Tag: Francisco Rodriguez

Justin Upton

So who’s available at the trade deadline?


The non-waiver trade deadline is coming. July 31, as usual. After a slow beginning to crazy season due to so many teams being in contention or erroneously believing so, the rumblings are getting louder. It’s great fun, yes?

Over the next couple of weeks, we will obviously be writing individual posts for each of the trades that go down and a lot of the rumors that swirl. We’ll also, once trades start happening, put up a trade tracker so you can keep all the deals straight. But for now, let’s see if we can’t get a list of guys who are or who may be on the market.

This is a pretty expansive list, I think, as it includes guys like Josh Willingham who, just a few minutes ago, we noted probably won’t be traded. And it also includes guys — especially some pitchers — that no one may want. It further includes guys who haven’t had any trade heat around them but, man, they play for a team going nowhere, so maybe they SHOULD be dealt. Ergo, lots of Astros and Padres. It also includes a lot of Athletics because, in contention or not, the A’s like to deal people at the deadline.  This isn’t merely list of names being tossed around actively. It’s more akin to a list of possible dudes your team may reasonably inquire about and/or want.

Point is, never say never. Teams don’t do dumb things at the rate they did ten years ago, but it’s not impossible to think that someone would offer the Twins a ridiculous return for Willingham, making them change their mind. Or that someone may think that a Safeco-fueled half season by Kevin Millwood has rendered him not-Kevin Millwood.

Anyway, below is who we reckon to be on the market at the moment. If we missed some — and I’m assuming we did — let us know. Keeping track of this stuff is like herding cats, so the more herders the better.

Available bats:

Justin Upton
Carlos Quentin
Shane Victorino
Justin Morneau
Josh Willingham
Denard Span
Michael Cuddyer
Alfonso Soriano
Bryan LaHair
Chase Headley
Adam Lind
Mark Kotsay
Marco Scutaro
Chris Johnson
Chris Denorfia
Seth Smith
Jonny Gomes
Coco Crisp

Available arms:

Cole Hamels
Zack Greinke
Wandy Rodriguez
Matt Garza
Ryan Dempster
Francisco Liriano
Edinson Volquez
Brandon McCarthy
Bartolo Colon
Kevin Millwood
Huston Street
Jonathan Broxton
Rafael Betancourt
Francisco Rodriguez
Matt Capps
Grant Balfour
Bret Myers
Brandon Lyon

So, who did we miss? And who shouldn’t be here? Note: If you name someone who wasn’t originally on the list and should be, I will update it here.

The worst of the worst at the All-Star break

Tim Lincecum

Because the non-All-Stars deserve recognition too — even when they’d prefer to hide their faces — here’s a look at some midpoint leaderboards in reverse order.

1. Dee Gordon (SS LAD): .562
2. Cliff Pennington (SS Oak): .563
3. Cameron Maybin (CF SD): .596
4. Jamey Carroll (INF Min): .597
5. Justin Smoak (1B Sea): .597
6. Robert Andino (2B Bal): .611
7. Jemile Weeks (2B Oak): .620
8. Brandon Crawford (SS SF): .621
9. Alexei Ramirez (SS CWS): .628
10. Jordan Schafer (CF Hou): .634

Fangraphs WAR – position players
1. Ryan Raburn (2B Det): -1.4
2. Chone Figgins (UT Sea): -1.3
3. Brennan Boesch (RF Det): -1.3
4. Endy Chavez (LF Bal): -1.2
5. Chris Coghlan (CF Mia): -1.2
6. Tyler Pastornicky (SS Atl): -1.1
7. Brian Roberts (2B Bal): -1.0
8. Emmanuel Burriss (INF SF): -1.0
9. Marlon Byrd (CF ChC/Bos): -1.0
10. Jeff Francoeur (RF KC): -0.9

Baseball-reference WAR – position players
1. Francoeur: -1.9
2. Pastornicky: -1.6
3. Michael Young (DH Tex): -1.6
4. Raburn: -1.5
5. Coghlan: -1.5
6. Boesch: -1.4
7. Rickie Weeks (2B Mil): -1.4
8. Dee Gordon: -1.3
9. Endy Chavez: -1.1
10. Gaby Sanchez (1B Mia): -1.1

Outs made
1. J.J. Hardy (SS Bal): 287
2. Ichiro Suzuki (RF Sea): 275
2. Ian Kinsler (2B Tex): 275
4. Jimmy Rollins (SS Phi): 269
5. Derek Jeter (SS NYY): 264
6. Starlin Castro (SS ChC): 262
6. Jose Reyes (SS Mia): 262
8. Yunel Escobar (SS Tor): 261
9. M. Young: 260
9. Ian Desmond (SS Was): 260

