The Cubs have claimed left-handed pitcher Alex Hinshaw off outright waivers, tweets Corey Brock of MLB.com. Hinshaw was designated for assignment by the Padres last Tuesday.
Hinshaw posted a 4.50 ERA and 1.54 WHIP in 28 innings of relief work for San Diego this season. He logged a strong strikeout rate of 11.6 K/9, but struggled with his control (6.4 BB/9). Prior to pitching for the Padres this season, he last appeared in the big leagues with the Giants in 2009.
Hinshaw is expected to join the Cubs in Milwaukee tomorrow in time for their series against the Brewers, tweets Doug Padilla of ESPNChicago.com. The Cubs, however, have yet to announce a corresponding roster move.
In today’s column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes that despite the perception that Jacoby Ellsbury would like to leave Boston down the line, a source says that he would actually like to stay if at all possible. Neither side has asked the other to consider a long-term deal, but that could certainly change in the offseason. Here’s more from Cafardo..
In last week’s column, Cafardo wrote that Braves officials thought Michael Bourn would not re-sign when he becomes a free agent due to a less-than-stellar track record with Scott Boras clients. However, Boras told Cafardo that he has had an excellent relationship with General Manager Frank Wren and the club as a whole. The agent says he is not ruling out Atlanta at all and added that Bourn enjoys playing there.
The Red Sox are very interested in pursuing a new deal with Cody Ross, who will be coming off of a one-year, $3MM pact this winter. With many teams in need of a righthanded bat, he could likely net a Josh Willingham-type three-year, $21MM deal.
The Orioles, Nationals, and Dodgers may be among teams looking at Red Sox pitcher Aaron Cook now that he is on trade waivers. Mariners pitcher Kevin Millwood has not been placed on trade waivers yet but he could be one of the more sought-after pitchers once he is. “He’s got ice water in his veins and he knows how to get big outs,” said a veteran scout. “A guy like that isn’t going to do the Mariners any good going forward but he could solidify a rotation.” Cubs personnel are disappointed that Alfonso Soriano won’t waive his 10-and-5 rights to go to the Giants. The outfielder doesn’t want to play in a colder climate that could adversely affect his hitting.
Johnny Cueto allowed a two-run homer to Alfonso Soriano in the first inning, they shutout the Cubs for the next seven as the Reds came back to win the game 5-3. Cueto was in control, walking none and striking out eight as he takes the NL lead in wins with 16. Johnny has now pitched 12 2/3 more innings than last season, and walked ten fewer batters.
The Reds have become my favorite to win the World Series. They lost one of the best hitters in the league when Joey Votto went down with an injury in the middle of July. Since then, the team is 23-9, the best record in the majors (pending the outcome of game two of the double header). If they play this well without Votto, I suspect they’ll be better when they get him back.
Soriano’s two RBI today gives him 1000 for his career.
Johnny Cueto continued to bolster his case for the National League Cy Young award this afternoon against the Cubs, giving up two runs over eight innings as part of a 5-3 victory in the first game of a doubleheader. Cueto is now the National League’s first 16-game winner. David Price of the Rays got there [...]
UPDATE: David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com hears that the deal is very close, but isn’t finalized yet. 3:22 PM: We’ve heard reports over the past couple of days that the Cubs and Starlin Castro were close to agreeing on a long-term contract extension. The deal is now in place. According to Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com, the…
Tigers manager Jim Leyland all but confirmed that Victor Martinez will not return this season, reports James Schmehl of mLive.com. Martinez torn his ACL during an offseason workout, but there was a small possibility that he would return to the team in September. Here’s the latest from around the league…
“I’m not really too worried about that. I like to leave that front-office stuff to my agent,” said Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija to ESPN Chicago when asked if any contract extension talks were taking place. The 27-year-old is in the middle of a breakout season while earning $2.64MM.
Right-hander Tim Stauffer is dealing with shoulder and elbow issues, and Bill Center of The San Diego Union-Tribute says that the Padres will likely non-tender him after the season. Stauffer has only made one start this year and will earn $3.2MM.
The Nationals designated Cesar Izturis for assignment earlier today, and manager Davey Johnson told reporters (including Dan Kolko of MASNSports.com) that the club will likely bring him back in September if he isn’t claimed off waivers (Twitter link).
Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com says the Orioles have a difficult decision to make about Mark Reynolds‘ club option after the season. Baltimore holds an $11MM option ($500K buyout) for the slugger, who has turned it on of late following a slow start.
The Padres are considering internal options (crosscheckers Bob Filoti and Bill Gasparino) as well as external options (Mets coordinator Ian Levin and crosschecker Steve Barningham) for their scouting director position, reports Jim Callis of Baseball America (on Twitter).
Starlin Castro‘s agent, Paul Kinzer, told Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune that he planned on tabling contract talks until after the season until the Cubs approached him. The two sides are working on a new deal that would keep him in Chicago through 2018 and possibly beyond.
Manager Dusty Baker and the Reds still have yet to have talks about a contract extension and Baker says that he doesn’t expect to do so anytime soon, writes John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Meanhwile, team president Bob Castellini told Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com that he hopes to have Baker as a part of the Reds organization for a long time. Castellini wouldn’t tip his cap as to when contract talks could get started between the two sides but indicated that the timing would likely be agreed upon mutually.
Castro has instructed Kinzer not to give him updates on the negotiations and to only notify him when a deal is done, tweets Doug Padilla of ESPNChicago.com.
The Rangers just announced that Ryan Dempster will miss his scheduled Saturday start against the Blue Jays because of undisclosed “personal reasons.” Roy Oswalt will take his place, starting for the first time since July 30. Dempster has been awful since coming to the Rangers in a trade from the Cubs, allowing 19 runs in…
Last night we learned that the Cubs and shortstop Starlin Castro have been working on a long-term deal which could span six years or more. A six-year deal would take care of all of the 22-year-old’s arbitration years and two of his free agent seasons. More on the Cubs..
Hoyer indicated that the Cubs aren’t likely to spend big on a marquee free agent this winter in an appearance on “Chicago Tribune Live”, writes CSNChicago.com’s Patrick Mooney. While the GM wouldn’t completely rule out making a splash on the open market, he was less-than-enthusiastic about the prospect of spending big money on players that are on the back half of their career.
Instead, Hoyer says that the club will focus on keeping their in-house talent, which is consistent with last night’s news on Castro. “We have to build from within and build young players, because the days of going out and signing young free agents is over. Teams lock up their guys. Look at how many long, multiyear deals teams are signing with their pre-arbitration players,” Hoyer said.
With the news of a new deal for Castro in the works, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney (via Twitter) notes that since last fall, the Cubs have had a policy of no no-trade clauses.
Mooney writes that it is unclear if the Giants would be interested in David DeJesus in the wake of Melky Cabrera‘s suspension or how he fits in the waiver process, but the outfielder says that he wants to remain with the club. DeJesus’ contract calls for him to make $4.25MM this season and next with a $6.5MM club option ($1.5MM buyout) for 2014.
David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com has the exclusive: Two industry sources who have represented several MLB players over the past decade confirmed to me tonight that the Cubs are working on a long term deal for star shortstop Starlin Castro. The deal, which could be six or more years in length, is expected to be finalized [...]
The Cubs are working on a long-term deal with shortstop Starlin Castro, two industry sources told David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com. The deal could be for six or more years and is expected to be finalized before the end of the 2012 season.
A six-year deal would buy out Castro’s remaining arbitration years and two years of free agency which he would reach after the 2016 season. Castro’s agents at Wasserman Media Group are likely to look at fellow shortstops Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes, and Troy Tulowitzki as possible comps for the 22-year-old.
Earlier this year, Mike Axisa estimated that the Cubs will have to spend roughly $20MM to cover his arbitration years and $12-15MM for each year of free agency. Theo Epstein & Co. have an additional year of arbitration to cover as the shortstop is likely to qualify as a Super Two.
One baseball source opined to Kaplan that the Cubs were foolish to promote the shortstop as early as they did in the 2010 season. Had they waited longer to bring Castro to the big leagues, they could have delayed the start of his service clock and prevented him from achieving Super Two status.
Castro’s offensive production hasn’t been as strong as it has in the previous two seasons as he’s hitting .276/.307/.422 with 12 homers in 495 plate appearances. Defensively, Castro has a UZR/150 of 5.1, the best of his three campaigns.
The Cubs have signed left-hander Horacio Ramirez to a minor league deal, according to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com. The 32-year-old, who has spent the year in independent ball, has been assigned to Triple-A Iowa.
Ramirez posted a 1.96 ERA with 5.4 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9 in twelve starts for the Lancaster Barnstormers of the Atlantic League this year. The hurler spent last season with the Angels where he saw nine innings of big league work while posting a 3.96 ERA with 3.6 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 in 45 Triple-A outings.
