Jake Peavy Rumors

NL East Notes: Utley, Lee, Peavy, Santana

The Phillies are clearly in sell mode after dropping five of six since the All-Star break, and should now begin fielding offers for Chase UtleyMarcus Hayes of the Philadelphia Daily News says. The oft-injured Utley can no longer man second base for a full season in the National League, but would do well in a situation where he could regularly play first and DH for an American League team, while appearing at second only occasionally, Hayes opines. Shipping Utley to another club would clear a spot for prospect Freddy Galvis, who's now in Triple-A. As Hayes notes, Utley too was once a 23-year-old prospect blocked by an aging veteran at the keystone. On to tonight's NL East links:

  • Cliff Lee's best asset is his durability, as he's "never hurt" and "always goes out there," an executive tells Jayson Stark of ESPN (Twitter link). Lee, of course, offers other virtues, including a 3.05 ERA in 144 2/3 innings this year. We heard this week that the Phillies will listen to offers for their ace.
  • The Braves continue to assess the cost of starting pitchers such as the White Sox's Jake Peavy and the Royals' Ervin Santana, whom they consider to be "legit upgrades," Mark Bowman of MLB.com tweets. However, their focus is on landing a reliever. In a second tweet, Bowman says Atlanta's deep rotation and the high price tag on starting pitching this year make it more likely that the club will acquire bullpen help and/or a backup infielder.
  • Discussing potential trades, Braves GM Frank Wren says payroll isn't an issue for his club, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution tweets. "It’s going to be the talent we have to give up," Wren said.

AL Central Notes: Lindstrom, Hochevar, Santana

Tonight's AL Central Links..

  • The White Sox are shopping right-handed reliever Matt Lindstrom along with Alex Rios, Jake Peavy, and Alexei RamirezDanny Knobler of CBSSports.com tweets. However, it's unclear how much interest other teams have, Knobler adds. Lindstrom, 33, has a 3.35 ERA in 40 1/3 innings pitched and has yet to allow a home run this year. However, his 6.2 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9 could give some teams some pause.
  • We've heard the Royals have set a high price for Ervin Santana, and now Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that rival executives believe Luke Hochevar may be more likely to be traded. One executive described the 29-year-old Hochevar as "a hot item," as he's blossomed in the bullpen this season, posting a 1.89 ERA in 38 innings after struggling in the Royals' rotation for years. Some clubs may believe he could return to a starting role, potentially increasing his value. He's expected to draw interest from the Braves and Dodgers, among other teams. 
  • Meanwhile, Santana may also be a fit in Atlanta, Heyman says. That matches with what we've heard, though the Royals are indicating they'd need to be "overwhelmed" to trade him. Kansas City is targeting right field and second base help, Heyman adds.
  • An official familiar with the situation tells Knobler that a trade sending Ramirez from the White Sox to the Cardinals is "not likely," though as Knobler notes, such a deal appears to make sense on paper. Shortstop is the one position in a stacked St. Louis lineup that could use an upgrade, while the Sox are open for business and had a top scout in St. Louis this week. The two teams have discussed Ramirez along with Peavy, according to Knobler, who also reports that the Rangers maintain their interest in Rios. The Pirates may also be involved in Rios talks. Peavy, meanwhile, appears to be drawing the most attention from the Red Sox, but the A's and Braves have also expressed interest in the right-hander.
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AL West Notes: Athletics, Rangers, Astros

After a look at the AL East earlier this morning, let's turn our attention out west …

  • While the Athletics are looking to buttress their 4-game division lead by buying at the deadline, John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group reports that the club is finding supply to be limited. "Right now there are more buyers than there are sellers, more buyers than last year," says GM Billy Beane. Second base and starting pitching are the needs atop Oakland's wish list, team sources tell Hickey. In spite of the rotation's solid performance to date, Hickey says a trade could allow the team to utilize Brett Anderson in a bullpen role when he returns from injury. Citing Beane's apparent willingness to take on some relatively significant salary obligations, Hickey lists Jake Peavy (White Sox), Edinson Volquez (Padres), Bud Norris (Astros), and Kyle Lohse (Brewers) as potential targets.
  • After adding starter Matt Garza, the Rangers are looking at dealing for an outfielder, writes CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman. Currently, says Heyman, Alex Rios of the White Sox is the most likely candidate for Texas. Heyman further notes, however, that the club could look to wait out the market in the hopes that players like Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins, Michael Cuddyer of the Rockies, Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays, or the Giants' Hunter Pence become available, with Pence being the most likely among those to change hands. Texas has also considered Chris Denorfia of the Padres, Marlon Byrd of the Mets, and Justin Ruggiano of the Marlins, though Heyman notes that those options would rank below Rios in terms of impact. 
  • The Astros' Mark Appel is the highest-rated player from the recent amateur draft on MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo's updated Top 100 prospects list. As Mayo explains in his overview of the changes to the list, the top overall choice leads a group of eight recently-drafted players to crack the top 100. Houston is tied with the Red Sox with the most total players to make Mayo's list, with eight apiece. In terms of a simple weighting metric that Mayo calls "Prospect Points," the 'Stros have the most overall prospect value in baseball in high-end prospects, followed closely by the Twins. Though the Astros passed on top overall prospect Byron Buxton in last year's draft, its strategy enabled it to land the players currently checking in at number nine (Carlos Correa) and number sixty-five (Lance McCullers) instead.


