Eugenio Suarez Rumors

Rosenthal’s Latest: Milone, Phillies, White Sox

The Cubs have the prospect depth necessary to acquire David Price from the Rays, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal writes, and acquiring Price (and then extending him past 2015) is just the kind of big move Rosenthal feels the Cubs need to get them into contention sooner rather than later.  Price is intrigued by the idea of playing in Chicago, friends of the southpaw say, and Cubs minor league pitching coordinator Derek Johnson was Price’s pitching coach at Vanderbilt.

Here’s some hot stove buzz from Rosenthal’s latest piece…

  • The Athletics are getting calls about left-hander Tommy Milone, who lost his rotation job when Oakland acquired Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Cubs.  The 27-year-old Milone is controlled through 2017 and has a 3.84 ERA, 3.23 K/BB rate and 6.5 K/9 over 468 2/3 career innings, though his significant home/road splits could make some teams wary about his effectiveness outside of Oakland.  The A’s aren’t too keen to move Milone since they value having rotation depth.
  • The Phillies are willing to eat some money on their major veteran contracts in order “to effectively buy prospects” in trades, though with teams so hesitant to move their young talent, Philadelphia might be better served by just pursuing salary relief.
  • Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon “is generating little interest,” sources tell Rosenthal.
  • Many of the would-be best trade chips on the White Sox aren’t producing, which could make it tough for the Pale Hose to make deadline deals.  Gordon Beckham and Alejandro De Aza, for instance, look more like non-tender candidates than valuable acquisitions in the view of one rival executive.  John Danks might be the most attractive trade candidate on the Chicago roster, while the Sox might wait until the winter to explore dealing Alexei Ramirez when the trade market is more open.
  • The Blue Jays‘ search for offense could be mitigated by the impending returns of Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Lind and Brett Lawrie from the DL within the next week or two.  Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos said yesterday that he was still looking to add a bat before the trade deadline.
  • Eugenio Suarez has played well enough at shortstop that Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski doesn’t think his team will look for an upgrade at the position before the deadline.  Rosenthal notes that Suarez’s presence could create a bit of a logjam next season when Jose Iglesias returns from injury.
  • The Tigers do have a need for more lineup balance, as the team is short on left-handed hitters.
  • With so little prospect depth, Rosenthal thinks the Yankees‘ best trade strategy would be to offer salary relief for large contracts.  In hindsight, Rosenthal writes, the Yankees might’ve been better off trading Robinson Cano for prospects last summer, even though being a deadline seller is unheard of for the always-contending Yankees.

Quick Hits: Cubs, Rollins, Yankees, Suarez

The Cubs can look forward to a bright future, writes Peter Gammons of Gammons Daily. Top prospect Kris Bryant is busy hammering Double-A pitching (.358/.462/.713 in 286 plate appearances), fourth overall pick Kyle Schwarber homered in his professional debut, and high profile Cuban Jorge Soler is back on the field. Gammons points to Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro as two useful building blocks, and he credits recent trades as another reason for optimism. The Cubs acquired much of their current bullpen, along with Mike Olt and Jake Arrieta, at the 2013 trade deadline. This season, Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel headline the list of Cubbies potentially on the trade block.

  • Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins hit a single today for his 2,235th base knock with the club, moving him past Mike Schmidt for the franchise lead in hits. As Ken Rosenthal speculated last weekend, Rollins may be more willing to waive his ten and five rights now that he holds that club record. Rollins himself said today that he would consider accepting a trade if the Phillies end up pursuing a full rebuild, reports Jim Salisbury of Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia. Of course, even if Rollins does waive his no-trade clause, the club may need to eat some salary in order to receive a valuable player in return. His $11MM vesting option for 2015 will vest with another 156 plate apperances.
  • Pending the results of tonight’s matchup against the Athletics, the Yankees have played to a healthy 35-31 record. Much of the club’s success can be attributed to rotation depth, says Jorge Castillo of The Star Ledger. With Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda, and C.C. Sabathia missing substantial time, it has fallen to David Phelps, Vidal Nuno, and Chase Whitley to keep the staff afloat. Whitley has been the most surprising story for the Yankees with a 2.41 ERA (backed up by a 2.58 FIP) in six starts. Of course, steady production from Hiroki Kuroda and a Cy Young quality performance from Masahiro Tanaka have also helped to stabilize the rotation.
  • Recent Tigers call-up Eugenio Suarez fell just a single short of the cycle today in Detroit’s 12-9 victory over the Twins. Despite a rough spring training, the Venezuelan shortstop hit well in the minors this season before earning his promotion. In a post earlier this week on MLB.com, Phil Rogers discussed Suarez’s work with former defensive wizard Omar Vizquel.  It appears Vizquel also believes in Suarez’s bat, citing a shorter swing and improved discipline against breaking balls for his success in the upper minors. The shortstop position has been a problem area all year for the AL Central leading Tigers. If the 22-year-old Suarez continues to perform, the club may be able to focus more attention at the trade deadline on its bullpen.

AL Notes: Ventura, Zimmer, Paxton, Rangers, Suarez

While there are, thankfully, no new Tommy John procedures to pass on, the news out of the American League was once again dominated by injury situations involving young arms. Here’s the latest:

  • The Royals avoided an immediate scare with Yordano Ventura, but the news was not all positive, explains Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (Twitter links). Manager Ned Yost said on the club’s television broadcast today that trainers diagnosed Ventura with “valgus stress overload,” which Passan says can have longer-term complications. Passan lists cartilage damage, arthritis, bone chips, and instability (with possible exposure for the UCL) as problems associated with that condition.
  • Meanwhile, the club is not sanguine about the possibility of its other top young arm — Kyle Zimmer — making his way back from a lat injury to help the big league club this year, reports Dick Kaegel of MLB.com“We were looking down the road at maybe after the All-Star break, if Kyle was really throwing good and there was a need, he might be a guy that we could bring up to help us,” said Yost. Now, says Kaegel, Zimmer may not even be throwing a baseball by the All-Star break. While the skipper indicated that the long-term prognosis remains positive, the injury could certainly have implications for how Kansas City navigates the summer.
  • Turning to the Mariners, one of the team’s rehabbing young starters, James Paxton, has been shut down after an MRI revealed shoulder inflammation, reports Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times (on Twitter). The club is hopeful that the rest period for the 25-year-old lefty will not be longer than one week, but it had been hoped that Paxton would be nearing a big league return. It bears noting that Paxton, who entered the year with 27 days of MLB service, has been adding time to his clock while on the 15-day DL.
  • In spite of their extensive injury woes, it is too early to count the Rangers as trade deadline sellers, writes MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan“We’re in May,” said GM Jon Daniels. “The players aren’t giving up, and we certainly aren’t either.” Of course, the head baseball man also seemed not to rule out the possibility of the club ultimately deciding to recoup some future value if it cannot keep pace over the summer. “We’ll continue to evaluate it and let it play out,” he said. “We’ll make adjustments if we have to, but we’re not getting ahead of ourselves.”
  • Ever since shortstop Jose Iglesias was lost for the season, speculation has run rampant about the possibility of the Tigers making an addition up the middle, but the club has thrived without a major move thus far. On the other hand, the club sits at second-to-last in the bigs in shortstop production (half a win below replacement level). As MLB.com’s Jason Beck reports, GM Dave Dombrowski recently got an in-person look at 22-year-old shortstop Eugenio Suarez, who has thrived in his first few games at the Triple-A level. “He’s done very well this year,” said Dombrowski. “Everybody has talked well of him.” Indeed, Suarez currently boasts a .291/.351/.520 line over 191 plate appearances, most of them at Double-A. While the GM certainly did not suggest that he was ready to hand the young Venezuelan the reigns, Beck notes that Suarez could well force his way into the big league conversation. Though Suarez has only just made it to the highest level of the minors, it could well make sense for Detroit to look at him at the major league level before deciding whether (and if so how) to shop at the trade deadline.