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- Right-Hander Norge Ruiz Leaves Cuba, Will Seek Deal With MLB Club
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Drew Pomeranz Rumors
- Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post wants to see Davey Johnson return as the Nationals' skipper in 2012. Earlier this week, GM Mike Rizzo raved about Johnson's ability to connect with his players.
- The Mets haven't yet had internal discussions about picking up the 2013 option for manager Terry Collins, but they'll likely discuss the possibility within the next month, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports hears from someone connected to baseball management who wonders why MLB players don't insist on slotting. Capping bonuses does have potential benefits, but as Rosenthal explains, it's far from an ideal system.
- The Astros wanted Wilin Rosario or Drew Pomeranz for Wandy Rodriguez, but the Rockies were only offering Jason Hammel, Casey Weathers or Christian Friedrich, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). Talks between the two teams reached a standstill yesterday, after the Rockies claimed Rodriguez earlier in the week.
- The Blue Jays announced that they signed non-drafted free agent Luke Willson, a left-handed hitter who also plays tight end for the Rice University Owls.
The Astros pulled Wandy Rodriguez back off of waivers, according to Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). The Rockies claimed Rodriguez yesterday, but balked when Houston insisted on obtaining prospects and salary relief for the 32-year-old.
Technically, Houston GM Ed Wade could place Rodriguez on waivers again, but if he does so, he'll no longer be able to pull the left-hander back. The Astros' best chance to trade Rodriguez could be this offseason, when they can engage all 29 of their rivals in the bidding.
Rodriguez earns $10MM next year and $13MM in 2013. If he's traded, the Astros $13MM option for 2014 becomes a player option. Rodriguez has solid numbers this season (3.41 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 153 innings), but the Rockies picked up ten hits and six runs (four earned) against him at Coors Field today.
The Astros wanted Wilin Rosario or Drew Pomeranz plus salary relief for Rodriguez, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (Twitter links). That deal wouldn't have worked for the Rockies, but they were willing to take on Rodriguez's entire salary, according to Renck.
On this day in 2006, the Rockies signed Juan Nicasio as a 19-year-old amateur free agent. Five years later, the right-hander, who started 13 games for Colorado this season, is recovering from surgery to his C-1 vertebrae. As Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post wrote earlier this week, such an injury can lead to paralysis or even death, but Nicasio is "doing at least as well as anyone associated with the Rockies could have hoped for," and intends to pitch again. We wish him the best of luck in his comeback. Here are the rest of today's Rockies notes:
- Drew Pomeranz, who joined the Rockies this week to complete the Ubaldo Jimenez trade with Cleveland, underwent an emergency appendectomy last night, according to the Tulsa Drillers twitter feed. Pomeranz's agent, Steve Rath, confirmed news of the surgery, which figures to end the left-hander's season, to Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
- In a separate piece for the Post, Renck briefly discusses the Rockies' outfield possibilities for 2012. According to Renck, players like Josh Willingham or Michael Cuddyer could be free agent targets, while Eric Young Jr.'s recent strong play in the outfield is improving his trade value. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports also addressed the Rockies' desire for a big bat, either in the outfield or at third base, in his Full Count video yesterday. Renck adds that Colorado would be "first in line" if the Mets made David Wright available this winter.
- In another Denver Post column, Renck and Armstrong provide readers with an extended look at how this year's blockbuster trade with the Indians came about.
Ken Rosenthal has his weekly Full Count Video up over at FOXSports.com, so let's take a look:
- All GMs — past, present, and prospective — would love a crack at the Cubs' recent opening, says Rosenthal. Some GMs who are in their last contractual year, like Brian Cashman of the Yankees, line up better than others. Rosenthal feels the Rays might let Chicago interview Andrew Friedman, but finds it highly unlikely that the Red Sox would allow the Cubs to interview Theo Epstein, who is under contract through 2012.
