Jeremy Guthrie Rumors

Rockies Notes: Giambi, Scutaro, Guthrie

The Rockies are expected to trade some players this summer after failing to meet expectations through the first three months of the 2012 season, Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes. Here's Renck's breakdown of the Rockies' trade candidates:

  • Jason Giambi could help a contender as a left-handed bat off of the bench, Renck writes. Though Giambi doesn’t want to leave Denver, he understands a trade could take place. "You can't worry about it. If it happens, it happens. It's like playing in your free agency year. Just go play. But I love it here," he told Renck. 
  • Marco Scutaro could be in demand this summer, when the Tigers are expected to be among the teams seeking middle infield depth. Scutaro says he’d prefer to stay in Colorado, though it’s not his choice. "Sometimes you hear all the rumors and nothing happens. Then it's quiet, like with me last winter, and I got traded."
  • Jeremy Guthrie could be moved, even if it’s just for salary relief. The Blue Jays had interest in Guthrie, but talks cooled. Like Giambi and Scutaro, Guthrie will hit free agency this offseason.

AL East Notes: Guthrie, Yankees, Stewart, Red Sox

Items out of the American League East..


Rosenthal’s Latest: Nationals, Guthrie, Angels, Porcello

In today's column, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports argues that the biggest trade of the season has already been made. No, not Kevin Youkilis to the White Sox. He's referring to Ernesto Frieri, who's thrown 22 scoreless innings for the Angels team since being acquired from the Padres. Here are the rest of Rosenthal's rumors…

  • The Nationals have been poking around for a right-handed hitting corner infielder to replace Mark DeRosa, who is hurt and declining. John Lannan has improved his trade stock by pitching better of late in Triple-A.
  • The Rockies have cooled on the idea of trading Jeremy Guthrie for the time being because they feel he could thrive in the bullpen as part of their four-man rotation setup. The team's current stance is that they'll only deal him if a club offers real talent or salary relief.
  • The Diamondbacks backed off Youkilis because of concerns about his defense on the hard and fast infield at Chase Field. They expect Stephen Drew to return this week to bolster their infield.
  • The Angels were not in on Youkilis but remain on the lookout for bullpen help, specifically a left-on-left reliever who would be an upgrade over Hisanori Takahashi. They're also looking for Triple-A starting pitching depth.
  • Rosenthal say talk about Rick Porcello as a trade candidate makes sense given his salary ($3.1MM) and ground ball approach on a Tigers team with poor infield defense.
  • The Braves will be a team to watch before the deadline, specifically in the starting pitching market following Brandon Beachy's injury.


AL East Notes: Soriano, Werner, Guthrie, Orioles

Rays prospect Chris Archer will make his Major League debut on Wednesday against the Nationals, filling in while Jeremy Hellickson is on the 15-day disabled list with shoulder fatigue.  Archer was ranked as the 89th-best prospect in the game by Baseball America before the season, though that was down from a #27 ranking the year prior due to Archer's fairly unimpressive 2011 campaign at Double-A.  This season, Archer has a 4.81 ERA, a 10.6 K/9 rate and 90 strikeouts (against 45 walks) in 14 starts for Triple-A Durham.

Here's some other news from around the AL East…

  • Rafael Soriano's success as the Yankees' closer could lead to him opting out of his contract for 2013 and becoming a free agent, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post.  Soriano is set to earn $14MM from the Yankees in 2013, but could opt out in search of a longer-term commitment and a full-time closer's job, as Soriano will again be Mariano Rivera's set-up man if he stays in New York.  Sherman argues that Soriano's experience in high-pressure AL East games could help him find the multiyear deal that eluded most closers last offseason.
  • Red Sox chairman Tom Werner (in an interview with WEEI's The Big Show, as partially recapped by WEEI.com's Paul Flannery) denied Theo Epstein's recent statements about ownership pressure contributing to free agency decisions during Epstein's tenure as the team's general manager.  "We don't dictate who Theo or Ben [Cherington] should sign," Werner said. "What we do is we try to give them the resources to be successful. There's a sense that non-baseball people are telling baseball people what to do, but what we do is we try to create the revenue streams for our baseball operations people to be successful."
  • The Blue Jays have "been most active" in trade negotiations for Rockies' right-hander Jeremy Guthrie, tweets Troy Renck of the Denver Post.  We heard about Toronto's interest in Guthrie over the weekend but now that Guthrie has been moved to Colorado's bullpen, it will no doubt affect his trade value.
  • Former Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail deserves some of the credit for the team's early-season success, argues Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun.
  • The Orioles haven't made any progress with top two draft picks Kevin Gausman (4th overall) and Branden Kline (65th overall), tweets Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun.  Connolly "wouldn't be surprised if [negotiations] take a while" between the team and the two right-handers.

