Colorado Rockies Rumors

Colorado Rockies trade and free agent rumors from MLBTradeRumors.com.

Rockies Acquire Noel Cuevas To Complete Juan Nicasio Trade

The Rockies announced that they have acquired 23-year-old center fielder Noel Cuevas from the Dodgers to complete last month’s Juan Nicasio trade.

Cuevas spent the entire 2014 season in Double-A at age 22 and struggled after an excellent year at Class-A Advanced in 2013. The Puerto Rican outfielder followed up a .284/.341/.454 season with a disappointing .231/.285/.351 campaign. Cuevas went from 12 homers in 2013 to seven in 2014, which isn’t too troublesome, but it’s surprising to see his stolen base total drop from 38 at High-A to six at Double-A. Presumably, he will open the 2015 season at Double-A with the hope of better results.


Rockies Sign Daniel Descalso

1:17pm: Descalso will receive a $3.6MM guarantee, agent Steve Cantor tells ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick (Twitter link). He will earn $1.5MM this year and $2.1MM next, per SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo (via Twitter). Each contract year also includes up to $500K in attainable incentives.

1:07pm: The Rockies have signed utility infielder Daniel Descalso to a two-year deal, the club announced. Descalso, 28, was non-tendered by the Cardinals earlier in the offseason; he had been projected by MLBTR/Matt Swartz to earn $1.4MM.

Though he has spent most of his time at third and second, Descalso has played over 100 games at short as well. And his left-handed bat also increases his versatility for a club like Colorado, which fields three right-handed-hitting infielders at those positions.

On the other hand, defensive metrics have never been in love with his glove, especially at short. And Descalso owns a lifetime .243/.313/.341 slash over parts of five seasons. He has never finished a campaign with an OPS+ of greater than 91 or lower than 72, and he has settled right in the middle of that range in each of the last two years.

Notably, moreover, Descalso has fairly significant reverse platoon splits over his career: a .643 OPS against righties and a .696 mark versus same-handed pitchers. If that is a reflection of his true talent, then he may be less of a fit than might be seemed at first glance.


NL Notes: Harper, Zimmermann, Marlins, Pirates, Rasmus

The latest salvo in Bryce Harper‘s grievance against the Nationals over his arbitration eligibility was fired yesterday when Harper failed to appear at NatsFest, the team’s annual fan convention. Nationals GM Mike Rizzo told reporters, including James Wagner of the Washington Post, “We’re disappointed he’s not here, but he chose not to be here because of the grievance.” Harper responded with a statement provided by his representatives and quoted by Wagner, “I have attended NatsFest each year and always enjoy my experience with the fans, but was unable to attend this year’s event due to matters out of my control. I look forward to next year’s NatsFest.” The grievance hearing is scheduled for Tuesday in New York. If Harper wins his grievance, MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projects a $2.5MM arbitration award for the outfielder (as opposed to the $1.5MM base his contract stipulates for 2015), which will create a larger platform for future arbitration earnings.

In other news and notes involving the National League:

  • Jordan Zimmermann reiterated his desire to sign an extension with the Nationals, but only at the right price, reports CSNWashington.com’s Chase Hughes. “If it’s a fair value, like I have said all along, I would gladly sign,” said Zimmermann. “But at the end of the day, it’s gotta be something that’s fair and if it’s not, then I’ll be moving on.
  • The Marlins are not willing to trade either Henderson Alvarez or Jarred Cosart for a first baseman, tweets Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Jackson also reports the Marlins have had more talks with Michael Morse in recent days and he represents the best realistic option to upgrade the position.
  • The Marlins are listening to offers for right-hander Nathan Eovaldi; but, while the Pirates view him as a “terrific young pitcher” and “someone we’ll keep looking at,” club president Frank Coonelly says they are not close to bringing him to Pittsburgh, tweets MLB.com’s Tom Singer.
  • In a separate Singer tweet, Coonelly also downplays the return of Edinson Volquez. “Two years for $20MM not far off for Volquez,” Coonelly said. “He could get that. It probably won’t be here.
  • The Cubs have met recently with Colby Rasmus and are one of several teams to show interest in him, reports Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi. MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes identified the Cubs as a potential landing spot for Rasmus back in September while the Orioles and Royals have also been linked to the free agent center fielder.
  • With the elevation of Jeff Bridich to general manager, Rockies manager Walt Weiss has more independence in running the team with the front office no longer maintaining an offfice in the clubhouse and is more involved in player personnel decisions, writes Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post.


