Colorado Rockies – MLB Trade Rumors 2018-08-14T17:38:32Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Blue Jays, Rockies Complete Seunghwan Oh Trade]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=130502 2018-08-14T12:47:09Z 2018-08-14T12:47:09Z The Blue Jays have acquired young righty Bryan Baker from the Rockies, according to Robert Murray of The Athletic (via Twitter). Baker represents the player to be named later from the pre-deadline deal that sent reliever Seunghwan Oh to Colorado, Jon Heyman of Fancred tweets.

That swap has already paid dividends for the Rox, who have received 8 2/3 innings of 2.08 ERA ball from Oh. On the other side, the Jays had already welcomed youngsters Chad Spanberger and Forrest Wall into their system under the pact.

Baker becomes the third and final piece of the trade. Now 23, he came to the professional ranks as an 11th-round pick in the 2016 draft. Baker has worked as a reliever  for the past two seasons, so it seems likely he’ll be developed as a potential future bullpen asset.

Though he showed quite well in 2017, Baker has had some struggles this season. He has allowed a palatable tally of 19 earned runs through 45 innings, and compiled a healthy 11.6 K/9, but has seen a whopping 17 unearned runs cross the plate as well. There are obviously a variety contributing factors to that, but one of them is surely the fact that he’s exhibiting newfound command issues (6.8 BB/9).

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Steve Adams <![CDATA[Orioles, Brewers, Discussing Jonathan Schoop]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=129269 2018-07-31T20:41:53Z 2018-07-31T17:30:00Z 2:54pm: Talks between the O’s and Brewers are “very serious,” per ESPN’s Buster Olney. Rosenthal tweets that the two sides are close to a deal.

2:40pm: In addition to an agreed-upon trade sending Gausman to the Braves, the Orioles are discussing Schoop with the Brewers, tweets Rosenthal.

2:16pm: The Braves have been in contact with the Orioles regarding Gausman, tweets Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Heyman tweets that Atlanta has been “working hard” to add a controllable starter.

1:49pm: Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles are discussing a trade of second baseman Jonathan Schoop and, potentially, Gausman (Twitter link).

1:40pm: Dan Connolly of The Athletic tweets that the Orioles and the other team involved in the deal are reviewing medical reports. Jones is not being traded in the deal, he adds.

1:28pm: Fancred’s Jon Heyman tweets that teams are “getting serious” with their offers on Gausman. He lists the Rockies, Braves and Brewers as teams in the mix. Crasnick tweets, meanwhile, that the Pirates are “out” on Gausman.

1:10pm: The Orioles are “closing in” on yet another deal with just under two hours until the non-waiver trade deadline, tweets ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick.

It’s not clear from the report who’ll be changing hands, though the O’s have already moved their biggest rental chips in the form of Manny Machado, Zach Britton and Brad Brach. Adam Jones reportedly isn’t interested in waiving his 10-and-5 rights to approve a deal, which makes it tough to envision that he’s changing hands here.

Meanwhile, previous reports have suggested that the Orioles have not yet had their asking prices met on more controllable pieces like Kevin Gausman, Dylan Bundy or Mychal Givens. Speculating a bit, though, veteran infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia would be one rental piece that the O’s could conceivably deal to a contender in need of a righty bat off the bench.

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Steve Adams <![CDATA[Cardinals Open To Offers On Bud Norris, Jose Martinez]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=129017 2018-07-30T14:57:26Z 2018-07-30T14:57:26Z The Cardinals are receiving trade inquiries into closer Bud Norris, reports Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, with the Rockies and Red Sox among the teams that have shown interest to this point. In a second column, Goold adds that the club is “open to discussing offers” for both Norris and first baseman/outfielder Jose Martinez.

The Red Sox have been tied to countless relievers of late, it seems, and Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM tweets that they, along with the Phillies, Astros and Mariners, are “in” (to varying extents, of course) on practically every bullpen arm that is available on the market at this point.

