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Joe Blanton Rumors
The Phillies entered this weekend needing to perform well in a critical series against the division rival Braves. Instead, they were swept and now appear to be in the position to sell off several pieces. ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that the Phillies could be baseball's "most active sellers" in the next two days, and that they've laid the groundwork for several trades. Olney's colleague Jayson Stark hears from several teams that the Phillies could make 2-3 trades prior to Tuesday's deadline, though they've yet to officially declare themselves sellers (Twitter link).
CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury agrees that selling is likely, and runs down several of the possibilities for the Phillies in the coming days. Salisbury writes that Shane Victorino is the "most likely" Phillie to be dealt, and lists the Giants, Pirates, Reds and Dodgers as possible destinations for Victorino. Interest in Victorino was said to be "heating up" as recently as yesterday.
The Reds have also inquired on Juan Pierre, and both the Orioles and Cardinals are potential destinations for Joe Blanton according to Salisbury. He also says that Hunter Pence could be moved if GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is blown away by an offer, and speculates that Ty Wigginton would fit on several teams looking for bench help.
Salisbury reiterates that the Phillies are likely to keep Cliff Lee for the time being, although he could be shopped this offseason in an attempt to fill multiple holes.
Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison could miss the rest of the season, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports (on Twitter). Miami placed Morrison on the 15-day disabled list with right knee inflammation earlier today. Here are some more NL East links…
- The Phillies may start a partial sale after two consecutive losses to the Braves, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Shane Victorino, Juan Pierre and Joe Blanton could be moved.
- There's interest in Scott Hairston, but the Mets may value him more than his potential suitors do, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes (on Twitter). The Mets see the value of finishing strong and Hairston could help them over the course of the season's final two months.
- Teams are expressing zero interest in left-hander Tim Byrdak, a Mets person tells Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (Twitter link). The 38-year-old has a 4.76 ERA with 9.8 K/9 and 5.7 BB/9 in an NL-leading 53 appearances this year.
- The Mets haven't been impressed by offers for Daniel Murphy, Martino reports (on Twitter). "We're not trading Murphy for a reliever," a Mets person told Martino.
The results of Josh Johnson’s start against the Padres and Roy Halladay’s start against the Braves could have major consequences for the trade market, ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark writes. More than a dozen scouts are on hand to watch Johnson pitch in Miami today, while Halladay is attempting to prevent the Braves from sweeping the Phillies out of town and, possibly, out of the playoff mix. Here are the details from Stark:
- MLB executives are wary of Johnson’s past shoulder troubles, his career-high ERA and his diminishing fastball velocity, but no other available starter has his kind of stuff. The Marlins continue to look for a “dream package” for Johnson and they’re prepared to keep him if no club meets their asking price, Stark reports.
- The Rangers seem especially cautious about Johnson, but they have people watching his start today. The Marlins told the Rangers they aren’t interested in discussing a trade unless Mike Olt is involved, yet the Rangers haven’t been willing to make Olt available.
- As of last night, the Phillies were telling clubs they haven’t decided how they’ll approach the deadline. They’ve likely done enough talking to trade Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton, Juan Pierre and Ty Wigginton in short order if necessary, Stark writes.
- The Phillies continue dangling Hunter Pence, but seem intent on waiting until the offseason to start serious trade discussions.
- Philadelphia could keep its trade chips for now and make moves in August, when players have to be placed on waivers to be dealt.
Trade buzz surrounding Shane Victorino has started to pick up, reports Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. The Reds, Dodgers, Pirates, and Giants all have interest in the outfielder and are scouting the Phillies. Cincinnati also has interest in Juan Pierre.
Victorino, 31, is hitting just .256/.321/.391 this season and will become a free agent this winter. He's owed approximately $6.3MM through the end of the season and thanks to the new collective bargaining agreement, any team that acquires him in a trade will not be eligible to receive draft pick compensation if he signs elsewhere as a free agent.
