Heyman: Rockies want four from Yankees for Ubaldo Jimenez

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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.

Video: Angels use eight pitchers in spring training no-hitter

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Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?

Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.

Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.

Tanner Scheppers leaves Cactus League game with lower core injury

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Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.

Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.

Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.