Tag Archive | "Mlb Trade Rumors"

MLB Trade Rumors Center Around St. Louis Cardinals Shortstop Pete Kozma

Trade rumors begin to swirl as spring training nears completion in Major League Baseball.  As Opening Day draws near, teams begin to identify their needs as well as their surpluses.  The St. Louis Cardinals, who have found themselves actively involved in the market for shortstops around the league over the last few seasons, suddenly find themselves with a player to offer to the market.

PeteKozma2

Pete Kozma is the odd man out in St. Louis, and general manager John Mozeliak hopes to benefit from that.

According to Adam Rubin of ESPN, the Cardinals have been shopping Kozma around the league, letting other teams know that the young shortstop is available:

The reasons for trade rumors surrounding Kozma are obvious.  The Cardinals signed Jhonny Peralta during the offseason, Daniel Descalso offers a backup option who can play multiple positions and the team needs the room on the 40-man roster.

All of this could lead to a trade for a low-level prospect in exchange for the man who played 143 games for the Cardinals last season.

Joe Strauss of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch points out another need that the Cardinals may wish to address with the rumored trade of Kozma based on the recent reassignment of relief pitcher Tyler Lyons.

“The Cardinals can option Kozma or keep him as Peralta’s backup. Having optioned Tyler Lyons to Memphis on Wednesday, the club could survey the market for long relief. No obvious internal candidate currently exists,” according to Strauss.

That option would not alleviate the roster restriction that exists but is a fair trade rumor as it fulfills both the team’s need and surplus at the same time.  The argument against a long reliever in return is based more on the value that Kozma holds.

Ben Humphrey of Viva El Birdos breaks down the value of Kozma on the market and what fans should expect in return.  Ultimately, Humphrey comes to the conclusion that a trade involving Kozmawould likely resemble the trade of Brendan Ryan in December of 2010.  In that trade, the Cardinals received relief pitcher Maikel Cleto, a low-level prospect with a lively arm.

The Cardinals will do their due diligence in shopping Kozma around to see if there is a trade that makes sense.  If the past can tell us anything, it is that Mozeliak will only move Kozma if he feels that the Cardinals will clearly benefit from the return.

Meanwhile, the trade rumors will continue to circulate.

Bill Ivie is the founder of i70baseball.com.
Follow him on Twitter to discuss all things baseball throughout the season.

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Triple Play: Jake Peavy, Michael Young, Joe Nathan

The non-waiver trade deadline is less than a week away. In this week’s Triple Play, we look at some of the players who are being bandied about in trade rumors, plus a few players who SHOULD be traded, along with our weekly Wainwright Walk Watch.

JakePeavy2

Who’s Hot?

Jake Peavy, ???

It’s not his pitching that has Peavy in the “hot” category – it’s all the trade rumors. With Matt Garza already traded and Cliff Lee not being made available by the Phillies, Peavy has been considered the top starter on the trade market. MLB Trade Rumors reported over the weekend that Peavy packed his bags and it’s highly unlikely he will make another start for the White Sox. ESPN’s Buster Olney is predicting that Peavy will end up with Oakland, which actually makes that scenario most unlikely. Rumors also have the Cardinals and Orioles in pursuit, but the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that nothing is imminent, while the O’s are “tapped out” financially, according to Jon Heyman. Peavy hasn’t been dominant since being activated from the disabled list after the All-Star break, but he has a 10-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio and has held opponents to a .229 batting average. The most logical destination remains Atlanta, regardless of what some national writers are reporting. After Tim Hudson’s horrific injury last week, the Braves need another starter. I think they can get a deal done with the White Sox that does not include top pitching prospect Alex Wood. Boston is another team that could use a starter, thanks to Clay Buchholz’s absence. The Red Sox are fairly deep in young players who could (should) interest the prospect-poor White Sox.

Who’s Not?

