Zach Lee Rumors
The big news out of the NL West today is Justin Upton's rejection of a trade that would have sent him to the Mariners in exchange for four of Seattle's top young players. The deal would've been a big risk for both sides, though since the Diamondbacks have other outfield options to potentially replace Upton, the bulk of the risk would've fallen on Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik. As a source opines to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal (Twitter link), Upton may have "saved Jack Z's job" by rejecting the trade and keeping so much top-flight young talent in Seattle.
Here are some more items from around the NL West...
- The "strained relationship" between Upton and the Diamondbacks makes it seem that Upton will be playing elsewhere by Spring Training, tweets ESPN's Jerry Crasnick.
- In a chat with fans at MLB.com that took place before the latest Upton news broke, Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall discussed all of the speculation about the outfielder. "All of the media speculation is unfortunate, but not unusual," Hall noted, saying that other teams had been telling the media about their interest in Upton.
- Todd Helton told reporters (including Troy Renck of the Denver Post) that he is recovering well from hip surgery and confirmed he will return for his 17th Major League season. Helton is entering the final year of his contract with the Rockies and said in September that he wanted to play in 2013 if his health permitted.
- Dodgers prospect Zach Lee has no regrets about choosing baseball over college football stardom, he tells MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. Lee was the 28th overall pick of the 2010 draft and received a $5.25MM bonus to sign with the Dodgers instead of playing football at LSU.
- The millions earned by Major League stars obscures the fact that most minor leaguers earn very modest paychecks, as MLB.com's Corey Brock explores how several Padres prospects make ends meet during the offseason.
SATURDAY, 7:52am: The deal is "pretty much done," reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that both Beckett and Crawford have agreed to waive their no-trade clauses while Rosenthal adds that both clubs have signed off on the medicals.
FRIDAY, 10:00pm: Crawford has the Dodgers on his partial no-trade list and the outfielder has yet to be asked to accept a trade, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). It has been previously reported that Crawford can block trades to two clubs but Heyman writes that Crawford has the ability to block trades to three teams.
9:34pm: Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine says that he still expects Beckett to make his start on Saturday, tweets Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
9:01pm: The Dodgers are expected to pick up more than $260MM of the $271.5MM in combined salary that the Red Sox are sending to them, a source tells Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald.
6:45pm: The Dodgers have agreed to send Webster, De La Rosa, Loney, Sands, and De Jesus to the Red Sox, a source tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Meanwhile, a source tells Rob Bradford of WEEI (Twitter link) not to expect a deal to be completed tonight.
6:42pm: The Red Sox have yet to secure permission from Beckett, who has 10-and-5 rights, or Crawford, who has a partial no-trade clause, a source tells Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com. However, neither player is expected to block the deal.
6:15pm: The Red Sox and Dodgers are currently reviewing medical records, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com (via Twitter). The deal would include Rubby De La Rosa, James Loney, Jerry Sands, Ivan De Jesus, and a top prospect, according to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com (Twitter link).
5:48pm: Though the deal may not happen in its current nine-player form, something is expected to happen, tweets Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
5:06pm: The Red Sox would receive prospects and not just salary relief if the deal happens, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
4:34pm: The Red Sox and Dodgers are closing in on a trade that would send Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto to Los Angeles, Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com reports (on Twitter). Hurdles remain, but the sides continue working toward a deal.
The Dodgers recently won the claiming rights to Gonzalez and Beckett. Gonzalez can't block a trade to Los Angeles, but Beckett must approve any assignment as a player with ten and five rights. Crawford and Punto cleared waivers earlier this month and can be traded without waiver-related restrictions.
The Dodgers have been willing to take on considerable salaries since their new ownership group gained control of the club at the beginning of the 2012 season. Adding the four Red Sox players would represent a substantial financial commitment:
- Gonzalez will earn $21MM per season through 2016 and obtain a raise to $21.5MM for 2017-18. The total exceeds $130MM when accounting for the remainder his 2012 salary.
- Beckett will earn $15.75MM per season through 2014. As noted above, he must approve any trade.
- Crawford will earn $20MM in 2013, $20.25MM in 2014, $20.5MM in 2015, $20.75MM in 2016 and $21MM in 2017. His contract allows him to block trades to two teams.
- Punto earns $1.5MM per season through 2013.
The Dodgers claimed Cliff Lee on waivers earlier this month after trading for Shane Victorino, Hanley Ramirez, Joe Blanton and Brandon League. The Dodgers would have to place MLB players on waivers before trading them to Boston, which could complicate trade talks.
Zach Links contributed to this post, which was originally published on August 24th.
11:05pm: The Cubs are asking the Dodgers for minor league pitcher Allen Webster as the centerpiece of a Dempster trade, reports Morosi (Twitter link).
6:55pm: It's possible that the Dodgers could acquire Dempster from the Cubs without having to surrender Lee, a source tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com (Twitter link).
4:20pm: The Cubs are talking to the Dodgers about Dempster again, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports.
