Phil Hughes Rumors
As Tim Britton of the Providence Journal writes, it's been 10 years since the strangest week of Brandon Lyon's life. In 2003, the then-23-year-old Lyon was dealt by the Red Sox to the Pirates as part of a pacakage for lefty Scott Sauerbeck. The Pirates decided they weren't comfortable with the state of Lyon's elbow and sent him back to the Red Sox in a trade centering around Freddy Sanchez and Jeff Suppan just nine days later. Now with the Red Sox once again, Lyon tells Britton that he hopes to be with the big league club in the near future. Here's more on the AL East...
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that as of Sunday, the Yankees had yet to receive a single trade offer for struggling right-hander Phil Hughes. That's fairly surprising, given Hughes' solid production away from Yankee Stadium (3.02 ERA in 53 2/3 innings compared to 6.02 in 58 1/3 innings at home).
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman feels that there may be more offense on its way to New York via the trade market before Wednesday's deadline, writes MLB.com's Bryan Hoch.
- The Red Sox are no longer in the mix for Joe Nathan, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com, but they're still prioritizing right-handed relief help. The Red Sox remain in contact with the Phillies about Michael Young but find the asking price for Cliff Lee too high, according to Bradford. The same goes for Jake Peavy of the White Sox.
- Alex Speier of WEEI.com takes a look at how the Red Sox stack up in terms of starting pitching, right-handed relief and third base options.
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.
Mariano Rivera took home MVP honors in last night's All-Star Game victory after tossing a perfect eighth inning. Manager Jim Leyland told reporters, including Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times, that he wanted to ensure Rivera got into the game. If the NL took the lead in the bottom of the eighth against a different pitcher, there might not have been a bottom of the ninth to pitch. Leyland also joked, "I wanted to make sure I got out of here alive." Rivera's moment was an instant classic; his teammates allowed him to take the field all alone to "Enter Sandman" as he received a standing ovation from the fans and both dugouts (video link courtesy of MLB.com). Here's more on the Yankees...
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post spoke with a prominent agent and two front office executives that said Curtis Granderson's injuries make him more likely to remain with the Yankees beyond 2013. Each said Granderson wouldn't top his $15MM annual salary on the open market, and he could accept a one-year qualifying offer (roughly $13.8MM) to re-establish value. It could also give the Yanks a shot to sign him to a four-year deal similar to Nick Swisher deal with Cleveland this offseason.
- The Yankees haven't been able to find an acceptable return in trade discussions for Phil Hughes, who will become a free agent after this season, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com writes. The Dodgers were a potential fit for Hughes, but they're no longer on the hunt for a mid-rotation starter after acquiring Ricky Nolasco. The Giants and Padres probably shouldn't be considered active buyers at this point because of recent poor play, Heyman says.
- Heyman adds that the Angels have long been interested in Hughes, nearly drafting him in 2004 before owner Arte Moreno insisted the team select Jered Weaver. However, given the Halos' current record, they don't appear to be buyers.
In a video report, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal passes on some updates on developing trade situations around the league. Here are the main takeaways:
- The Cubs have had relatively detailed talks on an extension with free-agent-to-be Matt Garza -- including years and dollars -- but Rosenthal says it remains much more likely that the starter will be dealt. There is a solid chance that a deal could be made before Garza's scheduled July 22 outing, says Rosenthal, with Chicago seemingly willing to accept less in return if a team is willing to eat more of the remainder of Garza's $10.25MM deal.
- Echoing previous reports, Rosenthal lists the Dodgers, Nationals, Red Sox, and Rangers as the teams most prominently in on Garza. He does note that there may be a few other teams who could make such a move. We've recently heard of interest from the Indians as well, though cold water has already been thrown on that idea.
- Rosenthal adds via Twitter that the Rangers have two scouts watching Garza pitch tonight, with the Tigers, Orioles, Pirates, and Blue Jays also scouting the game. Of course, as Rosenthal further tweets, the other clubs are more likely interested in Chicago's relievers and position players.
