Huston Street Rumors
Closernews.com offers fantasy analysis of relievers all offseason long and we’ll also be keeping detailed tabs on the relief market here at MLBTR. Now for the latest hot stove notes regarding relievers...
- The Red Sox talked to Joe Nathan, but never made him an offer, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com. Boston was uncomfortable offering the closer a multiyear deal partly because he's 37.
- The Rockies are trying to move Huston Street because they believe Rafael Betancourt can close for them, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (Twitter links). Renck expects the Rockies to attempt to acquire a starter such as Jeremy Guthrie or Carl Pavano for Street.
- The bullpen remains the Rangers’ top priority, GM Jon Daniels told reporters, including Anthony Andro of FOXSportsSouthwest (Twitter link).
- The Red Sox, Angels, Twins, Reds, Marlins, Blue Jays and Mets are among the teams with potential interest in closers, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).
Mets GM Sandy Alderson says the team isn’t close to completing any deals, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (Twitter link). Here are updates on some potential moves for the team...
- Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com hears the Mets informed other teams that Daniel Murphy is available. While many players are available in the right move at this time of year, this indicates that the Mets are willing to listen on the versatile 26-year-old.
- The Mets and Rockies briefly discussed a deal involving Huston Street and Mike Pelfrey, but the Mets don’t seem too excited about the possibility of acquiring Street, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (on Twitter). Street and current Mets bench coach Bob Geren had trouble getting along when they were both with the Athletics.
- The Mets are open to bringing Endy Chavez back to New York and they have had preliminary discussions about a deal with agent Peter Greenberg, according to Martino.
The latest out of the National League West..
- Rockies closer Huston Street is a name to keep in mind for the Red Sox, tweets Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe.
- Based on multiple conversations with executives and agents, Troy Renck of The Denver Post tweets that the Rockies are not in on free agent Rafael Furcal. The shortstop is seeking a two-year deal in the $16MM range.
- The Rockies don't feel as though they have to give up a center fielder to get Martin Prado from the Braves in a trade, so there is still hope for a deal, Renck tweets.
- If Prado isn't a possibility for the club, Orlando Hudson might be, says Renck (via Twitter). However, the club is divided on whether he fits or if they would be better off turning to internal options instead.
- Rockies General Manager Dan O'Dowd is after a "No. 3 or No. 4" pitcher, writes Troy Renck of The Denver Post. The team's search has led them to talks with Roy Oswalt, and the team is being aggressive in their pursuit, according to several agents and executives, Renck tweets. While Oswalt is interested, he's in no rush to sign with anyone.
- Dodgers owner Frank McCourt will sell 100% of the team but retain the land outside of the Dodger Stadium parking lots in a deal that could be worth upwards of $1.3 billion, tweets Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
- FOX Sports released a statement on the Dodgers' lawsuit against them and termed the action as the "latest chapter in the current owner's ongoing scheme to avoid honoring his contractual obligations," tweets Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.
The latest from Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports...
- The Dodgers' payroll will be well under $100MM in 2012, sources tell the FOX writers. If James Loney and Hiroki Kuroda return, there will be little left to spend. On the plus side, the Dodgers were able to reduce Matt Kemp's '12 salary to slightly more than $10MM as part of his new multiyear deal, in a year where as much as $16MM seemed possible through arbitration. Rosenthal and Morosi say the Dodgers would want to buy out at least two free agent years in a long-term deal for Clayton Kershaw, who may take home the NL Cy Young award tomorrow. With Kershaw under team control for three more years, the Dodgers don't have the same urgency to lock him up as they did Kemp. In MLBTR's exclusive arbitration salary projections, Kershaw was pegged at $8.4MM, easily a first-time record for a pitcher.
- The Astros "probably will acquire a shortstop and add low-cost relief pitching" this offseason, write Rosenthal and Morosi. GM Ed Wade told the FOX writers he plans to stick with Mark Melancon at closer. The GM explained his team's corner outfield situation: "From the standpoint of corner outfield, there are going to be guys out there, looking for opportunities. We’re pretty much the land of opportunity right now."
