Chris Heisey Rumors

NL Central Notes: Cubs, Rizzo, Cardinals, Lee, Heisey

Here's the latest from the NL Central…

  • Cubs GM Jed Hoyer wants to add more depth to his pitching staff, reports MLB.com's Carrie Muskat.  "At this point, we're still very much in the process of gathering as many quality arms as we can, and we'll put those pieces in place as we get closer to Spring Training," Hoyer said.  "We have worked hard, and we continue to work hard, and hopefully we'll have even more starting-pitching acquisitions….We want to go seven, eight, nine deep in the rotation and we hope to replenish the bullpen as well."
  • ESPN's Keith Law gives the Cubs the "slight edge" in today's Anthony Rizzo-for-Andrew Cashner trade.  Law says he would rather have Rizzo than Yonder Alonso, who the Padres acquired from the Reds last month as part of the package for Mat Latos.
  • The Cardinals announced Derek Lilliquist will become the team's new pitching coach, with Dyer Miller taking Lilliquist's old job as bullpen coach.  The moves may or may not be permanent as former pitching coach Dave Duncan is on an indefinite leave of absence to be with his wife, who underwent brain surgery last August. 
  • The Pirates have shown some interest in bringing back Derrek Lee but "the first baseman doesn’t seem to have reciprocated that interest," writes MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch.  Of the five remaining Pirate free agents, Langosch thinks only Paul Maholm has a chance of returning, but the Bucs will likely be outbid by one of Maholm's several other suitors.
  • Incumbent Reds left fielder Chris Heisey talks to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, who thinks Heisey has earned "a long trial" at the everyday job.  The Reds have recently been connected to free agent outfielders Rick Ankiel, Ryan Ludwick and Cody Ross.
  • The Reds have announced the signings of catcher Corky Miller and left-hander Jeremy Horst to minor league contracts with invites to the Major League spring training camp.  Miller, a 10-year veteran, was originally drafted by the Reds in 1998 and has spent the last three years in Cincinnati's system.  Horst, 26, made his Major League debut last season with the Reds, posting a 2.93 ERA in 12 relief appearances.  Previously-announced signings Brian Esposito, Sean Gallagher, Daryl Jones, Chad Reineke, Clayton Tanner and Kanekoa Texeira were also confirmed as non-roster invitees.

Reds Notes: Cozart, Janish, Cordero

The Reds' top pick is currently protected, which means there's a good chance they'll be able to sign a Type A free agent this offseason without surrendering a first round pick in 2012 (they'd lose a second rounder instead). Some updates on the Reds, who beat the Mets tonight…

  • John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer explains that the Reds are hoping Zack Cozart emerges as their starting shortstop in 2012. They're likely to have a veteran backing up at short (though it seems unlikely that Edgar Renteria will return), so there's not necessarily room for Paul Janish on next year's club.
  • Reds closer Francisco Cordero told Fay that the Reds called his agent about a new deal and talked to him about the possibility as well. The Reds have a $12MM option for Cordero in 2012, though as MLBTR's Dan Mennella showed this month, the sides could agree to a two-year deal worth a total of $8-10MM instead. GM Walt Jocketty has said that the sides have discussed a deal “quite a bit.”
  • Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News wonders whether Chris Heisey will be a fourth outfielder, the regular center fielder, or the regular left fielder in 2012.

Ubaldo Jimenez Rumors: Tuesday

Yesterday, a Major League source close to the Ubaldo Jimenez trade talks told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that the chances of a deal are "around 50/50."  Here's the latest on the Rockies' ace, with the newest info up top…

