Ubaldo Jimenez Rumors
A couple items of note as former Red Sock Justin Masterson battles his old team in Boston ...
- Indians right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez, acquired from the Rockies in a pre-deadline blockbuster, never asked to be traded out of Colorado, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, although he wanted a resolution on the situation, and he didn't mind having the opportunity to waive his 2014 option with the commencement of the trade (via Twitter).
- The Giants activated Mark DeRosa from the 60-day disabled list today, but they haven't announced a corresponding 40-man roster move yet and "are being evasive about it," according to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News (via Twitter). Baggarly speculates that the Lads could activate Pat Burrell from the 15-day DL and release him.
- The Red Sox were willing to discuss a trade with the Cardinals involving center fielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Colby Rasmus in 2010, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (via Twitter), but the talks never gained traction. That would have been a heck of a trade. Rasmus, of course, was traded by St. Louis to the Blue Jays prior to last month's trade deadline.
- The Indians were very close to drafting Ellsbury at No. 14 overall in the 2005 draft but instead opted for Trevor Crowe, according to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com (via Twitter). So close, in fact, that team officials asked Ellsbury, a Native American, his feelings about the team's logo, the so-called Chief Wahoo. ... Edes' sources didn't provide him with Ellsbury's response, though.
Links for Thursday, before the Pirates try to reach the .500 mark and the Indians try to climb above it...
- One GM told Tim Kurkjian of ESPN The Magazine that the Indians gave up an awful lot to get Ubaldo Jimenez, "a guy you're just not sure about." However, reliever Frank Herrmann told Kurkjian that he believes in Cleveland's GM. "We're not going to meddle in the way the front office works," Hermann said. "I would be upset if Chris Antonetti came down to the clubhouse and told me how to hold my curveball."
- Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that the Red Sox never stopped pursuing Erik Bedard throughout their negotiations for Jimenez, Hiroki Kuroda and Rich Harden.
- Texas outfielder Josh Hamilton told Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com that the Rangers want to prove that last year's World Series run was just the beginning. "We want to show we belong there, that it wasn't a fluke," Hamilton said.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says the Padres should have traded Heath Bell by now or signed him to an extension. Their best remaining option is to trade him this August, even though they have significantly less leverage than they did a month ago, Rosenthal says.
- Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle can envision the Astros winning as many as 90 games in 2013 - but he can also envision three consecutive 100-loss seasons.
- The Braves and Phillies will likely reinforce their bullpens internally, as Rosenthal explains. The Braves would like to add a right-hander and Peter Moylan, who is returning from back surgery, and minor leaguers Arodys Vizcaino and Julio Teheran are options. The Phillies, meanwhile, are looking forward to the return of Jose Contreras.
Wednesday night linkage..
- Former Orioles pitching coach Mark Connor, who resigned on June 14, has agreed to return to the Rangers organization, several sources tell Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com. Connor will assume his former post as player development special consultant.
- Carlos Beltran has already proven to be a valuable addition to the Giants both on the field and in the clubhouse, writes MLB.com's Adam Berry.
- The Red Sox made a substantial offer to the Rockies for Ubaldo Jimenez on Friday, a major league source told Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. Howwever, Colorado was looking for near-major league-ready players, the kind that the BoSox were not willing to offer up in such a deal.
- There hasn't been a lot of dialogue recently between the Marlins and first-round pick Jose Fernandez, tweets Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel.
- The Orioles sent Mark Hendrickson to Triple-A Norforlk, but he won't become a free agent thanks to a previous agreement between the pitcher and the club, writes Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com. Hendrickson was demoted to make room for Jo-Jo Reyes, who was claimed off waivers from Toronto on Tuesday.
It was on this day in 1907 that Walter Johnson made his Major League debut with the Washington Senators. The Big Train retired after 21 seasons in Washington with 417 career wins, 3509 career strikeouts and a case as possibly the greatest pitcher of all time.
Some notes from around the majors....
- The Marlins were quiet at the trade deadline since the club wants to keep its core intact for the move into their new Miami ballpark in 2012, writes CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler.
- The recently-DFA'ed Jack Cust visited some ex-teammates in the Athletics' clubhouse today but he told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that the A's weren't one of a few teams that had shown some interest in him.
- Steve Slowsinski of Fangraphs gives kudos to the Rockies' front office for taking a risk with the Ubaldo Jimenez trade, but "really dislikes the trade from a philosophical point of view." Slowinski feels Colorado could have at least gotten one of Cleveland's top position player prospects (Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall) back in the deal.
- Bobby Abreu's $9MM option for 2012 vested on Sunday night and the veteran slugger tells MLB.com's Jordan Garretson that he's happy to remain with the Angels for the rest of his career.
- From that same piece, Mike Scioscia explained the team's decision to send Mike Trout back to Double-A Arkansas rather than Triple-A Salt Lake City as partially due to the fact that Arkansas is headed for the postseason. "We really feel strongly that in a player's development it's important to experience the playoffs. In Mike's case, he's a guy that's leading a team to the playoffs," Scioscia said.
