Posted on: December 9, 2011 9:19 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.
The Phillies recently doled out $50 million to Jonathan Papelbon and last year gave Cliff Lee $120 million -- make no mistake, the Phillies are a large-market club using its money to lure top free agents. They've also sent prospects to get Roy Halladay in recent years, so there's been enough talent in the system to lure other teams into making big trades. This team knows what it wants and goes and get it -- by any means necessary. In this exercise, that's not possible. The Phillies, in this hypothetical, aren't the prohibitive favorite they were for the majority of 2011, but they're hardly the Cubs.
1. Michael Bourn, CF
2. Jimmy Rollins, SS
3. Chase Utley, 2B
4. Ryan Howard, 1B
5. Scott Rolen, 3B
6. Marlon Byrd, LF
7. Domonic Brown, RF
8. Carlos Ruiz, C
1. Cole Hamels
2. Gavin Floyd
3. Vance Worley
4. Randy Wolf
5. Brett Myers
Closer - Ryan Madson
Set up - Antonio Bastardo, Alfredo Simon, Brad Ziegler, Michael Stutes, Kyle Kendrick
Long - J.A. Happ
Notable Bench Players
Nick Punto can play a ton of positions, but, well... There's also Pat Burrell and Jason Jaramillo, which may not be deepest bench.
The lineup -- when healthy -- is still pretty darn good. The rotation, while not exactly the historic rotation that the Phillies rolled out in 2011, is nothing to sneeze at and the bullpen is deep and talented. There's a bit to like here in all aspects of the game.
The health question, and age, are huge here. Utley, while still a very good player when he's on the field, he's had a multitude of injuries. Rolen played in just 65 games last season (for the Reds). Brown has yet to establish himself as an everyday player, but he is talented. And then there's the bench, which has Punto to play every position, but not much else.
Comparison to real 2011
This team may be in the wild card race, but there's no way it finishes 102-60. That said, there's a chance it could compete for the NL East title (even though I do love the Braves chances in this exercise). The starting pitching isn't as good, but the bullpen has enough arms to keep things close. There's also so depth that's not listed on this roster in guys like Kyle Drabek, Carlos Carrasco and Josh Outman that aren't going to wow you, but certainly help depth-wise and could play a role as a spot starter or in the bullpen in the course of a long season. The Phillies may buy some players, but they've also developed enough to stay competitive.
Next: Chicago White Sox
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Tags: Alfredo Simon, Antonio Bastardo, Brad Ziegler, Brett Myers, Carlos Carrasco, Carlos Ruiz, Chase Utley, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Domonic Brown, Gavin Floyd, Homegrown, J.A. Happ, Jason Jaramillo, Jimmy Rollins, Jonathan Papelbon, Josh Outman, Kyle Drabek, Kyle KEndrick, Marlon Byrd, Michael Bourn, Michael Stutes, Nick Punto, NL East, Pat Burrell, Phillies, Randy Wolf, Roy Halladay, Ryan Howard, Ryan Madson, Scott Rolen, Vance Worley
Posted on: December 3, 2011 8:39 pm
Edited on: December 3, 2011 9:39 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Saturday's the last day at home for a couple of days for most in baseball, as the winter meetings kick off Monday in Dallas -- and that goes for reporters, as well. That meant a rather light day in rumors, but expect things to pick up on Sunday and then go fast and furious on Monday. Last year news of Jayson Werth's deal with the Nationals came on the day before the start of the meetings, so that goes to show things don't just go down in the hotel lobby.
The news of Chris Capuano's signing with the Dodgers seemed to signal the end of Hiroki Kuroda's time in Los Angeles, and maybe even his time in the United States. However, the Rockies are pursuing Kuroda (Denver Post). Kuroda's also been mentioned as a possibility for the Red Sox, Yankees, Tigers, Angels, Rangers and others. Kuroda blocked deals to the Tigers and Red Sox last season. WEEI.com reports Kuroda is open to pitching in Boston. His former team in Japan, the Hiroshima Carp, have also offered him a contract.
