NL East Notes: Mets, Amaro, Braves

The Mets did well with their series of trades before yesterday’s deadline, ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin writes. The addition of Yoenis Cespedes significantly improves the Mets’ offense, and while the Mets did give up a fair amount of pitching talent (particularly Michael Fulmer), they have plenty of good young starting pitching and were trading from depth. Here are more quick notes from the NL East.

  • After the collapse of their trade for Carlos Gomez, Friday couldn’t have worked out better for Sandy Alderson and the Mets, David Lennon of Newsday writes. Not making a deal could have resulted in a “public relations catastrophe,” which the Mets avoided by turning their attention to Jay Bruce and then to Cespedes, finally making a trade right before the deadline.
  • In Philadelphia, meanwhile, Mike Sielski of the Inquirer wonders whether Ruben Amaro might have saved his job with his performance in the Cole Hamels trade. The Phillies got three top prospects in Nick Williams, Jake Thompson and Jorge Alfaro as part of their return for their ace. “In this day and age, teams are much more willing to dole out money than they are prospects,” says Amaro. “The value of the prospects has increased dramatically. I’ve had to make a personal adjustment on that, to understand that a bit better and make the adjustment there. I think we did that with this deal.” Sielski writes that it was also striking that Amaro was the one speaking to the media, and Pat Gillick and Andy MacPhail weren’t present.
  • One player who wasn’t traded yesterday was Braves outfielder Jonny Gomes, and he wants to remain in Atlanta, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution writes. Gomes also isn’t ruling out that the Braves can contend this year, even after trading a number of players (including Juan Uribe, Kelly Johnson, Alex Wood, Luis Avilan, Jim Johnson and Bronson Arroyo) near the deadline. “In 2012, Oakland A’s were 14 1/2 games back in mid-August, and we were in first place for the last four innings of the season,” says Gomes. “[I]ndividual accountability, how we’ve got to play the game — that doesn’t change.”

Blue Jays Designate Danny Valencia, Ezequiel Carerra

The Blue Jays have designated 3B/OF Danny Valencia and outfielder Ezequiel Carrera for assignment, Scott MacArthur of TSN tweets. The Jays also recalled middle infielder Munenori Kawasaki and optioned righty Ryan Tepera. The moves were likely made so that the team could add newcomers Ben Revere and Mark Lowe to their active roster, although those moves haven’t yet been announced.

Valencia, 30, is in the midst of a strong offensive season, hitting .296/.331/.506 in 173 plate appearances. With Devon Travis on the DL, though, the Jays were short in the middle infield, so Kawasaki will join the team instead. It’s still a bit surprising that the Jays would designate Valencia, however, given that the addition of Lowe will leave them with 13 pitchers on their staff. Valencia is making just $1.68MM this year, and he could become an attractive target in a trade or on the waiver wire, given his strong hitting this season (even if it’s somewhat out of character) and his ability to hit lefties and play third base, first base and outfield. He has also appeared in three games at second for the Jays this year.  Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos says he expects Valencia will be claimed, as Sportsnet.ca’s Ben Nicholson-Smith tweets.

Carerra, 28, was batting .279/.327/.374 in 164 plate appearances this year. He became somewhat superfluous, however, with the Jays’ trade for fellow lefty hitter Revere. Carrera is a career .259/.311/.349 hitter in parts of five seasons also spent with the Indians, Phillies and Tigers.


Reactions To The Padres’ Decision Not To Sell

Despite being 50-53 and an afterthought in the playoff race, the Padres surprisingly opted not to sell at the trade deadline yesterday. Here more on what they did, or didn’t do.

