Drew Pomeranz Rumors
It's been a busy day for baseball's Western divisions, with the Mariners agreeing to sign Corey Hart and acquiring Logan Morrison as well as the A's trading Jerry Blevins to the Nationals. Here's more out of each division...
- Astros outfielder L.J. Hoes has switched agencies, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes tweeted last night. Formerly a client of Excel Sports Management, Hoes will now be represented by the MVP Sports Group.
- The Nationals asked the Athletics about Sean Doolittle before acquiring Blevins, but Oakland didn't want to part with Doolittle, according to MLB.com's Jane Lee (on Twitter).
- The A's are excited about Drew Pomeranz as a potential replacement for Blevins, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosenthal adds that Oakland's interest was piqued by a handful of strong relief appearances by Pomeranz at the end of the season.
- Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies still want to add another bat, but relief help appears to be their priority. Colorado's prefernce is to add a left-handed arm, which is why they were so interested in Sean Marshall earlier in the week (Twitter links).
- Diamondbacks shortstop Didi Gregorius has drawn some interest from the Yankees, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The D-Backs reportedly could use their shortstop surplus to land a starting pitcher, but the Yankees are in the market for starters themselves and don't seem to be a good fit in that regard.
4:08pm: The A's are sending $2MM to the Rockies, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
3:44pm: The A's are sending some cash to the Rockies in the trade as well, tweets MLB.com's Jane Lee.
3:32pm: The Rockies have acquired left-hander Brett Anderson from the A's in exchange for left-hander Drew Pomeranz and right-hander Chris Jensen, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
Anderson has been around for five years already, but he's still just 25 years old (he'll turn 26 in February) and is under control at $8MM in 2014 with a $12MM club option for 2015. Those final two seasons were both option years on a four-year, $12.5MM extension he signed with the A's in April 2010, coming off a season in which he posted a 4.06 ERA with 7.7 K/9, 2.3 BB/9 and a 50.9 percent ground-ball rate.
Anderson was even better in 2010, posting a 2.80 ERA with 6.0 K/9, 1.8 BB/9 and a 54.6 percent ground-ball rate, but injury problems set in that season. A pair of left elbow issues limited Anderson to 112 1/3 innings that season, and he went on to undergo Tommy John surgery in 2011. He missed most of 2012 recovering from that surgery but was brilliant in his return. In 2013, he missed most of the season with a stress fracture in his foot and pitched to a 6.04 ERA (3.85 FIP, 3.26 xFIP) in the 44 2/3 innings he was healthy.
The A's exercised his $8MM option anyway, believing him to be capable of exceeding that value in 2014, whether in Oakland or with aother team. Though he's totaled just 163 innings over the past three seasons combined, Anderson's talent and youth make him a solid buy-low for the Rockies to slot in behind Jorge De La Rosa, Jhoulys Chacin and Tyler Chatwood.
Pomeranz, 25, was the fifth overall selection in the 2010 draft by the Indians but found himself traded to the Rockies in the Ubaldo Jimenez blockbuster a couple seasons ago. Despite his upside, Pomeranz has yet to pan out, posting a 5.20 ERA with 7.6 K/9, 4.6 BB/9 and a 45.5 percent ground-ball rate. He does own a 2.97 career ERA in the minors, including a 3.60 ERA with 9.7 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 in 132 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level.
Jensen, 23, registered a 4.55 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 152 1/3 innings at Class-A Advanced Modesto in 2013. The University of San Diego product did not crack MLB.com's list of Top 20 Rockies prospects or Baseball America's list of Top 30 Rockies prospects.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
3:25pm: The A's aren't focused on one specific need and have talked with the Rockies about a number of players, tweets Renck, who adds that the deal "still has some life." MLB.com's Thomas Harding reports that the two sides have discussed Drew Pomeranz in talks for Anderson.
11:52am: The Rockies and A's have resumed their talks regarding left-hander Brett Anderson, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Talks of acquiring Anderson have put the Rockies' push for a late-inning reliever on the back burner for the time being, Renck adds.
Because the Rockies are on a tight payroll, the team cannot afford to miss on an $8MM player such as Anderson, writes Renck. If healthy, the 25-year-old Anderson would be a nice upgrade to the back-end of a Rockies rotation that figures to include Jorge De La Rosa, Jhoulys Chacin and Tyler Chatwood.
Anderson became a popular topic late last week, with reports indicating that the A's are likely to trade Anderson this week. The two sides discussed a trade last week but weren't able to line up on a deal. The highly talented Anderson has been limited to 24 starts over the past three seasons due to injuries.