Braves Seeking Front-Line Starting Pitcher

3:02pm: Clubs that have spoken with the Braves get the sense that they won't trade for a starter, according to ESPN's Jayson Stark (on Twitter). The Braves are adamant in their stance on not trading top prospects and are more focused on the bullpen. Stark adds that the Braves also aren't "roaring down the Bud Norris trail," as he lacks the big game experience that the Braves prefer when acquiring a pitcher.

FRIDAY, 12:15pm: The Braves are more focused on front-line starting pitchers such as Jake Peavy and Ervin Santana than they are on Norris, writes Mark Bowman of MLB.com. Peavy's 118-pitch outing yesterday, which was scouted by the Braves, helped to quell some of the hesitation surrounding his health, Bowman adds. The Braves aren't interested in Yovani Gallardo, according to Bowman, but they may contact the Brewers regarding Kyle Lohse's availability.

THURSDAY, 10:00pm: The Braves are among the teams that are actively pursuing Astros right-hander Bud Norris, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter).

Norris, 28, has a 3.93 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 126 1/3 innings for the Astros this season. He carries a significant platoon split, as lefties have rocked him at a .306/.365/.494 clip. Despite his struggles against lefties, Norris has drawn interest from multiple teams, including the Red Sox, Pirates, Phillies, Rangers, Giants and Dodgers throughout the summer. 

2:37pm: In the wake of Tim Hudson's season-ending ankle injury last night, the Braves will consider making a trade to upgrade their rotation, writes David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journa-Constitution. O'Brien was among the reporters who spoke with general manager Frank Wren today, who told the media:

“A lot of thoughts have gone through my mind since last night. It’s created a lot more (trade) discussions, there’s no question.”

It wasn't long ago that the Braves looked to have an enviable surplus of starting pitching with Hudson, Mike Minor, Julio Teheran, Paul Maholm and Kris Medlen in the rotation and a returning Brandon Beachy on the horizon. However, the team has seen Maholm and Medlen struggle tremendously lately, and Maholm is slated to miss his next three starts with a sprained left wrist. The Braves feel that Beachy is ready to return, and rookie Alex Wood presents another option, but he didn't escape the fifth inning today. Wood lasted just three frames in his only other start for the Braves this season.

Wren and his top assistants will convene over the weekend to discuss their options, O'Brien writes. That group will try to determine if there's a starting option on the market who can improve the team significantly without costing too much in terms of young talent. ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweets that Wren, like most general managers, is waiting to see if the asking prices on available starters drops as the deadline nears. O'Brien adds that the Braves are not in the mix for Cuban right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez.

Earlier today it was reported that the Braves will be one of the many teams scouting Jake Peavy's start against the Tigers in Chicago. The team also remains in the market for a left-handed reliever to fortify its bullpen after losing Jonny Venters and Eric O'Flaherty to Tommy John surgery.


Jake Peavy Rumors: Friday

Jake Peavy made what could have been his last start as a member of the White Sox yesterday, beating the Tigers after he allowed four runs on four hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in seven innings. He was done in by a trio of homers, but Peavy also fired 118 pitches, which has to be seen as a positive sign following his recent stint on the disabled list. The Cardinals, Braves, Dodgers, Orioles and Reds were all reported yesterday to have scouts in attendance for the start. Here are Friday's Peavy-related rumors…

  • The Braves could become a wild card in the Peavy sweepstakes, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports confirms. The current frontrunners for Peavy appear to be the A's, Cardinals and Red Sox at this time, adds Heyman.