Quick Hits: Stanton, Mets, Tulowitzki, Miller, Mariners

The Marlins do not think they’ll have to pay out the entire $325MM balance of Giancarlo Stanton‘s contract, Pirates president Frank Coonelly told a crowd (including the Tribune-Review’s Rob Biertempfel) at PirateFest Saturday. Speaking very candidly for a team president, Coonelly recalled a recent conversation with Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and president David Samson: “They said to me, ‘You don’t understand. (Stanton) has an out clause after six years. Those first six years are only going to cost $107 million. After that, he’ll leave and play for somebody else. So, it’s not really $325 million.'” Here are more notes from around the big leagues.

  • The Mets should trade for Troy Tulowitzki, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. Yes, Sherman says, Tulowitzki has $106MM on his contract and a long list of injuries, but if he were a perfect player, the Rockies would not trade him at a reasonable price. (In fact, they still might not trade him at a reasonable price.) And the time is right for the Mets, who have plenty of promising pitching but don’t have a shortstop. A trade for Tulowitzki could be just the risk the Mets need, Sherman writes, like their trade for Gary Carter 30 years ago. As for Tulowitzki, Sherman says that it’s “a poorly kept secret in the game is just how badly he wants out of Colorado now.” He doesn’t have a no-trade clause, but the Rockies’ front office would likely consult him about a possible trade, and Sherman thinks he would appreciate the chance to play for the Mets.
  • The Cardinals say they are not actively pursuing Max Scherzer, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets. Scherzer is from the St. Louis area, and he reportedly met with the team earlier in the offseason.
  • A Mariners official says the team doesn’t want to trade Brad Miller, Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports. “[U]nderstand this: We’re not looking to trade him,” the official says. “I’m not saying it won’t happen, but it’s a lot less likely than some people seem to think.” Dutton adds, however, that Miller was part of a deal the Mariners proposed to try to get Matt Kemp from the Dodgers. The Dodgers then demanded the Mariners include either Taijuan Walker or James Paxton. The Mariners declined, and the Dodgers agreed to trade Kemp to the Padres instead.
  • The Twins have shown interest in former Reds third baseman Jack Hannahan, Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com tweets. Hannahan was born in St. Paul and went to both high school and college in the Twin Cities. He played sparingly in 2014 and posted just a .470 OPS in 50 plate appearances, so as Wolfson notes, the Twins would likely have interest in him only on a minor league deal.

West Notes: Hawkins, Ellis, Gregerson, Melky

Veteran right-hander LaTroy Hawkins announced this morning on MLB Network’s Hot Stove show that the 2015 season will be the last of his lengthy career (h/t: Ken Rosenthal). The soon-to-be 42-year-old posted a 3.31 ERA with 23 saves, 5.3 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9 in 54 1/3 innings for the Rockies last season. While he may not get the Mariano Rivera farewell tour, Hawkins has appeared in 1000 games (currently 16th all-time) dating back to 1995. Selected by the Twins in the seventh round of the 1991 draft, Hawkins could move into the top 10 of all-time in terms of career appearances with a full, healthy season.

Here are a few more notes from around the game’s Western divisions…

  • The Padres asked the Dodgers about A.J. Ellis in Matt Kemp trade talks but weren’t able to get him in the deal, tweets MLB.com’s Corey Brock. As Brock notes, Clayton Kershaw may not have been pleased to see Ellis traded away, as he prefers throwing to his longtime teammate.
  • An American League club with an established closer was the runner-up to the Astros in the bidding for Luke Gregerson, reports Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle. The unnamed club also offered a three-year deal. Drellich spoke to Gregerson’s agent, Tom O’Connell, who said that the opportunity to close and Gregerson’s relationship with new Astros manager A.J. Hinch were crucial factors in the deal.
  • Drellich’s article also provides the breakdown of Gregerson’s incentives: he will receive a $250K boost to the next year’s salary for finishing 45, 50, 55 and 57 games in 2015 and 2016. If he finishes a combined 100 games between 2015-16, his 2017 salary jumps another $500K.
  • Robinson Cano has spoken briefly to his close friend, Melky Cabrera, about signing with the Mariners, Cano told Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times (Twitter link). Cano also told Divish that he spoke to Nelson Cruz multiple times about coming to Seattle before Cruz inked his own deal with the Mariners.

Angels Acquire Josh Rutledge

The Angels have acquired infielder Josh Rutledge from the Rockies in exchange for right-hander Jairo Diaz, the team announced. The Angels (via the Orange County Register’s Jeff Fletcher on Twitter) say Rutledge will compete with Grant Green for the Angels’ second base job, which was vacated when the team traded Howie Kendrick to the Dodgers for Andrew Heaney.