The Rockies haven't made any moves yet in Orlando, but they're expected to be active this week, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Renck passed along a few tidbits of note in a Monday piece for the Denver Post, so let's round up the highlights and check in on a few more Rockies items from other reporters....
- The Rockies have talked to practically ever hard-throwing free agent reliever, with Joaquin Benoit and Grant Balfour among the pitchers they'd most like to land. However, the price tags on both players will likely preclude serious bids from Colorado, says Renck.
- Colorado will be open-minded about moving Drew Pomeranz, particularly in a deal for another starter, Renck hears, noting within a Sulia post that the team has some interest in Wade Davis.
- Brett Anderson is another trade candidate who interests the Rockies, but the club's talks with the Athletics are "slowly fading," tweets Renck. While Anderson isn't necessarily off the table for Colorado, there's no traction for now.
- MLB.com's Thomas Harding reports that the Rockies are kicking the tires on Jason Hammel, who spent three seasons with the team from 2009 to 2011. Harding also confirms that Colorado has interest in Michael Morse, which we had heard about previously.
The NL West could be one of baseball's most interesting divisions as the trade deadline approaches, as all five teams within its ranks could position themselves as buyers. In the past 48 hours, the Padres, Rockies, Dodgers and Giants have all been said to be looking for starting pitching. Here's the latest out of the division that's currently being led by the suprising Diamondbacks...
- Roy Oswalt spent his spring throwing to junior college players as he waited for the right Major League opportunity, and that experience, as well as his experience at Double-A Tulsa, has helped him re-discover his love for the game, writes MLB.com's Thomas Harding. Said Oswalt: "You get around 22-, 23-year-old kids, you rejuvenate yourself because they've never experienced this up here. That's the baseball they know. I wanted to be part of the team, get on the bus, ride around, play cards." Oswalt added that he's considering a career in coaching after his playing days are done.
- Troy Renck of the Denver Post tweets that the Rockies like Ricky Nolasco, but he has a hard time envisioning them spending $6MM on a rental before giving Oswalt and Drew Pomeranz ample opportunity to prove their worth. The Rox were one of several teams connected to Nolasco earlier today.
- In a separate tweet, Renck notes that the Rockies' interest in Yovani Gallardo is trending downward, but they do prefer to target players who are controlled beyond the 2013 season in trades.
- Jon Paul Morosi profiles D-Backs CEO Derrick Hall in his latest piece for FOXSports.com, noting that Hall's name has come up as a potential commissioner candidate down the road. Hall has prioritized growing the D-Backs' brand and baseball as a whole on an international level, having taken trips to the Dominican Republic, Japan and Mexico in recent years. He hopes that a Korean or Japanese team will hold its Spring Training at the D-Backs' facility in Scottsdale next year. Hall's Diamondbacks will also open the 2014 season in Australia against the Dodgers. Morosi adds that Hall's thinking was: "If an Aussie baseball fan knows the name of only two MLB franchises, one of them might as well be the Arizona Diamondbacks."
The Indians have overhauled their roster via free agency this season, adding the likes of Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn, Brett Myers and Mark Reynolds on Major League deals while bringing in notable veterans such as Matt Capps and Daisuke Matsuzaka on minor league pacts. At the 2011 Trade Deadline, however, the Tribe addressed its biggest needs in a different manner, dealing a package of four prospects to the Rockies in exchange for then-ace Ubaldo Jimenez.
Cleveland traded right-hander Alex White (22 years old at the time), first baseman Matt McBride (26 at the time), righty Joe Gardner (23 at the time) and lefty Drew Pomeranz (22 at the time) to Colorado in exchange for Jimenez, who had at least two and a half years of team control remaining on a low-cost contract. It was a steep price to pay, as Pomeranz and White represented the Indians' first-round picks from the previous two drafts. Gardner, meanwhile, had entered the season as Cleveland's No. 9 prospect, according to Baseball America.
The Major League Side
- Ubaldo Jimenez: To say Jimenez has been a disappointment in Cleveland would be putting things lightly. In 242 innings with the Indians, Jimenez has a 5.32 ERA, 7.6 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9. He entered 2012 with a career ground-ball rate near 50 percent, but saw that mark plummet to 38.4 percent last year. His once-blazing fastball has dropped from an average of 96.1 mph from 2009-10 to just 92.5 mph in 2012. His 4.8 BB/9 last season was a career-worst, and he led the American League in both losses (17) and wild pitches (16). In spite of all that, Indians GM Chris Antonetti exercised the team's $5.75MM club option on Jimenez this past offseason in hopes that he can rebound to something in the vicinity of the ace-caliber pitcher he once was. Jimenez is just 29 years of age still, and the price was right for Cleveland to give him another shot. His performance in 2013 will be one of they key factors in Cleveland's fate as their revamped roster makes a run at dethroning the reigning AL Central champion Tigers.
