- A trade is still the more likely means for Colorado to acquire starting pitching help, according to Renck. Teams are calling about Dexter Fowler and Michael Cuddyer. Renck notes that the two years and $21MM remaining on Cuddyer's contract may be appealing to teams, given the inflated prices we've seen in this year's free agent market.
- The one-year deal signed by Jeff Francis last night will pay the southpaw somewhere north of $750K salary that he earned in 2012.
- Renck also writes that the team included Alex White in this week's Wilton Lopez trade because they no longer viewed White as a starter.
- Within that same piece, Renck reports that in trade talks prior to the Winter Meetings, the Rockies asked for Mike Minor and one of Julio Teheran or Randall Delgado in exchange for Fowler. Needless to say, the price on Colorado's center fielder remains high.
"Signs point to Dexter Fowler staying in Colorado," writes ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, citing both the Rockies' large asking price for the outfielder and potential trade partners' concerns about Fowler's ability to hit outside of Coors Field (Twitter links). Fowler has a career .882 OPS at home and just a .698 OPS on the road over his five-year career, and he put up an even larger set of splits (.984 OPS home/.720 OPS road) in 2012 when he posted a career-best .300/.389/.474 slash line for the Rockies.
A rival executive tells Crasnick that the Rockies are asking for a "sky high" return for Fowler, who is projected to get a raise to $4MM in his second year of arbitration eligibility by MLBTR's Matt Swartz. The Braves were interested in Fowler but balked at giving up two top prospects, according to CBS Sports' Danny Knobler. Fowler would have been Atlanta's leadoff hitter, as the Braves are still looking for a table-setter since they intend to use the newly-signed B.J. Upton in the middle of the lineup.
The Rockies want a similarly large trade package in exchange for Michael Cuddyer, Knobler reports. Cuddyer is seven years older than Fowler but comes with cost-certainty (two years and $21MM remaining on his contract) and is more proven as a hitter outside of Colorado.
As they attempt to bolster a rotation that ranked among the worst in MLB this past season, the Rockies have expressed interest in numerous free agent starting pitchers, including right-hander Kevin Correia and left-hander Jeff Francis, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports. The Rockies aim to acquire a reliable arm capable of providing steady innings within a relatively young and inexperienced rotation.
Correia, 32, spent last season with the Pirates, mostly as a member of the Pittsburgh rotation. He posted a 4.21 ERA with 4.7 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 171 innings. Correia, an All-Star in 2011, recently completed a two-year, $8MM contract with the Pirates. When I discussed the Rockies’ search for pitching last week, I suggested Correia would be worth considering.
Francis started 24 games for the Rockies in 2012, leading the team with 113 innings pitched. The 31-year-old posted a 5.58 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9, but he has had success at Coors Field in the past. He has indicated a desire to return to Colorado, Renck reports.
The Rockies have also been getting calls on Dexter Fowler and Michael Cuddyer, though they aren’t looking to trade either outfielder. The Braves have called about Fowler, an Atlanta native, according to Renck.
The Rockies allowed more runs than any other team this past season, so they’ll be looking for starting pitching this offseason. Does that mean they’ll have trade an outfielder? Not necessarily, as Troy Renck of the Denver Post explained earlier today (Sulia links). Here are the details…
- The Rockies would like to obtain a starter who can provide consistency and stability in the rotation, according to Renck. Starters such as Ricky Nolasco and Gavin Floyd could be available in trades this offseason, and there’s always the free agent market.
- Now that the Rockies have acquired infielder Ryan Wheeler from Arizona, they could consider parting with an infielder. They could flip Wheeler or keep him and trade another infielder.
- Outfielders Dexter Fowler and Michael Cuddyer will both draw trade interest in the weeks ahead, Renck writes. While the Rockies will listen to trade offers, they aren’t aggressively shopping either player.
The Rockies will entertain trade possibilities for multiple position players, including Dexter Fowler and Michael Cuddyer, opposing executives and scouts tell Troy E. Renck of The Denver Post. The club doesn't plan to trade shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, but clubs are expected to see if the Rockies will change their tune as the winter progresses.
Colorado is able to make Fowler and Cuddyer available thanks in large part to Tyler Colvin's ability to play all three outfield positions. If Todd Helton returns from hip labrum surgery that also will bolster the situation at first base where Cuddyer would be in the mix.
Renck notes that Atlanta and Philadelphia could be fits for Fowler as they seek a center fielder and the Braves had interest in him when they were shopping infielder Martin Prado. The 26-year-old is also an Atlanta native and plans on living there this offseason.
With an unconventional approach both on and off the field, the Rockies have attracted a great deal of attention for a team on pace to lose over 90 games this season. Beset by injuries, a payroll in the bottom half of the league and inconsistent pitching further hampered by altitude, Colorado seemingly has no choice but to think outside the box if it hopes to make a playoff run anytime soon. Let's head to the Mile High City and catch up on the latest news making headlines…
- Bill Geivett's new role running the Rockies' Major League operations on a daily basis reveals a trend of untraditional thinking in the team's organization, but it may pay off, writes Troy E. Renck of The Denver Post. Instead of moving to the corner office, Geivett put a desk in the team's conference room located within the Rockies' clubhouse in hopes of getting a better grasp on where the club is struggling and how he can work to fix the problems. Colorado has already felt an impact from Geivett's presence as the team just enjoyed its first winning month since June 2011.
- The Rockies' unusual decision to continue to go with a four-man rotation must discussed with the team's position players as Colorado will be more successful if everyone buys in, opines Renck. While there is data that suggests removing a starter before he faces a lineup for a third time is beneficial, Renck says the movement can't be sustained without players expressing confidence in the approach. Since making the switch in June, the Rockies' starting rotation has improved its ERA by over half a run.
