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Jason Marquis Rumors
The Braves and Phillies are both interested in Hunter Pence (latest rumors) and have interest in the same collection of right-handed hitting outfielders as alternatives. Here's the latest on a division led by two of the NL's three 60-win teams…
- The Nationals want interested teams to take on the $2.2MM remaining on Jason Marquis' contract and surrender a prospect, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick (Twitter links). Marquis' suitors don't love the idea. The Tigers discussed a deal for the righty last night.
- Rival executives tell ESPN.com’s Buster Olney that Nationals GM Mike Rizzo is intent on finding a center fielder. "It's his Holy Grail," a rival GM said. "He's bound and determined to get an established guy.” Denard Span of the Twins is Rizzo’s current target.
- It looks like the Marlins won't make a deal before the trade deadline, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro (on Twitter).
- Mets GM Sandy Alderson has seen firsthand that Jose Reyes makes an immense difference on the field, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. Can the Mets afford the free agent to be after 2011? A surprising number of Mets executives expect to keep Reyes long-term, according to Sherman.
The Indians acquired Kosuke Fukudome from the Cubs today and they might not be done yet. GM Chris Antonetti told Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer that he’s open to adding another pitcher or a hitter – even another outfielder. Here are some other notes and rumors from around the AL Central…
- The Indians should see a "marginal improvement" after adding Fukudome, according to ESPN.com's Keith Law. The Indians, who gave up two "fringy" prospects for the outfielder, are getting a player with enough on-base skills to help out.
- Antonetti, by the way, called the improvement “incremental.”
- MLB.com’s Bill Ladson confirms that the Tigers are interested in Jason Marquis (Twitter link). A scout suggested to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that Marquis is out there now and could clear waivers next month to enable an August trade (Twitter link).
- There are indications that Joakim Soria will stay in Kansas City, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
The Nationals acquired Jonny Gomes today and Washington is also eyeing center field help. The Nationals are scouting Peter Bourjos, Michael Bourn, Denard Span, Colby Rasmus and B.J. Upton as they look to upgrade. Here are some other notes from D.C., where the Nationals host the Marlins tonight…
- As Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post explains, trading Ian Desmond now "would be the epitome of selling low." The shortstop would be available in the right deal, but there's still a chance he can become a long-term contributor in Washington.
- Bill Ladson of MLB.com hears that the Nationals consider Desmond part of their future and aren't planning to move him (Twitter link).
- Before the Gomes deal, Nationals manager Davey Johnson told Kilgore that he was "not really anticipating a big trade" (Twitter link).
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports hears mixed opinions on whether the Nationals will trade Jason Marquis (Twitter link).
The AL Central has only one clear seller at this point in the Royals, and they don't have much to offer. The White Sox and Twins will add a lot to the trade market if they decide to wave the white flag. The latest on the division:
- The Tigers' list of starting pitching targets includes Ubaldo Jimenez, Hiroki Kuroda, Aaron Harang, Jeremy Guthrie, and Jason Marquis, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. However, the Padres are more inclined to keep Harang and try to re-sign him, tweets ESPN's Jayson Stark. Harang picked up his ninth win today in Philadelphia.
- The White Sox are scouting the farm systems of the Yankees, Red Sox, and Phillies in case they decide to sell, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
- In a series of three tweets, Joel Sherman of the New York Post explains why the Indians are setting their sights low as they seek a right-handed hitting outfielder. I think the biggest point is that they expect Grady Sizemore and Shin-Soo Choo back in August.
- Indians corner infielder Jared Goedert cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A, tweets Morosi. Another procedural note: Tigers lefty Brad Thomas is now on the 60-day DL rather than being outrighted, tweets MLB.com's Jason Beck.
- The Twins reached an agreement with Vanderbilt lefty Corey Williams for just under $600K, tweets ESPN's Keith Law. Williams, the team's third-round pick, signed above slot.
Michael Morse could be "the biggest bargain in baseball," writes Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post. Morse, earning just $1.05MM this season, is hitting .311/.360/.552 for the Nats and is under team control through 2013. Boswell warns that it could be too early for Washington to explore a multiyear deal with Morse, however, given that Jayson Werth "could be the next overvalued Vernon Wells" in terms of an albatross contract and Morse is still somewhat unproven.
Some more Nats notes, courtesy of another Washington Post writer, Adam Kilgore…
- Ian Desmond has drawn interest from several teams but the shortstop is considered one of the Nats' core players and GM Mike Rizzo has stated the club isn't moving any of those pieces.
- Jason Marquis and Livan Hernandez are getting the most trade interest of any of Washington's starters, though the club isn't "actively shopping" either hurler. Kilgore hears from one Major League executive that the Nats' "perception of [Marquis'] value exceeded that of the league’s" and thus Marquis wouldn't be dealt.
- Ryan Zimmerman, who has known B.J. Upton since childhood, endorsed the idea of Upton coming to Washington. "I mean, I like the team we have here,” Zimmerman said. “Anytime you had talented players to your team, it gives you a better chance to win. That’s the ultimate goal. If he’s going to help us win, I’d love to have him on our team.” The Nationals have been interested in Upton for a while, but Kilgore notes that the team is looking for a long-term answer in center field and Upton is only under contract through 2012.