- Chipper Jones still enjoys playing, says Braves GM Frank Wren. The 39-year-old third baseman is signed through 2012 with a '13 vesting option. Rosenthal and Morosi say Martin Prado is available in the right deal, but the Braves value his versatility, including his ability to back up Jones.
- Yoenis Cespesdes could petition baseball to declare him a free agent fairly quickly, after he establishes temporary residence in the Dominican Republic. The residency part is expected to happen within 10 to 14 days.
- The Blue Jays have expressed interest in trading for Rockies reliever Huston Street. Street has one year and $8MM remaining on his contract. Rosenthal and Morosi say the Rockies remain interested in a deal for Prado, which would require Seth Smith and another piece.
The latest on the Rockies from the Denver Post's Troy Renck:
- The Rockies continue to search for starting pitching via trade, having met with a few teams already. They probably won't match the asking prices for John Danks or Wandy Rodriguez, but they could target arms such as Ricky Nolasco, Anibal Sanchez, Jeff Niemann, and Wade Davis, if the Marlins and Rays are willing to deal.
- The club plans to tender Ian Stewart a contract, but that doesn't necessarily mean he'll be a Rockie in 2012. Multiple clubs have inquired on Stewart, and Colorado is listening.
- Grady Sizemore won't work out for the Rockies, but the team hopes to get a better read on his health when he visits the Steadman-Hawkins clinic in Vail, Colorado.
- The Rockies would have interest in LaTroy Hawkins if they opened up a spot for him by trading Huston Street.
- Rafael Betancourt would be fine with closing next year for the Rockies, and the team likes what he's done recently in the role. Renck reiterates that opposing executives expect the Rockies to shop Huston Street this winter. Street has $8MM left on his contract for next year, assuming his club declines a 2013 option. The free agent market offers closers such as Heath Bell, Jonathan Papelbon, and Ryan Madson, but those three will require multiyear deals.
- The Rockies would like to retain second baseman Mark Ellis on a one-year deal in the $3MM range, writes Renck. However, Omar Infante's new two-year, $8MM contract could decrease Colorado's chances of pulling off such a deal.
- David Wright will be a Rockies target this winter if the Mets show an inclination to move him. Wright is owed $15MM in 2012, and can void a '13 club option if dealt. Wright, 28, has a .253/.344/.426 line heading into today's action. He missed two months this year due to a back injury.
- Michael Cuddyer is a potential outfield target for Colorado, writes Renck, and signing him might mean trading Seth Smith.
The first-place Diamondbacks had a magic number of 2 to clinch the NL West entering Thursday's action and could pop the champagne as soon as Friday. Here are some notes regarding three of the division's other ballclubs:
- Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp, echoing what his agent said recently, told Beto Duran of ESPN 710 radio in Los Angeles that he hasn't yet begun discussing a possible contract extension with the club but he'd like to spend the rest of his career there (Twitter link). Kemp is eligible for free agency after 2012.
- Giants lefty Jonathan Sanchez won't return in 2011 and may have thrown his last pitch for the Lads, writes Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News. The Giants may non-tender Sanchez, or, if they do go through the arbitration process with him, could decide to trade him for a bat, according to Baggarly. Sanchez, 28, dealt with injuries and ineffectiveness this season, making just 19 starts, while earning $4.8MM. Sanchez does possess a big arm, so he won't have trouble finding a new job if and when the Giants decide to move on.
- The Rockies will seek a trade partner to offload closer Huston Street, perhaps in return for a starting pitcher, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post. However, Renck notes it won't be easy to shop Street considering the depth of relief pitching on the free-agent market, so he could just as easily return to Colorado in 2012 (Twitter links).
- Giants first base prospect Angel Villalona, who recently had murder charges against him dropped in his native Dominican Republic, has reportedly changed agents from Boras Corp. to Para Sports, tweets Baggarly. Para Sports represents Orioles pitcher Alfredo Simon, as Baggarly notes, who also had murder charges against him dropped in the Dominican.
