Mike Dunn Rumors
Here's a look at the latest trade rumblings from Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com..
- We know that the Rangers have interest in Alex Rios, but the Royals also like the White Sox outfielder, Knobler writes. The Royals have been talked about more as sellers and we know that they're willing to discuss Ervin Santana, but KC has also been looking to add under-control players who could fill their needs in right field or at second base. It's not clear how much the division rivals have talked, however.
- The Braves need their hitting to improve, but they're scouring the market for bullpen help, writes Knobler. The main focus has been on finding a left-handed reliever, but they've also looked at right-handed bullpen help and even at starting pitchers. Left-handers like the Brewers' Mike Gonzalez and James Russell of the Cubs would make sense for them. Marlins lefty Mike Dunn has also been mentioned by some teams, but the Braves have been told he won't be traded.
- In addition to Rios, the Rangers also have their eye on the Mets' Marlon Byrd (Twitter link). Last week it was said that the Mets need to be "overwhelmed" to trade Byrd.
ESPN's Jayson Stark quotes a number of executives who feel the trade deadline has lost its luster since many teams have locked up their top young players, teams are reluctant to acquire rental players who carry no draft pick compensation as free agents, and the second wild card has narrowed the market of outright sellers to just a few teams. That said, Stark still has lots of hot stove items for us in his latest Rumblings & Grumblings column...
- Ryan Braun's suspension could drastically change the Brewers' perspective on trading some veteran stars. While Francisco Rodriguez was indeed traded just a day after Braun's suspension was announced, Stark hears that the Brewers are asking for a lot in deals. "One of the problems with dealing with Milwaukee is that [their] trade for [Jean] Segura last year was so one-sided that they want another tilted deal. Not going to happen," an AL executive said.
- The price for Kyle Lohse, for instance, involves the price of a first-round pick. The Crew gave up as first-rounder as compensation for signing Lohse as a free agent in the spring.
- Three scouts who have recently seen Yovani Gallardo say he's been pitching like a fourth or fifth starter. Gallardo in his prime was "close to an ace. [But] lots of pitches on that arm from then to now. He can really pitch, but his stuff [has gone] way back," one scout said. Gallardo has a 4.58 ERA and a career-worst 7.2 K/9 in 21 starts this season, plus he's lost two miles of velocity off his fastball.
- We'd heard that the Yankees and Rangers had checked in on Marlins outfielder Justin Ruggiano, and Stark adds the Phillies and Giants to the list of a half-dozen interested teams. The Marlins weren't too keen on dealing Ruggiano but he could be expendable now that Christian Yellich and Jake Marisnick have been called up.
- The Phillies' next five games "will determine Michael Young's fate more than anyone else on their roster," said one executive who has talked to the club. Young is seen as "pretty much a lock" to be dealt if the Phils struggle during their road trip through St. Louis and Detroit this week. The Phillies dropped a 4-1 result to the Cardinals last night.
- Jonathan Papelbon hasn't been made available by the Phillies but even if he was, one AL executive thinks Papelbon's contract makes him "practically untradable."
- Stark thinks the Phillies and Marlins are good trade partners on paper since the Phils could use Ruggiano or any of Miami's good relievers. The Marlins aren't willing to move anyone unless they get a great offer, however, and the Phillies aren't willing to move any of their top prospects to facilitate a deal.
- The Nationals could listen on a good offer for Drew Storen, the former first-round pick who is struggling through a tough year. The Nats are in a tough spot trade-wise, however, since the team is largely set at every position yet are still in need of hitting.
- Alex Rios' long slump has lowered his trade value and the White Sox will be hard-pressed to find a team to meet their asking price for the right fielder. The Rangers still have some interest in Rios, as they're looking for an outfielder that can be controlled beyond this season.
- The Red Sox are seen as very likely to add pitching before the deadline. Boston has been linked to Jake Peavy and were interested in Francisco Rodriguez before the Orioles got him.
- The Braves have targeted Oliver Perez and Charlie Furbush of the Mariners, Scott Downs of the Angels, Mike Dunn of the Marlins and James Russell of the Cubs in their search for left-handed relief pitching. While Atlanta has been looking at these names and others, however, Stark says the team isn't close to a deal.
