Randall Delgado Rumors
11:05pm: The Cubs are asking the Dodgers for minor league pitcher Allen Webster as the centerpiece of a Dempster trade, reports Morosi (Twitter link).
6:55pm: It's possible that the Dodgers could acquire Dempster from the Cubs without having to surrender Lee, a source tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com (Twitter link).
4:20pm: The Cubs are talking to the Dodgers about Dempster again, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports.
3:26pm: Dempster told reporters, including Doug Padilla of ESPNChicago.com, that he's taking his time to weigh his options (Twitter link). He plans to pitch for the Cubs tomorrow. "I have a pretty good idea of where I want to go," Dempster said, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter).
1:37pm: The status of the possible Braves-Cubs deal should be resolved "shortly," ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reports (on Twitter). The Cubs continue talking to the Braves and the Dodgers.
12:43pm: Dempster doesn’t want to be traded to the Braves right now, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Instead, the right-hander hopes to be dealt to the Dodgers. While the Dodgers had interest in Dempster and were considered by some to be the favorites to acquire him, they didn’t reach an agreement with the Cubs. Chicago would lose leverage with the Dodgers if Dempster rejects a trade to the Braves, his second choice.
TUESDAY, 9:05am: Dempster has given preliminary indications that he'd accept a trade to the Braves, ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reports (Twitter links). However, Dempster felt blindsided when news of the proposed deal leaked before the Cubs reached him.
MONDAY, 6:20pm: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports writes that Dempster to the Braves now has a 50-50 chance of happening.
3:30pm: The teams are awaiting Dempster's approval, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports (on Twitter).
2:57pm: Dempster is in the Cubs' clubhouse preparing for tonight's game in Pittsburgh, according to reporters, including Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter). He declined to discuss today's developments, Doug Padilla of ESPNChicago.com reports (on Twitter).
2:38pm: The Cubs haven't received Dempster's permission to complete a trade, David Kaplan of CSNChicago reports (on Twitter). "There is no trade," Dempster tweets via his foundation. "Don't know where this info came from!" Meanwhile, Goldstein hears that the deal is not done, but acknowledges that it might simply be delayed while MLB considers the financial side of the transaction (Twitter link).
Delgado, 22, has started 17 games for the Braves this year, posting a 4.42 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 in 91 2/3 innings. The right-hander entered the season as the 46th-best prospect in MLB, according to Baseball America. His average fastball checks in at 92 mph, according to FanGraphs. Delgado has a ceiling as a number three starter in the Major Leagues, Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus writes (on Twitter).
1:22pm: The Braves and Cubs have agreed to a trade that will send Ryan Dempster to Atlanta, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports (on Twitter). The right-hander can veto any trade, but he is not likely to demand an extension in order to approve the deal, according to Jon Heyman. Randall Delgado could be going to Chicago in the deal, Bowman adds.
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Dempster, 35, has an NL-best 2.11 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 98 innings for the Cubs this year. He earns $14MM in 2012 -- more than $5.5MM between now and the end of the season -- but the Cubs are said to be willing to absorb salary to facilitate a deal.
The Braves won't be able to obtain draft pick compensation for Dempster even if he signs elsewhere after the season. In other words, he's strictly a rental unless the sides reach an extension between now and the end of the season. The Braves believe they'd have a good shot at re-signing Dempster, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (on Twitter). The Cubs would have been able to obtain one compensatory selection for losing Dempster if they had kept him for the remainder of the season and made him a qualifying offer.
Braves starters have combined for a 4.34 ERA with 7.0 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 so far this year. The team's rotation currently consists of Tim Hudson, Tommy Hanson, Mike Minor, Jair Jurrjens and newcomer Ben Sheets. Brandon Beachy and Arodys Vizcaino are out for the season with Tommy John surgery, which diminished the organization's internal options.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com first reported that the Braves were nearing a deal for Dempster after David O'Brien first reported the Braves were nearing a deal for a starter. Photo courtesy of US Presswire.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has a new Full Count video up, so let's round up the rumors...
- The chances of the Phillies trading Shane Victorino may be greater than the chances of them trading Cole Hamels. The Dodgers, Reds, and possibly the Yankees could be fits for the outfielder, who originally asked Philadelphia for a five-year extension. They're unwilling to give him a contract that long.
- The Red Sox are likely to be one of the most active teams at the trade deadline. If they keep Franklin Morales in the rotation, they're likely to seek another left-hander for the bullpen. They could also acquire a starter and shift Morales back into a relief role.