The A's could be popular in Dallas, as the team has pitching for sale. "I wouldn't rule anybody out," assistant GM David Forst told the San Francisco Chronicle. The A's are looking for an outfielder in return. Closer Andrew Bailey is among the most popular trade targets on the team, already drawing attention from the Rangers, Blue Jays, Reds, Padres, Mets and Mariners. (Chicago Tribune)
Someone put in a bid for Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima. The Seibu Lions are expected to accept the bid, regardless of the amount. (Kyodo News)
Matt Garza's agent told the Cubs' right-hander to prepare for "an active winter meetings." Garza told him he'd be in Italy. Garza was dealt from the Rays to the Cubs last offseason and is under team control through 2013. The Cubs have let it be known that they're open to trading just about anyone. (MLB.com)
The Rockies are interested in Japanese second baseman Kensuke Tanaka. The left-handed hitter played in just 49 games this past season for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters because of an ankle injury, but is said to be healthy now. (FoxSports.com)
Not many have thought that Rays general manager Andrew Friedman would consider taking the Astros' GM job, but free agent outfielder Johnny Damon seems to think it's a possibility. "He's not going to sign me and then leave," Damon told the Boston Globe of Friedman. "If he goes to Houston, his hometown, he's going to try and bring me along with him. That's where my waiting game is." Damon also said he told David Ortiz to play in New York and take advantage of the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium.
The White Sox are looking to trade for a starter and an outfielder and are dangling John Danks, Gavin Floyd, Carlos Quentin and Matt Thornton. Among the teams that could be a match are the Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers, Nationals, Reds and Braves. (Chicago Tribune)
Knuckleballer Tim Wakefield said he has a "strong desire" to pitch for the Red Sox next season. The 45-year-old needs seven wins to surpass Roger Clemens and Cy Young as the franchise's all-time leader. (Boston Herald)
The Reds held their annual RedsFest in Cincinnati this weekend, so there's plenty of news from the banks of the Ohio thanks to the media availability of GM Walt Jocketty, manager Dusty Baker and most of the team's roster and top prospects. Jocketty said the team is looking for a "top of the rotation" starter and have targeted six different players, but didn't name any of them. Jocketty also said the team had looked at Detroit infielder Ramon Santiago as a backup shortstop, and would ideally like to sign a left-handed hitter or switch hitter to back up Zack Cozart (Cincinnati Enquirer). Baker said the team is looking both internally and externally for a closer, but will not have a closer by committee to replace Francisco Cordero (MLB.com).@eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: 2012 free agency, 2012 MLB Free Agency, 2012 MLB Free Agents, 2012 MLB Hot Stove, AL Central, AL East, AL West, Andrew Bailey, Andrew Friedman, Angels, Astros, Athletics, Blue Jays, Braves, C. Trent Rosecrans, C.J. Wilson, Carlos Quentin, Casey Blake, Cubs, Cy Young, David Ortiz, Dodgers, Dusty Baker, Francisco Cordero, free agency, free agent tracker, Gavin Floyd, Hiroki Kuroda, Hiroyuki Nakajima, Indians, Japan, John Danks, Johnny Damon, Kensuke Tanaka, Mariners, Matt Garza, Matt Thornton, Mets, MLB Free Agency, MLB Free Agents, MLB Hot Stove, Nationals, NL Central, NL East, NL West, Padres, Ramon Santiago, Rangers, Rays, Red Sox, Reds, Roger Clemens, Roy Oswalt, Tigers, Tim Wakefield, Walt Jocketty, White Sox, Yankees, Zack Cozart
Posted on: December 1, 2011 8:12 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2011 9:01 pm
By Matt Snyder
• The White Sox are in a situation where they're most certain to be sellers on the trade market in an attempt to rebuild their barren farm system. CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler reports that other teams are so sure the White Sox are selling that they're inquiring about shortstop Alexei Ramirez and young pitcher Chris Sale. But, Knobler adds, the price for either would be "sky high." Talks on a contract extension with starting pitcher John Danks are in a "stalemate" and it's possible he's traded (ESPN Chicago). Remember, earlier this week we passed along the report that the White Sox were trying to deal reliever Matt Thornton and we've heard rumors involving starting pitcher Gavin Floyd and right fielder Carlos Quentin for weeks. Long-time left-handed starting pitcher Mark Buehrle is a free agent and expected to be gone. Jon Heyman reports there are 14 teams after Buehrle, so he may be the most popular player on the free agent market.
