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JUNE 30: Daniels cannot imagine a scenario in which either Darvish or Beltre would be dealt, he said in an appearance today on Sirius XM MLB Network Radio (via a tweet from host Jim Bowden).
JUNE 25: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports hears from rival GMs and executives around the game that the Rangers will listen to trade proposals for anyone. Beltre and Darvish, however, are “on another level” from the rest of the team, and executives that have spoken to Heyman can’t envision either being traded. One big reason for that reluctance is that the Rangers expect to be good next year when Prince Fielder, Derek Holland, Jurickson Profar, Martin Perez and others have returned to health.
One GM tells Heyman that he thinks Andrus makes much more sense as a trade chip than most people realize. Andrus, of course, is guaranteed $15MM annually from 2015-20 and $14MM annually in 2021-22. He can opt out of his contract following the 2018 or 2019 season if he wishes.
Soria, Heyman notes, could be the star of the bullpen market, and Rios is likely to be sought after as well. He adds that the Rangers aren’t intent on trading too many players, but they seem intent on making some deals. As one GM tells Heyman: “They are open to anything with the vet core.”
JUNE 23: GM Jon Daniels has begun putting out feelers to assess the trade value of the club’s “core-type” players, a source tells Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Having fallen 11-and-a-half back in the division and staring at a tough stretch of games ahead, the Rangers appear to be preparing for the possibility of selling one or more significant pieces over the summer.
Of course, it remains quite early, and any number of factors could still result in Texas standing pat. Unsurprisingly, Daniels has not varied his public stance. “We’ve grown accustomed the last couple of years to being in the pole position or near it,” he said. “You adjust your point of view based on the standings. But you consider a lot of different things. There is no rule you have to make a major change before the deadline.”
While the report did not include any specific information regarding particular players, Grant did go on to discuss some of the players who might fall under the “core-type” label. He lists Elvis Andrus, whose value is held down by his contract, and Alex Rios, whose contract has somewhat surprisingly turned into something of an asset, along with Joakim Soria, Adrian Beltre, and ace Yu Darvish. Needless to say, it would be a stunning development were Texas even to listen on Darvish; while Grant does not suggest that is under consideration, he does note that the club was willing to part with Mark Teixeira back in 2007.
4:30pm: The Astros have issued the following statement regarding the leaked notes:
“Last month, we were made aware that proprietary information held on Astros’ servers and in Astros’ applications had been illegally obtained. Upon learning of the security breach, we immediately notified MLB security who, in turn, notified the FBI. Since that time, we have been working closely with MLB security and the FBI to the determine the party, or parties, responsible. This information was illegally obtained and published, and we intend to prosecute those involved to the fullest extent.
“It is unfortunate and extremely disappointing that an outside source has illegally obtained confidential information. While it does appear that some of the content released was based on trade conversations, a portion of the material was embellished or completely fabricated.”
2:29pm: Extensive trade discussion notes, apparently logged by Astros executives about their talks with other teams, have been leaked onto the site AnonBin here and here, with Deadspin breaking the story and Yahoo’s Jeff Passan verifying the authenticity of the logs. The earliest notes are from June 2013, and the latest are from March of this year. The Astros have yet to comment on the leak, which provides unprecedented detail into how the team values players and approaches trade discussions. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Astros have been reaching out to people around baseball apologizing for the leaks, and plan to issue a statement soon.
A March feature by Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle outlines Ground Control, the Astros’ confidential internal database from which the trade discussion notes were likely taken. At this time, it’s unclear whether the information reached the Internet via a rogue employee of the team, or by some kind of security vulnerability in Ground Control. The trade discussion information, mostly from last summer and offseason, is somewhat dated in the fast-moving baseball hot stove world. The larger ramification is the breach of trust experienced by the many non-Astros executives cited in the notes. It’s unlikely any team would rule out the Astros as a trading partner based on this breach, but some teams could approach talks with added caution. Additionally, I imagine the many other teams with such highly sensitive material online are doubling down on security right now.
The Astros’ trade notes from last summer and offseason range from the blockbuster to the mundane; here are some highlights.
