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Chris Dickerson Rumors
Entering the All-Star break, the Indians find themselves at .500 and in third place in the AL Central, trailing the Tigers by 7.5 games. Before Cleveland’s 3-2 win over the White Sox, GM Chris Antonetti chatted with reporters for 25 minutes. Here are the highlights (MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian has the complete transcript) :
- Antonetti hasn’t decided whether the Indians will be buyers or sellers at the Trade Deadline. “We’re exploring a lot of different things, opportunities to improve our team for the balance of this season and then position us better moving forward, too. We’ve spent a lot of energy on fits for acquiring guys that we’d have control over beyond this year, not just guys that would just be here for the balance of the year.“
- The Indians’ trade strategy is muddied by the fact there isn’t one glaring weakness on the roster. “It’s actually one of the interesting challenges that we have,” Antonetti said. “So, for us to improve, we need to improve upon a higher standard. And, in some cases, we’re counting on guys that we’ve already made commitments to rebounding. So, it’s a little bit of a different dynamic for us as we look to try to improve our roster.“
- The Indians will “potentially” explore the trade market for starting pitchers. “The one thing we continue to believe is we have quality Major League starting pitchers,” said Antonetti. “Anytime you acquire a guy, you have to think about who it displaces from the team and the rotation, in that case. You have to have a high degree of confidence that it’s an improvement.“
- Antonetti traded for Chris Dickerson because his ability to play all three outfield positions and his success against right-handed pitching is a nice complement to the club in the wake of Michael Bourn‘s hamstring injury. Antonetti added he had interest in Dickerson as a free agent this past offseason, but couldn’t commit at-bats to him at the time.
- Yesterday, the Indians acquired Nick Maronde from the Angels. Antonetti has liked the left-hander “for quite a while” and acknowledged the 24-year-old has had “some trouble throwing strikes, but we think that there’s significant upside there and a guy worth taking a chance on. “
The Indians announced that they have acquired outfielder Chris Dickerson from the Pirates in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Dickerson’s contract will be selected for tonight’s game, and George Kottaras has been designated for assignment to create roster space.
The 32-year-old Dickerson has a spotty Major League track record, but he was having an excellent season for Triple-A Indianapolis in the Pirates organization. In 280 plate appearances, Dickerson batted .309/.407/.479 with seven homers and 12 steals.
Dickerson grades out as an excellent defender at all three outfield spots, per Ultimate Zone Rating and Defensive Runs Saved — an attribute that likely appealed to Cleveland with Michael Bourn on the shelf for the next three to four weeks due to a hamstring strain. That glove has come along with a questionable bat for much of his career, however, as he’s batted just .233/.275/.361 over his past four stints in the Majors — a span of 287 plate appearances. Dickerson did have a strong start to his big league career with the Reds, however, hitting .283/.383/.440 through his first 421 PA in 2008-09.
The 31-year-old Kottaras has a strong .286/.385/.714 batting line for the Indians this season, though it’s come in a sample of just 27 PA. Nearly all of his production came in his first game with Cleveland, when he went 2-for-3 with a pair of homers. Nonetheless, Kottaras has long been known to have an excellent eye at the plate and some power. The career .216/.326/.415 hitter has 14 percent walk rate in 847 Major League plate appearances, and his .199 isolated power mark (slugging minus batting average) is well above-average for any hitter, let alone a catcher.
8:33am: Dickerson signed a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training, and he also drew interest from the Yankees and Indians, according to a second tweet from Biertempfel.
7:55am: The Pirates have signed outfielder Chris Dickerson, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune (Twitter link). Biertempfel does not specify whether or not the MVP Sports Group client received a Major League or minor league deal, but the latter of the two options seems likely. Dickerson is already in Bradenton, Fla. (the Pirates' Spring Training home) for workouts, adds Biertempfel.
The 31-year-old Dickerson batted .238/.266/.400 with four homers and five stolen bases in 109 plate appearances for the Orioles in 2013. He also saw 160 PAs at the Triple-A level where he slashed .243/.350/.368. Originally a 16th-round pick by the Reds in 2003, Dickerson is capable of playing all three outfield positions and has a .745 OPS in 708 career plate apperances.
Pittsburgh has their starting outfied set with Starling Marte in left, 2013 NL MVP Andrew McCutchen in center and Jose Tabata in right, but Dickerson could compete with Travis Snider for a backup role with the Bucs.