Here's the latest from ESPN's Jayson Stark…
- One official who spoke with the Marlins brass estimates that the odds Josh Johnson remains with Miami are "95 percent." The Red Sox, Angels, Rangers, White Sox, Blue Jays, and Royals have all checked in.
- Carlos Lee, Ricky Nolasco, Heath Bell, and Gaby Sanchez are all very available. Other than Johnson, Giancarlo Stanton will be the toughest player to pry away from the Fish.
- The Phillies have talked about trading Cliff Lee following the Cole Hamels extension and they haven't discouraged other teams from inquiring, but their game plan right now is to keep their trio of aces intact.
- Shane Victorino and Joe Blanton are good bets to be dealt and the Phillies will listen on Hunter Pence. They want multiple young big leaguers to plug holes at third base, in the outfield, and in the bullpen in return.
- The Dodgers are in on a number of starting pitchers, including Nolasco, Blanton, Kevin Millwood, and Jason Vargas in addition to Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza. They've also checked in on outfield and first base help, including Victorino and Justin Morneau.
- Clubs have not been assured by the Cubs that Garza will make another start before the trade deadline due to his triceps issue. He's more likely to be dealt in the offseason.
- In the wake of acquiring Wandy Rodriguez, the Pirates are sending signals that they could trade away a starter like Jeff Karstens or Kevin Correia.
- The Twins' asking prices for Morneau ("pricey"), Denard Span ("more pricey"), and Josh Willingham ("it made me laugh") are high. Minnesota insists they will listen on anyone and Stark says Morneau is the bat they're most likely to move. Francisco Liriano is "nearly 100 percent" likely to be traded.
- The Orioles continue to look for pitching, someone they consider a number three starter or better. Garza and Vargas have their eye but Dylan Bundy and Manny Machado are off the table. They've gotten hits on Jake Arrieta but won't move him unless they get a similar young arm with several years of team control remaining in return.
- The Brewers will trade Randy Wolf "for nothing if you take the money," according to one official.
- The Rays have "got a big market" for Wade Davis.
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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.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Billy Butler | Brandon McCarthy | Cole Hamels | Colorado Rockies | Edinson Volquez | Houston Astros | James Shields | Jason Giambi | Jeremy Hellickson | Jimmy Rollins | Joe Blanton | Josh Johnson | Kansas City Royals | Kyle Kendrick | Marco Scutaro | Matt Belisle | Matt Reynolds | Miami Marlins | Oakland Athletics | Philadelphia Phillies | Pittsburgh Pirates | Placido Polanco | Rafael Betancourt | San Diego Padres | Shane Victorino | Tampa Bay Rays | Wade Davis | Wandy Rodriguez | Washington Nationals
- Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria may soon be faced with the question about selling at the deadline, something he wanted to avoid in the first year of the club's new ballpark. The best thing they could do to improve their farm system likely involves trading guys like Anibal Sanchez, Omar Infante, and the newly acquired Carlos Lee.
- White Sox GM Kenny Williams always thinks big and it would not be surprising to see him get in on pitcher such as Zack Greinke. The problem is that his farm system doesn't have much to offer and they don't want to give up pieces off the big league roster while contending.
- The best guess right now has the Padres keeping Carlos Quentin and trading Chase Headley. Rosenthal says it's simple supply-and-demand; as many as ten teams have shown interest in the third baseman Headley. The team isn't sure they can get more for Quentin in a trade than they would by letting him walk as a free agent and recouping draft picks after the season.
- The Orioles are clearly buyers. They're willing to trade any prospect not named Dylan Bundy or Manny Machado, but they probably don't have enough to get Greinke. They do have interest in lesser arms like Joe Blanton and Jason Vargas, as well as leadoff man Juan Pierre.
- The Brewers could pit the Rangers and Angels against each other in the Greinke sweepstakes. Texas is unwilling to trade Mike Olt, Jurickson Profar, or Martin Perez for a rental, which could create an opening for the Halos if they're willing to deal Major League talent.