- Michael Cuddyer remains at peace with his decision to sign with the Rockies last offseason even amidst injuries and the team's inability to win games, writes Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post. The former Twins All-Star outfielder has found his niche by serving as a leader both on and off the field to the team's younger players. "He's very outgoing, always willing to help," said rookie Jordan Pacheco. "In spring training, he came up to me and said, 'I have played a couple of positions and I have been a utility guy before, so if you have any questions, just come ask me.' He's like that for everybody."
The Rockies have been scouting the Giants’ minor league teams, so a deal could be developing, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle writes (Twitter links). The Giants asked about acquiring Marco Scutaro for bench help a couple of weeks ago and relievers Rafael Betancourt and Matt Belisle could also interest San Francisco, Schulman writes. Here are more notes on the 37-60 Rockies…
- The Rockies don’t want to move Michael Cuddyer and are determined to keep Belisle, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com writes.
- Scutaro, Jason Giambi, Betancourt, Matt Reynolds and Jonathan Herrera are the most likely Rockies to be traded in that order, Heyman writes.
- The Rays, Nationals, Rangers and A’s appear to have interest in Scutaro, along with the Giants. Heyman reports that the Rockies could either seek a highly-regarded prospect for Scutaro or accept salary relief and a fringy prospect.
- Several teams have called about Reynolds, Heyman reports.
The Giants lead the NL West with a 49-40 record, but it doesn't sound as though they'll be particularly aggressive in trade talks this year (it won't be surprising if they trade for bullpen help). Still, there’s plenty of activity throughout the rest of the division with two weeks remaining in July. Here’s the latest…
- Six teams are discussing Chase Headley with the Padres, Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio reports (on Twitter). The Dodgers, Pirates, Indians, Orioles and Diamondbacks are all believed to have some interest in Headley, who’s under team control through 2014.
- Though there’s lots of interest in Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin, nothing seems close yet, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
- Michael Cuddyer has drawn trade interest from other teams, Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes. But the Rockies like Cuddyer and would have to eat a chunk of money to get the kind of players they'd want in return. A trade doesn't seem likely this summer.
- Here are the latest Justin Upton rumors.
Colorado is the epicenter of scouting activity this afternoon as Cole Hamels starts against the Rockies. The Angels, Dodgers, and Rangers are scouting the Phillie left-hander, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports (Twitter links). The Tigers are on hand taking a look at Marco Scutaro, tweets Tracy Ringolsby of Root Sports. Here's the rest of the news from the AL and NL West with the most recent up top:
- The Dodgers remain high on the Cubs' Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza and also have expressed interest in the Michael Cuddyer of the Rockies and Josh Willingham of the Twins, writes Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.
- The Angels keep telling teams Peter Bourjos is not available, tweets Knobler.
- The A's don't appear to be a fit with the Diamondbacks for Justin Upton, unless it's part of a multi-team deal, writes Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- In the same piece, Slusser writes, if the A's do make a trade, Bartolo Colon will be the first player dealt because he can net a decent prospect or two and the team has in-house replacement options.
- The A's will be buyers and sellers because they can move veteran starting pitching to fill other needs, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney.
- If the Diamondbacks do become sellers, Jon Morosi of Fox Sports tweets there will be interest in utilityman Willie Bloomquist because he can play short. The question is whether GM Kevin Towers will make him available.
- Earlier today, we learned the Dodgers may no longer be the favorite to land the Cubs' Ryan Dempster. There could a renewed sense of urgency as Chad Billingsley was scratched from his scheduled start today because of elbow pain. Billingsley will have a MRI, tweets MLB.com's Ken Gurnick, who adds manager Don Mattingly is unhappy the right-hander didn't disclose the injury earlier.
The 2011 amateur draft has officially produced its first Major Leaguer, as Trevor Bauer made his debut for the Diamondbacks tonight against the Braves. The third overall pick from 2011 was shaky in his first start in the Show (two runs on five hits and three walks over four innings and 74 pitches) but Bauer escaped with a no-decision.
Here are some more items from the D'Backs and elsewhere in the NL West…
- David Hernandez's two-year extension with the Diamondbacks is worth $3.5MM, reports Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. Hernandez received a $250K signing bonus, and the right-hander will earn $1.25MM in 2013 and $2MM in 2014.
- The Dodgers' seven-year, $42MM deal with Cuban prospect Yasel Puig has stunned many international scouting directors, reports Ben Badler of Baseball America. Puig's signing has caused a "huge disparity of opinion around the game," tweets ESPN's Buster Olney, who cites one scout that rated Puig as worth just a $500K contract.
- Dodgers president Stan Kasten tells Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times that the team is prepared to make "big" moves at the trade deadline and are willing to increase payroll. Kasten said he would prefer to take on more salary if it meant the Dodgers wouldn't have to trade a promising minor leaguer.
- The Rockies should try to deal Michael Cuddyer while he still has trade value, opines Fangraphs' Chris Cwik. Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd recently said he isn't going to move Cuddyer, though other teams have called about the veteran outfielder.
- Aubrey Huff told reporters (including Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle) that he hasn't thought about retiring despite his difficult 2012 season. The Giants veteran hasn't produced at the plate, battled an anxiety disorder and is currently on the DL after spraining his knee while celebrating Matt Cain's perfect game.
- Billionaire Steve Cohen dropped out of the bidding to buy the Padres once the price reached $800MM, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (via Twitter). Cohen is a Mets minority owner and was one of the top contenders to buy the Dodgers.