The Rockies are scouring the trade market for starting pitchers, and Lance Berkman's calf is already barking.
The trade market came alive, if only briefly, on Wednesday, when the Red Sox acquired Mike Carp from the Mariners for a player to be named later or cash. Those hoping for more Hot Stove action might now want to turn their eyes toward Colorado, where general manager Dan O’Dowd is understandably discontent with his current rotation.
Rockies could seek starting pitcher via trade
According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, O’Dowd is exploring deals for a reliable, number-four-type starter, who could offer 175 dependable innings to a rotation teeming with question marks. First-year manager Walt Weiss inherited from his predecessor, Jim Tracy, a starting crew that ranked dead last in the majors with a 5.81 ERA in 2012. That figure is bloated by the 81 games the Rockies played at Coors Field, and potentially also by the 75-pitch limit that the team imposed on its starters midyear, but barring a significant rotation improvement, another last-place finish might well be in store.
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The Mariners face a Thursday deadline to move Mike Carp, and the Biogenesis saga won't go away.
Mike Carp, a victim of the Mariners’ logjam at the corner positions and in the designated-hitter slot, was designated for assignment on Feb. 12. That kept him out Zachary Levine’s Meeting of the Mariner DHs on Tuesday and should ensure that he will be en route to his third professional organization before the end of the workweek. Where might Carp be headed? Let’s take a look…
Carp should probably pack his bags
The Brewers, who are scrambling for a stopgap first baseman after learning that Mat Gamel will miss the entire 2013 season with a re-torn ACL in his right knee, were considered the most likely destination for Carp earlier this week. MLB.com beat writer Adam McCalvy confirmed that general manager Doug Melvin had contacted his former assistant, Jack Zduriencik, about the 26-year-old Carp. But, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, less than 24 hours later, Melvin changed his mind.
Adam Wainwright seems flexible about an extension, and the Brewers are running out of options at first base.
The spring before a key player’s contract year is prime time for long-term negotiations, and the Hot Stove’s extension burner is predictably heating up. Last April, the Giants came to terms on a six-year, $127.5 million pact with their ace, Matt Cain. Now, their National League Championship Series foes, the Cardinals, are hoping to do the same with theirs.
Cardinals working on long-term deal for Adam Wainwright
According to Joe Strauss, who covers the Redbirds for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Wainwright and general manager John Mozeliak are holding discussions about the right-hander’s future, even though the sides have publicly said that they are currently in a “pause” period. Strauss believes that the “pause” is meant simply to divert attention from any talks between Mozeliak and agent Steve Hammond, who crafted Andrew McCutchen’s six-year, $51.5 million extension with the Pirates last March.
Ryan Madson could return to throwing soon, and the Athletics are leaving no stone unturned in their search for a first baseman.
The Reds invested $8.5 million in Ryan Madson last offseason, only to watch the former Phillie go down with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and miss the entire season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on April 11. Madson declined the mutual option included in his contract to hit the market for the second time in his career, and quickly drew a $3.5 million gamble from the Angels, who hoped to buy low on the recovering right-hander and thereby address their late-inning relief struggles.
Now, as most Americans enjoy their Presidents Day off, Madson will come to the Angels facility in Tempe facing a big day at the office. Today’s Roundup begins there…
The Cubs are zeroing in on their starting rotation, and Kyle Lohse might come off the market soon.
Now that Michael Bourn has signed and Kyle Lohse is somewhat of a lone wolf on the free-agent market, the rumor mill has grown too cold to sustain a daily Roundup. Not to worry, though—to compensate, I am simply going to stretch the meaning of the word “rumor” to include the mélange of spring training stories, from players who are in the best shapes of their lives to position battles and roster decisions, in addition to the Hot Stove’s last gasps.
To that end, today’s Roundup begins in Mesa, Arizona, where the Cubs’ pitchers and catchers have settled for the next month and a half, as second-year manager Dale Sveum and the front-office crew of Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer decide their roles.
Justin Verlander isn't the only pitcher who wants to stay in Detroit long-term, and Scott Rolen is running out of options.
Around this time three years ago, the Tigers found common ground with their ace, Justin Verlander, on a five-year, $80 million extension that bought out his first two years of free agency. In 2012, Verlander found a partner in crime in Max Scherzer, who delivered a 3.8 WARP effort to help fuel Detroit’s run to the World Series. Both of the flame-throwing northpaws are under the Tigers’ control through at least the 2014 season, and the latter hopes to stay much longer than that.
Scherzer seeks a long-term extension from Tigers
According to MLB.com beat writer Jason Beck, Scherzer is healthy and waiting for general manager Dave Dombrowski to open talks on a deal that could keep him in Detroit for close to the rest of the decade. The 28-year-old forewent his second year of arbitration eligibility by agreeing to a $6.725 million paycheck for 2013—nearly a $3 million raise from his 2012 salary of $3.75 million, which also came by way of a pre-hearing settlement.
With Michael Bourn finally signed, Kyle Lohse might finally get some attention... or not.
