Todd Walker Rumors

Orioles Asked For Ceda In Roberts Deal

According to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune, the Orioles asked the Cubs for 21 year-old righty Jose Ceda as part of a Brian Roberts deal at some point this winter.  However, Ceda is untouchable for Jim Hendry.

Ceda is a large righty swiped from Kevin Towers for Todd Walker at the ’06 trade deadline.  Baseball America ranks him fourth among Cubs prospects, first among pitchers.  When Ceda switched to relief in July, he threw 23 hitless innings in A ball.  His fastball and slider are of Major League quality and Lou Piniella has noted that he could make the jump from A ball to the bigs.

Andy MacPhail said yesterday that he didn’t expect to trade Roberts before the Orioles’ Spring Training reporting date next week.


Rockies May Sign Giles, Towers

According to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post, the Rockies have several bargain-priced free agents on their radar.

GM Dan O’Dowd has ongoing talks with second baseman Marcus Giles, who prefers Colorado.  Seems like the best place to rebuild value for Giles, who will turn 30 in May.  Coors Field inflates right-handed batting average by 17% and right-handed home runs bt 23%, according to the Bill James Handbook.  Giles made $3.25MM in 2007 but hit just .229/.304/.317.

Giles’ agent says a few other teams are involved on him, and Renck adds that Todd Walker remains an option.

Pitching-wise, the Rockies are targeting Josh Towers, who turns 30 in February.  Victor Zambrano is still a secondary option.  Towers seems a decent bargain, but his home run issues won’t play well in Coors (obviously).  Chad Durbin only required $900K, so maybe Towers will be in that range.  I don’t think Rodrigo Lopez is in play; I’m told he may not be ready until the All-Star break at the earliest.


Odds and Ends: Roberts, Otsuka, Walker, DaVanon

A few minor moves to speak of…

  • The Cubs don’t appear to be concerned about Brian Roberts‘ steroid admission.
  • The Padres’ talks for Xavier Nady are "on hold," according to Bill Center.  Also, the Friars continue to eye Akinori Otsuka.
  • Aside from the aforementioned Michael Barrett, the Padres signed Robert Fick and Jeff DaVanon.  DaVanon, a switch-hitter, has had some decent years against righties.  Ken Rosenthal believes the Padres may consider their outfield situation settled now after missing out on Geoff Jenkins and signing DaVanon.
  • Todd Walker, remember him?  He was released by the Padres this year in Spring Training and hooked on with Oakland.  After a month and a half there, they designated him for assignment.  He wasn’t picked up, and enjoyed spending the time with his family.  Now, however, the Rockies have had preliminary conversations with him according to Tracy Ringolsby.  Walker played for the Rox in 2000, posting a .929 OPS in limited duty.  He had another half season in Colorado in ’01 before being traded to the Reds for Alex Ochoa.
  • Excellent team blogs are going corporate – Bucco Blog was purchased by Baseball Interactive Media, and MetsBlog partnered with SNY.  Both seem like positive developments for readers – Jake and Matthew maintain editorial control, but perhaps gain additional access and technology.



Helton Talks To Resume?

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe talked to four baseball officials about the failed Todd Helton trade.  The majority (three, I guess) agreed that the Rockies and Red Sox would rekindle talks in spring training.

Helton, however, has told the Rockies he is prepared to veto all future trades.  Will he bend from that stance if the Red Sox and Rockies come to an agreement?  I would expect Colorado to lessen their demands a bit if they can get this thing done before the seasons starts.



Helton Talks To Resume?

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe talked to four baseball officials about the failed Todd Helton trade.  The majority (three, I guess) agreed that the Rockies and Red Sox would rekindle talks in spring training.

Helton, however, has told the Rockies he is prepared to veto all future trades.  Will he bend from that stance if the Red Sox and Rockies come to an agreement?  I would expect Colorado to lessen their demands a bit if they can get this thing done before the seasons starts.



CBS: Padres Acquire Todd Walker

According to Scott Miller of CBS Sportsline, the Cubs are about to send Todd Walker to the Padres.  Another low-rent fix for Kevin Towers. 

UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal has learned that Walker was dealt for 19 year-old righty Jose Ceda, currently in rookie ball



Mariners Trade Rumor: Todd Walker

According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, the Mariners are scouting the Cubs’ Todd Walker.

Walker would be platooned with Eduardo Perez at DH and would be used against right-handed pitching.  From 2003-05, Walker has batted .290/.346/.458 against right-handers.  The 33 year-old impending free agent makes $2.5MM this season.  The Cubs have been trying to trade him since spring training.



Todd Walker To The Giants?

According to a source of Bleed Cubbie Blue, Todd Walker will be traded this month.  The source indicated that the Giants are the likely suitor and that they would use him at first base.


First base has been a black hole for San Francisco between Lance Niekro, Mark Sweeney, and a few others.  The average NL first baseman is hitting .284/.364/.500 this year, while the Giants have gotten .251/.310/.393 out of their first basemen.  You need a Lyle Overbay just to be average while the Giants have essentially been suffering through the offensive equivalent of Yuniesky Betancourt at first.

At .290/.361/.392, Walker still makes for a pretty lousy first baseman.  However, he is a career .437 slugger so maybe that’ll pick up a bit.  The Giants are 2.5 games out in the NL West and 1.5 games out of the wild card.  The team will probably lose Jason Schmidt, Barry Bonds, and Moises Alou this offseason, so the time is now.  In it this deep, Brian Sabean needs to acquire Pat Burrell, Alfonso Soriano, or Carlos Lee if he wants to actually gain some ground in the next two months.  Adding Walker would just be an aesthetic change.


Walker For Matos Swap In The Works

As has been rumored for a couple of days now, the Cubs and Orioles are close to swapping Todd Walker and Luis MatosAccording to the Baltimore Sun, the salary difference is the only holdup. 

While the Orioles’ purpose for acquiring Walker is reportedly for use as a DH or bat off the bench, a source of mine says that is not the whole story.  According to the source, Brian Roberts is not where everyone thinks he is health-wise.  He’s been mentioned as perhaps being ready for Opening Day, but that is highly unlikely.  His type of elbow surgery is "largely unknown" according to Will Carroll.


Matos hasn’t been used in right field since 2003.  He’s a right-handed hitter who has batted .236/.302/.353 vs. left-handers over the last three seasons.  In other words, not the ideal platoon partner for Jacque Jones.  I’m guessing the Cubs would carry he and Marquis Grissom as backup outfielders and attempt to find at-bats for Matos in left field.

The Cubs and Orioles have an amicable relationship, having worked out deals for Corey Patterson and Sammy Sosa in the recent past.  In addition, the teams have talked extensively about Miguel Tejada.

A .290 Spring Training batting average has the Orioles thinking Patterson will make a capable regular for them in center field.  While it’s worth a shot, Patterson should again have a hard time topping a .310 OBP.

The Biggest Games. The Best Tickets. StubHub.com


Walker For Bradley: Update

I’ve lost track of how many of these Todd Walker for Milton Bradley posts I’ve written.  According to an emailer, Bruce Levine of ESPN Radio 1000 is reporting that the Cubs are awaiting word from the Dodgers on this trade – the offer of Walker is on the table.  No timetable was given for a decision.

Levine’s been all over this one since November; he mentioned yesterday that it could happen before the weekend.

Thanks to Alex