- The Phillies do not intend to trade Cliff Lee to create payroll room for Cole Hamels. If they do keep Hamels long-term, they could have $140MM tied up in just eight players going into next season.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Anibal Sanchez | Baltimore Orioles | Carlos Lee | Carlos Quentin | Chase Headley | Chicago White Sox | Cliff Lee | Cole Hamels | Dylan Bundy | Jason Vargas | Joe Blanton | Juan Pierre | Jurickson Profar | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Manny Machado | Martin Perez | Miami Marlins | Mike Olt | Milwaukee Brewers | Omar Infante | Philadelphia Phillies | San Diego Padres | Seattle Mariners | Texas Rangers | Zack Greinke
Baseball America recently ranked all 30 organizations based on how much talent has passed through their systems since the end of the 2008 season and the Nationals and Braves place third and sixth, respectively. The Marlins (11th) and Phillies (12th) were also better than average, but the Mets were 28th. Here are today's NL East-related links…
- The Phillies are less motivated to trade Joe Blanton than they were earlier in the spring, when Joel Pineiro was around, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports (Twitter links).
- The Phillies are cautiously optimistic about Chase Utley and hopeful that Ryan Howard will play in early May, Knobler writes.
- Braves third baseman Chipper Jones told reporters that his upcoming retirement will be final, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick writes (Twitter link). "I'm very comfortable with this decision and I'm ready to stick to it," Jones said this morning while discussing his decision.
It was on this day in 2000 that six Boston pitchers (including starter Pedro Martinez) combined to throw a perfect game against the Blue Jays in a Spring Training matchup. While perfect games in the spring obviously aren't nearly as prestigious as those during the regular season, it was still an opportunity for Martinez to finally be involved in a recognized perfecto. Martinez threw nine perfect innings against the Padres on June 3, 1995 but his performance isn't considered a perfect game by MLB rules since (shades of Harvey Haddix) the 0-0 game went into extra innings and Martinez allowed a hit to the first batter of the 10th inning.
Here's the latest from Fenway….
- The Red Sox have "their radar up on Roy Oswalt," writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe as part of a reader mailbag. Carfardo thinks if Oswalt wants to pitch for Boston, the club will sign him. Oswalt was reportedly holding out for a team closer to his Mississippi home but recently said he's willing to pitch anywhere, though perhaps not until midseason. Also in Cafardo's piece, he says the Sox aren't going to make a move for a pitcher until they see what they have in Daniel Bard and internal fifth starter candidates like Felix Doubront.
- Scouts from the Red Sox and Orioles have joined the contingent of scouts at Joe Blanton's spring starts, reports Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. The Phillies are reportedly willing to pay up to $2MM of Blanton's $8MM salary as part of a trade, but Boston makes another move, even $6MM might be too much for the Sox, who are trying to keep payroll down to avoid a big luxury tax hit.
- Carlos Beltran was interested in joining the Red Sox this winter, reports Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal, but ultimately signed with the Cardinals since Boston's focus was on working out a deal with David Ortiz. "We talked a little bit, and they had interest," Beltran said. "They were trying to get something done first with David. At the end of the day, I wasn't going to wait until they got that done." As MacPherson points out, it may have been a moot point since the Sox wouldn't have been able to afford Beltran once Ortiz accepted salary arbitration.
The latest the the Phillies, who are looking for a sixth consecutive NL East title in the increasingly competitive NL East…
- The perception among most baseball people is that Joe Blanton is available for the right price, David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News writes.
- Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said outfielder Tyson Gillies has the skillset to play in the Major Leagues, according to Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer. "He has better tools than a lot of the guys we've got," Amaro said. "He just needs to play. The poor guy hasn't gotten a chance to play. He's still young." Gillies, 23, missed all but three games in 2011 and played in only 28 games in 2010.
- The Phillies’ projected 25-man roster consists of many older players, but Sheridan writes that "it's more important to get better than simply younger.” The Phillies added players such as Jim Thome (41), Ty Wigginton (34) and Chad Qualls (33) this past offseason.
- Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer explains why Thome's defensive work will affect the Phillies' ability to work him into their lineup.