Derek Lowe Rumors
In our poll this afternoon, more than 3,300 MLBTR readers told us that they believe the Orioles will finish the season with an above-.500 record but will not qualify for the postseason. Baltimore came into the day in a four-way tie for the two AL Wild Card spots. Here's the latest from Charm City, courtesy of The Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly...
- “No, we are looking around every day,” said GM Dan Duquette when asked if the Manny Machado call-up means they are closing the door on acquiring players from outside the organization.
- The Orioles have expressed some interest in the recently released Lyle Overbay, but they might not have room for him on the roster.
- There's a sense that Derek Lowe will wind up back in National League once he clears waivers tomorrow, but the Orioles could have interest according to Connolly.
- Endy Chavez is expected to clear waivers tomorrow and will likely accept an assignment to Baltimore's Triple-A affiliate.
- We had some more Orioles links earlier this morning.
The Indians removed Damon from their roster six days ago, after he posted a .222/.281/.329 batting line with four home runs in 224 plate appearances as a left fielder and designated hitter. The club designated Accardo for assignment five days ago after he posted a 4.58 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 in 26 appearances.
Damon hasn't heard if any contenders are interested in signing him, but he wants to keep playing, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports (Twitter links). The Red Sox will pass on Lowe for now, Cafardo reports.
The Orioles defeated the Mariners tonight to draw within a half game of one of the American League's Wild Card spots. In what most consider to be a shocking season, the second-place Orioles trail the Yankees by 5 1/2 games following New York's loss to the Tigers. Here are some links pertaining to the division...
- "We are not making a change at manager," Red Sox principal owner John Henry told WEEI.com's Rob Bradford via email. Henry wrote that managers often get too much credit and also too little credit for what happens on the field.
- WEEI's Alex Speier tweeted a quote from Red Sox GM Ben Cherington that echoed Henry's sentiment, though Cherington stopped short of saying how long Valentine's Boston tenure would last (Twitter links).
- Orioles DH Jim Thome was told to refrain from baseball activities for 30 days, reports MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli. With an early September return questionable at best, he may be more interested in coming back for another season, according to Ghiroli (Twitter links).
- An Orioles team official told Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com that the team doesn't have interest in Derek Lowe, who was recently DFA'ed by the Indians (Twitter link). Cleveland is said to be exploring trade options for Lowe.
Some links pertaining to baseball's two Central Divisions, which are currently led by the White Sox and Reds...
- The Reds aren't interested in Lyle Overbay, general manager Walt Jocketty told reporters including John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer (Twitter link). Jocketty mentions Overbay's defensive limitation and says his team likes Xavier Paul. Overbay was released by the D-backs earlier today.
- Indians GM Chris Antonetti is exploring the trade market for both Johnny Damon and Derek Lowe, tweets MLB.com's Jordan Bastian. Antonetti feels there's a chance that he can complete trades within their respective 10-day windows. Cleveland recently designated Damon and Lowe for assignment.
- Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes that Antonetti is happy with the job Manny Acta has done and expects him to be the Indians' manager in 2013. Antonetti did concede that the front office and coaching staff may have over-evaluated the roster's talent in Spring Training.
- Pirates GM Neal Huntington says he is actively monitoring the waiver wire and will make claims to improve his team or block others from improving theirs, writes Karen Price of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
- The Pirates haven't explored an extension with A.J. Burnett as of yet, Huntington told reporters including the Tribune-Review's Rob Biertempfel (Sulia link). Huntington says the team's focus is currently on making the playoffs.
Links from around baseball as Saturday becomes Sunday..
- The Cubs are not interested in pitcher Derek Lowe, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (via Twitter), who spoke with a major league source. Last night it was reported that the Cubs were "looking into" what it would take to acquire the veteran, who was designated for assignment by the Indians earlier this week.
- Dodgers pitcher Michael Antonini cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Albuquerque, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com (via Twitter). Antonini was designated for assignment to make roster space after the acquisitions of Brandon League and Shane Victorino.
- Rangers General Manager refused to succumb to outside pressure and held on to his most prized prospects through the trade deadline, writes Tyler Kepner of the New York Times. While third baseman Christian Villanueva and right-hander Kyle Hendricks were shipped out, infielders Mike Olt and Jurickson Profar and pitcher Martin Perez stayed with the organization.
- Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer would like to see the Indians take a page out of the White Sox's book and rebuild while keeping the focus on winning.
Here's the latest from both Windy City teams....
- The Cubs are "looking into what it would take to acquire" Derek Lowe, reports Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. Lowe has a 5.52 ERA in 21 starts this season and was designated for assignment by the Indians two days ago. The Orioles and Red Sox have also been mentioned as possible suitors for Lowe, though the Red Sox haven't been in contact with the Indians about Lowe, according to WEEI.com's Rob Bradford.
