Leury Garcia Rumors
Former Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan isn't sure whether he wants to return to baseball, but he's listening, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. "I’ve had several clubs call me and talk to me not so much about coaching, but joining them in some other capacity," says Duncan. "I really don’t think I would coach again — not right now, anyway. But if someone is interested, I’d listen to whatever they’re thinking about." Duncan left the game in January 2012 as his wife Jeanine was suffering from cancer. Duncan still has an excellent reputation as a pitching coach, but he does not want to return to coaching, calling it "a grind." Here are more notes from the Central divisions.
- It's unclear whether the Brewers will go with Scooter Gennett or Rickie Weeks at second base next season, Tom Haudricourt of the Journal Sentinel writes. Haurdicourt wonders if Weeks' $11MM 2014 salary might be a factor. (Weeks also has a vesting option for 2015.) Weeks has struggled all season, hitting .209/.306/.357 with poor defense, while Gennett has hit brilliantly in his rookie year.
- Leury Garcia, who the White Sox acquired from the Rangers last month in the Alex Rios deal, is impressing his new teammates, Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com writes. His defense at second base has played well so far, and although he hasn't yet provided much offense (he's hitting .214/.303/.214 in a small sample of 33 plate appearances so far), manager Robin Ventura says he thinks that will improve.
- Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen, who experienced four losing seasons in Pittsburgh before the Bucs finally broke through this year, advises Cubs players to worry about their own play and let management take care of the rest, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports. The Cubs are 22 games below .500, but McCutchen suggests players remember that, one day, things might be different. "When you lose for so long, you hope those things that happen in the minors, that those guys get the work they need to get done so when they get the chance to come here and play, they're ready to go," says McCutchen. "It's not fun when you are losing, but it's a process that down the road that things are going to get better.''
AUGUST 11: The White Sox have announced, via Twitter, Garcia is the player to be named later in the Rios trade. Garcia will report to Triple-A Charlotte and will most likely be a September call-up, before if needed, reports Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com (Twitter links).
AUGUST 9: It looked like a long shot just hours ago, but the White Sox and Rangers have announced a trade that will send Alex Rios to Texas in exchange for a player to be named later. The White Sox are reportedly including $1MM to help offset some of the remaining money on Rios' contract.
Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago feels that it's likely Leury Garcia will be the player to be named later at a time when he's not required to clear waivers to be moved (Twitter link). MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan agrees that Garcia will head to the White Sox, adding that the trade came together just minutes before the deadline to move Rios before his waiver period expired.
The 32-year-old Rios is hitting .277/.328/.421 with 12 homers and 26 stolen bases this season. Originally set to earn $12.5MM next year with a $13.5MM option for 2015, Rios has a clause in his contract that escalates both of those figures by $500K if traded, which is likely the reason that the Sox included the $1MM in cash.
The Rangers claimed Rios off waivers earlier this week after expressing interest in him prior to the trade deadline. This is the second time that he has changed teams in August, as the White Sox originally acquired him from the Blue Jays back in 2009 in a down season when the Jays simply dumped his contract onto the White Sox. In parts of five seasons with the White Sox, Rios hit .269/.310/.430, offering solid defense in right field. He's also capable of playing center field in a pinch, though he hasn't done so regularly since 2011.
The 22-year-old Garcia is hitting just .192/.236/.231 in 57 plate appearances this season. The switch-hitter entered the season ranked as the Rangers' No. 20 prospect, according to Baseball America. In their scouting report, BA noted that Garcia is a near 80 runner on the 20-80 scouting scale and also possessed the best infield arm in Texas' system. His ultimate role may be a super utility player capable of handling second base, shortstop and center field, according to BA.
Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago first reported that Rios had been traded and that the White Sox would receive a PTBNL (Twitter links). Jon Heyman of CBS Sports first reported that that the White Sox were including $1MM (on Twitter).
With Nelson Cruz's suspension leaving the Rangers thin in the outfield, Texas acquired Alex Rios from the White Sox today for a PTBNL (widely reported to be infielder Leury Garcia) and $1MM. Now, several hours after news of the trade broke, here are reactions to the deal from around the web.
- Assuming the player to be named later in the deal does turn out to be Garcia, the Rangers paid a reasonable price for Rios, Eno Sarris of Fangraphs.com writes. With Rios only under contract for one more guaranteed year after 2013, the Rangers aren't assuming too much risk. Garcia didn't rank as a top prospect entering the season, and the Rangers have several infielders around for the long term and therefore could afford to part with him.
- The Rios trade is "a great move" for the Rangers, argues Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com. The deal addresses the Rangers' needs both now and in the near future, since Rios is under contract in 2014 and Cruz and David Murphy are eligible for free agency after this season.
- The deal makes sense for both teams, says CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. The Rangers get an average player who adds depth to their lineup, Heyman says, and the White Sox avoid paying Rios' salary through 2014, when they didn't figure to compete anyway.
- Rios says he will remember fondly, MLB.com's Scott Merkin writes (on Twitter). "It was a great ride," says Rios. "I enjoyed my whole time here. I had many great moments here. So, I’m going to miss this place."
Astros GM Jeff Luhnow remains confident the organization has taken the right steps to field a competitive team in the near future even with payroll that may fall short of $25MM, writes Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. "I think people are focusing on what the Major League payroll is, and I think the reality is we're making a huge investment in our people," Luhnow said. "We're not going to do something to improve a few games in 2013 that comes at the expense of our ability to compete over the long haul."
Let's take a look around the AL West to catch up on the latest news and headlines.
- The Astros may move another key player before the start of Spring Training as Bud Norris has been drawing attention and is available for the right package, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. The 27-year-old right-hander is set to earn $3MM during the 2013 season, making him the highest paid player on the Astros roster.
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels spoke with reporters for 40 minutes on Tuesday as he addressed the burning question of whether he did enough this offseason to keep Texas competitive in 2013, writes Anthony Andro of FOXSportsSouthwest.com. "What I'm excited about with this club is all the things we've talked about for years, we like the core of this team, recommitting ourselves to pitching, to the athletes, to giving our young guys a chance, to finding the right guys to fit the club, to finding the right veteran presence."
- Jurickson Profar and Mike Olt will be given every opportunity to make the big league club out of Spring Training for the Rangers, but look for Leury Garcia to compete for a spot as well, says Gerry Fraley of The Dallas Morning News. Garcia, 21, has spent the majority of his career as a middle infielder but recently gained experience playing outfield in the Dominican Republic Winter League.