The Nationals are listening on top relievers Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, but such a trade would have to fill a specific long-term need such as center field. Teams are calling on Storen, Clippard, and Todd Coffey.
Potential center field targets for Washington include B.J. Upton, Michael Bourn, Colby Rasmus, and Denard Span, writes Rosenthal. He believes that a reliever alone probably would not bring back a center fielder, but the Nats could also trade shortstop Ian Desmond since some club officials would like to move Danny Espinosa to shortstop.
Storen is under team control through 2016, Clippard and Desmond through '15. Desmond would be an interesting name for teams seeking shortstop help, though he's limped to a .226/.269/.311 line in 361 plate appearances this year.
The Nationals also have starting pitching to spare, as ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweets that they will move Jason Marquis, Livan Hernandez, and Tom Gorzelanny. Gorzelanny is a bit of a surprise, as he's got strong strikeout and walk rates and is under team control through 2013.
Nats right-hander Jason Marquis is in the final year of a two-year, $15MM deal and he says that he wants to continue his career with the club beyond this season, writes Bill Ladson of MLB.com. The two sides have not talked about a contract extension, but Marquis is looking for a multiyear deal.
"Anybody would want a multiyear deal. That's how the game works," the veteran said. "I don't think anyone would turn down a four for a one."
Marquis has long been looked at as a trade candidate due to the expected lack of top-notch arms to be available at the trade deadline. Last week, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe wrote that Marquis could be had in a deal if Washington received enough young talent in return.
In 13 starts this season, Marquis has a 3.67 ERA with 5.2 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9.
In today's column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe discusses Buster Posey and Scott Cousins, examines what went wrong with Daisuke Matsuzaka, and lists 25 of baseball's most passionate people. Here are the other highlights from Cafardo's piece:
- A National League talent evaluator on Carlos Beltran: "A contending team is going to get Beltran at the trading deadline, and they’re going to be very happy with him. He can still hit. He can be an emotional guy, but put him in a place where it counts, and he’ll produce for you."
- At least a couple National League teams are eyeing Vladimir Guerrero as a potential trade deadline pickup. As Cafardo notes, the primary concern for NL clubs is how significant a defensive liability Guerrero would be.
- Jason Marquis could be had in a trade if the Nationals received young talent in return. Cafardo speculates that Josh Reddick would be enough to acquire Marquis, but the Red Sox appear to be content with Tim Wakefield at the back of their rotation for now.
- Joakim Soria's demotion from the closer's role doesn't make him any more available via trade. Cafardo spoke to Royals people who said the team still wasn't considering dealing Soria.
ESPN's Jayson Stark recently chatted with fans about several topics, including these hot stove-related items…
- Stark predicts there won't be "a lot of difference-making starters" available at the trade deadline this summer, so a lower-tier arm like Jason Marquis could garner some interest if Washington makes him available.
- It has been widely assumed that this is Jonathan Papelbon's last year in Boston, but Stark isn't so sure the stopper will find a better deal elsewhere. "He'll test the market," Stark writes, "but you'll have a ton of closers out there this winter. [Papelbon] might not get what he thinks he'll get."
- Stark hears from teams who have "kicked the tires" about acquiring Derek Lowe that the Braves want to keep the veteran right-hander. (Stark's ESPN colleague Buster Olney reported the same earlier this week.) Atlanta values its starting pitching depth, which has already been tested this season with Brandon Beachy's current DL stint.
- The Phillies "can't add anybody who makes even modest money unless ownership signs off on it," which could leave them unable to make a major acquisition at the trade deadline.
- Stark has heard from some general managers that "eventually, there will be a push to get rid of the DH" to get both leagues playing under the same set of rules. Such a rule change would be years away from being implemented, however, since teams have spent a lot on players who they intended to use as designated hitters now or in the future.
- The Orioles don't seem like they'd be willing to trade Jeremy Guthrie, and Luke Scott "isn't an easy guy to deal" given his controversial political views.
- Jesus Montero "isn't ready" for the majors yet, according to some International League scouts.
The Rockies, who are about to start a series with the defending World Champions, have baseball's best record so far this year. GM Dan O'Dowd told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that the team's resilience has contributed to its fast start. “We’re a confident, persistent club,” O’Dowd said. Troy Tulowitzki's hot streak hasn't hurt, either. Here are the rest of Rosenthal's rumors:
- One scout who has followed the Tigers this year predicts that they'll be looking for pitching help later this season. At some point minor leaguers Andy Oliver and Jacob Turner could help the Tigers, who are 12th in the AL with 77 runs allowed.
- A rival official says Mets GM Sandy Alderson will not offer Jose Reyes $100MM to stay in New York. It appears likely that Reyes will be on the trading block this summer, so MLBTR's Steve Adams recently outlined some possible destinations for him.
- Scouts are high on Angels prospect Mike Trout, praising his baserunning instincts, speed and power.
- Jason Marquis is a potential trade candidate, according to Rosenthal. The Nationals' right-hander has a 3.26 ERA in three starts so far this season.
- The White Sox don't plan to look outside of the organization for bullpen help at this point, despite their issues holding leads late in games.