Thanks to our loyal readers, MLBTR generated 3.1 million pageviews over the weekend! We appreciate you making MLBTR a regular stop, and have a lot of cool things planned in the coming months. On to today's links...
- Mets GM Sandy Alderson told ESPN New York's Adam Rubin that he tried to acquire a reliever before the deadline, but to no avail (Twitter link). He would not rule out a trade before August 31st.
- The Red Sox will not have interest in Lyle Overbay, reports Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe (on Twitter). The Pirates designated Overbay for assignment today, and as Cafardo notes, he has great numbers in Fenway Park: .323/.395/.500 in 177 plate appearances.
- Anthony DiComo of MLB.com (via Twitter) doesn't envision Jason Isringhausen re-signing with the Mets this offseason.
- The Astros are very confident that they'll sign first-round pick George Springer, but it may come down to the last week, tweets MLB.com's Alyson Footer. Last week we learned that Springer's father met with the independent league Long Island Ducks.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick names a bunch of waiver trade candidates in his latest article.
- The Twins wanted closer Drew Storen and minor league second baseman Stephen Lombardozzi for center fielder Denard Span, and the Nationals declined, according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson. I think that would have been a solid deal for Washington.
- The Indians announced they signed infielder Argenis Reyes to a minor league deal; he'd been playing independent ball. In slightly more important news, Ubaldo Jimenez will debut for the Tribe Friday in Texas.
- The extent of Boston's interest in Ubaldo? Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald says exec Allard Baird put in a call on Thursday and the Red Sox weren't in touch after that.
- Both sides have denounced the $30MM figure that was floated for Dylan Bundy, tweets MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli. Talks are expected to start this week for the Orioles' fourth overall pick. Ghiroli has more on the topic here. Bundy is advised by Jay Franklin at BBI Sports Group; the company also employs his father.
- The Rockies were close to trading third baseman Ian Stewart to an undisclosed National League team yesterday, reports Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post, but the deal fell apart with a half hour to go.
- The Mariners and Red Sox are sharing the costs of Erik Bedard's incentives, reports Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times.
- Newly-acquired players Zack Wheeler and Jonathan Singelton head updated top ten prospects lists for the Mets and Astros, courtesy of Baseball America's Jim Callis.
As our Transaction Tracker shows, the Rockies and Indians have gotten together for a number of trades throughout the years, but none were more significant than yesterday's Ubaldo Jimenez swap. Colorado acquired four young players in exchange for the greatest pitcher in franchise history (by WAR), and as Troy Renck of The Denver Post explains, a number of factors contributed to the team's decision to trade Jimenez.
First and foremost was performance. Ubaldo has pitched to a 3.98 ERA in 203 1/3 innings over the last calendar year, which is very good put not what the Rockies had come to expect from him. Jimenez's fastball velocity has dropped noticably this season, another factor. The team's recent whiffs in the draft, including failed first rounders Greg Reynolds (2006) and Casey Weathers (2007), took away from their depth, also contributing to the trade. GM Dan O'Dowd was much more diplomatic when asked about why they made the decision to part ways with Jimenez...
"This isn't rebuilding, this is restocking," said O'Dowd to Renck. "Even if we were 10 games up instead of 10 games back, it would have been hard to say no to this deal ... We felt to maximize [Jimenez's] value, this was the time to do it. The closer he got to free agency, you would see a falloff in what clubs would offer."
As for the Indians, it's easy to understand why they'd want to add a 27-year-old pitcher with Ubaldo's credentials. Team president Mark Shapiro took to Twitter to explain their end of the trade, saying it was a "rare [and] unique [opportunity] to acquire [a front] of [the] rotation [starter with] multiple [years] of control." He added that Jimenez's contract aligns with some of their best players, "giving us a multi [year opportunity] to field teams we feel can contend."
As Cot's Baseball Contract shows, the Tribe controls their top three starters (Jimenez, Fausto Carmona, and Justin Masterson) through 2013. Travis Hafner, Shin-Soo Choo, and Asdrubal Cabrera will also be under team control through that season. Ubaldo will make his Indians' debut on Friday against the Rangers as Cleveland remains 2.5 games back of the Tigers in the AL Central heading into tonight.
The latest from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports...
- Yesterday's push by the Yankees to acquire Astros lefty Wandy Rodriguez came from ownership, not GM Brian Cashman. SI's Jon Heyman wrote yesterday that the Yankees offered to pay $21MM of the $38MM left on Rodriguez's contract, implying they feel that Rodriguez is worth less than $7MM a year. Rosenthal says the Astros were willing to pay $2MM of Rodriguez's salary this year (essentially all of it) "or $5MM if his [player] option for 2014 were exercised." I'm in the minority, but I'm with the Astros in thinking paying Wandy down to the range of Ted Lilly's contract is reasonable. At any rate, Rosenthal says the Astros and Yankees never even got to the point of discussing names.
