Michael Cuddyer Rumors
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."
The Rockies have been scouting the Giants’ minor league teams, so a deal could be developing, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle writes (Twitter links). The Giants asked about acquiring Marco Scutaro for bench help a couple of weeks ago and relievers Rafael Betancourt and Matt Belisle could also interest San Francisco, Schulman writes. Here are more notes on the 37-60 Rockies...
- The Rockies don’t want to move Michael Cuddyer and are determined to keep Belisle, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com writes.
- Scutaro, Jason Giambi, Betancourt, Matt Reynolds and Jonathan Herrera are the most likely Rockies to be traded in that order, Heyman writes.
- The Rays, Nationals, Rangers and A’s appear to have interest in Scutaro, along with the Giants. Heyman reports that the Rockies could either seek a highly-regarded prospect for Scutaro or accept salary relief and a fringy prospect.
- Several teams have called about Reynolds, Heyman reports.
The Giants lead the NL West with a 49-40 record, but it doesn't sound as though they'll be particularly aggressive in trade talks this year (it won't be surprising if they trade for bullpen help). Still, there’s plenty of activity throughout the rest of the division with two weeks remaining in July. Here’s the latest...
- Six teams are discussing Chase Headley with the Padres, Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio reports (on Twitter). The Dodgers, Pirates, Indians, Orioles and Diamondbacks are all believed to have some interest in Headley, who’s under team control through 2014.
- Though there’s lots of interest in Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin, nothing seems close yet, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
- Michael Cuddyer has drawn trade interest from other teams, Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes. But the Rockies like Cuddyer and would have to eat a chunk of money to get the kind of players they'd want in return. A trade doesn't seem likely this summer.
- Here are the latest Justin Upton rumors.
Colorado is the epicenter of scouting activity this afternoon as Cole Hamels starts against the Rockies. The Angels, Dodgers, and Rangers are scouting the Phillie left-hander, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports (Twitter links). The Tigers are on hand taking a look at Marco Scutaro, tweets Tracy Ringolsby of Root Sports. Here's the rest of the news from the AL and NL West with the most recent up top:
- The Dodgers remain high on the Cubs' Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza and also have expressed interest in the Michael Cuddyer of the Rockies and Josh Willingham of the Twins, writes Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.
- The Angels keep telling teams Peter Bourjos is not available, tweets Knobler.
- The A's don't appear to be a fit with the Diamondbacks for Justin Upton, unless it's part of a multi-team deal, writes Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- In the same piece, Slusser writes, if the A's do make a trade, Bartolo Colon will be the first player dealt because he can net a decent prospect or two and the team has in-house replacement options.
- The A's will be buyers and sellers because they can move veteran starting pitching to fill other needs, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney.
- If the Diamondbacks do become sellers, Jon Morosi of Fox Sports tweets there will be interest in utilityman Willie Bloomquist because he can play short. The question is whether GM Kevin Towers will make him available.
- Earlier today, we learned the Dodgers may no longer be the favorite to land the Cubs' Ryan Dempster. There could a renewed sense of urgency as Chad Billingsley was scratched from his scheduled start today because of elbow pain. Billingsley will have a MRI, tweets MLB.com's Ken Gurnick, who adds manager Don Mattingly is unhappy the right-hander didn't disclose the injury earlier.
The 2011 amateur draft has officially produced its first Major Leaguer, as Trevor Bauer made his debut for the Diamondbacks tonight against the Braves. The third overall pick from 2011 was shaky in his first start in the Show (two runs on five hits and three walks over four innings and 74 pitches) but Bauer escaped with a no-decision.
Here are some more items from the D'Backs and elsewhere in the NL West...
- David Hernandez's two-year extension with the Diamondbacks is worth $3.5MM, reports Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. Hernandez received a $250K signing bonus, and the right-hander will earn $1.25MM in 2013 and $2MM in 2014.
- The Dodgers' seven-year, $42MM deal with Cuban prospect Yasel Puig has stunned many international scouting directors, reports Ben Badler of Baseball America. Puig's signing has caused a "huge disparity of opinion around the game," tweets ESPN's Buster Olney, who cites one scout that rated Puig as worth just a $500K contract.
- Dodgers president Stan Kasten tells Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times that the team is prepared to make "big" moves at the trade deadline and are willing to increase payroll. Kasten said he would prefer to take on more salary if it meant the Dodgers wouldn't have to trade a promising minor leaguer.
- The Rockies should try to deal Michael Cuddyer while he still has trade value, opines Fangraphs' Chris Cwik. Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd recently said he isn't going to move Cuddyer, though other teams have called about the veteran outfielder.
- Aubrey Huff told reporters (including Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle) that he hasn't thought about retiring despite his difficult 2012 season. The Giants veteran hasn't produced at the plate, battled an anxiety disorder and is currently on the DL after spraining his knee while celebrating Matt Cain's perfect game.
- Billionaire Steve Cohen dropped out of the bidding to buy the Padres once the price reached $800MM, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (via Twitter). Cohen is a Mets minority owner and was one of the top contenders to buy the Dodgers.
While there has been some speculation that the Rockies could consider moving outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, General Manager Dan O'Dowd says that the standout will be staying put in Colorado, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
O'Dowd says that talk of the team putting the 26-year-old on the block started when Nationals GM Mike Rizzo inquired on him via phone. The Rockies GM says that he told Rizzo that the outfielder wasn't available, and that was the end of it.
O'Dowd added that he has had a great deal of calls on Michael Cuddyer but won't part with him either. He expects to keep Dexter Fowler past the deadline as well but stopped short of calling him untouchable.
"I can't say for certain [we're not trading him] but we put a lot higher value on him than someone looking to acquire him," the GM said. Fowler has put it together since his demotion last season and is hitting .282/.377/.539 with ten homers this season.
