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Tag:Hot Stove League
Posted on: February 19, 2012 6:54 pm
 

A.J. Burnett-to-Pirates trade is official

Burnett to Pirates
By Matt Snyder

A.J. Burnett is officially a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The final two hurdles in the transaction that sent Burnett to the Pirates via trade were for the right-handed pitcher to pass a physical and Major League Baseball to approve the trade. Both happened Sunday, according to CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman.

The trade had to be approved by the MLB offices due to the Yankees paying $20 million of the remaining $33 million on Burnett's contract.

The return for the Yankees is two lower-level minor-league players, 25-year-old right-handed reliever Diego Moreno and 20-year-old outfielder Exicardo Cayones. Neither are expected to make much of an impact on the Yankees' system, as this deal was basically a salary dump.

Burnett, 35, was 11-11 with a 5.15 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and 173 strikeouts in 190 1/3 innings last season for the Yankees.

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Posted on: February 17, 2012 2:37 pm
 

A's close to trading for Koji Uehara



By Matt Snyder


The Oakland A's are close to acquiring Rangers relief pitcher Koji Uehara from the Rangers, CBSSports.com Danny Knobler has confirmed. The news was first reported by Bay Area News Group.

Earlier this offseason, Rangers reliever Koji Uehara nixed a trade to the Blue Jays by exercising his no-trade clause. We learned that there were six teams on his no-trade list and that the Jays were one of them. Still, this didn't mean the Rangers intended to keep Uehara.

With closer Joe Nathan, setup man Mike Adams and Alexi Ogando, Scott Feldman, Mark Lowe, Yoshinori Tateyama, Mark Hamburger and more, the Rangers hardly need Uehara. Dealing him for pretty much anything would provide salary relief, as Uehara's set to make around $5 million in 2012.

The A's, on the other hand, have lots of questions in the bullpen. It appears Brian Fuentes is set to be the closer, though he'll have to deal with Grant Balfour, Fautino De Los Santos and Joey Devine (as we pointed out in the AL West position battles). And the rest of the bullpen is an unknown.

Uehara, 36, was excellent for the first part of the 2011 season. He had a 1.72 ERA and 0.70 WHIP in 47 innings for the Orioles. For the Rangers, though, he had a 4.00 ERA and gave up five home runs in just 18 innings (he only allowed six homers for Baltimore). He was awful in the postseason, too, giving up five hits, five earned runs, three home runs and two walks while recording only four outs.

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Posted on: February 17, 2012 8:26 am
Edited on: February 17, 2012 5:45 pm
 

A.J. Burnett-to-Pirates trade agreed upon



By Matt Snyder


The reported A.J. Burnett-to-Pittsburgh deal is nearing completion, as CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman has learned the two sides have agreed to make the trade. Burnett will need to pass a physical slated for Sunday, while Major League Baseball will need to approve the deal before it becomes official.

Money has been an issue from the start, obviously, as Burnett is owed $33 million for the next two seasons. Heyman reports the Yankees will pick up $20 million of that. Because the Yankees pay their players year-round, they've already paid him $2,062,500 this year and will pay him $9,437,500 more with the Pirates picking up another $5 million. In 2013, the Yankees will pay Burnett $8.5 million and Pittsburgh will pay him $8 million. With the saved money, the Yankees will now turn their focus to two bats. One target is left-handed hitting Raul Ibanez, presumably to fill the open DH slot -- or at the very least share time with right-handed hitting Andruw Jones. The Yankees' second target will be Eric Chavez, who spent 2011 with the club.

Burnett to Pirates
The return for the Yankees will be two lower-level minor-league players, 25-year-old right-handed reliever Diego Moreno and 20-year-old outfielder Exicardo Cayones.