With Michael Bourn joining the Indians, agent Scott Boras is 2-for-3 when it comes to finding new homes for clients dogged by rejected qualifying offers. The elephant in the room for Boras is Kyle Lohse, whose stock has waned because of the draft-pick cost associated with signing him, and perhaps because teams are unwilling to extend a lucrative commitment to a 34-year-old pitcher coming off of a career year. As a reward for his patience in the face of disillusionment, Lohse gets today’s Roundup all to himself.
Michael Bourn finally signs, Drew Stubbs could be on the move, and Jordan Zimmermann and the Nationals are moving closer to a one-year deal.
About a week ago, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the Indians could enter the Michael Bourn derby “if his price tag dropped A LOT.” Well, his price tag, once rumored to be $75 million over five years, dropped to $48 million over four years, and that was enough for general manager Chris Antonetti to pull the trigger. R.J. Anderson tackled the implications of the move for Bourn and the Indians in his Transaction Analysis; today’s Roundup begins with a look at the next item on Antonetti’s docket.
Indians could move Drew Stubbs after adding Bourn
With Bourn in tow, the Indians appear to have four outfielders for three spots. The lone holdover, Michael Brantley, will move from center field to left to make room for Bourn, who will be flanked by fellow free-agent pickup Nick Swisher. So, where does that leave Stubbs, who was acquired from the Reds in the three-team trade that also brought former Diamondbacks top prospect Trevor Bauer to Cleveland? According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, there is a chance that he will be asked to pack his bags yet again.
Felix Hernandez's megadeal might be off the table, but Michael Bourn is still attempting to woo someone toward his table.
In Friday’s Roundup, regular rumor rounder-upper Daniel Rathman noted the Mariners’ recent Felix Hernandez extension might impact negotiations for Clayton Kershaw, with a trickle-down effect on other starting pitchers looking for a new contract. Well, Kershaw may want to slowly back his way out of the war room, because it appears that Hernandez’s megadeal—which would have made him the richest pitcher ever and set a high bar for Kershaw’s inevitable extension—appears to be as tenuous as the right elbow that’s currently holding it up.
Hernandez deal in jeopardy? Buster Olney had the story Sunday evening, with one source saying a possible elbow problem is “an issue” that might prevent the deal from being signed. No matter where you look on this story, the language is vague, and it almost sounds like there isn’t a medical condition at all but rather the promise that fatigue may cause one down the line. Hernandez apparently took a physical with the Mariners on Thursday (per Jon Morosi), and if it had revealed an immediate medical concern, you’d think we’d have heard about it and the deal would be either all the way on or all the way off. Instead we’ve got a lot of hemming and hawing as the media try to figure out just what’s going on, and both Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik and Hernandez’s camp have been tight-lipped about the proceedings.
Jon Garland is garnering interest, and the Dodgers would like to extend Clayton Kershaw.
Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik was a busy man on Thursday: Over a span of only a few hours, he added free agent Joe Saunders to his rotation and ensured that Felix Hernandez would be fronting it for the rest of the decade. The former move was a one-year deal, the latter a seven-year,$175 million blockbuster—and both of them could impact the market for teams that still have work to do this spring. Today’s Roundup features two players who stand to benefit.
Multiple teams kicking the tires on Jon Garland
Now that Saunders has settled on his new home, the list of unemployed pitchers is low on veterans who performed well last year. There is, however, no shortage of clubs that could use another proven starter to fortify their staffs. Since demand now far outstrips supply, general managers who missed the boat on the likes of Saunders and Shaun Marcum will need to get creative to address their remaining holes.
The Rangers could use prospects outside of their natural positions in 2013, and the Mets are still interested in Michael Bourn.
The Rangers fell short in the Zack Greinke sweepstakes, watched Josh Hamilton join their division rivals in Anaheim, failed to land any of the big-name center fielders, and decided not to meet the Diamondbacks’ lofty asking price for Justin Upton. Yet, despite adding only a handful of lower-tier free agents—Lance Berkman, A.J. Pierzynski, Joakim Soria—to his now-Hamilton-less roster, general manager Jon Daniels is content with the players who will soon report to the team’s camp in Surprise, Arizona.
Rangers could use top prospects at unfamiliar positions
According to Jeff Wilson, a beat writer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Daniels is determined to maximize the contributions of the hitters who are already under his team’s control, even if that means using some of his most talented young bats at positions that they have seldom (if ever) played before. Mike Olt in right field? Jurickson Profar in center? To both of those scenarios, Daniels says, “Why not?”
The Astros might not be done dealing, and the Indians could look in on Michael Bourn.
The Astros breathed life into the Hot Stove earlier this week, when they agreed to send infielder Jed Lowrie to the Athletics in a five-player swaps, but the flames have since died down again. Fortunately, second-year general manager Jeff Luhnow might soon provide more fuel…
Astros could keep wheeling and dealing, with Bud Norris on the block
According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, after a dormant month and a half, the market for Norris is once again gaining steam. The Astros, as Rosenthal pointed out in the afore-linked blog post, have plenty of candidates to take over Norris’ spot in the rotation, and since the right-hander is gradually becoming more expensive, it makes sense for them to cash-in now.