- Also from Wittenmyer's piece, Cubs president Theo Epstein said Alfonso Soriano had one semi-legitimate suitor before the trade deadline. ‘‘There were a few nibbles, and there was one match of a team that had expressed interest and a place that he would go,’’ Epstein said. ‘‘But they ended up never making an actual offer and addressing their needs somewhere else.’’ This team could possibly be the Dodgers, who were known to have an interest in Soriano before acquiring Shane Victorino from the Phillies.
- White Sox general manager Kenny Williams tells reporters (including MLB.com's Scott Merkin) that he plans to monitor the waiver wire, though "we don't have a lot of positions where if you claim somebody they're going to come in and play."
- Francisco Liriano ended up being Williams' biggest acquisition in the days before the trade deadline and the GM thinks Liriano will thrive under pitching coach Don Cooper. "While there might be some other guys out there who were available, I just felt that Liriano's one that all he really has to do is be in the strike zone on a more consistent basis," Williams said.
At least one baseball person wonders if Ryan Dempster hurt his free agent stock by agreeing to join the Rangers, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports. The American League, referred to by one general manager as "the big boy league," features some high-powered offenses that could have impact Dempster’s numbers and diminish his leverage in offseason contract talks. Here are more notes from Olney...
- The Dodgers were interested in Dempster, but they never pushed for him, Olney reports. The Dodgers didn’t want to trade from their core of good prospects and they didn’t waver when the Cubs asked about their top minor leaguers.
- Olney suggests teams like the Red Sox and Orioles could have interest in Brandon McCarthy if the Athletics place him on waivers when he returns from the disabled list.
- Before the trade deadline, the Phillies made it clear that they would not pick up any of Cliff Lee’s salary in a trade and would also want prospects in return for the left-hander. Olney suggests it’s highly unlikely Lee will be moved in a waiver deal this month.
- Starlin Castro’s name came up in conversations between the Cubs and Diamondbacks leading up to the trade deadline, Olney writes. However, both sides moved on quickly and a deal was never close.
- Olney wonders if the Nationals could pursue in Derek Lowe given their interest in adding pitching leading up to the trade deadline.
6:24pm: The Red Sox are "still gathering info" before deciding whether or not to pursue Lowe, reports Scott Lauber of The Boston Herald. Meanwhile, the Nationals have no interest in the veteran right-hander according to Amanda Comak of The Washington Times (on Twitter).
3:20pm: Derek Lowe told Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe that he just needs "a tuneup" before resuming his MLB career (Twitter links). The right-hander, who was officially designated for assignment today, would love to return to the Red Sox, where he pitched from 1997-2004. Boston GM Ben Cherington hasn't ruled out Lowe, but hasn't made a decision yet, Cafardo writes.
Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun suggests we shouldn’t be surprised if the Orioles make a big push for Lowe. “It makes a whole lot of sense,” one Orioles official told Connolly. Orioles executive Dan Duquette acquired Lowe for the Red Sox in 1997. Baltimore has been seeking starting pitching depth this summer.
Lowe, 39, pitched to a 5.52 ERA in 21 starts for Cleveland this season, including an 8.80 ERA in his last dozen starts. He walked (45) more batters than he struck out (41) in 119 innings, though he was still generating plenty of ground balls (60.0%) with that sinker.
The Indians acquired Lowe from the Braves this past offseason and only had to pay $5MM of his $15MM salary. They're still on the hook for that money less the pro-rated portion of the league minimum should he sign elsewhere. Lowe has expressed interest in returning to the Red Sox, and it's likely a pitching-starved team will give him a chance given his reputation as an innings eater.
Here's a look at some highlights from today's column by Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe..
- One National League GM said that Roy Oswalt's desire to pitch closer to home has some teams wondering if the hurler might not be enthused about pitching this season. "Everyone knows he has back issues, but the thing that bothered teams was that all of a sudden, he wanted to be closer to home and wanted to start picking and choosing where he wanted to be. A lot of people felt he lost that desire he used to have to pitch, and now we’re seeing him say, ‘Maybe I’ll show up somewhere around midseason and make just as much as I’d make if I signed now,'" said the GM.
- The Angels are unlikely to outright release Bobby Abreu as they owe him $9MM, but their efforts to deal him have been fruitless so far.
- Peter Bourjos, meanwhile, is still prominent on the Nationals’ wish list for center fielders, but the Angels want considerable value back if they deal him. With Torii Hunter in the final year of his contract, there is room for the Halos to keep both Bourjos and Mike Trout.
- Astros left-hander Wandy Rodriguez will be a top "go get" guy before the deadline for teams needing an extra piece. Astros people remain surprised at the lack of interest in Rodriguez, even with the club willing to pick up about half the $36MM owed to him.
- Indians pitcher Derek Lowe has strong interest in returning to the Red Sox after this season as a starter or reliever. Cafardo writes that the veteran could have been an interesting solution as the BoSox's fourth or fifth starter, but picking up a large chunk his salary from the Braves didn't interest Boston.
- Jason Varitek's friends still insist that he is leaning toward retirement as he can’t envision himself in a non-Red Sox uniform. However, he feels that he can still play and at least be a backup catcher somewhere.