Jake Peavy Rumors
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.
- Following Thursday reports that the Braves will look to upgrade their rotation in the wake of Tim Hudson's season-ending injury, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets that Peavy is a "legit possibility" for Atlanta. Danny Knobler of CBS Sports reminded readers in yesterday's column the the Braves have had interest in Peavy and attempted to trade for him in the past.
- The Mariners had high-level scouts present at Peavy's start yesterday, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Recent reports have said that the Mariners aren't planning to sell, and they improved to 9-1 in their last 10 games by squashing the Twins last night.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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 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.”
The Giants have lost left-handed reliever Jeremy Affeldt for four-to-six weeks after a MRI revealed a moderate strain of muscle and tendon in his left groin, reports Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. Jose Mijares will absorb most of Affeldt's innings, but CSNBayArea.com's Andrew Baggarly writes the Giants could, if history is any guide, look to acquire another lefty reliever. Baggarly notes it was nearly three years ago to the day Affeldt injured his oblique and GM Brian Sabean acquired Javier Lopez, an under-the-radar move which paid dividends as the Giants won the World Series. In other news and notes from MLB's West divisions:
- While Affeldt's injury may change the calculus slightly, Baggarly, within that same article, sees the Giants continuing their quest for starting pitching. Manager Bruce Bochy loves Jake Peavy, but the two teams have not discussed a deal and the Giants don’t have the quantity or quality of trade chips to get a seat at the table, according to Baggarly.
- Ex-Giants closer Brian Wilson is expected to begin showcasing his arm for teams within the next few weeks and the Giants have asked Wilson's representative to include them in the process, reports Schulman. Wilson underwent his second Tommy John surgery 15 month ago.
- Dodgers GM Ned Colletti doesn't expect to make any franchise-altering deals prior to the Trade Deadline, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. "I don't know that that player is out there," Colletti said. "When I call around teams, there's not a lot of names of position players being discussed. I'm not sure if there's a market out there on the sell side."
- Earlier today, we learned the Dodgers are prepared to offer Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez something in the neighborhood of $50MM over five years. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, however, tweets sources have told him the Dodgers' interest in the Cuban right-hander is not as fervent as has been portrayed.
- Manager Eric Wedge doesn't think the fourth-place Mariners, winners of six straight, will be active at the Trade Deadline, writes MLB.com's Greg Johns. "Unless it's something that raises the bar, I don't think we're going to do anything," said Wedge. "We're not going to move somebody just to move somebody." The Mariners have several veterans on one-year deals, who could be appealing to contenders, including left-handed reliever Oliver Perez, left-handed starter Joe Saunders, outfielder Raul Ibanez, first baseman Kendrys Morales, and shortstop Brendan Ryan.
- Two years ago, the Dodgers had agreed to deals with both the Tigers and Red Sox for Hiroki Kuroda, but the right-hander invoked his no-trade clause to veto each trade. Through his interpreter, Kuroda provided FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal his rationale for refusing to join a team in the playoff hunt: if you only play for a team in August and September, it is not as meaningful as being with a club from Spring Training until the end of the season.
The three most prominent starting pitcher trade candidates reside in baseball's Central divisions: Matt Garza (Cubs), Jake Peavy (White Sox), and Yovani Gallardo (Brewers). The latest on the Garza rumors can be found here while Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune reports at least a half dozen scouts, including ex-Cub GMs Jim Hendry (Yankees) and Ed Lynch (Blue Jays) were on hand to see Peavy's outing against the Braves last night. "There are a lot of eyes on me, period," Peavy said after allowing two earned runs on seven hits during his six-inning stint (96 pitches). "I was trying to win for (27,294 fans) who came to support us. Whatever the scouts see, they see. I love to play and I love to compete. I want to win, that's the bottom line." The bottom line with Gallardo, according to a tweet from ESPN's Jayson Stark, is not a lot of enthusiasm for what two executives called a "4-5 starter" despite tossing six and 1/3 shutout innings against the Marlins last night. Here's more from the Central:
- The Tigers have made initial inquiries with the Padres about their relievers, sources tell FOXSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi (Twitter link). Morosi lists Huston Street and Luke Gregerson as possibilities.