- The Braves are not as adamant about not trading their top young pitchers as they were at this time last year mostly because there are more appealing choices on the market. They're looking for consistency and could part with one of Mike Minor, Julio Teheran, or Randall Delgado if they view someone like Matt Garza as a difference-maker.
- The Brewers remain more likely to sell than not, but they would still like to return to contention quickly. They could ask for big league pitching instead of prospects for Zack Greinke, plus Francisco Rodriguez figures to have value on the trade market. GM Doug Melvin is getting calls about John Axford and Jose Veras, and the trio of Randy Wolf, George Kottaras, and Shaun Marcum (if healthy) remain trade bait.
The Marlins ended their franchise record offensive draught of scoring five runs or less for 25 consecutive games in their 9-0 win over the Blue Jays. And, for good measure, the nine runs were a season-high for the Marlins, who ended their six-game losing streak. Here's the latest news from around baseball.
- The Braves could make starting pitching a priority at the trade deadline because of the growing pains of Mike Minor and Randall Delgado and the uncertainty surrounding Jair Jurrjens, tweets Mark Bowman of MLB.com.
- The Pirates need to create an opening in their starting rotation when Jeff Karstens returns from the disabled list this week and Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review thinks a trade could create that opening (via Sulia). Biertempfel reported yesterday the Pirates are shopping Kevin Correia.
- With the Pirates looking for offensive help, the Denver Post's Troy Renck notes the Rockies have players available, including Marco Scutaro. In the same piece, Renck offers his suggestions on who the Rockies should play the rest of the way in 2012, so as to best prepare for 2013.
- The Nationals are not willing to pay a fine in order to exceed their draft bonus pool, writes Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. This is a corection to a story Kilgore wrote yesterday. Kilgore writes this stance will lower the amount the Nationals will be able to offer their first round draft pick Lucas Giolito.
- Condolences to the friends of family of Padres' bullpen coach Darrel Akerfelds, who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer today. He was 50.
The Braves and Orioles discussed a possible Adam Jones trade recently, but talks didn’t progress far, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reports (all Twitter links). The Orioles wanted Jair Jurrjens, Martin Prado and at least two of Brandon Beachy, Mike Minor, Julio Teheran, Arodys Vizcaino and Randall Delgado. The Braves weren’t interested at that price, Crasnick writes.
Conflicting reports about the Braves’ interest level in Jones emerged yesterday, but it appears some preliminary discussions occurred. Orioles GM Dan Duquette joined Jim Bowden and Casey Stern on MLB Network Radio this week and explained that the Orioles are trying to "build around" Jones. "When you have some good players, other teams are interested," he said. "We're not marketing Adam Jones." However, he stopped short of guaranteeing that Jones would stay put.
The Braves blew a late-inning lead before losing a painful game to the Phillies tonight, but if Atlanta goes on to win in the playoffs this year, their bullpen will probably be a major reason for their success. The Braves’ late inning trio of Eric O'Flaherty, Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel is as good as it gets.
Health permitting, the three relievers figure to return to Atlanta in 2012, but the same can’t necessarily be said for the Braves’ starting corps. Every one of the eight pitchers who has started a game for the Braves in 2011 is under team control next year and with a trio of MLB-ready arms entering the discussion for big league rotation spots, it won’t be surprising if the Braves hear an offer or two for their surplus arms.
Before we get too carried away with assumptions about health, it’s important to note that two Braves starters are on the disabled list and another one is dealing with an injury. Kris Medlen hasn’t pitched since undergoing Tommy John surgery last August and won’t be ready before 2012. Tommy Hanson is also on the disabled list (shoulder) and Jair Jurrjens (knee) is banged up as well.
Despite those injuries, the Braves have a full rotation: Tim Hudson, Derek Lowe, Brandon Beachy (pictured), Mike Minor and Randall Delgado. Top prospects Arodys Vizcaino and Julio Teheran (who will start one of tomorrow’s games) also represent viable rotation options for manager Fredi Gonzalez.
All told, the Braves have nine options. Hudson, Lowe, Jurrjens, Hanson, Beachy and Minor have all had extended looks in the rotation this year, Teheran, Delgado and Vizcaino spent most of the 2011 season in the minors and Medlen, a wild card heading into 2012, hasn’t pitched at all.
