Wandy Rodriguez Rumors

Rosenthal’s Latest: Cardinals, Greinke, Astros, Rasmus

With Chris Carpenter set to undergo season-ending surgery to repair a nerve condition in his shoulder, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes that the Cardinals are in the market for at least one starter and one reliever. St. Louis has trade chips though the new collective bargaining agreement doesn't allow teams to recoup draft pick compensation for rental players, changing the landscape.

Let's round up the rest of Rosenthal's rumors…

  • Zack Greinke would likely welcome a trade to – and a chance to sign long-term with – the Cardinals, though it's unclear if the Brewers would be willing to trade him within the division.
  • The Astros are prepared to move Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers, though Jed Lowrie is essentially unavailable. Rosenthal says they could be an obvious trade partner for St. Louis since GM Jeff Luhnow spent nine years in the Cardinals' front office.
  • The Cardinals may not want to invest $20MM+ annually into a pitcher, but both Lance Berkman ($12MM) and Kyle Lohse ($11.875MM) will be off the books after this season.
  • The Blue Jays' immediate strategy may be to acquire a modest rotation upgrade before reassessing at the trade deadline, shortly before Brandon Morrow returns from his oblique injury. Rosenthal believes they should consider selling high on Colby Rasmus.
  • Teams continue to call the Angels about Peter Bourjos and some believe he could be the centerpiece of a deal for a quality starting pitcher. The Halos believe the young outfielder is a building block for the future, however. They do not appear to be in the market for a pitcher at the moment.
  • The difference in income tax rates between Texas (none) and California (among the highest in the country) was an issue for Astros first baseman Carlos Lee as he mulled over a potential trade to the Dodgers. Los Angeles may have been willing to help "bridge the gap" had he shown enthusiasm for the deal.

Blue Jays Interested In Starting Pitching

The Blue Jays recently signed Jamie Moyer to add depth to a rotation that's seen Kyle Drabek, Drew Hutchison and Brandon Morrow hit the disabled list in recent weeks, and their search for pitching reinforcements won’t end with the 49-year-old left-hander. Officials of three teams describe the Blue Jays as being in a “full court press” for rotation help, ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark reports. The 38-38 Blue Jays maintain a buyer’s stance, Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports report.

The team recently sent multiple scouts to at least two of Wandy Rodriguez’s starts, Rosenthal and Morosi report. The club has also maintained contact with the Cubs about Matt Garza, FOX reports. The Blue Jays prefer to acquire players who are under team control for an extended period and Rodriguez (team control through 2013 or 2014) and Garza (through 2013) are more than rental players. 

The Blue Jays are giving “little indication” that they intend to trade potential free agents Edwin Encarnacion and Kelly Johnson, Rosenthal and Morosi write. Scouts are saying they’ve been told Encarnacion is available for the “right” pitcher, Stark reports. Yet one person told Stark Encarnacion is "not available, as far as I know." Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.com wrote earlier today that the Blue Jays would have multiple suitors if they make Encarnacion available.

Stark suggests the Blue Jays could have interest in recently designated Cubs starter Randy Wells.


Astros Will Listen On Wandy Rodriguez

The Astros will listen to offers for left-hander Wandy Rodriguez, and teams are watching the left-hander in anticipation of the July 31st trade deadline, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports writes. The Yankees, Giants and Blue Jays had representatives in attendance for Rodriguez’s start against the Royals last night, Morosi reports.

Rodriguez, 33, has a 3.29 ERA with 5.7 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 in 95 2/3 innings this year. He earns $10MM this year, $13MM next year and his contract includes a $13MM vesting option for 2014. The '14 option becomes a player option if the Astros trade Rodriguez.

The Yankees’ rotation has been tremendous of late, but the Giants and Blue Jays have potential openings because of injuries and poor performances. It’s worth noting that the presence of scouts doesn’t necessarily reflect serious interest from potential suitors. Teams routinely evaluate players around the league to prepare for possible roster moves.



Rosenthal On Phillies, Dempster, Soriano, Chavez

Phillies general partner David Montgomery told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that he’s not thinking about trading away established players since opportunity still exists for his 29-33 club. “Come August or something, maybe we feel differently,” Montgomery acknowledged, noting that the team’s current goal is to re-enter the playoff picture.

