Edinson Volquez Rumors
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.
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:
- The Cardinals avoided arbitration with pitcher Kyle McClellan, tweets B.J. Rains of FOX Sports Midwest. Joe Strauss of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports (on Twitter) that the one-year deal is worth $2.5MM with incentives based on starts. MLBTR projected a $2.7MM for the Steve Comte client.
- MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith reports (on Twitter) that the Padres and Chase Headley agreed to a one-year deal worth $3.475MM, avoiding arbitration. Earlier this evening, the Padres announced that they avoided arbitration with Luke Gregerson, Edinson Volquez, Carlos Quentin and Will Venable. They also avoided arbitration with lefty reliever Joe Thatcher on a deal worth $700K, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. CAA announced catcher John Baker has signed for $750K. Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune first reported that the Padres reached agreements with Hundley, Chase Headley, and Tim Stauffer. Hundley will earn $2MM in 2012, MLB.com's Corey Brock tweets. Dan Hayes of the North County Times tweets the salaries for Volquez ($2.2375MM), Venable ($1.475MM), Gregerson ($1.55MM)
- The Rangers avoided arbitration with Matt Harrison, tweets Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News. The ACES client gets $2.95MM on a one-year deal. MLBTR had projected a $2.9MM salary.
- The Cubs announced that they have avoided arbitration with Jeff Baker ($1.375MM), Blake DeWitt ($1.1MM), Ian Stewart ($2.237MM) Chris Volstad ($2.655MM), and Randy Wells ($2.705MM). MLB.com's Carrie Muskat tweeted the salary figures.
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.
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.
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.
Photo courtesy of Tony Medina/Icon SMI.
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.
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.
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."
- The Giants seem to have moved on from Ross, as Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News (Twitter link) reports the club didn't make any offer to try and re-sign the 2010 NLCS MVP. Baggarly says five other teams are in the mix for Ross' services and at least one suitor figures to offer a two-year deal.
- Baggarly also tweets "the Ross camp has had eyes on Colorado for a long time." ESPN's Jayson Stark (Twitter link) reports the Rockies could pursue Ross or Michael Cuddyer with the money the team saved from the Huston Street trade.
- The Rockies have an interest in Ross, reports Troy Renck of the Denver Post, but as a "complementary player" and not on a three-year contract. Renck notes the Rockies are still discussing an Edinson Volquez trade with the Reds, with Cincinnati showing some interest in Seth Smith. If Smith is dealt, it could conceivably open room for the Rockies to acquire both Cuddyer and Ross, with Ross playing the outfield on the days Cuddyer starts at second or third.
- Reds general manager Walt Jocketty tells MLB.com's Mark Sheldon that Ross' agent said his client would be interested in returning to Cincinnati. Ross was briefly a Red in 2006, appearing in two games with the club. Jocketty said the two sides "kicked it around,” though the team has "some other things to do first," presumably finding a top-tier pitcher. Perhaps related to the Reds' pitching search, Jocketty said he has spoken "several times" with the Rays but he doesn't think the two sides are close on a trade.
The Cubs, Rockies, Diamondbacks, and others are trying for Hiroki Kuroda, tweets MLB Network's Jon Heyman, though he could still return to Japan. ESPN's Jerry Crasnick adds the Yankees and Red Sox to the list of suitors.
The NL Central has four buyers and two sellers. The latest:
- The Reds are drawing interest from multiple teams on righty Edinson Volquez, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The 28-year-old has a 5.93 ERA on the season and spent time at Triple-A. Still, he throws hard and is under team control through 2013.
- The Pirates and Rockies have yet to exchange names on Chris Iannetta, tweets Jon Paul Morosi. The Pirates added one bat today, promoting Pedro Alvarez.
- Interest in Astros center fielder Michael Bourn is still not high, writes Stephen Goff of Examiner.com. He says the Braves are not a good fit and the Nationals are highly unlikely.
- The Astros had scouts watching the Triple-A clubs of the Diamondbacks and Braves recently, writes Rosenthal.
The Reds attempted to lock up yet another of their key young talents this offseason, but their proposal was handed back to them. Edinson Volquez told Julio Castro at the Domincan paper El Caribe (link in Spanish) that the team offered him a four-year extension, but he rejected it, preferring to bank on his value increasing over the coming season.
"They were offering me a contract for four years, the same as Johnny Cueto, but I didn't feel it was right for me. I spoke with the lawyer and the general manager, and we all agreed on a single season," Volquez explained while in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic.
Volquez didn't mention the amount of the offer, but Cueto's $27MM deal is an ambitious point of comparison. Cueto has gradually developed into a reliable mid-rotation option for the team, managing at least 30 starts in each of the last three seasons, while Volquez's ultimate $1.6MM contract is reflective of two seasons cut short by elbow surgery and a 50-game PED suspension. After an up-and-down summer, he looked stronger in the final month of last season, pitching deep into games and collecting strikeouts in line with his career rate of 8.7 K/9. These results, and his offseason workouts, have Volquez feeling bullish about 2011.
"Having a good year this season is my mission. Depending on my performance, we'll seek a contract of at least four years with the team," he predicted. "I can't define the amount we're going to seek following the next year, but it's going to be for that quantity of years." And should he have second thoughts, the 27-year-old pitcher (three years older than Cueto) indicated that some manner of offer is still on the table, saying, "Things remain open in case I want to sign during Spring Training or in the middle of the season."