Ian Kennedy Rumors
4:05pm: Ken Rosenthal has some of the names being offered by the Braves for Peavy. According to Rosenthal, the Braves are offering Yunel Escobar, either Jo-Jo Reyes or Charlie Morton and an unnamed player believed to be a top prospect. Rosenthal does not have any details on the Cubs' package but notes that it is likely to be "fluid".
4:00pm: Chris De Luca has updated his earlier piece and now says Dempster is seeking five years, $70MM.
3:03pm: Peter Abraham says that Kevin Towers has told Peavy that he will be traded and that negotiations have been narrowed to three teams. The Yankees are not in the mix as all three clubs are in the NL. Abraham speculates that in addition to the Cubs and Braves, the third team could be the Astros or Cardinals.
11:27am: Chris De Luca says the Cubs are in heavy pursuit of Peavy, partially because of steep contract demands from Ryan Dempster. He's heard Dempster wants five years, $75MM.
No deal is imminent, but De Luca wonders if pitchers Sean Marshall, Rich Harden, or Jeff Samardzija could be involved. Samardzija has a no-trade clause.
10:02am: ESPN's Buster Olney says the Padres have interest in Braves prospect Jeff Locke. David O'Brien says the Padres want Tommy Hanson, but are willing to settle for Yunel Escobar and a few lesser prospects.
8:55am: Let's kick off a new Jake Peavy post. Last we heard, Ken Rosenthal was suggesting the Cubs moved ahead of the Braves as the frontrunner.
Today, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News says the Yankees' chances for Peavy are improving as Kevin Towers struggles to find a match with an NL team on the pitcher's list. Feinsand says Towers wants two pitchers and an outfielder for Peavy. He believes the Yanks could build a deal around Phil Hughes or Austin Jackson, though they might need to include Ian Kennedy as well. Brian Cashman seems a bit more open to trading Hughes than he was a year ago. The Padres aren't interested in Robinson Cano.
11:09pm: Brian Cashman sums up the Yankees' plan: "We're going to show a lot of love."
12:15pm: It's about time we check in with Yankees links.
- The Yankees will make their record-breaking pitch to C.C. Sabathia. If it fails, they'll move on to A.J. Burnett, Derek Lowe, and Oliver Perez.
- Joel Sherman says the Yankees could get involved on Manny Ramirez, but only if they fail to sign Mark Teixeira and manage to trade Hideki Matsui.
- Sherman says the Yanks are in on the catching market just to be safe, engaging the Rangers about Gerald Laird and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. They'll also "keep tabs" on Ivan Rodriguez. If the Yanks find another club that values Robinson Cano highly and offers pitching, he could be traded and Orlando Hudson signed. None of this stuff seems likely.
- Peter Abraham believes the Yanks are working on an extension with Damaso Marte.
- Buster Olney says some of Mike Mussina's friends believe that the longer it takes for him to decide on 2009, the more likely it is he pitches.
- Peter Abraham believes Phil Hughes or Ian Kennedy will be traded before next season, but Brian Cashman has not lost faith in Hughes.
8:40pm: Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd says he is "completely open-minded to anything" in a Holliday deal - a premium starter is not a requirement.
2:38pm: Renck says the Rockies have talked to the Rays about Holliday, as the Rays have an abundance of pitching. He also believes the Rays might be willing to give up Carl Crawford for Holliday.
9:54am: According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, there is too much momentum toward a Matt Holliday trade for the Rockies to turn back now. Sherman figures a deal could go down in December. He notes the Rockies' appreciation of Yankees pitcher Ian Kennedy, though he wouldn't be the centerpiece of a trade.
Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post did an exclusive interview with Holliday, who questioned the Rockies' ability to contend every year. Holliday disputed the notion that his contract talks with the Rockies were a distraction to the team.
Rockies center fielder Willy Taveras hit .251/.308/.296 in 538 plate appearances this year, a major drain on the team's offense. Defensively, Taveras had a big year in 2006 but has been below average since. Quad and knee injuries may be the culprit, though Taveras has been able to steal bases.
Taveras wants to play every day, but it probably won't be for the Rockies. Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post fully expects him to be traded this winter. Taveras was claimed off waivers in August, possibly by the Nationals, Phillies, or Mets (obviously no trade agreement was reached). Taveras is arbitration-eligible, and there's been no indication the Rockies are considering non-tendering him.
The latest column by Jon Heyman of SI.com is full of all kinds of Yankees notes:
- They will pursue a top-of-the-rotation starter, and yes, C.C. Sabathia is one of them, but the list also includes A.J. Burnett, Jake Peavy, Derek Lowe, and possibly Ben Sheets. As we wrote yesterday, Peavy's agent said he'd need "a lot of convincing" to approve a deal to the American League.
- According to Heyman the goal is for the Bombers to "secure more than one of them."
- The Yankees have targeted Mark Teixeira but may also take a look at Manny Ramirez (Heyman has mentioned the Manny to the Yankees possibility before, as has Ken Rosenthal).
- Interest in Teixeira almost certainly means that Jason Giambi is not returning in 2009.
- Center field is another position the Yankees hope to fill, but they may go the trade route and Heyman mentions Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy as possible bait.
- If Mike Mussina decides to pitch again in 2009, the Yankees would want him back. A couple of weeks ago, Buster Olney wrote about a "growing sense" that Mussina would be returning for another season.
