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Marlins hitting coach Tino Martinez resigned today amid allegations of verbal and physical abuse of players, according to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. Two sources told Spencer the agent for recently-demoted second baseman Derek Dietrich contacted the team several months ago to report an incident where Martinez erupted in anger unjustly and grabbed a player by his neck and neck chain. The MLBPA was notified of the alleged incident, as well as others involving Martinez, and the union then contacted the Commisioner's office and that office was expected to contact the Marlins on Tuesday, Spencer reports. Martinez, who had never been a Major League coach before this season, was owner Jeffrey Loria’s hand-picked selection to become Marlins' hitting coach. The Red Sox also had interest in hiring Martinez before he took the job with the Marlins. In other news and notes coming from the NL East:
- The Phillies are still not acknowledging the signing of Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez as sources say the Cuban right-hander is awaiting visa approval, reports Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Gonzalez reportedly agreed to a six-year, $48MM contract with the Phillies, which could be worth as much as $59MM.
- Gelb also tweeted that Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins indicated he is not willing to waive his no-trade clause, if asked.
- There is no indication the Phillies are aggressively taking offers for Chase Utley in the event a contract extension cannot be reached, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney.
- The Braves have not had any conversations with the Royals regarding Ervin Santana, according to Mark Bowman of MLB.com.
- Nationals GM Mike Rizzo told reporters, including the Washington Times' Amanda Comak, he would like to add some more depth before the Trade Deadline. "If we could tweak or improve certain spots on the bench, I think that would be one place that we would attack," Rizzo said. "We’ve got a lot of trade discussions. We’ve received calls, we’ve made calls."
- Manager Terry Collins doesn't expect the Mets to make any moves prior to the Trade Deadline, reports Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News. Marlon Byrd is the Met name most mentioned in trade rumors and a team source tells Ackert the asking price is a top 10-15 prospect.
The Phillies have made multiple inquiries on the availability of Giancarlo Stanton over the past several months, Major League sources tell Jim Sailisbury of CSNPhilly.com, but have received the same answer as every other team in baseball: Stanton isn't available for the time being.
Salisbury notes that while the Phils lack a deep farm system, they do have plenty of near-MLB-ready arms such as Jesse Biddle, Jonathan Pettibone and Adam Morgan that could be used to headline a Stanton package. Of course, as Salisbury notes, if and when the Marlins decide to listen to offers on Stanton, they may not be keen on trading him within the division. That hasn't stopped the Phillies — and reportedly the Mets — from showing interest.
Salisbury writes that the very reason that the Phillies have such great need for Stanton's services could lead the team to be sellers come the trade deadline. Philadelphia outfielders are hitting just .215/.285/.330, which has contributed to their 13-16 record. Here are the highlights from his list of potential trade chips…
- Cliff Lee could become the prize of the July trade market should the Phillies sell. The Red Sox inquired on Lee before the Winter Meetings but were rebuffed. Given their first-place standing, they could look at Lee as a means to push them toward a World Series run.
- Jonathan Papelbon is another expensive piece that the Phils could move, and Salisbury wonders if the Tigers could be interested, given deep-pocketed owner Mike Illitch's desire to win a World Series. Detroit has had bullpen issues all season and recently re-signed Jose Valverde to reprise his role as closer. However, Salisbury reports that the Tigers are one of the team's in Papelbon's no-trade clause.
- Jimmy Rollins could be moved but would have to waive his full no-trade clause in order for that to happen.
- There's a sentiment that the Phillies would prefer to keep Chase Utley than deal him this summer if he remains healthy. Utley will gain 10-and-5 rights in August, Salisbury notes.
- Salisbury also mentions Carlos Ruiz, Roy Halladay, Ryan Howard and Delmon Young as players the Phillies would consider. Halladay's inconsistency and Howard's price tag would be prohibitive factors in any trade talks for that duo.
11:18am: It doesn't look like the Athletics will acquire a shortstop today, ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports (on Twitter).
TUESDAY, 10:55am: MLB Network's Peter Gammons is a hearing a flat "no" on the idea of Drew going to the A's.
MONDAY, 6:03pm: Trade talk about a potential deal that would send Stephen Drew from Arizona to Oakland still has life, ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports (Twitter link). However, Peter Gammons of MLB Network reported today that the Athletics have backed off their pursuit of Drew and Yunel Escobar for now, (Twitter link).
Ken Rosenthal recently reported that the Athletics aren't favored to acquire Drew if the Diamondbacks trade him. Oakland is reluctant to match Toronto's asking price on Escobar, according to Rosenthal. Drew and Escobar are Oakland's top two choices for a shortstop upgrade, Jon Heyman reported today.
