Colorado Rockies Rumors

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

East Notes: Lee, Hamels, Braves, Price, Orioles

There were plenty of scouts on hand for the Phillies‘ matchup tonight, as ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reports (links to Twitter). Among the players presumably being eyed were starter Cliff Lee, fresh off a lengthy DL stint, and southpaw reliever Antonio Bastardo. Clubs with representatives on-hand included the Tigers, Blue Jays, Orioles, Brewers, Angels, Royals, Giants, Rangers, Diamondbacks, Pirates, and Mariners, though Crasnick adds that all were not necessarily looking at Lee in particular. The return start for Lee did not go well for the veteran lefty, as he surrendered 12 base hits (11 singles and one long ball) and six earned runs to go with three strikeouts and a walk over 5 2/3 innings.

Here’s more from the game’s eastern divisions:

  • The Phillies are telling clubs that starter Cole Hamels is not available, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports on Twitter. Hamels looks to be the best trade piece on the club’s current MLB roster, but Philadelphia may well prefer to keep the 30-year-old as it attempts to avoid a total rebuild.
  • The Yankees appear on Lee’s twenty-team no-trade list, tweets Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. Lee also listed New York on last year’s version of his slate of clubs to which he can decline to be dealt.
  • For the Braves, the trade deadline is likely to bring aid to the bullpen and bench, writes MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. A left-handed reliever has long been on the club’s list, and Bowman says that the club might also look to add a bench bat that would improve the team’s anemic pinch-hitting results. As Bowman notes, Jordan Schafer and Ryan Doumit have both largely been ineffective in that role.
  • The Rays now seem more likely than ever to take the decision whether to deal David Price right up until the trade deadline, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post“I think they take it down to the wire,” an executive told Sherman. “That allows them to make sure they know who they are while making a couple teams sweat to the end that one of their competitors are going to get him. … It wouldn’t surprise me if Price actually ends up a July 31 decision.”
  • Meanwhile, the Orioles are looking at a broad array of options to bolster their club, reports MLB.com’s Britt Ghiroli. In particular, the club is looking at both starting and relief arms, and has indicated to at least three clubs that righty Miguel Gonzalez could be moved. One of those teams is the Padres, who of course hold one of the better available starters in Ian Kennedy. A.J. Burnett of the Phillies is also on Baltimore’s radar, as is Jorge De La Rosa of the Rockies, though Ghiroli says that Colorado was asking for top prospect Kevin Gausman to be included. Manager Buck Showalter indicated that executive vice president Dan Duquette remains hesitant to part with the club’s best prospects, and could ultimately take things down to the wire to get the right deal. (That, of course, was the strategy that Baltimore employed in this year’s free agent market, though last year the club started buying somewhat early at the deadline.)

Rockies Designate Jair Jurrjens For Assignment

The Rockies have designated right-hander Jair Jurrjens for assignment, reports Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter). The move was necessitated by the promotion of first baseman Ben Paulsen, whose contract was selected today. Paulsen will replace Justin Morneau, who has been placed on the 15-day DL with a neck strain.

Jurrjens made a pair of spot starts for Colorado after being acquired from the Reds, but the former All-Star’s results were less than favorable. Jurrjens allowed 11 earned runs in 9 1/3 innings, though he did so with nine strikeouts against just three walks. In 40 1/3 innings at Triple-A this season, the 28-year-old has a 4.02 ERA with 6.2 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9.


NL Notes: Hamels, Lee, Burnett, Colon, Padres

The Rockies, who have lost four in a row and 11 of their last 15, own the National League’s worst record and the third-worst mark in all of baseball. The franchise faces six key questions, according to the Denver Post’s Patrick Saunders, including whether to trade Troy Tulowitzki and to overhaul the front office to appease the disgruntled fan base. Saunders doesn’t see either happening because owner Dick Monfort is an extremely loyal and stubborn man. Saunders writes Tulowitzki could force a trade if he is willing to be portrayed as the disloyal, bad guy. Elsewhere in the NL:

Edward Creech contributed to this post.



NL West Notes: Kemp, Papelbon, Geivett, Padres

Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp doesn’t necessarily want to be traded, but he would welcome a deal that would allow him to man center field on an everyday basis with a new team, agent Dave Stewart told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports yesterday. Rosenthal notes, however, that GM Ned Colletti is a bit hesitant to part with Kemp’s right-handed bat, as that would leave the team with just one surefire right-handed power threat in the everyday lineup in 2015: Yasiel Puig. (Hanley Ramirez, of course, is a free agent at season’s end.) Another major roadblock is the roughly $107MM remaining on Kemp’s contract through the 2019 season.

