Tag: Johnny Cueto

Dave Dombrowski

Report: Tigers prepared to be sellers, make David Price and Yoenis Cespedes available


The Tigers beat the Mariners on Monday night to improve to 46-46 on the year. While they are 10 games behind the Royals for first place in the American League Central, they are just four back in the Wild Card race. Still, with slugger Miguel Cabrera expected to miss at least another month with a calf strain and the starting rotation vulnerable, Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski is prepared to face the upcoming July 31 non-waiver trade deadline from the unfamiliar position of a seller.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today was told by “several people inside and outside the organization familiar with their strategy” that the Tigers plan to make impending free agents David Price and Yoenis Cespedes available. Dombrowski wouldn’t go quite that far when reached for comment by Nightengale, but he didn’t exactly deny it either.

“At this point,” Dombrowski said, “our focus is trying to win right now. We’re trying to do everything we can to qualify for the playoffs. Things can turn dramatically over a 10-game period. But you have to play well, at some point, on a consistent basis.

“We’re at a point where we have to do what’s best in our heart for the franchise.

And what’s “best in our heart for the franchise” might be an infusion of young talent. Baseball America had the Tigers ranked No. 30 (as in, dead-last) in their organizational rankings over the winter. Moving Price and Cespedes, even though they would just be rentals, could get them moving in the right direction for the long-term.

Price, 29, has a 2.32 ERA and 127/26 K/BB ratio in 132 innings over 19 starts this season. He could be the most sought-after starting pitcher on the market, which is saying a lot considering that Johnny Cueto, Cole Hamels, Jeff Samardzija, and James Shields are also expected to be available.

Cespedes, 29, is batting .289/.314/.482 with 13 home runs and 52 RBI over 92 games this season. Other high-profile outfielders expected to be available for trade this month include Justin Upton, Jay Bruce, and Carlos Gomez.

Report: Blue Jays have “strong interest” in Brewers right-hander Mike Fiers

MILWAUKEE, WI - JULY 17: Mike Fiers #50 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches during the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Miller Park on July 17, 2015 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)

It’s no secret that the Blue Jays plan to target starting pitching in advance of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. We all know about some of the big names like Johnny Cueto, Cole Hamels, Jeff Samardzija, and Scott Kazmir who are expected to be available, but here’s an under-the-radar possibility:

As opposed to Cueto, Samardzija, and Kazmir, this wouldn’t be a rental situation. Fiers is currently making the major league minimum and won’t even be arbitration-eligible for the first time until after next season. As such, Rosenthal writes that the Brewers would require multiple pieces in return.

After posting a 2.13 ERA over 10 starts and four relief appearances in 2014, the 30-year-old Fiers has a 3.79 ERA and 106/40 K/BB ratio in 107 innings this season.

It was a bad day for starting pitchers on the block. But it doesn’t matter.

cueto getty

At the trade deadline two weird things happen:

1. People think it’s notable that so-and-so team is scouting such-and-such a player; and

2. Such-and-such a player, who has, like, a decade of a track record, is suddenly thought to be less marketable or tradable or whatever based on one or two bad games.

It’s silly and irrational and goes against everything we know about how baseball works the other 50 weeks a year, but for whatever reason, the final two weeks in July turns everyone into hand-wringers and concern trolls and what have you.

So, when you see reports that a team is scouting, say, Johnny Cueto, please realize that teams have a handful of full-time major league scouts who are scouting guys at all times and that, when you figure all 30 teams in this mix, at any game there are guys being scouted by multiple teams.

Also, when you see Johnny Cueto walk six dudes and last only four innings against the Cleveland Indians and Cole Hamels allow five runs on eight hits in three innings, realize that it’s not going to fundamentally alter any smart front office’s assessment of the player unless the performance can be chalked up to an injury.

The bigger question: why in the hell does everyone wait until the deadline to make moves in the first place? I suppose it has to do with people’s natural inclination to press deadlines, but if you’re the Reds and you’re dealing half your roster, you’d think that you’d make the equivalent of an eBay “Buy it Now!” option and get on with it.

