Todd Coffey Rumors
11:07am: Kilgore now says he got bad info and no Coffey deal is imminent.
The Diamondbacks will add at least one reliever and could add a starter, too, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The Giants, who lead Arizona by 3.5 games in the NL West, acquired Jeff Keppinger tonight and D'Backs GM Kevin Towers is expected to respond before long.
The D'Backs "would love" to acquire Kerry Wood, who can block any trade the Cubs propose. Arizona also has interest in Todd Coffey, Jason Isringhausen and Jason Frasor. John Gambadoro of Sports 620 KTAR reported last week that the D'Backs would consider Isringhausen, Wood and possibly Frasor.
Though the D'Backs are looking for starting pitching, Ubaldo Jimenez, Hiroki Kuroda and Aaron Harang are unlikely to be traded within the NL West. For more on what the D'Backs, Giants and other contenders are looking for, check out Tim Dierkes' analysis from earlier today.
The Reds have had internal discussions about acquiring Jim Johnson, Koji Uehara, Jason Isringhausen, Jason Frasor, and Todd Coffey, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Isringhausen and Coffey have previous ties to the organization. GM Walt Jocketty might have to go toe-to-toe with the divison rival Cardinals and Pirates on certain players, as those teams also seek bullpen help.
Morosi adds that the Reds are also focused on high-end starters, maintaining their interest in Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez. The Reds are not looking for shortstop help, as they're pleased with the play of Zack Cozart in his first seven games.
The Nationals are listening on top relievers Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, but such a trade would have to fill a specific long-term need such as center field. Teams are calling on Storen, Clippard, and Todd Coffey.
Potential center field targets for Washington include B.J. Upton, Michael Bourn, Colby Rasmus, and Denard Span, writes Rosenthal. He believes that a reliever alone probably would not bring back a center fielder, but the Nats could also trade shortstop Ian Desmond since some club officials would like to move Danny Espinosa to shortstop.
Storen is under team control through 2016, Clippard and Desmond through '15. Desmond would be an interesting name for teams seeking shortstop help, though he's limped to a .226/.269/.311 line in 361 plate appearances this year.
The Nationals also have starting pitching to spare, as ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweets that they will move Jason Marquis, Livan Hernandez, and Tom Gorzelanny. Gorzelanny is a bit of a surprise, as he's got strong strikeout and walk rates and is under team control through 2013.
Rangers GM Jon Daniels is having "active discussions with other teams" with the aim of improving his bullpen via trade, reports MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. Said Daniels:
"It's something that we're open to, but it's easier said than done. There are not a lot of clubs eager to move quality arms right now. We've got to be able to address it right now."
Sullivan names Koji Uehara, Jim Johnson, Kevin Gregg, Joakim Soria, Kerry Wood, and Heath Bell as several relievers who could become available. He also notes that the Rangers have discussed Todd Coffey and Tyler Clippard with the Nationals. And the Giants are scouting Rangers catcher Taylor Teagarden, so there could be a match.
With only five teams more than seven games out of first place, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports thinks this year's trade market could play out differently than your usual scenario of struggling teams selling to contenders. An unnamed general manager tells Rosenthal “It might be more of a reallocation of pieces than classic buying or selling...Parity also means that teams that aren’t close are saying, ‘Next year, it can be us.’ Maybe they buy a two- to three-year asset that they wouldn’t otherwise.”
Here's the latest from Rosenthal on a number of teams looking to fill needs as the pennant races begin to heat up...
- The Rangers are looking for right-handed relievers and have a number of trade chips to offer other teams. Rosenthal speculates Texas could offer Taylor Teagarden to the Giants for a righty arm, or possibly Chris Davis to the Padres or another team that is looking for offensive help.
- Todd Coffey is drawing interest from the Rangers, and Rosenthal thinks Coffey could be part of a package for Julio Borbon since the Nationals need a center fielder/leadoff hitter type.
- Of course, Washington is also looking at B.J. Upton to fill that hole in center. Rosenthal thinks it's unlikely the Rays move Upton, though they could change their minds if the Nats offer Tyler Clippard and a young positional prospect.
- The Marlins are interested in acquiring veteran bullpen help in exchange for one of their minor league relievers. Right-handers Jose Ceda, Jhan Marinez and Sandy Rosario have all attracted some attention from other clubs.
- While "the Indians’ most obvious need remains a quality starting pitcher," Rosenthal also thinks the Tribe could be in the market for right-handed hitting help. One of Rosenthal's Twitter followers asked if Cleveland could make a move for Hunter Pence, but Rosenthal doesn't think Houston will move Pence and the Indians already have Shin-Soo Choo in right field.
- The Brewers "would love to add another power arm to their 'pen," as Milwaukee relievers rank 13th in the league in K/9.
- The Diamondbacks had an interest in David Purcey before the A's dealt the left-hander to the Tigers on May 27.
- Bruce Bochy thinks rookie shortstop Brandon Crawford can be a productive Major League hitter, which would seem to lessen the Giants' chances of acquiring Jose Reyes before the deadline or trying to sign Reyes this winter in free agency.
- Rosenthal "can't see" Jim Hendry returning as the Cubs' general manager given the team's current state. "Forget about signing a free agent such as the Cardinals' Albert Pujols or the Brewers' Prince Fielder," Rosenthal writes. "The Cubs are so far gone, they are much more than one player away." Carlos Pena, John Grabow, Kosuke Fukudome, Kerry Wood and Jeff Baker are all trade candidates this summer; MLBTR's Tim Dierkes recently looked at the values of these players and others on the struggling Cubbies.