- While Rosenthal says that the Cardinals would be a nice fit for a starter like Garza, he says that it remains extremely unlikely that GM John Mozeliak would part with any elite talent to make such a deal. Rosenthal says that Cards could be on the starter market, but only if the club feels it cannot rely on internal options like Chris Carpenter.
- Meanwhile, Rosenthal says St. Louis does not feel any urgency to make a move at shortstop. While Pete Kozma is far from perfect, it would be hard to upgrade the position substantially at a non-prohibitive price.
- One obvious trade candidate, Raul Ibanez of the Mariners, is somewhat unlikely to be dealt in spite of his cheap, expiring contract and solid performance this season. As we've heard elsewhere recently, Rosenthal says that GM Jack Zduriencik would be hesitant to deal the once-and-current Mariner without consulting with him. According to Rosenthal, Seattle is more likely to trade other veterans like reliever Oliver Perez and starter Joe Saunders.
- The Rockies could be interested in making a deal for the Yankees' Phil Hughes, but Rosenthal says that they would be looking at him as a bullpen piece rather than a starter. If the Yanks are in fact looking for a significant return for Hughes, of course, the Rockies would seem hard-pressed to get an overly attractive price on the pending free agent.
- One other player the Rockies are looking at is starter Vance Worley of the Twins, who is currently working out his issues (with some success) at Triple-A. According to Rosenthal, Minnesota is loathe to ship off Worley at a discount because they view him as a rebound candidate and maintain team control through 2017. Worley's extended minor league stay could make him even cheaper, as he may lose his expected Super Two status and figures to earn less whenever he does reach arbitration.
In today's column, Buster Olney of ESPN.com (Insider sub. required and recommended) explains that many teams have "Zack Wheeler Syndrome" as they approach the deadline. As he describes it, It’s the tendency of GMs to wait for a club to get desperate and overpay for a player. That's what the Mets were able to do in 2011, when they demanded that they get a top-tier prospect in return for Carlos Beltran and wound up prying Wheeler from the Giants. Today, one exec tells Olney that the asking price for the Cubs' Matt Garza (as well as the Yankees' Phil Hughes) is "incredibly high" because of that thinking. Chicago knows they will at least present a qualifying offer to Garza after the season if they keep him, which will net them a compensatory draft pick if he signs elsewhere. Anyone who wants to land Garza has to match, and probably exceed, the value of that pick. Here's more out of the NL Central..
- Ty Wigginton wound up as the low man on the totem pole with the Cardinals, writes Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. While his disappointing tenure in St. Louis ended with his release yesterday, manager Mike Matheny is an adamant supporter of the veteran and says that his career is far from done.
- The Cardinals made reliever Mitchell Boggs available because he has struggled so far in 2013, but he could bounce back and regain his 2012 form, writes Troy Renck of the Denver Post. St. Louis shipped Boggs to the Rockies yesterday for roughly $206K in international bonus slot money.
- The Biogenesis suspensions could make for a messy second-half of the season, writes Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. However, despite the negative attention surrounding the Brewers' Ryan Braun, Alex Rodriguez, and others, the game has been quite resilient through this and other PED scandals.
The Yankees are aggressively pushing trades involving Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes, an AL executive tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). In fact, a deal sending Chamberlain to a National League team could happen soon, though nothing is imminent on either front.
Yesterday we learned that the Phillies have expressed interest in Chamberlain as they feel out the market for Michael Young. However, as Tim Dierkes noted yesterday, the market for the 27=year-olds is somewhat limited as they are in their walk years and not of much use to non-contenders. In the case of the Phillies, they may see themselves as buyers with a real chance to win this year, as ESPN.com's Buster Olney hears.
Chamberlain typically wouldn't garner trade attention, but a team in need of bullpen help could bite. The right-hander has a 5.75 ERA with 9.7 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 22 relief appearances this year. Hughes, meanwhile, has a 4.55 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 17 starts.
