that the free agent shortstop market wasn't to the Mets' liking, but Gammons hears otherwise from an NL general manager. The GM believes the Mets are concerned about their inexperience up the middle (Tejada at short, Juan Lagares in center and Travis d'Arnaud behind the plate) and are only seeming disinterested in Stephen Drew as part of negotiations with agent Scott Boras.
- If Drew re-signs with the Red Sox, Gammons doesn't expect Boston to deal Will Middlebrooks, as the team still values his power.
- The offseason's most interesting overlooked deal is the Athletics/Rangers swap that sent Craig Gentry to Oakland and Michael Choice to Texas, Gammons opines. Gentry is a right-handed bat who can spell Coco Crisp in center or replace him in case of injury, and "the A’s think Gentry’s comp is at least Peter Bourjos," Gammons writes. Choice, meanwhile, gives the Rangers a corner outfield bat who can spell Shin-Soo Choo against left-handed pitching.
After a look at the AL East earlier this morning, let's turn our attention out west …
- While the Athletics are looking to buttress their 4-game division lead by buying at the deadline, John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group reports that the club is finding supply to be limited. "Right now there are more buyers than there are sellers, more buyers than last year," says GM Billy Beane. Second base and starting pitching are the needs atop Oakland's wish list, team sources tell Hickey. In spite of the rotation's solid performance to date, Hickey says a trade could allow the team to utilize Brett Anderson in a bullpen role when he returns from injury. Citing Beane's apparent willingness to take on some relatively significant salary obligations, Hickey lists Jake Peavy (White Sox), Edinson Volquez (Padres), Bud Norris (Astros), and Kyle Lohse (Brewers) as potential targets.
- After adding starter Matt Garza, the Rangers are looking at dealing for an outfielder, writes CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman. Currently, says Heyman, Alex Rios of the White Sox is the most likely candidate for Texas. Heyman further notes, however, that the club could look to wait out the market in the hopes that players like Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins, Michael Cuddyer of the Rockies, Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays, or the Giants' Hunter Pence become available, with Pence being the most likely among those to change hands. Texas has also considered Chris Denorfia of the Padres, Marlon Byrd of the Mets, and Justin Ruggiano of the Marlins, though Heyman notes that those options would rank below Rios in terms of impact.
- The Astros' Mark Appel is the highest-rated player from the recent amateur draft on MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo's updated Top 100 prospects list. As Mayo explains in his overview of the changes to the list, the top overall choice leads a group of eight recently-drafted players to crack the top 100. Houston is tied with the Red Sox with the most total players to make Mayo's list, with eight apiece. In terms of a simple weighting metric that Mayo calls "Prospect Points," the 'Stros have the most overall prospect value in baseball in high-end prospects, followed closely by the Twins. Though the Astros passed on top overall prospect Byron Buxton in last year's draft, its strategy enabled it to land the players currently checking in at number nine (Carlos Correa) and number sixty-five (Lance McCullers) instead.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Alex Rios | Bud Norris | Chicago White Sox | Chris Denorfia | Colorado Rockies | Edinson Volquez | Giancarlo Stanton | Houston Astros | Hunter Pence | Jake Peavy | Jose Bautista | Justin Ruggiano | Kyle Lohse | Mark Appel | Marlon Byrd | Miami Marlins | Michael Cuddyer | Milwaukee Brewers | New York Mets | Oakland Athletics | San Diego Padres | San Francisco Giants | Toronto Blue Jays
Even after acquiring Matt Garza earlier this week, reports have indicated that the Rangers are looking for offensive upgrades. They've been linked to Alex Rios, Hunter Pence and Kendrys Morales already, and Jon Heyman of CBS Sports now reports that the team has had internal discussions about re-acquiring Michael Young, given the news that Lance Berkman could miss the remainder of the season or even retire.
Heyman cautions that a Young trade isn't a likely outcome, and the Rangers are still more focused on adding outfield bats as they await the fate of Biogenesis-connected outfielder Nelson Cruz. The Yankees, Red Sox and Reds are all said to be considering Young as well. Heyman reports that the Rangers have also expressed interest in Padres outfielder Chris Denorfia and Mets outfielder Marlon Byrd, though reports indicate that the Mets feel little inclination to part with Byrd.
Texas has Manny Ramirez at Triple-A Round Rock, but his bat has cooled since a hot start, and Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported late last night that the team was unlikely to give Ramirez a shot anytime in the near future. Passan reported that the Rangers may not recall Ramirez at all, and one scout who watched Manny told Passan:
"This isn't Manny Ramirez. This is a 41-year-old still trying to play baseball and not doing it very well."