Here’s more on the Dodgers and the rest of the NL West…

  • Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles now debunks one of his own reports, tweeting that he’s been told the Dodgers are not interested in Jonathan Papelbon. Yesterday, a baseball source told Saxon he expected the club to pursue the Philadelphia closer.
  • Rockies owner Dick Monfort appeared on 850 KOA-AM radio with Dave Logan and Susie Wargin, and MLB.com’s Thomas Harding provides some highlights from the discussion. Most notably, after Monfort defended GM Dan O’Dowd by saying he judged O’Dowd’s success on more than just the club’s win-loss record, he was asked who should take the blame for the record: “You would have to say it’s [Rockies senior vice president of Major League operations and assistant GM] Bill Geivett,” said Monfort. “He’s responsible for the Major League team. Now, the talent that gets into the Major League team, [that] is the responsibility of scouting and development.” Monfort declined to comment when asked if all of the club’s decision-makers would return next season, but he did say he “stand[s] by the job that everybody does.”
  • The San Diego Union-Tribune’s staff runs down the list of each Padres GM candidate and explains the reasons that they have a chance at the job as well as the reason that each could lose out to another candidate. Since the publishing of that article, four candidates have already been eliminated, and the finalists now are Red Sox AGM Mike Hazen, Rangers AGM A.J. Preller, Yankees AGM Billy Eppler and MLB senior vice president of baseball operations Kim Ng.
  • Earlier today, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported that Kevin Towers could join the Padres front office as a senior advisor if he his dismissed from his post with the D’Backs. Padres CEO Mike Dee now tells Rosenthal (Twitter links): “Any new hires in the front office will be up to the new GM. Kevin Towers is not a candidate for that position. Thus, any speculation about Kevin rejoining the Padres is just that, speculation.” 

Rockies’ Tyler Chatwood To Undergo Tommy John Surgery

Rockies hurler Tyler Chatwood will undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, reports Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. Given the timing of the procedure, and the fact that Chatwood has already had a UCL replacement, it seems likely that he will miss all of next season.

Chatwood, still only 24, had a promising 2013 season, posting a 3.15 ERA in 20 starts with 5.3 K/9 against 3.3 BB/9.  He had been expected to play a major role in the Colorado rotation this year. But, like several other members of the staff, Chatwood has instead missed most of the year due to injury.

The injury certainly has ramifications beyond the season for the Rockies. Chatwood is set to qualify for arbitration eligibility for the first time next year, and the club will have to decide whether to commit to him while he rehabs. Of course, returning from a second TJ procedure is generally a longer and riskier undertaking. While Chatwood has been out since April 29, Saunders explains that he had been working to rehab what was diagnosed as a right flexor strain and elbow inflammation.


White Sox Claim Raul Fernandez From Rockies

The White Sox have claimed right-hander Raul Fernandez off waivers from the Rockies and assigned him to Class-A Advanced Winston-Salem, the team announced on Twitter. The 24-year-old Fernandez was designated for assignment last week to clear a roster spot for fellow righty Brooks Brown.

Fernandez ranked as Colorado’s No. 22 prospect heading into the season, according to Baseball America. As BA’s scouting report explains, Fernandez is a converted catcher that is new to pitching but boasts a power arm, including a fastball that touches 99 mph. However, he has little feel for pitching and needs to work on his changeup and slider as well as his command.

Clearly, his first run at Class-A Advanced didn’t go so well, as the Dominican righty posted a 7.00 ERA with a 20-to-15 K/BB ratio in 27 innings. He posted an equally troubling 6.29 ERA in 34 1/3 innings at Class A last season, though he had a much better 55-to-11 K/BB ratio in 2013.


Rockies Release Manny Corpas

The Rockies have released right-hander Manny Corpas, MLB.com’s Thomas Harding reports (Twitter link).  Corpas requested the move and is looking for an opportunity with another team.

Corpas, 31, signed a new minor league deal with the Rockies last winter and posted a 5.29 ERA, 7.9 K/9 and 4.2 K/BB rate over 47 2/3 innings (one start and 27 relief outings) with Triple-A Colorado Springs.  He has yet to see any big league action this season after getting regular work as a reliever for the Rockies and Cubs since he debuted in the Majors in 2006.


Cafardo On Napoli, Stanton, Marlins, Rockies

The Red Sox, Rangers and Phillies are all struggling this season but for different reasons, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe touches on each team’s situation in his weekly Sunday notes column.  Boston’s young talent (as either lineup upgrades or trade chips) puts them “in the best shape” according to one AL executive, while Rangers GM Jon Daniels intends to address his team’s injury-riddled rotation at the deadline.  Philadelphia seems to be in the toughest shape of the three given that they both have a number of hard-to-move expensive veterans on the roster, plus Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley haven’t seemed willing to waive their no-trade clauses.