- In regards to the Biogenesis scandal, Stark hears from an attorney who believes "virtually every case will be settled by a plea deal. You're going to see a lot of pleas. You're going to see a lot of deals."
With just over a week to the trade deadline, there's still been only one significant move for a reliever -- Boston's acquisition of Matt Thornton. Plenty of teams are on the lookout for bullpen help, however, including the Tigers, Red Sox, Braves, Diamondbacks and more. With a potential Jason Grilli injury last night, more bullpen rumors could begin to circulate. Here are the latest relief rumblings from around the baseball world...
- The Red Sox, Dodgers and Tigers are all keeping close tabs on Francisco Rodriguez, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. The Sox and Dodgers, in particular, were said by Crasnick to have scouts "all over" Rodriguez this week. Detroit, meanwhile, isn't as interested as it once was due to the strong recent performance of Joaquin Benoit and Drew Smyly (Twitter links).
- Former closer Brian Wilson threw for Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti and bullpen catcher Billy Hayes yesterday, according to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com. The session was a personal favor to Wilson and not an indicator that a deal is coming, Baggarly writes. However, Wilson looked nearly Major League ready, and Baggarly feels that the willingness to afford Wilson this favor suggests that any ill will between the two sides following Wilson's offseason non-tender has subsided.
- The Braves continue to search for left-handed relief help, tweets Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio, who lists Oliver Perez, Mike Dunn, Glen Perkins, Scott Downs and James Russell as potential targets. Bowden notes that Perkins is unlikely, likely because of the numerous reports that the Twins won't move their closer.
- While the Twins aren't interested in moving Perkins, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Braves may have interest in another Minnesota lefty who may be available -- Brian Duensing (Twitter link). Duensing has two years of team control remaining and will be arbitration-eligible for the second time this offseason.
- One more note from Crasnick, who tweets that the Braves also checked in on Phil Coke in their quest for lefty relief help, but nothing came of the talks with the Tigers. Coke has had a brutal season because of overexposure against right-handed hitters, but he's held lefties to a .231/.271/.346 batting line.
- For more on the relief trade market, check out my examinations of the market for left-handed relievers and the market for right-handed relievers. Also, for all fantasy players out there, be sure to follow @closernews on Twitter to keep up to speed with closer injuries, performance, usage and more.
The Marlins have improved greatly over the course of the season, as evidenced by their 22-17 record since May 31. MLB.com's Joe Frisaro writes that the team attributes the success to a young core coming together and isn't likely to sell significant pieces to jeopardize that core.
According to Frisaro, Giancarlo Stanton, Logan Morrison, Steve Cishek and Mike Dunn are all considered building blocks and are likely to stay put with the Fish. All of that could change if the Marlins are overwhelmed by a team willing to overpay, but even a package for Cishek would have to start with a team's No. 1 prospect, according to Frisaro. As it stands, the 27-year-old closer is not available.
Ryan Webb and Chad Qualls may still be dealt, as could position players Placido Polanco, Greg Dobbs and Justin Ruggiano. That quintet of veterans has less team control than the untouchables listed by Frisaro, and those players likely aren't seen as core members of the team going forward. It's likely that the Marlins' biggest July trade has already occurred in the form of the Ricky Nolasco trade. The Marlins, according to Frisaro, may be more active on the August waiver trade front than before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
While a deal sounds unlikely, the team has still received plenty of hits on Stanton as well as its many bullpen arms. Ruggiano has also drawn some interest from teams like the Rangers and Yankees, although he's another player the team isn't in a rush to trade.
Former Colorado Rockie Ryan Spilborghs has been blogging for The Denver Post about his experiences playing for the Seibu Lions in Japan this season, and he weighs in on the issue of PEDs in his latest post. While Spilborghs doesn't approve of PED use, he suggests that baseball's long season can push players too far without giving them enough time to recover. A better model may be the schedule adopted by Japan's NPB league, which has teams playing 144 games in about 180 days, Spilborghs says.
Some more notes from around the senior circuit...
