Tom Gorzelanny Rumors
- After missing out on Roy Oswalt, the Cardinals are looking elsewhere for pitching, writes Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Mid-level starters like Jake Westbrook or Aaron Cook could be fits for the Cards. The asking price for Cook, says Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, is a bullpen piece and a prospect.
- The Angels don't appear to have made Bobby Abreu available, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (via Twitter).
- The Mets finalized their over-slot deal with Erik Goeddel, according to Jim Callis of Baseball America (on Twitter). They agreed to give the 21-year-old righty a $350K bonus. MLBTR first reported an agreement had been reached on July 4th.
- The Dodgers designated Jack Taschner for assignment according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times (via Twitter).
- The Astros released Tommy Everidge to make room for Brett Wallace, according to the Round Rock Express website.
- Teams have asked the Brewers about Jim Edmonds, according to Scott Miller of CBS Sports.
- GM Doug Melvin tells Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that things are quiet for the Brewers right now.
- The Rangers pursued Roy Oswalt and Prince Fielder aggressively, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (via Twitter).
- The Mets asked the Cubs about Tom Gorzelanny, according to Heyman (Twitter link).
- The White Sox signed former major leaguer Jon Adkins to a minor league deal, according to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune.
- The Twins, Phillies and Giants are losing interest in Ty Wigginton, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
- Jason Frasor tells Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star that he hears the latest from MLB Trade Rumors whether he wants to or not, since his friends tell him about the latest rumors.
- I talked trades with Rob Shaw and Michelle Steele of Bloomberg Sports. You can check out the video clip at USA Today.
We've heard for weeks that Ted Lilly will be one of the more attractive pitchers available at this year's July 31 deadline. According to Chris De Luca of the Chicago Sun-Times, Lilly's not the only Chicago southpaw drawing interest either.
Tom Gorzelanny, in the midst of one of his best seasons at the Major League level, is getting some attention as well. He's posted a 3.22 ERA and held opposing hitters to a .242 average through 86.2 innings (14 starts). His 3.33 FIP and 8.7 K/9 support his success, but control is an issue, as he's also walking 4.6 per nine innings.
In contrast, Lilly's overall numbers are weaker than Gorzelanny's, but he allows far fewer baserunners. He's walking significantly fewer hitters (2.1 BB/9) and opponents are batting just .236 off him. Lilly's drawn greater interest, according to De Luca, but the Mets are currently backing down their pursuit. Part of their hesitation lies in the Cubs' asking price for the veteran lefty, but also contributing to their concerns is Lilly's drop in velocity. He's never been a flamethrower, but his fastball is averaging just 86mph, which is down from his career mark of 88.2mph.
Gorzelanny is the cheaper option between the two. He's making just $800K in 2010 and is eligible for arbitration following the season. Lilly is a free agent following the season, and while his no-trade clause is believed to include the Phillies, Twins, and Rays, he's unlikely to block a trade to a contender. His current Type A status is appealing, though he's far from a lock to be offered arbitration.
Links for Friday night, as Edwin Jackson tosses a 149-pitch no-hitter against his former team....
- Madison Bumgarner was scratched from tonight's Triple-A start, fueling speculation that the Giants would call him up to start tomorrow's game. However, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets that the team still plans to start Joe Martinez tomorrow, with Bumgarner as the backup option.
- In his weekly appearance on WEEI's Big Show, Peter Gammons discusses the Red Sox' bullpen issues and the best one-year signing of this past offseason.
- Bill Ladson of MLB.com wonders if the Nationals will be interested in the recently DFA'd Chad Tracy, given Tracy's connection to Nats GM Mike Rizzo.
- Although it looks as if the Rangers won't be able to afford Roy Oswalt, you can add Texas to the list of teams the pitcher would be willing to play for, according to the Dallas Morning News. Oswalt has previously said he'd accept a trade to anywhere he could contend.
- Garrett Atkins tells MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli (Twitter link) that being released by the Orioles would be a "welcome opportunity." It appears as though Atkins will soon be designated for assignment.
- Following a blow-up during today's game, Carlos Zambrano has been suspended indefinitely by the Cubs, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. When Zambrano returned to the Cubs' rotation, we discussed Tom Gorzelanny as a trade chip, but as long as Zambrano remains suspended, that possibility looks less likely.
- The Astros signed their second-round pick, right-hander Vincent Velasquez, per a team release.
- Dusty Baker says Gary Matthews Jr. "has got to get his act together" before the outfielder earns a shot at the Reds' big league lineup, writes MLB.com's Mark Sheldon.
Let's check out the latest edition of Full Count from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports..