- While the Nationals have spent almost $40MM on the Amateur Draft in the past three seasons, Rosenthal says they'd be wise to check in with their first draft pick ever: Ryan Zimmerman. Zimmerman is controlled through 2013, but Rosenthal likens him to another prominent young star, saying that Zimmerman is to the Nats what Troy Tulowitzki is to the Rockies. He feels the Nats should approach their cornerstone about a similar extension before he gets so close to free agency that he considers testing it.
- The Mets were far from the only team interested in Mike Minor at the July 31st trade deadline. The Indians offered the Drew Pomeranz to the Braves in exchange for Minor, thinking that with Atlanta trying to acquire Hunter Pence at the time, the Astros may prefer Pomeranz to Minor. Cleveland would get a more Major League-ready arm in return, but the Braves had no intention of dealing Minor.
- The Rockies will look to add a big bat this winter, preferably at third base or a corner outfield spot. If they can find a third baseman despite a weak market, they may be inclined to pursue a leadoff hitter like the Twins' Denard Span. Rosenthal says the Rox have long coveted Span, and almost drafted him in 2002, but instead took Jeff Francis due to concerns over Span's asking price. Minnesota grabbed Span 11 picks later at No. 20 overall, though they showed a willingness to move him at this year's deadline when negotiating with the Nats.
WEDNESDAY: The Rockies announced that Pomeranz is officially theirs, and he'll start tonight for Double-A Tulsa.
TUESDAY: Southpaw Drew Pomeranz has officially joined the Rockies organization, according to this tweet from the pitcher. He'll head to the Rockies' Double-A affiliate in Tulsa. Pomeranz's inclusion as the headliner in the Indians' acquisition of Ubaldo Jimenez has been baseball's worst-kept secret since the trade deadline. He had to wait until today to begin his Rockies career because drafted players cannot be traded until one full year after signing.
Pomeranz, 22, made three starts for the Indians' Double-A club prior to the trade and didn't miss a beat, posting strong numbers similar to those he had in 15 High-A starts. Baseball America ranked him as the 14th best prospect in baseball in July, while ESPN's Keith Law had him 35th in his rankings that month. Prior to the season Baseball America praised his plus fastball and curveball, but noted that he must "corral his control."
Dan Uggla's incredible 33-game hitting streak came to an end today. The Braves' slugger batted an insane .377/.438/.762 over that stretch with 15 homers, good for an even 1.200 OPS. Remarkably though, he still falls 23 games short of Joe DiMaggio's immortal record. Here are your Sunday links:
- After fracturing a fibula today, new Diamondbacks acquisition Jason Marquis will miss four to six weeks. SI's Jon Heyman tweets that it sounds like the team's inclination is to replace Marquis internally. The Arizona Republic's Nick Piecoro doesn't think the team will go with top draft pick Trevor Bauer for the rotation spot, but notes that it's not crazy to suggest it. The 20-year-old Bauer tossed five scoreless innings today in his Double-A debut.
- Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm, "We’re always open minded for Aaron [Hill] still being a long-term part of this team." Anthopoulos notes that Hill has flashed his talent at times this year. It's tough to picture the Jays picking up Hill's $8MM club option, but maybe they can work something out.
- Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post tweets that he would be surprised if the Rockies don't re-sign second baseman Mark Ellis. The 34-year-old had a .267/.304/.382 line in 139 plate appearances heading into tonight's action.
- If Bob Melvin is managing the Athletics again in 2012, he wants them to bring Hideki Matsui back, writes John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. Matsui had just a .617 OPS in the season's first half, but has risen from the ashes to post a .410/.470/.630 slash line in 26 games since the All-Star Break.
- Similarly, the Cubs and Carlos Pena both seem to be open to working out a new deal, writes Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com. On a related note, ESPN's Buster Olney hears that "in some important corners of the Cubs' front office, there is concern about investing huge money in one player this winter." In other words, the Cubs' brass might be wary of signing Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder to play first base.