- Ike Davis will rejoin the Mets on Friday for their matchup with the Brewers, a source told Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Davis was demoted on June 10 after hitting just .161/.242/.258 in 207 plate appearances, but work with Triple-A coaches to address a hitch in Davis' swing was apparently successful, as the first baseman has compiled a .293/.424/.667 line with the Las Vegas 51s. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes speculated in a May post that Davis could be a non-tender candidate this offseason.
- The Dodgers are expected to activate outfielder Carl Crawford from the DL as soon as Friday, reports Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. Los Angeles will soon be faced with a long-anticipated glut of regular outfielders, with Crawford joining Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and sensation Yasiel Puig on the active roster. Manager Don Mattingly acknowledges that it will be a "sticky" situation to manage. It remains to be seen whether the Dodgers will consider moving Andre Ethier, who was given a five-year, $85MM extension just over a year ago.
- While Yovani Gallardo of the Brewers has been the subject of trade dialogue, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that the righty is determined not to let the rumors affect him. "We all hear things. I'm not going to lie. ... But basically I just leave it at that. I hear them, and then don't think about it too much." Gallardo did acknowledge, however, that he had become aware of some of the teams on his no-trade list.
- Though the loss of Jesse Crain to the DL dampens the reliever market, a number of potentially available NL hurlers could help bolster a contender's bullpen, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports notes. The Cubs' Kevin Gregg has earned 14 saves in 15 opportunities, while the Brewers' Francisco Rodriguez is a perfect seven for seven in save chances and could help the Tigers, Rosenthal says. John Axford, Milwaukee's former closer, could also be a useful piece.
- The Marlins could offer Steve Cishek, Mike Dunn, or Ryan Webb, as they have power arms in the pipeline and "never mind trading relievers," according to Rosenthal. Both Cishek and Dunn have been effective for the Fish and become eligible for arbitration after this season. Miami could have a tougher time finding a taker for Webb, however, as he's shown discouraging strikeout and walk trends.
- Rosenthal is also less high on the Phillies' Jonathan Papelbon, noting his high salary and declining strikeout rate, and the Brewers' Michael Gonzalez, a lefty who opponents have managed a .746 OPS against despite his high K/9 rate.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets that the Marlins are receiving quite a bit of interest in their bullpen, with left-hander Mike Dunn and righties Steve Cishek, Ryan Webb and Chad Qualls all drawing interest.
While the Fish have hardly enjoyed a successful season, their bullpen has been reasonably effective, ranking 17th with a 3.73 ERA and 16th with a 3.68 FIP. The veteran Qualls is a free agent at season's end, but the rest of the Marlins relievers figure to have higher costs due to the extra team control that they have.
The 28-year-old Dunn is controlled through 2016 and will be arbitration-eligible for the first time after this season. Cishek, 27, is controlled through 2017 and is also arb-eligible for the first time this offseason. Webb is controlled through the 2015 season and is eligible for arbitration a second time this winter. He is making $975K this season.
The Marlins have been said to be open to dealing Webb, but their preference is to hang onto Dunn and Cishek. Of course, Ricky Nolasco has been the Marlins' hottest trade chip, with three teams currently rumored to be in heavy pursuit of the 30-year-old right-hander.
The Marlins are open to trading Ricky Nolasco and could also move right-hander Ryan Webb for the right offer, MLB.com's Joe Frisaro reports. Steve Cishek and Mike Dunn are not on the market, however, as the Fish had told clubs that the two relievers aren't for sale.
Nolasco's name has come up in rumors at each of the last two July trade deadlines and the buzz continued this past winter during the Marlins' fire sale. Matt Sosnick, Nolasco's agent, said in December that his client would have preferred to be traded elsewhere though Nolasco never officially asked to be dealt. Nolasco is currently enjoying one of the best seasons of his eight-year career, as the right-hander has a 3.61 ERA, 3.35 K/BB ratio and 7.3 K/9 through 13 starts.
A source tells Frisaro that the Marlins would receive a mid-level prospect in return for Nolasco, a fair return given that Nolasco is due to hit free agency this winter. Nolasco is hitting the open market a little later than most (he'll be 31 years old on Opening Day 2014) but he could get a lot of attention this winter given how many injury questions surround most of the other top free agent arms.
