The Orioles are “closing in” on a deal for Brewers outfielder Gerardo Parra, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets. Prospect Zach Davies is expected to be the return to Milwaukee. Nathan Bishop of Lookout Landing suggested just this scenario could be in the works on Twitter yesterday.
The Orioles are looking at a pair of left-handed hitting outfielders in Gerardo Parra of the Brewers and Ben Revere of the Phillies, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports. The club was talking about a deal involving minor league hurler Zach Davies (in addition to other pieces). Baltimore already has Travis Snider and David Lough as left-handed options in the corner outfield, but has long been said to be looking at new options.
Confirming and building on that report, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says Baltimore is indeed pursuing talks on both Parra and Revere (Twitter links). Baltimore is also working on a deal with the Cubs involving reliever Tommy Hunter, per the report. The team would look to save some cash (around $1.5MM) while adding a minor leaguer from Chicago. The 29-year-old has been a steady contributor in the pen, though he failed in an early stint as the team’s closer last year.
The O’s would presumably put some of the savings achieved on Hunter, should that deal come to fruition, towards a new outfielder. Parra ($6.24MM annual salary) and Revere ($4.1MM) would both cost Baltimore a fairly tidy sum to field the rest of the way, in addition to whatever the acquisition cost would be from their respective clubs. Both are different players who represent different kinds of assets: Parra is a better defender with decent pop (particularly this year), and is a pure rental, while Revere is a singles hitter with outstanding speed who can be controlled for two more seasons.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Tom Haudricourt tweeted recently that Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin said his trade of Carlos Gomez wouldn’t preclude a trade of Parra, adding that the Orioles have interest. MLB.com’s Britt Ghiroli tweets that the Orioles “like Parra a lot.” Lookout Landing’s Nathan Bishop, who earlier pegged the Brewers’ return for Gomez and Mike Fiers, tweets that right-hander Zach Davies could be in play.
The Orioles aren’t alone in their pursuit of Parra as the Angels and Mets have also been linked to him recently. Parra, 28, has hit .326/.367/.517 with nine homers in 347 plate appearances this season. His .884 OPS so far this year beats his previous watermark – a .784 OPS with the D’Backs in 2011 – by a healthy margin. For his career, Parra owns a .279/.330/.407 batting line across seven big league seasons.
While he’s doing well at the plate, his usually solid defense has taken a step back this season. Parra owns a -20.5 UZR/150, which casts him as a pretty bad outfielder defensively. In 2014 Parra graded out as roughly average and in other seasons he has been strong in the field, per the advanced metrics.
As most are aware by now, the Mets and Brewers had agreed to a trade that would’ve sent Carlos Gomez to New York in exchange for Zack Wheeler and Wilmer Flores, but medical concerns derailed the agreement. Reports last night surfaced to say that Gomez’s hip was the issue, though agent Scott Boras issued an adamant denial to FOX Sports saying that Gomez is healthy and has never seen a hip specialist.
Some additional context to the situation as well as the latest on the trade rumors pertaining to both teams in the wake of the failed deal…
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Gomez had an MRI three to four weeks ago for an abductor issue — not a hip issue — and the reports from that test said he had no issues with his abductor or his hip (Twitter link).
- Sherman also spoke to Brewers GM Doug Melvin (All Twitter links), who informed him that while the Mets have concerns over Gomez’s medical records, the Brewers do not. Said Melvin: “I don’t believe Carlos Gomez has a physical issue. Our training staff won best in baseball the last 2 years. We take a lot of pride in that. We don’t think anything is wrong with him besides any nick that happens to any ballplayer.”
- Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel hears that the ultimate issue in the trade may have been financial. A source tells Haudricourt that the initial scenario being discussed would have sent Juan Lagares to Milwaukee, but the Brewers were hesitant because of a publicly known elbow issue through which he is playing and because of Lagares’ $23MM extension, which kicks in next season. The next iteration of the trade became Wheeler and Flores for Gomez, but the Mets then asked that the Brewers include their 2016 Competitive Balance draft pick, which Milwaukee declined to do. Following that, the Mets asked for cash considerations to be included, but the Brewers were also unwilling to pick up any of the tab. It was at that point that the Mets backed out, citing Gomez’s hip, sources tell Haudricourt. (Sherman heard much of the same — Twitter links — though Haudricourt’s report provides much more context on the matter.)
- The Mets will remain active on the trade market, it seems, and Marc Carig of Newsday hears that the team’s “clear preference” is to get someone who can play center field (Twitter link). Given Lagares’ injury, it makes sense to see the Mets targeting help in that area. I recently broke down the trade market for center fielders, for those wondering what options could be available to New York.
