MLB Trade Rumors » » Colorado Rockies 2017-09-20T00:15:42Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom Steve Adams <![CDATA[Chatwood Reclaims Rotation Spot]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103018 2017-09-18T17:56:38Z 2017-09-18T17:52:56Z
  • Right-hander Tyler Chatwood tells Nick Groke of the Denver Post that he wasn’t pleased when the Rockies demoted him to a relief role earlier this summer, but he used the frustration as motivation to reclaim his rotation spot. The 27-year-old acknowledged that his mechanics had been off, specifically when it comes to his two-seam fastball — his best pitch. Chatwood made clear that he views himself as a starting pitcher, which is notable for an impending free agent that looks to be finishing the season strongly. He’s allowed one run in 13 2/3 innings since moving back into the rotation and has an overall 1.54 ERA with 8.1 K/9, 3.9 BB/9 and a 60 percent ground-ball rate over his past nine appearances (23 1/3 innings).
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Ian Desmond Struggling In Year 1 Of Contract]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=102941 2017-09-17T16:54:46Z 2017-09-17T16:54:46Z Rockies outfielder/first baseman Ian Desmond has shown troubling signings in the first season of a five-year, $70MM contract, Manny Randhawa of MLB.com notes. Along with a .273/.319/.367 batting line that’s 35 percent worse than league average (per FanGraphs’ wRC+ metric), Desmond’s groundball rate and exit velocity have trended in the wrong direction. His 63.1 percent grounder mark is nearly 12 percent worse than his yearly average and ranks last among hitters with at least 300 PAs. At the same time, Desmond’s exit velo has dropped from 90.5 mph last season to 87.4 mph this year. But health issues have likely contributed to Desmond’s drop-off, as the soon-to-be 32-year-old has been on the disabled list three different times. Indeed, Desmond told Randhawa that the injuries – including the fractured left hand he suffered in spring training – have made it difficult for him to establish himself this season. Based on his track record, Desmond expects to return to form. “Line drives and hard contact. For me, that’s my game,” Desmond said. “I’ve got to utilize my speed, and I think there’s complete validity in hitting the ball in the air and launch angle and all that stuff, but at the same time, my swing and the results I’ve been able to produce over the years is plenty for me. And I think that game plays anywhere. The thing is just a matter of getting the swings off and timing.”

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[2018 Vesting Options Update]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=102765 2017-09-14T17:10:09Z 2017-09-14T17:10:09Z We previously checked in on the vesting option scenarios playing out around the game. In the interim, though, we learned of a previously unreported clause and also gathered quite a bit more information about which options will and will not vest.

    Here’s where things stand with just two weeks to go:

    Already Vested

    • Greg Holland: It didn’t take long for the Rockies closer to finish thirty games, which triggered a clause that turned his $10MM mutual option into a $15MM player option. All indications are that Holland will spurn that payday (and the qualifying offer that will surely follow in close succession) to test the open market, but it affords him injury protection the rest of the way. Holland has already earned $9MM in bonus money. With six more games finished over the final two weeks of the season, he’d tack on another $2MM.
    • Gio Gonzalez: After topping 180 frames in his most recent start, Gonzalez is now under contract for 2018 at $12MM. While he has hit a bit of a wall of late, that still looks like quite an appealing price for a pitcher that has worked to a 2.68 ERA on the year.

    Open Questions

    • Ian Kinsler: It was learned recently that Kinsler’s 2018 option actually has a somewhat convoluted vesting provision. He’s guaranteed to earn $11MM upon reaching 600 plate appearances. And if he takes home another Gold Glove award, he’ll earn another $1MM in 2018. The option is going to be picked up regardless, but the 35-year-old can make things official if he strides to the plate 49 more times between now and the end of the season. He’ll likely get there if he plays more or less every day over the next two weeks.

    Will Not Vest

    • Ricky Nolasco: It’s still theoretically possible that Nolasco can reach the 202 1/3 innings he needs to transform a $13MM club option into a player option, but with over forty to go that’s just not happening as a practical matter. Instead, he’ll likely receive a $1MM buyout on the option.
    • Matt Cain: Cain is even more certain to receive a buyout; he’ll get a cool $7.5MM when the Giants say no to the alternative of paying $14MM more to keep him for another season. The veteran has compiled 119 1/3 innings of 5.66 ERA ball to this point, far shy of the volume or quality needed for that option to come into play. (It would have vested at 200 frames.)
    • Hisashi Iwakuma: Though he needed only 125 innings for his $15MM vesting provision to be triggered, Iwakuma has managed just 31 to date and is still on the DL. Instead, the M’s will likely pay him a $1MM buyout rather than picking up his option at $10MM.
    • Andre Ethier: Though he made it back from the DL, it was far too late for Ethier to lay claim to a $17.5MM salary for 2017. Since it’s impossible for him to make it to 550 plate appearances, he’ll instead receive a $2.5MM buyout when the Dodgers all but certainly decline the club option.
    • Matt Garza: Garza will be controllable via a $5MM club option. He was not able to reach 110 total starts from 2014-17, so his option did not vest at $13MM. But he also did not miss 130 or more days of action on the DL this year, so he avoided a provision that would’ve left the Brewers with a $1MM option for 2018.
    • J.J. Hardy: Also now back from the DL, Hardy returned far too late to reach the 600 plate appearances he’d have needed for a $14MM club option to become guaranteed. Instead, he’s destined to receive a $2MM buyout from the O’s this fall.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[2017 Rule 5 Roundup]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=102751 2017-09-14T16:14:45Z 2017-09-14T14:15:17Z With just a few weeks left in the season, we have a pretty clear idea of which Rule 5 draft picks will stick with their drafting teams. At this point, having already carried the player this far and with expanded rosters easing any pressures, teams are quite likely to stay the course. Here’s how this season’s Rule 5 group has shaken out thus far:

    Keepers

    It isn’t official yet, but these

    • Miguel Diaz, RHP, kept by Padres (via Twins) from Brewers: As part of the Pads’ unusually bold Rule 5 strategy, the club kept three youngsters this year. Diaz, 22, has managed only a 6.21 ERA with a 31:22 K/BB ratio over 37 2/3 innings. But he is showing a 96 mph heater and will remain with the organization, quite likely heading back to the minors next season to continue his development.
    • Luis Torrens, C, kept by Padres (via Reds) from Yankees: The youthful backstop — he’s just 21 — has struggled badly on offense in limited action. Through 133 plate appearances, he’s slashing just.169/.246/.212 — with just four extra-base hits, none of them home runs.
    • Allen Cordoba, INF, kept by Padres from Cardinals: And then there’s Cordoba, who’s also just 21 years of age. He faded after a hot start at the plate, but on the whole his output — a .209/.284/.304 batting line and four home runs over 215 plate appearances — is fairly impressive given that he had never before played above Rookie ball.
    • Dylan Covey, RHP, kept by White Sox from Athletics: Technically, owing to a DL stint, Covey has only compiled 83 of the minimum 90 days of active roster time required to be kept. But he’s going to make it there before the season is up, meaning that the Sox will be able to hold onto his rights and option him back to the minors in 2018. Covey, 26, has struggled to a 7.90 ERA with 4.9 K/9 against 4.4 BB/9 over 54 2/3 innings, allowing 18 long balls in that span.
    • Stuart Turner, C, kept by Reds from Twins: Turner has seen minimal action, appearing in just 33 games and taking only 77 trips to the plate. And he’s hitting just .141/.184/.268 in that sporadic action. Clearly, though, the Reds have seen enough to believe he’s worth the trouble to hang onto.

    Still In Limbo

    • Kevin Gadea, RHP, selected by Rays from Mariners: Gadea has not pitched at any level this year owing to an elbow injury. He’ll remain with the Tampa Bay organization for the time being, but will still need to be carried on the 40-man roster over the offseason and then on the active roster for at least ninety days for his rights to permanently transfer.
    • Armando Rivero, RHP, selected by Braves from Cubs: It’s the exact same situation for Rivero as for Gadea, though he has had shoulder problems.
    • Josh Rutledge, INF, selected by Red Sox from Rockies: This was not your typical Rule 5 move. Boston snagged the veteran infielder after he signed a minors deal with Colorado. He ended up seeing minimal MLB time owing to injuries and his season ended recently with hip surgery. Rutledge is eligible for arbitration this fall and isn’t likely to be kept on the 40-man roster regardless.
    • Anthony Santander, OF, selected by Orioles from Indians: Since he only made it off of the DL late in the summer, Santander can accrue only 45 days on the active roster. If Baltimore wants to keep him, then, it’ll need to put him on the Opening Day roster next year. Santander has seen minimal playing time thus far, recording two hits in twelve trips to the plate, though he put up impressive numbers on his rehab assignment.

    Kept By Other Means

    • Daniel Stumpf, LHP, signed with Tigers after electing free agency upon return to Royals: This is another unusual situation. As a previous Rule 5 returnee, Stumpf was eligible to elect free agency upon being returned to his original organization. That’s just what happened when Detroit sent him back to Kansas City; the southpaw then turned around and re-signed a MLB deal with the Tigers. He has ended up turning in a rather productive year, posting 32 1/3 innings of 2.78 ERA ball with 8.6 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 at the major-league level and showing even more impressive numbers during his time at Triple-A.

