Weekly email list
- Cubs Designate Russell, Soriano; Select Contracts Of Cahill, Berry; Recall Baez
- Braves Promote Hector Olivera
- Royals Acquire Jonny Gomes
- Giants Acquire Alejandro De Aza
- Dodgers To Acquire Justin Ruggiano
- Cubs Acquire Austin Jackson
- Giants Still Discussing De Aza, Looking At Infielders
- Blue Jays To Name Mark Shapiro As Team President
- Mets Acquire Addison Reed From Diamondbacks
- Mets Claim Marc Rzepczynski On Revocable Waivers, In Talks With Padres
Trade Rumors Apps
- AL Central Notes: Johnson, Berrios, Floyd, Indians
- Phillies Notes: Amaro, Mackanin, Franco
- Marlins Begin Making Front Office Changes
- Padres Designate Chris Rearick For Assignment
- Minor MLB Transactions: 9/2/15
- Extension Candidate: Justin Turner
- Poll: Best August 31st Outfield Addition
- AL East Notes: Bundy, Eveland, Yankees, Craig
- Front Office Notes: Jennings, Mariners, Beinfest, Scioscia
- Notable September Call-Ups
- Central Notes: Arrieta, Berrios, Kirby
- Nationals’ Aaron Barrett To Undergo Elbow Surgery
- Reds Designate Dylan Axelrod For Assignment
- Angels Designate Alfredo Marte, Drew Rucinski
- Giants Designate Justin Maxwell For Assignment
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Johnny Cueto Rumors
The Marlins are looking hard at the upcoming pitching market, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports. Miami has already penciled in three names to its 2016 staff — Jose Fernandez, Tom Koehler, and Jarred Cosart — but feels like it needs two additional arms. While the club is said to have some interest in Johnny Cueto, it’s far from clear as yet whether he’ll actually be a reasonable target. As Jackson notes, though, it’s shaping up to be a deep market.
- Jackson also addresses the Marlins‘ managerial situation, noting that the team will likely look to add an experienced skipper if Dan Jennings moves back to the front office as now seems to be expected. MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro also hears that experience will be a key desire, with a “no-nonsense” personality such as Jim Riggleman possibly making sense.
- The Mets are hopeful that lefty Steven Matz can work back to the major league rotation by the start of September, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo tweets. Matz impressed in his first two starts before going down with a partial lat tear, but could begin a rehab assignment this weekend. His return is particularly important for the streaking Mets, as they’ll need to manage innings for several starters down the stretch.
- While they’ve done plenty of roster maneuvering in recent weeks, the Blue Jays are still looking at outfield and starting pitching additions in the August market, GM Alex Anthopoulos told Sportsnet 590 The FAN (via Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca). The Toronto GM said that he sees an outfield acquisition as the far likelier outcome of his search. “We have had some discussions, taking a look at fourth outfielder candidates,” Anthopoulos said. “That’s something that we’re currently working on right now and if we can upgrade in the rotation, we’d like to do that as well. But this time of year … very few guys clear [trade waivers] and the ones that do probably have massive contracts which pose their own problems.”
In his latest Inside Baseball column, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports provides a laundry list of free agent and trade-related info. He kicks off the piece with a lengthy look at the curiously passive approaches of two teams that were seen as likely to be active sellers: the Reds and Padres. San Diego GM A.J. Preller told Heyman that his team discussed a number of deals and felt that, ultimately, the long-term nature of most of the Padres’ trade chips outweighed the value they were offered. The one notable exception is Justin Upton, who, as first reported by Buster Olney, could’ve fetched Michael Fulmer from the Mets. Regarding Upton talks, Preller told Heyman: “…the evaluation was what we’re being offered versus the value of the pick and having Justin for the rest of the year. There were offers right on the line, but none that made us move.” As for the Reds, Heyman notes that many are questioning the team’s decision to hang onto Aroldis Chapman, who is controlled through 2016, when the Reds may not be competitive until 2017. The Reds backed out of a Jay Bruce-for-Zack Wheeler swap, a source tells Heyman, with a second source telling him that Cincinnati simply “got cold feet” when it came to dealing Bruce. He also spoke to a number of executives who expressed disbelief that neither team was more active at the deadline.
Some more highlights from his column, though there’s far more in the full article than can be summarized here, so it’s worth reading in its entirety…
- The Diamondbacks are still seeking an elite closer after coming up empty in their pursuit of Aroldis Chapman, and they might pursue him again this winter. Heyman lists their priorities as: a closer, a starting pitcher (someone below the tier of Johnny Cueto/David Price) and a bat to slot behind Paul Goldschmidt in the order. The Snakes talked about deals for Jeremy Hellickson, Oliver Perez and Cliff Pennington. They came the closest to trading Hellickson, who drew interest from the Pirates and Blue Jays, he adds.