Norris wasn’t supposed to be the Cardinals’ top bullpen addition of the offseason — far from it — but that’s unequivocally how things have played out. While the Cardinals gave Greg Holland a one-year, $14MM contract to serve as their closer and also signed Luke Gregerson to a two-year, $11MM deal, Norris and his one-year, $3MM deal have been the lone bullpen signing to pay dividends. Holland was released on Friday amid a seismic shakeup of the St. Louis pitching staff, while Gregerson been plagued by injuries all season and owns a 7.11 ERA through just 12 2/3 innings thanks to multiple DL stints.

Norris, meanwhile, stepped up and seized the ninth-inning gig from Holland and Dominic Leone (another offseason ’pen addition who has yet to pan out). Through 43 innings, the 33-year-old Norris boasts a 3.14 ERA with 11.7 K/9, 1.7 BB/9, 1.05 HR/9 and a 41 percent ground-ball rate. His fastball and sinker are both averaging nearly 95 mph, the best of his career, and Norris’ ridiculous 38.3 percent chase rate (that is, out-of-zone pitches that have induced a swing from opponents) ranks seventh among 158 qualified relievers.

Earlier this month, Norris spoke to the Post-Dispatch’s Rick Hummel about his hopes to sign a long-term deal to remain with the Cardinals, though his affordable salary and excellent results could make him as appealing a trade candidate as they do an extension candidate for the St. Louis front office. As it stands, he’ll be a free agent at the end of the season and is still owed $1MM of his $3MM salary, making him affordable for any team in search of a upgrade.

As for Martinez, there’s little question about the late-blooming 30-year-old’s ability to produce at the plate. He’s mashed at a .304/.371/.487 pace since making his Major League debut in 2016, and his current .294/.359/.461 output is considerably better than that of a league-average bat (23 to 24 percent better, when adjusting for park and league, per OPS+ and wRC+). Martinez’s power is down a bit from 2017, but he’s still walking at a solid 8.9 percent clip and has improved his strikeout rate, which sits at just 16 percent. He can be controlled through the 2022 season and won’t even be eligible for arbitration until after the 2019 season.

While all of that is decidedly positive, Martinez’ glovework is on the opposite end of the spectrum. President of baseball operations John Mozeliak candidly acknowledged earlier this month that Martinez’s defensive shortcomings at first base were “putting a lot of stress on everyone,” and the team has since shifted him into a part-time role and given him more time in the outfield recently. Martinez, though, has played 328 innings in the outfield and turned in dismal defensive marks (-8 Defensive Runs Saved, -5 Ultimate Zone Rating). He hasn’t fared any better at first base, though, and there’s been speculation that he could ultimately land on an American League club where his bat would be better serve in a DH capacity.

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Kyle Downing <![CDATA[Rockies To Sign Matt Holliday To Minor-League Deal]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=128821 2018-07-29T00:44:02Z 2018-07-28T21:15:42Z The Rockies have reached an agreement with Matt Holliday on a minor-league pact. Thomas Harding of MLB.com was first to report that a deal was a “distinct possibility”, while Jon Heyman of Fancred later tweeted that Holliday was going to sign the deal.

The 38-year-old veteran certainly has had a storied career, first coming up with the Rockies (and making it the World Series with them in 2007), and also playing with the Cardinals during some of their best seasons in recent memory. All told, the outfielder owns a .299/.378/.511 batting line across 14 major league seasons.

It’d be unreasonable to expect any semblance of that production this season, of course, and in fact it remains to be seen whether or not the veteran has anything left in the tank. He’s a particularly curious fit in the National League, where his outfield defense will be exposed since the Rockies won’t have the luxury of deploying him as a DH. Then again, it’s entirely possible that he’ll simply be used mostly as an extra right-handed bat off the bench.