- On November 15th, Astros GM Jeff Luhnow expressed interest with Marlins GM Dan Jennings in slugger Giancarlo Stanton. From the notes: “[Jennings] said he doesn’t think he’ll trade Stanton and the only deal he could think of from us that would work would be [George] Springer and [Carlos] Correa. [Luhnow] said that would not work. [Luhnow] posited a deal around [Jarred] Cosart and [Delino] DeShields.” It’s not a big surprise that Luhnow rejected Jennings’ proposal out of hand, as Correa and Springer were ranked #4 and #19 on Keith Law’s top 100 prospects list for ESPN, and are major building blocks for Houston. That Luhnow didn’t appear to offer either player suggests he was mostly gauging Stanton’s price after an off-year with three years of control remaining. UPDATE: Jennings has commented to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, saying it’s fabricated that they ever offered Stanton to the Astros or any other team, also using the word “laughable.”
- Interest in Astros catcher Jason Castro was strong last offseason, with a few surprising suitors. The Blue Jays and Rangers reached out in mid-October to gauge Castro’s price, the White Sox had “definite high interest,” and Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik told Luhnow in November that he was getting calls from other teams asking if he could get Castro from the Astros for those teams. Zduriencik offered Dustin Ackley and was turned down.
- Notes for the Astros’ summer trade discussions begin at June 17th, 2013. The team ultimately went on to acquire Ronald Torreyes from the Cubs in June, and also dealt veterans Jose Veras, Bud Norris, and Justin Maxwell near the July deadline. The Astros did not end up acquiring any top 100-type prospects, but they sure did ask for the moon. For Norris, the Astros sought Kyle Crick and Clayton Blackburn from the Giants, Dylan Bundy or Kevin Gausman from the Orioles, Marcus Stroman and more from the Blue Jays, Xander Bogaerts, Allen Webster, Jackie Bradley Jr., or Garin Cecchini from the Red Sox, and Tyler Glasnow plus Luis Heredia or Nick Kingham from the Pirates. The Red Sox offered Ryan Lavarnway or Deven Marrero for Norris and were turned down. In the end, the Astros traded Norris and an international draft slot to the Orioles for L.J. Hoes, Josh Hader, and a 2014 competitive balance pick.
- When Nationals GM Mike Rizzo called to express interest in middling Astros starting pitcher Lucas Harrell, who had a 5.17 ERA at the time and nearly as many walks as strikeouts, “[Luhnow] told him we would still need a headliner like [Lucas] Giolito because we still value Harrell highly. Rizzo did not respond immediately.”
Harrell was designated for assignment, outrighted, and traded for a pittance nine months later, so the Astros might have overplayed their hand.
- “Untouchable” players from other teams were revealed through conversations with their executives. White Sox GM Rick Hahn wouldn’t consider trading Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, Jose Abreu, or Avisail Garcia. Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos considered Brett Lawrie off-limits. Pirates outfield prospect Gregory Polanco came up as well, in that GM Neal Huntington wouldn’t include him in any Norris deal. In December talks regarding Harrell, the Giants said they would not discuss Brandon Belt.
- More random notes: Mets executive Paul DePodesta asked Luhnow if the Astros would consider trading shortstop Jonathan Villar in a Daniel Murphy deal in December…the Marlins expressed interest in Jose Altuve, Matt Dominguez, and others in December.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Baltimore Orioles | Boston Red Sox | Bud Norris | Carlos Correa | Chicago White Sox | Daniel Murphy | Delino DeShields Jr. | Deven Marrero | Dustin Ackley | Dylan Bundy | Garin Cecchini | George Springer | Giancarlo Stanton | Houston Astros | Jackie Bradley Jr. | Jarred Cosart | Jason Castro | Jonathan Villar | Jose Altuve | Kevin Gausman | Lucas Giolito | Lucas Harrell | Luis Heredia | Marcus Stroman | Matt Dominguez | Miami Marlins | New York Mets | Nick Kingham | Pittsburgh Pirates | Ryan Lavarnway | San Francisco Giants | Seattle Mariners | Texas Rangers | Toronto Blue Jays | Washington Nationals | Xander Bogaerts
The Rays have claimed Cory Burns off waivers from the Rangers, according to MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes (via Twitter). The right-hander has spent parts of the last two seasons in the majors but has been with Texas’ Triple-A affiliate for 2014.
Burns, 26, owns a 7.44 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 19 relief appearances and one start this season. In a combined 27 appearances for the Padres and Rangers between 2012 and 2013, Burns posted a 4.60 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 5.2 BB/9.
We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here.