  • One of the most discussed aspects of the Padres’ decision not to sell was that they asked the Diamondbacks for Paul Goldschmidt in return for Craig Kimbrel, as Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic writes. D-backs GM mentioned the Goldschmidt discussion on KTAR-AM and clarified it later. The Diamondbacks, of course, couldn’t reject the deal fast enough. “[W]e don’t talk about Goldy in any deals and no team has approached me in the almost year that I’ve been here about Goldy, so I was kind of shocked to hear that,” said Stewart. “Like I said, I don’t know if there was sincerity in it, but, yeah, the name did come up.” Piecoro notes that the Padres deny the request was serious, and it surely wasn’t. As FanGraphs’ Kiley McDaniel tweeted yesterday, it’s not uncommon for GMs to make wild offers. What is perhaps uncommon is for other GMs to reveal them. What the Goldschmidt discussion might suggest, though, is that the Padres were not particularly interested in trading Kimbrel.
  • There are a number of hypotheses as to why A.J. Preller and the Padres decided not to sell, as ESPN’s Jayson Stark writes. “They never knew what they really wanted,” says a rival executive. It would take a brilliant stretch run for the Padres to make the playoffs, and they’ll be in a tough spot — they won’t have gotten anything (except a draft pick) for free agents like Justin Upton, Ian Kennedy and Will Venable, and they’ll still be on the hook for Kimbrel, James Shields, Matt Kemp and Melvin Upton, who will be so expensive collectively that they might have trouble making other moves to get better. They’re putting themselves in a difficult position, and Stark writes that the other teams are mystified by what they’re doing.
  • The Yankees were willing to give up shortstop prospect Jorge Mateo and to take on at least part of the Jedd Gyorko contract in order to acquire Kimbrel, but the Padres declined, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman tweets. Gyorko is in the midst of a second consecutive disappointing season and has $33MM remaining on his contract beyond 2015, so such a move would likely have helped position the Padres for the future. Mateo, meanwhile, ranks third on MLB.com’s list of the Yankees’ top prospects, earning praise for his outstanding speed in particular. He has a ridiculous 70 stolen bases and a .271/.341/.379 line at Class A Charleston this season.
  • It might also been seen as strange that, given the Padres’ decision not to sell, they also didn’t really buy, as Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune points out. They only added Indians reliever Marc Rzepczynski. “You have a lot of teams that are in the hunt,” says Preller. “That makes it harder for teams to really look at moving a lot of their pieces, because I think a lot of people, rightfully so, think they’re in contention.” One might think, though, that such conditions might make the more obvious route of selling even more attractive. “We were working through all different scenarios to try to add the club and other scenarios in which other teams were asking about our guys,” says Preller. “Ultimately, we didn’t feel like we got the value that we wanted to get to.”
  • Unsurprisingly, Padres players and management seem excited the team didn’t move any of its top players, as MLB.com’s Corey Brock reports. “It’s a relief,” says Justin Upton. “I think just the sense around the clubhouse is that this front office wants this group, so we’re going to do everything in our power to make sure that they didn’t make the wrong decision.”


Reactions To The Cole Hamels Trade

In the days leading up to the trade deadline, the Phillies finally traded ace Cole Hamels, sending him with Jake Diekman and cash to Texas for pitcher Matt Harrison, top catching prospect Jorge Alfaro, outfielder Nick Williams, and young pitchers Jake Thompson, Alec Asher and Jerad Eickhoff. Here’s a roundup of reactions to one of the week’s biggest deals.

  • The Giants came very close to acquring Hamels — so close, in fact, that Hamels waived his no-trade rights to allow the Phillies to trade him to San Francisco, as Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe tweets.
  • The Phillies got a strong return for Hamels, Corey Seidman of CSNPhilly.com writes. Alfaro looks like the key to the deal for Philadelphia, but the Phillies also got interesting pieces in Thompson and Williams, and they actually can use Harrison as well, even though he’s in the deal partially to offset Hamels’ salary.
  • Philadelphia got “quantity and quality” in the Hamels trade, says MLB.com’s Jim Callis (video link). Callis says Thompson’s slider is, at its best, one of the top sliders in the minors, and Williams has great bat speed and has dramatically improved his plate discipline. Alfaro needs to improve his polish in some areas, but he has terrific tools, including his arm strength.
  • The Phillies could continue trading in August, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki writes. Chase Utley could be a candidate to be dealt, assuming his injured ankle heals and he waives his no-trade privileges. Aaron Harang and Jeff Francoeur are possibilities as well.

Trade Deadline Roundup: NL West

Here’s how the NL West fared in the days leading to the trade deadline this afternoon.


Trade Deadline Roundup: NL Central

Here’s what happened in the NL Central in the week leading to the trade deadline this afternoon.


Trade Deadline Roundup: NL East

Here’s what teams from the NL East did in the days leading to this afternoon’s trade deadline.


Trade Deadline Roundup: AL West

Here’s how the last few days before the trade deadline went for teams throughout the AL West.


Trade Deadline Roundup: AL Central

Here’s a roundup of AL Central activity in the last few days before this afternoon’s trade deadline.


Trade Deadline Roundup: AL East

Here’s a roundup of activity from around the AL East, covering the last few days before this afternoon’s trade deadline.


NL Central Notes: Chapman, Reds, Brewers

A glance at the NL Central..

