Buzz: Latest news from around the horn
Aug. 31 News and Notes
Braves haven’t decided whether to trade Glaus — 3:50 p.m.
Atlanta infielder Troy Glaus has cleared trade waivers, one major league source said today.
Glaus is currently on the disabled list due to left knee inflammation. The Braves haven’t decided whether to activate or trade him, a second source indicated. He cannot be activated until Thursday.
Glaus was the team’s everyday first baseman for most of the year, but Derrek Lee was recently acquired from the Cubs to fill that role.
Glaus is batting .333 with two home runs and 8 RBIs through eight games of his minor-league rehabilitation assignment.
One source said over the weekend that multiple American League teams had shown interest in Glaus. He could fit with teams who need help at first base and/or a designated hitter. The Red Sox, Rays, Twins and Rangers could conceivably upgrade at one or both of those positions.
Glaus signed a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Braves in January. Roughly $300,000 will remain on that deal as of Wednesday — a very reasonable sum, thus enhancing his appeal to other clubs.
— Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal
White Sox expect to stand pat — 11:14 a.m.
On Monday, the White Sox acquired Manny Ramirez on waivers. But it doesn’t appear that they will trade for a reliever before tonight’s deadline to set postseason rosters.
“We will add Matt Thornton in a couple days and J.J. Putz,” general manager Kenny Williams said in an e-mail this morning. “There’s nobody I could add better than them.”
Thornton, an All-Star who is on the disabled list with left elbow inflammation, could be activated for Friday’s series opener in Boston.
Putz, suffering from patella tendinitis in his right knee, is eligible to return during next week’s series against the Tigers.
The Chicago bullpen was a weak spot on Monday night, as Bobby Jenks blew a three-run save opportunity against the Indians before the White Sox prevailed in extra innings.
— Jon Paul Morosi
Aug. 29 News and Notes
Are the Reds willing to pay to keep Baker? — 4:36 p.m.
The return of Dusty Baker as Reds manager remains no sure thing.
Reds owner Bob Castellini recently told the Cincinnati Enquirer, “I totally envision Dusty being with us going forward.”
Yet, the Reds’ initial offer to Baker was a one-year extension with no pay increase, according to major-league sources.
Perhaps there is no cause for alarm: A first offer generally is a starting point for future negotiations, and Baker already is one of the game’s higher-paid managers. His average salary is approximately $3.5 million under his current three-year contract, and he is believed to be earning more than that in the final year of his deal.
Still, considering the Reds’ play this season, Baker almost certainly would expect a pay raise and multi-year offer. The Reds lead the NL Central by a season-high five games, and Baker is a candidate for NL Manager of the Year.
The question remains whether the Reds want to pay him. Some sources with knowledge of the club’s thinking say that the team would prefer a less pricey manager.
— Ken Rosenthal
Millwood to Padres? It’s a possibility — 2:42 p.m.
Orioles right-hander Kevin Millwood leads the majors with 14 losses. Only one pitcher has allowed more hits. Only four have allowed more homers.
Can this man help a contender?
Millwood has cleared waivers. He has performed better of late, posting a 2.83 ERA in his last five starts. One rival general manager says, “His stuff is fringe-y, but he competes.”
The Padres, one of several clubs trying to add a starting pitcher before Tuesday’s midnight deadline for setting postseason rosters, view Millwood as “one of many” possibilities, according to a major-league source.
The Yankees are among the other contenders that could benefit from the addition of a starter. Millwood, like all pitchers, probably would benefit from a move to San Diego’s spacious Petco Park.
The Padres are not confident about acquiring a starter — they only want one who is an upgrade. Right-hander Tim Stauffer is an option to start out of the bullpen, and left-hander Cory Luebke is a combined 10-1 with a 2.68 ERA at Double A and Triple A.
The Pads do not necessarily need a veteran who would crack their postseason rotation. They likely would be content with an innings-eater who would help ease the burden on their younger pitchers in September.
Millwood still is owed more than $2 million of his $12 million salary, but the Orioles almost certainly would be willing to include cash in any trade to enhance their return.
— Ken Rosenthal
How does Glaus fit into Braves? — 12:22 p.m.
The Braves acquired Derrek Lee to play first base, and Martin Prado has moved across the diamond to take over for Chipper Jones at third.
So where does that leave Troy Glaus?