Last night, Baseball America's JJ Cooper wrote that an NL scout told him Twins' center field prospect Byron Buxton is the best prospect he's seen in more than a decade of scouting. Buxton's hype has soared this season following a jaw-dropping start at Class A Cedar Rapids, and he's recently been promoted to Class A Advanced Fort Myers. Here's more on last year's No. 2 overall pick and the team that drafted him...
- Baseball America's Jim Callis opines that were he in the Astros shoes in last season's draft, he'd have taken Buxton over Correa, still gone over-slot on Lance McCullers Jr., and neglected to give fourth-rounder Rio Ruiz his over-slot deal. Callis adds that he likes Correa very much, but preferred Buxton and wasn't high on Ruiz (Twitterlinks).
- Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN reports that the Twins are expected to pursue Phil Hughes as a free agent this offseason (Twitter link). The Twins have struggled tremendously in the pitching deparment over the past few years, and Hughes has been a better pitcher away from Yankee Stadium throughout his career.
- Wolfson also spoke with vice president of player personnel Mike Radcliff regarding the upcoming international free agency period. Radcliff expects to sign eight to 10 international free agents and cited the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Italy as areas of focus. The Twins, who have the fourth-largest bonus pool, have been approached by the Rangers about trading some of their funds from that pool, but the team won't do it this week at least (Twitterlinks).
- Radcliff also told Wolfson (link) that there's "nothing imminent" on the trade front for the Twins. However, he and the other pro scouts are diligently watching players that they may add at the deadline.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has a lengthy new article discussing All-Stars, some of the game's top young hitters and a plethora of hot stove info. Here are some highlights...
- Rival executives around the league are critical of the Mariners for rushing their top prospects, but Rosenthal notes that Nick Franklin has been more than up to the challenge, and Brad Miller earned his promotion with his minor league performance. Regarding the struggling Mike Zunino, GM Jack Zduriencik told Rosenthal: "We planned all along to get Mike to Seattle at some point in July ... He wasn't expected to be a big contributor offensively if it was now, July, September ... but he has held his own, and what he is receiving now will set him up for 2014 and beyond."
- Multiple scouts have questioned the work ethic of the Brewers' players, with one telling Rosenthal "there's a lot of quit on that team." Rosenthal writes that it isn't manager Ron Roenicke's fault that Ryan Braun, Corey Hart and Aramis Ramirez have been injured, but the negative reports could be an "ominous sign" for Roenicke. Rosenthal tweets a correction, noting that Roenicke is signed through 2014, not through 2013 as he initially reported.
- The Yankees aren't planning a fire sale, but if they did, they'd have some of the most attractive trade chips in the game. The Yankees could part with Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes, however, and Rosenthal adds Curtis Granderson's name to the mix, assuming the injured outfielder gets healthy in time.
- The Rays aren't looking to add a starting pitcher with both David Price and Alex Cobb likely to return in the near future. If the Rays make any moves at all, they'll be for impact players regardless of position.
- The Cubs are "all but certain" to trade pending free agents Matt Garza, Kevin Gregg and Scott Feldman, but they're not in a rush to deal Nate Schierholtz and David DeJesus, both of whom are controlled beyond 2013.
Here's a look around the American League East, which figures (as usual) to be one of baseball's most interesting divisions over the summer.
- The Red Sox are doing everything they can to court 22nd-round high school outfielder Ryan Boldt, reports WEEI.com's Alex Speier, including a trip to venerable Fenway Park. While the presumption has been that Boston's free bonus money will be insufficient to draw Boldt away from the University of Nebraska, the Sox are still hoping to woo him with a $1MM-plus bonus offer.
- We just learned that the Red Sox are bringing up longtime minor leaguer Jonathan Diaz to fill in temporarily at third, but the club could have designs on a more permanent solution for the remainder of the year. George A. King III of the New York Post says that Boston could be in on Michael Young if the Phillies make him available, with one source saying that the Sox "want him badly."
