Wandy Rodriguez Rumors
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
All three of the National League's unsigned arbitration eligible players play in the NL Central, as MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows. Here are the latest links from the division...
- Brewers GM Doug Melvin joined Todd Hollandsworth and Jim Memolo on MLB Network Radio and said that he and Zack Greinke have had some conversations about the right-hander's future in Milwaukee. Greinke told Melvin that he likes pitching for the Brewers and wants them to remain competitive going forward. Greinke is one of the top starting pitchers scheduled to hit free agency after the 2012 season.
- The Cardinals are waiting to see if Roy Oswalt will sign on their terms and at their price, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney writes.
- Astros GM Jeff Luhnow said Wandy Rodriguez is "definitely an important part" of the team's plan at this point, Stephen Goff of the Houston Astros Examiner reports. Rodriguez has been involved his share of trade rumors in the past year, but Luhnow says the left-hander is an important part of Houston's roster.
- Jose Veras of the Brewers and Casey McGehee and Garrett Jones of the Pirates are the NL's remaining unsigned arbitration eligible players.
- It appears likely that Giants starter Tim Lincecum will sign a two-year deal in the $41-42MM range, Rosenthal writes. The Giants and their ace right-hander exchanged arbitration submissions last week and the club has since offered Lincecum a deal worth $100MM-plus.
- It’s possible that Edwin Jackson will sign a one-year contract, like fellow Scott Boras client Ryan Madson. The Red Sox and Mariners could be interested in Jackson if he’s willing to sign for one year.
- The Red Sox aren’t pursuing Wandy Rodriguez, according to Rosenthal.
- The Orioles could be a logical trade partner for Yankees right-hander A.J. Burnett in Rosenthal’s estimation.
- The Red Sox seem to have interest in acquiring an everyday shortstop and the Reds, Giants and Rays are looking for veteran shortstop help, Rosenthal writes.
- Free agent infielder Ryan Theriot would prefer to stay in the National League, unless he can obtain a starting job.
- Earlier in the offseason the Astros inquired about Ian Desmond, who hasn’t convinced everyone with the Nationals that he’s their long-term solution at shortstop.
- Some teams would play Gordon Beckham at short, according to Rosenthal. Beckham has only played second and third in three seasons at the MLB level.
- The Angels aren’t ready to trade Bobby Abreu, who could be a fit for Detroit’s DH opening.