Martin Perez Rumors
- Levine explained that relatively innocent conversations with scouts can turn into full-blown trade talks because they highlight needs and surpluses.
- The Rangers don’t have an established left-handed reliever after losing Darren Oliver and Mike Gonzalez in free agency, but they’re pleased with the increased velocity non-roster invitee Neal Cotts is showing early on in camp.
- Young pitchers such as Martin Perez have impressed the Rangers' front office and Levine expects contributions at the MLB level in the 'not-so-distant future.'
- The Rangers consider Josh Hamilton an elite center fielder, but they continue to play him in left field since they generally believe he's more likely to stay in the lineup as a corner outfielder.
- Though Levine didn't comment in detail on extension talks with Hamilton, he did say the club intends to keep as many of its core position players in place for as long as possible. Hamilton is eligible for free agency after the season, but the Rangers haven't ruled out in-season talks for their top position players.
The latest from ESPN's Jayson Stark...
- The Rays listened on James Shields last week, but now they've taken him off the market for July and apparently the upcoming offseason.
- An executive who spoke with the Cubs says the level of interest in first baseman Carlos Pena has been exaggerated. That's pretty damning, since publicly the level of interest has always appeared tepid. Also, Stark says the Cubs believe Pena could get through waivers in August. I disagree with the notion that there will be a lot less money left on Pena's contract at that point, since half of the $10MM is to be paid in January.
- Kosuke Fukudome might be the one Cub dealt at the July deadline. We still haven't heard which teams are on his partial no-trade list, however.
- The Rangers are balking at including lefty Martin Perez in a deal. Perez is a consensus top-13 prospect in all of MLB. However, the Rangers will discuss their next tier of prospects - Tanner Scheppers, Robbie Erlin, Roman Mendez and Barret Loux, in Stark's mind.
- A longtime friend of Drayton McLane believes McLane's last act as Astros owner will be to convince GM Ed Wade to retain favorite Hunter Pence.
Now that we know for sure that Cliff Lee is headed to the Rangers, the pundits are already chiming in about the big swap --- both about what it means for Texas and Seattle, and about what it means for the teams that fell short in the Lee sweepstakes.
- Since the Rangers didn't have to give up any of their blue-chip pitching prospects, the trade is "a huge, huge 'win' for" Texas, tweets Evan P. Grant of the Dallas Morning News.
- Grant also tweets that he was told that one of those young pitchers, Martin Perez, "was deemed untouchable" by the team.
- Jim Bowden of Sirius XM Radio thinks "both teams win on this deal," though the Rangers are the "biggest winner" since it helps their chances in October. Bowden also compliments the Mariners for getting more talent back for Lee than they dealt to acquire him in the winter. (Twitter link).
- USA Today's Bob Nightengale writes that last night, the Rangers thought that Lee was going to the Yankees. (Twitter link) Nightengale also thinks this trade makes Texas GM Jon Daniels the executive of the year.
- The Phillies are taking some heat for not getting as much minor league talent for Lee when they dealt him over the winter. ESPN's Jayson Stark tweets that one scouting director rated Philadelphia's haul for Lee as "last by a long shot" compared to what Seattle and Cleveland both got for the pitcher within the last year.
- John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the Reds "made what they thought was a serious offer" for Lee today, though Fay thinks both "the Rangers and Yankees offered a better package than the Reds could have put together."
- Ed Price of Fanhouse.com comments that the Rays didn't want to give up any significant prospects for Lee (via Twitter), while the Mets simply didn't have the caliber of prospects that Seattle was looking for. Price notes, however, that Jeremy Guthrie could be on the Mets' radar screen.
- The Mets could use this Lee deal as a guideline, however, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney. The Mets could follow the Rangers' example and try to get a trading partner to add money into a deal, since Olney reports that New York won't be able to add to their payroll before the deadline.
- Rays manager Joe Maddon is unsurprisingly happy that Lee isn't in Yankee pinstripes, reports Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times.
- Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski says his team "had interest [in Lee], but we didn’t come close to a deal," reports John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press.
- Alyson Footer of MLB.com tweets that the Lee trade may help Houston move Roy Oswalt, since the "more attractive pitcher is off the table & Roy is the next best option."