Friday was the deadline for teams to set their 40-man roster for next month's Rule 5 Draft, and MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch reports that the Pirates cleared up two spots for prospects by designating Robinzon Diaz and Justin Thomas for assignment. They also designated Jeff Karstens for assignment yesterday.
Diaz, a 26-year-old catcher, hit .279/.307/.357 in 138 plate appearances for Pittsburgh in 2009. Thomas, a 25-year-old lefty reliever, had a 4.48 ERA in 60.1 innings with Seattle's Triple-A affiliate.
Among the players the Pirates added to the 40-man roster were righthanders Brad Lincoln and Bryan Morris, as well as outfielder Gorkys Hernandez. Lincoln was the 4th overall pick in the 2006 draft, while Morris was acquired in the Manny Ramirez/Jason Bay trade, and Hernandez in last summer's Nate McLouth deal.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post talked to one executive who believes the Pirates sent a mixed message by signing McLouth to an extension and dealing him soon after. One team official says the Pirates never shopped McLouth, which suggests they were impressed by the Braves' offer.
- ESPN.com's Rob Neyer says he usually loves deals like this for the team acquiring young talent. In this case, he doesn't believe the Pirates got enough. For the Braves, however, it's a "brilliant" move.
- MLB.com's Adam Rosenberg reports that McLouth will arrive in Atlanta today.
- MLB.com's Jen Langosch sees both sides of the deal for the Pirates: It's possible Neal Huntington could have traded McLouth for more, but the three players he obtained are good ones.
- In spite of all the analysis, Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says we won't really know who won this deal for months or even years.
- Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review says the fan reaciton has been "mostly negative."
- John Smoltz's reaction to the Braves' decision to release his former teammate: "That's not how you treat people." Smoltz disagrees openly with the move in the rest of his discussion with Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says Glavine can prove the Braves wrong by pitching well for another team.
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan believes it took a "healthy dose of emotional detachment" to cut Glavine, one that signaled "a clean break from the Braves' old identity."
Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune had an article yesterday involving a couple of failed Padres trades.
Krasovic says the Padres and Braves were discussing a 4-for-1 Jake Peavy deal in November. Yunel Escobar and Gorkys Hernadez were agreed upon. The conflict came as the Padres wanted Charlie Morton over Jo-Jo Reyes as well as Jeff Locke or Tyler Flowers over Blaine Boyer. To me that gap looks pretty sizeable, so maybe the trade was never close. At this point it seems like the Braves could end up with Javier Vazquez and Kenshin Kawakami as their rotation upgrades. They’ve reportedly made Escobar unavailable, leading Dan Hayes of the North County Times to suggest the Braves would have to remove Tommy Hanson’s apparent "untouchable" tag to get Peavy. Everything I’ve read about Hanson has said the Braves are adamant about keeping him.
Krasovic also says the Giants made a run at shortstop Khalil Greene before he was dealt to the Cardinals.
According to Scott Miller of CBSSports.com, the Padres are expected to request Jake Peavy waive his no-trade clause to go to the Braves. The deal being discussed: Yunel Escobar, Gorkys Hernandez, Charlie Morton or Jo-Jo Reyes, and Blaine Boyer or one of two minor league southpaws. Miller says the Padres are leaning toward Morton and Boyer.
The Braves want an answer by Friday, so they can figure out their free agent needs. Peavy is said to prefer the Cubs, but we’ll see what happens if the Padres approach him to waive the no-trade for Atlanta. It hasn’t happened yet.
Another day, another column from Ken Rosenthal.
- With multiple vacancies in the rotation and bullpen, the Brewers may need to see what kind of pitching Mike Cameron and/or J.J. Hardy can bring in return. GM Doug Melvin is not ready to shop Hardy. He’s received interest, but most teams have not given names (one team suggested swapping him for a pitcher Melvin termed, "a fifth starter.")
- The Padres have asked the Braves to substitute catcher Tyler Flowers for center fielder Gorkys Hernandez in their Jake Peavy offer. Dave O’Brien sees this as unlikely.
- If they can’t sign Mark Teixeira, the Angels are ready to shift gears to C.C. Sabathia, Francisco Rodriguez, or other players. The idea of a Manny Ramirez pursuit was "tabled rather quickly."
- The Cardinals plan to add one or two lefthanded relievers, probably free agents.
- In his quest for righthanded power, Reds GM Walt Jocketty inquired on Matt Holliday and Josh Willingham before they were traded. Purely speculative – Jermaine Dye could be a nice fit.
- At least half a dozen teams have expressed interest in free agent starter Randy Wolf.
12:14pm: Dave O’Brien agrees that the Braves are growing frustrated waiting on Kevin Towers, with the free agent open season creeping up.
10:21am: ESPN’s Buster Olney has the latest on the Jake Peavy trade talks.