Michael Young, Philadelphia

As mentioned in last week’s column, I do not understand the infatuation with Young. There are plenty of players who can put up the following batting line: .277/.342/.402, 7 HR, 32 RBI, 38 runs, 1 SB. Here are some examples: Drew Stubbs (not a full-time outfielder), Luke Scott, Stephen Drew (both injured for part of the season), John Mayberry (reserve outfielder), Eric Chavez (reserve infielder), and David DeJesus (platoon outfielder). Yet several teams, including Young’s former team (Texas), have shown interest in him, despite his lackluster July performance (.236/.333/.375 batting line). If deployed as part of a strict platoon, Young could have some value as a designated hitter for a contender, but players like that should not require much in trade. This seems a case where Young’s past hitting success will result in the Phillies being able to obtain a couple of prospects from a team. That being the case, this should a no-brainer situation for the Phillies, who are in dire need of an infusion of young talent. Then again, GM Ruben Amaro hasn’t always shown in inclination to do what’s in the best interest of his team’s future. I’d say the chances of Young actually being traded are about 60-40, at best.

Playing the Name Game

Player A: 6-6, 3.06 ERA, 1.077 WHIP, 7.0 K/9, 3.57 K/BB, 134 ERA+

Player B: .278/.366/.500, 13 HR, 44 RBI, 42 runs, 146 OPS+

Player A is Kansas City’s Ervin Santana. Player B is the Padres’ Carlos Quentin. Both are players who should be traded by Wednesday’s deadline. Given the Angels’ terrible pitching this season, they would probably like to have Santana back. He has been up-and-down this year, but his two starts since the All-Star break have been terrific (both wins): 15 1/3 IP, 0.59 ERA, nine hits, one run allowed, nine strikeouts, three walks. He’s younger than Peavy, much less of a health risk, and has the capability to dominate. Kansas City is hovering around .500, honestly not much of a threat to the Tigers or Indians in the AL Central (the current six-game win streak notwithstanding). Considering the return package the Cubs received for Matt Garza, who will be a free agent at season’s end, the Royals should be able to match that for Santana.

Quentin, meanwhile, would be a perfect fit for a team looking for an outfield bat or DH upgrade (Rangers, Pirates, Orioles, Athletics). When he isn’t starting brawls with opposing pitchers, Quentin offers plenty of power (.866 OPS) that would boost several contenders’ lineups. Once the Padres get Cameron Maybin and Kyle Blanks back from the disabled list, they will have a glut of outfielders who should play most every day. Quentin’s contract, which pays him a combined $17.5 million in 2014-15, is quite reasonable, making him an even more attractive commodity. Trading Quentin for some young pitching would help San Diego on two fronts. Failing to trade him would be a mistake.

Player A: 1-2, 33 Sv, 1.69 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 8.7 K/9

Player B: 1-1, 32 Sv, 1.73 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 9.5 K/9

Player A is Mariano Rivera. Player B is the Rangers’ Joe Nathan, who could be on the block. At first blush, this would appear to drastically change the trade market. One of the premier closers in baseball suddenly being available would have contenders lining up, right? Teams like Detroit, Boston, and the L.A. Dodgers have dealt with bullpens in flux the entire season. But why would Texas trade Nathan to an AL contender? The Dodgers seem like a possibility, what with their bottomless wallets, but what do they have to offer the Rangers in exchange? The Pirates might have a need due to Jason Grilli’s injury, and they have the prospects to entice Texas, but if they are looking for hitters, not pitchers. With the Rangers chasing the Oakland Athletics in the NL West and several other teams in the wild-card hunt, it would seem like the Rangers would be better served to keep their closer. On the other hand, if they are determined to not exercise the $9 million team option for 2014 on the 38-year-old Nathan, that may be driving the decision to entertain trade offers.

