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The consensus around baseball this season has been that the Rays are extremely reluctant to trade ace David Price within the AL East. That may still be true, but Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports hears that they’re still at least open to the idea of moving Price within the division.
An intra-division deal might call for a premium price, but today’s report is still good news for the Blue Jays, who would no doubt love to bring Price north of the border. The Blue Jays can’t bank on Mark Buehrle duplicating his strong first half and they’ve fallen out of first place. If Toronto is willing to part with two of their top three prospects - Aaron Sanchez, Daniel Norris, and Dalton Pompey – they could come away with the most alluring pitcher on the trade market.
In addition to the Blue Jays, Morosi cites the Mariners, Dodgers, and Cardinals as possible landing spots for Price. It’s hard to see Seattle landing Price without parting with Taijuan Walker, but they might be aggressive enough to move the 21-year-old to get Price. The Dodgers, of course, are always aggressive and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports surmised yesterday that they could be extra bullish on Price because of their TV situation.
In his latest video, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports has an interesting theory as to why the Dodgers may be keen to acquire Rays starter David Price. Over 70% of the Dodgers market is currently blacked out due to a dispute between Time Warner and Direct TV. Adding another superstar pitcher to a rotation that includes Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke could put even more pressure on the two telecom giants to work out a deal.
- Speaking of Price, A’s GM Billy Beane confirmed interest in the southpaw, but he preferred to add two pitchers in one fell swoop. He was also concerned about Price’s potential $20MM price tag next season, which would be hard to absorb into the club’s payroll or move via trade.
- For their part, the Cubs were eager to deal Jason Hammel before the market became saturated with similar pitchers.
- The Padres have interviewed four candidates for their open GM position and plan to interview another seven to eight prior to the end of the All-Star break. Then they will invite two or three candidates back. A new GM may be named by the end of the month, although they may not start until after the non-waiver trade deadline.
- The Twins will hang onto their trade chips until after the All-Star game, which will be hosted at Target Field. As we heard earlier tonight, Josh Willingham, Kevin Correia, and Kurt Suzuki are the most likely to find new homes.
Here’s the latest on the Padres’ search for a new GM to replace Josh Byrnes.
July 3 Updates
- The Padres will interview MLB Senior Vice President for Baseball Operations Kim Ng for the GM job, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com first reported that the former Dodgers and Yankees assistant GM was under consideration for the role.
July 2 Updates
- The Padres will interview Diamondbacks scouting director Ray Montgomery, sources tell Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (Twitter link).
July 1 Updates
- San Diego has received permission to interview Yankees assistant GM Billy Eppler, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, who also runs down some of the known and possible field.
- The club’s current VP of baseball operations, Omar Minaya, has decided not to pursue the job but does wish to stay with the team, reports Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune (via Twitter).
June 30 Updates
- The Padres announced that they have interviewed White, tweets MLB.com’s Corey Brock.
- Cubs‘ executive Jason McLeod told reporters, including Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times (Twitter links), that he has taken himself out of the running for the Padres GM role. He explained that he was “flattered” to be considered, but wants to stay in Chicago because the team has “a lot of special things going on.”
June 29 Updates
- Red Sox Assistant GM Mike Hazen confirms he will interview for the position, tweets Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald.
- Dodgers Vice President of Amateur Scouting Logan White will receive “big time” consideration, tweets the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo.
- The Padres will interview Rangers assistant GM A.J. Preller but not fellow assistant Thad Levine, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets. The Padres would prefer not to interview two candidates from the same organization.
- Red Sox Assistant GM Mike Hazen has connections to Padres president Mike Dee (the former Red Sox Chief Operating Officer) and could become a strong candidate for the Padres’ GM job, Cafardo reports. Hazen has not yet interviewed, however.
- There has been “a lot of talk” of Diamondbacks president Kevin Towers returning to San Diego, Cafardo reports.
- Cafardo also notes that former Twins, Cubs and Orioles exec Andy MacPhail would have interest in the position if the Padres were interested in him. MacPhail, 61, served as the Orioles’ president of baseball operations from 2007 through 2011.
Edward Creech and Jeff Todd contributed to this post.
- The Dodgers have signed Venezuelan corner outfielder Romer Cuadrado and given him a $750K signing bonus, reports Ben Badler of Baseball America. Cuardado didn’t crack either Top 30 list, though Badler did note in a report (subscription required) that he has an “extra-large frame” for a 16-year-old (6’4″, 195 pounds) with room to add size. Badler noted that Cuardado has projectable raw power from the right side.