Stolen-base percentage (min. 5 attempts)
1. Miguel Olivo (C Sea): 20% (1-for-5)
1. Francoeur: 20% (1-for-5)
3. David DeJesus (OF ChC): 29% (2-for-7)
4. Matt Kemp (CF LAD): 40% (2-for-5)
4. Jason Bourgeois (OF KC): 40% (2-for-5)
4. Evan Longoria (3B TB): 40% (2-for-5)
4. Asdrubal Cabrera (SS Cle): 40% (2-for-5)
8. Willie Bloomquist (INF Ari): 43% (6-for-14)
8. Justin Ruggiano (OF Mia): 43% (3-for-7)
8. Collin Cowgill (OF Oak): 43% (3-for-7)

ERA (qualified for ERA title)
1. Tim Lincecum (SF): 6.42
2. Jake Arrieta (Bal): 6.13
3. Mike Minor (Atl): 5.97
4. Randy Wolf (Mil): 5.80
5. Hector Noesi (Sea): 5.77
6. Ervin Santana (LAA): 5.75
7. Clay Buchholz (Bos): 5.53
8. Ricky Romero (Tor): 5.22
9. Bruce Chen (KC): 5.22
10. J.A. Happ (Hou): 5.14

ERA (min. 20 IP)
1. Manny Acosta (NYM): 11.86
2. Josh Outman (Col): 9.00
3. Guillermo Moscoso (Col): 8.23
4. Nick Blackburn (Min): 8.10
5. Chris Volstad (ChC): 7.94
6. Chien-Ming Wang (Was): 7.61
7. Daniel Hudson (Ari): 7.35
8. Jhoulys Chacin (Col): 7.30
9. Jesse Chavez (Tor): 7.08
10. Liam Hendriks (Min): 7.04

1. Bobby Cassevah (LAA): -0.7
2. Acosta: -0.7
3. Josh Lindblom (LAD): -0.7
4. Blackburn: -0.6
5. Mark Rzepczynski (StL): -0.6
6. Brad Brach (SD): -0.5
7. Rafael Dolis (ChC): -0.5
8. Noesi: -0.5
9. Collin Balester (Det): -0.5
10. Francisco Cordero (Tor): -0.5

1. Lincecum: -2.0
2. Acosta: -1.9
3. Blackburn: -1.8
4. Minor: -1.7
5. Volstad: -15
6. Heath Bell (Mia): -1.3
7. E. Santana: -1.3
8. Jason Marquis (Min/SD): -1.2
9. Hendriks: -1.2
10. Noesi: -1.2

Quality start percentage (qualified for ERA title)
1. Lincecum: 22.2%
2. Wolf: 29.4%
2. Erik Bedard (Pit): 29.4%
4. Minor: 31.3%
5. Randall Delgado (Atl): 31.3%
6. Arrieta: 33.3%
7. Lucas Harrell (Hou): 35.3%
8. Buchholz: 35.7%
9. Matt Moore (TB): 41.2%
9. Noesi: 41.2%
9. Dan Haren (LAA): 41.2%
9. E. Santana: 41.2%
9. Luke Hochevar (KC): 41.2%

Blown saves (closers)
1. Brandon League (Sea): 6 in 15 chances
1. H. Bell: 6 in 25 chances
3. John Axford (Mil): 5 in 20 chances
4. Aroldis Chapman (Cin): 4 in 15 chances
4. Rafael Betancourt (Col): 4 in 19 chances
4. Alfredo Aceves: 4 in 23 chances
4. Jason Motte (StL): 4 in 24 chances
4. Santiago Casilla (SF): 4 in 25 chances

Blown saves (setup men)
1. Chad Qualls (Phi/NYY): 5
1. Rzepczynski (StL): 5
3. Pedro Strop (Bal): 4
3. David Hernandez (Ari): 4
3. Andrew Cashner (SD): 4
3. Rex Brothers (Col): 4
3. Francisco Rodriguez (Mil): 4

Oh, fun! The Mets may be interested in bringing K-Rod back

NLCS Brewers Cardinals Baseball

The Mets could use some bullpen help. The Brewers have two guys who, at various times, have been considered Professional Closers. So why not get the band back together? Ken Davidoff of the Post:

The Mets want to upgrade their bullpen, and the Brewers’ Francisco Rodriguez is on their list of targets, a person familiar with the club’s thinking said yesterday.