Twins assistant GM Rob Antony discussed the team's offseason moves, players who signed elsewhere over the winter, plans for 2012, and more in an interview with Jesse Lund of the Twinkie Town blog. Here are some of the highlights...
- Michael Cuddyer was the Twins' "number one priority all off-season" but moved on once it became clear that the team wouldn't be able to re-sign him. Antony "always believed he wanted to be a Twin for his entire career" and thinks Cuddyer was "disappointed" to ultimately leave the team for Colorado.
- Jason Kubel shared his concerns with Antony about how Target Field is a tough stadium for power hitters, and the assistant GM believes this was a factor in Kubel leaving the team.
- The Twins dealt Delmon Young to the Tigers last season simply because the team put a priority on re-signing Cuddyer and Kubel, so they wanted to get some return for Young rather than possibly non-tender him after the season.
- Joe Nathan didn't give the Twins a chance to match the $14.75MM contract he received from the Rangers. Antony said there were no hard feelings about Nathan leaving, since the veteran closer was focused on playing for a contender. We heard in November that Minnesota's best offer to Nathan was "a bit less" than Texas' offer.
- The Nationals were "definitely interested" in Denard Span at the trade deadline last summer, but Antony doesn't "think we were ever close to doing anything."
- Antony said that some internet rumors about players on the trade market often lead to exploratory conversations between GMs about said players. "There are a lot of names that pop up where we do a lot of that same thing. 'Look, if you're looking to move this guy, he could be a fit over here. I don’t know what’s fact and what’s rumor, but if you are serious in trading a player we’d like to be kept in mind, we have some interest,' " Antony said. He brought up this point in regards to a question about Martin Prado, which would seem to hint that the Twins and Braves perhaps had such a conversation about the utilityman.
- Antony thinks Tsuyoshi Nishioka will give Alexi Casilla a strong battle for the starting second base job and that Nishioka "deserves a mulligan" for his tough 2011 season. Nishioka suffered a broken leg in his first season in the Major Leagues.
- "We have had more meetings with our training and medical staff this season than in the ten years prior to," Antony said in regards to how the Twins responded to last year's injury-riddled season. Still, Antony doesn't lay blame on the training staff: "These are the guys who were in place the year before, and the year before, and the year before that, so it’s not like all of a sudden they don’t know how to do their job. And last year, it was a perfect storm of everything that could do wrong, did go wrong."
A few items of note to pass along out of the NL West ...
- Newly signed Rockies outfielder Michael Cuddyer will earn a base salary of $10.5MM in each year of his three-year contract, although he can earn an additional $1.5MM in incentives in the deal's final year, 2014, tweets Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
- Cuddyer will man right field for the Rox, while Carlos Gonzalez shifts over to center, tweets Thomas Harding of MLB.com.
- Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario, who missed the entire 2011 season due to visa issues, has secured a visa and is expected to be in camp on time for the start of Spring Training, according to Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times.
- However, Belisario will have to serve a 25-game suspension, which are typically doled out when players fail to comply with treatment programs, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. Belisario had issues with substance abuse in 2010 and 2011, which is in part why he had trouble obtaining a visa.
- Dodgers GM Ned Colletti says he's still in the market for another reliever despite re-adding Belisario to the bullpen picture, tweets Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles. Gurnick reports the Dodgers remain in negotiations to bring back right-hander Mike MacDougal.
- Free agent outfielder Cody Ross, who spent the past season and a half with the Giants, is now seeking a two-year contract, tweets David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Ross was originally looking for a three-year pact, but that was only to remain in pitcher-friendly San Francisco, according to O'Brien.
Here's the latest from the National League East...
- The Nationals "have had little contact with" Roy Oswalt, a source tells MLB.com's Bill Ladson. We heard last week that Oswalt was the Nats' "plan B" once Mark Buehrle signed with Miami. The Nats didn't bid on Yu Darvish and won't meet Oakland's price for Gio Gonzalez, so the club may stick with its current rotation.
- Ladson believes the Nationals will look for bench help before re-entering the pitching market. To that end, Ladson reports the team is maintaining interest in Mike Cameron, Mark DeRosa and Greg Dobbs. (Both links go to Ladson's Twitter account.)
- The Marlins are interested in Rays right-hander Wade Davis, tweets Troy Renck of the Denver Post. With Matt Moore, David Price, Jeremy Hellickson as untouchables and the Rays seemingly determined to keep James Shields, Davis and Jeff Niemann are the most likely Rays pitchers to be moved, if the club does indeed try to deal from its pitching surplus. The inter-Florida rivals have already completed one (lower-profile) trade this offseason, involving righty Burke Badenhop.
- The Mets have talked to Ronny Cedeno and Jack Wilson, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (Twitter link). Wilson has been linked to the Mets for a few weeks, but Cedeno is a new name in the mix for the Amazins. The Red Sox and Braves have also had interest in Cedeno this offseason.
- Also from Heyman, the Phillies made Michael Cuddyer an early contract offer worth more than $25MM. The club lost interest in Cuddyer, however, after signing Ty Wigginton and Laynce Nix. Cuddyer agreed to a three-year, $31.5MM deal today with the Rockies.
- Dontrelle Willis sounded confident that he will play alongside his longtime friend Jimmy Rollins with the Phillies next season, reports Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Jose Reyes has yet to speak to Hanley Ramirez since signing with the Marlins, according to The Associated Press. "As soon as I have the opportunity, I'm going to talk to him, because we are very good friends," Reyes said. "We're both here for one reason -- to win the World Series. It doesn't matter where I'm going to play or where he's going to play."
- The Braves will rely on several players aged 24 and under next season, but Fangraphs' Jason Roberts thinks the health of veterans like Chipper Jones and Tim Hudson are bigger concerns for the club.