Random Thoughts

  • Wainwright Walk Watch: Adam Wainwright went 37 innings before walking his first batter, so we are keeping track of how few free passes the Cardinals’ ace issues throughout the remainder of the season. After a fine start last Friday against the Braves (7 IP, 7 H, 3 ER) which resulted in a loss, Wainwright’s strikeout-to-walk ratio sits at 145-to-18 (8.06-to-1). That ratio is still the best in the majors. Wainwright’s main competition in the fewest-walks competition remains Oakland’s Bartolo Colon (also with 18 walks, but only 77 strikeouts). The next-best K/BB ratio belongs to Seattle’s Hisashi Iwakuma (5.86-to-1).
  • If Pittsburgh truly is considering a trade for Justin Morneau, I applaud the creative thinking. Garrett Jones can move to right field. Morneau’s experience might be just what the young, hungry Pirates need.
  • Another name that offense-starved teams should keep in mind: Kendrys Morales. Seattle seems to have about a half-team of first-base/DH types on the team; fan favorite Raul Ibanez probably isn’t going anywhere and Michael Morse wouldn’t bring as much in value. Morales, once an anchor for the Angels’ lineup, has belted 16 homers and driven in 58 runs this season. He would fit in well at first base in Pittsburgh, or at DH in Texas, Baltimore, Oakland, and Tampa Bay.
  • An ugly weekend for the Cardinals (getting broomed by the Braves in Atlanta) has some fans clamoring for a trade to either boost the rotation or replace shortstop Pete Kozma. If GM John Mozeliak can let Albert Pujols walk away after winning a World Series, I highly doubt one bad series is going to cause him to make a panic move.
  • Speaking of Pujols, the sight of him leaving the game Saturday night due to his plantar fasciitis was difficult to watch. Cardinals fans know how long that foot malady plagued Pujols in St. Louis, but he was able to play through it most of the time. If the condition is bad enough to force him to the disabled list, then the pain must be excruciating. His pain tolerance is one of the reasons he earned the nickname “The Machine.”
  • Beginning in 2014, the Angels have eight years and $212 left on his contract. Yikes.
  • News: Yahoo reported over the weekend that the Angels are “open for business.” Views: they really don’t have many marketable pieces; their middle infielders (Howard Kendrick, Erick Aybar) could attract some interest, but since they aren’t trading guys like Mike Trout or Mark Trumbo, they probably won’t be making very many deals.
  • Let’s see here: Jeter and Soriano homer, Rivera picks up win as Yankees rally to win. Is it 2013 or 2001?
  • A first-person review of Miami’s 20-year-old phenom Jose Fernandez as he shut down the Rockies at Coors Field last Tuesday night: he might not throw quite as hard as Justin Verlander or Aroldis Chapman, but Fernandez’s fastball absolutely explodes out of his hand. He is a much better pitcher already than Jeffrey Loria deserves.
  • Tino Martinez, fired over the weekend for alleged abusive conduct involving Marlins’ players, says he is “unsure” whether he will coach again. I think the rest of us are sure, Tino. You’re done. I wouldn’t count on a TV job anytime soon, either.
  • Series of the week: St. Louis at Pittsburgh. The Cardinals come to town with a one-game lead over the Pirates, who lost two of three to the Marlins. St. Louis is 2-3 against the Pirates this season. Pittsburgh is 32-18 at home in 2013.
  • Trade deadline prediction #1: the Orioles will find that they aren’t actually “tapped out” after all and make another deal for a pitcher.
  • Trade deadline prediction #2: Pittsburgh will find the additional hitter they need, along with another reliever to help cover the loss of Grilli.
  • Trade deadline prediction #3: Oakland, emboldened by their continued success without a big-name superstar, will make a big splash to bolster the team.
  • I guarantee at least a .333 average on these predictions. That, and 99 cents, will get you a Big Gulp.

Follow me on Twitter: @ccaylor10

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Rasmus Back In Missouri

The news broke late Monday night over at MLB Trade Rumors that former Cardinal centerfielder, Colby Rasmus, may end up wearing powder blue on the other side of the state in 2012.

Rasmus was the center piece in the Cardinals trade deadline deal that brought pitching and bench help to St. Louis during the stretch run. An outfielder with huge potential, Rasmus had been highly touted as a can’t miss player in St. Louis for many years. When he arrived in St. Louis, however, he would struggle under manager Tony LaRussa.

