Domonic Brown Rumors

Hunter Pence Very Likely To Be Traded?

We learned yesterday that the Astros are deep into trade talks for Hunter Pence and that a deal could be completed today. The Phillies, who appear to be willing to include Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singleton and others in a deal, may have a Friday pre-deadline for reaching an agreement, so that the Astros have time to explore deals with other suitors, like the Braves, Reds and Red Sox. The Pirates, Rangers and Angels aren't seriously in the mix at this point. Here are today's rumors with the latest updates up top:

  • The Braves are looking to be creative and are still involved, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney.
  • Pence is very likely to be moved now, tweets SI's Jon Heyman.  He believes the Phillies are the favorite, with the Indians, Red Sox, and Reds also in.
  • A two-team swap remains the Astros' focus, reports MLB.com's Brian McTaggart.  Indeed, ESPN's Jayson Stark says there's no more talk of three-team deals.
  • The Braves have not considered Pence a priority, reports MLB.com's Mark Bowman.  However, Ken Rosenthal tweets that they seek an athletic corner bat who is controlled beyond this year, and Pence fits that description.  
  • The Phillies currently have no intention of putting Brown in a deal for Pence, tweets Buster Olney.
  • Jon Heyman of SI.com suggests the Phillies will continue negotiating with the Astros until Sunday if they need to, since Pence "is the guy" for them (Twitter link).
  • The Astros want pitching for Pence, according to Heyman (on Twitter).
  • The Phillies and Astros are exploring potential three-team deals involving Pence, according to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark. Jon Heyman of SI.com and Joel Sherman of the New York Post agree (Twitter links). The Phillies may be willing to trade Brown to a third team to get the prospects the Astros want for Pence, Stark writes.
  • The Braves offered a package that included prospects they didn’t offer to the Mets for Carlos Beltran, but the Astros turned the offer down, according to Stark. The Braves may be moving on, which would leave the Phillies as Pence’s primary suitor.  The Red Sox, Reds, Pirates and Indians appear to have peeled off, according to Stark.
  • Jon Heyman of SI (via Twitter) hears that the Astros don't love the Phillies' prospects, and that may even include Domonic Brown.
  • Houston is still playing the Pence market and working to bring other teams into the mix besides the Phillies, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
  • The Astros would prefer to deal Pence to the Braves, but Atlanta continues to be very protective of their big-time pitching prospects, tweets Jon Heyman of SI.  The Phillies are still working to get something done.
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post hears that the Astros prefer the Braves' prospects to the Phillies' prospects (Twitter link). Atlanta won't give up the "key guy," who is believed to be Mike Minor, Sherman writes.
  • ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports that the Braves, generally speaking, have zero enthusiasm about giving up Minor, Julio Teheran, Arodys Vizcaino or Randall Delgado (Twitter link).
  • Pence was told during last night's game that he was being pulled because of a trade, then wasn't pulled, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).
  • The Reds are in on Pence, but he's the Phillies' to lose, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
  • There's a sense that the Phillies might be able to obtain Pence by offering Domonic Brown instead of Singleton and including Cosart in the deal, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).
  • The Astros still have an "unreasonable" asking price for Pence, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).
  • There's a "huge bidding war" going on for Pence, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (on Twitter links). The Braves don't value on-base percentage as much as other teams, one NL official told Olney (Pence has a .354 OBP).

Hunter Pence Rumors: Wednesday

Hunter Pence has the ability to shake up the trade market for bats; here's the latest…

  • It appears more and more that Pence is staying put, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).
  • The Phillies have been aggressive in pursuing Pence and there are indications that they would include Domonic Brown in a trade for him, according to Jim Salisburyof CSNPhilly.com. The Astros are looking for multiple top prospects for Pence, the Phillies' top target.
  • It appears that nothing will happen with Pence now and the Astros will look to trade him in the offseason instead, reports Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.  Knobler says the Phillies "almost certainly won't get Pence."  By the way, Pence's absence from the Astros' lineup tonight is not the sign of a trade but rather just a day off.
  • The Braves are turning their attention to Pence, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  Another target, Carlos Beltran, is believed to be going to the Giants.
  • Two front office men, neither from the Astros or Phillies, told ESPN's Jayson Stark they believed the Phillies had a deal for Pence in the last 24 hours only to have the Astros back off.  The Phillies offered Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singelton, and a second-tier pitching prospect for Pence, believes Stark.  An Astros official told Stark they haven't said no to any specific proposal, however.
  • The Astros want a "very top pitching prospect" for Pence, tweets SI's Jon Heyman, and the Phillies are trying hard.  However, Heyman says most believe Pence will stay put.

