Edinson Volquez Rumors

Knobler On Rodriguez, Sanchez, Infante

The latest notes and rumors from Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com…

  • The Brewers hoped to market Francisco Rodriguez to teams seeking bullpen help, but that may be difficult given the right-hander’s recent struggles and $8MM salary. "Good luck to them," one scout told Knobler.
  • The Tigers view Anibal Sanchez as a true rental player, Knobler writes (all Twitter links). They see the right-hander as a middle-of-the-rotation starter, but felt they didn’t have a strong chance of acquiring a true top-of-the-rotation starter this summer. The Tigers proposed the trade for Sanchez and Omar Infante last week.
  • It now appears likely that trade candidate Edinson Volquez will stay in San Diego, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. The Padres intend to keep Volquez, who drew trade interest this summer, according to Heyman.

Stark On Rays, Volquez, Butler, Phillies

The chances of Cole Hamels getting traded are diminishing, but they haven't disappeared, Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reports. The Phillies are trying to sign the left-hander to a long-term deal, but will weigh trade offers if they can’t agree on an extension. Here are Stark’s latest rumors…

  • The Rays would be looking for a combination of high-end young pitchers, a young catcher and a controllable hitter if they discuss trades involving James Shields and Jeremy Hellickson. Wade Davis is drawing as much interest as Shields, now that he’s pitching well out of the Tampa Bay bullpen, Stark reports.
  • The Astros have told rival teams that they’d absorb a substantial percentage of Wandy Rodriguez’s salary in a trade if it allows them to get “the best value back.” 
  • The Padres aren’t shopping Edinson Volquez, but they haven’t made him untouchable.
  • Teams don’t expect the Marlins will trade Josh Johnson, who’s under contract for 2013.
  • Brandon McCarthy’s history of shoulder problems diminishes his trade value. “He's not going anywhere," one executive predicted to Stark.
  • The Nationals haven’t been focused on finding a center fielder.
  • Hunter Pence is attracting as much interest as anyone on the Phillies, including Hamels. However, the Phillies have downplayed their interest in trading the right fielder. Shane Victorino, Jimmy Rollins, Joe Blanton, Placido Polanco and Kyle Kendrick would be available if the Phillies decide to sell this month, Stark reports. Rollins can veto any trade and would only accept deals to West Coast contenders.
  • The Pirates have asked about tons of hitters, including Billy Butler, but they’re still in a “buy-low frame of mind.” The Royals have told clubs they’d have to be overwhelmed to part with Butler, Stark reports.
  • The Rockies are trying to move Marco Scutaro and Jason Giambi, but they’d have to be “bowled over” to deal relievers such as Rafael Betancourt, Matt Belisle and Matt Reynolds.

Zack Greinke Rumors: Thursday

Zack Greinke picked up his ninth win of the season last night, allowing two runs in six innings of work during the Brewers' 8-4 win over the Reds.  Here's the latest hot stove chatter on the Milwaukee ace…

  • "A couple of teams," including the Yankees, feel that Greinke may not be suited for pitching in a large market, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.  Greinke did tell the Yankees he would pitch for them when he was in the process of being dealt from the Royals to the Brewers. 
  • At the time Greinke turned down a trade to the Nationals, as he felt the Brewers were in better position to immediately contend.  As Washington has since acquired Gio Gonzalez and Edwin Jackson, the Nats are unlikely to be looking for pitching at the trade deadline.
  • Heyman says that the Brewers were looking to offer Greinke an extension similar to Jered Weaver's deal with the Angels (five years, $85MM) but talks between Greinke and the Brewers broke off in April just after Matt Cain's five-year, $112.5MM deal contract with the Giants re-shaped the market.
  • The Braves would only be interested in trading for Greinke if they could sign him to a new long-term contract, writes MLB.com's Mark Bowman.  The Braves could, as rumored, use some of the money budgeted for their 2013 payroll to accommodate adding Greinke or another pitcher.  As Bowman points out, the Braves will have almost $36MM (Chipper Jones, Derek Lowe and Michael Bourn's contract) coming off the books this winter, though the club will need some of those funds to re-sign Bourn or spend on another outfielder.
  • Besides Greinke, Bowman lists Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster and Edinson Volquez as "potential targets" for Atlanta.
  • Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports added some more news about Greinke earlier today.


Heyman On Brewers, Liriano, Castro

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com lists 45 potential trade candidates in anticipation of this summer’s deals. Here are some highlights, starting with a team that could be a buyer, rather than a seller:

  • One GM questions Zack Greinke’s ability to thrive in major markets. Keep in mind that Brewers owner Mark Attanasio has a buyer’s mindset as the deadline approaches. Greinke and others on Milwaukee’s roster may not be available.
  • Fellow Brewers starter Shaun Marcum is no better than a fourth starter in the American League, according to a GM. It's worth noting that Marcum posted a 3.85 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in five seasons in the American League East when he pitched for the Blue Jays.
  • An American League executive said Padres starter Edinson Volquez “has good value,” Heyman reports.
  • One person said Twins left-hander Francisco Liriano is worth a short-term look.
  • Royals GM Dayton Moore may like Jeff Francoeur more than any other team does.
  • Jeremy Guthrie will have to string together some quality outings to restore his trade value, one executive said. 
  • Heyman hears from a Cubs official who says the team hasn't mentioned Starlin Castro's name in trade talks (Twitter link). The Cubs appear to be willing to listen on most of their players, including Castro.

