Craig Breslow Rumors

Contenders Scouting The Athletics

The Athletics' record stands at exactly .500 after 92 games, but they sit seven games back of the molten hot Rangers in the AL West. GM Billy Beane said he didn't anticipate being that active before the non-waiver trade deadline, but that hasn't stopped contending teams from checking out his roster for potential fits. 

Susan Slusser of The San Francisco Chronicle brings us the latest and greatest from the East Bay…

  • Ben Sheets is a potential target for both the Phillies and Twins, though the A's have no desire to move the righthander. He is still owed $4.3MM for the remainder of this season, and he is currently on pace to earn the full $2MM worth of incentives in his contract, which are based on innings pitched. $6.3MM total is pricey for a guy with a 6.66 ERA away from his home park.
  • Slusser says that Vin Mazzaro's emergence (3.50 ERA in 64.1 innings) could make Sheets expendable, ditto healthy returns by Brett Anderson and Dallas Braden.
  • Detroit scouted reliever Michael Wuertz this weekend, which is not the first time they've done so this season. They also have their eye on Craig Breslow. Slusser says Oakland might not want to sell low on Wuertz, who's gone from a 2.63 ERA and 11.67 K/9 last year to 5.30 and 6.75 this year, respectively.  

Chad Gaudin Agrees To Sign With A’s

Pitcher Chad Gaudin has reached agreement with the A's on a deal worth $700K.  The righty turned 27 years old on Wednesday and was cut loose by the Yankees on Thursday. 

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported the agreement and Jon Heyman of followed up with the contract details (via Twitter).

After starting 25 games last season for the Padres and Yankees, it is likely that Gaudin will be slotted into Oakland's bullpen.  Several Athletics relievers have been bitten by the injury bug, including Michael Wuertz, Andrew Bailey, and Craig Breslow.

Athletics Claim Craig Breslow

According to La Velle E. Neal of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the A's claimed lefty reliever Craig Breslow off waivers from the Twins.  The Twins called up Anthony Swarzak in his place.  Breslow, a 28 year-old Yale alum, posted a 6.28 ERA in 14.3 innings this year.  Last year, though, he posted a 1.91 mark in 47 innings.

Swarzak, a righthanded starter, ranks as the Twins' 6th-best prospect according to Baseball America.  BA says he has a plus fastball and curveball.

Odds & Ends: Thome, Fuentes, Reyes

A few links from the afternoon/evening…

  • Jim Thome’s 9th inning strikeout on Saturday night allowed his 2009 option to kick in, as it was his 564th plate appearance. Thome needed to reach 1100 plate appearances between 2007 and 2008 for the option to be a factor.
  • Rockies’ closer Brian Fuentes would like to remain with the club in 2009. He enjoys his teammates and has experienced success, but also understands that baseball is a business and he may end up somewhere else.
  • Another left-handed relief option that hasn’t garnered much attention is the Twins’ Dennys Reyes. Reyes is a free agent after the 2008 season, and credits the Twins for his turnaround over the past three seasons. He’d like to remain with the club, but because of new left-handed options like Craig Breslow and emerging prospect Jose Mijares, Reyes may have become expendable.

Week In Review

Continuing with Tim’s new tradition, here’s my take on some of the top rumors of the week from June 29 – July 6:

  • The C.C. Sabathia sweepstakes is nearing an end, with the Brewers’ Matt LaPorta package being the frontrunner. We’ll let everyone know the full story as soon as possible.
  • The Phillies extended Brad Lidge to a three-year contract. Lidge looks like his old self – great deal for Philadelphia. Looks like this means Brett Myers will remain in the rotation if he can get back on track.
  • We heard a lot about the Rays’ growing interest for Colorado closer Brian Fuentes. They could be preparing an offer. Troy Percival has been good, but injury prone, and you almost hate to move Dan Wheeler from the eighth inning where he’s been so good all year.
  • The shortstop market is hot, as the Dodgers, Orioles, and Jays would all like to upgrade. The Dodgers are interested in Jack Wilson, while the Orioles are looking at David Eckstein and possibly Juan Uribe or Felipe Lopez. The Jays could look to move A.J. Burnett and his contract for an upgrade there as well. Interesting that Toronto wants an upgrade over Eckstein, while Baltimore looks at him as an upgrade…
  • The Indians finally cut Joe Borowski loose, designating him for assignment. Was this too little too late? They tried to sneak Craig Breslow through waivers earlier this year. I’m guessing they’d rather have the 1.42 ERA he’s posted this season than Borowski’s 7.56, but the Twins are enjoying Breslow’s benefits.
  • Could the Angels add Matt Holliday? Seems unlikely with the stockpile of large contracts they already have in their outfield if you ask me.
  • The A’s signed Michel Inoa for $4.25MM on Thursday.
  • The Padres will be sellers this July. The onslaught of injuries have made this a frustrating season for San Diego. If you’d been able to see Adrian Gonzalez‘s monster numbers through July 1 before the season started, who would’ve believed this team wasn’t contending? Wow.
  • For those who are interested, Tim looked at this past years’ offseason moves and compiled an All-Star lineup of free agent hitters signed prior to the 2008 season. That’d be a heck of a team to try to beat right now…

Twins Add Breslow

According to Joe Christensen, the Twins claimed lefty reliever Craig Breslow off waivers from the Indians.

Breslow, a 27 year-old Yale graduate, has bounced around and only compiled 36.2 innings in the bigs.  His control needs some work, but he may be useful.