Greg Dobbs Rumors
7:30pm: According to MLB.com's Bill Ladson, the Phillies haven't talked to the Nationals about Kennedy.
1:31pm: The Phillies learned today that Chase Utley will be out for several weeks due to thumb surgery, and Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com chimes in with some possible replacement options. He notes that the replacement doesn't necessary have to be a second baseman (Twitter link), because the team can use Placido Polanco at that position once he's healthy. That opens up the possibility of a trade for a third baseman.
Rosenthal says that former Phillie Pedro Feliz is an unlikely target, citing a scout who says his bat speed is "gone." Feliz has hit just .229/.255/.317 in 255 plate appearances this year, and his trademark defense has declined back to a -4.3 UZR this season. The Fox Sports scribe throws the names of Miguel Tejada, Ty Wigginton, Jhonny Peralta, Adam Kennedy, and Jose Lopez into the mix (Twitter links). The Mariners are actively trying to move Lopez, according to Rosenthal.
For the now, Philadelphia will try to tread water with the combination of Wilson Valdez and Greg Dobbs at second and third, respectively. They've combined to hit just .222/.252/.338 in 222 plate appearances this season, and Jack Moore at FanGraphs chronicled just how big of a downgrade this is for the Phillies.
WEDNESDAY: Dobbs cleared waivers, according to MLB.com's Todd Zolecki (via Twitter). Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer hears from agent Dan Horwits that Dobbs will accept a minor league assignment.
TUESDAY: The Phillies designated Greg Dobbs for assignment, according to MLB.com's Todd Zolecki (via Twitter). In related moves, the Phillies activated Jimmy Rollins from the DL, put Carlos Ruiz on the DL and called up Mike Zagurski (Twitter link).
Dobbs, 32 next week, has about $770K remaining on the two-year $2.5MM deal he signed before last season. He can play all four corner positions, but has posted just a .152/.222/.242 line in 73 plate appearances this season. The Phillies rely on Dobbs off the bench, but he is just 10/79 as a pinch hitter in 2009-10. Back in 2008, Dobbs set the franchise record for pinch hits in a season with 22.
Let's face it: if the Royals aren't going to give Alex Gordon a chance to play regularly when they are 11-21, 10 games out of first, and weeks shy of Memorial Day, he has fallen out of favor with the club. After just 38 plate appearances, the Royals sent Gordon - the player they once selected him second overall - to Triple-A to make way for... Alberto Callaspo.
But Gordon, still just 26, is a career .320/.433/.577 hitter in the minor leagues. Clearly, some team should take a flier on Gordon as a possible long-term answer at third base. Which teams are best suited to do so, and how much is it likely to cost?
- The Phillies seem like an interesting landing spot for Gordon, though not at first blush. Placido Polanco, after all, is signed through 2012. But Gordon could be an upgrade from Greg Dobbs at the very least. If Gordon fulfills his promise, the Phils could attempt to deal Polanco. More to the point, Gordon seems to fit the Phillies' template- his acquisition would be akin to the buy-low on Jayson Werth- and Philadelphia has depth in the farm system. A couple of their secondary pitching prospects could get it done.
- The Orioles have a combined zero homers from Rhyne Hughes and Garrett Atkins, so Gordon could appeal to them as an option at first. Corner infield prospects Brandon Snyder and Josh Bell lurk in the minors, but with Miguel Tejada locked up for just one year, Gordon would provide the O's with depth and upside.
- The Athletics don't have a ton in the way of a present or future player blocking Gordon. Kevin Kouzmanoff is a decent option, but he hardly has Gordon's upside at this point. With a number of nearly-ready pitching prospects to integrate into a young staff, the Athletics could well deal from pitching depth for Gordon, too.
- The Padres are another possible landing spot, with Chase Headley unlikely to keep up his batting average-fueled start. San Diego has several third base prospects, including James Darnell, who Baseball America ranked as the organization's third-best prospect heading into the season. Still, none of the Padres prospects have even proven themselves at Double-A, so acquiring Gordon and giving him the chance to win the third base job wouldn't impact any of them in the short-term. It would also echo the acquisition of another buy-low, former top draft pick: Adrian Gonzalez. A package of one of the Padres' third base prospects and a pitcher should be enough to pry Gordon loose.