Earlier Updates


Jake Peavy Rumors: Thursday

Jake Peavy could make his last start as a member of the White Sox this afternoon, as he takes on Justin Verlander and the Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field.  The Sox aren't sure what they want to do with Peavy yet, writes ESPN's Buster Olney, but their asking price is "really high."  The latest: 

  • The Red Sox, Cardinals, Dodgers, Braves, Orioles, and Reds each have a scout in attendance, tweets ESPN's Jayson Stark, while the Rangers have two.  Athletics director of player personnel Billy Owens is also there, tweets Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.  Keep in mind that their presence does not necessarily imply trade interest in Peavy.

Earlier Updates

  • GM Rick Hahn keeps Peavy "abreast of what's going on," the righty told reporters including Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune.  Peavy says he doesn't want to be traded, but he's prepared for the possibility.  The Red Sox and Diamondbacks are expected to have two scouts apiece at today's start, notes Gonzales.
  • The Cardinals and White Sox "continue to scout each other's personnel," writes Gonzales.  Shortstop Alexei Ramirez could also be a fit for the Cardinals, but not at the cost of their top arms.
  • "ERA-based reputation still holds a lot of sway," writes Dave Cameron of FanGraphs in trying to understand the perception that Matt Garza had more trade value than Peavy.  That might make Peavy a relative bargain, he suggests.  I tried to make the case for Peavy in our Monday poll, but about 65% of over 26,000 MLBTR readers polled felt Garza had more trade value.

Rosenthal On Cardinals, Athletics, Stanton

Ken Rosenthal's latest column for FOX Sports begins with a look at the Braves' rotation without veteran Tim Hudson, who sustained a season-ending ankle fracture last night.  Rosenthal notes it's a very young group without Hudson, and seems to be lacking a true number one starter.  Such a pitcher is probably not available on the trade market, which I imagine the Braves will be eyeing more keenly.  Elsewhere from Rosenthal's column:

  • The Cardinals are not actively pursuing the Astros' Bud Norris or the Blue Jays' Mark Buehrle.  The Cards didn't push for Matt Garza, but did scout Jake Peavy's last start.  Ervin Santana is available as well, but Rosenthal wonders if "a trade might not be worth the trouble," given the Cardinals' current group of talented young pitchers.
  • The Red Sox never got serious on Garza due to concerns with his injury history.  The Red Sox and Tigers were the other AL clubs in on reliever Francisco Rodriguez, who was recently traded to the Orioles.
  • After making a late run at Garza, the Athletics are interested in Peavy and Santana.  Sometimes it helps to add to a strength, explains Rosenthal.
  • The Rangers ask the Marlins for Giancarlo Stanton "every week," a Major League source tells Rosenthal, and keep hearing "no."  In addition to Alex Rios of the White Sox, the Rangers are considering Justin Ruggiano of the Marlins and Chris Denorfia of the Padres.  However, they have "not mounted a serious push" for Ruggiano, while the Padres don't plan to trade Denorfia or teammate Carlos Quentin.
  • "Some with the Brewers" wonder if the presence of Ryan Braun might make it more difficult to attract free agents.
  • The Phillies are "narrowing their search for a backup center fielder," writes Rosenthal, and the recently-designated Chris Dickerson could be one option.

Jake Peavy Rumors: Wednesday

Yesterday we learned that the Cardinals and Red Sox may have emerged as two potential destinations for Jake Peavy, who could be the top name on the trade market now that the Rangers have acquired Matt Garza. Speaking to reporters this week, the righty speculated that the completed Garza deal may trigger more trades. “Just thinking about leverage and stuff, you think Garza is probably the biggest name out there so to speak,” Peavy said. “You would think other teams would wait until that to set the market and kind of happen before." On to today's Peavy rumors:

  • An industry source tells Alex Speier of WEEI.com that Middlebrooks hasn't been discussed with the White Sox in "any context."
  • Will Middlebrooks has been mentioned in trade talks with the Red Sox, sources tell Scott Merkin of MLB.com.  The 24-year-old would fill a need moving for the White Sox as an impact type player to help fill out the infield.
  • While many have opined that the White Sox should be eager to trade Peavy, teams tell ESPN's Buster Olney (Twitter link) that the Sox have yet to decide whether they want to keep him for 2014. The White Sox have exchanged trade proposals, but the price is high.
  • The A's could be a dark horse candidate in Peavy discussions, CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman reports. Though the A's have a stocked starting rotation, they had a scout at Peavy's first start back from the disabled list and were involved in talks for Garza "at the 11th hour" before he was shipped to Texas, Heyman adds. According to sources, Billy Beane says he'd prefer to try to boost his team with a very good starting pitcher rather than a mediocre hitter, regardless of what the team's needs are. If they do pull off a trade for the veteran, top prospect Sonny Gray or Brett Anderson, who is nearly ready to return from the DL, could shift to the bullpen.

