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The trade deadline is just two weeks away, and with the All-Star Game in the rear-view mirror, Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio writes that the market will pick up rapidly beginning Friday. Here are some highlights from the highly informative article penned by the former GM of the Reds, Expos and Nationals (ESPN Insider required and recommended)…
- Bowden hears there's an 80 percent chance that Matt Garza will be traded before his next scheduled start (Monday or Tuesday of next week). The Rangers, Red Sox and Diamondbacks are still involved, He describes the D-backs as "dark horses," adding that their odds in the Garza sweepstakes would increase if they were willing to part with left-hander David Holmberg.
- The Rockies could also be interested in Garza, but they're not clear-cut buyers right now, and the prospective cost is prohibitive to them. If they were to sell, Rafael Betancourt and Matt Belisle could be had. Michael Cuddyer could be moved, but only if Colorado is "blown away."
- The White Sox have been "extremely disappointed" with offers for Alex Rios thus far. Bowden feels that offers will improve as the deadline draws closer.
- The Justin Morneau era in Minnesota is coming to an end, and the Twins are prepared to trade the former MVP, according to Bowden. The Rays, Pirates and Yankees are said by Bowden to be possible destinations for Morneau.
- The Cardinals, Reds, Dodgers and Braves have all inquired on Twins closer Glen Perkins and been turned away. Those four teams are all monitoring the health of Jesse Crain as well.
- The Yankees are trying to use Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and catching prospect J.R. Murphy to acquire a bat but have had no luck thus far. None of those players figure to interest the Twins in regards to Morneau, Bowden adds, given the impending free agency of Hughes and Chamberlain and the presence of Joe Mauer behind the plate for the Twins.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Alex Rios | Arizona Diamondbacks | Atlanta Braves | Boston Red Sox | Chicago Cubs | Chicago White Sox | Cincinnati Reds | Colorado Rockies | Glen Perkins | J.R. Murphy | Jesse Crain | Joba Chamberlain | Justin Morneau | Los Angeles Dodgers | Matt Belisle | Matt Garza | Michael Cuddyer | Minnesota Twins | New York Yankees | Phil Hughes | Pittsburgh Pirates | Rafael Betancourt | St. Louis Cardinals | Tampa Bay Rays | Texas Rangers
- The Cubs aren't necessarily planning to trade David DeJesus, who they have signed through 2014, but they'll listen to offers. DeJesus could be a trade candidate in August, after he recovers from a shoulder injury.
- While the Rangers' 2011 decision to trade Chris Davis for Koji Uehara has recently received plenty of attention, Rosenthal notes that the Athletics also have a what-could-have-been in their recent history as well. The A's claimed Edwin Encarnacion from the Blue Jays in November 2010, then non-tendered him, and he ended up back with the Jays. Since then, he's hit 84 home runs.
- The Rangers might be interested in Michael Cuddyer if the Rockies wished to trade him, Rosenthal notes. The Rangers are reportedly on the lookout for a righty hitter, and Cuddyer would fit the bill.
- The Braves aren't looking for a top starter, Rosenthal writes, but they'd like to augment their bullpen.
Earlier this offseason we heard the Rockies were open to trading position players for pitching help, but Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter) the team is not planning to move Michael Cuddyer. Morosi says the Mariners inquired about his availability at one point this winter.
Cuddyer, 33, hit .260/.317/.489 with 16 homers in 394 plate appearances for Colorado last season, the first on his three-year, $31.5MM contract. He missed nearly two months total with oblique problems and is owed $21M over the next two seasons. Cuddyer does offer some versatility because he can play the two corner outfield positions and first base, which surely appealed to Seattle.
Troy Renck of the Denver Post shared some Rockies items on his Twitter feed earlier today, here are the hot stove-related tweets…
- The Rockies kept an "ongoing dialogue" with Kevin Correia's representatives but didn't come close to the two-year, $10MM deal that Correia signed with the Twins earlier today.
- The Rockies have a "mild interest" in right-hander Jeff Karstens, who was non-tendered by the Pirates last month. Karstens posted a 3.97 ERA and 4.4 K/BB ratio in 90 2/3 innings for Pittsburgh in 2012, though he spent significant time on the DL and was projected to earn $3.8MM through arbitration according to MLBTR's Matt Swartz.
- From that same tweet, Renck feels that if the Rockies make a big move for pitching, it will be through a trade and not the free agent market.
- Michael Cuddyer hasn't drawn much trade interest, though Renck says the Rockies aren't particularly interested in dealing him anyway.
- A trade is still the more likely means for Colorado to acquire starting pitching help, according to Renck. Teams are calling about Dexter Fowler and Michael Cuddyer. Renck notes that the two years and $21MM remaining on Cuddyer's contract may be appealing to teams, given the inflated prices we've seen in this year's free agent market.
- The one-year deal signed by Jeff Francis last night will pay the southpaw somewhere north of $750K salary that he earned in 2012.
- Renck also writes that the team included Alex White in this week's Wilton Lopez trade because they no longer viewed White as a starter.
- Within that same piece, Renck reports that in trade talks prior to the Winter Meetings, the Rockies asked for Mike Minor and one of Julio Teheran or Randall Delgado in exchange for Fowler. Needless to say, the price on Colorado's center fielder remains high.