Rockies, Blue Jays Discussing Guthrie Deal

4:01pm: The Rockies and Blue Jays are still discussing Guthrie, Renck reports (Twitter links). There's a potential fit, but the Rockies would like someone other than McDade. As many as four clubs are interested, Renck reports.

MONDAY, 7:57am: The Rockies are looking to move Guthrie's salary for one prospect, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports (on Twitter). Renck confirms that the Rockies and Blue Jays have discussed a possible deal.

SUNDAY: The Rockies are ready to part ways with Jeremy Guthrie and have informed the rest of the league that the right-hander is available immediately, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN.com. Count the Blue Jays as one of Guthrie's potential suitors as Toronto has contacted Colorado to discuss the framework of a possible deal, report Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. One trade scenario would have the Jays assuming a major portion of Guthrie's contract as the Rockies would receive only a lower-tier prospect such as Double-A first baseman Mike McDade.

The former Orioles ace has struggled both on and off the mound since arriving in Colorado during the offseason. Known for his propensity to ride his bicycle to the ballpark, Guthrie landed on the disabled list in April when the chain on his bike popped, causing him to fall on his pitching shoulder. After pitching to a 4.12 ERA in five seasons with the O's, Guthrie has been prone to the home run in Denver as he's posted a 6.91 ERA with 4.5 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 10 starts. 


National League Notes: Guthrie, Rodriguez, Appel

The Phillies (31-37), Brewers (30-36) and Diamondbacks (32-34), last year's division winners in the National League, have all lost more games than they've won to this point in the season. Here's some news from the NL…

  • Troy Renck of the Denver Post expects the Rockies to trade Jeremy Guthrie (Twitter link). The Blue Jays have some interest in Guthrie, so it’s a question of how quickly trade talks develop.
  • A Nationals official said Henry Rodriguez is “not going anywhere" even though the Nationals have a crowded bullpen, according to Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider.
  • In response to a reader question, Jim Callis of Baseball America explains that first round selection Mark Appel couldn’t necessarily become a free agent by refusing to sign with the Pirates then spending a season in Japan. MLB would likely attempt to ensure that Appel remained eligible for the 2013 draft. Callis suggests it's in Appel's best interest to sign with Pittsburgh for $3.5-4MM.

Heyman On Brewers, Liriano, Castro

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com lists 45 potential trade candidates in anticipation of this summer’s deals. Here are some highlights, starting with a team that could be a buyer, rather than a seller:

  • One GM questions Zack Greinke’s ability to thrive in major markets. Keep in mind that Brewers owner Mark Attanasio has a buyer’s mindset as the deadline approaches. Greinke and others on Milwaukee’s roster may not be available.
  • Fellow Brewers starter Shaun Marcum is no better than a fourth starter in the American League, according to a GM. It's worth noting that Marcum posted a 3.85 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in five seasons in the American League East when he pitched for the Blue Jays.
  • An American League executive said Padres starter Edinson Volquez “has good value,” Heyman reports.
  • One person said Twins left-hander Francisco Liriano is worth a short-term look.
  • Royals GM Dayton Moore may like Jeff Francoeur more than any other team does.
  • Jeremy Guthrie will have to string together some quality outings to restore his trade value, one executive said. 
  • Heyman hears from a Cubs official who says the team hasn't mentioned Starlin Castro's name in trade talks (Twitter link). The Cubs appear to be willing to listen on most of their players, including Castro.

Jeremy Guthrie Trade Reactions

The Orioles agreed to send Jeremy Guthrie to the Rockies for Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom in a deal that was announced earlier today. The trade provides the Rockies with an innings eater atop a rotation filled with uncertainty and gives the Orioles two players who are under team control through 2013. Here are some reactions to the deal:

  • Guthrie wrote on Twitter that Nick Swisher's batting average is one of the 'losers' of the trade. Swisher has a .448 average in 29 career plate appearances against Guthrie.
  • The Orioles should have traded Guthrie at or before last year's July 31st trade deadline, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes. Rosenthal says Guthrie had more trade value when he was further away from free agency. The Tigers, Rangers and Cardinals had interest in Guthrie last summer, Rosenthal tweets.
  • Guthrie told reporters, including Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com and Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, that he was surprised to be traded since he and the Orioles had been preparing for an arbitration hearing.
  • ESPN.com's Buster Olney hears arbitration talks between Guthrie and the Orioles were contentious leading up to today's scheduled hearing (Twitter links). Olney hears the Orioles and Rockies started discussing Guthrie at last year's trade deadline and continued talks at the November GM Meetings.
  • Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd joined Jim Duquette and Kevin Kennedy on MLB Network Radio and said the Rockies have admired Guthrie for a while. O'Dowd had discussed the right-hander with Andy MacPhail before the Orioles' recent regime change.
  • Connolly hears that Eric Young Jr. came up in trade talks, before the Orioles decided he wasn't a fit. The infielder is out of options and the Orioles have a full 40-man roster.
  • Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com explains that Guthrie could be better off in Denver, since NL West teams play in a number of big ballparks and Guthrie lives in Utah.
  • The Rockies' offer was 'by far' the best one the Orioles received, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com tweets.
  • Orioles executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette weighed in on the trade earlier today.