3:26pm: Dempster told reporters, including Doug Padilla of ESPNChicago.com, that he's taking his time to weigh his options (Twitter link). He plans to pitch for the Cubs tomorrow. "I have a pretty good idea of where I want to go," Dempster said, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter).
1:37pm: The status of the possible Braves-Cubs deal should be resolved "shortly," ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reports (on Twitter). The Cubs continue talking to the Braves and the Dodgers.
12:43pm: Dempster doesn’t want to be traded to the Braves right now, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Instead, the right-hander hopes to be dealt to the Dodgers. While the Dodgers had interest in Dempster and were considered by some to be the favorites to acquire him, they didn’t reach an agreement with the Cubs. Chicago would lose leverage with the Dodgers if Dempster rejects a trade to the Braves, his second choice.
TUESDAY, 9:05am: Dempster has given preliminary indications that he'd accept a trade to the Braves, ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reports (Twitter links). However, Dempster felt blindsided when news of the proposed deal leaked before the Cubs reached him.
MONDAY, 6:20pm: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports writes that Dempster to the Braves now has a 50-50 chance of happening.
3:30pm: The teams are awaiting Dempster's approval, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports (on Twitter).
2:57pm: Dempster is in the Cubs' clubhouse preparing for tonight's game in Pittsburgh, according to reporters, including Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter). He declined to discuss today's developments, Doug Padilla of ESPNChicago.com reports (on Twitter).
2:38pm: The Cubs haven't received Dempster's permission to complete a trade, David Kaplan of CSNChicago reports (on Twitter). "There is no trade," Dempster tweets via his foundation. "Don't know where this info came from!" Meanwhile, Goldstein hears that the deal is not done, but acknowledges that it might simply be delayed while MLB considers the financial side of the transaction (Twitter link).
Delgado, 22, has started 17 games for the Braves this year, posting a 4.42 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 in 91 2/3 innings. The right-hander entered the season as the 46th-best prospect in MLB, according to Baseball America. His average fastball checks in at 92 mph, according to FanGraphs. Delgado has a ceiling as a number three starter in the Major Leagues, Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus writes (on Twitter).
1:22pm: The Braves and Cubs have agreed to a trade that will send Ryan Dempster to Atlanta, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports (on Twitter). The right-hander can veto any trade, but he is not likely to demand an extension in order to approve the deal, according to Jon Heyman. Randall Delgado could be going to Chicago in the deal, Bowman adds.
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Dempster, 35, has an NL-best 2.11 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 98 innings for the Cubs this year. He earns $14MM in 2012 -- more than $5.5MM between now and the end of the season -- but the Cubs are said to be willing to absorb salary to facilitate a deal.
The Braves won't be able to obtain draft pick compensation for Dempster even if he signs elsewhere after the season. In other words, he's strictly a rental unless the sides reach an extension between now and the end of the season. The Braves believe they'd have a good shot at re-signing Dempster, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (on Twitter). The Cubs would have been able to obtain one compensatory selection for losing Dempster if they had kept him for the remainder of the season and made him a qualifying offer.
Braves starters have combined for a 4.34 ERA with 7.0 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 so far this year. The team's rotation currently consists of Tim Hudson, Tommy Hanson, Mike Minor, Jair Jurrjens and newcomer Ben Sheets. Brandon Beachy and Arodys Vizcaino are out for the season with Tommy John surgery, which diminished the organization's internal options.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com first reported that the Braves were nearing a deal for Dempster after David O'Brien first reported the Braves were nearing a deal for a starter. Photo courtesy of US Presswire.
Scouts will be watching Brewers ace Zack Greinke very closely tonight as he makes his first start since July 13. The right-hander was given 10 days' rest in an effort to see him "recharge his batteries," as Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin phrased it. We'll keep tabs on Greinke rumors in this post, with the latest going up top.
- The Brewers' ideal scenario is to trade third baseman Aramis Ramirez to the Dodgers in exchange for pitching prospect Zach Lee and then deal Greinke to the Rangers for third base prospect Mike Olt, reports Jim Bowden of SiriusXM ESPN radio (via Twitter). Bowden adds that such a sequence of moves is unlikely, however.
- The teams that are known to have interest in Greinke, tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, are: the Rangers, Orioles, Braves, Angels, White Sox, Blue Jays, and Dodgers.
The Cubs agreed to trade Ryan Dempster to Atlanta earlier today, and they aren't done dealing yet. The Cubs and Dodgers are discussing a trade that would send right-hander Matt Garza to Los Angeles for a package of players including highly-regarded pitching prospect Zach Lee, Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network reports (on Twitter).
Garza, 28, has a 3.91 ERA with 8.3 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 103 2/3 innings this year. He earns $9.5MM and will go to arbitration one last time this offseason, when his salary can be expected to climb past $12MM. If the Dodgers acquire Garza this summer, they'd be eligible to obtain draft pick compensation for him should he depart as a free agent following the 2013 season.
