Posted on: July 29, 2011 10:29 pm
By Scott Miller
The Padres have vowed they will not deal closer Heath Bell for anything less than a highly attractive return, and heading into the final hours toward the trade deadline, they're putting the Rangers to that test.
The Padres and Rangers continue to discuss Bell, sources with knowledge of the talks told CBSSports.com, though those discussions did not advance much Friday from where they were a day earlier. The Padres' price has not come down, and Texas' offer has not increased.
Even at that, however, Bell still may be the Rangers' player to lose (if there is such a thing as "losing" a player you've never had): St. Louis continues to stay involved, according to sources, but only on the "fringe." And the Angels, who are said to be looking to boost their bullpen, currently are not involved.
That isn't to say the Angels or other clubs could not jump into the talks Saturday or sometime before Sunday's 4 p.m. EDT deadline. But as of now, the Rangers remain the biggest presence at the trade table, and they and the Padres continue to engage in a staredown.
According to CBSSports.com sources, the Padres are asking a three-player return for Bell, which surely could be adjusted down to two players if Texas produces the right two players. The Padres watched left-handed pitcher Robbie Erlin's last start for Double-A Frisco and are believed interested in him. A few other key names in the Texas system: Martin Perez, a left-hander pitching at Triple-A Round Rock, Frisco right-handers Tanner Scheppers and Joe Wieland, and shortstop Jurickson Profar, 18, currently playing at Class A Hickory.
Bell, who collected his 30th save on Thursday, owns a 2.34 ERA and said of a trade, "It's going to happen."
He predicted: "It probably will be down to the wire."
That's the way it looks now. Texas is intent on improving its bullpen: Its 4.46 ERA is fourth-highest in the AL and the Rangers' 15 blown saves were tied for the third-highest. And as highly regarded as closer Neftali Feliz is, Rangers manager Ron Washington said the other day that he would like to see "a little more fire" from the closer.
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels traveled to Toronto for this weekend's series with the Blue Jays, and several of his key advisers are with him as they sort through final offers and final moves between now and Sunday's deadline.
If the Padres elect to hold on to Bell and he leaves as a free agent this winter, they would receive two compensatory draft picks for him, the first one likely 20-something picks into the draft and the other in the 40s.
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Posted on: July 10, 2011 8:58 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 12:58 pm
By Matt Snyder
PHOENIX -- Hey, we're here, might as well earn our keep. Here's a 3 Up, 3 Down for the Future's Game, which was played Sunday night in Chase Field between most of the game's best up-and-coming prospects. The U.S. team beat the World team 6-4 after taking control with a three-run eighth.
U.S. second basemen. How about some production from the middle of the infield? Jason Kipnis, who isn't far away from joining the Cleveland Indians, led off the first with a home run to right off Julio Teheran, which is no small feat. When Kipnis left the game, Grant Green (A's organization) took over and didn't miss a beat. Green clubbed a pair of doubles, scoring once and driving in one, winning the Larry Doby MVP Award for the game. Eight total bases in four at-bats from second basemen isn't too shabby.
Jarred Cosart (Phillies organization) and Brad Peacock (Nationals organization). In the small sample size of one inning -- no pitcher threw more than one all game -- these were the two most impressive pitchers. Both had efficient, 1-2-3 innings in which they made the opposing hitters look off-balance.
Jurickson Profar (Rangers organization). Of all the impressive things we saw Sunday in Chase Field, Profar's triple ranks among the best. He crushed a ball into the right-center gap and just glided into third base. The speedy shortstop was rounding second base before an outfielder touched the ball and, had there been a bobble or anything, Profar would have scored. This kid can fly. And he's only 18.
