Colorado Rockies Rumors

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

West Notes: Padres, Dodgers, Giants, Rockies

There were several notes yesterday on the Padres‘ search for a new GM. The club interviewed Rangers assistant GM A.J. Preller yesterday, reports MLB.com’s Corey Brock, joining prior candidates Larry Beinfest, Logan White of the Dodgers, Ray Montgomery of the Diamondbacks, and Billy Eppler of the Yankees. Today, the team had a sit-down with Red Sox assistant GM Mike Hazen, per Peter Gammons of GammonsDaily.com (via Twitter). Meanwile, Cardinals assistant GM Mike Girsch has withdrawn himself from consideration, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today (Twitter link). As Nightengale further tweets, some potential candidates have expressed a belief that it will take upwards of two to three years to effect a turnaround in San Diego.

Here’s the latest trade deadline chatter from the Friars and the rest of the NL West:

  • The Padres are asking for a big return to move late-inning righties Joaquin Benoit and Huston Street, reports Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter). A reunion with the Tigers makes sense for Benoit, tweets Jon Morosi of FOX Sports, because the sides parted on good terms.
  • The Dodgers are looking into the starting pitching market, particularly after losing Josh Beckett to the 15-day DL, reports Shaikin. Though Los Angeles hopes Beckett’s hip impingement will only cause him to miss one start (with the benefit of the All-Star break), the club is readying for a longer absence. Of course, Paul Maholm remains in the fold, and the club has fill-in options at Triple-A, but those appear to be temporary options. Shaikin says that the team lacks the kind of rotation depth that it would prefer, and could pursue either a depth arm (he gives Jake Peavy and Bartolo Colon as hypothetical examples) or a high-end pitcher such as David Price or Cole Hamels.
  • Giants GM Brian Sabean says that his team is willing to consider any and all trade proposals, reports Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News. “We’ve told everybody that everybody we have is in play,” said the long-tenured GM. “There are no untouchables in our organization.” While he expressed a desire to be patient, he expressed consternation at the team’s recent struggles. “Unfortunately, we’ve leaked oil in a lot of areas,” said Sabean. “That further confuses what you think you might want to do or have to do in and around the trade deadline.” As far as where an addition could be made, Sabean indicated that many spots are in play: “All our prospects are in play, but at this point we need bullpen help, you can always use another starter, second base, bench help,” said Sabean. “Just a lot of areas where you need shoring up and obviously we’re not [going to] be able to do that totally in the trade market.”
  • Last night, we took a look at some comments from Rockies owner Dick Monfort, courtesy of Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. Notably, he said that he has no plans to deal star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. This morning, Saunders posted the full transcript of his interview with Monfort, and there is plenty more to cover. Monfort says that the organization’s greatest need is starting pitching depth, and said he “would love to have another starting pitcher before the trade deadline,” preferably “somebody that we could have control of for a period of time.” The club had interest in acquiring Jeff Samardzija, but “the asking price was Eddie Butler and some other stuff,” which Monfort found too steep.
  • Though Colorado has one of the worst records in the league, Monfort says that the team is not a seller, at least at this point. After weathering the injuries and a tough stretch in the schedule, he said that he is holding out hope that the Rockies can creep back into the wild card picture. Monfort said that he does not anticipate trading starter Jorge De La Rosa or outfielder Michael Cuddyer, who he “would like to figure out a way to keep” beyond this season.

Rockies Owner Monfort: No Plans To Deal Tulowitzki

Rockies owner Dick Monfort says that the club has no desire to sell off star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, in an interesting interview with Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. The 29-year-old has been one of the most productive players in the game this year for a scuffling Colorado ballclub, leading to speculation that he could be dangled.

“I have read some stuff,” said Monfort, but I haven’t heard anything about him wanting to leave or us wanting to get rid of him. I don’t have any plans of doing any of that.” When asked what he would do if Tulowitzki were to request a trade, Monfort said he would wait until such a situation arose.

Of course, many have suggested that now may be the time to deal the game’s premier shortstop, who has been healthy and productive all year. Under his late-2010 extension, Tulowitzki is guaranteed $20MM per year over 2015-19, $14MM for the 2020 campaign, and $4MM for a buyout of a $15MM club option in 2021. While hardly cheap, that contract pales in comparison to what Tulowitzki would likely garner on the open market.