  • Reds GM Walt Jocketty told reporters that there was a lot of interest in Aroldis Chapman and Jay Bruce, but the Reds were more focused on the free-agents-to-be, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweets.
  • Adam McCalvy of MLB.com (on Twitter) hears that the Brewers and Cardinals were never close on Adam Lind.  It would have taken a big haul for Milwaukee to trade Lind within the division since he also has a 2016 option.
  • Jocketty referred to what the Reds are doing as a “reboot,” but not a full rebuild, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com tweets.
  • Jocketty told reporters, including Fay (on Twitter), that the Reds will try infielder Adam Duvall in leftfield at Triple-A Louisville.

Mariners Promote Ketel Marte

The Mariners (on Twitter) announced that they have promoted infielder Ketel Marte to the majors. Marte, 21, was rated No. 50 on Baseball America’s midseason top 50 prospects list.

Marte signed for just $100K in the Mariners’ ~$6MM 2010 int’l class, but he has proven to be that group’s best prospect, as BA writes.  Marte’s arm limits him at shortstop and he doesn’t boast a ton of power, but scouts project that he can become an above-average defender at second base.

The youngster has spent the bulk of the 2015 season at Triple-A Tacoma.  In 287 plate appearances, Marte has hit .314/.359/.410 with three homers.


AL Central Notes: Cespedes, Tigers, White Sox

Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski and Mets GM Sandy Alderson got to know each other a little bit better on Friday.

We must have had at least 20 conversations with Sandy Alderson today,” the Tigers GM said, according to Jason Beck of MLB.com (on Twitter).

All of that talking wasn’t for nothing as the two sides agreed to a deal sending Cespedes to New York this afternoon. The Mets didn’t want to part with Michael Fulmer until today, but they had a change of heart that paved the way for the deal. Here’s more out of the AL Central..

  • The Tigers made the Yoenis Cespedes deal with the Mets with the belief that they’ll be reunited again this winter, Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets.
  • Dombrowski said the Tigers didn’t come close to making any other trades, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press tweets.
  • White Sox GM Rick Hahn is a little bit frustrated that he couldn’t make a splash today as he was optimistic something would get done, Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com tweets.  In the end, he says that the cost did not justify the return.
  • Hahn said the only big change in the White Sox‘s strategy was considering short-term rentals, Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune tweets. Ultimately, however, he didn’t want to hurt the club’s long-term future.

AL East Notes: Revere, Orioles, Red Sox, Jays

A look at the AL East..

  • The Orioles came “very close” to acquiring Ben Revere from the Phillies before the Blue Jays swooped in and got him, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com tweets.
  • Orioles GM Dan Duquette said that designating Bud Norris for assignment was “a personal disappointment,” as Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com tweets.  Baltimore explored trades with every team they talked to before DFA’ing him, so they’re not terribly optimistic now, she adds.
  • The Red Sox didn’t make big moves today but GM Ben Cherington says he now has a better sense of what Boston could do in the offseason in terms of trades, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe tweets.
  • Rays President of Baseball Operations Matthew Silverman says he will continue to explore waiver deals in August, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets.
  • Red Sox manager John Farrell says he’s excited to see what he can get out of the newly acquired Ryan Cook, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald writes.  “This is a guy that’s been a closer in the past,” Farrell said. “I know that there’s been some change of role out in Oakland. As we did with (recently acquired reliever) Jean Machi to come in and take a look at him, this will be a similar situation.”

Orioles Designate Chris Parmelee

5:19pm: The Orioles have announced that they’ve actually designated Chris Parmelee, not Snider, to clear space for Parra. Parmelee, a lefty-hitting outfielder and first baseman, was hitting .216/.255/.433 in 102 plate appearances with the O’s. The Orioles signed him to a minor league deal last winter, and he hit well in 265 plate appearances for Triple-A Norfolk before being promoted in mid-June. Since then, his good power but low batting average and on-base percentage have been consistent with his performances over parts of four previous seasons with Minnesota.

2:07pm: The Orioles will designate outfielder Travis Snider for assignment, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun tweets. He’ll lose his roster spot to make way for the just-acquired Gerardo Parra.

Snider, 27, had been hitting .239/.318/.344 in 233 plate appearances since arriving in a trade last winter. He was coming off a good season in a part-time role in Pittsburgh last season, but didn’t provide enough offense in Baltimore, particularly given that he’s purely a corner outfielder. The hot-hitting Parra, who also bats lefty, made Snider mostly superfluous. He’s making $2.1MM in his second season of arbitration eligibility, and the Orioles will be responsible for most or all of that amount unless he’s claimed.