Duquette On Guthrie, Bullpen, Manny

With starter Jeremy Guthrie entering his contract year, Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette felt compelled to send him to the Rockies for pitchers Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom, who can both be controlled for 2013.  Duquette praised the strikeout-to-walk ratios of his new additions.  Other notes from Duquette's conference call today:

  • Duquette feels Hammel essentially replaces Guthrie's innings in the rotation, and Lindstrom represents a power arm at the back of the Orioles' bullpen.  By the way, for the latest bullpen depth charts check out RotoAuthority, and for breaking news about stoppers follow @closernews on Twitter.
  • Duquette didn't care to speculate on whether the Orioles would have retained Guthrie had he settled a month ago on a figure closer to the team's $7.25MM submission.  He did note that he didn't think that salary was possible unless they won a hearing.  Upon the trade Guthrie ended up settling below the midpoint, at $8.2MM.
  • "We didn't have any offers of young prospects for Jeremy," Duquette told reporters.
  • The Orioles top exec wouldn't comment on the Rangers' Koji Uehara, but he did say, "We would still like to strengthen our bullpen between now and Spring Training."
  • Duquette admitted he's had exploratory talks with Manny Ramirez's agent and the Orioles have seen him work out, but added, "We are still considering the composition of this club, and some of the challenges of integrating a player like Manny into our ballclub and market."

Rockies To Acquire Guthrie For Hammel, Lindstrom

"Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Baltimore anymore," tweeted righty Jeremy Guthrie this morning after learning he'd been traded from the Orioles to the Rockies.  The clubs reached an agreement that sends Guthrie to Colorado for pitchers Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun first reported the near-deal, which has now been officially announced. 

Guthrie's arbitration hearing against the Orioles was scheduled for this morning with a $7.25MM-$10.25MM spread, but his agent Brodie Van Wagenen of CAA Sports tweeted today he reached an agreement on a one-year deal that fits "within the Rockies' payroll structure" and is "a showing of good faith."  Connolly says Guthrie settled with the Rockies at $8.2MM, which is $550K below the midpoint.  With the Orioles, a hearing had "seemed possible and even likely," tweeted Van Wagenen.

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Guthrie, 32, had been a regular in Baltimore's rotation since being claimed off waivers from the Indians five years ago.  Last year he posted a 4.33 ERA, 5.6 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, 1.13 HR/9, and 39.6% groundball rate in 208 innings for the Orioles.  His skills suggest a 200-inning, 4.50 ERA guy in the AL East.  Guthrie (pictured) will be a useful addition for a Rockies rotation long on options but short on stability, assuming his proclivity to surrender home runs doesn't worsen in Coors Field.  Guthrie will be eligible for free agency after the season, and I would not expect draft pick compensation.

Hammel, 29, posted a 4.76 ERA, 5.0 K/9, 3.6 BB/9, 1.11 HR/9, and 43.9% groundball rate in 170 1/3 innings last year.  Acquired from the Rays three years ago, Hammel has given the Rockies 170+ innings in each season since the trade.  Prior to 2011, Hammel's skills suggested a pitcher capable of a sub-4.00 ERA.  In 2011, however, he was demoted to the Rockies' bullpen in August.  He'll earn $4.75MM in 2012 and will be arbitration eligible for 2013.

Lindstrom, 31, posted a 3.00 ERA, 6.0 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, 0.50 HR/9, and 47.3% groundball rate in 54 innings last year for the Rockies.  His strikeout rates have always seemed low for someone averaging a 96 mile-per-hour fastball.  Lindstrom, who was acquired in December 2010 from the Astros, is owed $3.6MM for 2012 and has a $4MM club option for '13.  Interestingly, Guthrie and Lindstrom both put their baseball careers on hold for two-year Mormon missions in their lives.    

With the trade, Orioles vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette has subtracted his rotation's one sure thing in favor of Hammel, who was demoted from the Rockies' rotation last summer.  He did acquire two pitchers for the price of one, as well as potential 2013 control for each.  Noted Duquette on today's conference call, "We didn't have any offers of young prospects for Jeremy."  Duquette has hooked up with Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd for trades twice before, when the former was at the helm of the Red Sox.

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.