- Kevin Gausman‘s name was very popular in trade talks with the Orioles, as he was asked for by the Rockies (in exchange for Carlos Gonzalez), the Tigers (Yoenis Cespedes) and Padres (Justin Upton). The Orioles also talked to the Dodgers about Carl Crawford (for a lesser package) but found his injury history and contract too risky.
- Others are “convinced” that the Cubs will land one of the top starting pitchers on the market this winter, with Price as a leading candidate but Zack Greinke, Jordan Zimmermann and Cueto all landing on Chicago’s radar as well. The Cubs are expected to shop both Starlin Castro and Javier Baez this winter. The Padres‘ interest in Baez has been reported many places, though they do have some reservations about Baez’s approach at the plate (as, I would imagine, most teams do).
- The Blue Jays, Astros and Giants all expressed interest in White Sox righty Jeff Samardzija, but the White Sox‘ winning streak plus so-so offers led the team to hold onto the right-hander. Heyman hears that the return would’ve been similar to the one the Reds ultimately got in exchange for Mike Leake, so the Sox simply held onto Samardzija. (Speaking of Leake, he adds that industry consensus pegs Leake as the most likely rental to stay with his new club — perhaps not surprising given Leake’s ties to California and the Giants’ history of retaining such pieces.)
- The Indians received interest not only in Carlos Carrasco, but also in Danny Salazar, Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber. The Dodgers, Cubs and Red Sox all tried for Carrasco.
- The Rockies were always more motivated to trade Troy Tulowitzki than Carlos Gonzalez, as the drama surrounding Tulo had become soap-opera-esque. The team didn’t shop Jose Reyes after the Tulo deal but did have his name come up in talks; Heyman writes that the Yankees are one club that “may have fit,” as they could’ve used him at second base.
- The Angels made a brief run at Yoenis Cespedes but didn’t come close to landing him. Cespedes won the hearts of Mets fans in part by expressing an interest in signing long-term to remain in Queens, but as Heyman notes, Cespedes did the same in Boston and Detroit without any results. A long-term pact between the Mets and Cespedes is more likely than a reunion with the Tigers though, Heyman writes, as Detroit isn’t likely to enter a bidding war for the outfielder, let alone win one.
- The Dodgers showed more interest in Cole Hamels than they did in either Price or Cueto. They were completely closed off to the idea of trading either Corey Seager or Julio Urias, though. He adds that right-hander Jose DeLeon wasn’t available in talks for rental pieces, which could imply that he was at least attainable in Hamels talks.
- Dan Jennings is expected to be welcomed back to the Marlins‘ front office this winter, when the team will search for a long-term manager to replace him. The Marlins are also planning on trying to extend Dee Gordon and Adeiny Hechavarria this offseason, he hears. Talks for Hechavarria went nowhere last winter, and the shortstop’s batting line is nearly identical to its 2014 mark. Defensive metrics are far more impressed with Hechavarria’s work this season, though, for what it’s worth.
- While Rays relief aces Jake McGee and Brad Boxberger were oft-mentioned in rumors leading up to the deadline, other teams came away with the impression that Tampa Bay wasn’t that interested in moving either.
- There’s an “unhappy scene” surrounding the Nationals and manager Matt Williams, Heyman hears. Williams isn’t beloved by many of the team’s players, who feel that he’s “not loose” and “never relaxed.” There are those who have also questioned his bullpen usage, from the decision not to use Drew Storen/Tyler Clippard in the final game of last year’s NLDS to leaving both Jonathan Papelbon and Storen in the bullpen in close road games versus the Mets shortly after acquiring Papelbon (only to have both pitch with a five-run deficit in the next series). Heyman spoke to one Nats player who said the team is loose and has fun regardless of Williams’ demeanor. “I don’t think it affects us,” said the player. “That’s just how he is.”
