Jurickson Profar Rumors
With the Diamondbacks in "active discussions" about Justin Upton, there has been no shortage of trade buzz about the former No. 1 overall draft pick. While the Braves and Yankees are reportedly not interested in Upton, teams as the Red Sox, Rangers and Rays are, though the Rays ironically can't make a serious push until Justin's brother B.J. rejects Tampa Bay's qualifying offer, though he is expected to do so by tomorrow.
Here's the latest about Upton from around the league, with the newest items at the top of the page...
- With input from rival executives, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic lists the Rangers, Rays, Red Sox, Tigers and Braves as the top five possible suitors for Upton, with the Pirates and Royals as darkhorse candidates.
- D'Backs GM Kevin Towers told reporters (including Nick Piecoro) that despite some rumors to the contrary, he has had "zero issues" with Upton from a character standpoint. Towers is in "no rush" to make a deal for Upton and said that a potential trade won't prevent him from making other offseason moves. With starting pitching at such a premium in the game, Towers doubted the Snakes would be able to obtain a top pitcher "even in an Upton deal." (All links are to Piecoro's Twitter account.)
- The Rangers aren't willing to include either Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar in a deal for Upton, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter link), which will likely end trade talks between Texas and Arizona.
- The Red Sox are currently on Upton's four-team no-trade list, though he is willing to waive that protection in Boston's case, reports Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald (Twitter links).
- The D'Backs would take a "good young starter" as the "centerpiece" of an Upton trade, tweets David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- The Tigers are doing background work on Upton, tweets Nick Piecoro, though the Tigers may not have yet "talked specifics" with the D'Backs.
- "Don't expect" the Blue Jays to acquire Upton, tweets Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun.
Here's the latest from Joel Sherman of The New York Post...
- The Mets are making progress, albeit slowly, in contract talks with David Wright and R.A. Dickey. The impression is that there is still a substantial gap in talks with Dickey, and they've been gauging his trade value during the GM Meetings. They are not doing the same with Wright, however.
- The Yankees would not do a two-year deal worth $20MM or so for Torii Hunter since they want to get under the luxury tax threshold next year. They are fixated on one-year contracts this offseason and could fill their right field hole with a low-cost platoon.
- "The Yankees are not on him," said a source about Justin Upton, in part because they're unsure if he's a good fit for New York (Twitter link). The Rangers and Rays are strongest early players for Upton, and Sherman gets the sense that the D'Backs want to act quickly (Twitter links).
- The Diamondbacks want high-end, MLB ready players in return for Upton and would love to get Jurickson Profar or (more likely) Elvis Andrus from the Rangers. They don't love Mike Olt, however (Twitter links). GM Kevin Towers likes Yankees prospect Mason Williams, but he is several years away from the show and unlikely to be enough to headline a trade package (all Twitter links).
- Next year's crop of free agent starting pitchers is weak, which could benefit Zack Greinke since teams won't be able to find a stopgap and reassess next year. Josh Johnson and Tim Lincecum highlight next winter's pitching crop, and both come with question marks.
- The Mariners, who have young pitching, are said to be talking to the Royals and Twins, who have young hitting. Seattle would love to pry Wil Myers, Aaron Hicks, and/or Ben Revere loose.
- Jason Bay didn't produce with the Mets, but he lived up to his billing as a hard worker and good teammate. Sherman expects the outfielder to take a low-salary, change of scenery deal (Twitter link).
- Mets officials think Scott Hairston will get a two-year deal worth between $8-10MM this winter.
Some talent evaluators believe Rays left-hander David Price could be traded this winter, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports. Here’s the latest from Olney, who runs down potential suitors for Price in his latest column...
- Price’s trade value will never be higher than it will be this winter, Olney writes. However, the left-hander’s salary will rise considerably from $4.35MM following his Cy Young-caliber 2012 season. This means the budget-conscious Rays will probably decide to part with Price at some point between now and when he hits free agency after the 2015 season. “There will be a day when the Rays trade him,” Olney writes.
