Evan Meek Rumors

Relief Rumors: Capps, Jays, Dotel

Bullpen help is always in great demand as the deadline approaches, and 2010 is no exception. With all of the relief rumors circulating today, let's take a look at some of them:

  • Earlier today, we heard that the competition for Scott Downs was heating up, but that some executives think the Jays are asking too much. Ken Rosenthal tweets that the Jays are asking a lot for all three of their available relievers -- Downs, Kevin Gregg, and Jason Frasor. The Dodgers inquired but are now looking elsewhere as a result of those demands.
  • Buster Olney has heard that several executives think the Nationals will trade Matt Capps. The Washington closer is having a strong rebound season, but makes $3.5MM and will be in line for a large raise through arbitration prior to the 2011 campaign. With the strong results seen from Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen this year, the Nats have quality in-house options to replace Capps. GM Mike Rizzo recently said he's not shopping Capps, but he's getting lots of calls.
  • Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes that the Rockies had a scout at Octavio Dotel's last outing, but they're concerned about his durability and switching from a closer to setup role. According to Renck, teams are monitoring the Pirates to see if they'd make Evan Meek or Joel Hanrahan available as well.

Rockies Focusing On Bullpen Help

The Rockies' main focus heading into next Saturday's trade deadline will be on acquiring bullpen help, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post. We heard a few days ago that the Rockies were eyeing starting pitching and corner infielders along with relievers, but Renck indicates that their bullpen is the top priority at the moment.

According to Renck, Blue Jays relievers like Kevin Gregg and Scott Downs interest the Rockies, with SI.com's Jon Heyman tweeting of Colorado's interest in Gregg as well. Renck also expects the Rox to check in on the availability of Pirates' setup men Evan Meek and Joel Hanrahan, but wonders if the price for Pittsburgh's and Toronto's relievers could be too high.

Check out our list of potentially available relievers here.

Cafardo's Latest: Arroyo, Carmona, Garza, Lilly

In this week's installment of his Baseball Notes feature, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe discusses the 2006 deal that sent Bronson Arroyo to Cincinnati for Wily Mo Pena. "I'm sure it's not one [trade] that Theo has on his mantle at home," Arroyo jokes, before going on to say that he'd love to stay with the Reds past this season. The team holds an $11MM 2011 option ($2MM buyout) for Arroyo. Here are Cafardo's other notes of interest:

  • The Brewers and the Rangers, before they acquired Cliff Lee, were among the teams "sniffing around" Fausto Carmona.
  • Cafardo wouldn't be shocked if the Rays were willing to discuss trading Matt Garza, with Jeremy Hellickson waiting in the wings (2.21 ERA in 105.2 Triple-A innings). In exchange for an impact bat, the Rays appear more inclined to deal major league players than prospects. A National League scout tells Cafardo that the team has been "very willing to include B.J. Upton in trade talks" and may even think about moving Wade Davis, if the price was right.
  • The Rays also have some interest in Ted Lilly, who could be a fit for the Twins and Tigers as well.
  • Cafardo thinks the Red Sox should pursue Evan Meek if the Pirates make him available.
  • Lou Piniella's agent Alan Nero says that the Cubs' skipper will definitely finish out the season, but isn't sure about Piniella's future past this year.

Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Mets, Red Sox, Meek, Giants

On this date eight years ago, Major League Baseball's 73rd All Star Game ended after 11 innings in a 7-7 tie when both sides ran out of pitchers. Shortly thereafter, commissioner Bud Selig ruled that the All Star Game will determine home field advantage in the World Series, a still unpopular decision. The American League has won every Midsummer Classic since then, and 12 of the last 13 overall (the tie being the one exception).

This year's All Star Game is still four days away, so here are some links to keep you occupied until then...

If you have a suggestion for this feature, Mike can be reached here.

Pirates Notes: Rule 5, Duke, Yates

Dejan Kovacevic has a new column up focusing on a number of Pirates topics:

  • After liking what they've found in Rule 5 Draft picks Evan Meek and Donnie Veal, the Pirates are actively scouting available players and have identified some potential targets to use their #2 pick on in this year's Rule 5 Draft on Dec. 10. Meek posted a 3.45 ERA out of the 'pen for the Buccos in 2009. And, while Kovacevic points out that Veal's numbers this season were ugly, he recently dominated the Arizona Fall League. Veal posted a 2.14 ERA through 21 innings, allowing only a .221 opponent average, striking out 22 and walking seven.
  • Last offseason, the Pirates locked up Ryan Doumit, Nate McLouth, and Paul Maholm, but Kovacevic says not to expect any long-term deals this time around. That includes Zach Duke, who will be eligible for free agency after the 2011 season.
  • Tyler Yates, who underwent Tommy John surgery back in July, is back to playing pain-free long-toss and is discussing a minor league deal to keep him in the Pirates organization.

Pirates Hope To Retain Meek

Dejan Kovacevic fills us in on the Pirates' attempts to retain 25 year-old reliever Evan Meek.

Meek was a Rule 5 pick who the Bucs just couldn't hide in their big league pen all year.  Meek was designated for assignment yesterday but the Pirates are trying to make a deal with the Rays rather than return him.

Baseball America says that Meek "uses a low-90s fastball that has good sink and run to pick up strikeouts and groundballs."  As you might guess, control has been an issue.

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