- Drew Pomeranz: Pomeranz has a 5.01 ERA in 115 big league innings for the Rockies. His 1.9 K/BB ratio isn't exactly inspiring, but he was significantly better in a small minor league sample last season. Pomeranz posted a 2.31 ERA, 8.9 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 in 50 2/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A (46 2/3 of which were at Triple-A). He's still just 24 years old and is one year removed from entering the season as BA's No. 30 overall prospect and MLB.com's No. 24 ranked prospect. His fastball was down to averaging 91.2 mph season after previously sitting several ticks higher, but BA noted prior to 2012 that his ability to keep the pitch down in the zone and his deceptive delivery allowed the pitch to play at lower velocity. If Pomeranz can regain some of his velocity and/or hone his command of the strike zone, there's still time for him to blossom into the No. 2 starter BA and MLB.com projected him to be.
- Alex White: Like Pomeranz, White struggled greatly in his Major League time with the Rockies. He posted an unsightly 6.30 ERA in 134 1/3 innings for the Rox from 2011-12. His marks of 5.9 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9 were significantly worse than his Triple-A rates of 7.8 and 3.0, respectively. White put the ball on the ground frequently in 2012 (54.1 percent) but lost more than a mile per hour off his fastball, dropping to a 91.2 mph average (identical to Pomeranz's, oddly enough). White was injured at the time of the trade and missed 82 games in the 2011 season with a strained ligament in his finger. How much that impacted his 2012 results remains to be seen, but he'll have a chance to prove he's worthy of a spot in a Major League rotation. It won't be with the Rockies, however, as the team traded White to the Astros along with Alex Gillingham to acquire ace setup man Wilton Lopez.
The Prospect Side
- Joe Gardner: Gardner ranked as Colorado's No. 25 prospect prior to the 2012 season but dropped off the club's Top 30 list this year. He ranks 18th among Rockies' farmhands according to MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo, however, who calls Gardner's sinking fastball a "groundball machine" and notes that his change-up has some deception that leads to swings and misses. He also features a "slurvy" slider that Mayo grades out to be slightly better than his change but worse than his fastball. Gardner worked primarily as a starter at the Double-A level, but Mayo notes that he was very sharp in a five-appearance bullpen cameo. In total, Gardner compiled a 3.97 ERA, 6.4 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 138 1/3 innings during his age-24 season. Today is his 25th birthday (Happy birthday, Joe!), and should have a chance to crack the big league roster this season with a strong minor league performance.
- Matt McBride: McBride is currently Colorado's 33rd best prospect, according to BA, though they note that most of his value comes as a utility player due to the fact that he can play catcher on occasion. BA notes that he's a poor defender whether behind the plate, in right field or at first base, and that his ability to make frequent contact is accompanied by a lack of home run power. McBride hit .205/.222/.308 in 81 plate appearances for the Rockies last season, walking only once and whiffing 17 times. He did manage a .344/.365/.535 triple slash line at Triple-A. Still, at 27 years of age, he's not much of a prospect at this point, which was reflected in Colorado's decision to remove him from the 40-man roster in November.
That Joe Gardner and Matt McBride posted the best 2012 numbers of anyone involved in this trade is a telling sign. To be blunt, the deal currently doesn't look good for either side. A rebound campaign for Jimenez or a breakout from Pomeranz would alter that, but surely both teams had visions of aces in their minds when pulling the trigger on this deal -- not a host of 5.00+ ERAs. Colorado picked up some value in flipping White for a strong bullpen arm with three years of team control remaining, though that could prove regrettable if White puts it all together as an Astro. For the time being, three teams are simply left hoping that they can squeeze some value out of the once highly regarded talent in this deal.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
As players, coaches, and front office personnel begin to arrive in Florida and Arizona for Spring Training 2013, let's take a look at the news and notes from the National League:
- The Phillies were surprised Ben Revere was available and, in fact, it was the Twins who brought his name up in trade talks after dealing Denard Span to the Nationals, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer's Bob Brookover.
