D.J. Carrasco Rumors

National League Non-Tenders

This post will list all the National League players non-tendered today, but the best place to track all 200+ arbitration eligible players is our new non-tender tracker.

Pirates Acquire Chris Snyder In Five-Player Deal

Diamondbacks interim GM Jerry Dipoto further dismantled his team today, sending catcher Chris Snyder, Triple A shortstop Pedro Ciriaco, and $3MM to the Pirates for reliever D.J. Carrasco, infielder Bobby Crosby, and outfielder Ryan Church.  Snyder has about $8.18MM remaining through 2011, assuming his '12 option is declined, while Carrasco, Crosby and Church have roughly $1.2MM remaining.

Snyder signed his extension under previous GM Josh Byrnes in December of '08, coming off a fine .237/.348/.452 performance.  However, he hit the disabled list in June of last year with a back injury and had surgery in September.  Miguel Montero took over as the starter and hit .319/.364/.523 the rest of that season.  The D'Backs shopped Snyder in the offseason and nearly dealt him to the Blue Jays until concerns over his back scuttled the deal.  Snyder was able to prove his health this year when Montero missed two months due to knee surgery.  Current Pirate Ryan Doumit, whose contract might have been the model for Snyder's, is on the disabled list due to a concussion.

Carrasco, Crosby, and Church were signed cheaply as free agents by the Pirates last winter, but only Carrasco has panned out.  On the season he has a 3.88 ERA, 7.3 K/9, and 3.6 BB/9 in 55.6 innings with only four home runs allowed.  Carrasco probably will be tendered a contract by the D'Backs, and he's under team control through 2012.  Church is technically arbitration-eligible after the season, but he's highly likely to be non-tendered.  

Ciriaco, 24, ranked 27th among D'Backs prospects heading into the season according to Baseball America.  They praised him for his defense and speed, suggesting a possible utilityman future.

Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports first broke news of the trade talks, with Nick Piecoro, Jack Magruder, Steve Gilbert, Dejan Kovacevic, and Jenifer Langosch also contributing to the story.

Pirates, D’Backs Agree On Chris Snyder Trade

10:43am: The minor leaguer going to the Pirates will be shortstop Pedro Ciriaco, tweets Kovacevic.  Baseball America ranked Ciriaco 27th among D'Backs prospects heading into the season, praising his defense and speed.

9:55am: The Pirates will also receive a minor leaguer in the deal, reports MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch.  So it's Snyder, a minor leaguer, and cash to the Pirates for Carrasco, Church, and Crosby.  The Pirates will not flip Snyder, tweets Kovacevic.

9:42am: The D'Backs will also get reliever D.J. Carrasco, reports MLB.com's Steve Gilbert.  Carrasco has $336K plus incentives left on his contract this year, and he's under team control through 2012.  He should be a useful piece in what figures to be a revamped bullpen for Arizona next year.

9:31am: The D'Backs will receive Bobby Crosby and Ryan Church in the deal, tweets Jack Magruder of FOX Sports ArizonaThis explains the call-ups today of Argenis Diaz and Jeff Clement, to some extent.  The inclusion of Crosby and Church offsets about $883K of the $8.18MM still owed to Snyder.

8:56am: Despite an agreement in principle, the two sides are still talking about names going to Arizona, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX SportsDejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette spoke to an uninvolved industry source who wonders if the Pirates might flip Snyder.

SATURDAY, 12:37am: The only thing standing in the way of a Snyder-to-Pittsburgh deal is the commissioner's approval for cash changing hands, reports Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.  It is still not clear as to what Arizona will receive in return, he adds (via Twitter).

FRIDAY, 8:57pm: The Pirates have spoken to the D’Backs about a trade that would send catcher Chris Snyder to Pittsburgh, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The FOX Sports writers suggest Arizona would likely send money to Pittsburgh in any deal. Snyder has $1.7MM remaining on his contract in 2010, plus $5.75MM next year and either $6.75MM or a $750K buyout in 2012.

The Pirates currently have Jason Jaramillo and Erik Kratz on the active roster, but Ryan Doumit is on the DL with a concussion. Like Snyder, Doumit has a lot of money coming his way. He'll earn $5.1MM in 2011 and the club holds options for 2012-13.

Earlier in the week, Bill Shaikin of the LA Times reported that the D'Backs were trying to trade Snyder, but this is the first we've heard of the Pirates' interest.

Odds & Ends: Joba, Orioles, White Sox, Mets

Big names have traditionally been traded on July 29th, including Cliff Lee and Mark Teixeira in recent years.  Perhaps today we'll add Roy Oswalt to the list.  Links for Thursday with about 51 hours until the deadline…

Multiple Teams Interested In D.J. Carrasco

At least five teams have inquired about Pirates reliever D.J. Carrasco, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (via Twitter). The 33-year-old makes $950K this season and is under team control through 2012. We have seen recent indications that it's a hostile market for teams looking to add relievers, though there are some options available

The righty has posted a 4.14 ERA in 50 innings, so it's not surprising that teams are asking the Pirates about him. The White Sox non-tendered Carrasco last winter and he has responded with 7.0 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9. His $950K salary makes him one of the cheaper relievers available.

Octavio Dotel Addresses Trade Rumors

Octavio Dotel would prefer not to hear about any trade rumors involving him unless he actually gets dealt, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Although the Marlins are rumored to be interested in the Pirates' closer, Dotel says "I just don't want to hear any of it, how I'm going here or there."