    Already Returned

    • Tyler Jones, RHP, returned to Yankees by Diamondbacks: Jones has thrown rather well at Triple-A since going back to the New York organization, posting 10.7 K/9 against 2.8 BB/9 in 63 2/3 innings, though he has also allowed 4.38 earned per nine.
    • Caleb Smith, LHP, returned to Yankees by Brewers: Smith ended up earning a 40-man roster spot and spending some time in the majors after showing quite well as a starter in the minors. But he has been knocked around in his 18 2/3 MLB frames on the year.
    • Justin Haley, RHP, returned to Red Sox by Twins (via Angels): The 26-year-old didn’t stick with Minnesota, allowing a dozen earned runs in 18 innings before being returned to Boston. But he has thrown well since landing back at Triple-A Pawtucket, posting a 2.66 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 in 44 innings over seven starts.
    • Tyler Webb, LHP, returned to Yankees by Pirates: Webb also gained a 40-man spot with the Yankees after showing some intriguing K/BB numbers at Triple-A. He was ultimately dealt to the Brewers.
    • Aneury Tavarez, OF, returned to Red Sox by Orioles: Tavarez played his way back up to Triple-A upon his return to his former organization, but has hit just .244/.292/.400 in 145 plate appearances there.
    • Glenn Sparkman, RHP, returned to Royals by Blue Jays: Sparkman was bombed in his one MLB appearance and has been limited to just 30 1/3 minor-league frames due to injury.
    • Hoby Milner, LHP, returned to Phillies by Indians: Another player who has risen to the majors with the organization that originally let them leave via the Rule 5, Milner has turned in 24 1/3 frames of 1.85 ERA ball in Philadelphia. Of course, he has also managed just 15 strikeouts against ten walks in that span.
    • Mike Hauschild, RHP, returned to Astros by Rangers: The 27-year-old righty struggled badly in his eight MLB frames. Upon returning to the rotation for Houston’s top affiliate, Hauschild has uncharacteristically struggled with free passes (5.3 per nine).
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Jonathan Lucroy Interested In Returning To Rockies]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=102719 2017-09-13T15:42:21Z 2017-09-13T15:42:21Z Rockies catcher Jonathan Lucroy, acquired just six weeks ago at the deadline, has fit in well with his new team, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post writes. With the open market beckoning at season’s end, Lucroy says he’d “absolutely” have interest in re-joining the organization as a free agent.

    The 31-year-old Lucroy noted that he’s not yet thinking in earnest about his next contract. But he also emphasized that he intends to consider quite a bit more than salary in making his choice. “As a free agent, you look at a lot of things,” he tells Saunders. “I look at things even more than money. I want to know what teams are going to be in there. …  I want to contribute to a playoff team.”

    Lucroy has turned things around at the plate somewhat after a rough stretch to open the year with the Rangers. He’s batting .274/.388/.400 through 116 plate appearances in Colorado, which equates to roughly league-average production when ballpark effects are taken into account. While the power hasn’t quite come around, Lucroy has recorded more walks (15) than strikeouts (14) since changing uniforms.

    It seems Lucroy has had an even greater impact with the catching gear on. Manager Bud Black and members of the pitching staff credit his overall impact as a defender and leader behind the plate. Lucroy has also shown much-improved framing numbers, though it’s still quite a small sample and he remains below-average in an area he once excelled.

    Understandably, neither Lucroy nor the Rockies are thinking too hard about the future at the moment. The club is busy fending off challengers to its hold on the second National League Wild Card slot, though it remains in solid position with just over two weeks left in the regular season. Like Lucroy, GM Jeff Bridich says the team isn’t “focused on that right now,” but also expressed satisfaction with the veteran backstop.

    When he does hit free agency, Lucroy figures to represent an interesting player to watch. Entering the year, it seemed possible he’d challenge for a five-year contract of the sort that Russell Martin landed a few years back with the Blue Jays. Expectations have certainly trended down, though Lucroy still figures to command a solid, multi-year deal. He’ll face market competition from players such as Welington Castillo and Alex Avila.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Rockies Acquire Jon Keller To Complete Miguel Castro Trade]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=102316 2017-09-07T17:09:47Z 2017-09-07T17:09:47Z The Rockies have acquired minor-league righty Jon Keller from the Orioles, per an official announcement. He’ll become the player to be named later in the April swap that sent right-hander Miguel Castro to Baltimore.

    Keller, 25, has yet to move past the Double-A level through five seasons in the minors. Though he has had some intriguing moments at times in the lower minors, he has stalled out with command issues at Bowie. Over 53 total frames there since 2015, Keller owns a 7.13 ERA with 41 strikeouts and 51 walks.

    Meanwhile, Castro — once seen as an intriguing prospect — has produced for the O’s this year. The 22-year-old carries a 2.65 ERA through 54 1/3 innings spread over 33 appearances. Those innings alone make the deal worthwhile and Castro won’t reach arbitration eligibility until at least 2020.

    Of course, while he’s averaging 96 mph with his fastball and generating swings and misses at a solid 10.1% rate, Castro is also averaging just 4.8 K/9 against 3.1 BB/9 on the year. There’s little chance that he will sustain his current .201 BABIP moving forward, so he’ll need to find a way to put away big league hitters to keep his earned run average anywhere near its current levels.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[David Dahl Won't Swing Bat Again Until December]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=101996 2017-09-03T03:27:56Z 2017-09-03T03:27:56Z The Padres fired hitting coach Alan Zinter on Friday, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune tweets. Zinter lasted less than two seasons in the position, having taken the job in November 2015. The Padres’ offense ranked toward the bottom of the majors during Zinter’s run, but he didn’t exactly have a world of proven talent at his disposal. Manager Andy Green explained to Lin that he’s seeking a “different voice” for the role. Meanwhile, GM A.J. Preller told AJ Cassavell of MLB.com that the Padres will begin searching for a successor immediately, but he indicated there’s no rush to hire a replacement (Twitter link).

    Here’s more from the National League:

    • The Brewers’ rotation was rife with question marks entering the season, but it now appears the surprise contenders have at least three legitimate building blocks in Jimmy Nelson, Chase Anderson and Zach Davies, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel observes. The emergence of that cost-controlled trio has been especially important to a team that’s not able to spend big on free agents, and Haudricourt points out that the Brewers may even have a couple more promising young starters on hand (Brandon Woodruff and Josh Hader). It’s possible they’ll go into 2018 with those five comprising their rotation, Haudricourt notes.
    • Rockies outfielder David Dahl is resigned to the fact that he won’t be able to contribute this year, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post writes. Dahl hasn’t appeared in a major league game this season, and he hasn’t played in a minor league contest since July 31, thanks to the rib injury he suffered during spring training. Now, Dahl doesn’t expect to swing a bat again until December, according to Saunders. “The thing I really need is rest, to let it heal completely, because every time I would start swinging, I would start feeling it again,” said the 23-year-old Dahl, who excited the Rockies last season with a .315/.359/.500 batting line in a 237-plate appearance rookie campaign.
    • A partial UCL tear in Wei-Yin Chen’s left elbow has kept him from taking the mound since May 1, but he’ll return to the Marlins in the coming days, Tim Healey of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. While Chen will finish 2017 as a reliever, the Marlins expect to slot him back into their rotation next season. After this fall’s World Series, Chen will be able to opt out of the remaining three years and $52MM left on the five-year, $80MM contract he signed with the Fish in January 2016. That’s obviously not going to happen, though, as the ex-Oriole has struggled with injuries and turned in mediocre results during his two years in Miami.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Holland Still Planning To Opt Out At Season's End]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=101659 2017-08-31T17:40:07Z 2017-08-31T16:19:45Z
  • Even with his recent struggles, Rockies closer Greg Holland still plans to decline his $15MM player option at season’s end in order to retest the free agent market. Holland looked unhittable for the season’s first two months before showing some red flags in June and July (as Fangraphs’ Dave Cameron recently pointed out). Those troublesome trends have caught up to Holland in August, as he’s been torched for 14 runs on 14 hits (four homers) and six walks with eight strikeouts in 9 1/3 innings this month.

    [SOURCE LINK]
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Rockies To "Navigate" Ninth Inning For Now]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=101407 2017-08-27T19:32:33Z 2017-08-27T19:32:33Z
  • Rockies manager Bud Black gave slumping closer Greg Holland a vote of confidence earlier this week, but after another rough outing Saturday, his hold on the ninth-inning job seems weaker. Black told reporters, including Thomas Harding of MLB.com, on Sunday that the Rockies will “navigate” the ninth while Holland works to fix his slider and “simplify some things when it comes to basic pitching mechanics.” Holland allowed two earned runs in a third of an inning Saturday, the fifth time in 10 appearances this month that he has yielded multiple ER. His ERA is now up to 4.05 after sitting at 1.56 on Aug. 4, and failing to turn things around over the next several weeks would seemingly increase the likelihood of Holland exercising his $15MM player option for 2018 in the offseason.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Carlos Gonzalez On Rockies' Offseason Extension Offer]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=101393 2017-08-27T17:14:52Z 2017-08-27T17:14:52Z
  • While the Rockies did offer outfielder Carlos Gonzalez a contract extension during the offseason, the reported four-year term is “not true,” according to the player. “They offered me an extension, but it was not a four-year deal,” Gonzalez told Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. “I was looking for something bigger, for more years.” Without knowing the details of the offer, it’s tough to say whether Gonzalez erred to a significant degree in declining it. Regardless, it’s clear his stock has tanked thanks to an uncharacteristically poor year – one likely to be his last in Colorado, Saunders notes. Known for his bat, the 31-year-old CarGo has hit a meek .240/.308/.359 in 432 plate appearances.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Rockies Notes: Holland, Bullpen, CarGo]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=101199 2017-08-25T15:24:20Z 2017-08-25T15:24:20Z Despite Greg Holland’s recent struggles — he’s allowed 12 earned runs in five innings, en route to three blown saves — manager Bud Black intends to keep him in the closer’s role, as Thomas Harding of MLB.com writes. “We wouldn’t be where we are without him, and he’s going through a bit of a tough stretch as far as making pitches,” said Black. The skipper suggests that Holland has been “one strike away” from escaping trouble and sealing down a victory in each of his three blown saves. Holland was indeed utterly dominant for much of the season, though it’s worth wondering if he’s experiencing at least some degree of fatigue in the late stages of his first full season back from Tommy John surgery. Holland has a $15MM player option that seemed like a veritable lock to be rejected a few weeks ago. And while it still seems likely to me that he’ll opt to reenter the open market, the recent struggles at least slightly open the door for a possible change of course.