Although his 2017 season with the Yankees was unspectacular, his .231/.316/.432 slash to go along with 19 homers in 427 plate appearances netted him a 98 wRC+, or just a tick below league average. If he’s able to replicate that alone, he could certainly be a useful weapon. But the most interesting element of his recent performance is a .267/.366/.477 slash against southpaws. That could make him a great asset in pinch-hit situations late in games, or even a viable starter against the many intimidating left-handers in division-rival rotations.

Despite interesting upside in this or a similar role, Holliday went unsigned throughout the entire offseason (though clearly he wasn’t the only casualty of a slow winter). He told reporters at the end of spring training that he still intended to continue his player career if an opportunity came up, and MLBTR’s Steve Adams noted at the time that it would almost assuredly come in the form of a minor-league deal and some reps at Triple-A, if at all. Holliday will presumably head to Albuquerque for the time being, and be recalled when and if he can get into game shape.

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Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Rockies Reportedly Agree To Sign Santiago Casilla]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=128543 2018-07-26T18:14:46Z 2018-07-26T18:14:46Z The Rockies have agreed to a deal with free agent righty Santiago Casilla, according to Robert Murray of The Athletic (Twitter links). It’s said to be a minor-league arrangement.

Casilla recently received his walking papers from the A’s, who’ll still pay him the $2MM or so left on his salary for the current season — less any pro-rated portion of the league minimum he earns with the Colorado organization. The 37-year-old has spent his entire career to this point with the two Bay Area organizations.

While Casilla had worked to a 3.16 ERA in his 31 1/3 innings this year in Oakland, he was carrying an ugly 22:20 K/BB ratio. He’s averaging about 94 mph on his fastball still, but the 38-year-old has also seen his swinging-strike rate drop to a personal-low 9.0%.

For now, Casilla will represent a depth option for the Rox. But he could certainly end up becoming an option at the MLB level if he shows well. Though the team has already made one bullpen upgrade, the relief unit is probably susceptible of further improvement.

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Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Rockies Acquire Seunghwan Oh]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=128456 2018-07-26T15:01:01Z 2018-07-26T14:01:29Z TODAY: The deal is now official. Former first-round pick Forrest Wall is also headed to Toronto, as Jon Heyman of Fancred tweeted just before the announcement. Bouchard is not in the pact, at least directly. In addition to Wall and Spanberger, the package includes a player to be named later, though it’s not known presently whether Bouchard is among the possibilities.

YESTERDAY, 8:02PM: Another first base prospect, Sean Bouchard, is also heading to Toronto in the deal, as per Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post.

7:54PM: Minor league first baseman Chad Spanberger is expected to be heading to the Blue Jays as part of the trade, Sportsnet.ca’s Shi Davidi reports (Twitter link).  A sixth-round pick for Colorado in the 2017 draft, Spanberger is ranked 24th on MLB.com’s list of the top 30 Rockies prospects, with the scouting report noting Spanberger’s big power potential but also quite a few strikeouts.

7:22PM: The Rockies and Blue Jays have agreed to a trade that will see right-hander Seunghwan Oh join the Colorado bullpen, with The Athletic’s Robert Murray tweeting that the trade is “a done deal.”  Steve Phillips of MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM reported earlier today that an Oh trade was close to happening, with MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi later adding the news that Colorado was the team involved in the deal.

Oh’s stock was down in the offseason, following a somewhat rough 2017 campaign that saw him lose his closer’s job with the Cardinals and struggle with the long ball to the tune of a 1.5 HR/9 rate.  This led to Oh signing a low-cost one-year deal with the Blue Jays worth $1.75MM in guaranteed salary and a $2MM club option ($250K buyout) for the 2019 season.