• The Rockies are still interested in Martin Prado, Knobler reports, and the Braves like outfielder Seth Smith as a piece coming back -- but the Braves also want Rockies third base prospect Nolan Arenado and, as Knobler said, that's not happening.
• It's looking less likely the Dodgers can retain starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, reports Knobler. Kuroda made $12.5 million last season and the Dodgers won't come close to paying him that much to stick around. The interesting factor here is Kuroda has said he won't pitch for any other team in America. So if he doesn't want to sign for what the Dodgers offer, he may well be headed back to Japan.
• Angels infielder Maicer Izturis was discussed in trade talk between the Angels and Rockies before the Chris Iannetta trade was completed -- CBSSports.com's Scott Miller reports -- so Izturis is available. The Tigers have been connected with Izturis in rumors this week.
• The Brewers, Cardinals and Giants are all looking at free agent shortstop Alex Gonzalez (Jon Heyman).
• The Rangers are hopeful of getting a long-term contract extension done with catcher Mike Napoli (Jon Paul Morosi). If he doesn't sign an extension, Napoli would be a free agent after the 2012 season.
• The Diamondbacks have made a contract offer to first baseman Lyle Overbay (Fox Sports Arizona).
• Earlier Thursday we noted that the Marlins were wooing closer Heath Bell, and you can now add the Blue Jays to the mix. They are after his services, reports Ken Rosenthal.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: 2012 free agency, 2012 MLB Free Agency, 2012 MLB Free Agents, 2012 MLB Hot Stove, AL Central, AL East, AL West, Alex Gonzalez, Alexei Ramirez, Angels, Blue Jays, Braves, Brewers, Cardinals, Carlos Quentin, Chris Sale, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, free agency, free agent tracker, Gavin Floyd, Giants, Heath Bell, Hiroki Kuroda, John Danks, Lyle Overbay, Maicer Izturis, Mark Buehrle, Marlins, Martin Prado, Matt Snyder, Matt Thornton, Mike Napoli, MLB Free Agency, MLB Free Agents, MLB Hot Stove, MLB Rumors, NL Central, NL East, NL West, Nolan Arenado, Rangers, Rockies, Rockies, Seth Smith, Tigers, White Sox
Posted on: November 7, 2011 3:00 pm
By Matt Snyder
Sure, Derek Lowe was dealt to the Indians in a salary dump and we've seen a few signings, but things have been pretty slow of late in Major League Baseball news. When the biggest name to sign a contract with a new team thus far is a backup first baseman/pinch-hitter (Jim Thome), it says everything you need to know about this past week in actual transactions. So forgive us for loving Melky Cabrera and Jonathan Sanchez swapping addresses. It's something, and it serves as a nice little unofficial start to the Hot Stove season.
With just one week to the general manager meetings in Milwaukee, it's time to focus on other potential trade candidates. Obviously rumors don't always come to fruition and we're shocked with non-rumored trades going down on occasion, but here are some names that either make sense or have been rumored to be on the move in the recent past.
• The White Sox's farm system is in absolute shambles and the major-league club doesn't appear ready to compete with the Tigers any time soon, so it's possible general manager Kenny Williams decides to rebuild. Since Adam Dunn and Alex Rios have no trade value, Gavin Floyd, John Danks and Carlos Quentin would be the parts most likely to move.
• Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie is a free agent after the 2012 season and he could be a helpful four or five starter for a contender. He's thrown at least 190 innings in each of the past four seasons.