Bryce Harper (Nationals organization). Harper looked overmatched against Teheran in the first inning, striking out looking on a 95-mph heater on the black. Of course, it's possible that's the best pitcher Harper has ever seen as he was only recently promoted to Double-A. Teheran has made two starts in the bigs this year. Harper grounded out to first base in each of his next two at-bats and then struck out -- following two straight doubles from his U.S. teammates -- in the eighth. Defensively, Harper made a huge throw home on a double -- showcasing his rocket arm -- but it was ill-advised. He had no shot at cutting the lead runner down and the back-side runner advanced an extra base. Hitting the cut-off man would have been the right move. In fairness to Harper, he's still really young (18), even for this game, but it was not a great showing.
Kelvin Herrera (Royals organization). The 21-year-old reliever has dominated in both High-A and Double-A this season, but Sunday was a different story. The U.S. bats got hot against Herrera, and he had to be pulled before his inning was complete. Grant Green and Tim Beckham doubled back-to-back to tie the game at four. Harper's strikeout and a fly out to shallow center meant Herrera had a chance to get out of the inning with only limited damage, but then things got ugly again. Austin Romine singled and Nolan Arenado doubled to chase Herrera from the game. His final line: 2/3 inning, four hits, three earned runs, three doubles and the loss.
Drew Pomeranz (Indians organization). He's only in Class-A, so it's possible Pomeranz was just a bit overmatched, but the World team really knocked him around the yard. He gave up a single, two-run homer, walk and double. The homer, walk and double all came with two outs, too. Pomeranz ended up being charged with all four runs the World team scored.
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Posted on: April 12, 2011 10:13 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:14 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Sendai, Japan, had something to cheer about on Tuesday -- baseball.
The northern Japanese city that was ravished by last month's earthquake is home to the Rakuten Eagles, who opened the Japanese baseball season with a 6-4 victory over the defending champion Chiba Lotte Marines.
The game was played a bit south in Chiba and the Eagles' stadium won't be ready until April 29, but TV showed people in shelters watching the game and each fan in the Chiba cheering section held up signs that said, "Stay Strong Japan."
"Despite the difficult conditions, we are able to open the season because everybody helped us to do it," former big leaguer and current Eagle Kaz Matsui told the Associated Press. "I want to carry this feeling of appreciation for the whole year by playing baseball."
Former National and Yankee, and current Eagle Darrell Rasner said he thought fans were happy to see games played, the Central League also started with the Yokohama BayStars beating the Chunichi Dragons 5-4.
"It is a sense of normalcy for them," Rasner told the AP. "It's something that's ingrained in them and, you know, I think this is going to be a healing process. This is going to be a great thing for them."
Not everyone aggress.
"Watching baseball is not the first thing on anyone's mind in Tokyo either," reporter Kozo Abe told author Robert Whiting, writing for SI.com. "The Japanese feeling at the moment is that they are not ready to root for the revival of Japanese baseball from the bottom of their heart."
One estimate says there are 30,000 people dead or missing and as many as 400,000 are homeless from the earthquake and tsunami. Half of the 12 NPB teams play in areas affected by the disaster. With many still without power, there's a debate whether using power on baseball games is the best way to use resources. Even though teams are playing more day games, enough power is used one day game at the Tokyo Dome to power 6,000 homes.
The Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan's largest newspaper, has had many call in and cancel their subscriptions to the newspaper that also owns the country's most popular team, the Yomiuri Giants, who publicly were against pushing back the season's starting date to today. The Giants will not play at home until next month in hopes of conserving energy.
It will be interesting to see how many people show up to games. Going to baseball games requires discretionary income, right now that's not exactly in abundance, and if it is, there's better use of that money in Japan.
Baseball did have to return to Japan, a country that loves the game as much (or more) than we do, but the start seems awkward, even though there was no easy way to avoid it.
TALKING PITCHING -- I join Lauren Shehadi to talk about some of the game's best pitchers. I don't like to overreact to one or two starts at the start of the season, so you know. But hey, you get the picture of me with my beard at its fullest.