- The Mets aren’t in on the Padres’ Justin Upton, partially due to his status as a half-season rental, reports Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (Twitter links). The Mets would prefer to avoid rental players, he adds, though he does also note that the team has at least checked in with the Tigers on Yoenis Cespedes following the collapse of the Gomez deal.
- It’s unclear where this scenario leaves the Mets in terms of trade direction, tweets MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo. The team likes Gerardo Parra but was also unable to agree on a price point in discussions with the Brewers. New York also likes Jay Bruce, but he doesn’t fit their desire for someone who can handle center field. Bruce has just 285 big league inning in center — all coming in 2008.
Though the Braves have fielded plenty of interest in the revived Cameron Maybin, and have considered moving him, the team now feels it “would need to be blown away with an offer” to make a deal, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Contrary to an earlier report, Bowman adds, an Atlanta source vehemently denied the suggestion that Maybin had been dangled in an earlier effort to add Angel Pagan of the Giants. Maybin, 28, has been one of the game’s best turnaround stories, with his play dramatically altering perceptions of both his contract and the deal that brought him to Atlanta (which was already widely viewed as a Braves win).
- The Athletics seem unlikely to move outfielder Josh Reddick, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. In his comments after today’s Tyler Clippard trade, GM Billy Beane said that his club is not presently working on deals involving players who are under future control.
- Despite a trio of acquisitions already completed, the Mets are still looking at a handful of outfield options, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com tweets. New York has, of course, just brought up top prospect Michael Conforto with Michael Cuddyer on the DL, but the team also designated John Mayberry Jr. and could use another quality option.
- A source also tells Marc Carig of Newsday that the Mets are still shopping for outfield bats. Carig notes that the team could wait for asking prices to drop on deadline day.
- The Angels are also still looking at left-handed hitting outfielders after adding Victorino, and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets that Jay Bruce (Reds), David Murphy (Indians), and Ben Revere (Phillies) are all still on their radar.
- Gerardo Parra of the Brewers is also a player that the Angels are interested in, per Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (via Twitter). Heyman breaks down his market, citing the Mets and Orioles as prime suitors (along with the Halos) for the left-handed hitter. There’s also a classic mystery team involved, per the report.
- Heyman adds that some in the Brewers organization do not believe that Carlos Gomez will end up being dealt. Milwaukee is somewhat hesitant to move an affordable, in-prime player with control remaining.
- Be sure to check out MLBTR’s Trade Market series for all the most likely outfield trade pieces. We’ve covered both center field candidates as well as corner options.
At least based on reports, the Mets appear to be one of the busier teams as we approach the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Here’s the latest, mostly via FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal:
- The Mets tried for Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, but they believe Colorado isn’t interested in a trade.
- The Mets have also looked into utilityman Ben Zobrist and reliever Tyler Clippard of the Athletics, but it appears likely that the Athletics will find better deals for both players, probably in two different trades.
- New York discussed sending Zack Wheeler to the Reds in a deal for outfielder Jay Bruce, but talks went nowhere. Andy Martino and Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reported yesterday that the Mets had discussed potential Wheeler deals with multiple clubs.
- The Mets and Brewers have had talks regarding Gerardo Parra, although it appears that there’s enough interest in Parra that the Brewers’ price has increased. That’s consistent with a tweet this afternoon from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Haudricourt, who wrote that the Brewers have had lots of interest in Parra and will have their choice of various offers.
- The Mets are also interested in Yoenis Cespedes of the Tigers, but so far, they have nothing to show for it, Marc Carig of Newsday tweets.
The Mets were pushing to deal for Brewers outfielder Gerardo Parra up until last night, Marc Carig of Newsday reports on Twitter, building upon a prior report from Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (via Twitter). When the deal could not be made, per the reports, the club instead went ahead and promoted Michael Conforto to take the roster spot of the DL’ed Michael Cuddyer. (Note that a team source denies the report to ESPN.com’s Adam Rubin, on Twitter.)
It’s not clear whether the two teams are still in talks, though Mets GM Sandy Alderson made clear earlier today that adding Conforto does not necessarily change the team’s shopping plans (via Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com). “This is not indicative of how aggressive or less aggressive we’re going to be,” Alderson said. “This is somewhat independent.”
Certainly, the equation has not changed much in the interim, so continued talks would seem to make sense. Parra has put up a somewhat uncharacteristically excellent .317/.355/.510 slash this year, creating broad interest in his services. That may not be sustainable, but he’s always been a solid hitter with a top-notch defensive reputation. For the Mets, presumably, Parra would step into the everyday lineup now and serve as an active fourth outfielder once Cuddyer returns.