White Sox Notes: Ramirez, Peavy, Crain

8:04am: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets that the White Sox did not turn down Martinez for Ramirez, though he wouldn't be surprised if the Cardinals are indeed interested in Chicago's shortstop.

12:29am: The White Sox have as many trade chips as any deadline seller in the majors and they're putting a high price tag on their key players.  According to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune, the Sox recently turned down a trade offer from the Cardinals that would have sent shortstop Alexei Ramirez to St. Louis in exchange for right-hander Carlos Martinez, one of the many elite prospects in the Cards' minor league system.  Gonzales said the deal was "involving" those two players, so it was likely not a one-for-one swap.

The Cardinals had been relying on Pete Kozma at short ever since Rafael Furcal underwent Tommy John surgery in March, and while Ramirez's production has dropped, he still would've presented a big upgrade.  Ramirez entered Tuesday's play hitting .284/.310/.357 in 408 PA but only one homer and 23 RBI.  Ramirez averaged 17 homers per year from 2008-11 but has just 10 homers total over 1029 PA in 2012-13.  While his power isn't what it used to be, Ramirez has 20 steals (in 26 chances) this year and is one of the game's better defensive shortstops, with an 8.5 UZR/150 this season and a 7.7 UZR/150 for his career.

Ramirez still has value, but he turns 32 in September and is owed roughly $22MM through the end of the 2015 season, plus a $10MM club option for 2016 that can be bought out for $1MM.  By that token it's surprising that the White Sox weren't willing to move the veteran for Martinez, a consensus top-40 prospect controlled through the 2019 season, though as noted, there may have been more to this trade than simply Ramirez for Martinez straight-up.

The 21-year-old Martinez was ranked as the third-best prospect in the St. Louis farm system by Baseball America, and he possesses "a biting curveball" and a changeup and could both become plus pitches. His fastball has touched 100 mph but usually clocks in the 94-98 mph range.  Martinez made his Major League debut this season and has 11 strikeouts in 10 1/3 relief innings.  His 6.10 ERA is largely due to a tough outing last Friday when he allowed three runs in a third of an inning against San Diego.

Also from Gonzales, Jake Peavy and Jesse Crain are drawing a lot of interest and scouts from the Diamondbacks, Reds, Braves, Red Sox and Dodgers are expected to be in Chicago through the end of the week to watch one or both men pitch.  Peavy just recently returned from a DL stint while Crain is currently on the DL with a sprained right shoulder but could be activated by Sunday.


Jake Peavy Rumors: Tuesday

Jake Peavy returned from the DL to throw a quality start against the Braves on Saturday, which helped to quell fears about his health and also reignited speculation that Peavy could be a trade candidate.  Here's the latest on the White Sox right-hander…

  • The Indians aren't a trade match for Peavy, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman tweets.
  • The Cardinals and Red Sox "appear to be emerging as two of the potential players" for Peavy's services, Jon Heyman reports.  We recently heard that Boston was preparing to scout Peavy, though the team's interest in him or any starter is likely dependent on Clay Buchholz's injury status.  Heyman speculates that the Diamondbacks could be interested in Peavy given his relationship with GM Kevin Towers dating back to their days in the Padres organization.  It was reported last week that the D'Backs had at least discussed Peavy as a possible target.
  • Peavy told reporters (including Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago) that he kept an eye on the Matt Garza trade rumors since once Garza was moved, he could quite possibly be the next biggest pitcher available.  “Just thinking about leverage and stuff, you think Garza is probably the biggest name out there so to speak,” Peavy said. “You would think other teams would wait until that to set the market and kind of happen before. That’s my mind, my general manager mind….We’ll see how the next few days plays out.”
  • In comparing a possible Peavy trade to what the Rangers gave up to acquire Garza, Hayes hears from one source that "the Rangers were desperate and overpaid," while another source felt the Cubs got good prospects but no "slam dunk" future stars like Jurickson Profar.  If you want to weigh in on the respective trade values of Garza and Peavy, vote now in yesterday's MLBTR Poll.
  • Both Hayes and Paul Konerko note that White Sox GM Rick Hahn isn't pressured to deal Peavy or Alex Rios by the deadline as both players are under contract for 2014.  “If you don’t like what you’re getting and you know there’s no rush, then you can just wait and maybe down the road you get something else,” Konerko said. “I think everybody thinks it has to happen…But when you look at it from really what it is, it really doesn’t. It could still, but it might not be the urgency that some people think.”