Likewise, Monfort indicated that he was not inclined to move fellow headliner Carlos Gonzalez“Same answer,” he said. “I haven’t talked to CarGo. All I know is that they love it here. Most offensive players do. I assume they are happy here, but none of us is happy with losing.”

As for the team’s broader issues, Monfort expressed confusion at the club’s struggles. He declined to pin it all on injuries, explaining that “we haven’t played as good as what the talent is.” Monfort expressed continued support for the club’s two head baseball decision-makers, Dan O’Dowd and Bill Geivett. “I have stuck behind both of them,” he said. “I think they are really good baseball people. I think, if you are looking to make a change, there has got to be a better option.” Likewise, Monfort said that manager Walt Weiss is a “winner” who had “grown into the role.”


Rosenthal’s Latest: Tulo, Dodgers, Valbuena, Peavy, Sox

In his latest notes column, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes that he wouldn’t be surprised to see Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki ask for a trade this offseason. One friend of Tulo told Rosenthal, “I think the guy is going to lose his mind,” due to Colorado’s consistently poor results. He adds that this offseason will be a better time to deal Tulo or Carlos Gonzalez (with an eye on a larger rebuild), and while owner Dick Monfort may prefer to move CarGo, plenty of teams would make sense as a landing spot for Tulowitzki.

Here are some more highlights from Rosenthal’s newest work…

  • One reason that Tulo could be particularly frustrated is with the Rockies‘ inability to build a competitive pitching staff at Coors Field. That’s no easy task, as Rosenthal notes, but it isn’t helped by the fact that free-agent pitchers simply don’t want to go there. While Jon Gray and Eddie Butler are promising, Butler joins a long list of currently injured Rockies starters. Additionally, rival scouts opined to Rosenthal that Colorado pitchers are poorly prepared: “They pitch not to hitters’ weaknesses but hitters strengths,” one scout told Rosenthal.
  • The Dodgers talked with the Cubs about Jeff Samardzija before he was dealt to Oakland, but talks never got serious, as Los Angeles didn’t want to part with Joc Pederson or Corey Seager.
  • Speaking of the Samardzija trade, Rosenthal hears that the deal was almost larger, as the Athletics at one point were trying to get Chicago to include Luis Valbuena in the deal as well. The A’s like Valbuena as a potential second-base upgrade and could rekindle talks for him later this month, but Chicago is reluctant to deal him, as he’s controlled through 2016, according to Rosenthal.
  • The Cubs are receiving interest in lefty relievers James Russell and Wesley Wright, both of whom are more likely to be traded than Valbuena.
  • Multiple reports today have indicated that the Cardinals have interest in Jake Peavy of the Red Sox, and Rosenthal reports that the two sides spoke a month ago, though not necessarily about Peavy. Boston has interest in the Cardinals’ young outfielders, and while St. Louis won’t deal Randal Grichuk or Stephen Piscotty for Peavy, the teams could expand the deal to include other players and make something work. Rosenthal floats the idea of a scenario in which Allen Craig heads to Boston, though that appears to be speculation.
  • In other Red Sox rumors, he writes that the Sox don’t necessarily want to move free agents they would like to re-sign after the season even if they end up as sellers. In other words, Jon Lester and Koji Uehara may stay put regardless of the team’s approach. Beyond that, the team’s chips are largely underwhelming, as Jonny Gomes, Burke Badenhop, Stephen Drew and A.J. Pierzynski either don’t have huge appeal to buyers or would net marginal returns at best.


Rockies Links: Cuddyer, De La Rosa, Tulo

Here’s the latest out of the Mile High City…

  • Michael Cuddyer hasn’t spoken to the Rockies about a contract extension, though he tells Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post that he would certainly listen to such an offer.  “I love it here….I like [the] guys, I like the organization and I like everything about it. It would definitely be one of the tops on my list,” Cuddyer said.  The veteran is currently hoping for a good diagnosis on his shoulder injury and hopes he can return to action before the end of the season.  Cuddyer is set to be a free agent this winter.
  • Jorge de la Rosa is another pending Rockies free agent who could be traded, though could re-sign with Colorado this winter,  CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman notes.  Heyman ranks de la Rosa on the low side of his latest trade value stock watch piece, but the southpaw bounced back from a tough June with a quality start and win over the Dodgers on Saturday.
  • With Troy Tulowitzki healthy and producing at an MVP-type level, Fangraphs’ Mike Petriello argues that it’s time for the Rockies to trade their superstar.  Colorado’s hopes of contending in the near future look shaky at best, Petriello opines, so there’s no point in keeping Tulowitzki around on a losing team.