"<strongThat signing ended up being a nice bargain for the Jays, culminating in this flip of the 36-year-old for some prospect capital.  Oh has posted a 2.68 ERA, 10.5 K/9, and 5.50 K/BB rate over 47 innings for Toronto, looking far more like his “Final Boss” form from the 2016 season (his first year in Major League Baseball) than his less-impressive 2017 edition.  The advanced metrics have been pretty sold on Oh’s performance, as his .266 wOBA is nearly identical to his .264 xwOBA, and ERA predictors (3.03 FIP, 3.77 xFIP, 2.91 SIERA) mostly back up that impressive 2.66 real-world ERA.

He has also largely gotten over his home run issues, with only an 0.96 HR/9 and 8.2% homer rate this season.  This will be particularly important for Oh as he shifts to Coors Field, though he has managed to success in another hitter-friendly ballpark (Rogers Centre) despite just a 29.8% grounder rate.

While Oh should help the Rockies’ relief corps, the fact that the bullpen was such a pressing trade deadline need represents a misfire for the team.  Colorado spent $106MM total in three-year free agent pacts for Wade Davis, Bryan Shaw, and Jake McGee, only to see all three fail to live up to expectations.  Shaw and McGee have particularly struggled, leading for the Rox to seek out another arm to bridge the gap to Davis in the ninth inning.  Oh will join Adam Ottavino (the pen’s one bright spot) as the Rockies’ chief setup options.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

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Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Blue Jays “Appear Close” To Striking J.A. Happ Swap]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=128401 2018-07-26T03:19:07Z 2018-07-26T02:18:05Z 10:18PM: “The industry belief” is that the Yankees and Brewers are the front-runners for Happ, Sherman writes.  The Cubs still “might be in play,” though Chicago also asked the Jays about Marcus Stroman.  In another tweet, Sherman mentions that the Blue Jays like Yankees infielder Brandon Drury.

9:33PM: The Yankees still look like the favorite for Happ right now, with Feinsand calling them “the leader” of the teams in pursuit, and SNYTV’s Andy Martino saying the Bombers are “in strong position.”  A trade may not be imminent, as Joel Sherman of the New York Post hears that a deal is “unlikely” to take place tonight.  (All links to Twitter.)  Both Feinsand and Martino list the Cubs and Brewers still being involved, with Martino adding the Rockies as a new team to the Happ rumor mill.  Feinsand feels the number of teams in on Happ will result in a nice trade return for the Blue Jays.

9:10PM: There are conflicting reports about the Yankees’ involvement in the trade, as Steve Phillips of MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM tweets that the Jays are “focusing on finalizing” the Happ deal with New York.  Fancred’s Jon Heyman, however, reports that other teams are still in the running, and the Yankees “seem unaware they are getting [Happ], as of this moment.”

3:46PM: The Yankees are “heavy in the mix” for Happ, Feinsand tweets, with other teams (such as the Brewers) still possibly being in play.  The Cubs are one of the other teams involved, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.

3:39PM: As the Blue Jays and Twins began action at 3:07pm CT today, Happ hadn’t heard about a trade, Fancred’s Jon Heyman tweets.  Happ is in Toronto’s dugout, Sportsnet.ca’s Ben Nicholson-Smith and others have reported.

2:54PM: The Blue Jays “appear close” to striking a deal to send lefty J.A. Happ to a contender, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand (via Twitter). Particulars of the potential match are entirely unknown, though certainly a variety of contenders make sense generally as destinations for the veteran starter.

Happ has mostly been a quality performer for the past several seasons. He currently sits at a 4.18 ERA on the present season, with peripherals suggesting he has been even more effective than the results would suggest. Though Happ endured a few rough outings recently, he racked up nine strikeouts and allowed just one earned run over five innings in his last start.

As a pending free agent on a struggling Toronto team, it has long seemed clear he’d be dealt this summer. Happ ranked sixth among trade deadline candidates on MLBTR’s recent list.

Last we heard, the Jays were said to be lowering their asking price on Happ as the deadline draws near. The Yankees, Phillies, and Cubs have been linked to him in recent weeks, though it’s not at all clear whether any of those teams is pressing to land the southpaw today.