Yes, Francisco Rodriguez. As in “K-Rod.” The only major league player, so far, to get arrested at Citi Field.

Davidoff notes, correctly in my view, that it’s not a crazy idea. The Brewers may soon be in sell-mode, the Mets know what they’d be getting in Rodriguez, the asking price would be pretty small and the upside would be pretty big.

That sound you hear is all of the New York sporting press sighing in relief that the low-drama Mets of 2012 may soon get interesting again.

Springtime Storylines: Is there life after Prince Fielder in baseball’s smallest market?

ryan braun reuters

Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2012 season. Up next: A Battered Brew Crew.

The Big Question: Can the Brewers still be successful without their Prince?

Milwaukee put it all together last year, capturing its first-ever National League Central title while tallying the most regular-season victories (96) in franchise history. But a loss to the division rival Cardinals in the NLCS and a winter chock full of speed bumps has dulled some of the shine that only six months ago surrounded this baseball team.

First, longtime slugger Prince Fielder chased a nine-year, $214 million free agent contract to Detroit.

The small(est)-market Brewers never really stood a chance of re-signing him, and barely attempted an offer this offseason, but it’s nonetheless a bitter pill. Fielder batted .299/.415/.556 with 38 home runs and 120 RBI in 2011, good enough for 5.5 WAR (Wins Above Replacement) according to FanGraphs.

New first baseman Mat Gamel posted a superb .310/.372/.540 slash line with 28 home runs and 96 RBI in 128 games last season at Triple-A and should be more than ready to handle the pressures of big-league life at age 26. But he’s been unsuccessful in his limited action with the Brewers to this point and will be lucky to make up for half of Fielder’s offensive production in his first full year as an everyday major leaguer.

Then there’s the Ryan Braun PED scandal, which has been settled on the legal end for weeks but is far from erased from the consciousness of your run-of-the-mill baseball fan. To most, Braun got out of his 50-game suspension by lawyering up and finding a loophole. And whether that thought is right or wrong, it’s a belief that will be expressed loudly and probably vulgarly at every road ballpark that the 2011 NL MVP visits this year.

Maybe Braun will be able to shrug it all off. He’s a confident enough dude. But let’s just note that he went 9-for-41 this spring while hearing a fraction of the jeers he’ll receive once games actually matter.

The Brewers should still be a force this year because they have talent in all areas of their roster and because they play in baseball’s weakest division. But they’re certainly not going to breeze back to the playoffs.

What Else Is Going On?

  • In 2010, the Brewers turned in a hideous 4.58 staff ERA. In 2011, that number fell to 3.63. Such are the yields when a team acquires two top-of-the-rotation arms — Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum — in one offseason. Greinke, 28, registered a 3.83 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 201/45 K/BB ratio across 171 2/3 innings in his first go-round with Milwaukee. Marcum, 30, had a 3.54 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 158/57 K/BB ratio in 200 2/3 innings. Combined with Yovani Gallardo, the Brewers have a real three-headed monster.
  • The back end of the bullpen is also quite talented. Francisco Rodriguez caught Milwaukee’s higher-ups off guard this winter when he accepted their offer of arbitration, but the two sides were able to reach a reasonable one-year, $8 million agreement. K-Rod posted a lights-out 1.86 ERA and 33/10 K/BB ratio after joining the Brewers in an early-July trade. He will operate as a setup man again this year for John Axford, who tied Braves closer Craig Kimbrel for a league-leading 46 saves in 2011.
  • After watching Casey McGehee fall back to earth last season to the tune of a .626 OPS, the Brewers traded the husky third baseman to the Pirates in December for right-handed reliever Jose Veras and signed free agent veteran Aramis Ramirez to a three-year, $36 million contract with a mutual option for 2015. A-Ram batted .306/.361/.510 with 26 home runs and 93 RBI for the Cubs in 2011, and should represent a significant upgrade at the hot corner if he can maintain good health.

How Are They Gonna Do?

Braun should again challenge for the MVP and the front end of the starting rotation is beyond solid, but the Brewers lack lineup depth and are sure to miss the heart-of-the-order punch that Fielder was able to provide. They’ll drop to third in the National League Central, finishing behind the Reds and Cardinals.

Springtime Storylines: How long will the Mets spend in baseball purgatory?

Sandy Alderson AP

Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2012 season. Up next: The New York Mets.

The Big Question: How long will the Mets spend in baseball purgatory?