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review wonders if the Pirates can follow the path to prominence that their division rivals, the Brewers, followed to escape a similar tradition of losing.
- Olney tweets that in three days, Drew Pomeranz can officially become the player to be named later from last month's Ubaldo Jimenez trade with the Indians. Pomeranz is expected to report to the Rockies' Double-A affiliate in Tulsa.
Tim Dierkes contributed to this post.
Links for Saturday evening..
- Without directly saying so, Mets GM Sandy Alderson intimated that it's no big deal that first-round pick Brandon Nimmo remains unsigned, writes Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.
- After dealing right-hander Alex White and left-hander Drew Pomeranz, Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer looks at the arms that remain in the Indians' farm system.
- Suddenly, the Rays find themselves with a surplus of catchers, writes MLB.com's Bill Chastain.
- Royals first-round pick Bubba Starling is not on Nebraska football's official 105-man roster and won't practice at NU until he decides on his baseball future, tweets Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star.
- Indians prospect Drew Pomeranz officially transferred from Double-A Akron to the Arizona League Indians today, tweets MLB.com's Jordan Bastian. Pomeranz will work out in Arizona until he can officially be dealt to the Rockies on August 15th.
- The newest member of the Marlins Alfredo Amezaga has always been known as utility man but reports are that he's gained a bit of weight and is better suited for either second or third base rather than shortstop, writes Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.
The Phillies tied the Rockies in the ninth inning of yesterday's game when John Mayberry hit a two-run home run. Shane Victorino led off the tenth inning with another homer and Colorado lost 4-3. Here's the latest on the Rockies, who are 51-57…
- Woody Paige of the Denver Post says the Rockies won't contend next year and argues that GM Dan O'Dowd should take the blame for "his failure at the deal deadline to get rid of the veteran players who have proven they're incompetent."
- Drew Pomeranz, the player to be named in the Ubaldo Jimenez deal, told Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post that he didn't expect to be traded from the Indians, even though he heard some rumors.
- Jason Giambi told O'Dowd that he doesn't mind getting traded this month, as long as it doesn't hurt his chances of re-signing in Colorado after the season, according to Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post. Giambi hopes to re-sign with the Rockies this offseason, instead of pursuing a DH job or joining a different National League team.
Yesterday we learned that the Tigers have strong interest in Rockies' ace Ubaldo Jimenez, showing a willingness to include top prospect Jacob Turner, who is being called up to start today but not as a showcase. However, Detroit may be out for now and the chances of any Jimenez deal may have slipped below 50%. The latest:
- Pomeranz and White will be in the deal if it happens, Renck tweets.
- Jimenez was scratched from his start tonight, Heyman tweets.
- The Yankees infuriated the Rockies by taking their top prospects off of the table and offering Phil Hughes and others instead, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (on Twitter).
- The Rockies are moving toward a deal with Cleveland, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports (on Twitter).
- White has been scratched from his one-inning rehab outing, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reports (on Twitter).
- There are indications that Pomeranz and White could be available in a possible deal, according to Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link).
- The Rockies asked for Pomeranz, Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).
- The Rockies and Indians are in serious talks, Renck reports (on Twitter). He hears that a deal would center around Pomeranz, Alex White and Jason Kipnis.
- Renck gets the "strong sense" that Cleveland hasn't given up (Twitter link) and Morosi says Indians prospect Drew Pomeranz was scratched from his Double-A start today (Twitter link).
- The Red Sox, Reds and Indians are in on Jimenez, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The Yankees aren't talking actively with Colorado and won't include Nova, Betances, Banuelos or Montero in a deal for Jimenez (Twitter links).
- The Rockies haven't dropped their demands and are still asking for three players, according to Jack Curry of the YES Network (on Twitter). The Yankees still won't part with Montero, Betances and Nova for Jimenez.
- Two teams have enhanced their offers, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).