LaRussa, known for his tinkering and adjusting, limited Rasmus in duty against left handed pitchers early on in his career. Colby was no saint in the situation, demanding to be traded not once but twice, and refusing the help of team coaches in an apparent desire to follow the teaching of his father. Colby’s performance and attitude soured and after a year long battle behind the scenes with management, he was shipped off to Toronto.

An already tough season would see the wheels fall off when Colby arrived north of the border. The outfielder struggled in the new system and performed horribly down the stretch. A look at Colby’s career numbers:

Year Tm G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2009 STL 147 474 72 119 22 2 16 52 3 36 95 .251 .307 .407 .714
2010 STL 144 464 85 128 28 3 23 66 12 63 148 .276 .361 .498 .859
2011 TOT 129 471 75 106 24 6 14 53 5 50 116 .225 .298 .391 .688
2011 STL 94 338 61 83 14 6 11 40 5 45 77 .246 .332 .420 .753
2011 TOR 35 133 14 23 10 0 3 13 0 5 39 .173 .201 .316 .517
3 Seasons 420 1409 232 353 74 11 53 171 20 149 359 .251 .322 .432 .754
162 Game Avg. 162 543 89 136 29 4 20 66 8 57 138 .251 .322 .432 .754
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/29/2011.

Colby’s drop off in 2011 makes him a gamble in 2012. That being said, very few people feel that 2011 was the true Colby Rasmus. He is young (25 years old) and still has a big chance to grow. He is a proven commodity at the major league level and can provide some pop.

The National Post reported in September that Rasmus seemed a bit out of sorts. When asked about his timing at the plate, the article read this way:

Yet when asked about the focus of his daily drills, Rasmus replied: “I’m not working on anything right now.”

He said he is eager for the season to end, for the pressure of high expectations to fade, for a few months away from baseball to dissolve the bitter taste of his final days in St. Louis.

“I still got a lot of stuff going on through my head from being over in St. Louis,” Rasmus said before the Jays’ final home game Thursday night.

In addition, in that same article, it did not appear that Colby was open to the coaching being offered to him:

“I feel like I’ve played the outfield pretty good but my hitting’s been terrible,” he said. “But I wasn’t hitting good before I got here, so I didn’t really put too much expectation on myself to do good.”

The interview took place shortly after manager John Farrell said the Jays want Rasmus to stop trying to pull the ball on every swing. He needs to use the whole field and refine the timing of his leg kick, which serves as the trigger for his swing, Farrell said.

Even after a reporter told him what Farrell had said, Rasmus insisted he was “not working on anything.”

“I’m just going out there and hitting. Trying not to think too much. That’s where I got in trouble in the beginning.”

After joining the Jays, he said he tried “to fix too much stuff in the middle of the season, which is not a good idea. So I’m just going out there and playing and just riding it out, and then work on it in the off-season.”

The concern for me is his attitude. I have been a big supporter of Jeff Francoeur on this team due to his leadership qualities with the younger ballplayers. He has shown solid veteran leadership and fits in well to the grand scheme of the team growing in maturity and competing in the near future. Colby can be a strong part of that nucleus, but if he continues to buck against the system and his coaches, he could quickly become a clubhouse cancer.

With the recent additions of Jonathan Broxton and Jonathan Sanchez, the Royals are showing they are willing to take a bit of a risk on a high potential return. They seem to be making solid moves towards the future. Colby has the potential to be a part of a very strong future in Kansas City. He also has the potential to shake the foundation of the franchise from within.

It will be up to Dayton Moore to decide which side of the argument he feels has the greater potential.

Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball as well as the Assignment Editor for BaseballDigest.com.
He is the host of I-70 Radio, hosted every week on BlogTalkRadio.com.
Follow him on Twitter here.

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In Sanchez We Trust?

The Royals have not been quiet about their desire to add starting pitching this off-season. Nor have they shied away from discussing the many prospects they have in the pipeline in order to acquire a pitcher.

Dayton Moore was able to accomplish what most thought improbable, he improved his starting rotation and dealt from the major league roster, freeing up a spot for one of the talented youngsters going forward. In addition to not trading from the pipeline of minor league talent that Kansas City is enjoying, he added to it.