How much hope can there be for a team who is coming off three straight losing seasons, slashed payroll by a record amount and let their best player, Jose Reyes, sign with a division rival? Not a whole lot. The Marlins and Nationals are on the rise while the Braves are bringing back most of the same players and the Phillies still have “The Big Three.” Realistically, finishing in fourth place would be both a surprise and a significant accomplishment.

Most Mets fans have resigned themselves to this gloomy short-term fate, but this month’s settlement with Irving Picard in the Madoff case has at least changed the tone a little. The Mets’ owners were also able to close sales of 12 minority shares in the team, repaying loans to MLB and Bank of America in the process. The focus is back on the players on the field for the most part. However, this infusion of cash doesn’t mean the Mets will sign Cole Hamels or Matt Cain next winter. The intention was to cover team debt and operating expenses (or losses). And with expectations pretty low, attendance is likely to suffer once again. There’s also the team’s annual interest bond payments on Citi Field. I’ll admit there’s a lot we don’t know about their situation — for instance, what impact will the Dodgers’ sale have on their ability to refinance? — but it doesn’t look like the Mets’ owners are out of the woods yet.

I don’t think that the Mets need a mega payroll to contend again, but Sandy Alderson’s flexibility figures to be limited in the short-term. Johan Santana and Jason Bay are still owed a total of $90 million on their contracts. That’s a tremendous amount of payroll dedicated to just two players, so it’s unlikely they will make any major signings until those players are officially off the books. Of course, doling out massive long-term contracts is what got them into this mess in the first place.

The Mets will probably remain in this weird state of baseball purgatory until around 2014, but this is still a very important period of evaluation for the on-field product. This is the time to find out whether homegrown players like Lucas Duda, Ike Davis, Ruben Tejada, Daniel Murphy, Jon Niese and Josh Thole will play significant roles on the next contending team in Queens. With top prospects like Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Jeurys Familia inching closer to the big leagues, the Mets may actually have a pretty good (and cheap) core for the future.

What else is going on?

  • The Mets altered the dimensions and heights of the fences at Citi Field over the winter in an effort to make the park play more neutral. David Wright’s old sweet spot in right-center field was moved in by 17 feet while Jason Bay will no longer have to put up with the 16-foot high “Great Wall of Flushing” in left field. I’ve heard the argument that Mets’ hitters will get a psychological lift with the changes and I suppose that’s true to a certain degree, but I’m not sure that gives them any real advantage. If the Mets’ pitching is bad and the opposing hitters are better, well, it doesn’t matter where the fences are.
  • I wouldn’t have believed this if you had told me even a month ago, but it appears Johan Santana will take the ball on Opening Day. While his velocity was down in his most recent outing, the rehabbing southpaw has a 3.44 ERA and 13/7 K/BB ratio over 18 1/3 inning this spring and hasn’t had any setbacks with his surgically repaired shoulder. He probably isn’t anything more than a six- or seven-inning pitcher right now, but it would be a huge boost if he could make even 20-25 starts.
  • You know how Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran and Francisco Rodriguez were discussed as trade possibilities last year? Now it’s David Wright’s turn. The only difference is that it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to deal him. At least right now. Wright can void his $16 million option for 2013 in the event of a trade while the new CBA stipulates that the acquiring team would not be able to offer him arbitration as a free agent. However, if the Mets pick up the option and trade him next offseason, the acquiring team would be able to offer him arbitration since he would spend the full season with his new club. In other words, don’t look for a trade unless the Mets are blown away by a desperate contender. I still think there’s a chance the Mets will keep him for the long haul, though.
  • The bullpen was the only area of the team that was improved over the winter. Frank Francisco and Jon Rauch were added as free agents while Ramon Ramirez was acquired from the Giants in the Angel Pagan deal. Francisco has looked terrible this spring and Rauch is on the decline, but they should be better than a group which was 28th in the majors last year with a 4.33 ERA and was a complete disaster after the All-Star break.
  • R.A. Dickey. That’s all.

How are they gonna do?

Oddly, for a team that is projected to finish last by nearly every baseball writer out there, the Mets entered camp with every spot in the lineup and rotation pretty much settled. The big issue, aside from a very shaky defense, is that they have little-to-no depth beyond those projected starters, especially in regard to the rotation. The Mets actually look like a pretty respectable team at the moment, but injuries at key positions could set them back in a big way. And I don’t think they have the reinforcements to compete in an improved division. I’m predicting 70-74 wins and a last-place finish.