Steve Trachsel Rumors

Padres Eyeing Livan Hernandez, Cliff Floyd

Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune talked to Padres GM Kevin Towers, who said last week he’s interested in starter Livan Hernandez and outfielder Cliff Floyd.  The Padres are no longer targeting a $40MM payroll, so it seems they can afford to add a million or two for these two free agents.  The Padres have two open spots in the rotation.

Hernandez, 34 in February, posted a 6.05 ERA and 3.35 K/9 in 180 innings last year for the Twins and Rockies.  He earned $5MM.  Floyd, 36, hit .268/.349/.455 in 284 plate appearances for the Rays last year; he suffered a slightly torn labrum in the World Series.  He earned $2.75MM and had an ’09 option for the same amount declined in November.

Center adds that the Padres had free agent pitchers Brian Lawrence, Steve Trachsel, and Scott Elarton work out at Petco Park recently but decided not to invite them to Spring Training (Ben mentioned this on Saturday; just a reminder).  Trachsel was designated for assignment by the Orioles in June of last year and was thought to be considering retirement.

Odds And Ends: Hill, Dye, Hinske, Fogg

Links for Saturday…

Steve Trachsel Designated For Assignment

According to Roch Kubatko of the Baltimore Sun, the Orioles designated pitcher Steve Trachsel for assignment today.  The move was expected, given Trachsel’s 8.39 ERA and 0.59 K/BB in 39.6 innings this year.

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec talked with Trachsel this spring and got the impression that he’d retire if the Orioles let him go (unless another team puts him in the rotation).

Talking Retirement: Smoltz, Trachsel, Mercker

Today we’ve got a trio of pitchers who may be ready to call it quits.

  • John Smoltz will have season-ending shoulder surgery.  Retirement is not out of the question, but right now he’s got his eye on returning in ’09.
  • Jeff Zrebiec talked with Steve Trachsel in spring; he’ll probably retire if the Orioles release him.
  • Hal McCoy expects Kent Mercker to hang it up.  He’s on the 60-day DL with a sore back.

Odds And Ends: Duncan, Mather, Huntington, Trachsel, Rusch

A few notes to wrap up what I’ve come across this Saturday:

  • The Hardball Times has an interview with Pirates GM Neal Huntington. It’s plenty long. He talks about the dynamics in dealing with his former team, the Cleveland Indians.
  • Steve Trachsel might be on his way out with the Orioles. Tough to argue against that move. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the O’s are in the cellar, and might not climb out for the rest of 2008.
  • Chris Duncan down, Joe Mather up. Could Mather be the piece that rounds out a powerful outfield? Or could he be trade bait to bring back, say, a second baseman?
  • Glendon Rusch is back in the majors, having been recalled by the Rockies.

Posted by Joe Pawlikowski, who writes for River Ave. Blues, a Yankees blog, and can be reached here.

Orioles Discuss Lohse, Villone, Chacon

Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun says the Orioles are looking at various one or two-year stopgap free agents.

  • According to Scott Boras, he and Andy MacPhail have discussed six or seven of his clients.  Among them are Kyle Lohse, Ron Villone, and Corey Patterson.  Lohse would probably not sign for two years, I’m guessing.  Or in the American League.  Who else might they have discussed?  Jeff Weaver?  Anyway, it’s nice to see the Orioles getting along with Boras!
  • Zrebiec notes that the O’s have had "preliminary talks" with the agents for Shawn Chacon and Steve Trachsel.  Looks like MacPhail just wants some warm bodies for the back end of the rotation.  Chacon seems to prefer to the Pirates, and a return to Pittsburgh looks "increasingly logical."
  • Zbrebiec says Rod Barajas seems to be headed elsewhere despite "significant discussions" with Baltimore.

Rockies Eyeing Burke, Ohman, Capuano

Tracy Ringolsby of the Rocky Mountain News has a list of available players the Rockies like.  He names Chris Burke, Mark Redman, Steve Trachsel, Will Ohman, and Chris Capuano as the targets.

Trachsel and Redman we know about; they are two among a slew of starters the Rockies are considering.  Capuano is new to the list, however.  They’ll have some competition from the Cardinals on him.

Burke is an option for second base and a player the Rox liked a year ago for the Jason Jennings deal.  Now he’ll come ultra-cheapMark Loretta is considered a long shot.

The Rockies like Ohman, who the Cubs consider expendable.  It’s strange, though, because the Rockies are currently shopping a better southpaw reliever in Brian Fuentes.  Fuentes wants to close, so Dan O’Down will listen to offers.  But it doesn’t make sense that a team would surrender a young, eighth-inning ready reliever for Fuentes.

Odds and Ends: Colon, Clark, Gagne

Random rumors, let’s round ’em up.

Rockies Talking To Redman, Trachsel

UPDATE, 11-30-07 at 11am:  Troy E. Renck spoke to Dan O’Dowd, who indicates the Rox are not close on Redman or Trachsel.  They like that pair, but Brett Tomko and Jason Jennings continue to catch O’Dowd’s eye.

FROM 11-29-07 at 2pm:

According to Tracy Ringolsby, the Rockies already have their 2008 rotation picked out: Aaron Cook, Jeff Francis, Ubaldo Jimenez, Franklin Morales, and Jason Hirsh.  Of course, counting on each to make 30 starts would be folly.  With that in mind, Dan O’Dowd is looking for some veteran filler.  Specifically, he’s trying to sign Mark Redman and Steve Trachsel.  Trachsel in particular would like to become a Rockie.

Trax is 37; he pitched 159 innings over 29 starts in 2007.  He’s always working out of a jam, given the amount of baserunners he puts on.  And he definitely pitches to contact.  Whenever a pitcher walks more than he whiffs, that’s not good.  The Cubs deemed him to be worth less than $4.75MM, declining his ’08 option for that amount.  I’m thinking one year, $3MM.

Redman will be 34 in January.  At one point he could almost be called an innings-eater, but the lefty doesn’t appear to have much left in the tank.

The Rockies have also been linked to Matt Clement, Cliff Lee, Brett Tomko, Jason Jennings, and Ian Snell this winter.

Zrebiec On O’s and Free Agents

The Baltimore Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec was recently named Rumor Royalty for the Orioles.  Jeff answered a few questions for MLBTR.

MLBTR: Andy MacPhail has said he doesn’t expect to be in on many free agents, but there was a rumor that the O’s are entertaining Jose Guillen [note: written prior to debunking]. Do you expect them to spend any money on free agents this winter?

Zrebiec: First, the Guillen report was inaccurate. He’s exactly the type of player the Orioles are not interested in at this stage. As for other free agents, I see the Orioles making a couple of small, low price/low risk signings to fill out their roster.

For example, I could see them signing a veteran starter on the cheap, somebody in the Steve Trachsel mold. I wouldn’t rule out them signing a reliever, though it won’t be at anywhere close to the contracts they gave out last year for Bradford, Walker and Baez. And if Tejada is traded and I fully expect him to be, signing a guy like Cesar Izturis could appeal to them. They’ve liked him in the past.

But for the most part, I think you’ll see them try to fill their holes in trades and then patching a couple of spots up with one or two signings. I think it was telling that MacPhail didn’t have one extensive meeting with an agent at the GM meetings.