Full Story | 49 Comments | Categories: Adeiny Hechavarria | Arizona Diamondbacks | Aroldis Chapman | Baltimore Orioles | Boston Red Sox | Brad Boxberger | Carl Crawford | Carlos Carrasco | Carlos Gonzalez | Chicago Cubs | Chicago White Sox | Cincinnati Reds | Cleveland Indians | Cliff Pennington | Cole Hamels | Colorado Rockies | Corey Kluber | Corey Seager | Danny Salazar | David Price | Dee Gordon | Detroit Tigers | Houston Astros | Jake McGee | Javier Baez | Jay Bruce | Jeff Samardzija | Jeremy Hellickson | Johnny Cueto | Jordan Zimmermann | Jose Reyes | Julio Urias | Justin Upton | Kevin Gausman | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Los Angeles Dodgers | Miami Marlins | Mike Leake | New York Mets | Oliver Perez | Paul Goldschmidt | Pittsburgh Pirates | San Diego Padres | San Francisco Giants | Starlin Castro | Tampa Bay Rays | Toronto Blue Jays | Trevor Bauer | Troy Tulowitzki | Washington Nationals | Yoenis Cespedes | Zack Greinke | Zack Wheeler
Longtime star second baseman Chase Utley will rejoin the Phillies tomorrow, the club announced. It’s almost certainly too late for him to reach sufficient plate appearances to trigger his vesting option for next season, making it a straight team decision whether to pick him up at $15MM or instead pay a $2MM buyout. But that doesn’t mean his return won’t be interesting, as Utley remains a very plausible August trade candidate. Indeed, the Phillies veteran is drawing interest around the league, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports. The Cubs, Dodgers, and Yankees are among the teams expected to have some interest in adding Utley down the stretch. Of course, his appeal will depend heavily upon the form he shows upon his return.
Here’s more from the National League:
- Reds GM Walt Jocketty provided some interesting thoughts on his team’s trade deadline moves, especially the Johnny Cueto deal, in an appearance on MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM (links to Twitter). “We had the Cueto deal done, then another team came in,” said Jocketty, “and I was actually able to get a little more out of the Royals.”
- One key piece of that deal, of course, was lefty Brandon Finnegan, who Jocketty says will be expected to work as a starter at Triple-A before joining the big league club in September. After entering the year with 28 days of service and tacking on about 37 more thus far in 2015, Finnegan still has six years of team control remaining and won’t line up as a Super Two candidate even if he spends next month (and all of next year) on the Cincinnati staff.
- Jocketty also discussed the Reds‘ timeline to return to contention (Twitter link), saying that “our plan at this point is that we realistically have a real good shot in 2017.” While he praised the team’s “nucleus,” Jocketty’s statement seems to suggest that next season will be something of a regrouping year. The club has worked to fill its system with young arms after parting with Cueto and Mike Leake, but it remains to be seen how and when they will develop into productive big leaguers. With several big contracts limiting flexibility, and players like Aroldis Chapman and Jay Bruce entering their final years of control, it will be interesting to see whether Cinci pursues further trades over the winter.
- Braves GM John Hart also discussed his team’s role in the three-team, thirteen-player deadline deal with the Dodgers and Marlins with MLB Network Radio (Twitter links). He confirmed that the club was motivated primarily by the chance to add the bat of infielder Hector Olivera for a relatively minor commitment (five-years and roughly $30MM after 2015). Atlanta was weighing its options for bolstering its lineup, he indicated, and felt that it would cost too much to compete for the top-level bats set to hit the coming free agent market.
An elite starting pitcher was a luxury good for the Dodgers, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. That’s why Los Angeles passed on talents like Cole Hamels, David Price, and Johnny Cueto despite possessing the prospect depth to acquire their pick of the litter. Instead, the club flexed its financial might to acquire Mat Latos, Alex Wood, Jim Johnson, Luis Avilan, and Jose Peraza. The biggest piece dealt away by the Dodgers was 30-year-old Cuban infielder Hector Olivera. The utility man has not yet reached the majors after signing a six-year, $62.5MM deal with the Dodgers. A full $28MM of that was in the form of a signing bonus.
Here’s more from Rosenthal:
- Cynics may find a way to criticize the Mets deadline transactions. Perhaps they didn’t add enough to the payroll or were too small minded? However, the moves for Yoenis Cespedes, Tyler Clippard, Kelly Johnson, and Juan Uribe provided essential upgrades to a roster that was showing signs of stress. GM Sandy Alderson deserves kudos for improving the club while working within tight constraints. To me, this was Rosenthal’s money quote, “Mets fans will not be satisfied – and should not be satisfied – until the team raises its payroll to a level more commensurate with the New York market.“
- Echoing the sentiments of many analysts, both the Phillies and Rangers did well in the Hamels trade. With the Phillies taking on Matt Harrison and chipping in cash, the Rangers will pay Hamels an average of $13MM to $14MM per season if his option vests. They also hung onto top prospects Joey Gallo and Nomar Mazara. On Philadelphia’s end, acquiring three quality prospects will do much to bolster their future.