One other name worth at least watching as the Mets look to get help to a sagging offense is Josh Reddick of the Athletics. Martino says that the club inquired, but was not given the impression that Oakland was too keen to deal him. Reddick fits roughly the same profile as Parra: both have top-regarded gloves, good left-handed bats, and playing at peak form this season. But Reddick has a higher offensive ceiling, is cheaper (in terms of 2015 salary), and comes with another season of control.
It remains to be seen how much flexibility New York truly has in structuring a deal. While insurance money relating to David Wright‘s extended absence won’t free baseball ops resources, Alderson said that the team can take on some salary. (Via Mike Vorkunov of NJ.com, Twitter links.)
The real question facing the Padres at present is not whether to buy or sell, but how far to go in moving pieces, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. At least one rival GM expects the club to “sell big,” and Heyman says that San Diego is “offering around” closer Craig Kimbrel and starter James Shields, both of whom are under long-term control. While the former would figure to have a wide market, potentially including the Blue Jays, Nationals, and Dodgers, another GM says that he believes the club would have to chip in cash to move Shields. That may indicate that he could become an August trade piece, Heyman suggests, because he could well clear waivers. San Diego is interested in adding a young shortstop, he goes on to note, and has looked at several of the Brewers options (Jean Segura, Luis Sardinas, and top prospect Orlando Arcia).
Here are more highlights from the column:
- Heyman hears that the Tigers are still weighing their options, too, and have not decided to sell. The club could even add an arm, he says, and is likely to see how its next two series play out before reaching a final conclusion.
- While the Cubs are indeed willing to consider including Starlin Castro or Javier Baez in a deal for Cole Hamels of the Phillies, a source tells Heyman that the team would not be interested in moving both to add the lefty. Philadelphia’s plans for Hamels remain something of a mystery, but per the report the club may be backing down from its previous high-end demands from clubs like the Dodgers (Corey Seager or Julio Urias) and Red Sox (Mookie Betts or Blake Swihart).
- There is now virtually no chance that Phillies lefty Cliff Lee will try to make it back this year, and he appears likely to retire over the winter.
- As they approach the deadline and look ahead to free agency, the Cubs have some limitations on their spending capacity but will nevertheless try to add David Price (at least once he hits the open market). Meanwhile, the team has at least some interest in Reds starter Mike Leake as a trade piece but are somewhat hesitant to pursue rental options. While the Giants have plenty of rotation options, they too have considered Leake.
- While we’ve just heard a suggestion that the Orioles could reverse course, Heyman says that they are still weighing outfield additions. The team has considered rental pieces like Marlon Byrd, Gerardo Parra, and Justin Upton. And he suggests that Carl Crawford or Shane Victorino could make sense as well; presumably, Baltimore would only be interested in either if their current clubs paid down a good bit of salary.
- The Orioles intend to make qualifying offers after the season not only to Matt Wieters and Chris Davis, but also to lefty Wei-Yin Chen. The 30-year-old never seemed like a qualifying offer-level player, but was strong last year and has put up even better results in 2015 (while significantly outperforming his peripherals, it should be noted).
- The Red Sox have received no trade interest in struggling first baseman Mike Napoli, says Heyman, but has gotten hits on Victorino as well as bullpen arms Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa.
- The White Sox are looking to add some volume if they deal righty Jeff Samardzija, says Heyman. Chicago would like to pick up four young pieces in any trade.
- While the Marlins have fielded interest in righty Tom Koehler and super utilityman Martin Prado, the club is not interested in dealing either player at present. Meanwhile, Miami is open to dealing veteran Dan Haren, but has rebuffed at least one club that asked for money to be sent along with him.
- The Yankees are looking at both second base and top rotation candidates, says Heyman, but don’t feel a pressing need to add in either area. New York has no interest in veteran Diamondbacks infielder Aaron Hill, he adds.
- Be sure to check out the rest of the piece for more notes on many of the teams around the league.
In his latest notes column, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com addressed a number of interesting deadline issues, starting with Reds starter Johnny Cueto. There have been suggestions over concern among buyers with the health of the star righty, but Heyman cites one scout from a team with interest who tells him that Cueto “looks fine.” As far as interest, Heyman pegs the Blue Jays, Royals, Yankees, Dodgers, and Astros as “the most likely and logical landing spots.”
Here are some other highlights from an info-packed piece (which you’ll want to read in full for even more notes):
- The Braves are shopping the recently-acquired Juan Uribe, says Heyman, with the asking price of a “mid-range prospect” and full unloading of the approximately $3MM left on Uribe’s deal. Atlanta has had communications with at least the Mets, per the repor.