Quick Hits: Draft, Sizemore, Royals, CBA, Greinke

Some links from around MLB…

  • ESPN's Keith Law posted a list of the top 100 prospects in this year's amateur draft. High school outfielder Byron Buxton and high school shortstop Carlos Correa top the list.
  • "I love this game and I don't see myself calling it quits anytime soon," said Indians outfielder Grady Sizemore to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian (Twitter link). Sizemore is currently on the DL with a back issue, the latest problem in a long line of injuries in recent years.
  • Royals owner David Glass says he hasn't spoken to anyone about selling his team despite rumors to the contrary, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. "I've not talked to anyone, nor has any of my family talked to anyone," he said.
  • Ben Badler of Baseball America explains how teams and player representatives are working to side-step the international spending restrictions imposed under baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement. MLB is aware of the loopholes and would object more strongly to some than others.
  • Recent extensions talks haven’t taken place for Zack Greinke, Cole Hamels or Tim Lincecum, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets. Greinke and Hamels are eligible for free agency this offseason, while Lincecum is under team control through 2013.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports points out that Edinson Volquez of the Padres looks like a trade candidate (Twitter link). However, six of the right-hander’s seven starts have been at Petco Park, a generally forgiving environment for pitchers.\

Mike Axisa contributed to this post.


Players Avoiding Arbitration: Tuesday

Dozens of arbitration eligible players have agreed to deals with their respective teams today and we've been tracking all of the developments right here.  Several teams, including the Rays, Nationals, Marlins, White Sox, Blue Jays, Braves, and perhaps Astros, are known for committing to going to hearings if they get to the point of filing.  Keep track of all the madness with MLBTR's arbitration tracker, which shows settlement amounts, filing figures, and midpoints.  Today's players to avoid arbitration on deals worth less than $4MM:

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Reactions To The Mat Latos Trade

Earlier today, the Reds pulled the trigger on a major deal as they shipped Yonder Alonso, Edinson Volquez, Yasmani Grandal, and Brad Boxberger to the Padres for right-hander Mat Latos.  Here's a look at some reactions to the trade from around baseball and a look at how it will impact both clubs..

  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports likes the deal for both sides and argues that it takes a quality package of talent to land a 24-year-old potential No. 1 starter.   When looking at all of the pitchers available on the trade market, including Gio Gonzalez, Matt Garza, Wade Davis, and Jair Jurrjens, Latos possesses the most upside.
  • If the Reds make the playoffs in 2012 and/or in '13, in a weak division, and Latos helps, this trade will have served its purpose for the club, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN.com.
  • One source told Dan Hayes of the North County Times (via Twitter) that the club had "a ton" of concern about Mat Latos' maturity issues.  Latos turned 24 years old last week.
  • The first rival evaluator Olney (via Twitter) spoke with loved the trade for the Padres.  That same evaluator raised concerns about how Latos grows mentally as a pitcher and thinks that his fastball command is the big question mark for him (Twitter link).
  • The Rockies were briefly in the mix for Volquez this week before he was traded to San Diego, tweets Troy Renck of The Denver Post.
  • Even though it's fair to say that Alonso and Grandal were blocked by Joey Votto and Devin Mesoraco, respectively, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter) still feels that the Reds gave up a lot to land Latos.
  • After watching Latos pitch in 2010, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer (via Twitter) could not have imagined the Padres dealing the talented pitcher.  However, Latos' 2011 wasn't quite as impressive.
  • More from Olney (via Twitter) who thinks the Reds would have been better off dealing Votto for a huge haul of prospects and plugging Alonso in at first base.  However, the Reds want to try to keep Votto and view him as their own Albert Pujols (Twitter link).  Rival executives don't see how they'll be able to hang on to Votto while keeping their payroll under control.
  • The Padres view Boxberger as someone who can eventually be a potential closer, tweets Scott Miller of CBSSports.com.  Baseball America ranked the 23-year-old as the 10th best prospect in the Reds' farm system.

Reds Acquire Latos For Alonso, Grandal, Volquez

The Reds wanted to boost their rotation this winter and the club wasn't afraid to part with a great deal of talent in order to get their man in Mat Latos.  The Reds acquired Latos from the Padres this afternoon for Yonder Alonso, Edinson Volquez, Yasmani Grandal, and Brad Boxberger.

Latos turned 24 just over a week ago, but already has more than two full seasons under his belt.  From 2010-11, the right-hander accumulated a 3.21 ERA, 8.9 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, and a 43.7% groundball rate.  Both FIP (3.09) and SIERA (3.33) like Latos quite a bit, and he's not arbitration eligible until after the 2012 season.  The promising young hurler will pair with Johnny Cueto atop the Reds' rotation.

