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- East Notes: Ibanez, Phillies, Mathis
- Blue Jays To Exercise J.A. Happ’s Option
- Central Notes: Maddon, Dirks, Giambi, Indians
- Alex Rios Hires Scott Boras
- Dodgers Decline Option On Chad Billingsley
- West Notes: Sandoval, Lewis, Ethier, Angels
- AL East Links: Chavez, Yankees, Breslow, Jays
- Angels Likely To Trade Kendrick Or Freese
- Rockies Exercise LaTroy Hawkins’ Option
- Mets Outright Satin, Rice, Eveland, Carlyle
- Cubs Hire Joe Maddon As Manager
- Yankees To Extend Qualifying Offer To David Robertson
- Rangers Decline Rios’ Option; Outright Adcock, Lucas, Figaro
- Brewers Exercise Mutual Option On Aramis Ramirez
- Rays Exercise Ben Zobrist’s Option
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Kevin Slowey Rumors
Scott Miller of CBSSports.com has updates on the trade market. Here they are…
- Miller’s sources expect the Rays to trade B.J. Upton by Sunday (click here for the latest on Upton).
- Angels owner Arte Moreno has approved a payroll increase, according to Miller. The Angels are looking for a third baseman, but they would send Erick Aybar to the Mets for Jose Reyes straight up, according to Miller. The Mets, however, aren’t interested; they’ll keep Reyes instead.
- Minnesota is expected to trade Kevin Slowey, who continues to draw interest, according to Miller. Earlier tonight, we heard that the Rockies are interested in Slowey.
Historically speaking, July 26th has been a busy day for the Indians. The Indians and Cardinals swapped Mark DeRosa and Chris Perez on this date in 2009; the Tribe acquired Carlos Santana for Casey Blake on this date in 2008; the Indians acquired Shin-Soo Choo for Ben Broussard on this date in 2006; they sent Russell Branyan to Milwaukee on this date in 2004 and they signed Marco Scutaro as an amateur free agent in 1994. This year, they're buyers. Here's the latest on the Indians and their division rivals…
- Indians GM Chris Antonetti says the Tribe has had continued dialogue with the agent for first round pick Francisco Lindor, though there’s no real update on the talks (Twitter link).
- Tigers owner Mike Ilitch told Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News that he'd be "extremely disappointed" if the Tigers don't make the playoffs this season. GM Dave Dombrowski and manager Jim Leyland are in the final years of their respective contracts.
- The Rockies and others continue to pursue Kevin Slowey, according to Yahoo's Tim Brown (on Twitter). Earlier in the month, it became clear that the Pirates and Rockies were among the clubs with interest in the Twins right-hander.
Let's check in with the latest from the middle of the MLB map….
- The Pirates are not interested in Twins right-hander Kevin Slowey, reports Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. (Twitter link) We heard last week that the Bucs were looking at Slowey, who went to high school in Pennsylvania.
- Cardinals GM John Mozeliak is hoping to improve his team without moving a player from the Major League roster, but Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch hears that "to accomplish [their] trade goal," the Cards will have to deal at least one Major Leaguer.
- With the Cardinals aggressively pursuing starting pitching, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch roundtable discusses which pitchers would be available at the lowest cost to the Cards. I like the idea of St. Louis getting a second-tier arm like Chris Capuano, since the Cardinals' search for bullpen help means they won't be able to meet the asking price for both a top starter and a top reliever such as Heath Bell.
- Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star details the Royals' scouting and pursuit of Felipe Paulino, who has pitched well since being acquired from the Rockies in May.
- The Brewers are continuing negotiations with first-round draft picks Taylor Jungmann and Jed Bradley, reports MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. Brewers amateur scouting director Bruce Seid described the talks as "a work in progress," while GM Doug Melvin felt the draft picks' respective agents weren't approaching the talks with much urgency leading up to the August 15 deadline.
Add the Twins to the list of teams interested in Orioles reliever Koji Uehara. Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that both the Twins and O's have sent representatives to scout the other in the past week and Minnesota is known to be looking for bullpen depth.