- Within the same article, Brookover writes the struggles of Domonic Brown were one reason the Phillies were forced to alter their offseason blueprint. "We were hopeful that Domonic would lock down one of those corner outfield spots," GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "He did not do that. He still may do that...but we can't necessarily count on that to happen. Because of that, then we were kind of filling all three outfield positions."
- MLB.com's Mark Sheldon provided additional contract details for some of the players the Reds have signed within the last month including right-hander Logan Ondrusek, who has more than two dozen different escalators, incentives, and bonuses written into the two-year deal he signed last month.
- Jorge De La Rosa, Jhoulys Chacin, Juan Nicasio, and Jeff Francis are near locks for the first four slots in the Rockies' starting rotation leaving Drew Pomeranz, Christian Friedrich, Tyler Chatwood and Chris Volstad jockeying for the fifth spot, according to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post.
- MLB.com's Thomas Harding tweets the candidates for the Rockies' rotation change daily, but the final two spots could come down to Nicasio, Pomeranz, and Chatwood.
- Larry Beinfest, the Marlins' president of baseball operations, envisions the recently signed Chone Figgins in a Alfredo Amezaga-type role, tweets Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun-Sentinel. Amezaga played every position, except pitcher and catcher, during his four-year stint in Miami.
The Braves defeated the Rockies 1-0 this afternoon behind one unearned run and another strong start from Tim Hudson. Atlanta now has a 78-60 record and their chances of making the playoffs exceed 90%, according to Baseball Prospectus. Here are today’s links, starting in Colorado...
- There are still no winners in the trade that sent Ubaldo Jimenez to Cleveland for Alex White and Drew Pomeranz, Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes. White and Pomeranz have been disappointments in the year-plus since the 2011 trade and both must improve the command of their secondary pitches to start seeing better results, Renck writes.
- The Mets are expected reduce their losses from the $70MM range to $23MM this year, Josh Kosman of the New York Post reports. The Mets cut their payroll considerably last offseason and it currently sits in the $94.5MM range, according to Cot's Baseball Contracts. Their payroll is expected to stay in the same range for 2013.
- Jurickson Profar belongs at the MLB level even if he isn't as physically imposing as some of the sport's other young stars, Yahoo's Jeff Passan writes. Profar, the 19-year-old shortstop prospect who was recently called up by the Rangers, has impressive makeup at a young age, Passan writes.
The Rockies have designated catcher Matt Pagnozzi for assignment and transferred Ryan Spilborghs to the 60-day disabled list to create roster space for infielder Thomas Field and lefty Drew Pomeranz, according to a team press release.
Pomeranz was acquired as the player to be named later in this summer's Ubaldo Jimenez trade with the Indians. The 21-year-old was selected fifth overall in 2010, and posted a sparkling 1.78 ERA with a 10.6 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 through 101 minor league innings between Class-A Advanced and Double-A. He entered the season ranked 61st by Baseball America among MLB prospects, and a dominant pro ball debut has only raised that stock.
Pagnozzi, 28, hit .275/.337/.421 in 198 Triple-A plate appearances in 2011. He also went 6-for-21 in a brief Major League stint with the Rockies, his third taste of big league action. Pagnozzi also got 49 plate appearances from 2009-10 with the Cardinals. An eighth round selection by St. Louis, Pagnozzi was released and signed a minor league deal with the Rockies this past offseason.
Troy Renck of the Denver Post took some time to answer questions from his followers on Twitter just now. Renck touches on a lot of offseason topics for the Rox, so let's take a look (all links to Renck's Twitter):
- If traded, Jason Giambi would prefer to go to the Phillies, but he isn't looking to get traded and would likely be claimed before Philadelphia got a chance at him. Giambi would like to return to the Rockies next season, and Renck sees it happening.
- It's been well-documented that the Rockies would like to add a bat at third base or in the outfield, and Renck says that Michael Cuddyer will be the team's top target in free agency.
- Eric Young Jr. has shown value, but doesn't fit the club unless he's playing second base, according to Renck. Young could be traded, while Ian Stewart will likely be non-tendered.
- Renck predicts that the Opening Day rotation will consist of Jhoulys Chacin, Alex White, Esmil Rogers, and two veterans. Jorge de la Rosa, Juan Nicasio and/or Drew Pomeranz could join the mix in May. Renck notes that De La Rosa is ahead of schedule in his rehab from Tommy John surgery.
- Kevin Millwood, who currently has a 4.26 ERA in four starts (25 1/3 innings) for the Rockies, could be one of those veterans, but on a minor league deal.