- The Rangers have announced that they will purchase the contract of infielder Adam Rosales and optioned fellow infielder Luis Sardinas to the minors, where he’ll presumably have more regular playing time. The Rangers will need to make a 40-man roster move to make space for Rosales, who was hitting .276/.349/.434 in 307 plate appearances for Triple-A Round Rock.
- The Diamondbacks announce that they have selected the contract of infielder Nick Ahmed. Fellow infielder Chris Owings will head to the 15-day DL with a shoulder strain, and the Diamondbacks will clear 40-man roster space for Ahmed by moving Eric Chavez to the 60-day DL. Ahmed, 24, was hitting .324/.390/.431 for Triple-A Reno, where he played shortstop and second base. He was originally drafted by the Braves, who traded him to Arizona in the Justin Upton / Chris Johnson / Martin Prado deal.
- The Brewers have announced that they’ve selected the contract of infielder Jeff Bianchi from Triple-A Nashville, adding him to their 40-man and 25-man rosters. To clear space for him on the 25-man, they’ve optioned pitcher Alfredo Figaro to Nashville. Shortstop Jean Segura left yesterday’s game with leg cramps, which might be why the Brewers are adding another infielder. The Brewers outrighted Bianchi last month. He has a career .214/.249/.281 line in parts of three seasons, all with Milwaukee.
The Red Sox would like to re-open negotiations with Jon Lester, but it may not be in the player’s best interest according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports in his latest video. Based on where negotiations left off, a large gap exists between club and player. It’s unlikely the two parties could bridge the difference in a short period of time. Says Rosenthal, Lester would like to avoid being labelled as selfish, a distraction, or a mercenary, all of which could result from rejecting an offer mid-season. If the Red Sox trade Lester, then they may shut the door on re-signing him. Many players treat a trade as a “sign of rejection.”
- Unlike Lester, Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa may consider re-signing if traded. He reportedly likes Colorado. If he’s dealt, De La Rosa will not come with a qualifying offer attached.
- Rosenthal labels relievers Neal Cotts and Jason Frasor as the Rangers most likely to be traded. Alex Rios and Joakim Soria could also be marketed. The club won’t solicit offers for third baseman Adrian Beltre, but they will listen if approached. Elvis Andrus is also drawing interest. The Rangers currently sit 12.5 games back of first place in the AL West.
- The Padres are open to dealing one or both of relievers Huston Street and Joaquin Benoit. The Padres aren’t shopping Andrew Cashner, but Ian Kennedy, Chase Headley, Chris Denorfia, and Seth Smith could all be on the block.
Here are the latest minor moves from around the league…
- Outfielder Erik Komatsu has signed with the Brewers, reports Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (via Twitter). Komatsu, 26, started out with Milwaukee but was dealt to the Nationals in 2011 in a summer deal for Jerry Hairston. He was then taken in the Rule 5 draft, and saw brief time with both the Cardinals and Twins, before being returned to D.C. After being released by the Nats earlier this year, Komatsu had a brief stint with the Angels but was apparently released again.
- The Pirates have traded outfielder Adalberto Santos to the Giants, according to the PCL transactions page. Santos, 26, was off to a rough .186/.234/.256 start in 47 plate appearances at Triple-A after performing well at each prevous level in the minors.
- First baseman/outfielder Brad Snyder has elected free agency rather than accepting an outright assignment to Triple-A Round Rock from the Rangers, reports Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest (via Twitter). The 32-year-old Snyder was designated for assignment earlier this week when Texas purchased the contract of fellow first baseman Carlos Pena from Round Rock. Snyder, a converted outfielder, was relatively new to first base, but all 10 games in which he appeared with the Rangers this season came as a first baseman. In those 10 contests, Snyder slashed .167/.265/.400 and blasted a pair of homers in 34 trips to the plate. The first-round pick has demolished Triple-A pitching in his minor league career but never received an extended look in the Majors.
- Outfielder Roger Bernadina has refused an outright assignment from the Reds and elected free agency, reports C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer (via Twitter). The 30-year-old has been unable to regain the form he showed in 2012 with the Nationals (.291/.372/.405 with 15 steals in 261 plate appearances). He split last year between Washington and Philadelphia before inking a minor league deal with Cincinnati. In 71 plate appearances, Bernadina scuffled to a .153/.286/.203 line.