- Rival teams believe the Rockies match up best with the Indians, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (on Twitter).
- The Rockies will have a scout watching Nova tonight at Yankee Stadium, tweets Sherman.
- The price on Jimenez has come down a tad, tweets Jon Heyman. He says the Rockies are no longer asking for Banuelos from the Yankees; Betances, Nova, and Montero would work. That's similar to what Joel Sherman wrote earlier today. The two teams have not talked today, tweets Troy Renck. Renck believes the Yankees currently will not put both Montero and Betances in the deal – just one.
- One executive who has been speaking with the Rockies and Reds believes the teams "have discussed an expanded version that could include someone like Seth Smith, because the Reds also have been targeting controllable bats," reports ESPN's Jayson Stark.
- The Red Sox haven't been in contact with the Rockies about Jimenez since Thursday, tweets Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. And the Reds aren't currently discussing Jimenez with the Rockies, tweets Jon Paul Morosi.
- The Yankees are all over Jimenez, a source tells ESPN's Tim Kurkjian.
- The Yankees are hearing that the Rockies may lower the price on Jimenez today, tweets Ken Rosenthal, but still not to a point that they consider realistic. Renck tweets that the Rockies' price hasn't changed during the process.
- The Indians, Red Sox, Blue Jays, and Reds are still in on Jimenez, tweets SI's Jon Heyman, and he's not counting out the Yankees.
- In addition to Turner and maybe Rick Porcello or Max Scherzer, the Rockies asked the Tigers for outfielder Brennan Boesch, tweets Danny Knobler of CBS Sports. Knobler notes that Turner is starting for the Tigers today.
- The Indians were willing to discuss southpaw pitching prospect Drew Pomeranz, reports Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post. Pomeranz is ranked anywhere from #14 to #35 among all teams by prospect experts. Red Sox third base prospect Will Middlebrooks and righty Anthony Ranaudo are of interest to Colorado, adds Renck.
- The Rockies want Ivan Nova and two of Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, and Jesus Montero from the Yankees, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Sherman writes, "to say the Yankees and Rockies are not finding common ground on Jimenez’s value is an understatement." The Red Sox, Tigers, and Indians remain involved, while the Reds are "less heated to make a deal."
- "Rival executives believe that if the Rockies lower their asking price at all today, it will signal clear intent to move the pitcher," tweets ESPN's Buster Olney.
Neither Roberto Alomar nor Bert Blyleven will be wearing a Cleveland cap into the Hall Of Fame tomorrow, but both men spent significant parts of their careers with the Tribe. Blyleven won 48 games and posted a 3.23 ERA with the Indians between 1981-85, twice finishing third in AL Cy Young voting in that span. Alomar played in Cleveland from 1999 through 2001, earning Gold Gloves and All-Star appearances in each year and hit .323/.405/.515 as an Indian.
Onto some news about the modern-day Clevelanders, courtesy of Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer….
- Lonnie Chisenhall, Jason Kipnis, Drew Pomeranz and Alex White are "all but untouchable" in trade talks. Without these top prospects on the table, however, it makes it unlikely that the Indians will be able to acquire top-tier trade candidates like Carlos Beltran or Hunter Pence. Hoynes notes that the Tribe's dealings are tempered by the fact that while they have a chance to win the AL Central, they probably don't have a realistic shot at the World Series so the team doesn't want to mortgage the future for just a token playoff berth.
- The Indians have talked to the Dodgers about utilityman Jamey Carroll. Cleveland's interest may have cooled, though, now that Kipnis has been called up. The Rockies and Brewers have shown interest in Carroll. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes explored Carroll's trade candidacy and also had a Q&A with the veteran last month.
- The Indians "aren't close" to working out a deal with the Padres for Ryan Ludwick or Aaron Harang, reports Hoynes (Twitter link). We recently heard that Harang (along with Hiroki Kuroda) were Cleveland's top two targets on the trade market.