- Cashman has seven untouchables in trade discussions, a rival GM told Rosenthal.
- More than a handful of teams called the Indians "to gauge the club’s willingness to flip Ubaldo Jimenez less than 24 hours after acquiring him." The Indians wanted Jimenez for themselves though. Rosenthal adds that the Indians entertained a "flurry of offers" for starter Fausto Carmona before the deadline.
- Rosenthal says he was unfair to print a rival executive's quote last week about how Astros GM Ed Wade was trying to make a "job-saving" deal for Hunter Pence.
- Athletics GM Billy Beane explained to Rosenthal that "ultimately a trade is a bilateral and not a unilateral process," suggesting that teams were not engaging in back-and-forth negotiations for his players. Also, Rosenthal hears that the Rangers offered Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland (who ultimately got them Mike Adams) plus shortstop prospect Leury Garcia for closer Andrew Bailey.
It's easy to be overwhelmed by all of the action on July 31st, but we've summarized this month's trades by division. Earlier today, Zach Links looked back at the American League (East, Central, West) and the National League (East, Central, West). Here are some more links for Sunday night...
- The Pirates explored "huge deals" without coming close to completing them, GM Neal Huntington told MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch (Twitter link).
- Ubaldo Jimenez has the right to void the Indians' $8MM team option for 2014 because he was traded, as MLB.com's Jordan Bastian points out (on Twitter). There isn't currently a deadline for the decision.
- A lot of teams will likely start the waiver process tomorrow, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (on Twitter). Teams were allowed to start passing players through waivers last week to clear them by Monday.
- Athletics owner Lew Wolff told Bill Shaikin of the LA Times that he wants Frank McCourt to sell the Dodgers. "My hope is that the Dodgers will be sold to a party that will restart this great franchise, and that Frank and his family will benefit from a positive sale," Wolff said. He's the first MLB owner to publicly call on McCourt to stop fighting for his team, as Shaikin notes.
The deadline has passed and the Yankees are the only team in the AL East that didn't make a deal. The Rays were pretty quiet, too, but there may have been a reason for that...
- Rays executive VP of baseball operations Andrew Friedman underwent an appendectomy last night, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times. However, that didn't stop Friedman from conducting business from his hospital room this afternoon.
- The Red Sox and Mariners will each cover some of the incentives on Erik Bedard's contract, GM Jack Zduriencik told Larry Stone of the Seattle Times (Twitter link).
- The Red Sox had interest in Scott Hairston, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (on Twitter). However, the Mets weren't interested in minor salary relief or a marginal prospect.
- Boston wasn’t the only interested team, by the way. The Braves talked to the Mets about acquiring Hairston as a bench bat, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick (on Twitter).
- Jack Curry of the YES Network hears that the Yankees wanted a shoulder MRI for Ubaldo Jimenez, but the Rockies declined (Twitter link).
We've seen dozens of deals completed this month. To help you make sense of it all, here are some reactions to the moves from around MLB...
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan breaks down the deadline for all 30 teams. The Astros might receive Passan's harshest criticism. Passan's response to this morning's Michael Bourn trade: "To send him to Atlanta without getting at least Mike Minor or Randall Delgado, let alone Julio Teheran or Arodys Vizcaino, shows a deep misunderstanding by GM Ed Wade of the proper way to rebuild." Ouch.
- The Rangers, Phillies, Braves, Giants and Mets are winners for ESPN.com's Jayson Stark. The Yankees, Angels, Reds and Cubs are losers, Stark writes. The Astros face harsh criticism once again: "They're basically starting to shape themselves for 2015," one NL executive told Stark. "It's almost like they're doing an expansion team."
- Brian Sabean (Giants), Jon Daniels (Rangers), Dan O'Dowd (Rockies) and Jed Hoyer (Padres) are among the general managers on Jim Bowden's list of top deadline deal-makers at ESPN.com.
- In a separate piece, Passan looks back at flameout rates for pitching prospects and concludes that the Indians made a great deal in acquiring Ubaldo Jimenez for a package of players including Drew Pomeranz and Alex White.
- One front office polled its members about winners and losers and the Rangers were the unanimous top choice, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (on Twitter).
- ESPN.com's Keith Law says Rafael Furcal is an upgrade for the Cardinals at short because St. Louis didn't have any legitimate alternatives. Furcal, Law writes, is an average defender with a plus arm.
- The Mariners did well to acquire Charlie Furbush, Francisco Martinez, Casper Wells and one of the Tigers' top three picks from the 2010 draft for David Pauley and Doug Fister, who benefit from spacious Safeco Field, Law writes.
- Law says the Mariners did well to obtain Trayvon Robinson for two months of Erik Bedard and Josh Fields ("a throw-in"), but he isn't sure what the Dodgers were doing in this deal.
- The Rangers' bullpen will be substantially better with Mike Adams and Koji Uehara, Law writes at ESPN.com. San Diego gets Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland from the Rangers, two pitchers who "make up in probability for what they might lack in upside."