  • The Yankees and Red Sox called the Rockies about Jimenez today, according to MLB.com’s Thomas Harding. Talks with the Reds appear to be further along, though the Rockies appear to be asking for Travis Wood, Bailey and either Chapman or Mesoraco. The Rockies won’t lower their asking price, Harding reports. The Reds haven't said no yet, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter). Until they do, there's a slim chance a deal will occur.
  • Sources tell Dan Knobler of CBSSports.com that the team with the best chance to trade for Jimenez is the Yankees (Twitter link). The Blue Jays are considered a "real longshot at best."
  • About seven teams are interested in Jimenez, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com who names the Reds, Tigers, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers, Indians and Blue Jays (on Twitter).
  • The Blue Jays "legitimately want" Jimenez, according an executive who spoke to ESPN.com's Jayson Stark (on Twitter).
  • The Rockies have asked the Reds about Homer Bailey, tweets Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post.  Earlier,  Renck wrote that "chances remain slim" of a Jimenez trade.  He said the Rockies "continue to listen and negotiate with multiple teams regarding Jimenez, with the Reds receiving the most attention," but in general Colorado's demands are so high that no team is expected to bite.  Renck said the Rockies have asked the Reds for Devin MesoracoAroldis Chapman, and Chris Heisey, among others.  In an email exchange with MLBTR, Renck clarified that the Rockies asked for Mesoraco and Chapman together while Heisey is simply another name that has come up in talks.  Both Mesoraco and Chapman appear to be untouchable.
  • The feeling from executives is that the Rockies want to find a trade for Jimenez, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.  The Yankees, Red Sox, and Reds are calling, and the Blue Jays kicked the tires.
  • The price on Jimenez hasn't dropped at all, writes ESPN's Jayson Stark.  He says the Rockies require "three sure-thing young players, including one pitcher who goes into their rotation immediately."  One executive who spoke with the Rockies pegs the chances of a deal at no more than 25 percent.
  • The Rockies "recently held a two-hour internal conference call to go over the trade alternatives" for Jimenez, writes SI's Jon Heyman.


NL West Notes: Giants, Ludwick, Burroughs

No team in baseball has scored fewer runs than the Giants, who have the best record in the National League West. They aren't the only team in the division that's having trouble scoring. The Padres are 29th in MLB in runs and the Dodgers are 25th. Here's the latest from the low-scoring NL West…


Padres Notes: Rizzo, Ludwick, Heisey

On this date 30 years ago, the Padres drafted future Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn in the third round of the amateur draft. Gwynn collected 3141 hits and eight batting titles in 20 seasons as a Padre before being enshrined in Cooperstown in 2007. We wish Gwynn all the best in his battle with cancer. Here are today's Padres links…

  • Padres first base prospect Anthony Rizzo will be called up and will be starting in Thursday night's lineup against the Nationals, tweets Dan Hayes of the North County Times.  Corey Brock profiles the competitive 21-year-old at MLB.com in a piece that’s worth checking out.
  • It appears that the Padres would trade Ryan Ludwick to Cincinnati for Reds outfielder Chris Heisey or prospects, according to Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News. Reds left fielders have combined to hit .222/.315/.385 this year, while Ludwick has a .256/.327/.402 line.
  • Heisey, 26, has a .281/.345/.438 line in 110 plate appearances this year and has played all three outfield positions.

D’Backs Notes: Konerko, Heisey, Parra, Lee

Some news from the desert, courtesy of The Arizona Republic's Nick Piecoro

  • The Diamondbacks' offer of a three-year, $30MM contract to Paul Konerko would have put them over their payroll threshold, but they couldn't pass up the chance to get "a star-caliber hitter at a possible hometown discount."  Arizona CEO Derrick Hall tells Piecoro that the team had a legitimate chance to sign Konerko before he eventually re-signed with Chicago.
  • The Reds were interested in Gerardo Parra and the D'Backs in Chris Heisey, but a potential deal of the two outfielders was scuttled because the Reds want to keep Heisey.
  • Derrek Lee "is said to have interest in" playing in Arizona.  We've heard that the D'Backs have had interest in Lee, but Piecoro thinks the first baseman "might be a longshot financially."
  • The D'Backs won't be going after any pitching in the short term, following the acquisition of Rule 5 draft pick Joe Paterson.