Burnett, 35, was 11-11 with a 5.15 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and 173 strikeouts in 190 1/3 innings last season for the Yankees. He led the majors in wild pitches, one season after leading the majors in hit batsmen. Advanced stats, such as FIP, show Burnett hasn't been near as bad as his traditional stats indicate, however. He will also benefit moving from the mighty AL East -- in a hitters' park -- to the NL Central and the much more pitcher-friendly PNC Park.

Burnett will probably bump either Jeff Karstens or Kevin Correia from the Pirates' rotation, joining Erik Bedard, James McDonald and Charlie Morton. Keep in mind, though, that Morton's health is in question to start the season and Bedard's health is pretty much always in question, so I'd expect all six starters to get in their work this season.

As for the players going to the Yankees, neither are impact-type players. Moreno, a Venezuelan native, was 2-4 with a 3.63 ERA and 5 saves in 41 games in Class A and Double-A. He struck out 45 batters in 44 2/3 innings, while walking 18. He can hit 98, but has suspect command. Only seven of his appearances were in Double-A. Also from Venezuela, Cayones hit .228/.333/.325 between rookie-level and short-season Class A, with no homers in 38 games and 135 plate appearances. He stole three bases and was thrown out three times, as well. Make no mistake, these players weren't an important part of the deal. For the Yankees, it was about addition by subtraction.

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Posted on: February 12, 2012 11:46 am
Edited on: February 12, 2012 3:45 pm
 

Update on Burnett-to-Pirates trade talks

By Matt Snyder

This past week, trade talk connecting maligned Yankees starting pitcher A.J. Burnett to the Pirates picked up. Here's the latest, via CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman.

The Yankees and Pirates are still talking and there's been "progress and continuing optimism" on getting a deal done. One obvious snag to this point has been money, as Burnett is due a whopping $33 million for the next two seasons. The Pirates are willing to take on more than $10 million while the Yankees would prefer a 50/50 split, but there are indications of a compromise on the horizon. Next, the Yankees are seeking "at least a reasonably decent prospect" in return, but the Pirates are actually more willing to compromise on the money issue than prospects.

Pirates, Yankees talk trade
Burnett, 35, was 11-11 with a 5.15 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and 173 strikeouts in 190 1/3 innings last season for the Yankees. He led the majors in wild pitches, one season after leading the majors in hit batsmen. He's currently ticketed to be the Yankees' fifth starter, but shedding his salary would help free up some extra money to sign a left-handed designated hitter like Raul Ibanez, Johnny Damon or Hideki Matsui.

If the proposed trade comes to fruition, Burnett would probably bump Jeff Karstens from the Pirates' rotation, joining Erik Bedard, James McDonald, Kevin Correia and Charlie Morton. Of course, Morton's health is in question to start the season and Bedard's health is pretty much always in question, so there would be a great bet that all six of the pitchers would get a good amount of starts.

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Posted on: January 31, 2012 11:15 am
 

Indians trade for Russ Canzler

By Matt Snyder

Corner infielder/corner outfielder Russ Canzler was designated for assignment last week by the Rays in order to make room on the 40-man roster for new signee Jeff Keppinger. Tuesday, Canzler was traded to the Indians, the club announced.

Canzler, 25, was the MVP of the Triple-A International League last season when he hit .314/.401/.530 with 18 homers and 40 doubles for the Durham Bulls. He played 41 games in right field, 40 at third base, 33 in left field and 17 at first.

Assuming Carlos Santana stays behind the plate, first base might be Canzler's best path to regular playing time in Cleveland, but he'll likely get shots all over the place as a right-handed bat -- the Indians are loaded with lefties. He could spell Lonnie Chisenhall at third, Shin-Soo Choo in right or Michael Brantley in left, all of whom are left-handed.

In exchange for Canzler, the Rays will get cash considerations.

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Posted on: January 25, 2012 4:22 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2012 5:08 pm
 

Reds trade for infielder Wilson Valdez

By Matt Snyder

The Cincinnati Reds have acquired someone capable of playing shortstop, but this news may not appease the fan base. The Reds sent left-handed pitcher Jeremy Horst to the Phillies for utility infielder Wilson Valdez.