Glaus, the team’s everyday first baseman for most of the year, was placed on the disabled list earlier this month due to left knee inflammation. But he’s currently on a minor-league rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Gwinnett — and swinging well with a .391 batting average, two home runs and 8 RBIs in six games.
The Braves tentatively plan for Glaus to fill in at first base and as a pinch hitter upon his return. They will also consider him for some duty at third base, his position throughout most of his major-league career. (He isn’t considered an option for the Atlanta outfield, sources say.)
A trade is also possible. One major-league source said multiple American League teams have shown interest in Glaus. He could fit with teams who need help at first base and/or a designated hitter. The Red Sox, Rays, Twins, White Sox and Rangers could conceivably upgrade at one or both of those positions.
Glaus signed a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Braves in January. Roughly $300,000 will remain on that deal as of Sept. 1 — a very reasonable sum, thus enhancing his appeal to other clubs.
Glaus is batting .239 in the majors this year but has hit for some power: 16 home runs and 70 RBIs in 115 games.
Meanwhile, it’s worth keeping an eye on Lee’s health. He left Saturday’s game early due to a mild strain in his right side. If that becomes a greater concern, the Braves will probably have to keep Glaus as insurance.
— Jon Paul Morosi
Aug. 28 News and Notes
Manny out of lineup for third straight game — 7:19 p.m.
Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said he isn’t looking to unload any players as long as the Dodgers are in the postseason hunt.
The actions of manager Joe Torre, however, create an impression that the Dodgers are maintaining conversations with the Chicago White Sox about outfielder Manny Ramirez. The White Sox claimed Ramirez on waivers last week. The Dodgers and White Sox have until midday Tuesday to work out a trade if the Dodgers want to move him.
Ramirez was out the lineup for the third game in a row Saturday. The extended rest comes after Ramirez went 2-for-2 with two walks and two doubles in Milwaukee on Wednesday.
On Friday, Torre said he has to be careful with Ramirez, who has been on the disabled list three times this year because of leg problems, and so he didn’t play him Friday night against Ubaldo Jimenez, against whom Ramirez is 1-for-13 with six strikeouts.
Torre indicated he would be in the lineup Saturday, but that plan changed overnight, adding to speculation that talks with the White Sox are continuing. Scott Podsednik was in left field in place of Ramirez, who is hitting .313 but has only eight home runs and 40 RBI in 64 games.
— Tracy Ringolsby
Aug. 27 News and Notes
Rockies put reliever Corpas on DL — 12:27 a.m.
Right-handed reliever Manuel Corpas of the Colorado Rockies was placed on the disabled list Friday with what the Rockies described as a sprained ligament in his right elbow. Corpas, however, has told friends that he will see Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion, and that he expects to undergo Tommy John surgery.
Corpas is 3-5 with a 4.62 ERA and is second on the Rockies with 10 saves in 14 opportunities. Closer Huston Street, who missed the first three months of the season, leads the team with 12 saves.
— Tracy Ringolsby
Dodgers’ Colletti leaving options open on Manny, Lilly … for now — 4:17 p.m.
Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti is leaving his options open.
If Colletti’s team fares poorly against the Rockies this weekend, he can trade or dump left fielder Manny Ramirez on the White Sox and possibly trade left-hander Ted Lilly as well.
The Dodgers placed Lilly on trade waivers Friday, the last day for them to make such a move and retain the option of moving Lilly before the deadline for setting post-season rosters at midnight ET Tuesday.
Teams have until early Tuesday afternoon to claim Lilly on waivers; whether he clears or is claimed, the Dodgers then would have less than 12 hours to trade him to a contender that wants him eligible for the post-season.
The White Sox won the claim to Ramirez on Friday, according to a major-league source. They will have until Tuesday to complete a trade with the Dodgers. A deal, in fact, may already be in place, hinging only on what the Dodgers decide to do.
Colletti has said that he “despises” the idea of giving up on a season. The Dodgers are fifth in the wild-card race, but only five games back.
Their next four games – three in Colorado, one at home against the Phillies – could determine whether they are contenders or sellers.
— Ken Rosenthal
Will White Sox enact no-dreads clause with Manny? — 3:53 p.m.
We know that Manny Ramirez has a no-trade clause.
But what if the White Sox enact a no-dreads clause?
The White Sox claimed Ramirez on trade waivers Friday. They have serious interest in acquiring him from the Dodgers. The teams have until Tuesday to work out a deal.
In the meantime, we’re left wondering if Ramirez would adhere to the code set by White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf.