• Rays center fielder B.J. Upton has long been rumored to be a trade candidate, and this winter it might finally happen with Desmond Jennings clearly ready to take over in center. Also, if the Rays are ready to deal a starting pitcher, Jeff Niemann is most likely.
• Denard Span was rumored to be a trade candidate back in July, and the Twins could part with their center fielder to shore up the pitching staff.
• We've already heard the rumors about Jair Jurrjens and Martin Prado from Atlanta, but it's possible since talks fizzled with the Royals that the Braves just hold both.
• Do the Angels try to shed Alberto Callaspo and/or Maicer Izturis and then land free agent Aramis Ramirez at third? They probably would need to shed more payroll in order to do so.
• Starting pitchers Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers could easily be on the move from Houston, but the guess is the ownership situation would need to be resolved first.
• After a disappointing 2011 season, the Rockies have plenty of trade candidates. Chris Iannetta probably stays put, but Huston Street, Ian Stewart, Seth Smith and Ty Wigginton all make sense in potential deals.
• Dodgers first baseman James Loney finished 2011 with a bang, which might mean it's the Dodgers last chance to get something of value in return for him. There are a few small-market matches, too, including the Indians.
• Finally, as we've already noted, the A's have put basically the entire team on the block.
So fasten your seatbelts, the action has only just begun.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: AL Central, AL East, AL West, Alberto Callaspo, Alfonso Soriano, Angels, Astros, Athletics, B.J. Upton, Brett Myers, Carlos Quentin, Carlos Zambrano, Chris Iannetta, Cubs, Denard Span, Dodgers, Gavin Floyd, Giants, Hot Stove League, Huston Street, Ian Stewart, James Loney, Jeff Niemann, Jeremy Guthrie, John Danks, Jonathan Sanchez, Maicer Izturis, Marlon Byrd, Matt Snyder, Melky Cabrera, NL Central, NL East, NL West, Orioles, Rays, Rockies, Royals, Seth Smith, Twins, Ty Wigginton, Wandy Rodriguez, White Sox
Posted on: October 13, 2011 12:03 am
By Evan Brunell
Another season gone, another disappointment for 29 teams as one is immortalized forever. Let’s take a look back at 2011 and forward in Eye on Baseball’s R.I.P. series...
Team name: Boston Red Sox
Record: 90-72, 3rd place in AL East, 7 games back
Manager: Terry Francona
Best hitter: Jacoby Ellsbury -- .321/.376/.552, 46 2B, 32 HR, 39 SB
Best pitcher: Josh Beckett -- 13-7, 2.89 ERA, 193 IP, 52 BB, 175 K
2011 SEASON RECAP
Here's guessing you've heard plenty about the Red Sox's 2011 season, so let's be brief. After stumbling to a 2-10 start, the Sox rebounded to go 81-44 over a 122-game stretch, then things completely imploded in September as Boston fell out of the postseason entirely, losing the wild card on the final day of the regular season.
While clubhouse dysfunction has ruled the news lately, the Red Sox's problems went deeper than that, as lack of pitching was a major problem that completely fell apart in September. Daisuke Matsuzaka fell to Tommy John surgery early on, pressing Tim Wakefield into year-long duty. Injuries were also sustained by Josh Beckett and trade-deadline acquisition Erik Bedard. Kevin Youkilis played in just 10 games after August 17, and J.D. Drew was a vanishing act from July 20-Sept. 24.
The Red Sox are a good team, chemistry issues aside. There isn't much wholesale changes to be done, although there are several items of importance the Red Sox will have to address. The club could be looking at vacancies in right field, shortstop, DH and closer, so Boston has its hands full. It will also have to address the back of the rotation. A busy offseason awaits, but the core of the team is intact.
Erik Bedard, SP
J.D. Drew, RF
Conor Jackson, OF
Hideki Okajima, RP
David Ortiz, DH
Trever Miller, RP
Marco Scutaro, SS ($5 million team option, $3 million player option)
Jason Varitek, C
Tim Wakefield, SP
Dan Wheeler, RP ($3 million team option).