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Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Rockies Close To Trade For Seunghwan Oh]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=128436 2018-07-25T23:16:32Z 2018-07-25T22:46:44Z 6:17PM: The Rockies are the team closing in on the Oh trade, MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi reports.

5:46PM: The Blue Jays are closing in on a trade involving right-hander Seunghwan Oh, according to Steve Phillips of MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM (Twitter link).  The deal could be completed as soon as today.  An Oh deal could make a very busy day for the Jays on the transaction front, as the club is also reportedly close to an even bigger trade of southpaw J.A. Happ.

Oh has been outstanding in his first year in Toronto, with a 2.68 ERA, 10.5 K/9, and 5.5 K/BB rate over 47 innings out of the Jays’ bullpen.  It has been a thoroughly strong rebound season for the 36-year-old, as home run problems led to Oh posting a 4.10 ERA for the Cardinals in 2017.  This year, however, Oh’s homer rate has settled back down to a much more manageable 8.2%.

Virtually every contender is looking for bullpen help, so any number of teams could be checking in on Oh.  The veteran is owed only around $500K for the remainder of the season, and he is controllable in 2019 via a very affordable $2MM club option ($250K buyout).

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Steve Adams <![CDATA[Rockies Interested In Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=128300 2018-07-24T21:27:59Z 2018-07-24T21:27:59Z
  • In addition to the Rockies’ previously reported interest in Zach Britton, Colorado has also asked the Orioles about right-handers Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman, Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports (via Twitter). There’s no momentum in talks regarding Bundy and Gausman, however, Morosi adds. To this point, it’s not at all clear whether the O’s would even consider moving Gausman (controlled through 2020) or Bundy (through 2021). There’s little reason for the Orioles not to seriously entertain offers, from my vantage point, as they’re not likely to contend in either 2019 or 2020 with the Yankees and Red Sox both poised for long-term success. Obviously, that’s not to say they should simply take the best offer presented before July 31, but the Orioles should be amenable to moving just about anyone on the roster for a strong enough return.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Jonathan Schoop, Kevin Gausman, Dylan Bundy Drawing Trade Interest]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=128110 2018-07-23T13:35:19Z 2018-07-23T13:35:25Z July 23: The Rockies have been scouting both Gausman and Bundy recently, tweets Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Colorado has held a “longstanding interest” in Gausman, in particular, Rosenthal adds.

    Colorado’s rotation has been in the bottom-third of the league in terms of ERA this season, though Rockies starters collectively rank in the top half of the league in both FIP and xFIP, lending some more reason for optimism. That said, Opening Day starter Jon Gray has been anything but the anchor the club expected him to be this season, and Chad Bettis has also had his share of struggles.

    July 22: Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop and right-handers Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy are drawing trade interest, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. The Braves have asked the Orioles about all three players, while the Brewers have inquired about Schoop and Gausman, and Kubatko confirms the Yankees’ previously reported interest in Gausman.

    Whether the Orioles are open to moving any of those players is unclear, but as a rebuilding team with the majors’ worst record (28-71), it stands to reason they’d listen to offers. Gausman and Bundy would likely bring back appealing returns, considering both the underwhelming trade market for starting pitchers and the fact that they’re affordable and controllable. The 27-year-old Gausman, who’s on a $5.6MM salary, has two arbitration trips remaining. Bundy, 25, is much cheaper ($1.64MM), and he’ll go through the first of three potential arbitration trips during the upcoming winter. Meanwhile, Schoop’s in his penultimate year of arbitration control and on an $8.5MM salary.