Ramirez is hitting .250/.318/.417 with three homers in 66 plate appearances since signing with the Rangers and reporting to Triple-A. He's struck out eight times and drawn six walks, but an evaluator told Passan that his bat "looked slow."
Ken Rosenthal's latest column for FOX Sports begins with a look at the Braves' rotation without veteran Tim Hudson, who sustained a season-ending ankle fracture last night. Rosenthal notes it's a very young group without Hudson, and seems to be lacking a true number one starter. Such a pitcher is probably not available on the trade market, which I imagine the Braves will be eyeing more keenly. Elsewhere from Rosenthal's column:
- The Cardinals are not actively pursuing the Astros' Bud Norris or the Blue Jays' Mark Buehrle. The Cards didn't push for Matt Garza, but did scout Jake Peavy's last start. Ervin Santana is available as well, but Rosenthal wonders if "a trade might not be worth the trouble," given the Cardinals' current group of talented young pitchers.
- The Red Sox never got serious on Garza due to concerns with his injury history. The Red Sox and Tigers were the other AL clubs in on reliever Francisco Rodriguez, who was recently traded to the Orioles.
- After making a late run at Garza, the Athletics are interested in Peavy and Santana. Sometimes it helps to add to a strength, explains Rosenthal.
- The Rangers ask the Marlins for Giancarlo Stanton "every week," a Major League source tells Rosenthal, and keep hearing "no." In addition to Alex Rios of the White Sox, the Rangers are considering Justin Ruggiano of the Marlins and Chris Denorfia of the Padres. However, they have "not mounted a serious push" for Ruggiano, while the Padres don't plan to trade Denorfia or teammate Carlos Quentin.
- "Some with the Brewers" wonder if the presence of Ryan Braun might make it more difficult to attract free agents.
- The Phillies are "narrowing their search for a backup center fielder," writes Rosenthal, and the recently-designated Chris Dickerson could be one option.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Baltimore Orioles | Boston Red Sox | Bud Norris | Carlos Quentin | Chicago White Sox | Chris Denorfia | Chris Dickerson | Ervin Santana | Giancarlo Stanton | Houston Astros | Jake Peavy | Justin Ruggiano | Kansas City Royals | Mark Buehrle | Miami Marlins | Milwaukee Brewers | Oakland Athletics | Philadelphia Phillies | San Diego Padres | St. Louis Cardinals | Texas Rangers | Toronto Blue Jays
The Padres have agreed to a contract extension with outfielder Chris Denorfia that will keep him in San Diego through 2014, according to Corey Brock of MLB.com (via Twitter). The Pro Star Management client will earn $2MM in 2013 and $2.25 in '14, Brock tweets.
“We are excited to extend Chris to a two-year contract through 2014,” said General Manager Josh Byrnes. “He has proven to be a valuable and versatile player for us over the last three seasons, and his style of play is infectious.”
Denorfia's deal will cover his final year of arbitration eligibility as well as his first free agent season. The 32-year-old has a .279/.340/.419 slash line across three seasons with the Padres. Denorfia has experience at all three outfield positions but has primarily played the corners since 2011.
This season, Denorfia is earning $1.165MM after avoiding arbitration with the Padres in December. Byrnes reportedly received a good amount of trade interest in the outfielder prior to this year's deadline but opted to hold on to him.
- The Dodgers won't trade top pitching prospect Zach Lee for a rental player like Ryan Dempster, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link). We heard earlier today that Los Angeles had made the Cubs an offer for Dempster.
- Though the Diamondbacks and Pirates have had trouble connecting on a trade match for Justin Upton, the outfielder remains "at or near the top" of Pittsburgh's search for a hitter, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
- The Diamondbacks have signed 16-year-old Dominican outfielder Ismael Pena, reports Ben Badler of Baseball America. Badler describes Pena as "a 6-foot-3, 175-pound lefty with a sound swing, a good approach and a hit-first, power-second profile. He's an average runner with a 45 to 50 arm on the 20-80 scale."
- Huston Street was "aggressively" pursued by the Mets last winter, a source tells Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (Twitter link), but through the Mets are searching for bullpen help now, they don't think the Padres will move the closer. We heard earlier today that the Padres were looking to propose long-term extensions to Street and Carlos Quentin before the trade deadline.
- Street and Chris Denorfia have drawn more trade interest than Quentin, reports Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
- Also from Center, the Pirates and Orioles are "among the teams pushing hardest" for Chase Headley. Center added the Mariners to the long list of Headley's suitors. The third baseman himself says he has heard "between six and 10 teams" have shown interest.