Wednesday was a busy day for baseball’s two West divisions, as the Giants lost Melky Cabrera for 50 games while Felix Hernandez threw the first perfect game in Mariners history. Here is Thursday’s news and notes from the left coast…
Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle says the Giants have a decision to make in the wake of Cabrera’s suspension. The 28-year-old is due to become a free agent after the season and team seemed likely to explore a multiyear extension before yesterday’s news broke. Giants GM Brian Sabean has not been much of an Alfonso Soriano fan through the years, so he seems unlikely to pursue him following Cabrera’s suspension according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). Yesterday we heard that Soriano is unlikely to approve a trade to San Francisco anyway.
Joel Sherman of The New York Post wonders if the Mariners‘ willingness to commit to Hernandez and Hernandez’s willingness to remain in Seattle will fall in line when the right-hander hits free agency after 2014.
In a chat with David Laurila of FanGraphs, David Murphy says getting traded to the Rangers was the best possible opportunity for him and his career. Murphy was part of the trade that sent Eric Gagne to the Red Sox in 2007.
Cherish Wednesday’s perfect game, Mariners fans, and enjoy King Felix’s Seattle tenure while it lasts. Let’s face it: there’s a good chance Felix Hernandez will end his Mariners career never having won a postseason game. The Mariners are set to finish in last place in the AL West for a third straight season and for…
Alfonso Soriano told Theo Epstein & Co. that he would not accept a trade to the Giants when San Francisco showed interest in him prior to the July 31st deadline. The club may have renewed interest in the veteran after Melky Cabrera was hit with a 50-game suspension, but the Cubs outfielder says that he still doesn’t think that the Giants would be a good fit for him, writes Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. ”San Francisco is not good weather to play in. It’s on the West Coast and I’ve never played on the West Coast. We’ll see what happens if they call. I’ll talk to my family then and see. It’s not my call. I know it’s 50 percent of my call, but it’s my family’s [call] too. I’d talk to my family and see what happens,” Soriano said. More on Cabrera and the Giants..
The suspension changes the complexion of the National League West race, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Cabrera theoretically could return to action for the sixth game of the postseason, but it’s unlikely that the Giants would leave a roster spot open for him without knowing what he’ll be able to contribute.
Cabrera’s sudden turnaround in San Francisco seemed too good to be true, and it turns out that it was, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. It’s possible that teams will entirely discount his strong play in 2012 when he’s on the open market this winter, but others may seize the opportunity to buy low.
Cabrera’s agents didn’t pursue an in-season extension once they were notified of his positive test, Heyman tweets.
There’s no doubt that the Giants heard of Cabrera’s positive test at the time they acquired Hunter Pence, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post. While the official word didn’t come out until this afternoon, there were strong whispers of the news in late July.
Dave Cameron of Fangraphs opines that Cabrera might have cost himself $60-70MM this winter. Cameron also doesn’t see the 28-year-old having many suitors in free agency.
The Giants appear to be in serious trouble without their star slugger, but that doesn’t mean that the Dodgers can rest on their laurels and celebrate, writes Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times.
Alfonso Soriano made it known before the trade deadline that he wasn’t interested in a trade to the Giants. Asked again today about the possibility of a move to San Francisco in light of Melky Cabrera‘s regular season-ending suspension, Soriano replied “I don’t think so,” CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports. Soriano has cleared waivers, just…
Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano has cleared trade waivers, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. He is now eligible to be traded anywhere, pending his approval due to his no-trade clause.
Soriano, 36, is hitting .264/.319/.490 with 21 homers on the season and is still owed approximately $45MM through the end of the 2014 season. He told the Cubs he would not accept a trade to the Giants before the deadline, though Heyman speculates they could get involved again following the news of Melky Cabrera‘s 50-game suspension.
Earlier this month, nearly 9,000 MLBTR readers said they believe the Cubs will be able to trade Soriano this month.
Here’s the latest on two big market front offices…
The Cubs announced that they have dismissed vice president of player personnel Oneri Fleita in a press release. Fleita had been with the club since 1995 and oversaw their minor league player development program.
The Cubs also dismissed baseball information manager Chuck Wasserstrom according to Paul Sullivan of The Chicago Tribune (on Twitter). Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein told Sullivan that he plans to make more front office changes, ultimately leading to growth of the department (Twitter links). Assistant GM Paul Bush is in “good standing” with the team.
In today’s Insider-only blog post, ESPN’s Buster Olney argues that Red Sox owner John Henry should give full control of the team’s baseball operations to GM Ben Cherington in the wake of the latest Bobby Valentine revolt rumors.
“There is a disconnect in communication between the players and upper management,” said Mets catcher Kelly Shoppach to Andy Martino of The New York Daily News about his former team, the Red Sox (Twitter link).