    A couple more notes on the Rox…

    • Fangraphs’ Dave Cameron takes a more analytical look at Holland’s woes and points out that his struggles are hardly isolated to the month of August. Rather, Holland has actually struggled since June 1, beginning with a dip in velocity and a spike in walks. While he’s since regained some of the velo, Holland’s command within the zone has completely eroded, as he’s left 10 percent of the fastballs he’s thrown this month directly down the heart of the plate (in addition to several other poorly placed pitches). More problematic for the Rockies, Cameron concludes, is that several of their other relievers (e.g. Jake McGee, Adam Ottavino) are also struggling, leaving Black with few palatable options other than hoping that Holland can return to form.
    • The Rockies did indeed offer Carlos Gonzalez a contract extension this spring, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post writes in his latest Rockies Mailbag, but CarGo spurned their offer with free agency just six months away. It now looks as if the Rox dodged a significant bullet, as Gonzalez has batted just .240/.308/.360 and, unfathomably, played at an overall clip that is two wins below replacement level (-2.0 fWAR, -1.7 rWAR). Saunders notes that Gonzalez will quite likely be forced to settle for a short-term deal to rebuild his value this winter — a one-year deal seems quite likely — and he goes on to write that he’s “pretty certain” that CarGo will be signing elsewhere in free agency. Saunders’ column is full of Rockies topics, ranging from playoff odds to some promising young players that have had disappointing 2017 campaigns, so Rox fans will want to check it out in full.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Desmond Beginning Rehab Assignment, Could Play SS Upon Return]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=101144 2017-08-24T14:07:08Z 2017-08-24T14:00:06Z
  • Rockies infielder Ian Desmond will begin a minor league rehab assignment today, writes Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. He’ll likely play four games before being activated from the disabled list on Monday (assuming all goes well), but more interesting than that is the fact that Saunders adds that Desmond could play shortstop upon his return from the DL. Desmond had a “high-intensity” workout on Wednesday that included taking grounders and performing fielding drills at his natural position. Manager Bud Black didn’t commit to the notion that Desmond would oust the struggling Trevor Story at short, but Saunders notes that Desmond could see time at first base, shortstop and in left field upon returning.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Rangers Acquire Pedro Gonzalez To Complete Jonathan Lucroy Trade]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=101120 2017-08-24T00:23:53Z 2017-08-24T00:17:52Z The Rangers announced that they’ve acquired minor league outfielder Pedro Gonzalez from the Rockies as the player to be named later in the trade that sent Jonathan Lucroy to Colorado.

    Gonzalez, 19, ranked as the Rockies’ No. 14 prospect per Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com. Fangraphs’ Eric Longenhagen rated him as highly as fourth among Colorado farmhands on his updated summer ranking of Rockies prospects.

    Callis and Mayo note that Gonzalez has the type of power that scouts can dream on, noting that he has “considerable” bat speed and has grown three inches and added 15 pounds of muscle since signing as a 16-year-old. Longenhagen calls his upside “immense,” though he notes that strikeouts are an issue for the shortstop-turned-outfielder. MLB.com’s report notes that while he has the present range for center field thanks to improved speed, he could be destined to play a corner in the bigs.

    Through 209 plate appearances, Gonzalez is batting an excellent .321/.388/.519 with three homers, 16 doubles and six triples against older competition. He’s swiped 11 bases in 17 tries on the season as well. He’ll report to the team’s short-season Class-A affiliate in the Northwest League, per the Rangers’ announcement.

    Gonzalez looks to be a nice add to the Rangers’ farm system, even if he’s a ways from the Majors and obviously won’t eliminate the sting of surrendering Lewis Brinson, Luis Ortiz and Ryan Cordell to acquire Lucroy and Jeremy Jeffress in the first place.

    As for the Rockies, they have to be rather pleased with the way the trade has played out to date, as through his first 16 games in Colorado, Lucroy has slashed a resurgent .313/.443/.458. He’s yet to connect on his first Rockies homer, but he’s chipped in five doubles and a triple since joining his new club.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Greg Holland On Recent Struggles]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=100944 2017-08-23T13:49:20Z 2017-08-22T16:45:42Z
  • Struggling Rockies closer Greg Holland says he’s just not throwing enough “quality pitches,” as Nick Groke of the Denver Post writes. Manager Bud Black suggested there’s no cause for broader concern, while Holland noted that he has “been getting beat with mistakes in the middle of the plate.” The veteran righty was carrying a 1.56 ERA entering play on August 6th, but that number has more than doubled over his last five appearances. Assuming he can figure things out, Holland figures to be a key part of the Rockies’ hopeful run to and through October — and quite an interesting free agent to watch once the season ends.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Jonathan Lucroy Discusses Impending Free Agency]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=100788 2017-08-20T17:01:04Z 2017-08-20T17:01:04Z
  • Set to become a free agent in the offseason, Rockies catcher Jonathan Lucroy explained to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com what an ideal situation for him would look like going forward.  “I’m hoping to be somewhere where I can contribute on an everyday basis and help the team win, where I can go out and be depended on to do the job,” Lucroy said. “That’s what I’m looking for. Whether that is here [with the Rockies] or somewhere else, I don’t know what’s going to happen with all that. I do love it here, though. I like it a lot. It’s a great place.” Lucroy, whom the Rockies acquired from the Rangers last month, posted a meager .635 OPS in 306 plate appearances with Texas this year but has hit a much-improved .333/.473/.452 in 51 PAs with his new club. The onetime pitch-framing demigod’s newfound struggles in that department have continued with the Rockies, however, according to Baseball Prospectus.
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    Charlie Wilmoth <![CDATA[Rockies Option Jeff Hoffman]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=100705 2017-08-19T17:18:17Z 2017-08-19T17:18:17Z
  • The Rockies have announced that they’ve optioned righty Jeff Hoffman and third baseman Ryan McMahon to Triple-A Albuquerque. Taking their places on the active roster are righty Scott Oberg and outfielder Mike Tauchman. The Rockies say they’re optioning Hoffman in order to give him a bit of rest, as MLB.com’s Max Gelman notes. Hoffman has struggled in the second half, with a 7.13 ERA and just 5.9 K/9, and his velocity has been inconsistent of late. “That’s a sign to us. ’Hey, is your arm fine?’” says pitching coach Steve Foster. “’Yeah, I feel great. I’m healthy.’ OK, well then let’s give you a little break.”
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Athletics Acquire Sam Moll]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=100474 2017-08-16T20:05:48Z 2017-08-16T17:02:27Z The Athletics have acquired lefty Sam Moll from the Rockies, per an announcement from the Colorado organization. Cash considerations or a player to be named later will make up the return for Moll, who had been designated for assignment recently.

    Moll, a 2013 third-rounder, showed enough to earn a 40-man spot but had yet to receive a major league promotion. He carries a 4.18 ERA over 47 1/3 innings on the year at Triple-A, with 7.4 K/9 against 3.4 BB/9 along with a healthy 50.3% groundball rate.

    Those numbers don’t tell the full story on Moll, who was generally regarded as one of the organization’s top thirty or better prospects entering the season. He brings mid-nineties heat from the left side with a slider and even a change that can be effective at times.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[NL Notes: Bettis, Granderson, Familia, Baker, Roberts, Davis]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=100344 2017-08-15T03:47:08Z 2017-08-15T03:47:08Z Rockies right-hander Chad Bettis made his return to the major league hill tonight after a long road back following treatment for testicular cancer. To call it a success would be an understatement: Bettis, 28, scattered six hits over seven scoreless frames. MLBTR congratulates him on an inspiring return to the game’s highest level of competition.