- Tampa Bay could seek up-the-middle players for Price, who has extraordinary trade value as a controllable top-of-the-rotation left-hander.
- There’s a wide expectation that the Rangers will trade Elvis Andrus this winter. But Andrus isn’t a great fit for the Rays given his salary and service time, so they’d presumably ask about shortstop prospect Jurickson Profar in talks for Price.
- It’s hard to imagine the Royals obtaining Price from the Rays without giving up Wil Myers, Salvador Perez, Mike Moustakas or Eric Hosmer, Olney writes.
- Though the Tigers aren’t a strong defensive team their pitchers haven’t complained publicly about the glovework behind them. Olney credits Detroit’s player and manager Jim Leyland for this display of support.
The Blue Jays shouldn’t part with manager John Farrell unless they are confident they can hire a comparable replacement and make the Red Sox pay dearly for their former pitching coach, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes. The Blue Jays could start by asking for Clay Buchholz again, Rosenthal suggests. Here’s more from around MLB, starting with Farrell...
- People who know Farrell find it difficult to believe he’d try to force his way out of Toronto, Rosenthal reports. The Blue Jays appear to value Farrell and don’t want to see him leave.
- Most MLB teams wanted to develop Jurickson Profar as a pitcher when he was an amateur player, Rosenthal reports. The Rangers built a relationship with Profar, who wanted to play shortstop.
- Scouts following the Indians like the team’s up-the-middle talent, but say the body language of manager Manny Acta suggests he’s resigned to losing. The Indians are expected to consider trade offers for Justin Masterson, Shin-Soo Choo and Chris Perez this offseason and rival teams wonder if they’d listen to offers for Asdrubal Cabrera.
- Indians officials are “livid” with Perez for his comments about the team’s ownership and top baseball executives, Rosenthal writes. Perez questioned the Indians’ decision making and spending last week in an interview with Jon Paul Morosi. Some executives viewed those remarks as an attempt to get traded, Rosenthal reports.
- One Orioles person points out that Andy MacPhail traded for many of the Orioles’ key players in a series of successful deals. MacPhail dealt for players such as J.J. Hardy, Pedro Strop, Chris Davis, Tommy Hunter, Robert Andino and Adam Jones before stepping down following the 2011 season.
- Though the Nationals would like to retain Adam LaRoche, they can rely on internal options if the first baseman’s asking price reaches the three-year, $33-36MM range. Similarly, the Nationals might decide not to pursue Michael Bourn despite the long-standing expectation that they will offer him a competitive free agent contract.
- The Brewers will need to sign a starting pitcher and fix their bullpen this coming offseason, Rosenthal writes.
The Rangers are the only AL West club in action tonight, as a win over the Royals can stretch Texas' lead in the division to six games over the A's. Here's the latest from the AL West...
- Athletics right-hander Brandon McCarthy underwent surgery last night to stabilize a skull fracture and remove an epidural hemorrhage, according to a team press release. A CT scan taken today revealed that McCarthy's condition improved, and A's GM Billy Beane is quoted as saying McCarthy is "stable, awake and alert." McCarthy was struck in the head yesterday by a line drive off the bat of Erick Aybar.
- Scott Miller of CBS Sports relates how, in 1996, then-Angels GM Bill Bavasi tried to hire Sparky Anderson as the Halos' manager, with the idea that Joe Maddon (then a coach with the team) would take over from Anderson after two years. The idea didn't come to fruition but Maddon remained on the staff and served as Mike Scioscia's bench coach when the Angels won the 2002 World Series, before eventually moving on to manage the Rays.
- Jurickson Profar tops MLB.com's latest ranking of the 100 best prospects in baseball. The Rangers shortstop made his Major League debut on Sunday and homered in his first plate appearance. From that same list, the Mariners have the highest overall ranking for their multiple prospects, led by starters Taijuan Walker (fifth) and Danny Hultzen (ninth).
The Braves defeated the Rockies 1-0 this afternoon behind one unearned run and another strong start from Tim Hudson. Atlanta now has a 78-60 record and their chances of making the playoffs exceed 90%, according to Baseball Prospectus. Here are today’s links, starting in Colorado...