    To this point, Gausman and Bundy have experienced similar seasons. Gausman has pitched to a 4.33 ERA/4.48 FIP with 7.77 K/9, 2.16 BB/9 and a 46.7 percent groundball rate over 112 1/3 innings, continuing a career of decent production. Bundy has managed a 4.57 ERA/4.85 FIP with 9.64 K/9, 2.61 BB/9 and a 34 percent grounder rate across 108 1/3 frames. He’s currently in the throes of a rough stretch in which he has allowed five earned runs in three consecutive starts. Thanks in part to that, the former top prospect’s ERA has risen by nearly a full run since June 11, when it sat at 3.66.

    Schoop, 26, was among the game’s premier second basemen in 2017, when he slashed .293/.338/.503 with 32 home runs and 3.8 fWAR in 675 plate appearances. This season has been a totally different story, though, as Schoop has batted .229/.262/.394 with 11 homers and a replacement-level fWAR over 333 PAs. Moreover, he owns the majors’ fifth-worst xwOBA (.268), per Statcast, suggesting his .281 wOBA isn’t a product of poor luck.

    Despite his decline this season, both the Brewers and Braves seem to think Schoop could help them. The fact that the Brewers are looking for an upgrade at the keystone isn’t a surprise, as their second basemen have hit a mere .227/.285/.340 and accounted for minus-0.5 fWAR. The Braves’ interest is an eye-opener, however, considering they have Ozzie Albies at second. Perhaps they could stand to upgrade over Dansby Swanson at shortstop and Johan Camargo at third base, but both players have outperformed Schoop this year, and Schoop has minimal professional experience at those two positions.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[At Least Six Teams Pursuing Zach Britton]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=128023 2018-07-23T17:37:54Z 2018-07-23T01:01:53Z SUNDAY, 8:01pm: Last year’s failed Britton trade talks between the Astros and Orioles won’t play any factor in this year’s negotiations, The Athletic’s Jim Bowden tweets.  A source tells Bowden that Houston is “all in” on acquiring Britton.

    3:48pm: The Rockies and Brewers are also in the mix, Heyman tweets.

    1:38pm: There are indeed teams ahead of the Dodgers in Britton talks, per Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com, who lists the Astros, Cubs and Red Sox as being “more active” than LA.

    8:06am: It doesn’t appear the Dodgers or Braves are “quite as engaged” on Britton as other teams are, Crasnick relays. LA’s wary of the luxury tax, as mentioned below, while the Braves aren’t keen on giving up prospects for short-term help, Crasnick suggests.

    SATURDAY, 8:44pm: It’s “at least” a six-team race for Britton, Jon Heyman of Fancred tweets.

    8:14pm: The Orioles are seeking a return equal to or better than the one the Royals received for reliever Kelvin Herrera in a trade last month, Buster Olney of ESPN reports. Washington acquired Herrera for three prospects, though none ranked among the Nationals’ absolute best farmhands at the time.

    7:39pm: Both the Cubs and the Astros “are trying to match up prospects with the Orioles,” Jerry Crasnick of ESPN tweets. The Dodgers are also among those who would like to acquire Britton, Dan Connolly of The Athletic reports, though Rosenthal notes that it may be difficult because of LA’s desire to stay under the luxury-tax threshold. No matter where Britton goes, the O’s hope to make a deal happen within the next few days, Crasnick adds.

    6:38pm: With Brad Hand and Jeurys Familia now off the market, Orioles left-hander Zach Britton may be the best soon-to-be traded reliever in baseball. The 30-year-old has drawn widespread interest in recent weeks, too, with Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reporting “virtually every top contender” is in on him (video link). The NL Central-leading Cubs are among that group, and they “remain deeply involved” in the Britton discussions, sources tell Patrick Mooney of The Athletic (subscription required).

    In at least the near term, Britton would likely serve as a replacement for Cubs closer Brandon Morrow, who went on the disabled list this week on account of right biceps inflammation. Britton has also endured injuries, most recently a ruptured Achilles that shelved him from the start of the season until mid-June. The two-time All-Star got off to a less-than-dominant start in his first action of the season as he returned from that injury, though he has been better of late as the deadline approaches.