Quick Hits: Headley, Russell, Cubs, Rockies, McCarthy

The Blue Jays and Padres continue to discuss a Chase Headley trade, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports tweets. His colleague Ken Rosenthal adds that some within the Jays organization think that the team’s most acute need is a hitter, rather than a starting pitcher. In late June, Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the Blue Jays had interest in Headley and that the Padres would be willing to deal him. Here are more notes from around baseball.

  • The Cubs dealt Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel early in the trading season, and for a package based around a position player, because Addison Russell was too good to pass on, David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune writes. “There was no pitcher available even close to the caliber of player that Addison Russell is,” says team president Theo Epstein.
  • The Cubs now have a top-notch collection of hitting prospects, but don’t have nearly as much pitching. They believe, however, that they can use that to their advantage, as Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. It’s hard to find hitters in today’s low-offense environment, and the Cubs have plenty of them. “If you look at the way the game is going, the batter-pitcher dynamic has shifted in recent years dramatically in favor of the pitcher,” says Epstein. “So there are more effective pitchers out there right now than there are position players.” The Cubs also feel they can compensate for their lack of pitching by acquiring a top-of-the-rotation starter within the next couple of years. Epstein also seems to allude to the possibility that the Cubs will make trades for pitching in the future.
  • A pair of Rockies are making their 2014 debuts with rookie-level Grand Junction, Patti Arnold of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports (Twitter links). Former Rockies closer Rafael Betancourt, who’s working his way back from an elbow injury, pitched a scoreless inning today, striking out one and walking one. Also, Kyle Freeland, the No. 8 overall pick in this year’s draft, will make his pro debut on Wednesday.
  • The Diamondbacks placed now-Yankees pitcher Brandon McCarthy on waivers six to eight weeks ago, Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets. That means anyone could have claimed him and assumed the remainder of his $9MM salary for 2014. No one bit.
  • Red Sox first-round pick Michael Kopech will be represented by MVP Sports Group, MLB Daily Dish’s Chris Cotillo tweets.

Quick Hits: Samardzija, Viciedo, D-Backs, Byrd

Jeff Samardzija couldn’t be happier to be joining the A’s, writes MLB.com’s Jane Lee.  “Billy asked me how I felt,” said Samardzija. “I was supposed to pitch today, so I’m a day past my due date to pitch. I’m chomping at the bit. I don’t think there’s any better way to get acclimated than to do it on the mound. It was a no-brainer for me, and I look forward to it.” Here’s more from around baseball.


Rockies Designate Raul Fernandez For Assignment

The Rockies have designated pitcher Raul Fernandez for assignment, Troy Renck of the Denver Post tweets. The Rockies also placed pitcher Nick Masset on the disabled list and replaced him on the active roster with Brooks Brown, for whom the Fernandez DFA clears a spot on the 40-man.

Fernandez, 24, had posted a 7.00 ERA with 6.7 K/9 and 5.0 BB/9 in 27 innings for Class A+ Modesto. Fernandez throws hard but has struggled in both the last two seasons.


Rockies To Sign Chris Capuano

The Rockies and left-hander Chris Capuano have agreed on a minor league contract, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports (via Twitter).  The deal will cost the Rockies only the minimum, as the Red Sox still owe Capuano the approximately $1.18MM remaining on his previous contract after he was released earlier this week.  Capuano is represented by Moye Sports Associates.

Capuano will be stretched out as a starting pitcher at Triple-A, Heyman notes, after pitching exclusively out of the bullpen in Boston.  The veteran southpaw posted a 4.55 ERA, 8.2 K/9 and 1.93 K/BB rate in 31 2/3 IP this season, and that ERA was largely inflated by a five-run outing on June 23 in what ended up as his final appearance with the Red Sox.

The signing marks both a return to starting and a return to the NL for Capuano, as he spent the first nine years of his career in the senior circuit before signing with Boston last winter.  Given the Rockies’ need for starting pitching, it’s basically a no-lose signing on their part to see if Capuano can adapt to the thin Colorado air and eventually provide some innings to the Major League rotation.


