Huston Street Rumors
Here's the latest from around the league, courtesy of ESPN's Jim Bowden...
- The Padres have fielded offers for both Huston Street and Carlos Quentin, but they've yet to seriously debate any of them internally.
- The Tigers are seeking a second base upgrade and would like to acquire Darwin Barney from the Cubs for a mid-level prospect.
- The Indians are looking all over to acquire an outfield bat, but they are unable to take back a significant contract and are unwilling to move their best prospects.
- Meanwhile, the Royals are trying to convince the Indians or Reds to take Jeff Francoeur so they can promote Wil Myers from Triple-A.
- The Pirates are aggressively trying to land a middle of the order bat while the Orioles are seeking starting pitching and a third base upgrade.
- There have been rumors of a Mike Morse for B.J. Upton trade, according to Bowden. The Nationals are also looking to add a starter with Stephen Strasburg's innings limit approaching.
- The Giants have no plans of making a deal similar to the one they made last year, when they traded Zack Wheeler for a rental (Carlos Beltran). They are looking for a bat or two, however.
Much of the recent NL West chatter relates to Justin Upton and potential trades for Arizona's 24-year-old right fielder. The Diamondbacks will listen to offers for Upton, who’s just one year removed from a fourth-place finish in the NL MVP balloting. Here are some non-Upton related notes from the NL West...
- Padres closer Huston Street said he could “clear the air” with Mets bench coach Bob Geren if a trade sends him to New York this summer, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. "If I get to the Mets, that'll be the first bug I go squash,'' Street said. The right-hander called Geren his “least favorite person” in sports following their time with the Athletics.
- The Diamondbacks signed catcher Oswaldo Garcia, Ben Badler of Baseball America reports. Some scouts considered Garcia the top Colombian prospect available this year. The 16-year-old has a powerful bat and a strong arm.
- The Diamondbacks also signed 16-year-old Dominican shortstop Fernery Ozuna, Badler reports.
The Padres are tied for last place in the NL West with a 34-53 record, but there's lots of intrigue for Padres fans this summer. Carlos Quentin, Chase Headley and Huston Street are among the players who figure to draw interest from rival teams as the July 31st trade deadline approaches. Here's the latest on the Padres...
- The Padres have scouted the Cardinals and will watch one of St. Louis’ top minor league affiliates this week, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. Street, San Diego’s closer, could be targeted by the Cardinals in trade talks. He says he prefers to continue closing if he’s traded.
- Commissioner Bud Selig told reporters, including Scott Miller of CBSSports.com, that he doesn’t know if the Padres’ sale will be completed by the owners meetings scheduled for next month (Twitter link). "I understand they [still] have two or three weeks of work," the commissioner said.
We hear a lot of talk about buyers and sellers this time of year, but as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports points out in his latest column, some teams will do neither this summer and other teams will do both. Here are Rosenthal’s latest notes with less than four weeks to go before July 31st:
- The Red Sox could be positioned to trade an outfielder this month if their rehabbing players return as expected. Boston figures to pursue starting depth in trades; the Red Sox aren’t considering trades involving Josh Beckett.
- The Yankees will probably not sign Josh Hamilton or Cole Hamels this offseason, since they aim to avoid the MLB luxury tax by 2014 and that means cutting back on extravagant free agent signings.
- Under GM Frank Wren the Braves won more games while spending less money than every team but the Rays from 2009-11, Rosenthal notes.
- If the Blue Jays trade players on the brink of free agency such as Edwin Encarnacion and Kelly Johnson, they’d look to acquire players who can help them win next year. And if the Blue Jays don’t like what other teams are offering, they’ll keep their potential free agents. Toronto’s not likely to overpay in a “go for it” trade, Rosenthal writes.
- The Blue Jays aren’t trading Colby Rasmus, who has become more driven, according to a team official.
- Rosenthal suggests the Athletics could look to acquire players midseason if they stay in the playoff mix. Bartolo Colon is the player the A’s are most likely to trade, Rosenthal writes.