    Not only has Britton gone eight straight appearances (eight innings) without yielding an earned run, but he has seen his velocity climb closer to its past levels in the process. Of course, Britton has also walked a batter in three straight outings and has issued an unpalatable 10 free passes against 13 strikeouts in 15 2/3 innings this year. To Britton’s credit, though, he has posted a 3.45 ERA and a terrific groundball rate (64.1 percent).

    While the Cubs are high on Britton, Mooney wonders if they have a good enough farm system to win a bidding war for the pending free agent. Chicago has Baseball America’s 28th-ranked prospect pool, which seemingly places it behind the 8-ball, and Rosenthal notes Britton is likely to yield a “strong” return with so many championship hopefuls chasing him.

    Given the competition for his services, Britton to the Cubs may be a long shot. However, if acquired, Britton would further strengthen a bullpen that ranks fifth in the majors in ERA and just added ex-Ranger Jesse Chavez via trade this week.

    The Cubs’ relief corps has received great results from Morrow, Steve Cishek, Pedro Strop, Justin Wilson, Carl Edwards Jr., the unit’s top five innings leaders. Although, only one of those hurlers (Wilson) is a lefty, and fellow southpaws Brian Duensing and Randy Rosario are difficult to trust. Duensing has endured a brutal year, having logged a 7.31 ERA with more walks (23) than strikeouts (18) across 28 1/3 innings. Rosario, on the other hand, has done well preventing runs over 27 2/3 innings (1.95 ERA), but with 5.2 K/9, 4.23 BB/9, a sky-high 94.2 percent strand rate and a .238 batting average on balls in play against, he’s an obvious regression candidate. It’s likely Britton would be an upgrade over those two, and if his track record is any indication, he’d join Wilson in giving the Cubs a second formidable lefty reliever.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Rockies Place DJ LeMahieu On DL, Promote Garrett Hampson, Designate Daniel Castro]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=128004 2018-07-21T22:04:38Z 2018-07-21T22:03:21Z In an unfortunate development for the surging, playoff-contending Rockies, second baseman DJ LeMahieu is headed to the 10-day disabled list because of a left oblique strain. The Rockies will replace him with infield prospect Garrett Hampson, whose contract they selected from Triple-A Albuquerque. To make room for Hampson, Colorado designated infielder Daniel Castro for assignment.

    This is the third DL stint of the year for LeMahieu, who most recently missed the second half of May with a hand injury. In addition to the health issues LeMahieu has battled this season, the pending free agent hasn’t performed to his 2016-17 levels on offense, with a .278/.324/.430 line, eight home runs and five steals across 331 plate appearances. LeMahieu has been a standout in the field, however, having posted eight Defensive Runs Saved and a 3.1 Ultimate Zone Rating.

    Winners of six straight and within two games of the NL West-leading Dodgers, the Rockies (52-45) will have to make do without LeMahieu – who, based on the nature of oblique issues, could miss significant time. But his injury has helped open the door for Hampson, Colorado’s sixth-ranked prospect at MLB Pipeline. The 23-year-old has logged above-average offensive numbers at each minor league stop since the Rockies picked him in the third round of the 2016 draft. A .306/.366/.443 hitter with four homers and 14 steals over 246 PAs this season, MLB Pipeline praises Hampson’s “quick right-handed swing,” patience and speed. He also has “Gold Glove upside” at the keystone, the outlet contends.