Posted on: October 6, 2011 2:50 pm
Edited on: October 6, 2011 4:55 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Another season gone, another disappointment for 29 teams as one is immortalized forever. Let’s take a look back at 2011 and forward in Eye on Baseball’s R.I.P. series...Team name: Chicago White Sox
Record: 79-83, 3rd place AL Central, 16 GB
Manager: Ozzie Guillen/Don Cooper
Best hitter: Paul Konerko -- .300/.388/.517 with 31 HR, 105 RBI
Best pitcher:Mark Buehrle -- 13-0, 3.59 ERA, 205 1/3 IP, 109 SO, 45 BB
2011 SEASON RECAP
That feeling Red Sox and Braves fans had in the last days of the season? That's what it felt like all season long on the Southside of Chicago. The White Sox spent big money to bring Adam Dunn to town and dreams of him crushing balls out of U.S. Cellular Field. Instead, he was the biggest flop since Cowboys vs. Aliens. Dunn had an emergency appendectomy early in the season, and that may have been his highlight for 2011, finishing the season hitting .159/.292/.277 with 11 home runs and 42 RBI. The disappointment in Dunn permeated the entire season, even though the White Sox were just three games back in the American League Central leading up to the trade deadline, they never looked like a serious contender. They didn't disappoint, going 11-17 over the last month of the season as manager Ozzie Guillen dropped hints about wanting out before getting his way and being sent to the Marlins for a couple of minor-leaguers.
The White Sox already have nearly $90 million committed for 2012, so there's little chance of a quick fix. Jake Peavy, Alex Rios, Dunn and Konerko alone will account for $55.5 million, more than the entire 2011 opening day payroll for the Diamondbacks, Indians, Padres, Pirates, Rays and Royals. The will be looking to get some of its younger players, like catcher Tyler Flowers and outfielders Dayan Viciedo and Alejandro De Aza.
FREE AGENTSLHP Mark Buehrle
OF Juan Pierre
RHP Jason Frasor ($3.75 team option)
UTIL Omar Vizquel
C Ramon Castro
Tags: Adam Dunn, Alejandro De Aza, C. Trent Rosecrans, Chris Sale, Dave Martinez, Dayan Viciedo, Gavin Floyd, Jason Frason, John Danks, Juan Pierre, Kenny Williams, Mark Buehrle, Omar Vizquel, Ozzie Guillen, Paul Konerko, R.I.P., Ramon Castro, Sandy Alomar Jr., Terry Francona, Tony La Russa, Tyler Flowers, White Sox
Posted on: September 25, 2011 11:45 pm
By Evan Brunell
Rockies hitters: Colorado exploded for 19 runs, led by Kevin Kouzmanoff who scorched the ball for two homers, driving in five. But there were plenty of other contributors, with seven of nine players getting at least two hits, six of them with three or more. And even Kevin Millwood got in on the fun with a home run, the second of the season. He now has a .474 slugging percentage with a .180 career mark. Ty Wigginton, Thomas Field and Jordan Pachecho each had four hits, while Chris Iannetta tied Kouz with five RBI and a three-run blast. Only the first and ninth marked scoreless innings for the Rox.
Gavin Floyd, White Sox: It was a good year for Floyd, who posted a career-low 4.37 ERA this season. The cap to his successful year came with an eight-inning, three-hit performance against the Royals. He allowed only two walks and punched out 10 over 121 pitches. The White Sox considered moving him earlier this year and if he hits the market this offseason, there should be quite a bit of interest, especially given the weak free-agent market. He ended up losing because minor-league lifer Luis Mendoza out-dueled him, but Floyd gets the up for not just the game, but his season overall.
