Writing at todaysknuckleball.com, Jon Heyman breaks down the woes of the Dodgers and Angels. Both teams face difficult decisions over the summer. The Dodgers, at least, still seem positioned to contend and could play an interesting role on the trade market.
Here are more notes from the column:
- Amidst the considerable amount of Julio Teheran chatter, one Braves source tells Heyman, “I don’t see the Braves trading Teheran.” That’s a less-definitive statement than the one Heyman received regarding Freddie Freeman, as a source told him the first baseman is “totally off limits,” which lines up with GM John Coppolella’s offseason comments. Heyman adds that the Braves have “tried to dangle” Erick Aybar in trade talks, but he has no value at this point and could simply end up being released, creating an opportunity for one of Atlanta’s top-tier shortstop prospects (Dansby Swanson and Ozhaino Albies).
- Robin Ventura is on the hot seat with the White Sox, Heyman writes (adding more detail here). A team source tells him that there’s a feeling that “patience has been shown” and a change could benefit the team. Bench coach Rick Renteria, who formerly managed the Cubs, could succeed Ventura. Not that it’s particularly surprising, but Heyman adds that former skipper Ozzie Guillen wouldn’t be a candidate to return to his old post.
- The Rockies haven’t yet started receiving calls asking about Carlos Gonzalez, but they’re expected to listen to offers despite hovering around .500 to this point of the season. GM Jeff Bridich tells Heyman that his current focus is on winning and adds that prized righty Jeff Hoffman, who headlined the prospects acquired in last July’s Troy Tulowitzki blockbuster, is “closer than he is far away.”
- While Jonathan Lucroy is perhaps the most-cited trade candidate in baseball, GM David Stearns tells Heyman that an extension can’t be entirely ruled out. Heyman notes that if the Brewers are able to move Ryan Braun, they could look to reallocate some of those funds to locking up Lucroy, who is more open to an extension now that the Brewers are performing better than most pundits expected. There could, of course, be some level of gamesmanship there, as it would make sense for any team official to downplay a prime trade target’s availability.
- The Padres are “open” to trading Wil Myers in the right scenario, says Heyman, but it still seems unlikely that’ll come to fruition. San Diego has received hits on Jon Jay and Derek Norris, though, and presumably the organization is more willing to part with those players.
- There was talk of the Tigers pursuing Chris Davis over the winter, and Heyman says that was indeed the case. The club was considering an offer in the $180MM range for the slugger, per the report. Owner Mike Ilitch also pushed for Yoenis Cespedes over Justin Upton, but the club elected to grab the younger player. That choice is certainly up for debate after their respective starts.
- The Phillies are obvious sellers, but most of their marketable assets reside on the pitching side of the equation. But the club sees infielder Andres Blanco as a plausible piece, with Freddy Galvis also potentially on the block. Blanco isn’t quite repeating his surprising 2015 season, but is hitting at around the league average rate and could be a useful utility piece.
- With continued uncertainty surrounding Felix Hernandez, the Mariners are likely to explore the rotation market this summer. The club has received a nice boost from James Paxton of late, but many of its starters have long-term injury questions so it isn’t surprising to hear that the club is readying for an addition in that area.
- Heyman also floats the idea that the Nationals could dangle top position player prospect Trea Turner in trade talks this summer. He wonders whether he could be the chip that lands a top-end reliever, citing Yankees hurler Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman. From my perspective, that would be rather surprising: Turner has shown himself ready for a full crack at the big leagues and is widely considered one of the game’s twenty best prospects. Even if the Nats don’t make him the starter in 2016, he’s a critical part of the team’s middle infield depth right now and an important future piece.
- Veteran outfielder Shane Victorino has rejected several opportunities to join teams on minor-league deals, says Heyman. Victorino is holding out for a shot to join a big league roster.