- While the Orioles had been looking at adding a starter, Heyman reports that the team now may instead be prioritizing bats. Though the report doesn’t specify a position, we’ve heard in the past that Baltimore had interest in adding to its corner outfield mix.
- Heyman writes that it’ll be interesting to see if Angels lefty C.J. Wilson becomes “even more available” now that Jerry Dipoto has resigned as the general manager. Per Heyman, Wilson was close with Dipoto, and the Wilson signing (five years, $77.5MM) was the one significant free agent pickup that Dipoto was actually responsible for. Angels owner Arte Moreno was behind the Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton signings, as many other reports have indicated over the years.
- The Brewers are officially open for business and “may be considering a rather big sale,” one competing team exec tells Heyman. Interest in Jean Segura is down due to his poor play since an early 2013 breakout, but Gerardo Parra‘s big year has lots of clubs asking about him. Mike Fiers, Wily Peralta and Francisco Rodriguez are drawing interest, and the Brewers are open to packaging some of those players to improve the return.
- The Jon Niese saga continues, as Heyman hears that the lefty now doesn’t seem particularly available, with one Mets person telling Heyman that Niese never really was. In other Mets news, Heyman hears that the team floated the idea of a Rafael Montero-for-Ben Zobrist swap when Montero was still healthy, but Montero, of course, has since been injured. The Mets have also talked about Uribe, but there are other names higher on their list.
- While some have connected the Pirates to Ben Revere and Jeff Francoeur, the Bucs might be aiming a bit higher, looking at Marlon Byrd of the Reds and Aramis Ramirez of the Brewers — both former Pirates. Heyman lists Ben Zobrist as a target for the Bucs as well. Earlier today the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Bill Brink linked Pittsburgh to Zobrist, Cliff Pennington and Clint Barmes.
- Yovani Gallardo could hit the trade market if the Rangers end up selling short-term pieces, and he’s not interested in springing for an early extension with his hometown team. Agent Bobby Witt has apparently told the Rangers that Gallardo is looking forward to testing the free agent market.
The Braves have been determined to deal away Chris Johnson for some time, and the third baseman tells MLB.com’s Mark Bowman that he hopes to find a new home. “I’ve been called in the manager’s office,” said Johnson. “[Manager Fredi Gonzalez] has told me they are trying to move me. I want to be moved, and they want to move me. Hopefully, something gets done.”While saying he’s enjoyed his time in Atlanta, Johnson emphasized that he is interested in receiving a better opportunity for playing time elsewhere. Obviously, the Braves are looking to shave off as much of Johnson’s contract as possible. Under the extension he signed early in the 2014 campaign, he is due roughly $19.99MM (including $2.52MM for this season and the buyout of a 2018 option).
A bit more on the Braves and their division…
- Kelly Johnson has parlayed a minor league deal into a critical role on the Braves, writes David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Johnson credits first-year hitting coach Kevin Seitzer with helping him to shorten his swing and improve his overall approach at the plate. Of course, as a veteran on a one-year deal with a losing team, Johnson’s name may pop up over the next few days as a trade candidate; I listed him and three others Braves when looking at the trade market for third basemen earlier today.
- The Mets continue to be intrigued by Brewers outfielder Gerardo Parra, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. They’re also looking at Justin Upton and Carlos Gomez, though multiple reporters (most recently Marc Carig of Newsday, who also reported interest in Parra late last week) have characterized that type of high profile acquisition as a long shot. Parra, Heyman notes, is drawing quite a bit of interest around the league.
- Peter Gammons relays an anecdote from the 2012 trade deadline that could have vastly reshaped the current state of two franchises. When the Red Sox and Mets were discussing a trade for veteran catcher Kelly Shoppach, Boston initially asked about right-hander Jacob deGrom, who had recently undergone surgery. (deGrom was never projected to become the ace that he presently is, of course, and he had just undergone surgery.) However, after talking it over with his minor league evaluators, GM Sandy Alderson and the Mets passed. The two sides eventually lined up on a deal that sent right-hander Pedro Beato to Boston.
- Marlins third baseman Martin Prado tells Zach Buchanan and Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic that he’s not concerned with the possibility that he could be traded for the third time in the past year. Prado says there’s no sense in thinking, “Oh my goodness, this is going to happen again,” and he’s instead focused on helping his teammates out. He’s candid when addressing the current state of the Marlins, however. “We’re in a pretty bad situation here,” says Prado. “I’m just trying to bring good energy for my teammates and my team. That’s all I can do right now.”