Valdez, 33, hit .249/.294/.341 with 14 doubles, four triples and one home run last year for the Phillies in 300 plate appearances. He appeared in at least 24 games each at third base, shortstop and second base. He even pitched an inning, funnily enough against the Reds, picking up the victory in a marathon 19-inning affair on May 25.

The Reds will mark Valdez's seventh team in seven big-league seasons. He's a career .243 hitter with a pretty terrible .621 OPS. His value lies in being able to adequately back up the three aforementioned infield positions.

Of course, the Reds still face a potential hole at shortstop. Young Zack Cozart underwent Tommy John surgery in August. Since he's not a pitcher, nor was the surgery in his throwing arm, he should be ready to start the season. The Reds have him slated as the opening-day starter. If there is a setback, however, the Reds appear to have both Paul Janish and now Valdez as options. But in the most basic sense, Valdez has been acquired merely for depth.

Horst, 26, appeared in 12 games for the Reds last season, sporting a 2.93 ERA and 1.57 WHIP in his 15 1/3 innings. In Triple-A, Horst had a 2.81 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 42 strikeouts in 51 1/3 innings.

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Posted on: January 24, 2012 10:03 pm
 

Report: Uehara blocks potential trade to Toronto

By Matt Snyder

Evidently relief pitcher Koji Uehara isn't a fan of Toronto. The Rangers had agreed to trade the right-hander to the Blue Jays, but Uehara invoked his no-trade clause and rejected the deal, according to ESPN Dallas. This wasn't a full no-trade clause, either. Uehara reportedly has a list of just six teams with which he could reject a trade, and the Blue Jays happened to be one of those six.

This means, at least for now, Uehara will remain in the Rangers' bullpen. For what it's worth, a report from Japan said that Uehara didn't want to move his family from Baltimore to Toronto. Of course, he plays in Arlington, Texas, now, so that doesn't seem to make a ton of sense. But it's certainly his right to reject the trade.

Uehara, 36, was having a great season in Baltimore before being traded to Texas last season. He had a 1.72 ERA, 0.70 WHIP and 62 strikeouts in 47 innings for the Orioles. For the Rangers, though, he had a 4.00 ERA and ended up pitching his way off the World Series roster. Much of his decline could be traced to him stranding an absurd 97.6 percent of baserunners with the Orioles, so it was only natural more of those runners would start crossing the plate. Still, he did pitch worse for the Rangers.

Uehara remains in a crowded bullpen. The Rangers have Joe Nathan as closer and Mike Adams as the setup man. Alexi Ogando and Scott Feldman also figure to have more prominent roles than Uehara.

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Posted on: January 11, 2012 4:39 pm
Edited on: January 11, 2012 5:53 pm
 

Emaus changes teams again, traded to Red Sox

By Matt Snyder

Brad Emaus' wild ride around the league continues. He has been traded from the Rockies to the Red Sox, the Rockies announced Wednesday. In return, the Red Sox will send either a player to be named later or cash considerations to the Rockies.

This marks the fourth time in just over 13 months Emaus has changed teams. He was selected by the Mets in the Rule 5 Draft Dec. 9, 2010, but then shipped back to the Blue Jays in late April. A day later, Emaus was traded to the Rockies. And now he's headed to Boston.

Emaus, a 25-year-old second baseman, hit .162/.262/.162 in very limited action for the Mets (42 plate appearances) before he was demoted -- and, per the rules of the Rule 5 Draft, shipped back to Toronto. In just 45 Triple-A games, Emaus hit .313/.389/.564 with nine homers and 28 RBI. He has a pretty good Triple-A line in what basically amounts to one minor-league season (.303/.393/.519 in 132 career games).

Expect him to provide nothing more than organizational depth for the Red Sox. Dustin Pedroia is obviously firmly locked in at second while Nick Punto and Mike Aviles can serve as infield backups.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com