As Connolly notes, the two clubs have a recent trading history — Baltimore acquired J.J. Hardy from Minnesota last winter. The two also seem like a good match since the Orioles "likely are looking for Major-League-ready starting pitching and young position players" and the Twins have several young outfielders and Kevin Slowey potentially available in a deal.
Uehara has a bit more than $1MM remaining on the one-year, $3MM contract he signed with the O's last winter and he has a $4MM option for 2012 that will vest if he reaches 55 appearances. Given that Uehara has 40 appearances already, this option is a virtual certainty to vest. The 36-year-old Osaka native is having a stellar year, posting a 1.84 ERA, a 7.25 K/BB ratio and an 11.9 K.9 rate in those 40 appearances with Baltimore.
Here are some late night links as Thursday turns into Friday…
- Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports spoke to rival executives who believe the only three Mariners off limits in trade talks are Felix Hernandez, Michael Pineda, and Dustin Ackley. Impending free agents like Adam Kennedy, Jack Wilson, and Jamey Wright are certainly on the block, but pitchers Jason Vargas, Brandon League, and Doug Fister would be the most interesting trade candidates.
- The Blue Jays scouted Kevin Slowey's minor league rehab start on Wednesday night, tweets Morosi. They've had interest in him since Spring Training.
- MLB.com's Todd Zolecki says the Phillies are unlikely to add both a reliever and a right-handed bat before the trade deadline. Healthy returns from Brad Lidge and Jose Contreras could be all the bullpen help they need.
The Rockies and Pirates are among the teams showing continued interest in Twins hurler Kevin Slowey as he nears the end of a minor-league rehab assignment at Triple-A Rochester, major-league sources told Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com. The 27-year-old is currently on the disabled list with an abdominal strain, but he is said to be healthy now.
The veteran is earning $2.7MM this season but hasn't been able to find a spot on the team's big league roster. If the Twins don’t deal him soon, it’s possible that Slowey will be kept in the minors on an optional assignment.
Slowey will not be a free agent until after the 2013 season. For his career, the right-hander has a 4.43 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9.
Ken Rosenthal has his lastest Full Count video up over at FOXSports.com. Let's go over the highlights:
- If the Marlins make a managerial change, the most likely candidate would be Nationals' third base coach Bo Porter. Porter spent five years with the Marlins, and three as a Major League coach. Rosenthal wonders if the Nats would let him go to a division rival midseason, and if Porter would accept the job on an interim basis, knowing the Marlins ultimately want Ozzie Guillen. Porter turned down a similar offer last season.
- Rosenthal asked Yankees GM Brian Cashman if he would consider trading for an ace, and Cashman replied, "I'm not Ruben Amaro," referring to the Phillies GM and his affinity for blockbuster trades. Rosenthal names Wandy Rodriguez as a potential target for New York, but says there could be a hangup since the Astros value Rodriguez as an ace, while the Yanks would view him as a back-of-the-rotation addition.
- The Phillies are doing their due dilligence in looking for right-handed hitters and left-handed relievers, but are limited by payroll issues. They also don't currently have regular at-bats for any hitter they'd acquire. Rosenthal says someone like Ryan Spilborghs, making $2MM with the Rockies, is the type of hitter that would be appealing to Philadelphia.
- The Rockies could be buyers or sellers, depending on their play over the next month. If they're buyers, they'll seek innings-eating pitchers (Rosenthal names Hiroki Kuroda of the Dodgers and the Twins' Kevin Slowey as possible targets), while if they sell they could look to move Huston Street, Ty Wigginton, and Aaron Cook.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Aaron Cook | Colorado Rockies | Hiroki Kuroda | Houston Astros | Huston Street | Kevin Slowey | Los Angeles Dodgers | Miami Marlins | Minnesota Twins | New York Yankees | Philadelphia Phillies | Ryan Spilborghs | Ty Wigginton | Wandy Rodriguez | Washington Nationals
Links for Tuesday night, as Tigers catcher Alex Avila enjoys his third career two-homer game…
- Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail told MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli that he will continue considering internal and external replacements for Brian Roberts, who won't return before the end of May (Twitter link).
- Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch explains that the Cardinals demoted Mitchell Boggs in spite of his strong 2011 numbers because they can stretch him out at Triple-A. The Cards could have near-term needs for starters or middle relievers.
- On a related note, GM John Mozeliak told Tom Krasovic of MLB.com that he may explore trades for relievers at the deadline. However, Mozeliak says it’s still too early to predict with certainty that the bullpen will be the Cardinals’ biggest need this summer.
- Rockies left-hander Jorge de la Rosa has a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow, the team announced (on Twitter). Tommy John surgery appears to be a likely option for de la Rosa.
- Troy Renck of the Denver Post suggests we should keep Kevin Slowey in mind as a possible target for the Rockies should they look outside of the organization for rotation depth (Twitter link).
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan calls Daisuke Matsuzaka a "$103MM migraine" and reports that the right-hander has ignored what the Red Sox have wanted him to do since signing with Boston. Matsuzaka, who has a sprained UCL, might never pitch for the Red Sox again if he needs Tommy John surgery, according to Passan.
- Jim Bowden of ESPN.com previews his top five potential sellers at this year's trade deadline: the Mets, Astros, Twins, Cubs and Padres.
The Kevin Slowey relief experiment has ended, and a change of scenery appears to be in order. The 27-year-old control artist told Twins manager Ron Gardenhire he was having a hard time as a reliever, according to La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Slowey is headed back to Triple-A to get stretched out as a starter, but Gardenhire implied on ESPN 1500 that the right thing is to find the righty a starting opportunity with another club. After Sunday's game, Slowey had this to say to Neal:
"I understand our situation here. I understand the starters we have here, and I understand that, even given past successes as a starter, this might not be the right fit for me anymore."
That's a far cry from March of 2009, when Slowey talked to MLBTR about how he'd love to stay with the Twins long-term.
It's odd that a team with the second-worst rotation in the AL to date can't find room for Slowey, but Nick Blackburn and Scott Baker are pitching well and Francisco Liriano and Carl Pavano were very good last year. There's a case to be made for replacing Brian Duensing, but the Twins may prefer to give top prospect Kyle Gibson a look.
Slowey is not without his flaws. He's a righty with a 90 mile per hour heater. He's hittable, and his high flyball rate makes him prone to the longball. He's averaged about 5.5 innings per start in recent years and hasn't reached 175 in a season since '07. Most recently, he battled a shoulder strain in April.
Some team has a chance to buy low on Slowey, though, since he is capable of a sub-4.00 ERA. Slowey is earning $2.7MM this year, and is under team control through 2013 as an arbitration eligible player. Given how the 2011 season has gone so far, his 2012 raise should be limited. Contenders like the Red Sox and Marlins are currently hurting for starting pitching, though needs will become clearer for all teams a month or two from now. The Blue Jays reportedly had interest in Slowey in early March.
Links for Wednesday, after a walk-off win for Brandon Inge and the Tigers…
- Yankees manager Joe Girardi says Pedro Feliciano has a "damaged shoulder" according to Ben Shpigel of the New York Times (on Twitter). It sounds like surgery is a possibility for the Yankees' $8MM investment.
- Tsuyoshi Nishioka’s leg injury weakened the Twins' middle infield, which means they may look for infield help, rather than relievers in potential deals, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Trade candidate Kevin Slowey hasn’t pitched in a game since April 4th because of bursitis in his right shoulder, but he could become available again this season.
- Anthony Rendon nudged out Gerrit Cole for top spot on Baseball America’s updated list of top draft eligible players.
- The Yankees were frustrated that the Astros never made them fully aware that Roy Oswalt was available last summer, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Credit Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. for acquiring Oswalt quietly and later denying the Yankees their primary offseason target, Cliff Lee.