- The Mets are actively seeking relief help, but it’s highly doubtful they’d trade for Huston Street, who publicly criticized Mets bench coach Bob Geren last year. The Mets, who insist they won’t trade top prospects, are likely to wait until the end of the month before making any trades.
- The Cardinals wouldn’t be willing to meet the Brewers’ asking price for Zack Greinke, Rosenthal notes. St. Louis is more likely to pursue a mid-rotation starter.
- The Diamondbacks believe they need a third baseman more than a starting pitcher.
Padres GM Josh Byrnes made an appearance on XX 1090's Darren Smith Show earlier today. Here's the audio and here's a recap...
- "We've been on the phone a lot," said the GM when asked about ongoing trade talks, "... (but) we don't need to trade anyone."
- Because of the team's ownership situation, Byrnes said he does not have the ability to offer extensions. "Not at this moment," he said, talking specifically about Carlos Quentin and Huston Street. They have not talked dollars with either player yet.
- "All those guys are going to contribute," said Byrnes when asked if he was pleased with the Mat Latos trade. "It's one of those deals where both sides got what they wanted."
- He also spoke about Petco Park, Andrew Cashner and injuries in general, Nick Hundley's demotion, and more during the interview.
- Byrnes told MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez that the team signed Dominican third baseman Carlos Belen for $1MM (Twitter link). The Padres inked Belen earlier this week.
In today's Insider-only blog post, ESPN's Buster Olney compares the current state of the trade market to shopping at an airport, where priced are designed to gouge customers. Buyers want more sellers and sellers want more buyers. Olney also previewed the NL trade market, so let's dive in...
- The Mets are among teams looking for bullpen help and are waiting for the market develop. The division-rival Nationals are also in the market for relief help but do have Drew Storen on the mend. Olney wonders if they'll look for a starter given Stephen Strasburg's inning limit.
- Executives expect the Padres to deal Carlos Quentin and Huston Street, plus they continue to get calls about Chase Headley. Olney speculates that the Reds could be a fit for Quentin.
- The Braves are looking to add a veteran starting pitcher, but Olney says they're unlikely to swing a trade for Zack Greinke without having some kind of long-term contract agreement in place.
- Olney wonders if the Diamondbacks could become surprise buyers for pitching help given Joe Saunders' injury and Trevor Bauer's early struggles. The Cardinals figure to jump into the pitching market given Chris Carpenter's season-ending shoulder surgery.
- The Cubs, Astros, and Rockies are among the clubs in sell mode. The Brewers will wait a little longer before deciding to sell, and while Greinke, Shaun Marcum, and others could be on the block, Corey Hart will not.
- Olney says the Blue Jays actually finished third in the bidding for Yu Darvish behind the Rangers and Cubs. No bid was within $35MM of the $51.7MM Texas submitted.
The Mets' deadline discussions with other clubs have not started "in earnest" and have been limited to cursory conversations so far, a baseball source told Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Apparently, teams that might be sellers were largely unwilling to concede they were ready for that position yet. The official also projected that trades across baseball will likely be more about absorbing salary than parting with prospects. Here's a look at the Mets tonight..
- A team insider told Rubin that the players available now might not be worth acquiring for the Mets. Players available now such as Chad Qualls and Brad Lidge likely wouldn't be gamechangers for the Mets.
- The Mets are already actively working to get bullpen help and called the Padres to ask about Huston Street, a source tells Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (via Twitter). Street's prior issues with bench coach Bob Geren would also not be a factor if there is a fit.
At 5.21, the Mets have the worst bullpen ERA in baseball by three-tenths of a run. Closer Frank Francisco is out with an oblique injury and Bobby Parnell has taken over ninth inning responsibilities, leaving the setup work to Jon Rauch and Miguel Batista. Ken Davidoff of The New York Post writes that the club is looking for bullpen help outside the organization.