- There are still no winners in the trade that sent Ubaldo Jimenez to Cleveland for Alex White and Drew Pomeranz, Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes. White and Pomeranz have been disappointments in the year-plus since the 2011 trade and both must improve the command of their secondary pitches to start seeing better results, Renck writes.
- The Mets are expected reduce their losses from the $70MM range to $23MM this year, Josh Kosman of the New York Post reports. The Mets cut their payroll considerably last offseason and it currently sits in the $94.5MM range, according to Cot's Baseball Contracts. Their payroll is expected to stay in the same range for 2013.
- Jurickson Profar belongs at the MLB level even if he isn't as physically imposing as some of the sport's other young stars, Yahoo's Jeff Passan writes. Profar, the 19-year-old shortstop prospect who was recently called up by the Rangers, has impressive makeup at a young age, Passan writes.
Baseball has always been a game for the young and old alike and today captured that sentiment perfectly. First, the young. The Rangers' Jurickson Profar made his Major League debut a memorable one by becoming the second youngest player and only the third teenager to homer in his first career at-bat. Profar, a last-minute substitute at second base for Ian Kinsler, also doubled becoming the youngest player since Andruw Jones (1996) to hit a four-bagger and a two-bagger in his debut and the first AL player to do so since Ken Griffey Jr. (1989). Now, the old. The Astros celebrated Hall of Fame broadcaster Milo Hamilton's 85th birthday with a bobblehead day and induction into the Houston Baseball Media Wall of Honor. This year marks Hamilton's 59th and final season calling baseball games. Elsewhere around baseball:
- Stephen Strasburg will make two more starts for the Nationals with his final one coming September 12 against the Mets, tweets MASNSports.com's Dan Kolko. Manager Davey Johnson made the announcement following the Nationals' 4-3 win over the Cardinals. In separate tweets from Kolko, GM Mike Rizzo confirmed Strasburg's shutdown date saying, "That seems like the right number of innings to end his season. I don't think he's going to fight me on it. I know he'll be unhappy about it. He's an ultimate competitor."
- The Cardinals have decided to include top pitching prospect Shelby Miller in their batch of September call-ups this week, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Miller, the team's first round pick in 2009 who has created concerns over his conditioning and willingness to be coached, redeemed himself in his last ten starts at Triple-A Memphis amassing a 7-2 record, 2.88 ERA, 70 K's, and seven walks while limiting opposing hitters to a .217 average. Strauss says there is no plan for Miller to receive a start and will be used in mop-up situations. The Cardinals will have to add Miller to the 40-man roster before activating him.
- Brandon Inge will likely have season-ending surgery this week after re-injuring his right shoulder last night, writes Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Inge says he wants to return to the A's next season in a utility role, if they will have him.
- Catcher Paul Phillips has decided to call it a career and become a coach at Lipscomb University, tweets the Colorado Sky Sox PR Department (Rockies' Triple-A club). Phillips spent 2012 playing for the Brewers' and Blue Jays' Triple-A affiliates. Phillips, who last appeared in the majors in 2010 with the Rockies, will finish with a slash line of .262/.298/.357 in 91 games over seven seasons with the Royals, White Sox, and Rockies.
The Diamondbacks traded Stephen Drew this week, officially acknowledging that he won’t return in 2013. The team will rely on Willie Bloomquist, Jake Elmore and John McDonald for the remainder of the 2012 season, but they’ll pursue shortstop help over the winter, GM Kevin Towers told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.
"There's not a lot on the free-agent market, so more than likely it's going to take a trade,” Towers said. “We'll probably have to trade a good player -- or a couple of good players -- to find one."
Towers expects to encounter an “overpay situation” in his search for shortstops because there is only so much talent to go around. “Teams tend to really horde those type of players,” he said. The Rangers have enviable depth at the position in Elvis Andrus and top prospect Jurickson Profar. GM Jon Daniels says it’s a good problem to have.
“We don't know exactly how it's going to play out long term, but I'm not really all that concerned about it,” Daniels said. “I know that all the possibilities are good ones for us."