Here are more rumors and notes from Rosenthal…

  • Though the Cubs want to add talent, they are reluctant to start a long rebuilding process. Of all the Cubs, Ryan Dempster is most likely to be traded, according to Rosenthal. One general manager said the right-hander seems like a “classic Ned Colletti buy,” so don’t be surprised if the Dodgers show some interest in Dempster. 
  • Rosenthal speculates that the Indians could be a fit for Alfonso Soriano. Though the Cubs would be paying most of the outfielder’s salary in any trade, Soriano can still hit, especially against left-handers. Rival teams expect the Indians to be aggressive this summer, and they could use a right-handed bat like Soriano.
  • Teams aren’t sure that Wandy Rodriguez would succeed in the American League.
  • One person said there’s “no chance” the Red Sox could obtain prospects for Kevin Youkilis without paying most of his salary.
  • The Reds want to add a left-handed hitter, Rosenthal reports.
  • Though Eric Chavez can still play, preparing for games has become “a huge hurdle to climb physically.” The Yankees and White Sox were the only teams to show interest in the 34-year-old this past offseason, and he would have been content to retire if necessary.
  • Don’t be surprised if the Giants look to acquire a reliever, Rosenthal writes.
  • One executive wonders if the Orioles could trade Brian Matusz in a deal for a more established starter.

Yankees Eyeing Matt Garza

Matt Garza interests the Yankees more than other potentially available starters, so GM Brian Cashman could pursue the right-hander this summer, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. The Red Sox could also pursue Garza, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com notes (on Twitter).

The Yankees appear to have little interest in Brewers right-handers Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum, Heyman writes. The team has concerns about how Greinke would pitch in New York and members of the New York front office aren’t sure about Marcum as an American Leaguer.

The Yankees also have concerns about Ryan Dempster’s ability to transition to the American League. While the Brewers have a buyer’s mindset, the Cubs appear willing to listen on most of their players. Wandy Rodriguez of the Astros could be another option for the Yankees, Heyman notes.


Heyman On Myers, Lee, Wright, Rangers

The latest notes and rumors from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com:

  • Astros people say they aren't thinking about trading their veteran players at this point, according to Heyman. One non-Astros executive likes Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers as midsummer trade candidates. 
  • However, the executive said it won't be easy to move Carlos Lee and his $18MM salary. Lee can block trades to 14 teams and badly wants to stay in Houston. A possible trade to the Brewers fell through months ago, Heyman reports.
  • High-level Mets people such as COO Jeff Wilpon generally support David Wright, Heyman reports. The Mets won't trade Wright this summer and will try to lock him up before long, Heyman writes. It would take something "extraordinary'' for Wright to be traded this year, GM Sandy Alderson confirmed to Heyman. If the Mets were to trade Wright this summer, he would obtain the right to void a $16MM club option for 2013 and become a free agent this offseason. Mets people view Wright as a more reliable player than Jose Reyes, Heyman writes.
  • Heyman also points out that Josh Hamilton's performance is going to make re-signing him that much more complex for the Rangers.

Luhnow On Astros’ Trade Candidates

The 13-15 Astros have scored more runs than they’ve allowed so far this season, but they’re still expected to be sellers at the summer trade deadline. GM Jeff Luhnow acknowledged to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that he'll consider trades that add talent to the organization. 

“If we have pieces on our club that are in demand by other clubs and we get enough future value for them to make up for the short-term loss, we’ll consider every opportunity,” Luhnow told Rosenthal.

The GM expects rival teams to have interest in some of his players late this summer. Left-hander Wandy Rodriguez, closer Brett Myers, first baseman Carlos Lee and reliever Brandon Lyon are playing well, but Luhnow said he’s not actively looking to make trades yet.

“We need those guys right now,” Luhnow said. “I’m not in any rush to have any conversations about our veteran players.”

Rodriguez, Myers and Lee have $10MM or more remaining on their contracts and relative to other middle relievers, Lyon’s $5.5MM salary is hardly a bargain. The Astros would presumably need to absorb a considerable percentage of their veteran players’ contracts to obtain highly-regarded prospects in trades.