    Here’s more from the National League:

    • While there has been at least some chatter surrounding the idea that the Nationals could have interest in Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson, that’s not the case, per Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post (via Twitter). While the Nats’ original starting outfield trio is shelved on the DL, it seems the organization feels good enough about the health outlook to forego pursuit of a player such as Granderson. The hope remains that both Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth will be able to return in time to gear up for the postseason, with a variety of other players — including Brian Goodwin, Michael Taylor, and just-acquired veteran Howie Kendrick — slated to cover for the longstanding absence of Adam Eaton, who is not expected to play again this year.
    • Mets closer Jeurys Familia is set to begin a rehab assignment tomorrow, as James Wagner of the New York Times reports on Twitter. Familia will open in the Gulf Coast League as he begins to move back toward the majors following surgery for a blood clot in his shoulder. It’s obviously too late for his return to impact the Mets’ long-lost hopes of contending, but the 27-year-old will still presumably be aiming to get some work in late this year to set the stage for a rebound in 2018. The coming campaign will be his final year of arbitration control; with only 9 1/3 innings on his ledger to date in 2017, Familia will likely only be able to earn a relatively modest raise on his $7.425MM salary.
    • While the Nationals and Dodgers hold the two best records in the National League, each team’s manager — Dusty Baker and Dave Roberts, respectively — currently lack long-term job security. In Baker’s case, per Janes, it seems unlikely that his future will be addressed until after the season (when his contract will expire), though it seems the general expectation in the organization remains that something will be worked out. There’s a similar tone with regard to Roberts, as Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times writes. Roberts says he’s not thinking about a new deal in the middle of the year, but did say he hopes to continue his “dream job” beyond his current term (the three-year deal runs through 2018 and includes a club option for one more season).
    • Shaikin also takes a look in at the interesting transition to the mound currently being attempted by Ike Davis and the Dodgers. The former Mets first baseman — and one-time Arizona State closer — has already earned plaudits for his outstanding attitude in heading down to Rookie ball, and there are some reasons to think he could have a new future in the game at thirty years of age. “The early reviews have been really good,” said Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[2017 Opt-Out Clause Update]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=100314 2017-08-14T20:55:49Z 2017-08-14T19:41:13Z The last look we took at the handful of players with opt-out clauses following the 2017 season was more than a month ago, and a few of their situations may have changed since that early July check-in. Here’s an update on this group of potential free agents…

    [Related: MLBTR Free Agent Power Rankings: August Edition]

    Trending Up

    • Justin Upton, Tigers ($88.5MM from 2018-21): There have been plenty of suggestions that there’s no way Upton will walk away from that contract, but we’re not really sold on that notion. Upton was terrible in his first three months with the Tigers but is hitting .274/.352/.542 (137 wRC+) with 45 homers dating back to July 1, 2016. Over the past calendar year, he’s hitting .281/.366/.571 (148 wRC+) with 40 homers in 631 PAs. He’s been seven to nine runs above average in left field, per UZR and DRS, as well. Upton will play next year at the age of 30 and needs only to feel he can top Hanley Ramirez’s guarantee to opt out. Beyond that, he may simply like the idea of moving to a team that isn’t openly trying to pare back its payroll and retool for the future.
    • Masahiro Tanaka, Yankees ($67MM from 2018-20): Tanaka’s home-run woes are an unequivocally troubling issue, but his numbers since the summer began are encouraging. Since May 26, Tanaka has a 3.99 ERA with 10.7 K/9, 1.9 BB/9 and a 47.6 percent ground-ball rate — good for a 3.12 xFIP and a 3.17 SIERA. The numbers are even better if you look at his past nine starts (3.00 ERA, 65 K, 12 BB, 57 innings). The health concerns are well known. Tanaka had a partial UCL tear in his rookie season but was able to avoid Tommy John, and he’s currently on the DL with what is reportedly some minor shoulder fatigue. The righty has averaged 2.2 HR/9 this year, but he’s also going to be just 29 years old next year. An opt-out looked highly unlikely two months ago but now looks entirely plausible, as long as this latest DL trip proves minor.
    • Welington Castillo, Orioles ($7MM player option): Since last check, Castillo has absolutely raked. He’s batted .308/.345/.500 with four homers and three doubles in his past 84 PAs, and his overall batting line it up to .283/.319/.457 (103 wRC+). Castillo’s framing marks have improved from some of the worst in the league to roughly average (per Baseball Prospectus), and he’s halted an incredible 46 percent of stolen-base attempts against him in 2017. He should be able to top a one-year, $7MM deal with ease this winter.

    Trending Down

    • Greg Holland, Rockies ($15MM player option): Since our last check, Holland has reminded everyone that he is indeed mortal. In his past 11 2/3 frames, he’s coughed up eight runs on a dozen hits and six walks with 14 strikeouts. Six of those runs have come in his past two outings, but as long as that proves to be a blip on the radar, Holland still seems a safe bet to opt out. If he significantly fades in his first year back from Tommy John or lands on the disabled list, though, there’s at least a chance that he takes the option. Assuming he remains healthy, though, Holland will likely look to top Mark Melancon’s four-year, $62MM deal this winter.
    • Johnny Cueto, Giants ($84MM from 2018-21): It’s been almost a month since Cueto last set foot on a Major League mound, as he’s been sidelined with a forearm issue that has significantly clouded his chances of opting out. Reports earlier in the summer suggested that a slow start wasn’t going to deter Cueto from opting out, but a month-long injury scare and an ERA in the upper-4.00s certainly might. Cueto, 32 in February, has a 4.59 ERA with 8.0 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 and the second worst ground-ball rate of his career (39.2 percent). FIP, xFIP and SIERA all peg him at 4.41 or worse.

    Unchanged Since Last Check

    • Matt Wieters, Nationals ($10.5MM player option): Wieters wasn’t hitting in early July, and he’s hitting even less now. His defensive reputation limited him to a two-year, $21MM deal with a player option after year one on the 2016-17 open market, and that was coming off a much better offensive season. Wieters seems extremely likely to take the $10.5MM in 2018.
    • Ian Kennedy, Royals ($49MM from 2018-20): Kennedy’s results have improved slightly since the last opt-out update, but it’s hardly enough to make it likely that he’ll opt out of that significant guarantee. Through 120 innings in 2017, Kennedy has averaged 1.65 HR/9, tying a career-worst mark, while both his strikeout and walk rates have gone the wrong direction. He’s also missed a couple of weeks with a hamstring injury, and he’ll turn 33 this December.
    • Wei-Yin Chen, Marlins ($52MM from 2018-20): No change here. Chen has scarcely been able to pitch in 2017 due to a reported partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament. He’s reportedly still aiming for a late comeback, but that won’t be enough to give him the earning power to top his remaining guarantee.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Nolan Arenado Suffers Hand Injury]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=100224 2017-08-13T20:33:53Z 2017-08-13T20:32:20Z 3:32pm: Good news for the Rockies: X-rays came back negative on Arenado, who has a left hand contusion, tweets Saunders.

    2:34pm: Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado left the team’s game Sunday in Miami in “considerable pain” after taking a pitch off the left hand from Marlins starter Vance Worley, according to Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. The extent of the injury is unknown at the moment, but it’s the second scare in as many days involving a National League superstar. Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper suffered a knee injury on Saturday, leading to a placement on the disabled list, though there’s hope that he’ll be back within a few weeks.

    Arenado, like Harper, is an indispensable member of his team. He’s also the face of a Colorado club that owns a 65-51 record, giving it a 4.5-game lead on a wild-card spot. The Rockies appear bound for the playoffs for the first time since 2009, which is thanks in no small part to Arenado. The 26-year-old has been among the majors’ top players since his breakout campaign, 2014, and has continued his standout play this season. Thus far, Arenado has batted a robust .311/.361/.585 with 26 home runs and a major league-best 100 runs batted in across 497 plate appearances. He’s again delivering incredible value at the hot corner, too, with 17 defensive runs saved and a 6.5 Ultimate Zone Rating. Arenado’s two-way excellence has led to a 3.9 fWAR, which ranks 11th among NL position players.

    After Arenado exited Sunday, the Rockies brought shortstop Trevor Story off the bench to take his place. Third base options on their roster include the just-promoted Ryan McMahon, Pat Valaika and Alexi Amarista.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Rockies Sign Ryan Howard To Minors Deal]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=100095 2017-08-12T22:23:42Z 2017-08-12T21:51:13Z The Rockies announced that they have agreed to a minor league contract with first baseman Ryan Howard.

    This is the second time this year the longtime Phillie has taken a minors pact. Howard signed one with the Braves back in April, but the 37-year-old only lasted about a month with the organization. After Howard batted just .184/.238/.263 in 42 plate appearances with the Braves’ Triple-A affiliate, they released him.

    At his best, Howard was an NL MVP-winning slugger in Philadelphia, where he belted 382 home runs from 2004-16 and swatted between 31 and 58 HRs in each season from 2006-11. But Howard declined markedly as his Phillies career progressed and posted a personal-worst season in 2016, making it difficult for him to find work since.

    Howard still possesses enough power to make him a somewhat interesting fit for Colorado’s Coors Field, but he’s certainly not a lock to ever play a game for the Rockies. The playoff hopefuls have gotten solid production at first this year from Mark Reynolds, and they just promoted big-hitting prospect Ryan McMahon on Friday. Nevertheless, with Sept. 1 roster expansion forthcoming, Howard will hope to make his way back to the majors during the season’s final weeks.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Rockies Promote Ryan McMahon]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=99976 2017-08-11T19:50:08Z 2017-08-11T19:29:09Z The Rockies announced that they’ve promoted infield prospect Ryan McMahon to the majors. In corresponding moves, the team optioned outfielder Raimel Tapia to Triple-A and designated left-hander Sam Moll for assignment.

    Ryan McMahon

    Colorado chose to select McMahon’s contract because of first baseman Mark Reynolds’ left hand injury, tweets Nick Groke of the Denver Post. McMahon’s primary position has been third base since the Rockies used a second-round pick on him in 2013, but the 22-year-old has seen plenty of action at first in recent seasons with Nolan Arenado holding down the hot corner in the majors.