- Both the Tigers and Red Sox are scouting Brewers' closer Francisco Rodriguez, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.
- The Pirates' biggest need is another bat but they are also exploring the pitching market and seeking a bench upgrade, tweets Jim Bowden of ESPN.com.
- Pirates GM Neal Huntington told reporters, including the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Rob Biertempfel (Twitter link), "We know players we want and we know what we're willing to give up. We're willing to stretch lot on some guys, not so much others."
- Huntington acknowledges he has the flexibility to add payroll "within reason," but would not elaborate, per a Biertempfel tweet.
- The Pirates had lost three in a row and Huntington blamed their struggles on BABIP, tweets Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The Pirates have also scuffled with runners in scoring position breaking an 0-for-29 drought with a pair of RBI singles this afternoon.
- Brandon Phillips addressed the reaction to his recent comments in a Cincinnati Magazine article, which quoted him as saying the six-year, $72.5MM contract extension he signed with the Reds in 2012 was a "slap in the face" and that GM Walt Jocketty and owner Bob Castellini lied to him during the process. "Do I feel like they lied to me? If someone tells me they don’t have no money and you find $200 million somewhere, what does that sound like?" Phillips told C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer, referencing the ten-year, $225MM deal first baseman Joey Votto completed with the Reds about a week before his own deal was announced. "I’m very happy for Joey, don’t get me wrong," the second baseman added. "It was basically, if you think about it, I was saying I thought I wasn’t going to be a Cincinnati Red ... if y’all want to take that to the negative way, be my guest, that doesn’t bother me."
- While there has been a great deal of speculation about Justin Morneau and other Twins, rival executives haven’t sensed a big push from Minnesota to make deals, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.com (via Twitter).
Edward Creech contributed to this post.
Earlier tonight we heard that Yankees GM Brian Cashman has been frustrated by what's on offer in this year's trade market, a sentiment Cardinals GM John Mozeliak echoed in comments reported by Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "To me, to sit here today and say what we might try to add just doesn’t make a lot of sense," Mozeliak said. "It’s not a great market to be shopping in for our particular needs." As the GM notes, the Cardinals don't have any glaring weaknesses, as they lead the NL in runs scored and rank fourth in the league in ERA. Some more Saturday night Redbirds links...
- FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal tweets that a Cards scout was present when Jake Peavy took the mound for the White Sox today against the Braves. However, like other talent evaluators in attendance, the scout may have been watching other players, too, Rosenthal notes.
- The Cardinals should seriously consider an extension for Carlos Beltran, who's set to become a free agent after this season, Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. Beltran was signed to serve as a bridge to top prospect Oscar Taveras, but Taveras has been hobbled by an ankle injury and has accumulated just 186 Triple-A plate appearances this season. Also noting the prospect's perceived maturity issues, Miklasz suggests St. Louis attempt to re-sign Beltran for another two years, which would allow him to mentor Taveras during his transition to the majors.
Here's the latest out of the AL central...
- The White Sox's Jake Peavy may be the top name on the trade market now that he's returned from the DL, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says. Up until now, most of the market's attention seems to have been on another Chicago hurler, the Cubs' Matt Garza, but a survey of GMs and assistant GMs favored Peavy, Heyman writes. Executives say they like Peavy's extra year of club control - allowing a club to extend a qualifying offer, which won't be an option for the team that acquires Garza - and overall appeared to be "pretty enamored" of the Chicago righty. "Peavy has been better than Garza except for lately and he has done it in a hitter's park in the American League," an NL GM said. "Garza's better for 2013, but I think Peavy has more overall value."
- Scouts from the Blue Jays, the Red Sox, the Yankees, the Orioles and the Diamondbacks were on hand for the White Sox's matchup with the Braves today, FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal tweets. However, not all were there to watch Peavy, who started for the White Sox and went six innings, striking out three and walking none. Rosenthal says Yankees scouts were in attendance merely as a part of the team's normal coverage, while the Diamondbacks aren't in on the righty.
- The Tigers hope to be the team that ends up with the Brewers' Francisco Rodriguez when the trade deadline passes, ESPN's Buster Olney reports (Twitter link). K-Rod appears to make the most sense for Detroit and Boston, Olney tweets, as he has experience in the ninth inning but can pitch in any role and any market.