NL West Notes: Ethier, Colletti, Wandy, Padres

Tim Lincecum earned his first win of 2012 today in the Giants' 6-1 win over the Mets, but it was far from a vintage Lincecum outing.  The right-hander threw 108 pitches and allowed four hits, five walks and one run through five innings, a line that could've been a lot worse were it not for a superb bases-loaded double play turned by the Giants in the fifth.  Lincecum's ERA sits at 8.20 through his first four starts of the season.

Here's the latest from the NL West…

  • Dodgers GM Ned Colletti told Jim Bowden and Casey Stern of MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM that he has already talked to the team's new owners about a contract extension for Andre Ethier. The topic will be further explored once the Dodgers' sale is finalized. Ethier's contract is up after this season and MLBTR's Dan Mennella recently examined the outfielder's free agent stock. 
  • From that same appearance, Colletti said that he'd like to add another bat before the July 31st trade deadline, reports Bowden (via Twitter).
  • Troy Renck of the Denver Post doubts the Rockies still have interest in Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez (Twitter link). The Rockies claimed the left-hander off of waivers last August, but were unable to complete a deal with former Houston GM Ed Wade.
  • Padres GM Josh Byrnes has worked hard to sign his team's young stars to contract extensions, a practice he learned from working in the Indians' front office in the early 1990's, writes MLB.com's Corey Brock.

MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith contributed to this post


Rosenthal On Halladay, Royals, Wandy

Roy Halladay is pitching differently this year, according to pitch f/x data and team officials who spoke to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Though Halladay remains effective, he’s relying on different weapons than the ones he used in the past. Here are Rosenthal’s latest rumors:

  • The Royals have lost ten consecutive games, but GM Dayton Moore says it’s not always bad to scuffle. “I’m not shocked that we’re struggling out of the gate,” Moore told Rosenthal. “Although you expect good things to happen, we’re very young.” Rosenthal cites a scout who was “decidedly unimpressed” by the Royals’ play this weekend.
  • Rosenthal suggests the Padres might be inclined to trade Carlos Quentin if he hits well once he returns from knee surgery in May. Rosenthal wonders if the Padres might look to sign Quentin to a two-year deal in the $18-20MM range if he has a decent season.
  • Many teams are intimidated by Wandy Rodriguez’s contract, Rosenthal reports. The left-hander earns $10MM in 2012 and $13MM in 2013. The Astros hold a $13MM club option for 2014, but it becomes a player option if they trade him.
  • Some executives were surprised the Reds committed $72.5MM to Brandon Phillips when some of their best prospects (Billy Hamilton and Didi Gregorius) are middle infielders.
  • Adam Dunn looks more comfortable at the plate this year, one scout says.

Spanish Links: Vazquez, Wandy, Jorge Vazquez

Links in Spanish about three jugadores who don't know where they'll be a year from now…

  • Javier Vazquez received calls from two general managers this offseason, and his agent received calls from others, the pitcher told Esteban Pagán Rivera at the Puerto Rican paper Primera Hora. Vazquez says he was frank with his suitors, saying, "I haven't felt the slightest itch to play. But I haven't announced my retirement because who knows if, three months or a year from now, I get the urge to play again."
  • Wandy Rodriguez is approaching this offseason's trade rumors as if he were a soldier and the Astros were his army, the 33-year-old lefty told Juan Mercado from the Dominican daily El Día. "Wherever they send me, that's where I'll go, since I don't have any city in particular (in mind)," Rodriguez said. The Astros originally signed Rodriguez as an international free agent in 1999, and he says he appreciates the team that "opened the doors" for him to make it to the majors. "Now, if they decide to trade me, the only thing to do is accept it and leave."
  • Slugging Yankee prospect Jorge Vazquez is growing impatient with the minor leagues and would like to try Japan or Korea if there's not a place for him in the major leagues, according to the president of the Mexican League's Tigres de Quintana Roo, where Vazquez played in 2007 and 2008. "If they don't give him an opportunity this year, he wants them to trade him, or to go to [play] baseball in the east," Cuauhtémoc "Chito" Rodríguez told Fernando Ballesteros at Puro Béisbol. "He doesn't want to continue on in Triple A anymore, not just with the Yankees, but with any other organization as well." Vazquez made a case for being MLB-ready in 2011, putting up a .262/.314/.516 line with 32 homers at Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.