Carlos Beltran Rumors: Saturday

Carlos Beltran went 1-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout in the Mets' win over the Marlins last night, and every game he plays could be his last with the team these days. Yesterday we learned that because of his no-trade clause, Beltran can not approve a trade until 24 hours after the deal. That means the deadline to move him is July 30th, not the 31st. The Mets have interest in top prospects, but Mike Minor (Braves), Domonic Brown (Phillies), Gary Brown, Zach Wheeler, and Brandon Belt (all Giants) appear to be long shots.

Let's keep track of all the day's Beltran rumors right here, with the latest up top…

  • There is "increasing chatter around [the] Mets" suggesting that Beltran will be dealt to the Giants, tweets Newsday's David Lennon.
  • Beltran's no-trade clause is considered to be a "ring choice," according to Peter Gammons, as in Beltran will only agree to go to a team that has a legitimate chance at the World Series.  Given Beltran's rumored preference to remain in the NL, Gammons feels this narrows the field down to the Phillies, Giants and Braves, with the Major League-leading Phillies perhaps Beltran's "preference."
  • Beltran is likely going to be the only Mets player moved before the deadline, tweets Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.  That said, Martino hears that at least one team has contacted the Mets about Angel Pagan.
  • Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas looks at how Beltran would fit into the Rangers' lineup.
  • SI.com's Jon Heyman tweets that the Mets are still shooting for a home run with Beltran, targeting Domonic Brown, Wheeler, and Minor. He notes, however, that with an expiring contract and no possibility for the acquiring team to collect draft picks, the Mets may ultimately have to drop the price tag.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports said in today's pre-game show that the Braves won't part with a number of their top pitching prospects to acquire a rental like Beltran, especially since he can't be offered arbitration following the season.
  • Jon Heyman of SI tweets that all of the Mets' trade talk currently revolves around Beltran.  If they move anyone else, it'll be a late trade.
  • ESPN New York's Adam Rubin reports that the Rangers remain in play for Beltran. The Mets have increased their scouting of Texas' farm system, redirecting scouts as needed.
  • Rival executives tell ESPN's Buster Olney that Mets GM Sandy Alderson is not necessarily conceding eating most of Beltran's salary (Twitter links). It's all part of negotiations and there is some belief within the organization that they'll get some financial relief in a trade.
  • Andy Martino of The New York Daily News says the Mets hope to complete a Beltran trade before next weekend (Twitter links). They don't want there to be a frenzy right at the deadline.
  • The Reds "have nibbled" on Beltran according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (on Twitter), but they are hesitant to give up good prospects or take on so much money for a rental.

MLBTR's Mark Polishuk also contributed to this post



Carlos Beltran Rumors: Friday

The Carlos Beltran rumors kept streaming in yesterday. Here's a quick recap: the Giants are having some trouble matching up with the Mets; the Indians' interest is cooling; the Mets aren't worried about obtaining Beltran's permission for a deal; The Tigers are focused on pitching; the Rangers have some interest in Beltran; the Brewers would like to scrape together a package and it's too early to rule out the Phillies, Red Sox, Braves or Yankees. Here are today's rumors with the most recent updates up top: 

  • Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal (via Twitter) notes that if the Mets deal Beltran, he cannot officially approve the trade until 24 hours later.  This means that the deadline to trade him is effectively 3:59pm EST Saturday.
  • It is highly doubtful that the Giants would part with Zack Wheeler or that the Phillies would move Domonic Brown in a deal for Beltran, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN.com.
  • The Mets contacted Scott Boras, Beltran's agent, if his client would be open to the idea of returning to the Mets in the offseason if traded, two sources tell David Waldstein of the New York Times.  They were informed that Beltran would consider the idea of re-signing with the Mets.
  • Jon Heyman of SI (via Twitter) thinks its highly doubtful that the Braves would part with Mike Minor in a deal for Beltran.
  • The Mets are interested in Zack Wheeler, Brandon Belt, and Gary Brown of the Giants and Domonic Brown of the Phillies, tweets Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated.  The Braves, he adds, also have prospects of interest.
  • The Reds have discussed Beltran, according to John Fay on the Cincinnati Enquirer.
  • Some baseball people expect Beltran to use his no-trade clause to ensure that he remains in the National League, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
  • Beltran's full no-trade clause will likely force the Mets to have a few deals lined up days prior to July 31 so that they can move on from one proposal to another should Beltran veto one, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.
  • The trade talks are down to five serious teams, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Twitter links). The Red Sox, Giants, Phillies, Braves and Rangers are involved. The Pirates and Indians are basically out of the conversation, according to Olney. The Mets thought the Giants were the frontrunner two days ago, but other teams have since caught up.
  • The Giants, Phillies and Braves appear to be the leaders in the Beltran sweepstakes, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. The Brewers are also a possibility.
  • Beltran told Newsday's David Lennon that he would prefer to stay in the National League. The outfielder prefers not to DH more than once per week and will consider a team's pitching staff before accepting a deal. 
  • A Mets official told Joel Sherman of the New York Post that there are six or seven active suitors for Beltran. The Mets were watching Braves Triple-A lefty Mike Minor closely yesterday, according to Sherman.

Hunter Pence Rumors: Friday

The Astros are asking for multiple impact players in any deal involving Hunter Pence, according to Jon Heyman, Jayson Stark and Buster Olney. Pence earns $6.9MM this year and is due for a raise this offseason, when he could see his salary jump to the $10MM range. He'll earn another raise for the 2013 campaign before hitting free agency that offseason. Here's the latest on Pence, who is one of few impact hitters available:


Stark On Shields, Melky, Soria, Marlins

Astros GM Ed Wade has been determining the market for his players, including Hunter Pence, ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark reports. Incoming owner Jim Crane urged Wade to do so in case appealing offers emerge. Here are the rest of Stark’s rumors: 

  • Given Wade’s uncertain future in Houston, at least one executive suggests the GM needs to make a "job-saving deal" if he trades Pence.
  • The Rays are more likely to trade B.J. Upton than James Shields, though they realize Shields’ value has never been higher (the right-hander won't be going to the Bronx). 
  • The Phillies remain in contact with the Royals about Melky Cabrera, but the Royals have told teams they’re more likely to deal Jeff Francoeur. Kansas City is asking for a number three starter who’s nearly Major League ready in return for Cabrera.
  • Clubs that have inquired on Vance Worley have heard that he’s off of the market.
  • The Braves have shown some interest in Heath Bell, whose most aggressive suitors have been the Rangers, Cardinals, Phillies and Angels. The Padres are telling teams that they’ll need to “clearly surpass” the value of two compensatory draft picks in any deal for Bell, though they’re flexible in terms of the type of player they’d accept in return.
  • The Padres continue to field calls on Mike Adams, who will be tougher to obtain than Bell.
  • The Yankees, Phillies and Diamondbacks appear to have checked in on Joakim Soria.
  • The Red Sox are looking at everything, but aren’t approaching the deadline with much urgency, one AL executive told Stark.
  • Rival teams expect that the Dodgers will trade Jamey Carroll and there are indications that Rafael Furcal is drawing interest as well.
  • The Marlins, who hope to build momentum before opening their new stadium in 2012, are in a “holding pattern,” Stark reports. They’ve shown interest in third basemen.
  • Rival teams report that the Phillies say they won’t move Domonic Brown or top pitching prospect Jarred Cosart. Jonathan Singleton is available in the right deal, but the Phillies don’t expect to trade him for a rental player.
  • Stark reminds us that commissioner Bud Selig ruled out contraction at the All-Star Game.