    The lefty-swinging McMahon is the sport’s 64th-best prospect, according to MLB.com, while Baseball America has him at No. 91. MLB.com’s scouting report credits McMahon’s natural power, but the outlet notes that there are questions as to whether he can handle good pitching. McMahon has held his own offensively this year at Triple-A Albuquerque, though, with a .375/.409/.625 line in 269 plate appearances, to go with a .250 ISO and 13 home runs. His output has been a whopping 61 percent better than the Pacific Coast League average, per FanGraphs’ wRC+ metric.

    Moll, 25, joined the Colorado organization back in 2013 as a third-rounder. He hasn’t yet reached the majors, and has posted so-so Triple-A results in a tough league for pitchers over the past couple years. Moll threw 47 1/3 Triple-A frames of 4.94 ERA ball in 2016 and has amassed the same amount of innings this season. Thus far, he has logged a 4.18 ERA with 7.42 K/9, 3.42 BB/9 and a 50.3 percent ground-ball rate.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Chatwood Moved To Bullpen]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=99680 2017-08-07T19:02:25Z 2017-08-07T19:02:25Z The Rockies announced yesterday that they’ve moved right-hander Tyler Chatwood to the bullpen, clearing way for rookie Antonio Senzatela to rejoin the starting rotation, as Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post writes. That’s a disappointing development for the 27-year-old Chatwood, who is slated to become a free agent for the first time following the 2017 season. The results for Chatwood haven’t been there in 2017, though, as he’s averaged 7.2 K/9, 5.0 BB/9 and 1.36 HR/9 en route to a 5.11 ERA through 112 2/3 innings. Chatwood does have a rather gaudy 57.4 percent ground-ball rate, though, and he’s pitched well away from Coors Field in each of the past two seasons. Both elements could help him look a bit more favorable on this winter’s open market, as will the fact that he’s rather young for a free-agent starter. Chatwood, as Saunders notes, voiced that his clear preference is to pitch as a starter, though he also stated that he’ll pitch in whatever role the Rox feel is best as the team looks to land an NL Wild Card spot.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Rockies Made Four-Year Offer To Carlos Gonzalez In Spring]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=99630 2017-08-07T00:18:42Z 2017-08-07T00:18:42Z The Rockies offered Carlos Gonzalez a new four-year deal during extension talks last spring, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports.  The two sides explored an extension for the long-time Colorado outfielder during the offseason, though talks never seemed to get too far — this four-year proposal is the only known offer exchanged, apart from some “initial suggestions” from Rockies management that were rejected out of hand by Gonzalez’s representatives in early December.  Gonzalez said that he and the team hadn’t engaged in serious talks as of last February 22, and negotiations were reportedly “on hold” as of early March.  The dollar value of the offer isn’t known (Nightengale describes it as “lucrative”), though the fact that Colorado was willing to offer four years to a player who will be 32 next Opening Day is in itself significant, especially since the Rockies have several other interesting outfielders on their big league roster and in the minors.  The lack of an extension looms large for Gonzalez in the wake of his disappointing 2017 season — he has suffered through two DL stints and is batting a career-worst .228/.299/.345 over 365 plate appearances.

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    Charlie Wilmoth <![CDATA[Rockies Reinstate Chad Bettis, Place Kyle Freeland On 10-Day DL]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=99541 2017-08-05T20:21:10Z 2017-08-05T20:21:10Z The Rockies have announced that they’ve reinstated righty Chad Bettis from the 60-day disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A. They’ve also placed lefty Kyle Freeland on the 10-day DL with a groin strain. In addition, they’ve recalled righties Shane Carle and Carlos Estevez and optioned Scott Oberg to Triple-A Albuquerque.

    Bettis’ return to official minor-league duty, as well as his impending return to the Majors, is terrific news not only for the Rockies and their fans but for baseball as a whole. The righty had surgery for testicular cancer in the offseason, then began chemotherapy a few months later once it turned out the cancer had spread. He finished chemo in mid-May and returned to the Rockies in early June. He’s since had five rehab appearances, and he’s expected to return to the big-league rotation next week. Bettis posted a 4.79 ERA, 6.7 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 over 186 innings in the big leagues last year.

    Freeland left yesterday’s start against Philadelphia after just nine pitches. The 2014 eighth overall pick been one of the keys to the Rockies’ surprising success this season, posting a 3.70 ERA, 5.7 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 121 2/3 innings in what’s been a strong rookie year.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Athletics Claim Dustin Garneau From Rockies]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=99457 2017-08-04T19:30:33Z 2017-08-04T19:07:35Z The Athletics announced on Friday that they’ve claimed catcher Dustin Garneau off waivers from the Rockies. Oakland already had a spot open on its 40-man roster, so no corresponding move is necessary.

    With Jonathan Lucroy now in Colorado following last Sunday’s trade, in addition to fellow catchers Tony Wolters and Tom Murphy, Garneau became a somewhat expendable piece for the Rox. The A’s, however, aren’t as well-stocked in terms of catching depth, with Bruce Maxwell, Josh Phegley (currently on the disabled list with an oblique strain) and Ryan Lavarnway currently representing their top options.

    Garneau, who’ll soon turn 30, has seen limited MLB action in each of the past three seasons — 76, 75, and then 74 plate appearances in each successive campaign. He owns a subpar .199/.259/.335 slash with four home runs in that span.

    That said, there could be more in the tank. Garneau has thrived over the past two years at Triple-A Albuquerque. Though it’s a noted hitter’s paradise, his numbers there stand out: through 355 plate appearances, he has knocked 25 long balls and a .962 OPS.

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    Jason Martinez <![CDATA[Knocking Down The Door: Honeywell, Kemp, Lopez, McMahon, Smith]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=96419 2017-08-03T01:39:12Z 2017-08-02T15:00:18Z “Knocking Down the Door” is a regular feature that identifies minor leaguers who are making a case for a big league promotion.

    Brent Honeywell, SP, Tampa Bay Rays (Triple-A Durham) | Rays Depth Chart

    While the Rays were busy adding first baseman Lucas Duda and a trio of relief pitchers prior to the non-waiver trade deadline, they didn’t make the splash that they were probably capable of making based on the depth and quality of their prospect talent. The team’s likely unwillingness to include the 22-year-old Honeywell in a deal is probably among the top reasons.

    Not only is Honeywell one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, there’s also a chance that he can help the Rays down the stretch in the same way that rookie David Price did in 2008 when he pitched 14 innings in September and another 5 2/3 frames in the playoffs for the AL Champs. Since being named the Futures Game MVP, the right-hander has continued to look more and more comfortable in Triple-A, allowing only three runs and 12 hits over his past 16 innings while striking out 22.

    Tony Kemp, OF/2B, Houston Astros (Triple-A Fresno) | Astros Depth Chart

    The window could close quickly depending on how quickly George Springer returns from the disabled list, but the recent trade of Nori Aoki could allow the Astros to give Kemp a rare chance for semi-regular playing time in the big leagues.

    Kemp is doing his best Jose Altuve impersonation down in Triple-A, and it’s not just because he’s a 5’6″ second baseman. The 25-year-old is slashing .324/.376/.465 with 19 stolen bases, 31 walks and 32 strikeouts in 90 games. His ability to play left field—he started 24 games there for the Astros in 2016—and left-handed bat should give him plenty of value on the Astros’ roster down the road, even if he’s destined to be a bench player. But it’s probably a good time to find out if he can be more than that.

    Reynaldo Lopez, SP, Chicago White Sox (Triple-A Charlotte) | White Sox Depth Chart

    Somewhat surprisingly, the White Sox did not trade free agents-to-be Miguel Gonzalez and Derek Holland prior to the deadline, which would’ve cleared a path to the big league rotation for Lopez — one of several elite prospects that the team has acquired since the offseason.

    The 23-year-old Lopez, who came to the ChiSox in the Adam Eaton trade, could be forcing the team’s hand anyhow, though. In his past six starts, he has a 1.97 ERA with 26 hits allowed, eight walks and 49 strikeouts over 36 2/3 innings. He hasn’t allowed more than two runs over that span and has three 10+ strikeout games. It will be a surprise if he makes more than two more starts in Triple-A.

    Ryan McMahon, INF, Colorado Rockies (Triple-A Albuquerque) | Rockies Depth Chart

    USATSI_9701237_154513410_lowres

    Mark Reynolds has been productive enough in 2017 that a less-than-stellar month of July (.229/.319/.410) won’t cause him to lose his starting job, especially to a rookie with zero Major League at-bats. But it’s getting to the point in the season where it makes sense for the Rockies to at least give the 22-year-old McMahon, the No. 1 ranked player in Roster Resource’s MiLB Power Rankings, some occasional starts at first base while utilizing him occasionally at other spots on the diamond.

    McMahon, who has played a good amount of games at first base, second base and third base this season, is 19 for his last 34 to push his Triple-A batting average to .396 (86-for-217). Overall, he’s slashing .364/.406/.598 between Double-A and Triple-A with 36 doubles and 17 homers. It’s safe to say that he has very little left to prove in the minors.

    Dominic Smith, 1B, New York Mets (Triple-A Las Vegas) | Mets Depth Chart

    Despite hitting only 10 homers in the low minors over his first three professional seasons, Smith was a highly-touted prospect who many experts believed would develop power at some point. They were right. And it didn’t really take that long. Since reaching the upper minors as a 20-year-old in 2016, the left-handed hitting first baseman has 30 homers and 62 doubles while hitting over .300 and maintaining a disciplined approach at the plate.