- The Blue Jays, unlike the Dodgers, are often described as a cash strapped organization. Instead of taking on payroll like L.A., the Blue Jays dealt 11 prospects and Jose Reyes to acquire Troy Tulowitzki, David Price, Ben Revere, Mark Lowe, and LaTroy Hawkins. They’re 6.5 games back in the AL East and 1.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot.
- The Astros also spent their prospect chips for major league upgrades. They made the first deadline strike by acquiring Scott Kazmir then paid a princely sum for Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers. Interestingly, mid-market teams like the Astros, Blue Jays, Mets, and Royals used prospects in their search for October baseball. The Yankees and Dodgers opted to use money or stand pat.
Full Story | 21 Comments | Categories: Alex Wood | Ben Revere | Carlos Gomez | Cole Hamels | David Price | Hector Olivera | Houston Astros | Jim Johnson | Johnny Cueto | Jose Peraza | Jose Reyes | Juan Uribe | Kansas City Royals | Kelly Johnson | LaTroy Hawkins | Los Angeles Dodgers | Luis Avilan | Mark Lowe | Mat Latos | Matt Harrison | Mike Fiers | Minnesota Twins | New York Mets | New York Yankees | Philadelphia Phillies | Scott Kazmir | Texas Rangers | Toronto Blue Jays | Troy Tulowitzki | Tyler Clippard | Yoenis Cespedes
Dayton Moore pulled off a major acquisition when he landed ace Johnny Cueto from the Reds on Sunday, but he didn’t rest on his laurels after that trade. Today, he finalized another major deal when he acquired versatile veteran Ben Zobrist from the A’s. Earlier today, I asked the Royals GM if he was under a mandate from ownership to go for broke this summer and make major moves.
“We always have a mandate to put the best team on the field,” Moore told reporters on the conference call. “Certainly the play of our team and how our players have responded gives us more motivation to make moves, but we’ve always tried to do whatever could at the deadline to make our team better for the second half, even when we weren’t competing.”
While Cueto came to K.C. before Zobrist, the GM explained that talks with Oakland actually started before the discussions with Cincinnati. There are still a few days to go until the trade deadline but Moore doesn’t expect to make another blockbuster deal between now and Friday. Like a responsible Christmas shopper, it appears that Moore has avoided the rush to get the top shelf prizes. Interestingly, however, he says the timing of it all was happenstance.
“You’ll have to speak with [Reds GM] Walt [Jocketty] and [A’s GM] Billy [Beane], but for me, they were just satisfied with the package that was offered,” said Moore. “I don’t think anybody is gonna execute a deal unless they’re as satisfied as they can be. When we enter into these types of discussions for a player we want we are very aggressive. We have a good idea of what we want and what we want to provide as far as the package goes and what they desire…No sense in stringing things out and creating unnecessary tension. If you know at the end of the day that you’re going to get to a certain place, you might as well get there.”
Zobrist is expected to join his new teammates “in a day or two,” and when he gets in the mix, he’ll be slotted in left field rather than second base, where he’ll be filling in for the currently injured Alex Gordon. There’s plenty of work ahead for Zobrist, Cueto, and the Royals, but it sounds like their GM is done with the heavy lifting for the week.
The Dodgers might be able to take advantage of a productive season from Andre Ethier to clear a logjam in their outfield and add pitching, Joel Sherman of the New York Post suggests. Ethier is in the midst of a resurgent .276/.361/.459 season, so now might be a good time to deal him and move Carl Crawford back into a starting role. The approximately $46MM remaining on Ethier’s contract would likely still be an obstacle. But Sherman suggests there might be a match with the Angels. In one scenario, the Angels could send the Dodgers C.J. Wilson, who has about $28MM remaining on his own deal. There aren’t any specific rumors connecting the Angels and Dodgers, and a deal involving Wilson and Ethier would surely be complex, due to the contracts involved. The Angels have, however, reportedly recently shown interest in another lefty hitter, David Murphy, and they’re about to get Jered Weaver back from the DL. So perhaps Sherman’s idea isn’t that far-fetched. Here are more quick notes from around the big leagues.
- Reds players knew to expect the team to trade Johnny Cueto, but the team’s trade of Cueto to the Royals for three left-handed pitchers still stung, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon writes. “Shocking is not the word, but it’s kind of a blah feeling,” says Jay Bruce. “Because everybody anticipated it happening, but for it to actually happen and someone I’ve personally known for 11 years now, just poof, gone.” Bruce, of course, is himself a candidate to be traded this week, along with Mike Leake and perhaps others. It can be easy to forget that the trades we outsiders discuss so matter-of-factly do affect the players on a personal level.