- The White Sox have inked righty Daniel McCutchen to a minor league deal, Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com reports on Twitter. McCutchen, a 31-year-old righty, saw significant time in the Pirates pen over 2009-11 but has only appeared in two MLB contests since (including one with the Rangers this year). He had a 7.05 ERA and 8.1 K/9 against 2.0 BB/9 over 60 innings (including eight starts) at Triple-A with Texas.
- The Blue Jays have outrighted infielder Jonathan Diaz, according to the International League transactions page. Diaz, 29, put up a .158/.256/.184 line in 45 plate appearances with Toronto, his only MLB action other than a cup of coffee last year with the Red Sox.
- Also according to the International League transactions page, the Phillies have released reliever Shawn Camp. The 38-year-old righty appeared in three games earlier in the year before being outrighted, electing free agency, and re-signing with Philadelphia. He currently owns a respectable 3.79 ERA through 19 innings in the minors, with 7.6 K/9 against 2.4 BB/9.
- The Phillies have signed Russ Canzler to a minor league deal and assigned him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, per the team’s transactions page at MLB.com. Canzler, who debuted for the IronPigs yesterday, spent the early portion of the season with the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate. He’s a career .276/.355/.457 hitter in Triple-A and has 102 career MLB plate appearances between the Rays and Indians.
- The Angels have signed independent league right-hander Ray Hanson, per the club’s transactions page. The 6’7″, 235-pound Hanson has pitched very well in both the Frontier League and the United League, posting a 3.59 ERA with a strong 129-to-40 K/BB ratio in 125 1/3 innings. Hanson, 24, made his affiliated debut yesterday with the Halos’ Class-A Advanced club and fired five shutout innings, allowing two hits and two walks while striking out three.
Jeff Todd contributed to this post.
Top Astros prospect Carlos Correa will miss the rest of the year after undergoing surgery on a broken fibula, reports Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle. “The surgery went very well,” said GM Jeff Luhnow. “We expect him to go through a rehab process and return to exactly the point he was at when he got injured.” The 19-year-old shortstop had been close to earning a promotion to Double-A, says Drellich. He owns a robust .325/.416/.510 triple-slash with six long balls and 20 stolen bases in his first 293 plate appearances at the High-A level.
As Astros fans deal with this tough news, here are a few more notes from the AL West…
- Rangers lefty Derek Holland will have his minor league rehab assignment pushed back, reports Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News. Holland participated in fielding drills today but wasn’t ready to progress to pitching in games, manager Ron Washington tells Fraley. GM Jon Daniels tells Fraley that the club hasn’t given consideration to shutting Holland down for the season at any point and won’t do so unless there’s significant risk that he could re-injure his problematic knee.
- Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports looks at the journey of Matt Shoemaker from undrafted college arm to Angels starting pitcher. After Shoemaker went undrafted, his college coach called Major League teams to tell them that they missed a prospect, and he eventually signed with Anaheim for a modest $10K bonus. Brown’s story also chronicles Shoemaker’s journey and his close relationship with his father and the work the pair put into baseball throughout Shoemaker’s childhood.
- Dan Otero has gone from unheralded waiver claim to one of the most valuable relievers in the league, writes Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Assistant GM David Forst — the driving force behind acquiring Otero — tells Slusser that Otero’s command attracted the A’s. Scout John McLaren gave a strong review of Otero after seeing him pitch with the Giants’ Triple-A affiliate. When Otero was waived by the Giants, the Yankees claimed him and tried to sneak him through waivers, only to lose him to the A’s the next day. Since that time, Otero has posted a 1.79 ERA with 5.1 K/9, 1.4 BB/9 and a ground-ball rate north of 57 percent.
Jeff Todd contributed to this post.
Here are the day’s minor moves…
- Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com reports that the Orioles have signed right-hander Julio DePaula to a minor league deal and assigned him to Double-A Bowie (Twitter link). The 31-year-old hasn’t appeared in the bigs since a 2007 stint with the Twins. He’s bounced around since that time, appearing at Triple-A, pitching in the Korea Baseball Organization and also pitching in independent ball. This season, he had a 2.48 ERA with 9.3 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 29 innings with the Atlantic League’s York Revolution.
- The Athletics have signed catcher Luis Exposito to a minor league deal and assigned him to Triple-A Sacramento, tweets Melissa Lockard of OaklandClubhouse.com. Exposito, 27, spent time with the Tigers’ Triple-A affiliate earlier this season, hitting .177/.252/.313 with three homers in 107 PA. The longtime Red Sox farmhand is a career .260/.317/.408 hitter in the minors and appeared briefly in the Major Leagues with the Orioles in 2011.