Alejandro A. Leal writes for UmpBump.com and can be reached here: alexo05 -at- umpbump -dot- com.
Some random links as we head toward the trade deadline, from the Blogosphere...
- One writer at Bugs and Cranks thinks that the Rockies should not lower their demand for Brian Fuentes and feels that the Cardinals are the most likely team to land the closer.
- UmpBump wants the Rockies to keep Matt Holliday and would prefer moving Garrett Atkins, allowing Ian Stewart to play third.
- Meanwhile, another writer at Bugs and Cranks wants the Cardinals to pass on Matt Holliday and Jason Bay, but think St. Louis should go after George Sherrill and/or Fuentes.
- Outs Per Swing does not feel that the Rays need to add a player like Xavier Nady, but they are also skeptical that Rocco Baldelli can be the right-handed bat the team needs.
- MetsBlog does not see the Mets landing George Sherrill or Huston Street, noting the O's are asking for too much and the Mets will not meet the A's demands. MetsBlog also feels the Mets have more obvious holes than relief pitcher.
- River Ave. Blues says the recent success of Ian Kennedy in Triple A has given the Yankees a very big chip in the trade market.
- Drunk Jays Fans says Roy Halladay will not be traded, despite recent reports that the Jays were secretly shopping him.
According to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post, the Rockies have asked various teams for the following players for closer Brian Fuentes: Wade Davis, Ian Kennedy, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Niese. Tracy Ringolsby says no concrete offers have been made for Fuentes yet.
Fuentes will provide two months of solid relieving, and possibly two draft picks after that. But alternatives are plentiful, and the Rockies are in danger of overplaying their hand if the price doesn't come down soon. It doesn't help the Rockies that the Nationals accepted Emilio Bonifacio for for 2.3 years of Jon Rauch.
MLB.com's Trade Talk blog speculates that the Phillies may no longer be pursuing Colorado closer Brian Fuentes, after Philadelphia traded three prospects for Joe Blanton. The blog wonders, "How many chips do (the Phillies) have to play?" Then, the blog hedges its bets:
If an earlier report is correct, the Rockies have asked the Phillies for right-hander Carlos Carrasco or catcher Lou Marson in return for Fuentes, so something could still be possible.
Trade Talk goes on to say that the Rockies would "hit the jackpot if a team came up with a young, talented starter -- like, say, the Yankees' Phil Hughes or Ian Kennedy, or a couple of top Double-A prospects such as the Rays' Wade Davis or Jeremy Hellickson."
It's highly unlikely the Phillies will deal Carrasco, the organization's top prospect, for a set-up man. It's an absolute impossibility that the Yankees will trade Hughes for Fuentes. The Rays are still considered the front-runners for Fuentes, the blog says.
- Multiple teams are in the hunt for a right-handed hitting outfielder: the Mets, Rays, and maybe the Yankees. The Pirates are asking for too much for Jason Bay and Xavier Nady, while the Rockies are waiting to see what Bay costs so they can ask for more for Matt Holliday. The Rays' might find their solution internally, with Rocco Baldelli.
- Holliday as a replacement for Manny Ramirez this winter? Right now it's just a couple of execs speculating to Sherman.
- The Rockies want either Jon Niese from the Mets or Ian Kennedy from the Yankees for Brian Fuentes, but the two New York clubs aren't having that.
- Nolan Ryan doesn't want to punt on '08 with the Rangers.
- Sherman wonders if the Marlins could match up with Texas on a catcher.
- Juan Rivera is not available at this point.
- Casey Blake is likely to be traded, partially because the Indians probably wouldn't offer him arbitration after the season. The Mets and Yankees are said to have "at least mild interest."
And now for something completely different, Odds and Ends:
- ESPN reports that the Yankees optioned Ian Kennedy to Triple-A. To take his place, they recalled Darrell Rasner who in 5 Triple-A games is 4-0 with 0.87 ERA and 27 K in 31 IP. Kennedy relies on control and control he has had not. He has the highest percentage of working into hitters counts of anyone in the bigs.
- The Rays are the first team ever to hold the first pick in back-to-back years, and unlike last year when they selected David Price without thinking twice, they are presently undecided. According to Marc Lancaster, "It's a safe bet their choice will come from the following pool: Vanderbilt 3B Pedro Alvarez, Griffin (Ga.) High SS Tim Beckham, Florida State C Buster Posey, Missouri RHP Aaron Crow, University of San Diego LHP Brian Matusz and Riverside (Calif.) Patriot High C Kyle Skipworth."
- Art Spander in the Oakland Tribune calls on Billy Beane to sign Barry Bonds. Mike Sweeney and Frank Thomas aren't enough. Says Spander, "[Bonds] still can put balls in the seats and... butts in the seats. As opposed to you putting a tarp over them. The A's have to stop being a secret and start becoming an attraction."
- Brian Cashman: Phillies GM? So speculates Jim Salisbury. With no Johan but an injured Phil Hughes and ineffective Ian Kennedy, Cashman could find himself jettisoned by default from the organization should they miss the playoffs. Pat Gillick's contract is up after this year and Cashman once looked favorably on that gig. But if you ask me, Mr. Salisbury is getting way ahead of himself.
- Billy Wagner tells the New York Post's Steve Serby that he expects to retire after 2009. And he still hasn't had a bagel. That blows my mind.
By Nat Boyle