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Alonso, who turns 25 early next season, turned heads with an explosive showing toward the tail end of 2011. He hit .330/.398/.545 down the stretch, albeit in a small sample size of 98 plate appearances. The Reds took Alonso seventh overall in the 2008 draft, and he's ranked in Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects each of the past three seasons. He's trended in the wrong direction, however, ranking 35th, 45th, and 73rd, respectively, from 2009-2011. In 192 Triple-A plate appearances, he owns a .296/.364/.478 triple slash line.

It's unclear as of yet where the Padres view Alonso fitting in, as they also have Anthony Rizzo as a first base option. Rizzo, 22, is considerably younger than Alonso, so it's possible that his struggles in the Majors have the Friars convinced he could use a full season of work in Triple-A, or he himself could become a trade chip. San Diego could also slot Alonso into a corner outfield spot, although scouts agree he's better suited for first base.

Volquez, 28, broke out in his first year with the Reds in 2008 but has not enjoyed the same success since that season.  Thanks to an elbow injury in 2009 and a 50 game suspension for performance enhancing drugs in 2010, the right-hander logged just 112.1 big league innings during that two-year span.  Last season, Volquez turned in a 5.71 ERA with 8.6 K/9 and 5.4 BB/9 across 20 starts.  Volquez is arbitration eligible for the second time and will be a free agent after the 2013 campaign.

Grandal, who turned 23 last month, shot up the charts this season by hitting .305/.401/.500 and reaching Triple-A as a 22-year-old. Baseball America ranked him fourth among Reds prospects heading into 2012, writing that he projects as an above average offensive catcher with solid defense. "He has a balanced approach, controls the strike zone and uses the entire field… [he] still has work to do on his receiving and could use a full year in Triple-A."While it's difficult to give up a catcher with that kind of minor league production, the Reds also have Devin Mesoraco, and likely felt they were dealing from a position of depth.

Boxberger ranked 10th on the Cincy farm, according to BA. He struggled with his command all season but still posted a 2.03 ERA in 62 minor league relief innings. He walked 4.1 per nine innings but posted a whopping 13.5 K/9. BA writes that if he can control his pitches like he did in the Arizona Fall League this year, he projects as a setup man and possibly a closer.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first tweeted that Latos was headed to Cincinnati in a deal involving Alonso.  Troy Renck of the Denver Post tweeted that Volquez was also headed to San Diego in the deal.

Photo courtesy of Tony Medina/Icon SMI.


Rockies Acquire Kevin Slowey

THURSDAY: The Twins acquired righty Daniel Turpen from the Rockies to complete the Slowey deal, they announced today.  Turpen, 25, posted a 4.83 ERA in Double-A this year.  He was taken by the Yankees from the Red Sox in last year's Rule 5 draft, then returned to Boston and later traded to Colorado.

TUESDAY: The Rockies agreed to acquire starter Kevin Slowey from the Twins for a player to be named later, reports MLB.com's Thomas Harding.  The Twins have since announced the trade.

Slowey

Slowey, 27, was widely regarded as a non-tender candidate had he remained with the Twins until next week's deadline.  He projects to earn $2.7MM through arbitration in 2012, and is under team control through 2013.  One of the game's most extreme flyball pitchers, Slowey (pictured) doesn't seem a great fit for Coors Field.  The other concern is that Slowey hasn't compiled big innings totals in the Majors.  Still, he limits free passes as well as anyone and could be a useful back-end rotation addition for Colorado.  The Rockies also added starter Tyler Chatwood last week in a trade with the Angels.

The Rockies may have other irons in the fire, as Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post reported earlier that they've discussed a deal with the Reds involving closer Huston Street for starter Edinson Volquez.  It's unclear whether those talks are still active given the Slowey acquisition.  Renck also wrote that the Rockies have interest in trading for the Phillies' Placido Polanco or the Braves' Martin Prado, and asked the Cubs about D.J. LeMahieu and Scott Maine in Ian Stewart talks that have since lost momentum.

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.


NL West Rumors: K-Rod, Street, Volquez, Renteria

Latest out of the NL West:

  • The Padres seemed to be making progress on a multiyear contract with Francisco Rodriguez, but it fell apart, tweets ESPN.com's Buster Olney. Presumably, having added Huston Street, the Padres don't have any more interest in K-Rod.
  • Speaking of Street, the Padres will receive $500K from the Rockies this year as a part of that deal, and another $500K if they don't pick up his 2013 option, tweets MLB.com's Corey Brock.
  • Street described the trade to the Padres as "bittersweet," writes Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
  • The delay in finalizing the Street deal occurred because the Rockies were close to sending him to the Reds for Edinson Volquez, tweets Renck.
  • The Giants appear set in the outfield, but are still seeking a right-handed bat in the infield, says Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News. Edgar Renteria seems to be a "pretty major longshot."