Melky Cabrera is no longer a Kansas City Royal. After one short season with the club after being released by the Atlanta Braves, the Royals have chosen to trade Cabrera while his value is high and have gained the return of Jonathan Sanchez for the Major League rotation and Ryan Verdugo for the minor league system.

Melky’s stats last year as a Royal:

Year Age Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB
2011 26 KCR 155 706 658 102 201 44 5 18 87 20 10 35 94 .305 .339 .470 .809 309
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/7/2011.

The goal for the Royals was to find a top of the rotation starter at an affordable price. Sounds easy enough, right? Dayton Moore has successfully added to his rotation depth, but what did the Royals get in return for an outfielder that seemed to have a solid bounce back year for the team?

Sanchez has been one of the harder pitchers to figure out, both for opposing hitters and his own coaches. A dominant pitcher with a live arm, his strikeout rates are consistently high over his six year career. However, so are his walk rates. While he keeps hitters guessing, there are times he has the same effect on his catcher. Our friends at MLB Trade Rumors had this to say about Sanchez in reaction to the trade:

Sanchez, 28, may have been a non-tender candidate for the Giants after a disappointing 2011 season that saw him walk 5.9 per nine innings and miss significant time with biceps tendinitis and a sprained ankle. The southpaw is tough to hit and has big-time strikeout numbers, but control has always been a problem. In Sanchez, Felipe Paulino, and Danny Duffy, Royals GM Dayton Moore has strong strikeout potential for three-fifths of his 2012 rotation. Sanchez projects to earn $5.2MM in 2012, after which he’ll be eligible for free agency. That he was traded for one year of Cabrera shows how much his trade value slipped during the ’11 season. Sanchez was set to battleBarry Zito for the Giants’ fifth starter job next year.

Read Tim Dierkes full take on the trade by clicking here.

On July 10, 2009, Sanchez showed just how dominant he can be by crafting a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres. One look at his line from that day and “dominant” is the only way to describe it:

Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA BF Pit Str Ctct StS StL GB FB LD Unk GSc IR IS WPA aLI RE24
Jonathan Sanchez, W (3-8) 9 0 0 0 0 11 0 4.69 28 110 77 44 12 21 6 11 1 0 98 0.220 0.30 4.6
Team Totals 9 0 0 0 0 11 0 0.00 28 110 77 44 12 21 6 11 1 0 98 0.220 0.39 4.6
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/7/2011.

If new pitching coach Dave Eiland can help get the six-foot tall lefty to harness his control, the Royals have found the ace of their staff for 2012. If not, the Royals may be found looking at the trade deadline to bolster their staff a bit, should they find themselves in contention in 2012.

Jonathan Sanchez Career Statistics:

Year Age Tm W L ERA G GS GF CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO ERA+ WHIP BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2004 21 SFG-min 7 1 3.72 15 9 3 0 0 48.1 38 22 20 3 28 1 61 1.366 5.2 11.4 2.18
2005 22 SFG-min 5 7 4.08 25 25 0 0 0 125.2 122 59 57 8 39 0 166 1.281 2.8 11.9 4.26
2006 23 SFG-min 4 3 2.29 19 9 4 0 0 55.0 27 17 14 1 22 0 74 0.891 3.6 12.1 3.36
2006 23 SFG 3 1 4.95 27 4 4 0 0 40.0 39 26 22 2 23 0 33 92 1.550 5.2 7.4 1.43
2007 24 SFG-min 0 0 1.90 8 5 0 0 0 23.2 15 5 5 0 9 0 32 1.014 3.4 12.2 3.56
2007 24 SFG 1 5 5.88 33 4 8 0 0 52.0 57 34 34 8 28 1 62 77 1.635 4.8 10.7 2.21
2008 25 SFG 9 12 5.01 29 29 0 0 0 158.0 154 90 88 14 75 1 157 88 1.449 4.3 8.9 2.09
2009 26 SFG 8 12 4.24 32 29 2 1 1 163.1 135 82 77 19 88 5 177 101 1.365 4.8 9.8 2.01
2010 27 SFG 13 9 3.07 34 33 0 0 0 193.1 142 74 66 21 96 4 205 127 1.231 4.5 9.5 2.14
2011 28 SFG-min 1 0 6.59 3 3 0 0 0 13.2 16 10 10 2 7 0 16 1.683 4.6 10.5 2.29
2011 28 SFG 4 7 4.26 19 19 0 0 0 101.1 80 54 48 9 66 2 102 84 1.441 5.9 9.1 1.55
6 Seasons 38 46 4.26 174 118 14 1 1 708.0 607 360 335 73 376 13 736 97 1.388 4.8 9.4 1.96
162 Game Avg. 9 11 4.26 41 27 3 0 0 165 141 84 78 17 88 3 171 97 1.388 4.8 9.4 1.96
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/7/2011.