- Shortstops Pedro Gonzalez ($1.3MM) and Yeremy Rosario ($800K) have agreed to terms with the Rockies, according to Dionisio Soldevila of ESPNDeportes.com (via Twitter) and MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez (Twitter link), respectively. Gonzalez was rated the 12th-best prospect available by both Baseball America and MLB.com. Rosario, meanwhile, landed at 22nd on the MLB.com list, with opinions varying on whether he is a top young player or instead lacks the ability to stick up the middle.
- Shortstop Kenny Hernandez has signed with the Mets for $1MM, Sanchez reports on Twitter. Hernandez was the 27th-rated prospect by MLB.com but rose all the way to 13th on the Baseball America board.
- The Giants have inked outfielder Sandro Fabian for $500K, reports Sanchez (via Twitter). Fabian hails from the Dominican Republic and can generate hard contact but needs to work on his plate discipline and will likely need to move from center to left field, according to Badler (subscription required).
- The Phillies have signed shortstop Arquimedes Gamboa to a $900K bonus, reports Sanchez (via Twitter). The switch-hitting Venezuelan checked in at eighth on BA’s list and 15th on that of MLB.com. His value appears to be in his legs and defensive ability, though Gamboa is said to be a capable contact hitter. Philadelphia has also inked fellow Venezuelan shortstop Daniel Brito, who was rated 29th overall by BA, according to a report from Badler. Brito receives a healthy $650K bonus, according to Badler.
- The Padres have agreed to terms with catcher Ricardo Rodriguez, who came in at the very bottom of MLB.com’s top-30 prospect list, tweets Sanchez. San Diego also landed a $500K contract with shortstop Elvis Sabala, per another Sanchez tweet.
- Outfielder Christian Capellan has agreed to a $500K deal with the Marlins, tweets Sanchez. The club has also inked Venezuelan outfielder Anderson Castro for $650K, according to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro (via Twitter). Miami is expected to land as many as twelve players today while wielding a bonus that is triple the club’s previous levels, tweets Frisaro. The Fish have just over $4.6MM in available pool space, second-most in the league.
Steve Adams contributed to this post.
Here are the latest trade deadline news and rumors from around the game …
- Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. says that the club’s next ten games will help decide how the club navigates the trade deadline, per an interview transcript from Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News. “We’ve been assessing this thing and will continue to do so all the way through this month,” he said. Amaro said that he has had “tons” of conversations, mostly to feel out needs, and that his focus is on improving the club’s production at the plate. “On our side, we’re looking for some offense, we’re looking for some younger players, we’re looking for some things that can help us short term and long term,” said Amaro. “As far as the other teams are concerned, some of them know exactly what they want, but most of them don’t. I mean, there’s still a lot of time. A lot of injuries can happen, there’s a lot of different things that can happen with some of these teams moving forward.” In terms of the club’s timeline, Amaro reiterated that he is not interested in a complete tear-down, but said that, “if we have to go a step backward for a year or two to move forward then that’s what we’ll try to do.”
- One theoretically possible Phillies trade chip — catcher Carlos Ruiz — has suffered a concussion that Amaro calls “a little more serious than we originally thought,” as Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Since signing a three-year, $26MM deal in the offseason, the 35-year-old has produced a .257/.33/.357 triple-slash through 273 plate appearances.
- It remains to be seen whether or not Phillies starter Cole Hamels is shopped at all. But if he is, the Blue Jays would only be able to acquire him if he waived his no-trade protection, as they are one of the teams on his list, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
- Rival officials are skeptical that the Royals have freedom to add payroll, tweets Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star. GM Dayton Moore has indicated that the club would be able to take on salary to bolster the roster for a postseason push.
- The Padres have fielded trade interest in outfielders Seth Smith and Chris Denorfia, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). Nevertheless, the club’s most asked-about pieces to date have been back-end relievers Huston Street and Joaquin Benoit.
- Heyman also reports that the Rays have set a high asking price for David Price in discussions with the Dodgers, with Tampa seeking multiple elite prospects. Heyman argues that giving up more than one of the club’s five best youngsters — he includes Corey Seager, Joc Pederson, Julio Urias, Chris Anderson, and Zach Lee — would be a mistake for Los Angeles.