Not only do the Braves have nine pitchers around in 2012, most of them are under team control in 2013 (Lowe’s contract expires after next season and the Braves have a $9MM club option for Hudson in ’13). This group isn’t going anywhere.
As unusual as it is for a team to have too much pitching, this Braves team may find themselves with extra arms over the winter. Unlike most teams, however, the Braves already have the main components of their roster in place for 2012. They won’t have many obvious holes to address over the winter.
Yet the Braves aren’t set at every position - shortstop Alex Gonzalez hits free agency and Martin Prado hasn't shown the on-base skills or power you'd expect from a left fielder. If the Braves decide not to retain the slick-fielding Gonzalez and opt to move Prado back into a utility role, they could have holes at shortstop and left field (assuming they don’t view Jose Constanza as a permanent solution).
The Braves are a playoff-caliber team and they seem poised to contend in 2012, but significant needs could emerge within a month or two. Wren avoided last year's free agent frenzy and if he hopes to do the same this offseason without ignoring possible weaknesses, he could make the organization's pitching depth available in trades.
Photo courtesy Icon SMI.
Astros GM Ed Wade is keeping an open mind on trades, so it's possible outfielder Michael Bourn and others could still go. The latest on Bourn:
- The Braves refuse to include both Randall Delgado and Arodys Vizcaino in a deal for Bourn, according to ESPN.com's Jim Bowden (on Twitter).
- The Giants do have interest in Bourn, Morosi tweets.
- The Reds aren't likely to acquire Bourn, according to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com; Houston's asking price is too high.
- The Giants may have interest in Bourn, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).
- The Braves are getting more involved on Bourn, tweets Rosenthal. ESPN's Buster Olney hears the Braves are working hard on getting the center fielder.
- The Astros' efforts to trade Bourn are picking up steam, tweets ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, and it appears more likely he'll be dealt by tomorrow's deadline.
- The Astros want Major-League ready prospects for Bourn, tweets MLB.com's Bill Ladson. It makes sense that Wade would seek certainty here, with his Hunter Pence haul being of the high-risk, high-reward variety.
- The Indians and Reds are the main suitors for Bourn right now, tweets Stephen Goff of Examiner.com, but he'd be surprised if the center fielder is traded.
- The Braves are not one of the main teams in on Bourn yet, tweets Rosenthal.
- "The Nationals, Braves, Indians and Reds are among the clubs with varying levels of interest in Bourn," report Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The Indians are the new suitor here.
Trade rumors have surrounded plenty of Mets players throughout the season, but with just a week until the July 31st deadline, Carlos Beltran is the only major piece the Mets are focused on moving. As we learned yesterday, there is "increasing chatter" that the Giants are emerging as the favorite, but there are still a few other teams in on the outfielder. Here are today's Beltran rumors, with any new updates added to the top of the page throughout the day:
- Beltran has privately told the Mets that he will not accept a trade to an American League team because he doesn't want to alternate between DH'ing and playing center field, and because he's not familiar with the league, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Beltran has a list of seven NL team to whom he would accept a trade.
- One of Sandy Alderson's top Major League scouts, Roy Smith, has been following Giants minor leaguers, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! (via Twitter).
- Beltran says that he would be okay with a trade to any of the five teams that have been rumored as destinations, tweets Mike Puma of the New York Post.
- The Mets are talking to the Rangers and Red Sox about Beltran but Jon Heyman of SI (via Twitter) still sees the Giants, Braves, and Phillies as the more probable destinations.
- The Rangers are interested in Beltran because of the potential impact that he can have but they aren’t desperate to add a bat otherwise, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
- Team officials for two of the clubs in talks with the Mets expect discussions to continue until next weekend, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York (on Twitter).
- The Giants, Braves, Phillies, Red Sox, and Rangers have each had a scout on hand to watch Beltran this weekend, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan says (via Twitter) the Rangers are "coming hard" for Beltran, though San Francisco is still the frontrunner. Passan singles out Giants prospect Francisco Peguero as one name that may have been discussed.
- The Red Sox see Beltran as a "total longshot," and are more concerned with adding pitching, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (via Twitter).
- In his Insider-only blog, Olney says the Mets are looking for a top pitching prospect from the Braves - perhaps Mike Minor, Julio Teheran, Arodys Vizcaino, or Randall Delgado. One talent evalutor says he can't see GM Frank Wren parting with any of those four arms for Beltran.
- Andy Martino of the New York Daily News looks at Minor and a few other prospects the Mets may be targeting in Beltran discussions.