Webb, 27, has a 3.30 ERA in 30 innings out of Miami's bullpen this season despite some unimpressive (6.00 K/9, 4.8 BB/9) peripheral numbers. Webb has a 3.43 ERA in 225 2/3 career innings and has been tough on right-handed hitters, holding righty bats to a .248/.307/.286 line over his career. Webb is eligible for arbitration for the second time after this season and came to the Marlins (along with Edward Mujica) from the Padres in November 2010 in the deal that sent Cameron Maybin to San Diego.
Cishek and Dunn will both be arbitration-eligible for the first time this offseason. Cishek has had a few shaky outings en route to a 4.50 ERA in 24 innings, though he has held onto the closer's role and recorded five saves. Cishek drew a lot of interest from other teams in March and would probably be ticketed for a non-closing job with a new team. Dunn, a southpaw, has a 3.08 ERA, 8.5 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 26 1/3 IP this season, all slightly down from his career averages of 3.68 ERA, 9.9 K/9 and 5.5 BB/9.
Ken Rosenthal's new video for FOX Sports offers a variety of trade tidbits on the Cubs, Brewers and Marlins.
- Matt Garza of the Cubs makes an intriguing trade candidate, but Rosenthal says that one can't rule out the possibility that the Cubs will keep Garza and extend him a qualifying offer at the end of the season, hoping to collect draft-pick compensation. Scott Feldman might also be traded, but Rosenthal notes that his peripherals indicate he has been lucky so far.
- Alfonso Soriano has only one year left on his eight-year, $136MM contract, which could make him a more attractive trade target than in years past, Rosenthal notes, but Soriano also has a no-trade clause, allowing him to control his destination.
- The Brewers, meanwhile, have fewer trade options, Rosenthal argues. Corey Hart is hurt, Rickie Weeks is in the midst of a poor season, and Aramis Ramirez is owed $16MM in 2014 and has a $4MM buyout on his mutual option the following season. The Brewers will be "reluctant" to trade Yovani Gallardo, whose contract carries him through next season and gives the Brewers an option on his services in 2015.
- The Marlins have received calls on relievers Steve Cishek, Ryan Webb and Mike Dunn, Rosenthal reports.
Uggla, 31 in March, had another fine season in 2010 with a .287/.369/.508 line in 674 plate appearances. Uggla is one season away from free agency, and extension talks with the Marlins broke off after he rejected a four-year, $48MM offer. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports feels that the Braves will attempt to sign him long-term. Martin Prado will step in at third base as Chipper Jones recovers from knee surgery or log innings in left field if necessary, tweets Rosenthal. Uggla should be happy to remain at second base.
Infante, a super-utility type, hit .321/.359/.416 in 506 plate appearances for the Braves this year. He's under contract through 2011 at $2.5MM with another possible $1MM in plate appearance incentives. The loss may put the Braves in the market for a utility player, writes MLB.com's Mark Bowman. Dunn, 26 in May, is a hard-throwing left-handed reliever who came to Atlanta from the Yankees a year ago in the Javier Vazquez deal. Dunn racked up big-time strikeout and walk numbers this year between Triple-A and the Majors. The intra-division asking price for Uggla was expected to be large, but this is a disappointing return for the Marlins. They have succeeded in revamping their bullpen for the long-term, adding Ryan Webb, Edward Mujica, Dustin Richardson, and Dunn in recent trades.
The Cardinals, Blue Jays, Nationals, and Tigers were other reported suitors for Uggla.
The Braves "appear to be very close to nearing a deal" for Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla, tweets MLB.com's Mark Bowman. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweeted minutes ago that the division rivals are discussing a deal that would send Uggla to Atlanta for utility man Omar Infante and lefty reliever Mike Dunn.
Infante, a super-utility type, hit .321/.359/.416 in 506 plate appearances for the Braves this year. He's under contract through 2011. Dunn, 26 in May, is a hard-throwing left-handed reliever who came to Atlanta from the Yankees a year ago in the Javier Vazquez deal. Dunn racked up big-time strikeout and walk numbers this year between Triple-A and the Majors. The intra-division asking price for Uggla was said to be large, but this return would be OK at best.