Here are today’s outright assignments and minor moves from around the league…
- UPDATE: Maikel Cleto has not, in fact, been released by the White Sox, according to MLB.com’s Scott Merkin (via Twitter). The International League transactions page indicates that the righty has been released, apparently erroneously. Cleto, 25, has seen his most extended MLB time this year after enjoying cups of coffee in each of the last three seasons. But he has not taken advantage, and owns a 5.14 ERA through 14 frames with an ugly 6.4 K/9 against 9.6 BB/9. Cleto’s 20 2/3 innings in Triple-A have not been much better, as he has worked to a 6.53 mark, though he has managed 12.2 K/9 and 4.8 BB/9.
- Righty Joel Pineiro, recently released by the Angels, has been hit with a 50-game PED suspension, reports MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez (via Twitter). The prohibited substance at issue was heptaminol, reports Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com (tweet in Spanish). The 35-year-old, who had been attempting a comeback, owns a 5.93 ERA through 44 innings in the upper minors on the year.
- Shortstop Paul Janish has been released by the Rockies, according to the PCL transactions page. Janish opted out of his minor league pact, according to Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com (via Twitter). The 31-year-old has spent the entire year at Triple-A, putting up a .234/.284/.301 slash in 226 plate appearances.
- Righty Chris Resop has opted out of his contract with the Red Sox, tweets Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. The 31-year-old owns a 4.42 ERA through 38 2/3 frames at Triple-A. He has made MLB appearances in eight of the last nine seasons.
- The Dodgers have acquired first baseman Brock Peterson from the Nationals in exchange for cash considerations, according to the MLB.com transactions page. Peterson, 30, owns a .250/.332/.367 line through 301 plate appearances at Triple-A this year. He has, however, shown much more power in recent seasons in the high minors with the Cardinals.
- The White Sox have released righty Mitchell Boggs from Triple-A, reports Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com (via Twitter). The move will clear space for the addition of fellow reliever Henry Rodriguez, who signed a minor league deal recently, as Scott Merkin of MLB.com reported on Twitter. Boggs struggled to a 9.50 ERA in 36 innings with the Sox’ top affiliate this year, while Rodriguez was utterly unable to throw strikes consistently during his tenure with the Marlins.
- The Phillies announced that right-hander Sean O’Sullivan has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The 26-year-old allowed four runs in 5 2/3 innings in his lone start of the year with the Phillies and has a career 5.90 ERA with 4.3 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in 224 1/3 innings of work. O’Sullivan has been outrighted in the past and has the option to reject the outright assignment in favor of free agency.
In his latest column, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reminds everyone why experienced foreigners like Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka and White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu are considered eligible for Rookie of the Year awards. Of course, players like Abreu and Tanaka come with years of professional experience, but they still have to make a significant transition when it comes to the move to MLB, both professionally and culturally. Here’s more from Rosenthal..
- High school left-hander (and first overall draft choice) Brady Aiken reportedly arrived in Houston last Monday, which would indicate that an agreement was close, but a week later nothing has been announced and neither side is saying why. The holdup, Rosenthal says, bears a resemblance to the delays that occasionally occur in free agency when players fail physicals and teams try to rework deals. If indeed Aiken failed his physical, the Astros would have the right to offer him 40 percent of his signing bonus value, according to the new draft rules that were negotiated into the collective bargaining agreement in 2011. Of course, this is just speculation on Rosenthal’s part and only the parties involved know whether there is any kind of issue with Aiken’s physical.
- D’Backs outfielder and fan favorite Gerardo Parra might be among the least likely in Arizona to be traded. With A.J. Pollock and Mark Trumbo on the disabled list, a trade of the 27-year-old would leave the club short on experienced outfielders. It’s also unclear how much Parra would bring back in a trade. Parra is making $4.85MM in his third year of arbitration and amounts to little more than a platoon player, given his career .586 OPS against left-handers. Third baseman Martin Prado, earning $11MM per season through 2016, is another player the D’Backs might opt to keep, even though he has struggled at the plate as well. Second baseman Aaron Hill, meanwhile, is expendable given their surplus of middle infielders.
- It would be surprising if the Dodgers traded an outfielder considering the recent injury woes of Carl Crawford, Joc Pederson, and Andre Ethier.