- It's hard to imagine the Cubs as sellers, but if they go that route, lefty Ted Lilly would be a logical piece to move. He's a potential free agent with some no-trade protection but they already have two replacements in their bullpen in Tom Gorzelanny and Andrew Cashner. Meanwhile, Derrek Lee has been adamant about not waiving his no-trade clause. However, hooking on with a contender would enhance his value on the open market.
- The Phillies have kept in touch with Pedro Martinez's agent but GM Ruben Amaro says that he will have to be "really motivated" to pitch this season. Rosenthal says that translates to the righty wanting more money than he was paid last season, roughly $1MM for six weeks of work. Money may not be everything for Martinez though as he will be 39-years-old in October and is said to be content.
- The Padres are confident that Ryan Webb could fill a set-up role if they move one of their strong late inning relievers. However, the team is reluctant to make such a move with Mike Adams' durability in question. That said, the Padres would listen to offers for Heath Bell if a club was willing to give them a hitter they could control for several years. Rosenthal instead suggests that they consider Cleveland's Austin Kearns as he is a cheap, affordable outfielder.
- Boston GM Theo Epstein hates trading for relievers, but chances are the club will be in the market for bullpen help come July.
Links for Sunday..
- The Phillies demoted Phillippe Aumont from Double-A back to High-A after a disastrous start to the season, tweets Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner. Aumont was part of the Roy Halladay-Cliff Lee blockbuster.
- Peter Barzilai of USA Today explains why the Brewers should hold on to Prince Fielder.
- This week's Pirates/Nationals matchup may end up being the most interesting series between sub-.500 teams this season. Not only will Stephen Strasburg make his major league debut on Tuesday, but Pirates GM Neal Huntington says former first-round pick Brad Lincoln could make his first big league start on Wednesday, tweets Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times says the Cubs received some calls about Tom Gorzelanny's availability a few weeks ago, but that they have no immediate plans to move him.
- The newest Cardinal, Randy Winn, was a player Tony La Russa wanted the team to pursue this past winter, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- Larry Brooks of the New York Post would like to see the Mets aggressively attempt to trade for Cliff Lee.
- The Denver Post's Troy Renck hopes the Rockies will inquire on Lee, as well as Dan Haren, if only to see what would it cost to acquire another ace.
- If you play fantasy baseball, be sure to stay on top of the saves category by following our @closernews account on Twitter and tracking the latest news on late-inning relievers around the league.
Jayson Stark, Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi have each suggested that clubs could attempt to acquire Tom Gorzelanny from the Cubs. GM Jim Hendry is not shopping the left-hander now, but the Cubs won't have room for Gorzelanny as a starter if Carlos Zambrano pitches well in his return to the rotation tonight.
As long as Zambrano, Ted Lilly, Randy Wells, Ryan Dempster and Carlos Silva remain healthy, the rotation is set without Gorzelanny. You could make the argument that he is one of the team's top five starters, but he's in the 'pen for now after allowing five earned runs in two of his last three starts.
If the Cubs consider trading Gorzelanny, who turns 28 next month, they should be able to obtain a significant piece or two for him. Despite the pair of rough starts that preceded his move to the bullpen, Gorzelanny has been an improved pitcher since arriving in Chicago last July.
Gorzelanny is striking out more batters (9.3 K/9 vs. 5.9 K/9 with Pittsburgh) and walking fewer batters (3.3 BB/9 vs. 4.1 BB/9 with Pittsburgh) since joining the Cubs. Those improved ratios, and Gorzelanny's 3.66 ERA would compare well with any available starting pitcher this side of Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt.
But there's an important difference between Gorzelanny and other trade candidates like Lee, Oswalt, Kevin Millwood and Jake Westbrook. Every one of those starters earns at least ten times as much as the $800K Gorzelanny makes in 2010. That could give the Cubs more potential trade partners, since not every team can afford the salary of a veteran starter. And not only is Gorzelanny cheap, he doesn't hit free agency until after 2013. Unlike most starters we'll hear about in trade rumors, he's controllable and affordable.
Even though there's been lots of talk about Gorzelanny, there hasn't been a concrete rumor indicating that he's available. That may mean the Cubs keep Gorzelanny, but Hendry should be able to obtain good prospects or major league pieces in a trade if the Cubs decide to move him.
Major league executives told ESPN.com's Jayson Stark which starters they would most want to have for the next ten years. Zack Greinke and Tim Lincecum didn't make the cut, but Felix Hernandez, Josh Johnson, Ubaldo Jimenez, David Price, Brett Anderson and Jon Lester did. Here are Stark's latest rumors, as the trade market starts taking shape:
- Two teams say that the Orioles would listen on Kevin Millwood right now.
- A rival executive says the Orioles are "sniffing around for a shortstop." Stark hears rumors that they have interest in Twins prospect Trevor Plouffe.
- The Mariners won't seriously consider trading Cliff Lee before they're sure they can't salvage their season.