"Signs point to Dexter Fowler staying in Colorado," writes ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, citing both the Rockies' large asking price for the outfielder and potential trade partners' concerns about Fowler's ability to hit outside of Coors Field (Twitter links). Fowler has a career .882 OPS at home and just a .698 OPS on the road over his five-year career, and he put up an even larger set of splits (.984 OPS home/.720 OPS road) in 2012 when he posted a career-best .300/.389/.474 slash line for the Rockies.
A rival executive tells Crasnick that the Rockies are asking for a "sky high" return for Fowler, who is projected to get a raise to $4MM in his second year of arbitration eligibility by MLBTR's Matt Swartz. The Braves were interested in Fowler but balked at giving up two top prospects, according to CBS Sports' Danny Knobler. Fowler would have been Atlanta's leadoff hitter, as the Braves are still looking for a table-setter since they intend to use the newly-signed B.J. Upton in the middle of the lineup.
The Rockies want a similarly large trade package in exchange for Michael Cuddyer, Knobler reports. Cuddyer is seven years older than Fowler but comes with cost-certainty (two years and $21MM remaining on his contract) and is more proven as a hitter outside of Colorado.
As they attempt to bolster a rotation that ranked among the worst in MLB this past season, the Rockies have expressed interest in numerous free agent starting pitchers, including right-hander Kevin Correia and left-hander Jeff Francis, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports. The Rockies aim to acquire a reliable arm capable of providing steady innings within a relatively young and inexperienced rotation.
Correia, 32, spent last season with the Pirates, mostly as a member of the Pittsburgh rotation. He posted a 4.21 ERA with 4.7 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 171 innings. Correia, an All-Star in 2011, recently completed a two-year, $8MM contract with the Pirates. When I discussed the Rockies’ search for pitching last week, I suggested Correia would be worth considering.
Francis started 24 games for the Rockies in 2012, leading the team with 113 innings pitched. The 31-year-old posted a 5.58 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9, but he has had success at Coors Field in the past. He has indicated a desire to return to Colorado, Renck reports.
The Rockies have also been getting calls on Dexter Fowler and Michael Cuddyer, though they aren’t looking to trade either outfielder. The Braves have called about Fowler, an Atlanta native, according to Renck.
The Rockies allowed more runs than any other team this past season, so they’ll be looking for starting pitching this offseason. Does that mean they’ll have trade an outfielder? Not necessarily, as Troy Renck of the Denver Post explained earlier today (Sulia links). Here are the details…
- The Rockies would like to obtain a starter who can provide consistency and stability in the rotation, according to Renck. Starters such as Ricky Nolasco and Gavin Floyd could be available in trades this offseason, and there’s always the free agent market.
- Now that the Rockies have acquired infielder Ryan Wheeler from Arizona, they could consider parting with an infielder. They could flip Wheeler or keep him and trade another infielder.
- Outfielders Dexter Fowler and Michael Cuddyer will both draw trade interest in the weeks ahead, Renck writes. While the Rockies will listen to trade offers, they aren’t aggressively shopping either player.
The Rockies will entertain trade possibilities for multiple position players, including Dexter Fowler and Michael Cuddyer, opposing executives and scouts tell Troy E. Renck of The Denver Post. The club doesn't plan to trade shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, but clubs are expected to see if the Rockies will change their tune as the winter progresses.
Colorado is able to make Fowler and Cuddyer available thanks in large part to Tyler Colvin's ability to play all three outfield positions. If Todd Helton returns from hip labrum surgery that also will bolster the situation at first base where Cuddyer would be in the mix.
Renck notes that Atlanta and Philadelphia could be fits for Fowler as they seek a center fielder and the Braves had interest in him when they were shopping infielder Martin Prado. The 26-year-old is also an Atlanta native and plans on living there this offseason.
With an unconventional approach both on and off the field, the Rockies have attracted a great deal of attention for a team on pace to lose over 90 games this season. Beset by injuries, a payroll in the bottom half of the league and inconsistent pitching further hampered by altitude, Colorado seemingly has no choice but to think outside the box if it hopes to make a playoff run anytime soon. Let's head to the Mile High City and catch up on the latest news making headlines…
- Bill Geivett's new role running the Rockies' Major League operations on a daily basis reveals a trend of untraditional thinking in the team's organization, but it may pay off, writes Troy E. Renck of The Denver Post. Instead of moving to the corner office, Geivett put a desk in the team's conference room located within the Rockies' clubhouse in hopes of getting a better grasp on where the club is struggling and how he can work to fix the problems. Colorado has already felt an impact from Geivett's presence as the team just enjoyed its first winning month since June 2011.
- The Rockies' unusual decision to continue to go with a four-man rotation must discussed with the team's position players as Colorado will be more successful if everyone buys in, opines Renck. While there is data that suggests removing a starter before he faces a lineup for a third time is beneficial, Renck says the movement can't be sustained without players expressing confidence in the approach. Since making the switch in June, the Rockies' starting rotation has improved its ERA by over half a run.
- Michael Cuddyer remains at peace with his decision to sign with the Rockies last offseason even amidst injuries and the team's inability to win games, writes Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post. The former Twins All-Star outfielder has found his niche by serving as a leader both on and off the field to the team's younger players. "He's very outgoing, always willing to help," said rookie Jordan Pacheco. "In spring training, he came up to me and said, 'I have played a couple of positions and I have been a utility guy before, so if you have any questions, just come ask me.' He's like that for everybody."