    Even after trading Duda, the Mets are holding off on calling up the 22-year-old Smith for some reason. That’s difficult to do after he slashed .385/.437/.725 in July, but this is the organization that called up Amed Rosario, arguably, two months after he was making it clear that he was ready for the Major Leagues. GM Sandy Alderson has suggested that they won’t wait much longer on Smith, though. He should settle in as the team’s first baseman before the end of the month.

    Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Rockies Release Domonic Brown]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=99248 2017-08-01T03:48:50Z 2017-08-01T03:48:50Z
  • Also from Eddy, the Rockies released outfielder Domonic Brown.  Colorado signed Brown to a minors contract in the offseason.  Once considered one of baseball’s top prospects when coming up in the Phillies system, Brown was an All-Star in what looked like a breakout season in 2013, though badly struggled in his next two seasons and hasn’t since returned to the big leagues.  Brown did hit a decent .304/.327/.449 over 171 PA at the Triple-A level this season, though in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Brandon Kintzler Trade Rumors: Deadline Day]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=98952 2017-07-31T18:53:27Z 2017-07-31T18:53:11Z When the Twins decided to change course and begin selling assets, righty Brandon Kintzler immediately became the club’s most obvious trade chip. He’s a pending free agent with an affordable salary and sterling track record over the past two seasons. While contenders won’t likely be targeting him as a closer, he has succeeded in that role over the past two seasons in Minnesota.

    Here’s the latest chatter on his still-developing market:

    • The Twins appear to be nearing a trade involving Kintzler, though it’s not yet apparent where he’s headed, according to a tweet from ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick.
    • Also still involved on Kintzler are the Diamondbacks, per LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune (Twitter link).
    • The Nationals are indeed “in touch” on Kintzler today, tweets Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post, with MLB.com’s Jon Morosi characterizing things similarly on Twitter by citing “ongoing discussions” between the teams.
    • Discussions are likely to go right up until the deadline at 4pm EST today, per Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (via Twitter). The Nationals and Rockies are among the teams that have checked in on Kintzler, he notes. Likewise, the Rays have shown at least some interest, per 1500 ESPN’s Darren Wolfson (via Twitter).
    • With the Red Sox landing Addison Reed, that may have taken one suitor out of the running. But it also perhaps teed up Kintzler as the next-most-appealing righty rental reliever. As MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand suggests on Twitter, the volume of traffic on Kintzler now has the Twins believing he’ll be dealt today.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Rockies Acquire Jonathan Lucroy]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=98836 2017-07-31T04:09:12Z 2017-07-31T02:27:45Z The Rockies have officially struck a deal to acquire Rangers catcher Jonathan Lucroy, as Ken Rosenthal of MLB Network first reported (via Twitter). A player to be named later is going to Texas in return, per ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick (via Twitter). (Note: the PTBNL cannot be a 2017 draft pick.)

    [RELATED: Updated Rockies Depth Chart]

    Lucroy, 31, was connected to the Rockies earlier today. The veteran receiver will help bolster a catching situation that has been less-than-ideal all year long. While Tom Murphy was expected to play a major role, he missed an extended stretch due to injury and was optioned after struggling upon his return. Tony Wolters has been over-extended as a regular, and neither Ryan Hanigan nor Dustin Garneau has shown much during their time in the majors this year.

    Jul 25, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers catcher Jonathan Lucroy (25) in action during the game against the Miami Marlins at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Rangers defeat the Marlins 10-4. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

    Colorado will hope that Lucroy provides a steadying presence, both in the field and at the plate. He’s earning just $5.25MM on the year — just over $1.8MM of which remains — before reaching the open market at season’s end, so his acquisition won’t make a major dent in the club’s payroll.

    But for this move to succeed, Lucroy will need to engineer a turnaround. Through his 306 plate appearances this year, the veteran is hitting just .242/.297/.338 with four home runs. And the questions aren’t limited to the offensive side of the equation. Once the poster boy for pitch framing, Lucroy has rated as perhaps the worst framer in baseball in 2017.

    That output falls far shy of his typical work. From the start of his breakout 2012 season through the end of the 2016 campaign, Lucroy ran up a .291/.353/.465 slash line — numbers more commonly seen from quality corner outfielders than backstops. He also developed a reputation as a top-tier defensive catcher, driven especially by his outstanding abilities in the then-underappreciated art of pitch framing.

    Whether the veteran can bounce back will surely be interesting to see. He has struck out in just 10.5% of his plate appearances this year, though he’s also walking at a lesser rate (6.2%) than usual. He has surely been a bit unfortunate with a .259 BABIP, though that hardly explains the massive power drop-off (from a career .153 isolated slugging to a current .096 mark). And it is concerning that Lucroy is making far less hard contact (22.3%) and putting the ball on the ground far more (56.2%) than he has typically. With respect to the framing downturn, it’s anyone’s guess whether he can return to his prior levels, though perhaps there’s reason to think that Lucroy will excel regardless in the-less quantifiable aspects of his craft behind the dish.

    For the Rangers, meanwhile, the move perhaps begins what could be quite a busy stretch. The club has been rumored to be preparing to move star righty Yu Darvish, and will surely be listening to offers on a variety of other players. Relievers Keone Kela and Jeremy Jeffress are said to be available, while pending free agent hitters Carlos Gomez and Mike Napoli likely are as well.

    It’s disappointing, surely, for the Rangers to be overseeing a sell-off in the midst of a season that started with lofty expectations. But the club is also undoubtedly right not to double down on a roster that had too many questions. That said, with numerous core pieces under contract for the foreseeable future, the expectation remains that the Rangers will be focused on moving pending free agents while reloading for another run in 2018.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Rockies, Rangers Discussing Jonathan Lucroy Trade]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=98757 2017-07-30T16:41:34Z 2017-07-30T16:40:42Z 11:40am: The two sides are still talking about a deal, but there’s “not enough headway” to complete the trade at this time, tweets MLB.com’s Thomas Harding.

    9:11am: The Rockies appear to be in talks with the Rangers about a trade that would send catcher Jonathan Lucroy to Colorado, as Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram tweets that “Lucroy to Rockies has legs.” MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan tweets that he, too, hears there’s a possibility that the Rockies will add Lucroy.

    Sullivan reported last week that the Rockies had expressed interest in Lucroy, and reports since Colorado picked up Pat Neshek from the Phillies have indicated that acquiring a catcher remains a focus for the team.

    Lucroy, 31, is in the midst of the worst offensive season of his career, hitting just .242/.297/.338 with four homers through 306 plate appearances. Those struggles, however, come on the heels of a brilliant .292/.355/.500 slash and a career-high 24 homers in 2016. Lucroy has caught 30 percent of those that have attempted to steal against him, but he’s also seen his once-vaunted framing numbers deteriorate to the point that Baseball Prospectus ranks him as one of the league’s worst pitch framers. He’s earning a highly affordable $5.25MM salary this season, with about $1.84MM of that sum still owed to him through season’s end.

    Rockies catchers have batted a combined .233/.313/.307 this season, as Tony Wolters has struggled at the dish while serving as the team’s primary catcher. Ryan Hanigan, Dustin Garneau and Tom Murphy have all seen time behind the plate as well, though none of that trio has been effective.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Rockies Interested In A.J. Ellis]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=98672 2017-07-30T00:05:32Z 2017-07-30T00:05:32Z While a Gordon trade before Monday’s deadline may not be in the offing, it seems Marlins reserve catcher A.J. Ellis will switch uniforms. Along with the previously reported Cubs, the Rockies are in on the 36-year-old, tweets Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. With a .233/.314/.411 batting line, Rockies catchers have posted the worst wRC+ (45) in the majors this season. They’re looking for help behind the plate as a result, but Ellis hasn’t been a whole lot better than their choices with the bat (.232/.300/.341 in 91 PAs). Defensively, Ellis has had a rough pitch-framing season, per StatCorner, though he has outdone Rockies starter Tony Wolters in that regard. It seems the right-handed-hitting Ellis and the lefty-swinging Wolters would form a platoon.

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    Charlie Wilmoth <![CDATA[Rockies Designate Jordan Lyles For Assignment]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=98638 2017-07-29T19:09:49Z 2017-07-29T19:01:39Z The Rockies have designated righty Jordan Lyles for assignment, MLB.com’s Thomas Harding tweets. They also reinstated closer Greg Holland from the paternity list, recalled outfielder Raimel Tapia and optioned righty Carlos Estevez to Triple-A Albuquerque.

    [Related: Updated Colorado Rockies Depth Chart]

    The 26-year-old Lyles struggled in 46 2/3 innings of relief for the Rockies this season, posting a 6.94 ERA, 6.4 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9. Lyles was a first-round pick of the Astros in 2008 and made it to the big leagues as a 20-year-old starter in 2011. He didn’t make much progress in parts of three seasons with the Astros, though, and headed to the Rockies after the 2013 season as part of the Dexter Fowler deal. Lyles had a modestly successful first season in Colorado but has headed backwards since then, ultimately landing in a bullpen role. Lyles has seen his velocity increase in recent seasons, with an average fastball of 94.3 MPH this year, and his youth, ample big-league experience and ability to start could interest rival clubs.