- King further reports that the Yankees are also likely to be in on Young, as others have noted. Indeed, as CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman discussed yesterday, the Yanks seem to be a likely buyer at third. Alex Rodriguez is still a ways off from a return, and remains a major uncertainty. Other than Young, Heyman says that the top potential target -- Aramis Ramirez of the Brewers -- will likely be too expensive for New York's preferences. According to Heyman, the Bronx Bombers could consider White Sox utilityman Jeff Keppinger, and are still interested in bringing in free agent Ian Stewart on a minor league deal.
- As the Yankees look for bats, Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger explores whether the club could do so by dealing inconsistent starter Phil Hughes. McCullough acknowledges that there are several reasons why this wouldn't make sense: for one, if Hughes performs well enough to net a good return and the Yankees remain in contention, it would be hard to part ways. For another, Hughes would seem to appeal mostly to other contenders given his pending free agency, limiting the potential for acquiring an impact bat from a cellar-dwelling trade partner. Finally, the possibility of making the still-youthful Hughes a qualifying offer remains an attractive (if complicated) option for New York.
- The Orioles have a complex roster management situation developing with the impending return of second baseman Brian Roberts, writes Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. While the club has a 40-man spot open after removing Freddy Garcia, the O's will need to create a 25-man vacancy. Kubatko lists several roster moves, each of which has some drawbacks: the club could designate first baseman Travis Ishikawa or option one of infielder Danny Valencia or utilityman Ryan Flaherty. The decision is complicated by the fact that lefty Wei-Yin Chen promises to return from his own DL stint shortly.
The Blue Jays' 11-game win streak was snapped tonight at Tropicana Field in a 4-1 loss to the Rays. Jeremy Hellickson delivered seven shutout innings of one-hit ball while James Loney, Wil Myers (in his home debut) and Sam Fuld connected on three straight solo homers in the second inning. One more victory would've given Toronto a new franchise record for consecutive wins.
Here's the latest from around the AL East...
- "If it’s up to me, it’s very unrealistic," that the Rays would leave the Tampa area, Rays owner Stuart Sternberg tells FOX Sports' Jon Morosi, though Sternberg warns that "the decision can be taken out of my hands at some point" by Major League Baseball if the Rays' stadium situation isn't resolved. Sternberg discusses several topics in this wide-ranging chat, from his team's future in Tampa Bay to David Price and Evan Longoria's contracts to even the prospect of MLB returning to Montreal.
- An AL executive sums up the Yankees' decision about trading Phil Hughes as "If he’s good, why trade him? If he’s struggling, what will you get?", according to Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger (Twitter link). Hughes hasn't pitched well this year (a 5.09 ERA in 14 starts) and will be a free agent this winter, though it has been speculated that the homer-prone Hughes could still be targeted by teams who play in pitcher-friendly stadiums.
- Mark Teixeira received a cortisone shot over a week ago but is "still experiencing soreness" in his right wrist, Yankees GM Brian Cashman told reporters (including Andy McCullough) in a conference call today. Teixeira's lack of progress renews speculation that he may have to undergo season-ending surgery, though Cashman didn't want to comment on the possibility or possible future moves at first base until more was known about the injury.
- The Orioles are known to be looking for pitching help but since they aren't willing to move any top prospects or core players, Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun thinks the O's will have to wait until close to the trade deadline "to see if they can get a bargain" since they currently wouldn't be able to find a true upgrade at their price.
- Orioles manager Buck Showalter told reporters (including MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko) that "we would have liked, in a perfect world, to have [Mark Reynolds] back" this season. "I know our guys liked Mark. He's a good teammate, a good guy, an easy guy to manage. We'd like to have had him, but it just didn't work out," Showalter said. Reynolds signed with the Indians last winter and took a .741 OPS and 14 homers into tonight's action, so while the O's could've used Reynolds at DH, they're very set at the corner infield spots thanks to Manny Machado and Chris Davis.