Given Dotel's contract and the Pirates' place in the standings, there has been speculation that the right-hander could be one of the more attractive bullpen trade chips on the market. The 36-year-old will earn $3.5MM this year, and has a $4.5MM club option ($500K buyout) for next season, though it becomes a mutual option if he's traded. With the Pirates already 23 games below .500 at the season's midpoint, Dotel discussed how the team's record affects his enthusiasm for playing in Pittsburgh:

"I like it here," Dotel said. "But I want to have more winning games. The past month, it wasn't that good for us…. I'll be honest with you: I don't want to be over here if we're going to play that way…. But if we're playing close games and fighting and trying hard like this week, yeah, of course, I want to be here. I love this town. I love this ballpark. It's good for me as a pitcher."

Kovacevic indicates that the Pirates aren't known to be shopping any of their relievers, but that could change in the coming weeks. Besides Dotel, D.J. Carrasco is another of the team's bullpen arms who signed a one-year contract and could appeal to a contender.

Cafardo On Baylor, Haren, Konerko, Bedard

With the Marlins and Orioles searching for new managers, Don Baylor wonders why he isn't being considered for either job, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Baylor would love a chance to manage Baltimore, the franchise that drafted him over four decades ago, in the second round of the 1967 amateur draft. Let's check out Cafardo's other notes….

  • The Yankees, Twins, Nationals, Cardinals, and Tigers had scouts watching Dan Haren's most recent start.
  • There were a few teams hoping Paul Konerko would be available this summer, but with the White Sox suddenly just a game and a half out of first place, they obviously don't plan to trade their home run leader.
  • Cliff Lee may not be the only Seattle left-hander on the trade block next month. Erik Bedard is due back soon, and Cafardo thinks that the Mariners could try to move him if he looks healthy in July.
  • Scott Schoeneweis would like to catch on with a club as a situational lefty, but "his phone isn't ringing."
  • D.J. Carrasco could be traded before the deadline. Carrasco's numbers this season haven't been overly impressive (4.12 ERA, 1.76 K/BB), but if the relief market is as thin as Buster Olney indicated this morning, the right-hander should draw some interest.

Top Trade Chips: NL Central

Let's continue our series looking at each team's top trade chips with the NL Central…

  • Astros: Teams can ask for Hunter Pence, but it's just not happening. 26-year-old catcher J.R. Towles and his five years of team control could be shopped with top prospect Jason Castro coming up behind him. If Houston falls way out of it, Roy Oswalt could be made available, but it would be a massive PR hit. He's owed $31MM through 2011 with a $16MM option ($2MM buyout) for 2012, and would have to approve any trade. Dealing him would signify the start of a full rebuilding effort. 
  • Brewers: Yovani Gallardo was never going to be moved in the first place, but his new contract extension all but guarantees it. Manny Parra seems to have fallen out of favor, but a lefty who can dial it up to the mid-90's will always have value on the trade market. He still has three years of arbitration eligibility ahead of him. 
  • Cardinals: The Cards dealt away most of their top prospects for Matt Holliday and Mark DeRosa last year, so there's not much left to move. Triple-A catcher Bryan Anderson and Double-A outfielder Daryl Jones could be used in a trade since the big league team is pretty well set at those positions. Jones is more highly regarded of the two. Colby Rasmus is untouchable, obviously.
  • Cubs: Josh Vitters, the third overall pick in 2007, watched his name pop up in trade rumors involving Jake Peavy last year. If Chicago is willing to eat some of the $26.5MM left on his contract, there would be interest in Kosuke Fukudome.
  • Pirates: Neal Huntington has completely turned over the team's roster since taking over in September 2007, dealing away every notable veteran player. He did, however, build up a nice inventory of veteran relievers this offseason. Octavio Dotel, D.J. Carrasco, Brendan Donnelly, and Javier Lopez could all be used as trade fodder this summer.
  • Reds: Cincinnati is clearly a team on the rise, but one young player they could make available is the blocked Yonder Alonso. The power hitting first baseman masquerading as a left fielder in Double-A has all six years of team control left, and is the best trade chip in the division.

The Pirates’ Roster Crunch

We've seen a bevy of players designated for assignment and/or released in the past few days as teams were finalizing their Opening Day rosters. The deadline for clubs to submit their 25-man roster is 2pm CT today, and perhaps no one has more decisions to make than the Pirates, as Karen Price of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review explains.

At the moment, Pittsburgh's 40-man roster is full, but they have to find room for relievers Jack Taschner and D.J. Carrasco, who've made the team. One spot can be freed up by placing reliever Jose Ascanio on the 60-day disabled list as he recovers from shoulder surgery. Price mentions that the other 40-man spot is likely to come at the cost of Hayden Penn, Ramon Vazquez, John Raynor, or Steve Pearce.

The Pirates claimed Penn off waivers just last week, but that doesn't mean they aren't willing to designate him for assignment today. He's out of options, so he'd have to clear waivers to be sent to the minors anyway. As a Rule 5 Draft selection, the Pirates have to keep Raynor on their 25-man roster all season or offer him back to the Marlins. Pearce has a leg up on the other guys because he has a minor league option remaining.

Vazquez will earn $2MM this season, but was told that he wasn't on the team a few weeks ago, making him a candidate to be either traded or released. Cutting him loose and eating his salary isn't the most desirable move, but it's probably best for the team. After a breakout season with the Rangers in 2008, Vazquez hit just .230/.335/.279 in 239 plate appearances last year, but at least he's capable of playing all over the infield. With Bobby Crosby and Ronny Cedeno on board, that last point may be moot.

Joel Hanrahan is likely to start the year on the 15-day DL because of an elbow issue, so the team could carry Penn to start the season. Optioning Pearce and releasing Vazquez would give the team the 25-man and 40-man roster spots for Taschner/Carrasco, then they'd just have to figure out what to do with Raynor, who's in a unique spot. We'll find out their decision by this afternoon, one way or the other.

Odds & Ends: Hart, Dukes, Moreno, Farnsworth

Links for Thursday…