Zach Wheeler Rumors
Let's have a look around MLB's eastern divisions...
- Yunel Escobar has helped stabilize the Rays' defense, manager Joe Maddon says in an article by Sam Strong of MLB.com. Escobar is on track to break the Rays' team record for fielding percentage by a shortstop.
- The Phillies clinched their first losing season since 2002 with Friday's loss to the Mets, The Philadelphia Inquirer's Marc Narducci notes. Though young players have gotten valuable experience this season, the Phils must address a number of question marks in their starting rotation as they reload for 2014, Narducci says.
- The Mets have no plans to release Jordany Valdespin as he finishes up his Biogenesis suspension, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, as cited by MetsBlog. However, there's no guarantee that he'll suit up for the Mets after being reinstated. "It merely means they intend to carry him into the offseason while they have an available 40-man roster spot,” Rubin says.
- The Mets have shut down Zack Wheeler for the season, Rubin reports in a separate article, after he felt stiffness in his pitching shoulder during a start on Tuesday. However, Wheeler says he won't require an MRI or doctor's exam. The righty has a 3.42 ERA in 100 innings across 17 starts this season.
- While the 2013 season will be his last at the helm of the Nationals, Davey Johnson says it may not be his last as a manager. "I'll be managing probably somewhere, if somebody wants me," Johnson said. "I never worry about that. I'm not going to be looking for a job." The baseball lifer discussed his career and what's next for him in a wide-ranging interview with MLB.com.
The day after he was rocked for six earned runs in 1 2/3 innings, the Phillies placed lefty John Lannan on the DL with a strained quadriceps in his left knee. There's no word yet on who will replace him in the rotation, but he could be out six-to-eight weeks. Tonight, the fourth-place Phillies and Cole Hamels host Adam Wainwright and the first-place Cardinals. Elsewhere in the NL East:
- "Let's just say if this continues, certainly we've gotta start visiting that here pretty soon," Mets manager Terry Collins told Mike Francesa of WFAN in regard to a question about quality reinforcements including top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler. The Mets' rotation has struggled beyond Matt Harvey and Jon Niese. GM Sandy Alderson was noncommittal, telling Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News, "It was always a case that it would be Zack’s sufficiency and the major-league team’s need. If those two things merge, the need and the performance converge, then it is a possibility. That could happen sooner or it could happen later." Ackert hears that people within the organization privately do not feel Wheeler is ready, plus the Mets would like to avoid the pitcher achieving Super Two status after the 2015 season (necessitating a promotion in mid-June or later).
- Meanwhile, another top Mets prospect won't be seeing Citi Field anytime soon. Catcher Travis D'Arnaud, acquired from Toronto in the R.A. Dickey trade, fractured a bone in his left foot yesterday in a Triple-A game.
- The Nationals' depth is on display, explains James Wagner of the Washington Post, with Kurt Suzuki seamlessly taking over as the starting catcher after Wilson Ramos suffered a hamstring injury.
- Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons is now represented by SFX, MLBTR has learned. He'd previously been with The Sparta Group, up until the August switch. A few new additions to our agency database include Jonathan Gray (advised by Jay Franklin of BBI Sports Group), Oswaldo Arcia (Martin Arburua), and Tony Cingrani (Curtis Dishman).
- "He's decent for a club that needs a starter. There are worse No. 5 starters in the big leagues right now, but he's not the pitcher he used to be," a scout told Jon Heyman of CBS Sports in reference to the Marlins' Ricky Nolasco. Nolasco, Miami's highest-paid player by a long-shot at $11.5MM, is a strong candidate to be traded this summer.
A few of the latest updates from Nashville relating to National League clubs:
- The Padres figure to be seeking just one more starting pitcher, says MLB.com's Corey Brock (via Twitter).
- Although the Nationals' starting rotation is set, the team may still look to add pitching depth, writes Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
- Before Eric Chavez agreed to terms with the Diamondbacks, he had spoken to the White Sox, while Jeff Keppinger, who signed with the Sox, was coveted by the Marlins, says Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (Twitter links).
- The signing of Chavez gives the D-Backs one too many infield bench options, and a team source says someone is likely to be traded, according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (via Twitter). Piecoro names John McDonald as the possible odd man out.