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    Charlie Wilmoth <![CDATA[Rockies Interested In Dan Straily]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=98605 2017-07-29T15:30:29Z 2017-07-29T15:21:00Z
  • The BrewersRoyalsRockies and Yankees all have interest in Marlins starter Dan Straily, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald writes (Twitter links). Yesterday, a report indicated that the Marlins had “taken [Straily] off the market,” although, as MLBTR’s Steve Adams noted, it would have been surprising if Straily truly were completely unavailable when the Marlins were reportedly recently initiating contact with other teams about him. At last check, the Marlins were hoping to land a terrific trade package for Straily, who’s in his second straight year as a productive starter, with a 3.84 ERA, 8.2 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 over 117 1/3 innings. He also has three years of control remaining after this one, potentially making him an interesting addition for a team like the Brewers or Yankees that has an eye on the future as well as the present.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Rockies Looking At Starters]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=98396 2017-07-28T03:32:39Z 2017-07-28T02:12:42Z
  • Starting pitching remains a target area for the Rockies after picking up Pat Neshek in a trade, and Colorado even considered Darvish as an option, though the Rockies are unsurprisingly on Darvish’s no-trade list. (That’s not a knock on the Rockies by any means, but I’d imagine that most pitchers, if given the opportunity, would want to safeguard themselves from being traded to pitch at Coors Field.)
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Justin Wilson Trade Rumors: Thursday]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=98350 2017-07-28T16:25:41Z 2017-07-27T22:38:48Z Justin Wilson has been among the most talked-about assets on the trade market, and the sheer volume of updates on the expansive market for his services is enough to warrant its own dedicated post with the deadline looming. Here’s the latest on the Tigers southpaw, who currently boasts a 2.75 ERA with 12.6 K/9, 3.7 BB/9 and a 36.1 percent ground-ball rate…

    • It seems the list of possible suitors isn’t getting any shorter just yet. To the contrary, the Indians have also asked about Wilson’s price tag, according to ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick (via Twitter). Cleveland is down a lefty after losing Boone Logan.

    Earlier Updates

    • The Yankees have joined the pursuit of Tigers lefty Justin Wilson, reports Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press. It was New York that traded Wilson to the Tigers in the first place (for righties Chad Green and Luis Cessa), and while the Yanks have already beefed up their ’pen with the additions of David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle, they appear further interested in adding a shutdown lefty. The Tigers, though, are aiming extremely high in talks for Wilson, with Fenech suggesting that they’re seeking an Aroldis Chapman -esque return for Wilson. While the 29-year-old Wilson is earning a bargain $2.7MM salary and can be controlled through 2018 via arbitration, that’s still a sky-high ask. The Cubs sent Gleyber Torres, Billy McKinney, Adam Warren and Rashad Crawford to New York in exchange for Chapman last summer.
    • The Astros could be the most focused team on Tigers southpaw Justin Wilson, reports ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick (via Twitter). Wilson has leapfrogged Orioles closer Zach Britton on the Astros’ list of targets, though all indications are that the ask on Wilson is extremely high. Houston is hardly alone in its pursuit of Wilson and has yet to definitively separate itself from the pack, however, per Crasnick (Twitter links). There are at least six teams still in on Wilson, with the Nationals “strongly” in the mix. Lastly, Crasnick tweets that the odds of a package deal sending Wilson and Justin Verlander to a team “are not good” due to the complex nature of such negotiations.
    • FanRag’s Jon Heyman writes that the Brewers, Astros and Red Sox were recently considered to be the leaders in the Wilson sweepstakes, though others are in on him as well. Heyman lists the Cubs, Rockies, D-backs, Dodgers and Nationals as other potential landing spots in a trade.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Rockies Acquire Pat Neshek]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=98278 2017-07-27T04:15:10Z 2017-07-27T02:45:22Z The Rockies announced that they’ve acquired right-hander Pat Neshek from the Phillies in exchange for minor league infielder Jose Gomez and minor league right-handers J.D. Hammer and Alejandro Requena. Lefty Tyler Anderson has been moved to the 60-day DL to clear a roster spot.

    [Related: Updated Colorado Rockies depth chart and Philadelphia Phillies depth chart]

    Pat Neshek | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

    Neshek, 37 in September, has proven to be a strong offseason pickup for the Phillies, who effectively acquired the side-armer and his $6.5MM contract in a salary dump. Through 40 1/3 innings out of the Philadelphia bullpen, Neshek has averaged 10.0 K/9 and 1.1 BB/9 with a 37 percent ground-ball rate en route to a pristine 1.12 ERA. Neshek’s 13.6 percent swinging-strike rate is the best mark he’s posted since his rookie year with the Twins way back in 2006, and the paltry 24.5 percent hard-contact rate he’s allowed ranks as the 24th-best out of 163 qualified relievers.

    In Neshek, the Rockies are adding a rental arm — Neshek is a free agent at season’s end — to a relief corps that has looked to show signs of fatigue in recent weeks. Colorado had a top-heavy bullpen that posted middle-of-the-pack results in April and May but has fallen off considerably since the calendar flipped to June. Over the past 30 days, Rockies relievers have posted a 4.74 ERA and a 4.92 FIP, each of which rank among the worst collective marks in baseball. Adam Ottavino and Jordan Lyles, in particular, have struggled as of late, but adding Neshek to the mix will give first-year manager Bud Black another quality arm to pair with the likes of Greg Holland and Jake McGee, taking some pressure off other arms further down the pecking order.

    The 20-year-old Gomez ranked 21st in a deep Rockies farm system on the recently released midseason top 30 prospect list from Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com. He’s played all over the infield but profiles best at second base in the long run, per that report, though he’s a ways off from the Majors anyhow after spending the bulk of the season in Class-A. Gomez is hitting .324/.374/.437 with four homers, 20 doubles and a pair of triples thus far in 2017. He’s also swiped 18 bases, though he’s been caught on another 11 attempts, suggesting that he needs further refinement in that area if he’s to be much of a threat on the bases later in his pro career.

    In addition to having an excellent name, the 23-year-old Hammer boasts an outstanding strikeout rate thus far through the first year-plus of his professional career. The Marshall University product was Colorado’s 24th-round pick in the 2016 draft and has pitched to a 3.15 ERA with 12.3 K/9 against 2.6 BB/9 since joining the Rockies organization. Hammer, who has also posted a ground-ball rate north of 50 percent as a pro, has worked exclusively out of the bullpen, though he’s pitched in Class-A this season and is older than much of his competition. Fangraphs’ lead prospect analyst Eric Longenhagen tweets that Hammer possesses a plus fastball and average curveball but presently has below-average control.

    Requena, 20, has worked as a starter at the Class-A level this season, totaling 117 innings across 19 starts with 7.5 K/9, 1.9 BB/9 and a 47.5 percent ground-ball rate. He’s demonstrated very strong control throughout his professional career to date and is enjoying solid results in his first year of full-season ball despite being nearly two years younger than the average age of his competition.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Rockies Seeking Catching Upgrades, Bullpen Arms]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=98164 2017-07-26T01:08:46Z 2017-07-26T01:08:46Z The Rockies are looking to upgrade behind the dish and are interested in Rangers catcher Jonathan Lucroy, reports T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. Sullivan’s colleague, Thomas Harding, reports that the Rox also have some interest in Braves backstop Kurt Suzuki and Tigers catcher Alex Avila.

    All three of the options listed are set to hit free agency upon completion of the 2017 campaign, and none of the bunch is earning at a substantial rate. Lucroy’s $5.75MM salary is the heftiest of the bunch, while Avila is earning $2MM in 2017 and Suzuki is owed only the balance of a $1.5MM base salary (plus some modest incentives).

    The 31-year-old entered the season as one of the consensus top free agents on the 2017-18 market, but he’s seen both his bat and his glove take steps backward in his first full season with Texas. After being acquired just prior to last year’s non-waiver deadline, Lucroy raked at an exceptional .276/.345/.539 pace with 11 homers in 168 plate appearances down the stretch. However, he’s batting just .240/.293/.339 through 294 plate appearances this season and has begun to cede some playing time to Robinson Chirinos.

    Lucroy has caught 30 percent of those that have attempted to steal against him, but he’s also seen his once-vaunted framing numbers deteriorate to the point that Baseball Prospectus ranks him as one of the league’s worst pitch framers.

    It’s the opposite story for the 30-year-old Avila, who has broken out in a substantial way in 2017. A well-above-average catcher with the Tigers in 2011-12, Avila’s career was mired in a downward spiral before a return to the Motor City sparked a renaissance. He’s hitting .280/.402/.488 with 11 homers through just 256 plate appearances and has slashed his strikeout rate from 37.3 percent in 2016 to a more passable (but still too high) 29.7 percent this year.

    While many have questioned Avila’s ability to sustain this pace, there isn’t a player in baseball (min. 250 PAs) that has a higher hard-contact rate than Avila’s 50 percent. His 92 mph average exit velocity is also among the top 10 in the league, trailing only Aaron Judge, Miguel Sano, Khris Davis, Joey Gallo, Manny Machado and Nelson Cruz. He’s sporting a 31 percent caught-stealing rate but, like Lucroy, has received below-average marks in framing this year (albeit to a lesser extent than Lucroy).

    Suzuki, meanwhile, is hitting .255/.340/.468 through 163 plate appearances in his first season with Atlanta. While SunTrust Park has a homer-friendly reputation, six of Suzuki’s eight big flies have come on the road this season. He’s caught a much-improved 26 percent of potential base thieves with the Braves and has demonstrated some improved but still shaky framing skills, per B-Pro.

    The reason for the Rockies’ interest in catching upgrades isn’t difficult to see. Tony Wolters has shouldered the bulk of the time behind the dish this season, but he’s posted a meager .255/.351/.306 batting line, with much of that OBP boost coming from batting in front of Rockies pitchers. On the whole, Rockies backstops have posted a dismal .234/.313/.310 batting line — an especially unsightly level of output when considering their hitter-friendly home park.