The A's looked into the possibility of acquiring Jimmy Rollins, but would have had to take on his entire contract ($11MM per season through 2014 with a vesting option for 2015) to complete a deal, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports. The price in terms of prospects wasn't high, but there's no guarantee Rollins, a Bay Area native, would approve a trade to Oakland. The Dodgers are no longer a fit for Rollins, Knobler writes.
The latest rumors from ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick…
- The Athletics have discussed Jimmy Rollins and Chase Headley as possible upgrades for the left side of their infield, Crasnick reports (Twitter links). However, Rollins' salary would be difficult to fit into Oakland's budget and the Padres' asking price for Headley remains high. The A's seem lukewarm on Yunel Escobar, Crasnick writes. They aren't sure how he'd fit in their clubhouse dynamic.
- Jonathan Broxton is the most likely Royal to be traded, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reports (all Twitter links). The Royals want young starting pitching for Broxton, and they’re looking for pitchers who are close to MLB-ready — not Class A types.
- Meanwhile, Jeff Francoeur’s trade value is negligible because he’s not producing at the plate.
The Phillies signed Cole Hamels to a historic six-year, $144MM extension this morning. After weeks of rumors, it’s now apparent that Hamels will stay put, but his teammates don’t all enjoy the same security. Here’s the latest on the Phillies…
- The Yankees considered pursuing Ty Wigginton, but the Phillies aren't offering him up, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
- An American League executive suggested the Phillies' deal with Hamels means Cliff Lee and Hunter Pence are available, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports (on Twitter).
- The Phillies have reached out to "dangle" Jimmy Rollins to other teams in the last two weeks, ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports (on Twitter). The A's have considered Rollins, but he's not currently an option for them.
- Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is waiting to determine whether to buy or sell at the trade deadline, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports (Twitter link).
- Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com isn't convinced the Phillies will go into complete sell mode (Twitter link).
The A's were nine games below .500 in mid-June, but they're now 51-44 following an impressive six-week stretch that's positioned them as contenders for a playoff berth. Here are the latest A’s-related notes and rumors…
- Rollins is not currently an option for the A's, Slusser reports. Slusser hears from two people who aren't convinced Rollins would approve a deal to Oakland (Twitter links).
- The A’s pursued Hanley Ramirez aggressively before the Marlins sent him to Los Angeles, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle confirms that the A’s were “very much in on” Ramirez (Twitter link). The Marlins recently offered Oakland a “sweet deal” that would have sent Ramirez to the A's for a couple of minor leaguers and enough cash to cover half of Ramirez’s contract, Knobler writes. But the A’s held off on the deal, and the Dodgers agreed to take on all of Ramirez’s salary.
- The A’s are still looking to add, Knobler reports. They have been scouting Stephen Drew, have had interest in Yunel Escobar, and have considered the possibility of bringing Oakland native Jimmy Rollins back to the Bay Area.
The chances of Cole Hamels getting traded are diminishing, but they haven't disappeared, Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reports. The Phillies are trying to sign the left-hander to a long-term deal, but will weigh trade offers if they can’t agree on an extension. Here are Stark’s latest rumors…
- The Rays would be looking for a combination of high-end young pitchers, a young catcher and a controllable hitter if they discuss trades involving James Shields and Jeremy Hellickson. Wade Davis is drawing as much interest as Shields, now that he’s pitching well out of the Tampa Bay bullpen, Stark reports.
- The Astros have told rival teams that they’d absorb a substantial percentage of Wandy Rodriguez’s salary in a trade if it allows them to get “the best value back.”
- The Padres aren’t shopping Edinson Volquez, but they haven’t made him untouchable.
- Teams don’t expect the Marlins will trade Josh Johnson, who’s under contract for 2013.
- Brandon McCarthy’s history of shoulder problems diminishes his trade value. “He's not going anywhere," one executive predicted to Stark.
- The Nationals haven’t been focused on finding a center fielder.
- Hunter Pence is attracting as much interest as anyone on the Phillies, including Hamels. However, the Phillies have downplayed their interest in trading the right fielder. Shane Victorino, Jimmy Rollins, Joe Blanton, Placido Polanco and Kyle Kendrick would be available if the Phillies decide to sell this month, Stark reports. Rollins can veto any trade and would only accept deals to West Coast contenders.
- The Pirates have asked about tons of hitters, including Billy Butler, but they’re still in a “buy-low frame of mind.” The Royals have told clubs they’d have to be overwhelmed to part with Butler, Stark reports.