Reinsdorf’s rule isn’t “set in stone,” a club official said, but the owner does expect players to have a neat-and-clean appearance.
A.J. Pierzynski, Joe Crede, Pablo Ozuna and Neal Cotts are among the recent White Sox players who have had to trim up in accordance with Reinsdorf’s wishes.
If the White Sox acquire Manny, will we see a buzz cut from his Cleveland Indians era?
By Tuesday, we should find out.
— Jon Paul Morosi
Rays sign outfielder Hawpe — 11:21 a.m.
Outfielder Brad Hawpe has signed with Tampa Bay.
Hawpe had been released by the Rockies. He’ll report to Class-A Charlotte of the Florida State League.
The Red Sox and Rangers were also interested.
Hawpe went with Tampa Bay because they offered him the most playing time. The Rockies are paying all but the pro-rated minimum of the rest of his salary.
Hawpe was one of the cornerstones on the Rockies’ 2007 NL championship team and a first-time All-Star last season. He hit .255 with seven homers and 37 RBIs this season with Colorado.
— Ken Rosenthal and The Associated Press
Dodgers might want more time to move Manny — 10:22 a.m.
The Dodgers might not want to trade Manny Ramirez after all. At least not right away.
The deadline for teams to claim Ramirez on waivers is Friday at 1:30 p.m. ET. If Ramirez goes unclaimed, it could mean that the Dodgers balked at making a pre-arranged trade with the White Sox or another club, and would prefer to wait until at least the end of the weekend before determining whether they want to move him.
The Dodgers indeed might want more time.
They enter Friday just five games out in the National League wild-card race, though in fifth place. They visit the team just ahead of them in the wild-card standings this weekend, the Rockies, then host another wild-card contender, the Phillies, starting Monday night. Thus, the Dodgers will play four games before they need to make an actual decision on Ramirez.
If the Dodgers fall further back in the race and Ramirez goes unclaimed, a deal would need to be arranged by Tuesday at midnight ET, the deadline for setting postseason rosters. If Ramirez is claimed, the deadline for completing a deal would be earlier that day.
Any club that claims Ramirez without a set deal with the Dodgers would risk getting stuck with his entire $4.3 million salary for the rest of the season. The advantage of a prearranged trade is that the teams could negotiate a more reasonable cash and prospect exchange.
— Ken Rosenthal
Aug. 26 News and Notes
Diamondbacks unlikely to make deals — 4:00 p.m.
The Diamondbacks were one of the most active sellers in late July. But they are taking a different approach ahead of Tuesday’s deadline to set postseason rosters.
One Arizona executive said there is “still a chance” the club will make a move, but described the probability of a deal as “unlikely at this point.”
The Diamondbacks’ best remaining trade chips may be infielders Adam LaRoche and Kelly Johnson. Both players have cleared waivers, according to major-league sources.
— Jon Paul Morosi
Zaun plans to return for 2011 — 3:20 p.m.
Veteran catcher Gregg Zaun, whose career appeared to be in jeopardy following surgery to repair a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder earlier this season, told FOXSports.com on Thursday that he plans to play next year.
“Rehab is going extremely well,” he said in an e-mail. “I am convinced that I will be physically ready to play in 2011.
“I had my doubts when the injury occurred. Based on conversations with friends who’d had the same procedure, I was skeptical. Now, I am thinking that my arm might be better than ever. It should be structurally sound for the first time in a decade.”
Zaun batted .265 for Milwaukee in 28 games this year before the season-ending surgery. The Brewers have a $2.25 million contract option on him for next season; the club could also pay a $250,000 buyout and allow him to become a free agent.
Zaun, who turns 40 shortly after Opening Day next year, has played more than 1,200 games in a big-league career that began with the Orioles in 1995.
— Jon Paul Morosi
Aug. 24 News and Notes
Money unlikely to drive Blue Jays’ decisions — 10:49 a.m.
One rival executive offered an interesting theory on the Blue Jays, saying the team might need to trade left-handed reliever Scott Downs if ownership balks at the idea of spending millions on draft-pick bonuses next year.
Uh, wishful thinking.
Downs, currently projected to be a Type A free agent according to MLBtraderumors.com, is one of three players who could bring the Jays picks, along with right-handed reliever Jason Frasor (currently the last Type A) and catcher John Buck (a Type B).
The Jays would need to offer arbitration to each to protect their rights to compensation, and their recent actions under general manager Alex Anthopoulos indicate that they would do just that.