This is a running list of players who have cleared waivers, based on published reports. Once a player clears waivers, he can be traded to any team (barring a no-trade clause). This list can always be found in the sidebar under MLBTR Features. Player names are linked to the source articles.
Updated 8-30-11 at 10:56pm
- Aaron Harang, Padres - Harang's ERA is a respectable 3.92 with 6.7 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in pitcher-friendly Petco Park.
- Dontrelle Willis, Reds - Willis has bounced back with the Reds, posting a 4.10 ERA, 6.3 K/9, 3.8 BB/9, 0.68 HR/9, and 56.8% groundball rate in 52 2/3 innings.
- Carlos Zambrano, Cubs - Zambrano cleared waivers prior to being placed on the disqualified list. He has a short fuse, lousy stats, and over $22MM remaining on his contract through next year.
- Rodrigo Lopez, Cubs - Not surprising to see the journeyman clear waivers.
- Chris Capuano, Mets - Capuano owns a 3.74 SIERA as of August 14th and earns only $1.5MM plus incentives, so it's hard to see why a few teams didn't place claims.
- Bronson Arroyo, Reds - His peripheral stats haven't changed much, but Arroyo has a 5.31 ERA as of August 15th. $15MM of his $35MM contract is deferred through 2021 without interest. The deferrals are voided if he's traded, however. At any rate, expect Arroyo to stay put.
- Bruce Chen, Royals - Chen has his moments, but it's not surprising to see him clear waivers.
- Jason Vargas, Mariners - Like many of the starters here, Vargas' fastball wouldn't break a window. But he has less than a million bucks left on his contract this year and is under team control through 2013. He'd fit nicely at the back end of several rotations.
- Chien-Ming Wang, Nationals - His three starts this season were his first in over two years, so it's understandable that contenders wouldn't jump to claim him.
- Tom Gorzelanny, Nationals - Booted to the bullpen last month, the 29-year-old flyballing southpaw has posted strong strikeout rates in recent years but can't hold a rotation job.
- Ted Lilly, Dodgers - He always has strong strikeout-to-walk numbers, but is prone to the longball. With over 82% of his $33MM contract remaining ($27MM+), it's no surprise he cleared waivers.
- Joe Nathan, Twins - Nathan won't be traded, according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
- Chad Qualls, Padres - Qualls is enjoying a bounce-back season, though his strikeout rate dipped to 5.3 K/9 this year.
- Bill Bray, Reds - Bray has been decent this year, and a little tougher against lefties. He'll be arbitration eligible for the second time this offseason.
- Hong-Chih Kuo, Dodgers - A dominant reliever last year, Kuo has dealt with a back injury and anxiety disorder as his control has eluded him.
- Huston Street, Rockies - Between a recent triceps injury and the $9MM+ owed to him through 2012, Street was expected to clear.
- Brian Fuentes, Athletics - He's owed over $6MM through next year, and has been mediocre for the A's.
- Jon Rauch, Blue Jays - Rauch is affordable, but he's on the DL for an appendectomy and wasn't great before that.
- Mike Gonzalez, Orioles - Gonzalez has been dominant in August, and against lefties. The problem is that he's still owed almost a million bucks.
- Kevin Gregg, Orioles - Gregg might be the worst reliever holding down a closer's job, and he's owed at least $6.4MM through next year.
- John Grabow, Cubs - He's been ineffective even against lefties, and he has over $700K remaining.
- D.J. Carrasco, Mets - The Mets signed Carrasco to a two-year deal in December - their biggest acquisition of the offseason - but optioned him to Triple-A in April. He stayed there until mid-June.
- Aramis Ramirez, Cubs - In July, Ramirez's agent said that his client would consider an August deal but he has since had a change of heart. The Cubs hold an option on Ramirez's deal worth $16MM.
- Alfonso Soriano, Cubs - This one was also obvious. SI's Jon Heyman notes on Twitter that the Cubs are willing to pay a "major, major chunk" of the $58.35MM owed to the left fielder through 2014.
- Lance Berkman, Cardinals - Berkman has said he hopes to re-sign with St. Louis after the season, when he hits free agency. Still, it's a surprise to see him clear waivers.