NICE TOUCH -- Really nice scene last night when the Giants and Dodgers got together in a presume ceremony for Bryan Stow, who was beaten in the Dodger Stadium parking lot earlier this month. [Los Angeles Times]
ROAD DOGS -- The first nine games of yesterday were won by the road team and the Blue Jays took an early 7-0 lead on the Mariners before coughing up the lead and giving the home team its first victory of the day. Only once before -- on July 30, 1890, had all the road teams win on a day with 10 or more games.
WRIGLEY'S FOR THE BIRDS -- Flocks of ring-billed gulls have made Wrigley Field one of their favorite feeding spots. At times you'll see more birds than fans in the stands. [Chicago Sun-Times]
NO-HITTER -- Trey Haley, Francisco Jimenez and Clayton Ehlert combined for a no-hitter for the Class A Lake County Captains in a 3-1 victory over the Dayton Dragons on Monday. The Captains are the low-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. [MiLB.com]
EVEN PUJOLS SLUMPS -- St. Louis really is America's best baseball towns, and its newspaper, the Post-Dispatch understands that. The P-D has one of the best baseball teams in the business, including Derrick Goold. I say this just to point out the work Goold did on his blog for Monday. Goold took a look at Pujols' slumps in his career and what followed. The moral of the story? You don't want to be a Diamondbacks or Dodgers pitcher this week.
AND JETER -- Derek Jeter's .206 average through his first nine games is the second-worst start of his career. The only time he started worse was 1998, and he had one of his better seasons following that start. However, he was 23. [New York Times]
DAVIS TO DL -- Blue Jays center fielder Rajai Davis is expected to go on the disabled list today with soreness in his right ankle. He had been playing with the injury, but the team decided he needed rest to fully recover. [MLB.com]
GOOD GENES -- Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips was a proud big brother on Tuesday as his sister, Prosha, was taken by the San Antonio Silver Stars in the third round of the WNBA's draft that was held on Tuesday. The younger Phillips played at the University of Georgia. Her big brother had signed to play baseball at UGA before being drafted. [Twitter]
SUPER SLO-MO -- This video of Tim Lincecum is just killer.
Hat tip to Big League Stew.
YOUTH MOVEMENT -- We all know the Cubs' Starlin Castro is young, but did you know that's he's nearly four months younger than the next-youngest player in MLB, Florida's Mike Stanton. Royals lefty Tim Collins is the youngest -- and shortest -- player in the American League. How about the minors? Braves phenom Julio Teheran is the youngest player in Triple-A, while the Rangers' Jurickson Profar is the youngest player in a full-season league in the minors. He was born Feb. 20, 1993. [Baseball America]
DEFENDING THE INDEFENSIBLE -- Sam Mellinger defends Royals owner David Glass. [Kansas City Star]
SPEAKING OF BAD OWNERS -- Frank McCourt's former attorneys are suing him. [Los Angeles Times]
RETIREMENT INCREASING -- No, not Manny Ramirez, but maybe 99 or 24. Anyway, here's a cool article from Chris Jaffe at the Hardball Times about retired numbers and it has a list of the players with the highest WAR for each franchise without their number retired. Looking at the list, my guess for next to have his number retired is probably Ken Griffey Jr. ANother Cincinnati kid, Barry Larkin isn't on the list, but his number is likely going to be retired soon, too.