Ownership demonstrated its commitment to rebuilding by spending $11.594 million in this year’s draft, the third-highest total behind the Nationals and the Pirates according to Baseball America – and by signing an international amateur, Cuban shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to a four-year, $10 million contract.
The Jays have yet to place Downs, Frasor and Buck on waivers. First baseman Lyle Overbay, another of their potential free agents, has cleared waivers, according to FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi. Overbay projects to be an unranked free agent.
— Ken Rosenthal
Aug. 23 News and Notes
Red Sox claim Tigers’ Damon off waivers — 4:44 p.m.
The Tigers’ Johnny Damon was claimed on waivers, according to a major-league source, and the Red Sox were awarded the claim, according to the New York Post and SI.com.
Now the intrigue begins.
Damon has a no-trade clause that gives him the right to reject a deal to the Red Sox. He told AOL Fanhouse that he was not inclined to go back to Boston, but that could be just a negotiating ploy; Damon might simply want the Red Sox to compensate him for waiving his no-trade rights.
The Red Sox’s motivation also is murky. They might have claimed Damon to block him from going to the Rays, who are ahead of them in the standings. But, without Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron, they also might want Damon for themselves.
Damon, 36, has about $1.8 million left on his contract. The Red Sox also would be charged additional luxury tax if they added him, so the total acquisition cost could approach $3 million. The Tigers could simply let him go to the Red Sox if the teams could not agree on a trade.
— Ken Rosenthal
Aug. 21 News and Notes
D-backs sign LHP Mike Hampton to minor-league contract — 10 p.m.
Left-hander Mike Hampton has suffered countless injuries. He has earned more than $140 million. Yet, he still wants to pitch, even though he is nearly 38, even though he underwent rotator-cuff surgery last September.
The Diamondbacks, in one of the more surprising developments of the season, signed Hampton to a minor-league contract on Saturday. He will pitch in relief at Triple A on Monday. If all goes well in a bullpen role, he could be back in the majors in September.
Hampton, who lives in Phoenix, called his agent, Mark Rodgers, about a possible comeback after throwing batting practice against junior-college players. Rodgers then called Diamondbacks interim manager Jerry DiPoto, a former teammate of Hampton’s with the Rockies.
“I need a favor,” Rodgers recalled telling DiPoto. “Take a look at him. You tell me: Can he still pitch?”
Hampton threw for DiPoto on Wednesday. Afterward, DiPoto called Rodgers and said, “I want to sign him.”
“I said, ‘Who are you talking about?’” Rodgers said. “I wasn’t even thinking about Mike Hampton.”
DiPoto, though, was impressed.
“He threw well for us and I trust the competitor in him,” DiPoto said in an e-mail. “His mentality and competitiveness can provide an example to those around him.
“The stuff still works — he threw in the mid to upper 80s, pounded the strike zone and showed both command and good feel for his secondary stuff.
“I do believe he will pitch in the majors again.”
— Ken Rosenthal
Aug. 20 News and Notes
NL contenders may be eyeing Marlins’ Ross — 2:57 p.m.
Marlins outfielder Cody Ross, despite batting only .189 since July 1, is the center of some classic August intrigue.
A National League club has claimed Ross on waivers, but the Marlins are not sure whether that club actually wants Ross or simply claimed him to block him from going to another contending team, major-league sources say. Full story
Aug. 19 News and Notes
Astros up to something, but not clear what — 12:42 a.m.
Something is up with the Astros. Maybe something as significant as a trade. Maybe something as innocent as a roster move.
The Astros plan to activate shortstop Tommy Manzella from the disabled list in the next day or two, major-league sources say.
The move could be a precursor to one of the following:
A trade of infielder Geoff Blum.
The release of Pedro Feliz.
A demotion of infielder Angel Sanchez.
Second baseman Jeff Keppinger missed his second straight game with an injury to his left big toe Wednesday, but manager Brad Mills told reporters that his condition was improving.
Blum has cleared waivers. The Cardinals have shown interest in the veteran, but there are no serious discussions between the teams at the moment, sources say. The Yankees, too, have been linked to Blum.
Feliz, hitting just .222/.244/.313, has batted only 18 times in August. Sanchez, acquired on July 1 from the Red Sox for catcher Kevin Cash, has batted .291/.324/.369 as the principal replacement for Manzella, who broke his left index finger on June 22. He would seem an unlikely candidate for demotion.
— Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi
Aug. 17 News and Notes
Manny wants to play next season … but where? — 3:24 p.m.
Manny Ramirez isn’t taking questions from the media these days, but his agent reaffirmed in an interview this week that the 38-year-old plans to play next year.
“Manny wants to play,” Scott Boras said.
Ramirez will be a free agent after this season. He is batting .317 for the Dodgers with eight home runs and 39 RBIs. Right leg ailments have limited him to 61 games.
Ramirez is currently on the disabled list but is set to begin a minor-league rehabilitation assignment tonight with Class A Inland Empire of the California League.
The more pressing question is whether Ramirez will still be a Dodger at the end of this season. If the Dodgers fall further in the standings, the team could trade him before the Aug. 31 deadline to set postseason rosters.
According to major-league sources, Ramirez could be placed on trade waivers before being activated from the DL, as long as the Dodgers certify that he is ready to play at his accustomed level.
In theory, that could happen during the next couple days if Ramirez proves that he is healthy in the minor leagues.
— Jon Paul Morosi
Aug. 16 News and Notes
Rockies place Hawpe on waivers — 3:42 p.m.
The Rockies remain on the fringes of the wild-card race, 8 1/2 games back in the NL West, five out in the wild-card race. Rather than buy before the Aug. 31 deadline for setting postseason rosters, they could try to improve from within, turning to younger, more athletic players.
The team took a step toward that end Monday, placing outfielder/first baseman Brad Hawpe on trade waivers, according to a major-league source. Hawpe, batting .175/.309/.333, since the All-Star break, already has lost playing time. If the Rockies move him, they would create even greater opportunities for outfielder Seth Smith.
Second base is the Rockies’ other position in flux; the team is auditioning Eric Young Jr. in the leadoff spot, potentially jeopardizing Clint Barmes. A Young/Jonathan Herrera combination at second would give the Rockies more speed, energy and on-base potential, though Young’s defense remains a question.
The Braves are considering Barmes along with other potential replacements for injured third baseman Chipper Jones, but the Rockies have yet to place Barmes on waivers, sources say. Barmes could play second for the Braves, with Martin Prado moving to third. Prado is scheduled to return from the disabled list this week.
Hawpe went on waivers Monday, and teams will have 48 hours to make a claim. The White Sox showed interest in Hawpe before the July 31 non-waiver deadline. Hawpe is owed nearly $2 million for the rest of the season, and has a $10 million club option or $500,000 buyout for 2011. If traded, he can void his option.
— Ken Rosenthal
Scott’s off the market — 2:22 p.m.
Baltimore slugger Luke Scott isn’t available on the August trade market any longer.
Scott was claimed on trade waivers earlier this month and pulled back, major league sources told FOXSports.com.
Had Scott cleared waivers, the Orioles could have shopped him to the 29 other clubs. Instead, he will finish the season in Baltimore.
Scott’s value has increased since the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. He is hitting .365 with five home runs and 11 RBIs in 13 games this month.
Scott, 32, would have had great appeal to teams looking for help at designated hitter, first base or in left field. The Rays, Padres and White Sox are among the clubs that could have been a trade match for him.
The Orioles were under no pressure to move Scott, anyway, since he isn’t scheduled to become a free agent until after the 2012 season. He is earning $4.05 million this year.
— Jon Paul Morosi
Padres weigh Latos’ workload — 12:47 p.m.
Padres manager Bud Black says he is in “ongoing conversations” with GM Jed Hoyer and pitching coach Darren Balsley about rookie right-hander Mat Latos’ workload.
But the Padres, rather than shut down Latos again, instead plan to limit his throwing between starts and give him extra rest when possible down the stretch.
Latos, 22, has thrown 135-2/3 innings, and the Padres’ goal is for him to pitch no more than 180. Black is managing him carefully — Latos, even after throwing a career-high 108 pitches against the Giants on Saturday, is averaging 97.9 per start.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy pays Latos a high compliment, comparing him to Curt Schilling, “a horse who keeps coming at you with his fastball.”
Of course, it was Bochy’s older brother Joe, a scout with the Padres, who signed Latos out of Coconut Creek, Fla. The Padres took Latos in the 11th round of the 2006 draft, during Bruce’s final year as their manager.
Latos, in four starts against the Giants this season, has posted a 0.96 ERA, striking out 22 and issuing just two walks in 28 innings.
“He got me good on that one,” Bruce Bochy says of Joe.