Carlos Beltran Rumors: Wednesday

Though he's well-compensated and has full no-trade protection, Mets right fielder Carlos Beltran is the best available hitter.  The latest:

  • The Red Sox aren't willing to part with the prospects the Mets want, according to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com. The Mets are interested in Josh Reddick, Ryan Kalish, Jose Iglesias, Anthony Ranaudo, Felix Doubront and Will Middlebrooks, according to Edes. Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald hears that the Red Sox are focusing on internal solutions, particularly Reddick.
  • SI's Jon Heyman runs through ten Beltran suitors, naming the Phillies the "clear favorite."  The Mets' first target would be Domonic Brown, a concession Matt Gelb can't see happening.
  • Boston's talks with the Mets about Beltran have not advanced beyond preliminary discussions, reports WEEI's Alex Speier.  Eight to ten teams are said to be in the mix, with the Red Sox among the top six.
  • Some Mets officials feel a deal could get done well before the July 31st deadline, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post.  Sherman agrees with a previous Ken Rosenthal report that the Phillies and Red Sox are the most aggressive suitors.  Sherman says they're followed by the Braves, Giants, Indians, and Pirates.  He notes that the Mets "have been somewhat surprised by Detroit's disinterest."
  • Yesterday the Mets provided Beltran with a short list of teams to consider, and the Phillies are believed to be on it, report Tim Brown and Jeff Passan of Yahoo.  The writers add that the Mets have indicated a willingness to pay much or all of the $6MM owed to Beltran depending on the return.  They list the Red Sox, Giants, and Yankees as other suitors, and wonder if the East Coast teams have an edge since Beltran lives in New York.  Brown and Passan named the Brewers as a dark horse, but they don't have much in the way of top prospects.

Quick Hits: Brown, Padres, Johnson

On this date in 1919, Babe Ruth hit his first career grand slam to help the Red Sox beat the Browns. Oh yeah, and he pitched a complete game. Here’s the latest from around the league on the anniversary of the Babe’s big day… 

  • The Phillies placed Shane Victorino on the 15-day DL with a right hamstring strain and called up outfielder Domonic Brown from Triple-A, the team announced.
  • By waiting a month, the Phillies could have ensured themselves that Brown would finish the 2011 season with less than a full year of service time, but their focus is clearly (and rightfully) on winning games now.
  • The Padres are close to announcing a 20-year TV deal with Fox that will provide the team with $25-30MM per season, according to John Maffei of the North County Times
  • Teddy Cahill of Baseball America lists draft-eligible prospects with connections to current and former big leaguers and others around the game.
  • Dan Johnson, who was designated for assignment earlier today, told Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times that he's "kind of numb," but open to remaining in the organization if he clears waivers.

Olney On Zito, Brown, Jeter, Reyes

As ESPN.com's Buster Olney points out, the Giants would have to have a legitimate alternative in place before dumping Barry Zito and the $64.5MM remaining on his salary. If Jeff Suppan earns a rotation spot or someone else pitches unexpectedly well, the Giants could consider releasing Zito, but until then they can use the durable left-hander. Here's more on the Giants and other notes from Olney:

  • Olney says now is the time for the Giants to dump Zito if they're ever going to do it. The Giants are coming off of a World Series title, so Olney argues that they're working from a position of credibility. They aren't likely to cut Zito, however.
  • As Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News writes, manager Bruce Bochy says Zito is the team's fourth starter and GM Brian Sabean says the team isn't frustrated with him.
  • One talent evaluator says "the athleticism has been taken out" of Domonic Brown's swing.
  • Derek Jeter's relationship with the Yankees will be defined by the team's perception of what's required to win, writes Olney. The team will likely be willing to put Jeter at the bottom of the order or switch him to another position if his performance declines. 
  • It's for that reason that Jose Reyes could become a solution for the Yankees when he hits free agency after the season.

Quick Hits: Weeks, Dodgers, Cuddyer, Mets

On this day 20 years ago, the Atlanta Braves signed Falcons cornerback Deion Sanders as a free agent. Though he struggled in his first year as a Brave, 'Prime Time' was a key contributor for the National League champs in 1992; he hit .304/.346/.495 with 26 stolen bases in 325 regular season plate appearances and added eight hits and five steals in four World Series games. Sanders ended up leaving both Atlanta franchises in 1994, but not before he racked up 75 stolen bases and ten touchdowns for the Braves and Falcons respectively. Here are Sunday's links: