Storylines: Athletics pitcher requests trade
In this MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @AndrewIBI.
Here are the stories from Thursday, July 17.
- Oakland's acquisition of Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel displaced left-hander Tommy Milone from the club's rotation, and now the 27-year-old has asked the club for a trade, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Oakland has received multiple inquiries on Milone, but the team doesn't feel inclined to move him, as he could be needed for future depth in the event of injuries or ineffectiveness. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that she also has heard that Milone has asked for a trade, but that won't necessarily prompt the A's to deal him.
- Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera exited Monday night's game against the Twins with lower back spasms. Cabrera appeared to be shaken up after throwing to first on Chris Parmelee's groundout in the second inning, and he did not come to the plate in the top of the third. Chris Dickerson pinch-hit for Cabrera and singled home Mike Aviles to put the Indians on the board.
- While T.J. House had long been expected to make Monday's start against the Twins, no one was sure which player would be sent back down to make room on the 25-man roster. The answer came Monday afternoon, when rookie reliever Austin Adams was optioned to Triple-A Columbus after two disappointing appearances this month.
- Alex M. Smith of MLB.com reported that Justin Masterson is going to make one more start at Triple-A Columbus before returning to the Indians.
- The Indians' Jason Kipnis was named American League Player of the Week on Monday. Kipnis knocked two home runs on Friday against Detroit to start his second half. The Tribe took three of four from the Tigers thanks in part to Kipnis' .333 average (5-for-15) and six RBIs.
- As usual, the relief market promises to be active in the coming days. As Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported, one executive with a reliever to shop cited the Tigers, Indians, Orioles, Blue Jays, Braves, Brewers, Giants, Dodgers, and Pirates as clubs that are in the market.
News and Notes:
- The Cubs have the prospect depth necessary to acquire David Price from the Rays, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal wrote, and acquiring Price (and then extending him past 2015) is just the kind of big move Rosenthal feels the Cubs need to get them into contention sooner rather than later. Price is intrigued by the idea of playing in Chicago, friends of the southpaw say, and Cubs minor league pitching coordinator Derek Johnson was Price's pitching coach at Vanderbilt.
- Meanwhile, rival officials see the Cardinals, Mariners and Dodgers as the three teams best positioned to acquire David Price from the Rays, ESPN's Buster Olney wrote.
- The Pirates had a scout watching A.J. Burnett's start on Friday, Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The Bucs are known to be looking for starting pitching and Burnett is certainly a familiar quantity for them. The veteran righty has a partial no-trade clause, though it isn't known if he can block a deal to Pittsburgh or if Burnett would welcome a deal to a contender that is still close to his Maryland home.
- Cole Hamels has received some trade interest from the Red Sox, though CBS Sports' Jon Heyman wondered if this could be a tactic to restart extension talks with Jon Lester. Otherwise, Boston's pursuit of Hamels doesn't make a lot of sense to Heyman — the Sox could just re-sign Lester, rather than pay a similar price to Hamels through 2018 and have to give up prospects to the Phillies to get him.
- The Blue Jays and Yankees both scouted Cliff Lee's final rehab start, CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury wrote. Lee returned from the DL to start against the Giants last night, and scouts from several teams are expected in attendance for Lee's two scheduled starts prior to the July 31st deadline.
- Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon "is generating little interest," sources told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- The Phillies announced that they outrighted veteran catcher Koyie Hill off the 40-man roster and designated center fielder Tony Gwynn Jr. for assignment. The team also announced that Cesar Hernandez was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The series of roster moves creates space for Cliff Lee, Wil Nieves and Reid Brignac to be activated from the disabled list.
- While many teams have interest in shoring up their bullpens, many top relief targets might not ultimately be moved, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported. He named Koji Uehara (Red Sox), Joakim Soria (Rangers), and Joaquin Benoit (Padres) as quality late-inning hurlers who could stay put.
- Mariners second baseman Nick Franklin is "a top target" of the Athletics as they explore upgrades at the keystone, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Franklin's name has been a fixture in trade rumors ever since the M's signed Robinson Cano, with the Royals and Rays among the clubs most recently connected to the 23-year-old infielder.
- The Giants signed second baseman Dan Uggla, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported. It's a minor league contract that will see Uggla report to Triple-A Fresno, and the deal contains an out clause for August 1st, according to Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- A few weeks ago, the Orioles and Athletics discussed a trade that would've seen Jim Johnson return to Baltimore, ESPN's Jayson Stark reported. The Orioles were the ones who ultimately decided not to pursue the deal. The A's have been having trouble finding a trade partner for the struggling reliever, as prior talks with the Marlins also fell through. Johnson wouldn't have been returning to his old closer role with the O's, as Zach Britton has been excellent as Baltimore's ninth-inning stopper this season.
- The Astros' failure to sign Brady Aiken resulted in the team receiving a compensation pick (No. 2 overall) in the 2015 draft, and while we've seen problems caused by comp picks in the Top 10 under the new CBA (specifically heading into the 2013 season), MLBTR's Tim Dierkes reported that a change has been made to the protected pick structuring. Previously, the CBA had called for the "Top 10″ picks to be protected, but changes have been made that will protect the picks of the teams with the 10 worst records, regardless of whether or not comp picks are inserted into the first 10 selections.
- The Blue Jays announced that they designated right-hander Sergio Santos for assignment and recalled southpaw Rob Rasmussen from Triple-A Buffalo.
- The Twins and catcher Kurt Suzuki recently engaged in extension talks, but the two sides aren't seeing eye to eye in terms of contract parameters, according to Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Berardino characterized the talks as "exploratory" but noted that establishing fair parameters looks like it will be a challenge.
- The Rockies designated right-hander Jair Jurrjens for assignment, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reported. The move was necessitated by the promotion of first baseman Ben Paulsen, whose contract was selected yesterday. Paulsen replaced Justin Morneau, who has been placed on the 15-day DL with a neck strain.
- The Angels signed the recently released John Buck to a minor league deal and assigned him to Triple-A Salt Lake, according to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register.
Toronto is reportedly looking for bullpen help. IF the Tribe falls from WC contention, might they have interest in John Axford, he's seemingly regained some semblance of himself. While his BB is still high, he's increased his K rate too.
ACabs injury comes at a poor time, but I'm not convinced loosing him from the lineup hurts all that much. I'd rather see the Tribe move him for a piece, than let him walk, but with the Tribe potentially pushing for a WC spot it seems hard to justify such a move.
I'm curious if he gets placed on the DL or if the Tribe will let him ride the pine as the 25 player, as opposed to placing him on the DL. I'm not sure, can he be traded while on the DL?