Rumor: Rockies "are quietly shopping" Aaron Cook

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According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post the Rockies “are quietly shopping Aaron Cook and telling teams they would either eat some dollars or take back a contract.”
Sherman notes that Colorado is undecided about whether they should be buyers or sellers at this point, but “wants to put Jhoulys Chacin back into the rotation” and would like to shed the $9.5 million Cook is owed next season. He’s also owed about $3 million for the rest of this year and Cook’s contract has an $11 million option or $500,000 buyout for 2012, with a $1 million trade kicker if he’s dealt.
Cook isn’t flashy or a big name and he’s been disappointing this season with a career-worst 4.78 ERA in 19 starts, but he’s a 31-year-old ground-ball machine who had a 3.67 ERA away from Coors Field during the past three seasons. He’s struggled mightily on the road this year, but if you put Cook in a less hitter-friendly ballpark and give him a good infield defense to pitch in front of he can be a very solid mid-rotation starter.

Marlins option Tom Koehler to Triple-A, recall Hunter Cervenka

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Long-time rotation mainstay Tom Koehler was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on Monday and reliever Hunter Cervenka was recalled, the Marlins announced.

Koehler, 31, made 131 starts out of the Marlins’ rotation over the last five years, but his 12 this season have not been good, so the club hopes he can figure things out with a stint in the minors. He’s carrying a 7.92 ERA with a 44/29 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. Koehler battled bursitis in his right shoulder in May and June, which may partially explain his struggles.

Cervenka, 27, posted a 4.50 ERA with a 34/21 K/BB ratio in 34 innings of relief with New Orleans. He hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season, but compiled a 3.53 ERA over 43 1/3 innings in the bigs last year in the Marlins’ bullpen.

Nationals, Dodgers, and Red Sox are interested in Pat Neshek

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At the trade deadline, relief pitching is the name of the game and one of the names clearly available is Pat Neshek. Today Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the Nationals, Dodgers, and Red Sox are among the clubs who are closely scouting the Phillies reliever. Last week Ken Rosenthal reported that the Brewers and Rays were involved as well.

Neshek is an impending free agent, so he may come cheaper than Justin Wilson or some of the other bullpen arms available right now. The All-Star is 36 and is posting a fantastic season, featuring a 1.12 ERA and 45/5 K/BB ratio over 40.1 innings this season.