    Harding further reports that the Rox have “extensively” scouted Tigers left-hander Justin Wilson, adding names like Brad Brach, Zach Britton and AJ Ramos as other names the Rox have at least kept an eye on.

    It’s not hard to connect some dots and expect that the Rox could have interest in a combo deal that would net them both Avila and Wilson from Detroit, though the asking price on that affordable and excellent pairing would figure to be high. Similarly, I’d imagine there’ve at least been internal discussions about the possibility of pairing one of the Baltimore relievers with Orioles catcher Welington Castillo, though his bat has cooled considerably since suffering a groin injury earlier this summer. That last connection is merely my own speculation, but if the Orioles do indeed listen on their relievers, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see them gauge interest in Castillo as well.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 7/25/17]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=98104 2017-07-25T18:04:18Z 2017-07-25T18:04:16Z Let’s catch up on a few recent minor transactions:

    • Blue Jays lefty Jeff Beliveau has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A, per a club announcement. He had been designated for assignment recently after posting rough results over 19 MLB innings. The 30-year-old did manage 9.8 K/9 during his time in the majors, and was striking out over a dozen per nine at Triple-A this year. But he allowed four long balls in just 15 2/3 innings and had not generated much soft contact. The announcement seemingly suggests that Beliveau will take the assignment at Buffalo, though he’s not yet listed on the roster and would have the right to choose free agency.

    Earlier Updates

    • Righty Lucas Harrell has accepted an assignment with the Blue Jays’ top affiliate, per a club announcement. Depending upon the team’s deadline moves, perhaps it won’t be a lengthy detour. Harrell, 32, was knocked around in 6 1/3 big league innings this year after making nine useful starts last year at the game’s highest level.
    • The Mets added righty Jonathan Albaladejo on a minors deal, the team announced (h/t Marc Carig of Newsday, on Twitter). The former big leaguer had been pitching for the indy ball Bridgeport Bluefish. Now 34, Albaladejo hasn’t tasted the majors since a brief showing in 2012. Over 66 total appearances in the big leagues, he owns a 4.34 ERA with 6.6 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9.
    • The Rockies have acquired lefty Will Lamb from the White Sox, with an announcement confirming a tweet from Robert Murray of Fan Rag (via Twitter). It’s not known what Chicago will receive in return, but it’s surely reflective of Lamb’s struggles. While the former second-rounder has produced good results in brief stops at Double-A in recent years, he has been knocked around at the highest level of the minors. Over 120 1/3 total Triple-A frames, Lamb carries a 6.06 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9.
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    Charlie Wilmoth <![CDATA[Long List Of Teams Interested In AJ Ramos]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=97828 2017-07-25T01:47:06Z 2017-07-25T01:45:55Z MONDAY: In addition to the Rockies and Cubs, the Nationals are said to be “expressing strong interest” in Ramos, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter). Ramos has previously been tied to the Nats, though those talks reportedly took place before the team’s recent addition of a pair of late-inning relievers. Of course, Washington is still said to be looking at yet more relief targets.

    SATURDAY: The Diamondbacks, Rockies, Rays, Red Sox, Cubs, Brewers and others all have interest in Marlins closer AJ Ramos, FanRag’s Jon Heyman tweets. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick and others tweeted earlier this week that the Marlins were taking calls on Ramos.

    The Marlins, of course, recently traded reliever David Phelps to Seattle for a package including outfield prospect Brayan Hernandez, and Ramos could potentially be an even more desirable trade target. The 30-year-old has a 4.08 ERA and 4.8 BB/9 this season, but with a strong 11.5 K/9. He also has 89 career saves and a long history of success in the ninth inning, making him a strong late-inning option for a contender. (Of course, many clubs on Heyman’s list of interested teams, including the Rockies, Red Sox, Cubs and Brewers, appear set at closer, but that wouldn’t preclude them from having interest in another good late-inning arm.) Ramos can be controlled through 2018 via the arbitration process.

    With Phelps gone, the Marlins are expected to lean harder on Junichi Tazawa, as MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro recently explained. Tazawa has pitched nine scoreless innings this month. The team also has Kyle Barraclough, Nick Wittgren and Dustin McGowan to pitch in the late innings. It’s not yet clear, however, who would take over the closer role should Ramos depart.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Rockies Among Teams On Darvish's No-Trade List]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=97817 2017-07-22T05:44:55Z 2017-07-22T01:43:54Z Yu Darvish is pitching tonight for the Rangers, so clearly there’s nothing imminent. Indeed, Texas seems likely to take its decision on the ace to the latest possible moment, even as it begins to solicit interest. As that process begins to take place, it’s important to note that Darvish possesses partial no-trade rights. While it’s not at all clear whether he’d get in the way of a deal, particularly given that he’ll be a free agent in a few months regardless, that adds another potential hurdle. Per Jim Bowden of Sirius XM, via Twitter, Darvish currently can block trades to the CubsIndians, PiratesRed Sox, and Rockies (along with five other teams that are in no position to consider a rental starter).

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Rockies Looking Into Rotation Trades]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=97423 2017-07-18T18:41:53Z 2017-07-18T18:41:53Z The Rockies are at least “poking around” on the market for rotation help, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter). Just how much of a priority the rotation is remains to be seen; GM Jeff Bridich did suggest earlier today that he’s most focused on bolstering the team’s pen.

    While Colorado is loaded with plausible big league starters — a luxury that has rarely been afforded the high-altitude franchise — many of its options hold more future promise than present value. And some of the younger arms could also be limited by workload considerations. While Chad Bettis is also working his way back, perhaps it’s still a bit unclear what can be expected from him.

    On the whole, there’s plenty of room for an upgrade, but little in the way of a clear need in the Rockies’ rotation. But adding a new starter might also bump an arm to the bullpen, perhaps providing some improvement there as well by inserting a multi-inning arm into a mix that has had its share of difficulties of late.

    Of course, it’s also possible that Colorado could be compelled to part with some young hurlers — particularly if they pursue a quality, controllable arm. As Passan notes, the team does also possess an impressive collection of talent on the farm system. Given the team’s array of controlled talent in the majors, perhaps there’ll be some added willingness to move a prospect or two.

    Interestingly, the Rockies are said to have inquired about Orioles Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy. Those two have struggled quite a bit this year; since the start of June, the former has allowed 32 earned runs in 40 2/3 innings while the latter has surrendered 29 earned over his 36 1/3 frames. Still, they’ve each experienced their share of MLB success after long runs as top prospects. And both can be controlled into the future, Gausman for three years and Bundy for four.

    Those same factors will likely prevent the O’s from selling them short, despite the difficulties in 2017, even if they decide to give up on the current campaign. Indeed, Baltimore will surely be eyeing pitching in any trades it does pursue; the rotation, after all, has been a big problem this year and seems an uncertainty looking past the current season.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Bridich: Rockies Looking for Pen Additions]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=97413 2017-07-18T17:10:03Z 2017-07-18T16:46:58Z
  • The Rockies enjoyed tremendous bullpen work early on, but have seen some cracks form of late. Adding to the relief corps sits atop the club’s wish list at the deadline, GM Jeff Bridich said today in an interview with MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM (via Jim Bowden, on Twitter).
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Rockies Among Teams With Interest In David Phelps]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=97383 2017-07-18T13:37:03Z 2017-07-18T00:06:21Z
  • As many as 10 teams are still in the mix for Marlins righty David Phelps, tweets Nightengale. Phelps is indeed an attractive trade chip, though it’s unlikely that all 10 of those clubs are expressing serious interest and making competitive bids to acquire him. Nightengale names the YankeesRed SoxBrewersCubsRockies, and Rangers as the chief pursuers of Phelps.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Rockies Place Tyler Chatwood On 10-Day DL; Activate Ian Desmond]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=97262 2017-07-16T15:50:19Z 2017-07-16T15:50:19Z The Rockies have placed right-hander Tyler Chatwood on the 10-day DL with a right calf strain, and activated first baseman/outfielder Ian Desmond in a corresponding move.

    Chatwood threw just 19 pitches Saturday before being removed from his start due to the injury.  Chatwood has a 4.74 ERA, 7.36 K/9 and 56% ground-ball rate over 106 1/3 IP for Colorado this season, as his usual grounder-heavy attack has been hampered by a lack of control (5.08 BB/9 and a league-high 60 walks) and a spike in home runs allowed — 22.1% of Chatwood’s fly balls allowed have left the yard.

    As the one veteran arm in the Rockies rotation, Chatwood’s absence will tax a pitching staff that is already seeing some juggling of young arms.  Kyle Freeland is being temporarily removed from the starting five in order to protect his arm, leaving the Rockies with Jon Gray, German Marquez, Jeff Hoffman and Antonio Senzatela comprising the rotation.  Tyler Anderson and Chad Bettis could provide reinforcements in late July and late August, respectively, though you would expect Colorado to explore some starting pitching options before the trade deadline.  Pitching has long been an issue at Coors Field, though Rockies starters have held their ground this season with a cumulative 6.8 fWAR (11th in baseball) and 4.68 ERA (17th in baseball).

    Desmond was placed on the DL with a calf strain of his own on July 3, his second DL stint of the season after suffering a hand fracture during Spring Training.  It’s fair to say that the injuries have kept Desmond from really getting on track during his first season in Colorado, as the veteran has hit only .283/.321/.388 over 236 PA this year.

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