Wandy Rodriguez Rumors

Morosi On Braves, Tigers, Cardinals, Greinke

The Braves are looking at possible bullpen upgrades in addition to starting pitching options, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). Here are more news items from Morosi with precisely two weeks to go before this year’s trade deadline…

  • The Tigers would like to add a left-handed starter, but are wary of taking on all of Wandy Rodriguez’s contract, Morosi reports (on Twitter). Rodriguez earns $10MM this year and $13MM next year. His contract includes a $13MM option for 2014 that becomes a player option if the Astros trade Rodriguez. 
  • Jason Vargas is a similar pitcher to Rodriguez on a more affordable contract who could appeal to the Tigers, in my opinion. Alternatively, Houston could absorb salary to facilitate a trade.
  • The Cardinals continue to monitor the market for starters and relievers, Morosi and Ken Rosenthal write. The Mariners recently scouted Cardinals pitching prospect Tyrell Jenkins, but it’s not known if the teams are actively discussing a trade for Vargas or anyone else.
  • Morosi gets the sense that Brewers right-hander Zack Greinke will stay put in Milwaukee this year (video link).
  • Morosi explains that he believes Cole Hamels is a better fit for the Rangers than the Angels (video link).

Starting Pitching Rumors: Blue Jays, White Sox

The Orioles are just one of many teams looking for starting pitching, and they reportedly have their sights set on Zack Greinke and Wandy Rodriguez. Here's the latest on some other clubs in need of rotation help…

  • The Blue Jays are showing the most interest in pitchers under control beyond this season, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Matt Garza and Rodriguez are among those high on their list, according to sources.
  • The White Sox's plans for the deadline depend heavily on John Danks and Philip Humber, tweets Morosi. If the two injured hurlers are not back soon, expect GM Kenny Williams to actively seek help for the battered rotation.

O’s Have Contacted Astros About Wandy Rodriguez

The Orioles are in the thick of the hunt for a postseason berth and are looking to shore up their starting rotation. Yesterday we learned that they were "going hard" after Zack Greinke, and today Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com (on Twitter) reports they've contacted the Astros about Wandy Rodriguez. Kubatko says GM Dan Duquette is talking to a lot of teams at the moment.

Rodriguez, 33, is one of a number of players Astros GM Jeff Luhnow is reportedly prepared to move. Carlos Lee was just traded to the Marlins and Brett Myers could be of interest to clubs in need of bullpen help. Wandy is no stranger to the trade rumor circuit and has pitched to a 3.54 ERA with his lowest strikeout rate (5.8 K/9) since his rookie year this season. He's owed approximately $5MM for the rest of 2012 and $13MM for 2014. His $13MM club option for 2014 becomes a player option if traded.

Baltimore got seven innings of one-run ball out of Miguel Gonzalez last night, but Brian Matusz was just demoted to Triple-A and Jake Arrieta owns a 6.13 ERA through 18 starts. The O's are 5.5 games back in the AL East but currently hold a 1.5 game lead on a wildcard spot. Adding a third reliable starter to Wei-Yin Chen and Jason Hammel figures to be Duquette's top priority leading up to the deadline.



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.