Today's minor moves can be found right here in this post …
- Among the many re-signings of players otherwise eligible for minor league free agency reported by Matt Eddy of Baseball America are first baseman Mike Jacobs, who will stay with the Diamondbacks, and reliever David Herndon, who the Yankees have re-signed. Neither saw big league action this year. Jacobs put up a nice .296/.366/.533 line in 514 Triple-A plate appearances in his age-32 season, while Herndon, now 28, was good for a 2.78 ERA in his 35 2/3 innings across the Yanks system.
- Third bagger Andy LaRoche has signed with the Blue Jays, Eddy reports on Twitter. The 30-year-old younger brother of Nats' first baseman Adam LaRoche played in just one game with Toronto last year, and has not been a regular big league contributor since leaving the Pirates after the 2010 season.
- Catcher Blake Lalli has caught on with the Diamondbacks, Eddy notes in the same link. Also thirty years of age, Lalli has only forty uneventful MLB plate appearances. Playing at Triple-A for the Brewers last year, he put up a .282/.334/.447 line in 311 plate appearances.
- The Reds have signed 31-year-old outfielder Jason Bourgeois, Eddy reports on Twitter. Bourgeois saw limited time with the Rays last year. His career big league line stands at .259/.305/.326 in 515 plate appearances over parts of six seasons, including 51 stolen bases.
- Right-handed starter Philip Humber, 30, has inked a deal with the Athletics, reports Eddy (via Twitter). The once-perfect Humber had his option declined by the Astros early last month.
- Righty Fabio Martinez signed with the Dodgers, per another Eddy tweet. The longtime Angel farmhand last worked in the Indians system, but has never managed to harness his live arm and posted BB/9 totals of over ten in 2012-13.
- Pitcher Trevor Reckling has signed with the Reds out of independent league ball, Eddy tweets. He played six seasons in the Angels' system, reaching Triple-A at age 21 before moving the wrong way down the ladder. Noted as a reclamation project for the White Sox before the 2012 year, Reckling will give it one more go in Cinci.
- The Rockies re-signed minor league second baseman Angelys Nina in a move designed to keep him from reaching the open market as a minor league free agent, tweets Eddy. Nina managed a .280/.331/.422 line in his second go-round at Tulsa, adding ten home runs and nineteen steals.
- Outfielder Chris Dickerson and first baseman Dan Johnson, each of whom were outrighted on Thursday, have refused their assignments and elected to become free agents, according to an Orioles press release yesterday.
- Remember to check MLBTR's DFA Tracker for updates on players designated for assignment around baseball. Currently, only Tommy Layne is sitting in DFA limbo.
Here are today's minor moves and outright assignments from around the league…
- The Orioles announced that they have outrighted outfielder Chris Dickerson and first baseman Dan Johnson to Triple-A Norfolk. The 31-year-old Dickerson hit .238/.266/.400 in 109 plate appearances for the O's, surviving a DFA and being outrighted to Norfolk only to resurface with the club later in the season. Johnson, 34, was hitless in five at-bats for the O's and is a career .236/.337/.411 hitter in parts of eight big league seasons. He is most famous for the dramtic two-out, two-strike, game-tying home run that he hit in the bottom of the ninth inning in the final game of the Rays' 2011 season. Tampa would go on to win the game, sending them to the postseason.
JULY 29: Dickerson has been outrighted to Triple-A after accepting the assignment, according to the team.
JULY 19: The Orioles have designated Chris Dickerson for assignment, the team announced on Twitter. The move will clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Henry Urrutia, who will be promoted to the Majors to start the season's second half.
The 31-year-old Dickerson hit .245/.274/.412 in 106 plate appearances for the Orioles after being promoted in early April. He signed a minor league deal with the O's this offseason. Dickerson broke into the Majors as a 26-year-old with the Reds in 2008 and is a career .263/.340/.408 hitter, though he's produced very little since his first two seasons with Cincinnati.
Urrutia's prospect stock has risen quickly this season, as the Cuban import has batted .365/.427/.531 with seven long balls in 288 plate appearances between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk. The lefty swinger should give manager Buck Showalter an additional threat at designated hitter, and he could see occasional time in the outfield as well, though the Orioles are mostly set in that capacity with Nate McLouth, Adam Jones and Nick Markakis.