- The Tigers didn’t re-sign Joaquin Benoit last winter because they didn’t want to pay him closer money, but he still makes sense for them as a mid-season pickup. The Padres reliever, who turns 37 in July, is owed about $3MM this season and $8MM next season with an $8MM team option or $1.5MM buyout for 2016.
- Jake Arrieta probably has the best stuff of any Cubs starter right now but, of course, Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel are more likely to be traded since Arrieta is under club control through 2017. Lefty Travis Wood, meanwhile, could be an extension candidate once the Cubs complete their rotation selloff.
Here are Sunday’s notable mid- to late-round draft signings, with all slot courtesy of Baseball America:
- The Dodgers have signed 12th-round pick Kam Uter for $200K, MLB.com’s Jim Callis tweets. The Georgia high school pitcher had a commitment to play wide receiver for Wake Forest. Picks from after the 10th round can earn bonuses of up to $100K before they count against the signing team’s pool, so Uter’s signing will cost the Dodgers $100K against their bonus pool.
- The Angels have signed their third-round selection Ole Miss right-hander Chris Ellis, reports MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez (Twitter links). Callis tweets that Ellis will receive $575K, slightly less than the bonus pool allotment of $612.8K. First-rounder Sean Newcomb (15th overall) is the only Angels’ draft choice from the first ten rounds who remains unsigned. In a separate tweet, Gonzalez notes no progress has been made with Newcomb, but he expects the University of Hartford left-hander to come to terms before the July 18 deadline.
Charlie Wilmoth contributed to this post.
We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here.
- The Reds have signed pitcher Ryan Rowland-Smith to a minor-league deal, Robert Murray of SportsRumorAlert.com tweets. Rowland-Smith saw his first MLB action since 2010 when he pitched 7 1/3 innings for the Diamondbacks earlier this season. He also pitched 14 innings for the Blue Jays’ Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo before being released earlier this month. MLB Daily Dish’s Chris Cotillo tweets that Rowland-Smith has an August 1 opt-out date.
- The Giants have outrighted pitcher Jake Dunning to Triple-A Fresno, Murray tweets. The 25-year-old has appeared in one game with the Giants this season after pitching 25 2/3 innings for him in 2013. Dunning has posted a 5.88 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 in 33 2/3 innings for Fresno this season.
- 1B/OF Jamie Romak has cleared waivers, and the Dodgers have outrighted him to Triple-A Albuquerque, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick tweets. The Dodgers designated Romak for assignment on Wednesday. The 28-year-old Romak made his big-league debut earlier this season and collected one hit in 23 plate appearances with the Dodgers. He hit .272/.354/.578 in 206 plate appearances for Albuquerque earlier this season. Romak has a July 1 opt-out date, so he could reappear in this space again soon.
ESPN’s Jayson Stark hosted a chat with readers today and touched on a number of hot stove topics with the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline roughly a month away. Here are some highlights, though the entire thing is worth a read-through for those interested in next month’s deadline…
- Stark has received no indications that the Yankees are shopping for a third baseman. He hears that they’re prioritizing the rotation over everything else at this time.
- Domonic Brown‘s trade value is dropping by the day, says Stark. Scouts have been watching Brown (and the Phillies in general) over the past couple of weeks, and Philadelphia is trying to bill Brown as “a guy who did it once before so he can do it again.” However, Stark has a hard time seeing Brown fetching anything more than another change-of-scenery candidate.
- Jeff Luhnow and the Astros view most relievers as interchangeable parts, making it likely that they’ll be very willing to move names like Chad Qualls and Tony Sipp next month.
- Right-hander Ken Giles has impressed so much that Stark expects the Phillies to ratchet up their efforts to trade Jonathan Papelbon, and with Papelbon pitching better than he has in years, this is the perfect time to do it, he opines. Giles has thrown just seven innings for the Phils, but he’s averaged 97.1 mph on his heater with a 12-to-3 K/BB ratio and a ground-ball rate north of 55 percent.
- The Dodgers have been telling teams that they won’t move Joc Pederson or Corey Seager this summer, according to Stark. If that’s indeed the case, that should take them out of the running for David Price (in my opinion).
- Stark doesn’t get the sense that the Tigers are shopping for a closer, which meshes with yesterday’s comments from GM Dave Dombrowski. Detroit doesn’t think Joe Nathan is finished yet.