Lee, 20, entered the season as the Dodgers' best prospect and the 62nd-best prospect in MLB, according to Baseball America. He has a 5.85 ERA with 8.1 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 in 17 starts at Class A and Double-A so far this year. The Dodgers signed the 2010 first round selection to a $5.25MM bonus after selecting him 28th overall two years ago.
- The Dodgers won't trade top pitching prospect Zach Lee for a rental player like Ryan Dempster, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link). We heard earlier today that Los Angeles had made the Cubs an offer for Dempster.
- Though the Diamondbacks and Pirates have had trouble connecting on a trade match for Justin Upton, the outfielder remains "at or near the top" of Pittsburgh's search for a hitter, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
- The Diamondbacks have signed 16-year-old Dominican outfielder Ismael Pena, reports Ben Badler of Baseball America. Badler describes Pena as "a 6-foot-3, 175-pound lefty with a sound swing, a good approach and a hit-first, power-second profile. He's an average runner with a 45 to 50 arm on the 20-80 scale."
- Huston Street was "aggressively" pursued by the Mets last winter, a source tells Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (Twitter link), but through the Mets are searching for bullpen help now, they don't think the Padres will move the closer. We heard earlier today that the Padres were looking to propose long-term extensions to Street and Carlos Quentin before the trade deadline.
- Street and Chris Denorfia have drawn more trade interest than Quentin, reports Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
- Also from Center, the Pirates and Orioles are "among the teams pushing hardest" for Chase Headley. Center added the Mariners to the long list of Headley's suitors. The third baseman himself says he has heard "between six and 10 teams" have shown interest.
10:11pm: The Dodgers asked about Lowrie, but he's not in the current talks, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN.com. A source says that there's a 50-50 shot that Carlos Lee accepts a deal to Los Angeles for pitching prospects.
9:57pm: Dodgers' talks with Astros involve Carlos Lee, not Jed Lowrie, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Lee would need to a approve deal and has the right to block a deal to the Dodgers.
9:02pm: The Dodgers are talking to the Astros about a trade that would send Jed Lowrie to the Dodgers with minor-leaguers Zach Lee and Garrett Gould headed to Houston, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.com (via Twitter). One source place the odds of the deal taking place at about 50-50 right now, Olney tweets.
Sources also say that others could be involved in the talks, according to Olney (via Twitter). Lowrie would provide the Dodgers with options at shortstop and third base to go along with a power bat. The 28-year-old has a .262/.350/.492 slash line with 14 homers in 68 games this year.
Lee, 20, was the Dodgers' first-round pick in 2010 and signed with the club over attending LSU on a football scholarship. The right-hander was promoted to Double-A Chattanooga earlier this week after turning in a 4.55 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 in 12 California League starts in 2012.
Gould, also a right-hander, was the club's second-round pick in '09 out of Wichita, Kansas. The soon-to-be 21-year-old has made 12 starts and three relief appearances in the California League this year, posting a 5.12 ERA with 9.0 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9.
Baseball’s amateur draft takes place in exactly three weeks. Here’s the latest on some of the top draft prospects and one 2010 draftee who is thriving six appearances into his pro career...
- Teams are hearing that the asking price for Dylan Bundy is $30MM for six years and that it will cost $20MM over five years to sign Archie Bradley, according to Jim Callis of Baseball America (Twitter links). No draft deal has ever been worth $20MM, so the high schoolers' asking prices are sure to scare away less serious teams.
- MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes introduced us to Bradley earlier today.
- Dodgers right-hander Zach Lee is adapting well to the mental side of the game, Kevin Baxter writes in a piece for Baseball America (subscription required). Lee, who signed last year for a Dodgers-record $5.25MM, chose baseball over football and the results have been good for the 19-year-old. He has a 1.17 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in six starts at Class A.
- Click here to read Q&As with some prominent members of this year’s draft class.
10:59pm: The Dodgers signed Lee, according to Jim Callis of Baseball America (on Twitter). Lee will leave LSU and focus solely on baseball, according to the team. Lee will get a $5.25MM bonus to be spread over five years, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times (on Twitter).
8:26pm: The Dodgers are "on the brink" of signing first-round pick Zach Lee, according to Yahoo's Steve Henson (on Twitter). The prep right-hander, who turns 19 next month, was considered a tough sign, partly because he has committed to playing quarterback for LSU's football team. The Dodgers selected Lee 28th overall, a slot for which MLB recommended a $1.134MM bonus a year ago.
Louisiana State head football coach Les Miles seems to think the Dodgers will not be signing their first-round pick Zach Lee this year. In a statement on the LSU football website, Miles said:
"Zach wants to come to LSU, get a degree and play football and baseball for the Tigers. I met with Zach and his parents today and I think that they are looking at LSU as a great opportunity both academically and athletically. Zach is an outstanding student and he's excited about the college experience."
Lee begins summer classes today, though the Dodgers technically have until the August 16th deadline to sign him. Dodgers assistant GM Logan White told Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times on Monday that he's cautiously optimistic about signing Lee and the team did not purposely select an unsignable player to save money. ESPN's Keith Law wrote recently that the "rumor of the day had the kid saying $6 million wouldn't get him signed."