Piecoro suggests the Diamondbacks will talk to the Rangers this offseason. The Reds have middle infield depth behind Zack Cozart (Didi Gregorius and Billy Hamilton) and the Blue Jays have Adeiny Hechavarria and Yunel Escobar.
The Diamondbacks would like to see more of Elmore, but don’t seem convinced he’s more than a part-time player, according to Piecoro. And while they like prospect Chris Owings, they don’t expect him to be ready for the MLB level in 2013. Bloomquist and McDonald are both under contract for 2013.
Here are a few odds and ends regarding three contenders out of MLB's West divisions ...
- The Athletics, only a half-game behind the Rays and Orioles for one of two wild card berths, are one of baseball's most surprising teams, prompting Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle to examine how they've done it. "It isn't blind one luck," said one Major League executive. "There is thought behind it."
- Similarly, the Dodgers are a much deeper and balanced team after a string of unheralded but important moves, writes Christina Kahrl of ESPN's SweetSpot blog. The recent additions of Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino and Joe Blanton prove that GM Ned Colletti "never made the mistake of settling."
- The Rangers may soon promote prized shortstop prospect Jurickson Profar to the Major Leagues, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. Profar, 19, is currently hitting .285/.363/.470 in 111 games with Double-A Frisco and would become the youngest position player in the Majors. Texas is currently playing with a three-man bench on its current road swing but will revert back to a four-man bench when it opens a homestand Monday. Recall that the Rangers "balked" at including Profar in any pre-deadline trades.
The Brewers are looking to sell and, based on his most recent start, Zack Greinke is healthy. The right-hander figures to continue drawing heavy interest in the days leading up to the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline. He’s clearly the top arm available with Cole Hamels locked up to an extension in Philadelphia. The Rangers, Angels, Braves and White Sox are interested in Greinke and the Red Sox and Nationals might be considered suitors too. Here are the latest rumors surrounding the Greinke with the most recent rumors up top...
- Brewers GM Doug Melvin's comments this evening were measured compared to ones made earlier today where he sounded certain of a Greinke trade, writes Adam McCalvy of MLB.com. "I just said there was that possibility," Melvin said. "I don't think there's any secret, with the Trade Deadline, that this is a possibility. Zack knows that. We know that. Other teams know that." McCalvy writes that the Rangers, Angels, and Braves appear to be the most serious suitors for Greinke.
- The Dodgers aren't pursuing Greinke at this point, sources tell Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
- The White Sox seem completely focused on trying to get Greinke, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
- Greinke will be traded before the July 31st deadline, GM Doug Melvin told Bob Nightengale of USA Today. Melvin said Greinke could handle pitching in a large market. "There are so many good things about him, it's going to be difficult when we trade him,'' Melvin said. GMs and executives agree Greinke is the prize pitcher available in trades, Nightengale reports.
- One source believes Greinke will be traded before Ryan Dempster, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter).
- Brewers GM Doug Melvin confirmed on WTMJ radio that he's taking phone calls and acknowledged that Greinke could be traded before his next start (transcript via Tom Haudricourt). "At this point we have to listen to opportunities to improve the ball club for the future and still try to win ball games now," Melvin said.
- Melvin added that the Brewers haven't had recent extension talks with Greinke.
- The Brewers are taking calls from teams interested in acquiring Greinke, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. "It sounds like he's as good as gone," one person told Haudricourt.
- Haudricourt offers a detailed look at which prospects interest the Brewers’ decision makers. Milwaukee would love to have Rangers shortstop prospect Jurickson Profar, but the Rangers consider him untouchable. The Brewers would be very interested in Rangers left-hander Martin Perez and have scouted right-hander Justin Grimm.
- The Brewers are thought to rank Braves right-hander Julio Teheran ahead of Randall Delgado and Mike Minor, according to Haudricourt. The Brewers want pitchers who can contribute at the MLB level soon.
- Milwaukee prefers Angels shortstop prospect Jean Segura to Garrett Richards, Haudricourt writes.
- The White Sox also appear to have considerable interest in Greinke.