NL International Signings: Cuadrado, Gonzalez, Rosario

Here are the day’s most notable international prospect signings from the National League (rankings via MLB.com and Baseball America):

  • The Dodgers have signed Venezuelan corner outfielder Romer Cuadrado and given him a $750K signing bonus, reports Ben Badler of Baseball America. Cuardado didn’t crack either Top 30 list, though Badler did note in a report (subscription required) that he has an “extra-large frame” for a 16-year-old (6’4″, 195 pounds) with room to add size. Badler noted that Cuardado has projectable raw power from the right side.
  • Shortstops Pedro Gonzalez ($1.3MM) and Yeremy Rosario ($800K) have agreed to terms with the Rockies, according to Dionisio Soldevila of ESPNDeportes.com (via Twitter) and MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez (Twitter link), respectively. Gonzalez was rated the 12th-best prospect available by both Baseball America and MLB.com. Rosario, meanwhile, landed at 22nd on the MLB.com list, with opinions varying on whether he is a top young player or instead lacks the ability to stick up the middle.
  • Shortstop Kenny Hernandez has signed with the Mets for $1MM, Sanchez reports on Twitter. Hernandez was the 27th-rated prospect by MLB.com but rose all the way to 13th on the Baseball America board.
  • The Giants have inked outfielder Sandro Fabian for $500K, reports Sanchez (via Twitter). Fabian hails from the Dominican Republic and can generate hard contact but needs to work on his plate discipline and will likely need to move from center to left field, according to Badler (subscription required).
  • The Phillies have signed shortstop Arquimedes Gamboa to a $900K bonus, reports Sanchez (via Twitter). The switch-hitting Venezuelan checked in at eighth on BA’s list and 15th on that of MLB.com. His value appears to be in his legs and defensive ability, though Gamboa is said to be a capable contact hitter. Philadelphia has also inked fellow Venezuelan shortstop Daniel Brito, who was rated 29th overall by BA, according to a report from Badler. Brito receives a healthy $650K bonus, according to Badler.
  • The Padres have agreed to terms with catcher Ricardo Rodriguez, who came in at the very bottom of MLB.com’s top-30 prospect list, tweets Sanchez. San Diego also landed a $500K contract with shortstop Elvis Sabala, per another Sanchez tweet.
  • Outfielder Christian Capellan has agreed to a $500K deal with the Marlins, tweets Sanchez. The club has also inked Venezuelan outfielder Anderson Castro for $650K, according to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro (via Twitter). Miami is expected to land as many as twelve players today while wielding a bonus that is triple the club’s previous levels, tweets Frisaro. The Fish have just over $4.6MM in available pool space, second-most in the league.

Steve Adams contributed to this post.


Rockies Acquire Jair Jurrjens From Reds

The Rockies announced that they have acquired right-hander Jair Jurrjens from the Reds in exchange for minor league first baseman Harold Riggins.

The 28-year-old Jurrjens inked a minor league deal with the Reds back in May that came with an $800K base salary upon making the Major Leagues. The former All-Star has thrown 34 1/3 innings with Triple-A Louisville since signing the deal, posting a 4.46 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9.

Jurrjens looked to be a young star on the rise a few years ago, finishing third in the 2008 NL Rookie of the Year voting with the Braves and making an All-Star team in 2011. Acquired from the Tigers in exchange for Edgar Renteria, Jurrjens posted a 3.34 ERA in 671 2/3 innings for Atlanta from 2008-11, but knee injuries have derailed his career and limited him to just 55 2/3 innings of 6.68 ERA ball since. He spent last season with the Triple-A affiliates for the Orioles and Tigers, posting a combined 4.57 ERA in 134 innings.

Riggins, 24, had a .263/.351/.447 batting line with seven homers in 205 plate appearances with Double-A Tulsa this season. He ranked as Colorado’s No. 23rd prospect heading into the 2013 season, per Baseball America, but did not crack the club’s Top 30 prospects heading into this season.

The Rockies have seen a great deal of their pitchers go down with injuries, as they currently have Brett Anderson, Tyler Chatwood, Eddie Butler, Jordan Lyles, Jhoulys Chacin and Christian Bergman on the disabled list. Jurrjens will provide depth at Triple-A Colorado Springs for the time being, per the Denver Post’s Nick Groke (on Twitter).