- There's increasing pessimism that the Astros will be able to obtain salary relief and prospects for Roy Oswalt.
- Teams are giving up on acquiring Adrian Gonzalez this summer, since the Padres continue to win.
- Two officials believe Heath Bell could be traded even if the Padres stay in contention. Check out this post from earlier in the week for more on Bell's trade value.
- Tom Gorzelanny could be on the market in a couple weeks when John Grabow comes off the DL.
- Stark hears that the Marlins will call Mike Stanton up next week. The Marlins are being cautious, since they want to prevent Stanton from obtaining super two status and teams believe the cut-off will be later than ever this year.
- Stark's sources don't expect the Angels to start searching for a bat to replace Kendry Morales for a few weeks. When they begin looking for offense, they're expected to look for someone who is about to hit free agency or a versatile player who can defend around the diamond. Kendry Morales is under team control through 2013, so Prince Fielder wouldn't be a fit for the Angels.
Links for Wednesday, as the lights go out at Wrigley Field...
- Tigers pitcher Zach Miner will undergo Tommy John surgery, writes MLB.com's Jason Beck.
- The Tigers are better-known for developing power arms, but as Beck shows, the Tigers have successfully developed some position players, too.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says the Cubs don't appear to be involved in serious talks to trade Tom Gorzelanny, but wonders if clubs like the Tigers and Rangers could inquire if the lefty becomes available.
- You knew Jason Heyward was good, but Dave Cameron of FanGraphs puts the outfielder's amazing start in perspective, saying he's on his way to "one of the great rookie seasons of all time."
- Meanwhile, Cameron wonders if the Rays should deal B.J. Upton to a team looking to capitalize on talent. It would save the Rays money and improve their chances of keeping Carl Crawford around.
- One AL assistant GM told ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick that he doesn't expect the Twins to trade for a reliever this summer.
- 2010 draft prospect and Arlington native Michael Choice tells Chris Cox of MLB.com that it would be "a dream come true" to play for the Rangers, who pick 15th this year. Jonathan Mayo, Frankie Piliere and Keith Law all predicted Choice would be selected before that in their most recent mock drafts.
With FOX airing Saturday evening games this weekend rather than afternoon games, Ken Rosenthal's new Full Count video showed up on their website a little later in the day too. Now that it's been posted, let's recap Rosenthal's latest hot stove tidbits....
- Roy Oswalt is making $15MM this year and $16MM next year, which will make it difficult to trade him. Making it even trickier, owner Drayton McLane won't want to include money in a deal, even if it means getting better prospects in return.
- If the Mariners become sellers, that would further diminish the chances of an Oswalt deal, since the M's could make Cliff Lee available. Lee is the much more affordable ace, earning only $9MM this season.
- The Red Sox don't want to release Mike Lowell, since he provides injury protection at both corner infield spots, and can DH against left-handers. Additionally, if the Sox were to release Lowell, many of their AL rivals, such as the Angels, Rays, and Twins, could have interest in him.
- Ken Griffey's current role of pinch-hitter, occasional DH, and clubhouse mentor is exactly what the Mariners were hoping for when they re-signed the 40-year-old this winter. For now, the club has no desire for Griffey to retire.
- Carlos Zambrano appears to be headed back to the Cubs' rotation, even though he may currently be their sixth-best starter. The team could attempt to trade Tom Gorzelanny or move him to the bullpen, but Rosenthal opines that it would make their pitching staff weaker.
Carlos Zambrano's move to the Cubs' bullpen likely ranks as baseball's most surprising roster decision so far this season. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports opines that the only way out of this "desperation" move for the North Siders is to pull off a trade for a setup man.
Rosenthal suggests that dealing Tom Gorzelanny could kill two birds with one stone for the Cubs: It would clear a spot in the rotation for Zambrano, and the team could potentially acquire a setup man in exchange for the left-hander, who is under club control through 2012.
Despite recording a 5.55 ERA in 47 innings in 2009, Gorzelanny had strong peripherals, including rates of 9.0 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9. The 27-year-old is off to a solid start this year, with a 2.40 ERA through three outings, and could interest some teams who don't possess the same excess of left-handed arms as Chicago. The Cubs' left-heavy bullpen, which features John Grabow, Sean Marshall, and James Russell, was one reason Gorzelanny remained in the rotation over Zambrano.
As Rosenthal notes, Gorzelanny and Carlos Silva "hardly are locks to continue their early-season success," meaning Zambrano may eventually work his way back into the rotation with or without a trade. Rosenthal also names Andrew Cashner and Jay Jackson as two minor leaguers who could contribute to the Cubs' staff this year, if the team decides not to make a deal. For now, expect the Cubs to give the Zambrano experiment some time. If it doesn't work out like they're hoping, we should expect to hear trade rumblings grow louder.