$2 MILLION TACTIC -- Is Buck Showalter's tactic of teaching his players to try to break up a double play when a ball is hit right at the second baseman worth $2 million a season? [Sabermetric Research]
HERO WORSHIP -- Nearly 12 years after the last game he pitched in the big leagues, Jim Abbott is still inspiring others. [Orange County Register]
REDDICK MAKING ENEMIES -- Buffalo Bisons general manager Mike Buczkowski can't be much of a fan of Red Sox prospect Josh Reddick. It's not just that Reddick hit .327 with four homers and 10 RBI in 12 games against the Bisons in 2010, or that he homered in his first game against Buffalo in 2011. No, Reddick added to the misery he's caused Buczkowski on Saturday when on the pitch before his homer, Reddick hit a foul ball that shattered the windshield of Buczkowski's car. Pawtucket play-by-play man Dan Hoard has the details and photos on his blog. [Heard it from Hoard]
LUCKY CATCH -- A former minor leaguer won a $1 million jackpot in a scratch-off lottery. Joel Torres was released by the Indians this spring and wants to continue his career. [New York Post]
BAY AREA BASEBALL FEVER -- The Giants' run to the World Series title has made an impact on the participation of Bay Area Little Leagues. There are now waiting lists in some leagues. [New York Times]
LINEUP SHOW -- This is an interesting bit of marketing from Japan, a TV program invited all six Pacific League managers to present their opening day lineups and talk about them. I could see that working on MLB Network -- teams know who they're facing and what they're going to do, it only helps build excitement for the hard core fans (and for silly complaints about lineup construction, if you're into that kind of thing.) [YakyuBaka.com]
PUT ME IN COACH -- The Omaha World writes about the best baseball songs. As a huge fan of the Hold Steady, I appreciate any list that includes not only that band, but also its singer. That said, I prefer "Pasttime" from the Baseball Project's first album to "Don't Call Them Twinkies." But my favorite baseball song is still probably "A Dying Cubs Fan's Last Request" by Steve Goodman. All in all, a pretty darn good list -- especially with the inclusion of "Talkin' Softball."For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: Adam Dunn, AL Central, AL East, AL West, Albert Pujols, Barry Larkin, Blue Jays, Brandon Phillips, Braves, Bryan Stow, Buck Showalter, Cardinals, Clayton Ehlert, Cubs, Darrell Rasner, David Glass, David Ortiz, Derek Jeter, Dodgers, Francisco Jimenez, Frank McCourt, Giants, Indians, Japan, Jim Abbott, Joel Torres, Josh Reddick, Julio Teheran, Jurickson Profar, Kaz Matsui, Ken Griffey Jr., Mariners, NL Central, NL East, NL West, Orioles, Rajai Davis, Rakuten Eagles, Rangers, Red Sox, Reds, Robert Whiting, Rockies, Royals, Royals, Starlin Castro, Tim Collins, Tim Lincecum, Trey Haley, Ubaldo Jimenez, White Sox
Posted on: December 6, 2010 8:34 pm
Edited on: December 6, 2010 8:49 pm
A Zack Greinke deal won't be done quickly, but more and more around here it's sounding like it will get done.
There does, however, appear to be some tension between the Royals and the perceived leader for the 2009 Cy Young-winner, the Rangers. The Royals feel the Rangers are low-balling them and the Rangers feel like the Royals are asking for too much, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star writes .
"We're going to move slow with it and [wait] until we get the right type of deal if, indeed, we move on it," Royals general manager Dayton Moore told the Star. "It's no different than any other year. I could give you examples -- I won't, but I could -- where we've been close to dealing Zack or other players in the past if we got the right pieces. We didn't get the right piece included."
So what's the right piece? It appears to start with two top prospects, one of them being a pitcher.
From Texas, the Royals want shortstop Jurickson Profar, outfielder Engel Beltre and a pitcher or two among the group of Derek Holland, Tanner Scheppers and Martin Perez.
"Our challenge is how we go about doing it when you're both considering high dollar players as well as a package of young players," Ranger general manager John Daniels told writers (via MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan ). "That's the nature of our job, balancing the short-term and the long-term. What gives us the best chance to win this year while building around a core team that's maturing, but also considering our goal of being competitive year in and year out."
The Royals have also been talking to the Blue Jays, and Toronto could have Greinke now for pitcher Kyle Drabek and outfielder Travis Snider.
One team that's not in the Greinke talks is the Reds.
"I haven't had any discussions with them," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty told Reds reporters (via MLB.com's Mark Sheldon ).
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
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