The Nationals are looking to acquire a center fielder and a leadoff hitter, according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson. The club is willing to overpay in a trade, according to Ladson, who suggests they could look for a center fielder or leadoff hitter if they trade Ivan Rodriguez or Todd Coffey. Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post hears that the Nats inquired about Michael Bourn, though talks didn't develop (Twitter link).
Roger Bernadina has been playing center field regularly for Washington, but some members of the Nationals' organization believe he belongs in a corner outfield spot. The 26-year-old has played all three outfield positions this year and has a .247/.307/.333 line with one home run.
Nationals leadoff hitters have combined for a .195/.250/.296 line. They're 13 of 13 in stolen base attempts, but have just 13 walks against 51 stirkeouts and rank last among MLB leadoff hitters in batting average, on-base percentage and OPS.
The Nationals may have the day off but they're in the news thanks to interest in two players..
- In the wake of Buster Posey's injury, the Giants have already asked the Nats about Ivan Rodriguez, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). The Nats have received interest in Pudge from other teams including the Red Sox this season. The club has plenty of catching depth to work with if they do decide to deal Rodriguez.
- The Rangers have inquired about Nationals right-hander Todd Coffey, a baseball source tells Bill Ladson of MLB.com. While it's known that Texas is looking for a setup man, Ladson cautions that the two clubs are not in serious talks at the moment and it's not known whether the Nats would trade Coffey. Ben Nicholson-Smith recently highlighted Coffey as a non-tender from last offseason that is now exceeding expectations with a new ballclub.
Every winter teams non-tender players when they would rather risk losing them to another team than go through the potentially expensive arbitration process. In 2010, for example, Matt Capps and Kelly Johnson rewarded their new teams with standout years after being cut loose, though most non-tenders don’t make that kind of contribution.
Teams non-tendered over 50 players last offseason and a handful of them are already proving their worth with new organizations. Here’s a breakdown of which 2010 non-tenders are exceeding expectations in 2011:
- Dustin Moseley, Padres (non-tendered by Yankees) - The 29-year-old leads the league with six losses, but he's been much more effective than his record would indicate. Moseley has a 3.40 ERA with 4.2 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 through 53 frames.
- Joel Peralta, Rays (non-tendered by Nationals) - Unlike most non-tenders, Peralta was effective last year. After 22 1/3 innings in the Rays' revamped bullpen, he's looking like a smart, low-risk addition. Peralta has a 2.82 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9.
- Taylor Buchholz, Mets (though Buchholz has never thrown a pitch for Boston, the Red Sox were technically the ones to non-tender him) - Buchholz is looking a lot like his 2008 self through 21 2/3 innings in the Mets' 'pen. The 29-year-old has a 1.66 ERA with 10.0 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9.
- Jose Veras, Pirates (non-tendered by Marlins) - Veras has 26 strikeouts and a 3.06 ERA through 17 2/3 innings. Veras' 13.2 K/9 is seventh-best among MLB relievers this year and few pitchers beat his 94 mph average fastball by much.
- Alfredo Aceves, Red Sox (non-tendered by Yankees) - The Red Sox need him more than ever with two members of their Opening Day rotation on the shelf. So far, Aceves has a 2.60 ERA with 4.7 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 17 1/3 innings.
- Todd Coffey, Nationals (non-tendered by Brewers) - Coffey, who added value in 2009-10, has a 2.30 ERA with 10.3 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 15 2/3 innings.
- Matt Albers, Red Sox (non-tendered by Orioles) - Though Bobby Jenks was the most prominent non-tender who signed with Boston this winter, Albers may be the most impressive. He has a 1.65 ERA with 8.8 K/9, 3.3 BB/9 and a 52.3% ground ball rate through 16 1/3 innings.
- George Sherrill, Braves (non-tendered by Dodgers) - After a poor showing with the Dodgers in 2010, Sherrill is adding value again. He has raised his strikeout rate (10.2 K/9), lowered his walk rate (4.7 BB/9) and has allowed just seven hits and two earned runs in 9 2/3 innings, mostly against left-handed hitters.
- Russell Martin, Yankees (non-tendered by Dodgers) - Arguably the biggest success story of all, Martin drew interest from a number of AL East teams before signing with the Yankees. He has a .261/.362/.479 line and leads qualified MLB catchers in home runs (7), on-base percentage (.362), wOBA (.380) and WAR (1.5). It’s a win-win, as Martin got $4MM in guaranteed money and a fresh start, while the Yankees get a top catcher who’s under team control through 2012. With Jack Cust, Matt Diaz and others off to slow starts, Martin is the lone non-tendered position player making an impact so far this year.
The Nationals have agreed to sign Todd Coffey, the team announced. MLB.com's Bill Ladson (on Twitter) first reported the agreement and Jon Heyman of SI.com first reported that the team was closing in on a deal with the BHSC client. Heyman reports that the deal guarantees Coffey $1.35MM (Twitter link).
Coffey posted a 4.76 ERA with 8.1 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 for the Brewers last year before they non-tendered him. He has appeared in at least 69 games in 2009 and '10, so the Nationals are adding a durable piece to Jim Riggleman's bullpen. The 30-year-old right-hander boasts a 52.1 % career ground ball rate and an average fastball velocity of 93.2 mph.
Click here for more analysis of the Beverly Hills Sports Council's work with relievers this winter.