- The Mets may leave Nashville having only finalized the David Wright extension, says Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. One Mets official tells Rubin that teams are asking for Zack Wheeler in virtually every trade proposal, even for platoon-type catchers, which isn't happening (Twitter links).
Yesterday's Carlos Beltran learnings: the Indians offered to pick up all of Beltran's contract and include a good player, but nothing was presented to the player; the Phillies won't trade Jonathan Singleton for Beltran and many other top prospects can't be had either; the Mets' asking price has come down from two weeks ago and they're talking two and three-prospect deals with suitors. The latest:
- Beltran is not going to the Rangers, tweets Rosenthal. The Giants are his presumed frontrunner. He says the Mets had asked about Giants prospects Zack Wheeler and Gary Brown. They won't get Wheeler, but Rosenthal says "we'll see" on Brown.
- Giants starter Jonathan Sanchez could go to the Mets as part of a Beltran trade, tweets Sherman.
- Some executives believe Boras is trying to direct Beltran to the Giants, a team that has the money to retain him after the season, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Meanwhile Ken Rosenthal tweets that the Rangers are offering the Mets a greater number of players for Beltran than the Giants, who are offering fewer players but more quality. The Phillies are still serious, tweets Yahoo's Tim Brown.
- The Indians walked away from the Beltran talks convinced that agent Scott Boras is controlling the process, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney. They won't shut the door on Beltran but believe he won't change his mind, tweets Yahoo's Jeff Passan.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the Mets have "moved off A-level prospect requests" for Beltran, but Andy Martino of the New York Daily News has a high-level source who denies the Mets have lowered their asking price.
- The Mets are making progress in negotiations with the Rangers and Giants, reports ESPN's Buster Olney. The Braves remain involved.
Carlos Beltran went 1-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout in the Mets' win over the Marlins last night, and every game he plays could be his last with the team these days. Yesterday we learned that because of his no-trade clause, Beltran can not approve a trade until 24 hours after the deal. That means the deadline to move him is July 30th, not the 31st. The Mets have interest in top prospects, but Mike Minor (Braves), Domonic Brown (Phillies), Gary Brown, Zach Wheeler, and Brandon Belt (all Giants) appear to be long shots.
Let's keep track of all the day's Beltran rumors right here, with the latest up top...
- There is "increasing chatter around [the] Mets" suggesting that Beltran will be dealt to the Giants, tweets Newsday's David Lennon.
- Beltran's no-trade clause is considered to be a "ring choice," according to Peter Gammons, as in Beltran will only agree to go to a team that has a legitimate chance at the World Series. Given Beltran's rumored preference to remain in the NL, Gammons feels this narrows the field down to the Phillies, Giants and Braves, with the Major League-leading Phillies perhaps Beltran's "preference."
- Beltran is likely going to be the only Mets player moved before the deadline, tweets Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. That said, Martino hears that at least one team has contacted the Mets about Angel Pagan.
- Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas looks at how Beltran would fit into the Rangers' lineup.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman tweets that the Mets are still shooting for a home run with Beltran, targeting Domonic Brown, Wheeler, and Minor. He notes, however, that with an expiring contract and no possibility for the acquiring team to collect draft picks, the Mets may ultimately have to drop the price tag.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports said in today's pre-game show that the Braves won't part with a number of their top pitching prospects to acquire a rental like Beltran, especially since he can't be offered arbitration following the season.
- Jon Heyman of SI tweets that all of the Mets' trade talk currently revolves around Beltran. If they move anyone else, it'll be a late trade.
- ESPN New York's Adam Rubin reports that the Rangers remain in play for Beltran. The Mets have increased their scouting of Texas' farm system, redirecting scouts as needed.
- Rival executives tell ESPN's Buster Olney that Mets GM Sandy Alderson is not necessarily conceding eating most of Beltran's salary (Twitter links). It's all part of negotiations and there is some belief within the organization that they'll get some financial relief in a trade.
- Andy Martino of The New York Daily News says the Mets hope to complete a Beltran trade before next weekend (Twitter links). They don't want there to be a frenzy right at the deadline.
- The Reds "have nibbled" on Beltran according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (on Twitter), but they are hesitant to give up good prospects or take on so much money for a rental.
MLBTR's Mark Polishuk also contributed to this post