Of course, the dealing of Cabrera also leaves the middle of the outfield open for 2012, paving the way for prospect Lorenzo Cain to join the team fresh from Spring Training.

Cain, a product of the trade of Zack Greinke to the Milwaukee Brewers, has had some minor success at the major league level in limited action for the Brewers in 2010. He spent most of 2011 at AAA Omaha for the Royals and showed that he can hit and field his position rather well. His strikeout rate is high, but projecting him to hit either second in front of Billy Butler and Eric Hosmer or sixth behind them and Mike Moustakas could be a safe gamble.

The Royals will not live or die with the success of Cain. His bat will be a benefit to the ball club if they need it. They will, however, need production from Jonathan Sanchez if 2012 is the turning point of this team’s path.

No one knows if Moore is done dealing this off-season, but it appears he got his man early on and next year will determine how solid of a move it was.

Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball as well as the Assignment Editor for BaseballDigest.com.
He is the host of I-70 Radio, hosted every week on BlogTalkRadio.com.
Follow him on Twitter here.

Posted in Featured, RoyalsComments (0)

NYT: Guillen Left Off Giants’ Postseason Roster Because Of HGH Investigation

Former Kansas City Royals slugger Jose Guillen is under investigation for performance-enhancing drugs, and he was left off of the San Francisco Giants’ postseason roster because of the investigation – and not because of an injury, as team officials previously claimed – according to the New York Times.

Guillen’s removal from the Giants’ postseason roster was a surprise to many baseball insiders, but the outfielder has been haunted by injuries in the past, so no one was shocked when team officials cited a nagging neck injury as the reason he was dropped from the roster.

Now, that appears to not be the case. According to the Times, it appears that Major League Baseball directed the Giants to leave Guillen off the roster because of the investigation.

The federal investigation apparently centers around shipments of Human Growth Hormone being sent to Guillen’s wife. In addition to the federal inquiry, Major League Baseball has also opened its own investigation.

Guillen has been a controversial figure during a 14-year big league career spanning 10 organizations. His two-and-a-half season stint with the Kansas City Royals, for which he was given a three-year, $36 million contract, was his longest tenure with any single team. While in Kansas City, Guillen provided a modest spark to an otherwise stagnant offense, but he also caused problems off the field by picking fights with fans, insulting his teammates to the media, and removing his own ingrown toenail without team or doctor consent.

Guillen has also run afoul of baseball’s steroids policy in the past. He was named in the Mitchell Report as one of 89 players in baseball linked to performance-enhancing drugs. Guillen was suspended for the first 15 games of the 2008 season – his first in Kansas City.

MLB Trade Rumors speculates that Guillen’s removal from the Giants’ postseason roster might actually have been a blessing for the team. After defeating the Atlanta Braves in the divisional series and the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLCS, the Giants hold a 2-0 lead over the Texas Rangers in the World Series. Guillen would have probably taken playing time away from Cody Ross, who is batting .317 with four home runs and a .732 slugging percentage in the playoffs.

Matt Kelsey is a Royals writer and the content editor for I-70 Baseball. He can be reached at mattkelsey@i70baseball.com.

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