Henry Urrutia Rumors
JULY 29: Dickerson has been outrighted to Triple-A after accepting the assignment, according to the team.
JULY 19: The Orioles have designated Chris Dickerson for assignment, the team announced on Twitter. The move will clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Henry Urrutia, who will be promoted to the Majors to start the season's second half.
The 31-year-old Dickerson hit .245/.274/.412 in 106 plate appearances for the Orioles after being promoted in early April. He signed a minor league deal with the O's this offseason. Dickerson broke into the Majors as a 26-year-old with the Reds in 2008 and is a career .263/.340/.408 hitter, though he's produced very little since his first two seasons with Cincinnati.
Urrutia's prospect stock has risen quickly this season, as the Cuban import has batted .365/.427/.531 with seven long balls in 288 plate appearances between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk. The lefty swinger should give manager Buck Showalter an additional threat at designated hitter, and he could see occasional time in the outfield as well, though the Orioles are mostly set in that capacity with Nate McLouth, Adam Jones and Nick Markakis.
- The Padres, who are now 42-54, have decided they're sellers, Knobler writes. They will listen to offers for Chase Headley (who is eligible for free agency after next season), but Knobler suggests they're in no rush to deal him. Instead, they could deal Edinson Volquez and/or bullpen arms like Huston Street.
- The Orioles have already traded for Scott Feldman, and they might continue to be active on the trade market, but Knobler suggests their biggest addition might come from the promotion of Cuban outfielder Henry Urrutia, who is hitting .367/.406/.467 in his first 15 games at Triple-A Norfolk.
- Knobler confirms that the Cardinals have talked to the Cubs about Matt Garza, and suggests that the two teams' front offices might not find the possibility of trading with one another quite as strange as some fans might. Knobler notes that the last significant deal between the rival squads occurred in 2002, when the Cubs sent Jeff Fassero to St. Louis.
- Elsewhere, Knobler writes that the Marlins may be becoming less inclined to trade Giancarlo Stanton. The Marlins feel that they could improve quickly, and may want to wait to see how Stanton (who is only 23 and is not eligible for free agency until after the 2016 season) and their other top young players perform together. The Marlins will continue to shop relievers and older position players, but youngsters like Jose Fernandez, Jacob Turner and Marcell Ozuna evidently have the Marlins wondering whether they could join Stanton as part of the core of the next good Marlins team.
Matt Warden of River Ave. Blues completed his 2013 series on potential Yankees' trade targets, highlighting the Rockies' Tyler Colvin, Peter Bourjos of the Angels, the Mariners' Kendrys Morales and Raul Ibanez, and Logan Morrison of the Marlins. Here's more out of baseball's Eastern divisions...
- The Mets aren't likely to trade Marlon Byrd, writes Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. General manager Sandy Alderson will likely employ the same strategy he did with Scott Hairston last summer. However, one scout told Martino that he's not sure if the team's plan to stand pat is just posturing to drive up trade prices.
- The Phillies would be buyers right now if it were July 31, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told reporters (including Todd Zolecki of MLB.com). Amaro said he doesn't feel he has a replacement for Jonathan Papelbon and needs his closer to contend. However, he also doesn't want to part with young talent, and Zolecki calls the Phillies' situation "fluid."
- The Yankees and Red Sox at one point appeared to be one of the most serious contenders for the Phillies' Michael Young, George A. King III of the New York Post writes. However, the Red Sox's main focus is now on bullpen help. Young isn't opposed to playing in the Bronx, according to King.
- Within that same post, King notes that Howie Frieling, a special assignment scout for the Phillies, was in attendance to watch the Yankees against the Twins last week. The Phils also sent Sal Agostinelli, their director of international scouting, to watch the Yankees on Wednesday.
- King adds that Joba Chamberlain's trade stock is falling, and the Phillies "have questions about what is perceived as the reliever’s immaturity," King says. In addition, one team that was previously interested in Chamberlain told King that they don't plan to make an offer for him because it's believed that the Yankees could eventually release him.
- Marlon Byrd told Daniel Nelson of Mets Merized Online that he'd love to stay with the Mets but understands that he could be shipped to a contender at the deadline. "Sandy Alderson’s going to do anything possible to make this organization the best it can be," Byrd says.
- Orioles prospect Henry Urrutia is "getting closer" to being an option, Buck Showalter told reporters, including Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link). Urrutia entered the season as the Orioles' No. 13 prospect, according to Baseball America, but has likely upped his stock with a big performance at Double-A and Triple-A. The Cuban defector is hitting .365/.429/.536 with seven homers in 280 minor league plate appearances this season.
Aaron Steen contributed to this post.
Cuban outfielder Henry Urrutia is finally set to make his minor-league debut, Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports reports. The Orioles have assigned Urrutia to Double-A Bowie, and he will join the Baysox on Friday. Urrutia signed with the Orioles last year for $779K, but he was forced to stay in Haiti for several months after that with visa problems. Here are more notes from the Orioles.
- Kubatko also explains why the Orioles didn't trade for outfielder Julio Borbon, who had been designated for assignment by the Rangers. The Orioles were rumored to be interested in Borbon. Kubatko says the Orioles didn't want to deal the minor-leaguers the Rangers wanted, and didn't see Borbon as an upgrade over Chris Dickerson. Borbon ultimately ended up on waivers.
- Conor Jackson has not yet turned in his retirement paperwork, Kubatko notes (on Twitter). News of Jackson's retirement emerged last weekend, but for now, the Orioles are keeping him on the restricted list in Triple-A Norfolk. If Jackson decides to return to the game while he's still on the restricted list, he'll return as a member of the Orioles organization. Jackson hit .200/.333/.240 in nine games for Norfolk this year.