Dickerson, 31, was designated for assignment by the O's on July 19, managing a .245/.274/.412 line in 106 plate appearances prior to that point. He's been the subject of several trade rumors since his DFA, with FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal suggesting the Phillies as one possible destination. The Phils are known to be targeting an outfielder for their back up centerfielder job. Dickerson has logged 114 innings in the outfield so far this year, splitting them roughly evenly between left, center and right.
A left-handed hitter, Dickerson has hit 266/.342/.425 for his career against right-handed pitching, so he could also be useful as a late-inning pinch hitter. He's appeared in the majors every year since 2008, but has never managed to accumulate more than 300 plate appearances in any single season.
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 Alex Rodriguez saga took another strange turn today when the third baseman's handpicked doctor told Mike Francesca of WFAN that the third baseman doesn't have a quad strain and should be able to play, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Later in the day, Yankees GM Brian Cashman responded in a press release, saying, "Contrary to the Basic Agreement, Mr. Rodriguez did not notify us at any time that he was seeking a second opinion from any doctor with regard to his quad strain. As you know, it is the Yankees’ desire to have Alex return to the lineup as soon as possible. And we have done everything to try and accomplish this." Here's more out of the AL East..
- Rays pitching prospect Taylor Guerrieri underwent Tommy John surgery today, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Drafted 24th overall by the Rays in 2011, Guerrieri is ranked as the 64th prospect in baseball by Baseball America. ESPN.com's Keith Law ranks him 47th, while Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com has him at No. 44. In 67 innings this year for the Rays' Class A affiliate, the right-hander had compiled a 2.01 ERA with 6.9 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9.
- Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino says his team has an obligation to be active at the trade deadline, but that doesn't mean a deal is a certainty, Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal tweets. While the Sox have been a popular name in trade speculation and have been connected with arms such as the White Sox's Jake Peavy and the Royals' Luke Hochevar, the executive cautions that the team isn't "just building for one year." "There's going to have to be a pretty good deal to extract some of these high-quality prospects we have," Lucchino said (link).
- The Orioles are getting lots of interest in Chris Dickerson and we can expect to see him in the majors somewhere in the next few days, tweets Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com. The O's designated the outfielder for assignment last week.
Aaron Steen contributed to this post.
As regular season baseball returns, let's have a look in at some links involving the American League East, which is the only MLB division to feature four teams with winning records:
- The Red Sox will emerge from the All-Star break down yet another bullpen arm, with reports emerging that Andrew Bailey will likely be lost for the season. In addition to making Boston's acquisition of Bailey look even less beneficial than it already did, the news could increase the likelihood that the Sox will return to the reliever market before the trade deadline. The team already moved to add two prominent names — Jose Contreras and Brandon Lyon — on minor league deals earlier today.
- Boston GM Ben Cherington says that Bailey's loss will "move the needle" in determining whether the team will look to pick up another reliever, reports WEEI.com's Alex Speier. He did maintain that the Red Sox have adequate internal options and said that he is disinclined to do anything major. "As I said when [Andrew] Miller went down, when a guy goes down you have to replace him somehow," said Cherington. "You hope that the guys are already here internally, but you've got to keep an open mind and continue to do that over the course of the next couple days."
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman also discussed the deadline today, telling reporters including Jack Curry of the YES Network that his club has active in trying to work up a deal but that the trade market is "a tough one." (Twitter link.) Cashman described the market for offensive players as "an offensive offensive market," tweets Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger.
- There could be a structural reason for the trouble the Yanks are finding, writes Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal. With the two-wild card system leaving more teams in contention longer, he reasons, New York is less able to utilize its deep pockets to take on late-year salary dumps.
- The reason that the Yankees dropped injured outfielder Brennan Boesch earlier today, his agent tells Dayn Perry of CBSSports.com, is not Boesch's ability. "The Yankees' decision to release Brennan Boesch is a matter of timing, not talent," said agent Brodie Van Wagenen. "Brennan's rehab on his shoulder is going well and he expects to be full strength and able to make a meaningful contribution to a major league team in August."
- After designating outfielder Chris Dickerson for assignment earlier today, the Orioles are hoping to work out a trade to get some value back for him, writes MLB.com's Britt Ghiroli. Manager Buck Showalter says that he believes Dickerson is a big league player who will catch on with another club. To complete a busy day for the O's, the club learned that it will likely go without backup outfielder Nolan Reimold for the rest of the year.