Here’s some more from Cafardo’s latest…

  • The Red Sox have received some calls about Mike Napoli.  The first baseman has spent some time on the DL this year but is still hitting .265/.386/.432 with 10 homers in 316 PA.  The two-year, $32MM contract that Napoli signed last winter carries some limited no-trade protection.  Though Napoli’s bat makes him an attractive commodity, I’d be surprised to see the Sox move him given their own need for power hitting both this season and beyond.
  • A recent Marlins slump led to a renewed series of calls about Giancarlo Stanton, and Miami GM Dan Jennings again reiterated that Stanton isn’t for sale.  Cafardo notes that the Stanton trade rumors won’t die down until he signs a big extension with the Marlins, something that seemed unlikely two offseasons ago when he was upset by the club’s fire sale trade with the Blue Jays.  Now, however, Jennings says, “I think some things have changed for Giancarlo.  He’s taken a leadership role here. He knows we’re serious about winning and how much we want him to be part of that. He’s seen the team come together and the young talent developing around him.”
  • Jennings told Cafardo on Friday that the Marlins would look to be trade deadline buyers if they were within five or six games of the NL East lead going into the All-Star break, and the GM was meeting with owner Jeffrey Loria this weekend.  Miami sits 6.5 games behind the tied Nationals and Braves heading into today’s action.
  • It seems unlikely that the Rockies will deal Troy Tulowitzki or Carlos Gonzalez since owner Charles Monfort feels moving either star would negatively hurt Colorado’s ticket sales and TV ratings.  “Monfort centers everything around Tulo and Cargo,” a Major League source tells Cafardo.  Dick Monfort, the other half of the club’s ownership team, recently said there were no plans to deal wither Tulowitzki or Gonzalez.

Rockies Notes: Tulowitzki, Cuddyer, De La Rosa, Trade Chips

Rockies owner Dick Monfort recently explored several topics relating to the club’s trade deadline plans with Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post (read more here and here). Among other things, Monfort said that the club was hesitant not only to deal  away stars Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, but also solid veterans Michael Cuddyer and Jorge De La Rosa.

Here’s the latest:

  • De La Rosa has generated interest from multiple clubs, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports on Twitter. But the club is not interested in dealing him unless the return is a “young impact starter,” according to Jayston Stark of ESPN.com (via Twitter). As Stark notes, that seems rather unlikely.
  • From the analytical side of things, Grant Brisbee of SB Nation writes that the Rockies would be foolish to deal Tulowitzki unless an exceptional offer somehow presents itself. On the other hand, Dave Cameron of Fangraphs argues that De La Rosa is just not that good and should be dealt, noting that the club’s apparent assessment of his value does not jive with his performance.

Earlier Updates

  • Tulowitzki met recently with top team officials, giving them what Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com terms a “subtle blessing” to deal him. The star shortstop indicated that, while he enjoys playing for the Rockies and hopes to continue to do so, he would be open to being moved to a contending ballclub. But that does not mean Tulowitzki is likely to be dealt; quite the contrary, in fact. One Rockies source told Heyman he saw “no chance” of a deal, with ownership concerned with losing fans by dealing the main gate attraction off of a losing team. Ultimately, says Heyman, it may take an outright trade request from Tulo to make a deal happen; if nothing else, Monfort would want him to bless any specific deal before pulling the trigger.
  • The Rockies are indeed unlikely to deal the still-rehabbing Cuddyer, reports Heyman, with the club hoping instead to bring him back next year. Cuddyer, 35, is set to reach free agency at the end of the season. He said recently that no extension talks had occurred, but that he would be open to them. Of course, as Heyman notes, the club could always deal him and look to bring him back as a free agent. But, he writes, the club values his presence enough that it does not believe the possible return would be worthwhile.
  • Meanwhile, in spite of Monfort’s statement, the Orioles are taking a hard look at the lefty De La Rosa, reports Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. The 33-year-old has not followed up on his strong 2013, but was signed by current O’s executive vice president Dan Duquette when he was the GM of the Red Sox. De La Rosa, like Cuddyer, is set to hit the open market after the season.
  • If those four players are truly off the table, it remains a bit of a mystery what Colorado may actually look to sell at the deadline. While Monfort protests that the team could still claw its way back into the race, that seems extraordinarily unlikely. Presumably — and this is my speculation — players like outfielders Drew Stubbs and Brandon Barnes, infielder Josh Rutledge, and a few relievers could be available. The bigger question, though, is whether the team would move first baseman Justin Morneau, who has enjoyed something of a renaissance at altitude.

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.