Rutledge, 25, hit .269/.323/.405 in 342 plate appearances for Colorado this season. He graded as below average defensively (and has in all three of his big-league seasons), however, so that hitting line in Coors Field put him below replacement level overall. He hit for good averages as a minor leaguer, however, and might possess a bit more offensive upside than he’s shown so far. Also, using him at second base, rather than shortstop (where he spent the bulk of his time in 2014) might help him defensively. He can become eligible for arbitration after the 2015 season.

Diaz, 23, spent most of the 2014 season pitching in the bullpens of Class A+ Inland Empire and Double-A Arkansas, combining for a 3.48 ERA with an impressive 11.8 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 64 2/3 innings. He pitched in five games in the big leagues in September and relied heavily on his fastball, which averaged 97.2 MPH. He did not rank in MLB.com’s list of the top 20 Angels prospect, but with his fastball and strikeout numbers, the Rockies likely feel he has significant upside for a reliever.


NL West Notes: Shields, Stewart, Dickerson

It’s been a wild day of major moves in the NL West, and here are a few more news items from around the division…

  • The Giants don’t intend to pursue Max Scherzer, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Twitter link).
  • The Giants “will go hard on” signing James Shields, Peter Gammons tweets.
  • Diamondbacks GM Dave Stewart told reporters (including Zach Buchanan of azcentral.com)  that Blue Jays catcher Dioner Navarro or Tigers catcher Alex Avila could be fits for his team in their search for help behind the plate, while the Snakes have no interest in Geovany Soto.  Stewart said his team doesn’t intend to trade relief pitching to obtain a catcher, however.
  • Also from Stewart, he said the D’Backs aren’t looking into extending any players at the present time, though he named Mark Trumbo, Addison Reed, Oliver Perez, Chris Owings, Chase Anderson and A.J. Pollock as possible extension candidates.
  • The Rockies are receiving “massive interest” in Corey Dickerson, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports (via Twitter).  Despite all this interest, Colorado would have to get an overwhelming offer to deal the outfielder.
  • Also from Rosenthal, it’s been nothing but “crickets” for the Rockies on interest in Troy Tulowitzki.

Mets Confident They Will Trade Dillon Gee

6:04pm: Rex Brothers‘ name isn’t currently part of the trade talks between the Mets and Rockies, Newsday’s Marc Carig tweets.

4:02pm: At present, there is no traction between the Royals and Mets regarding Gee, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News tweets.

3:31pm: Another set of reports links the Rockies to Gee, with Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter) and Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reporting that there is present interest from Colorado. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reported last night that the Rockies had expressed interest in Gee.

2:38pm: The Mets do not expect to land a shortstop in a deal involving Gee, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Instead, the team is looking to add a left-handed reliever, right-handed bench bat, prospects, or some combination of the above.

2:05pm: GM Sandy Alderson says the Mets are not confident they will make a deal involving a starter in San Diego, tweets Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. But the club does expect to strike a deal of some kind soon.

1:20pm: The Mets are confident they will find a deal to move starter Dillon Gee this week, Jack Curry of the YES Network reports on Twitter. There has been a lot of chatter on Gee with multiple teams, he notes, reflecting other recent reports.

We have already heard several teams mentioned in relation to Gee, among them the Twins. But Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter) says a deal between those teams looks unlikely, with New York not terribly interested in shortstop Eduardo Escobar. The Royals, Padres, Rockies, Rangers, and Giants have also been noted as having interest.


NL West Rumors: Morse, Rosario, Rockies, Padres

The latest from the NL West..


Mets Discussing Dillon Gee With Multiple Teams

WEDNESDAY: The Giants have also contacted the Mets about Gee, Morosi tweets.

TUESDAY 10:23pm: The Rockies and Twins have also spoken to New York about Gee, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports tweets.

9:31pm: Up to six teams are interested in Gee, MLB Network Radio’s Jim Duquette reports (hat tip to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News).

8:54pm: The Mets and Rangers are discussing a possible trade that would send right-hander Dillon Gee to Texas, FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi reports (Twitter link).  The Rangers were said to be preparing to talk to the Mets about Gee (and Jon Niese) yesterday.  While the two sides have talked, however, “nothing is close on that front,” according to The Record’s Matt Ehalt (Twitter link).

With the Rangers looking for rotation upgrades and the Mets shopping their veteran arms, the two teams seem like a good match as trade partners.  Gee is a Texas native and played his college ball in Arlington, so a trade to the Rangers would be a virtual homecoming for the 28-year-old.  MLBTR’s Matt Swartz projects Gee will earn $5.1MM in 2015 via his second trip through the arbitration process, and he’s controllable through the 2016 season.  Gee has posted a 3.91 ERA, 2.26 K/BB rate, 6.5 K/9 and 45.6% grounder rate over his 639 2/3 career innings (all with the Mets).