Jonathan Papelbon, Red Sox: The outcome of the game isn't why Papelbon's here. In his longest outing since May 2010 (and before that, 2006), Papelbon dominated the Yankees by throwing just 29 pitches over 2 1/3 innings, striking out four. The stumbling Red Sox seem to have everything going wrong for them, but Papelbon is the one thing going right. Get Papelbon a lead this year and he will hold it. Until giving up a run in his last relief appearance on Sept. 20, Papelbon hadn't given up a run since July 16.
Astros pitchers: The Rockies did most of their damage against the bullpen, knocking Lucas Harrell out of the game after just three innings and five runs (two unearned). Then began a procession of four pitchers, each of whom gave up at least four runs before Juan Abreu stopped the bleeding in the ninth. Rule 5 selection Aneury Rodriguez was lit up for four runs in two innings and Lance Pendleton surrendered five in his own two innings of work. Xavier Cedeno gave up five runs in the eighth after two one-out appearances marked the start of his career. Cedeno's ERA is now 27.00.
Brian Matusz, Orioles: The left-hander's season is finally over. Coming off a strong 2011, the youngster was primed to take the next step toward becoming an ace... and instead now ends 2011 with a 10.69 ERA that was actually lowered Sunday when he coughed up six runs over five innings to the Tigers, with a three-spot in the fifth as Matusz's last taste. That ERA will set a record for a pitcher with at least 40 innings, STATS LLC reports -- but he's in good company, as the previous record of 10.64 was held by Roy Halladay (2000).
"I'm going to have a lot of motivation going into this winter, because I'm never going to forget what this has felt like," Matusz told the Associated Press. "I've got a lot of mistakes to learn from." I'd say so.
Ricky Nolasco, Marlins: Wrapping up this edition of horrible pitching performances is Nolasco, who lasted just two innings and gave up six earned runs (plus another unearned). He was ripped apart for nine hits, spiking his ERA to 4.67. Nolasco has long been a pitcher whose peripherals have portended future success, but he simply can't put it all together, and it's time to stop expecting him to. He's a fine middle-of-the-rotation starter, but that's really all he can aspire to be at this point.
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Colorado Rockies' Chris Iannetta (20) is congratulated by teammate Ty Wigginton (21) and Jordan Pacheco (58) after all three scored on his home run as Houston Astros catcher J.R. Towles (46) watches during the eighth inning of a baseball game on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011, in Houston. The Rockies defeated the Astros 19-3. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Posted on: September 10, 2011 4:55 pm
Edited on: September 10, 2011 4:56 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Peavy, 30, started 18 games and pitched in relief in one more, going 7-7 with a 4.92 ERA. The 2007 Cy Young Award winner had surgery last year to have his latissimus dorsi muscle behind his right shoulder reattached.
"Jake rich now is shut down," pitching coach Don Cooper told MLB.com's Merkin. "The things we are looking at right now are, one, we want to win as many games as we can. Two, we want to keep everybody strong and healthy and continue to finish this season strong."
Peavy had said after his Aug. 31 start against the Twins that he was feeling "run down" and looking forward to the offseason. He then threw 6 1/3 scoreless innings against the Twins on Sept. 6, allowing just four hits and striking out nine.
Still Peavy had said after his last start that he wouldn't make the decision whether he'd be shut down, but was looking forward to the offseason.
"There's no doubt, I look forward to a nice winter and a nice comeback season next year," Peavy said (ChicagoTribune.com) on Tuesday.
Peavy was scheduled to pitch again on Monday against the first-place Tigers, but instead John Danks and Gavin Floyd will both be bumped up a day, but still be on regular rest. Merkin speculates Dylan Axelrod could start against the Tigers in the third game of the series with first-place Detroit on Wednesday. Zach Stewart will pitch on Sunday against the Indians.
Peavy said he hopes to return to his former form next season.
"Like I said, there are times last winter where I didn't know if I'd ever throw again," Peavy told MLB.com on Saturday. "Being able to come back and pitch in the big leagues, there's no doubt it was gratifying. There were a couple of highlights and just a roller-coaster ride. It was learning as we went."For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.