- Ryan Theriot, Cardinals - Theriot earns $3.3MM this year and will be a non-tender candidate after the season.
- David Wright, Mets - It's surprising that Wright cleared waivers, but it doesn't mean the Mets have interest in dealing him. Wright earns $15MM next year and can void a $16MM club option for 2013 if traded.
- Conor Jackson, Athletics - Olney notes that the Red Sox asked about the light-hitting 1B/LF/RF, but there doesn't seem to be any traction there.
- David DeJesus, Athletics - DeJesus has had a rough year but could at least be useful against right-handed pitching.
- Hideki Matsui, Athletics - The Athletics have several waiver trade candidates, and Matsui's hot second half and low salary (owed less than $2MM the rest of the season) could make him a popular target.
- Jason Bay, Mets - With Bay being owed at least $38.8MM through 2013, this was expected. It's only been 12 games, but Bay is at least having his first good month of 2011.
- Willie Harris, Mets - The versatile Harris has less than $200K left on his contract.
- Angel Pagan, Mets - It's been a dismal year for Pagan, who may be in line for a non-tender after the season.
- Carlos Lee, Astros - No surprise here, as the 35-year-old is hitting .263/.321/.417 and is owed almost $23MM through next year. El Caballo's ten-and-five rights kick in after the season.
- Johnny Damon, Rays - Damon blocked an August trade last summer and 12 months later he's a candidate to be traded once again.
Tim Dierkes contributed to this post.
The Rockies are currently 9.5 games out in the NL West. They don't have any crucial players heading to free agency after the season, but they may still have some expendable veterans. In particular, MLB.com's Thomas Harding says "information is surfacing that the Rockies could be willing to deal any of three key right-handed relievers" - Huston Street, Rafael Betancourt, and Matt Belisle.
Street, 28 in August, has a 3.56 ERA, 8.4 K/9, 1.5 BB/9, 1.67 HR/9, and 39.0% groundball rate in 43 innings this year. At the deadline he'll have $2.37MM left on his contract this year, plus $7.5MM in '12 and a $500K buyout after that season for a total of $10.37MM. Yesterday, Tracy Ringolsby of FOX Sports wrote that there have been "recent inquiries" on Street. However, keep in mind that GM Dan O'Dowd has no directive to shed salary. If Street is dealt, Matt Lindstrom would probably close, as indicated on our depth chart at CloserNews.
Betancourt, 36, has a 4.66 ERA, 8.6 K/9, 1.7 BB/9, 1.47 HR/9, and 30.6% groundball rate in 36 2/3 innings. His numbers are similar to Street's in that he limits free passes but is prone to the longball. Betancourt will have $1.22MM left this year at the deadline, plus $4MM in '12 and a $250K buyout after that season for a total of $5.47MM. Since he doesn't have saves on his resume, he earns half as much as Street.
Belisle, 31, has a 3.46 ERA, 7.8 K/9, 1.9 BB/9, 0.86 HR/9, and 46.8% groundball rate in 41 2/3 innings. He will have $1.05MM left this year at the deadline and $3.775MM in '12 for a total of $4.825MM. This is the first time his name has been mentioned as a potential trade target.
The Yankees, Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Phillies, and Rangers are contenders who are in the hunt for relief help.
Here's some late-night linkage as the Rays and Red Sox head to extras in Tampa ...
- The Rockies are drawing interest from trade suitors on outfielder Ryan Spilborghs and reliever Rafael Betancourt, and some teams have recently inquired about closer Huston Street, writes Tracy Ringolsby of FOXSports.com. Spilborghs is a free agent at season's end, while Betancourt and Street are both under contract through 2012 with options for 2013.
- The Pirates are looking for bats and have checked with the Athletics on Josh Willingham and Conor Jackson, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (via Twitter).
- The Dodgers are getting "a lot of play" on right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, according to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). Kuroda, however, has a full no-trade clause, and as we found out earlier today, some execs think he won't accept a trade to an East Coast team.