— Ken Rosenthal
Would Dodgers dangle Manny? — 10:45 a.m.
The Dodgers look done, but don’t expect general manager Ned Colletti to start dumping contracts before the Aug. 31 deadline for setting postseason rosters.
Colletti, who experienced only one losing season in nine years as the Giants’ assistant GM and none in his first four with the Dodgers, is not one to concede.
“I despise that,” he says. “It’s not part of my character.”
Colletti, if anything, is going in the opposite direction. He has turned over 20 percent of the Dodgers’ roster in recent weeks, adding left-hander Ted Lilly, second baseman Ryan Theriot, outfielder Scott Podsednik, reliever Octavio Dotel and outfielder Jay Gibbons.
Right-hander Vicente Padilla would be attractive to a contender in a waiver deal, as would Lilly, Podsednik and other Dodgers. But the financial benefit of such deals would not be terribly significant, and neither would the prospect returns.
Left fielder Manny Ramirez is a different story — the Dodgers already are playing without him. He would be risky for a team to claim; the Dodgers likely would let him go, assuming that Ramirez was willing to waive his no-trade clause. The claiming club then would assume the pro-rated portion of his $20 million salary, which on Aug. 31 still would be more then $3 million.
The deferrals in Ramirez’s contract would make no difference in the amount his new club would pay; only the timetable might be affected. Ramirez’s contract stipulates a $5 million salary this season and deferred payments without interest of $3.33 million each on June 30, 2011 and ’12 and $8.33 million on June 30, 2013.
If Ramirez cleared waivers, he would be eligible to be traded to any team — and he would be wise to waive his no-trade clause for an American League club that would allow him to serve as a DH and build his value for free agency this off-season.
Ramirez, recovering from a right calf strain, could begin a rehabilitation assignment this week. The Dodgers cannot place him on waivers until after they activate him from the disabled list.
— Ken Rosenthal
Aug. 14 News and Notes
Rockies’ lefty Francis headed to DL — 12:15 p.m.
The Rockies’ season was dealt another blow on Saturday.
Left-handed starter Jeff Francis is headed to the disabled list for the second time this season. Francis, who oponeded the season on the disabled list in his continued recovery from last season’s left shoulder surgery, is suffering from tendinitis in the shoulder.
Second baseman Eric Young Jr., will initially be recalled to fill the roster spot, but his stay figures to be minimal. The Rockies will need someone to step into Francis’ spot in the rotation Tuesday in Los Angeles. Jhoulys Chacin would seem the likely candidate, which means Esmil Rogers’ spot on the big league roster is safe.
Rogers will start Saturday against Milwaukee. Chacin orginally was set to make his fourth start since being sent to Triple-A Colorado Springs to build up arm strength so he would go into the rotation, and after that the Rockies were going to decide between Rogers and Chacin for next Friday’s start in Arizona. Now, it would seem Rogers will make that Friday start, and Chacin will start the series finale at Arizona on April 22.
Francis joins right-hander Aaron Cook on the disabled list. Cook is working out with Double-A Tulsa, trying to refine his mechanics.
Ubaldo Jimenez is the only member of the Rockies rotation who has avoided the disabled list this season.
— Tracy Ringolsby
Aug. 11 News and Notes
Umpire tells Rockies’ Betancourt to speed it up — 11:17 p.m.
Rockies right-handed reliever Rafael Betancourt is known as the human rain delay because of how slowly he works. Betancourt was given the word Wednesday night to speed it up or else.
According to Rule 8.04, pitchers are required to deliver a pitch within 12 seconds after receiving the ball when there is no runner on base. Betancourt was taking in excss of 30 seconds, which prompted umpire crew chief Ed Rapuan to discreetly inform Betancourt that he better speed it up or he would be penalized.
— Tracy Ringolsby
Giants acquire infielder Fontenot from Cubs — 8:17 p.m.
The San Francisco Giants looked only as far as the visitor’s clubhouse to add infield depth, acquiring Mike Fontenot from the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night.
Fontenot was still in Cubs gear just more than two hours before game time, ready to make the short walk across the ballpark – all of about 500 feet. He was available for the Giants off the bench.
San Francisco sent speedy Class-A center fielder Evan Crawford to the Cubs, who weren’t sure yet at which level Crawford would play.
The Giants were in negotiations with the Cubs to acquire Fontenot at the July 31 trade deadline. Talks picked up between Cubs general manager Jim Hendry and Giants GM Brian Sabean after San Francisco shortstop Edgar Renteria strained his left biceps and went on the disabled list.