- The Rockies are trying to move Marco Scutaro and Jason Giambi, but they’d have to be “bowled over” to deal relievers such as Rafael Betancourt, Matt Belisle and Matt Reynolds.
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David Wright's remarkable offensive production continued today, as he homered twice against the Nationals. He now boasts a .353/.443/.586 batting line, so he'll have considerable leverage should the Mets look to sign him long-term this coming offseason. Here are today's links…
- Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com hears that the Dodgers seem to have "50 or 60'' things going on with 12 days to go before the trade deadline. Jimmy Rollins is indeed one of the many established players that Dodgers executives are considering, Heyman writes.
- The Angels could use Cole Hamels and have the pieces to acquire him if the Phillies make him available, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports writes. “Why wouldn’t you want a guy like that in your rotation?” Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson asked Morosi.
- Dylan Bundy hasn’t thrown a pitch at the MLB level and Joey Votto is a former MVP who recently signed one of the biggest contracts in baseball history, but they have something in common, according to Dave Cameron of FanGraphs: lots and lots of trade value. Left-handers David Price, Madison Bumgarner and Clayton Kershaw have even more trade value than Bundy or Votto, Cameron writes.
- Ichiro Suzuki told Yahoo’s Jeff Passan (via a translator) that he’s not sure how he fits in the Mariners’ plans for 2013 and beyond. “If the team is saying they need you, you're necessary, then it becomes a piece,” Ichiro said. “But if it's just coming from the player, it's not going to happen." The Mariners plan to re-sign Ichiro after his contract expires this fall, GM Jack Zduriencik has said.
- I made a video appearance on the Score’s Getting Blanked Show today, discussing the Dodgers, Angels and Marlins. My conversation takes place at the 12 minute mark, but the entire show is worth watching.
A baseball executive recently suggested that Jimmy Rollins' contract would be a deterrent if the Phillies were to move him, but they may have one suitor. Danny Knobler of CBS Sports writes that the Dodgers are looking to upgrade at shortstop, and have some interest in Rollins.
Dodgers shortstops this season have combined to hit a ghastly .227/.284/.302. Dee Gordon has seen the lion's share of the time at the position, and while his 30 steals lead the National League, he's managed an OPS+ of just 56 and is now on the disabled list with a torn ligament in his thumb.
Rollins is batting .261/.315/.414, but that includes a slow start to the season. Since May 29, Rollins has picked up the pace in grand fashion, totaling a .304/.354/.571 triple slash line, belting seven homers along the way. Ultimate Zone Rating suggests that the 33-year-old's defense is exactly on par with his career rate of +5.1 runs per 150 games.
The biggest red flag with Rollins is, of course, the aforementioned three-year contract he signed this offseason. The Phillies guaranteed Rollins $33MM through his age-35 season, and the contract also contains a vesting option for a fourth year at another $11MM. That option is said to be easily attainable for Rollins, and is contingent on plate appearances. As Knobler points out on Twitter, Rollins also has 10-and-5 rights, which give him the ability to veto any potential trade.
It’s time to consider the Angels and Rangers superpowers, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes. Lucrative regional TV deals, an abundance of star talent and the flexibility to make further moves have turned the Angels and Rangers into imposing organizations. Both clubs have both scouted Zack Greinke and Cole Hamels, but the Rangers view those pitchers as rentals and are hesitant to part with top prospects for either one. Here are more of Rosenthal’s latest notes:
- The Brewers haven’t given up on the 2012 season, but they’ve talked about exploiting the Angels-Rangers rivalry, Rosenthal writes. Many executives believe the return for a pitcher like Greinke or Hamels will be surprisingly low because the new collective bargaining agreement prevents teams from obtaining compensation for players acquired midseason.
- Ryan Dempster, who can veto any trade, has said he would consider going to any contender. The Cubs want to assume the majority of the $6.1MM remaining on Dempster’s salary to obtain better prospects in return. Rosenthal suggests interested teams might look to extend Dempster this summer and keep him off of the free agent market.
- The Cubs wanted a Gio Gonzalez-like return for Matt Garza last offseason, Rosenthal reports.
- Rosenthal suggests the Phillies could trade Jimmy Rollins, but points out that the shortstop earns $11MM per season through 2014. “That contract, boy oh boy,” one executive said, suggesting it could deter interested teams.
- Baseball people express doubt about the star potential of Pirates outfield prospect Starling Marte, Rosenthal reports.
- The Rockies are pleased that Ramon Hernandez has helped Wilin Rosario develop and don't seem overly earger to trade the veteran Hernandez.
- The Tigers are scouting Marco Scutaro and they aren’t the only team with interest in the veteran infielder. The Brewers inquired on Scutaro, but talks didn’t progress.
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