“It’s not too early to do the research,” said assistant GM John Ricco. “It’s probably too early to make a move, although each year there is several pre-emptive ones. For the seller more than the buyer.”
Ricco also indicated that sometimes “you try to catch lightning in a bottle,” using the team's 2006 acquisition of Guillermo Mota as an example. Mota pitched to 6.21 ERA in 34 games for the Indians before being sent to New York and posting a 1.00 ERA in 18 appearances that year.
GM Sandy Alderson told Davidoff that the club hasn't ruled out the possibility of adding payroll, but they are weary of trading top-shelf prospects for volatile relievers. Davidoff mentions that the Mets are likely to get involved in any trade talks for Brett Myers and Huston Street, and not to rule out Grant Balfour as well.
We'll keep track of the day's minor moves here...
- The Padres will designate right-hander Matt Palmer for assignment prior to Tuesday's game against the Giants, tweets Dan Hayes of the North County Times. The move will allow the club to activate Huston Street off the disabled list on Tuesday. Palmer, 33, had struggled in three relief appearances with San Diego after having his contract selected from Triple-A Tucson on May 20.
Last offseason's Hot Stove was notable for the hefty contracts signed by the likes of Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder, but the abundance of closers in free agency was an interesting secondary arc. A few stoppers signed for big bucks, and if there were any takeaway, it was that many teams have not necessarily adopted a frugal philosophy with respect to bullpen spending.
The upcoming offseason's class of free-agent closers is pretty interesting, too, and several of its potential members have options for 2013. Here's a list of those pitchers and a very preliminary look at whether their options figure to be picked up:
- Matt Capps (2013 age: 29), $6MM club option with a $250K buyout: Capps' signing this offseason was maligned after he pitched poorly in 2011, but the Twins' bullpen was pretty barren, so it may have been a devil-you-know situation. He's pitching roughly the same so far this year, but the guess here is that if they were willing to bring him back after last year, they'll be willing to do so again. He could be a trade candidate, but I'm not sure there will be takers.
- Ryan Madson (32), $11MM mutual option with a $2.5MM buyout: The Reds will be on the hook for at least $2.5MM, so will they want to gamble an extra $8.5MM on a guy coming off Tommy John surgery? With Aroldis Chapman and Sean Marshall in the back of the Reds' bullpen, I think they'll pass.
- J.J. Putz (36), $6.5MM club option with a $1.5MM buyout: Putz is getting on in years, and his health is always a concern (including a DL stint during his brilliant 2011), but the right-hander is really good when he's on the mound. If he can get through this year relatively unscathed in terms of injury, which is no sure thing, I think the Diamondbacks will roll the dice, seeing as the penalty for snake eyes is relatively low.
- Joakim Soria (29), $8MM club option with a $750K buyout: Similar to the Reds and Madson, the Royals will have a tough decision to make with Soria coming off (a second) Tommy John surgery. They've been very reluctant to part with him via trade previously, so I'm thinking they'll pick up the option just to save face and see what he can yield -- either in terms of on-field contributions or perhaps a trade later in the season if he comes back healthy.
- Huston Street (29), $9MM mutual option with a $500K buyout if club declines: The Padres will likely look to trade Street before this year's deadline, so his recent injury development must make them a little nervous. He has plenty of time to get healthy before the deadline, though, and I'd expect the Friars to move hard to flip him. If they can't, they could always pick up the option and then look to trade him again next summer.
- Grant Balfour (35), $4.5MM club option with a $350K buyout: The A's will be shopping Balfour hard before the deadline, as he'll draw plenty of interest, as MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith recently noted. Wherever he is, his option will look pretty attractive, with his durability and effectiveness probably trumping any concerns over his age.
- Rafael Soriano (33), $14MM player option or a $1.5MM buyout: Soriano is very likely to exercise this option, meaning the Yankees will almost certainly be paying this hefty tab in 2013. The temptation may be there for Soriano to decline and rake in another two- or three-year deal elsewhere on the market, but he can get one of those after 2013, assuming for health.