The Phillies are still watching the waiver wire, but GM Ruben Amaro Jr. told Andy Martino of the Philadelphia Inquirer that his team has likely made its last trade of the season. Greg Dobbs hurt his calf last week, which weakened the Phillies' bench, but Amaro says the injury is "not serious." Martino suggests the Phillies could call on Andy Tracy, a power-hitting minor leaguer, to complement Dobbs and Matt Stairs.
Nomar Garciaparra has said he'd consider a trade to Philadelphia, so Amaro can explore other options if he decides to look outside of the organization.
Some links for the afternoon...
- John McGrath of the Tacoma News Tribune says Greg Dobbs could be the answer for the Mariners at third base.
- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times considers the possibility that the Mariners could deal Erik Bedard or Jarrod Washburn and still contend. He concludes that the team needs both pitchers to make the playoffs.
- Dayn Perry of FOX Sports looks at projected stats for a handful of trade candidates.
- Brandon Webb won't have to undergo shoulder surgery, according to MLB.com's Steve Gilbert. Instead, he'll aim for a September return.
- Mike Aviles isn't so lucky. He'll miss the rest of the season as he recovers from Tommy John surgery, according to MLB.com's Dick Kaegel
- Diamond Leung reports that Brendan Donnelly left the Astros organization to become a free agent.
- Tune in to 1570 WSCO in Green Bay at 5:05 CST as I'll be talking rumors.
After Greg Dobbs' 2-year, $2.5MM deal, six players are left on the arb list: Ryan Howard, Ryan Madson, Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton, Jayson Werth and Chad Durbin.
According to Zolecki, "The Phillies have been talking with Madson about a contract extension, but he reportedly turned down a three-year, $12 million offer."
Zolecki also doesn't expect Howard's deal to be done anytime soon.
Let's take a little break from Peavy-mania and look at some other situations around the big leagues, courtesy of Joel Sherman.
- Padres GM Kevin Towers can't see any circumstances under which he'd trade first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. He's signed cheaply, and the Padres already have offensive problems.
- Sherman knows that it will be extremely difficult for the Mets to move Luis Castillo this offseason, but offers one scenario that has been discussed before: Trade Castillo to the Royals for perennial hothead Jose Guillen. Guillen would bring the Mets a power bat and arm to put in left field, while Castillo would bring the Royals some much-needed OBP and a replacement for free agent Mark Grudzielanek. The difference would be the Royals saving $6MM over Castillo's remaining three seasons, with the Mets taking on $6MM more, but only having two years of a bad contract. Personally, I think this move could make a lot of sense for both teams, although I'd prefer to have Guillen over Castillo. Also, the Mets apparently have no interest in an Eric Byrnes/Castillo swap.
- The Phillies may be looking for a way to replace Pat Burrell cheaply in order to pursue a free agent starter. One proposed method would be to move Greg Dobbs to left field. Sherman notes that there wouldn't be much difference in range between Burrell and Dobbs. Dobbs posted an .824 OPS this season in 226 ABs, but the alarming thing is that 217 of those ABs came against right-handed pitching. Dobbs was just 1 for 9 against lefties in 2008, and has just 52 career ABs against LHP, in which he's posted a .579 OPS. A plattoon with Eric Brutnlett could work, but if I were a Philadelphia fan, I'd be hoping for an alternative solution. Sherman reminds us that the Phils were players for Manny Ramirez in July...
- This one surprised me, but Sherman throws a new name as a possibility on the trade market: Russell Martin. Sherman cites rival executives in saying that the Dodgers aren't "enamored with his makeup" and that with frontline catchers being hot commodities, the Dodgers could explore the market to see what Martin could bring in return. Personally, I think moving Martin would be a mistake, but I have to admit, Martin would indeed fetch a very nice return.
Some random links for the day...
- I have created a Fantasy Baseball Closers page at RotoAuthority. With the help of readers it will be constantly updated with current closers and the pecking order of each team.
- Kris Benson will throw for teams again, probably a week from now. The Phillies will again be in attendance. Benson may only get a minor league deal this time around. I remember when he set the standard with his three-year, $21MM deal. Also, the Phils could look to move Wes Helms or Greg Dobbs now that they've signed Pedro Feliz.
- The Red Sox had their eye on Reed Johnson, perhaps thinking he would be non-tendered. He wasn't, and Joe McDonald says Bobby Kielty and Eric Hinske will probably sign elsewhere as well. That leaves Brandon Moss for the bench job, unless the Sox sign Tony Clark, Sean Casey, or Brad Wilkerson.