- In contrast, the Mets are excited to have the newly acquired Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson on their side, Tyler Kepner of the New York Times writes. “That versatility is enormous, to keep key, quality players on the field,” says Mets manager Terry Collins. “It’s hugely enormous.” As Kepner points out, that might be an overstatement, but the Mets are getting help, or are on the verge of getting it, from Uribe, Johnson, returning players Jenrry Mejia (suspension) and Travis d’Arnaud (elbow), and newly promoted top prospect Michael Conforto. The Mets do have reasons to be hopeful. “I’ve been in Chicago, and nobody’s thinking like Chicago’s winning. I’ve been in San Fran, and nobody’s thinking like San Fran’s winning. And they win,” says Uribe. “In baseball, you never know what could happen.”
- In Brandon Finnegan, Cody Reed and John Lamb, the Reds are receiving three potential big-league starters, MLB.com’s Jim Callis writes. The Reds sacrificed a draft pick as a result of trading Cueto, but the three lefties they received have more than enough talent to make up for it. The Royals, meanwhile, traded from solid minor league pitching depth.
- The Yankees scouted Cueto for five weeks, George A. King III of the New York Post writes. The Yankees and Reds also had brief discussions involving Cueto and Yankees starter Ivan Nova, but the talks did not develop. It is, of course, highly unlikely that Nova could have been centerpiece of any Cueto trade. The Yankees have thus far been unwilling to trade top prospects like Aaron Judge, Luis Severino or Greg Bird.
- The Dodgers did have talks with the Reds about Cueto, GM Farhan Zaidi tells CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman (Twitter links). Zaidi thinks the Dodgers will be able to consummate some other trade before Friday’s deadline, presumably one involving starting pitching. Within the Dodgers’ clubhouse, Heyman writes, some players were disappointed that the team didn’t get Cueto, and would like the team to pursue David Price now that Cueto is off the market.
After months of speculation, the Reds finally parted ways with pitcher Johnny Cueto. On Sunday, the Reds and Royals finalized a deal that sends Cueto to KC for pitchers Brandon Finnegan, John Lamb, and Cody Reed. In this deal, the Reds landed two lefties who could blossom into mid-rotation starters and a third lefty who can be placed in the back of their rotation right away, J.J. Cooper of Baseball America writes. Here’s a look at some of the reactions to the Cueto deal..
- It’s unlikely that the Reds will reacquire Cueto in free agency this winter, C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweets. Rosecrans wouldn’t be surprised to see the Reds make a run at Mike Leake – another rumored trade candidate – this winter, but he doesn’t expect that reunion to happen either.
- Cueto told reporters “It’s a good trade. But I am sad,” Nick Groke of The Denver Post tweets.
- If Cueto gets the Royals where they want to go in 2015, it won’t matter whether he stays or leaves, Richard Justice of MLB.com writes. GM Dayton Moore definitely weakened his farm system, but Cueto gives them a chance to win big this year.
- One AL scout told Jack Magruder of The Sports Xchange (on Twitter) that Reed is the sleeper in the deal. That scout sees Reed’s future as a reliever and also feels that Finnegan best fits in a bullpen.
- Finnegan and Lamb will head to Triple-A, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweets. Finnegan will be used as a starter.
- The Reds did well in the deal considering that Cueto is a rental, Jim Bowden of ESPN.com tweets. Finnegan and Lamb, he says, both need more time to develop but they both have upside.
- The Reds got a great return, but this was a deal the Royals had to make, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweets.
- Here’s a sneak peek at what Cueto might look like in his new Royals jersey, from our official Instagram page. For the latest from MLBTR on Instagram, follow us today – @traderumorsMLB.
The Reds already made one big move today, could another be around the corner? The Mets are heavily scouting outfielder Jay Bruce, according to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com (on Twitter). Recently, Jayson Stark of ESPN.com heard that the Reds are giving the impression that they are looking to “save money” wherever possible, and that could be an indication that Bruce is very much available.
Here’s more from the National League..
- The Blue Jays‘ talks with the Reds concerning Johnny Cueto never gained traction, according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet (on Twitter). Davidi hears that the Reds were asking for a package headlined by Marcus Stroman. Cueto, of course, went from the Reds to the Royals on Sunday afternoon.
- “Industry perception” is that there is some pressure on the Padres to move out future payroll as the deadline approaches, Buster Olney of ESPN.com tweets. On Sunday morning, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported that Tyson Ross was drawing the most interest of any of the Padres’ starting pitchers. Of course, when it comes to finances, the Padres would surely prefer to move the contract of James Shields.
- The Marlins should get a better indication what they can get for Mat Latos after learning the details of the Johnny Cueto deal, Joe Frisaro of MLB.com tweets.