It was a given that the Rockies would ask for the moon in return for Ubaldo Jimenez. Who knew they’d want a planet, too?
According to SI.com’s Jon Heyman, the Rockies have asked the Yankees for catcher Jesus Montero, RHP Ivan Nova and the team’s top two pitching prospects — Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances — in return for Jimenez.
Jimenez is worthy of a big-time payout — he’d be under control through 2013 at a bargain price — but that’s an extreme return. One could argue that Montero and Banuelos are both better prospects than any of the three the Red Sox gave up for Adrian Gonzalez over the winter.
For trade talks to progress, the Rockies would likely have to drop their request for both Montero and Banuelos. At this point, the Yankees are probably more likely to part with Montero, who would have been the centerpiece of a Cliff Lee deal with Seattle last summer. He’s been a disappointment this year, having hit a modest .288/.347/.413 with seven homers in 281 at-bats for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Still, he has terrific offensive potential and he might flourish following a move to first base. That’s where the Rockies would likely put him, since they have already have an excellent catching prospect in Willin Rosario.
Banuelos, arguably one of the game’s top-five pitching prospects, has amassed a 3.64 ERA and an 86/45 K/BB ratio in 84 innings as a 20-year-old in Double-A.
In the unlikely event that the two sides are able to come to a deal, my guess is that it would involve Montero, Betances and a lesser prospect. The Yankees would likely prefer to trade Nova, who would be less likely to be needed in the short term with Jimenez around, but the Rockies are going to need at least one high-upside arm in return for their ace.
The Royals are a game and a half out of the crazy AL Wild Card race — six games back of the Indians in the division — so they don’t have a huge margin for error. They got some bad news last night, though, that could have a major impact on their playoff hopes: closer Kelvin Herrera experienced tightness in his right forearm in the ninth inning of last night’s win, forcing him out of the game.
Herrera walked the bases loaded, then went to a 2-0 count on the next batter before leaving the game. That last pitch was a fastball that clocked in at 91 m.p.h., which is NOT a typical Kelvin Herrera fastball. Herrera didn’t talk after the game but his teammate Sal Perez said that Herrera told him “I’m tight. I don’t feel my forearm.”
Reporters left the clubhouse before an official diagnosis or prognosis could be delivered, so expect an update some time today. If Herrera is out the closer duties could fall to Scott Alexander or Brandon Maurer.
Albert Pujols had a big night last night, driving in four runs as the Angels beat the Rangers 10-1. Three of those runs came on a three-run homer. That was the 610th home run of Pujols’ career, snapping a tie for eighth on the all-time list with Sammy Sosa. It also made him baseball’s all-time leader for home runs by a player born outside the U.S.
Pujols was aware of the accomplishment, of course, and noted how honored he was after the game:
”It’s pretty special. Obviously, all the great players from the Dominican Republic, Latin America, Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, they’ve gone through the big leagues and to be able to accomplish something like this is very humbling.”
After Sosa, who is from the Dominican Republic, comes Rafael Palmeiro (569); Manny Ramirez (555); David Ortiz (541); Carlos Delgado (473); Jose Canseco (462); Adrian Beltre and Miguel Cabrera (459).