Aug. 5 News and Notes
White Sox among teams interested in Delgado — 1:15 a.m.
Carlos Delgado suddenly could be in demand.
The White Sox are showing interest in the free-agent slugger, major-league sources say, and the Red Sox, Rockies and Mariners are among Delgado’s other possible fits.
Delgado, coming off arthroscopic surgery on his right hip, has not played since May 10, 2009. He has received two minor-league offers and would need a couple of weeks in the minors to get ready, according to his agent, David Sloane.
The White Sox, in search of a run producer, pursued Lance Berkman, Manny Ramirez and Adam Dunn before the non-waiver trade deadline. Delgado, 38, would require much less of an investment in dollars, and none in prospects.
The Red Sox are awaiting word on first baseman Kevin Youkilis, who is seeking additional opinions on the torn abductor muscle in his right thumb. If Youkilis is lost for the season, Delgado could become an option.
The Rockies’ interest in Delgado, according to a source, hinges on the health of first baseman Todd Helton, who was activated from the disabled list Tuesday. Delgado would make sense for the Rockies if Helton again struggled with lower back stiffness and weakness in his legs.
The Mariners, who traded first baseman Mike Sweeney to the Phillies on Wednesday, want to see Delgado work out before determining whether to pursue him, a source says.
Delgado wants to play for A) a team that is in a pennant race and B) would give him regular playing time once he was promoted to the majors.
The M’s are out of contention, and already have two left-handed first-base/DH types, Casey Kotchman and Russell Branyan, in addition to switch-hitter Milton Bradley, who is an occasional DH.
Kotchman, though, is batting .221 with a .656 OPS. — Ken Rosenthal
Aug. 4 News and Notes
Pirates claim two pitchers off waivers — 5:40 p.m.
The Pirates have claimed RHP Chris Resop off waivers from the Atlanta Braves and RHP Chan Ho Park off waivers from the New York Yankees.
To make room on the 40-man roster for the two players, the club has transferred Steve Pearce from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL. In addition, RHP Steven Jackson has been designated for assignment.
Resop is expected to report to Pittsburgh tomorrow in time for the 7:05 PM game against the Colorado Rockies.
Park is not expected to be added to the current active roster until Friday
— Jon Paul Morosi
Helton’s return forces roster move by Rockies — 5:19 p.m.
Colorado first baseman Todd Helton returned from a rehab assignment at rookie-level Casper, and was in the big-league lineup for Tuesday night’s series opener against San Francisco. Helton spent three weeks on the disabled list with lower back soreness and weakness in his legs.
Center fielder Dexter Fowler suffered bruised ribs when he slammed into the center field fence at Coors Field on Sunday to make a game-saving play. He is feeling better, and will remain on the active roster. There had been concern that Fowler might be forced to go on the disabled list.
While Fowler isn’t expected to play in either game against the San Francisco Giants he should be in the lineup for the four-game weekend series at Pittsburgh.
That leaves the Rockies in need of making a roster move to create a spot for Helton. Second baseman Jonathan Herrera will get squeezed in the numbers game. Herrera played exceptionally well when Clint Barmes was at short in place of injured Troy Tulowitzki.
Herrera, however, has an option left. He will be called back up when the rosters expand on Sept. 1, if not earlier. Herrera has shown he belongs in the big leagues, and his effort the last two months has forced the Rockies to figure out where he will fit next year.
— Tracy Ringolsby
Aug. 3 News and Notes
Delgado making a run at return to major leagues — 5:16 p.m.
Carlos Delgado, 38, already has received two minor-league offers, according to his agent, David Sloane, and will be talking to other teams this week.
Delgado, coming off arthroscopic surgery on his right hip, has not played since May 10, 2009. He was the Mets’ cleanup hitter at that time.
Sloane says he sent video last week of Delgado running and performing agility drills to a handful of teams in which the player is interested.
One team worked out Delgado and made an offer, Sloane says. The other did the same after merely watching him on video. One of the two clubs was a National League team that would play Delgado at first base, Sloane says.
Delgado wants to play for A) a team that is in a pennant race and B) would give him regular playing time once he was promoted to the majors. Sloane estimates that Delgado would need a “couple of weeks” in the minors before he was ready.
The White Sox, Rays, Tigers and Giants are among the teams that could be seeking additional offensive help.
— Ken Rosenthal