Olney says the Braves and Padres are making progress, despite Ken Rosenthal’s report of Atlanta’s frustration. Olney says the Braves would send Yunel Escobar and Gorkys Hernandez to the Padres, plus Charlie Morton or Jo-Jo Reyes. They’re haggling over one last player, with the Padres eyeing southpaw Jeff Locke.
The Cubs are still in the mix, and a third team would be included to flip pitching to San Diego. One way or another, the Cubs would give up Josh Vitters and others.
Summing up this weekend’s Jake Peavy information…
- David O’Brien noted that the friendship between Padres GM Kevin Towers and Peavy’s agent Barry Axelrod has raised some eyebrows. O’Brien also learned that Peavy’s concern over Yunel Escobar being in the deal was overblown – it’s more a general concern that the pitcher joins a strong team.
- On Saturday, Ken Rosenthal had the Braves and Cubs as frontrunners with the Yankees and Dodgers on the backburner. He said the Padres discussed keeping Peavy if offers do not suffice. The Braves were said to be growing impatient.
- Astros owner Drayton McLane indicated the Padres’ demands for Peavy were too high for his club – "multiple players and some of our best players."
- Chris De Luca of the Chicago Sun-Times had it as a race between the Cubs and Braves, with the Dodgers a long shot. De Luca said no other teams will be considered at this point. A Cubs deal would apparently include Sean Marshall, and possibly Kevin Hart and Mike Fontenot. Jeff Samardzija is not in the mix.
- Dave O’Brien says the Braves’ offer looks something like this: Escobar, Gorkys Hernandez or Jordan Schafer, and one or two pitching prospects (possibly Charlie Morton or Jo-Jo Reyes among them). Tommy Hanson is not in the mix. O’Brien agrees that it’s between the Braves and Cubs, and likes the Braves’ package more. O’Brien expects a deal before Thanksgiving, which is November 27th.
1:47pm: This Scott Miller column is from yesterday, but it has some good info. Miller’s source believes the Braves are the frontrunners for Peavy and are willing to include Gorkys Hernandez. Additionally, the source said the Cubs are very aggressive and the Dodgers are making a strong pitch.
12:53pm: Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald says Samardzija is not on the table and has a full, not partial, no-trade. Additionally, the Cubs have not thrown Fontenot into the mix. Miles gives a 50-50 chance of the Cubs getting Peavy.
9:39am: GM Kevin Towers expects to trade Jake Peavy before the winter meetings, saying, "The train’s kind of left the station." Continuing the metaphor, Barry Axelrod said, "The only thing we’ve got is a brake."
According to Yahoo’s Jeff Passan, the Cubs have moved in front of the Braves in the battle for Peavy. Passan says the Padres want Jeff Samardzija (who has a limited no-trade clause), and the Cubs could also include players such as Felix Pie, Sean Marshall, Ronny Cedeno, Kevin Hart, and Donald Veal. Chris De Luca of the Chicago Sun-Times suggests Rich Harden or Mike Fontenot could be involved. De Luca notes that a Peavy trade would probably prevent the Cubs from acquiring Brian Roberts. ESPN’s Buster Olney believes Josh Vitters would have to be involved, while the Daily Herald’s Bruce Miles adds Jose Ceda, Welington Castillo, and Mitch Atkins as possibilities. Miles does not see the Cubs as a player for C.C. Sabathia, by the way.
The Padres would prefer a deal with Atlanta, but can’t pry Tommy Hanson loose. The Braves are willing to trade Yunel Escobar, Charlie Morton, and Jordan Schafer.
Meanwhile, Tom Krasovic at the San Diego Union-Tribune says Peavy and Barry Axelrod are concerned about the Braves’ shortstop situation if they are to include the defensively-talented Escobar. Perhaps the Braves could sway them by outlining some contingency plans at the position.
The Tigers will owe Renteria roughly $6.3MM in ’08 and have a good chance of exercising his $11MM option for ’09. They’ve added a five-win shortstop in Renteria.
The price was reasonable. Jurrjens turns 22 in January and can probably jump into the Braves’ rotation. He throws in the 90-93 with good control. Kevin Goldstein projected him as a future middle-rotation guy. The one concern is that shoulder inflammation surfaced in August of this year.
Hernandez is the potential star in the deal. He turned 20 in September and should man center field in Atlanta for a long time once he’s ready. He’s a burner with solid defense, but he’s yet to grow into his power. He’s still a ways from the bigs though. Goldstein recently ranked him the game’s 10th best CF prospect, behind the Braves’ own Jordan Schafer and others like Jay Bruce, Colby Rasmus, Andrew McCutchen, and Jacoby Ellsbury.
All in all, I think the Tigers did quite well here. I’d like the deal a bit more for Atlanta if I felt that Jurrjens could provide 180 solid innings in ’08. Will Carroll and the aforementioned Goldstein contribute some additional analysis at BP. Sounds like this one began under John Schuerholz.