- After being designated for assignment by the Rangers on Tuesday, outfielder/first baseman Brad Snyder has cleared waivers, reports Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest (via Twitter). The 32-year-old is still deciding whether or not to accept his assignment or instead become a free agent.
- The Padres have signed righty Chris Smith away from the indy league Sugar Land Skeeters, reports Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com (via Twitter). Smith, 33, threw 67 2/3 MLB innings between 2008-09, and last played in the minors in 2011. But he has tossed 50 1/3 frames of 2.13 ERA ball for the Skeeters, with 9.8 K/9 against 1.8 BB/9.
Steve Adams contributed to this post.
In an Insider piece yesterday, ESPN.com’s Jim Bowden listed 21 hitters who could change hands over the trade deadline and handicapped their odds of doing so. Bowden says it is 50/50 whether the following players are dealt: Daniel Murphy, Michael Cuddyer, Josh Willingham, Seth Smith, and Gerardo Parra. He puts better than even money on Chris Carter of the Astros (60%), Alex Rios of the Rangers (65%), and Ben Zobrist of the Rays (70%) landing in new uniforms.
Here’s the latest trade deadline chatter …
- Though he has increased his value with a recent string of outstanding starts, Mets hurler Bartolo Colon is not likely to be dealt, reports Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. The club is disinclined to sell, says Martino, and expects to have plenty of need for the veteran next year — even with the expected return of Matt Harvey and rise of younger arms.
- Brandon McCarthy of the Diamondbacks could be the ideal buy-low starting pitching target, writes Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca. While McCarthy’s results have not been encouraging (5.38 ERA), the opposite holds true of his peripherals (80:18 K:BB ratio, 56% groundball rate). In large part, McCarthy has been hurt by a bloated home run rate and batting average on balls in play. The righty could prove a bargain, says Nicholson-Smith, because he won’t require a major prospect return and Arizona may even need to pay part of his $9MM salary.
- The Phillies may ultimately decide to part with some veterans, but David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News questions whether they will get much in return. Marlon Byrd has a lower OPS and less home runs — and is owed a lot more money — than was the case last year when he was dealt for a less-than-overwhelming return. John Mayberry Jr. has been on the block for some time, and his hot start does not mean he’ll suddenly bring back a haul. And even Cliff Lee is not nearly as valuable as one might think, says Murphy, owing to his significant remaining guarantee and current arm issues.
- We heard recently that the Angels were looking to add a lefty and perhaps a closer to their bullpen. According to MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez and Matthew DeFranks, the club has or will look into Huston Street and Joaquin Benoit of the Padres, Jonathan Papelbon and Antonio Bastardo of the Phillies, and Jim Johnson of the Athletics. “There are pieces here that are very functional in getting to a good bullpen, and I believe that we’ll get there,” said GM Jerry Dipoto. “But we are going to have to address some of that in July and help this group out.”
- Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik said yesterday that he would be surprised if the club did not swing at least one deal in advance of the trade deadline, in an appearance on 1090 The Fan’s Steve Sandmeyer Show (Twitter links via co-host Jason Churchill). The club’s head baseball decisionmaker also left the impression that the club will be able to achieve some payroll flexibility in weighing acquisitions.
- One club with whom the Mariners are “expected to talk” is the White Sox, tweets Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. Some or all of Adam Dunn, Alexei Ramirez, and Dayan Viciedo could hold appeal to Seattle, Morosi suggests. Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com tweets that the M’s, who have scouted the South Siders recently, are intrigued by Ramirez and have had targeted Viciedo in the past.
The Rangers have designated outfielder/first baseman Brad Snyder for assignment, reports Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News (via Twitter). His roster spot will be taken by Carlos Pena, whose contract was purchased.
Snyder, 32, has only seen 71 MLB plate appearances in his career, just under half of which came this year with the Rangers. He was a first-round pick of the Indians back in 2003, and once figured as a top-100 prospect, but has largely stalled out at the upper minors. In parts of eight seasons at Triple-A, he owns a .288/.351/.507 triple-slash.
Pena, meanwhile, makes an interesting return to the club with which he debuted back in 2001. The first baseman, now 36, was dealt away to Oakland after just 72 plate appearances with the Rangers and ultimately played 12 seasons with numerous other clubs before making his return. His career line stands at .233/.348/.465.