    Castro, 25, is in his second year with the Rockies, who selected his contract for the first time earlier this season. Castro didn’t do much with that playing time before his designation, though, hitting a mere .174/.191/.261 in 47 trips to the plate. The former Brave owns a .210/.240/.265 line in 288 lifetime big league PAs, though he has slashed a more-than-respectable .333/.367/.457 in 227 Triple-A PAs this season.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Rockies Outright Brooks Pounders]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=127478 2018-07-17T02:25:39Z 2018-07-15T21:54:45Z
  • The Rockies have outrighted reliever Brooks Pounders to Triple-A and reinstated fellow reliever Carlos Estevez from the 60-day disabled list, per a team announcement. The club subsequently optioned Estevez to Triple-A. Given that he has been outrighted in the past, Pounders has the ability to elect free agency. It’s unclear if that will happen, however. The 27-year-old has been a Rockie since January, when he signed a minor league deal with the team, and earned a major league call-up in late April. Pounders then struggled to prevent runs over 15 1/3 innings, recording a 7.63 ERA on a whopping 25 hits. However, he did post tremendous strikeout and walk rates (9.98 K/9, 1.17 BB/9). The former Royal and Angel offered similar production with those two teams, as his 8.92 ERA, 9.86 K/9 and 2.35 BB/9 over 38 1/3 frames demonstrate. He owns a 2.93 Triple-A ERA, though, with 9.5 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in 147 1/3 innings.
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    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[Quick Hits: Gray, Hoffman, Mejia, Buxton]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=127413 2018-07-15T00:12:02Z 2018-07-15T00:12:02Z The Rockies recalled Jon Gray tonight to start tonight’s game against the Mariners. Gray’s 5.77 ERA across 17 starts this season seemed like reasonable cause for a demotion, but it always seemed as though he wouldn’t spend too long in the minors. After all, he was striking out 29% of opposing hitters, and by measures of FIP (3.12), xFIP (2.82) and SIERA (3.19), he was having an absolutely fantastic season. As MLBTR’s Connor Byrne mentioned at the time, his .386 BABIP and 63.1% strand rate pointed to a horrific amount of bad luck. In two starts at the Triple-A level, Gray managed to strike out 13 batters in 10 2/3 innings while allowing four runs.

    In a corresponding move, the Rockies optioned fellow young right-hander Jeff Hoffman to Triple-A. Also a former top prospect, Hoffman hasn’t managed to find his footing in the majors yet, and has allowed more than a run per inning on average while pitching out of the Rockies’ bullpen. He’s also walked more batters than he’s struck out, and spent time on the DL with a shoulder injury.

    Here are some notable developments from around MLB…

    • The Indians have recalled Francisco Mejia to make a start at DH tonight against the Yankees; it’s his 2018 MLB debut. The young switch-hitter is not only universally believed to be the Tribe’s top prospect, but he’s also considered the best catching prospect in all of baseball. Unfortunately for him, he’s been blocked in the majors by a solid defensive tandem of Yan Gomes and Roberto Perez, both of whom are signed to contracts that stretch a couple of years beyond 2018.
    • Another former top prospect, Twins outfielder Byron Buxton, can’t seem to catch a break this season. He’s apparently suffered a left wrist strain at Triple-A, and will head to the 7-day minor league disabled list (hat tip to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com). After posting a horrific wRC+ of -3 (yes, negative), Buxton has put up a .219/.288/.356 batting line at Triple-A and will now have to wait at least another week before he has a chance to get on track.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Dodgers Claim Zac Rosscup, Designate Edward Paredes]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=127151 2018-07-11T20:01:11Z 2018-07-11T19:50:41Z The Dodgers announced today that they have claimed lefty Zac Rosscup off waivers from the Rockies. In a corresponding move, the club designated fellow southpaw Edward Paredes for assignment.

    Rosscup, 30, racked up ten strikeouts without a walk in seven frames last year in Colorado, but had yet to reach the majors this year while working back from finger troubles. He has been effective in limited action at Triple-A, allowing just one earned run on four hits while registering nine strikeouts against three walks in 8 1/3 innings.

    The 31-year-old Paredes, meanwhile, managed an 8:2 K/BB ratio but also allowed five runs in his 7 2/3 frames in the majors this year. He has also experienced some walk problems at the Triple-A level, however, issuing 15 free passes in 18 frames.

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