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

Zack Greinke

source: Getty Images

Dodgers 5, Nationals 0: Zack Greinke with eight more shutout innings to increase his scoreless innings streak to 43 2/3. The record, of course, is Orel Hershisher’s 59. Bryce Harper went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and a walk against him and after the game said “I think he was okay . . .  For me, I don’t think he was very tough,” and said that the key to his winning yesterday was that he was “getting five to six inches off of the plate.” Which makes him just the latest National who, for whatever reason, thinks it’s important to say how unimpressed he was by the team or player who just handed his ass back to him.

Orioles 9, Tigers 3: I was at this game and, in fact, took in the whole series. And while I am always skeptical of narratives and omens and the identification of turning points and watershed moments, it’s hard to escape the feeling that one was happening here for the Tigers. Talking to fans and even some Tigers people revealed this to be the weekend when everyone’s feeling that, if thusandsuch just happens, the season can be saved was disposed of. No one feels that way right now. Indeed, many feel like the run the Tigers have been on the past few years is over and this weekend was when everyone began to accept it.

In the 5th or 6th inning, I saw this from my seats:


It was a car fire in a parking lot a block or two from the ballpark. But it served as a nice symbol for Justin Verlander’s performance and current trajectory. For the bullpen. For the Miguel Cabrera-free Tigers offense. For the season. And maybe even the current mini-dynasty the Tigers have put together. Fire sale, anyone?

Indians 5, Reds 3: Cleveland takes two of three from Cincinnati in the Battle for Ohio. And no, it’s not the case that the loser of this series gets stuck with Ohio. The Reds walked Indians batters with the bases loaded four times. FOUR TIMES. They gave up ten free passes in all, six of which came from the misfiring arm of Johnny Cueto. There are a lot of miserable ways to lose a ballgame, but walking in four of the opponents’ five runs has got to be among the most miserable possible.

Yankees 2, Mariners 1: Mark Teixeira’s homer put the Yankees over the top but the big takeaway here was CC Sabathia not, you know, sucking. One run over six innings and seven strikeouts? That’s what the Yankees need from him to stay in first place.

Blue Jays 4, Rays 0: A couple of two-run homers and eight shutout innings from Marco Estrada, who just loves pitching against the Rays, it seems. Remember this last month? That’s 21 straight scoreless innings for Estrada against the Rays this season.


Phillies 8, Marlins 7: Down a run in the 9th, Jeff Francoeur hits a two-run homer to give the Phillies an 8-7 walk-off win over the Marlins:

Best part: as he crosses home plate Freddy Galvis kicks him in the butt. As one does.

Royals 4, White Sox 1: The Royals just keep on humming, taking two of three from the Sox. Danny Duffy, backed by some slick defense, allowed one run over eight innings and somehow rapped 11 hits off of Chris Sale. Lorenzo Cain and Paulo Orlando homered. The Royals are now 20 games above .500.

Brewers 6, Pirates 1: The Pirates were the hottest team in baseball heading into the All-Star break. The time off didn’t do them wonders, as they come in to Milwaukee and get swept by the last place Brewers. Taylor Jungmann improves to 5-1 since his callup.

Astros 10, Rangers 0: Dallas Keuchel struck out a career-high 13 in seven scoreless innings. And afterwards talked about how Rougned Odor “disrespects the game.” So a strong performance from Keuchel in both the pitching and the ballplayer cliche department on Sunday.

Mets 3, Cardinals 1: Eighteen innings and nearly six hours of baseball, most of which featured a score of 1-1 0-0. The Mets finally broke through with a run-scoring sac fly and a squeeze play. Overall the Mets left 25 men on base and went 1-for-26 with runners in scoring position. But they won, which makes those numbers mere conversation pieces.

Athletics 14, Twins 1: Jake Smolinski homered twice for four RBI and Josh Reddick hit a grand slam. Billy Butler and Josh Phegley each hit two-run homers.

Giants 2, Diamondbacks 1: Madison Bumgarner only went five innings as he didn’t have his best stuff, but the Dbacks still could only get one run off of him. Justin Maxwell homered and Hunter Pence doubled in a run in a game where all the scoring was concluded by the third inning.

Cubs 4, Braves 1: Jake Arrieta struck out ten in seven shutout innings, besting Braves All-Star Shelby Miller. Arrieta is 5-0 with a 0.96 ERA over his last six starts.

Rockies vs. Padres: POSTPONED; Red Sox vs. Angels: POSTPONED: It was the first home Padres rain out since 2006. The first Angels home rainout since 1995. Which can mean only one thing:

I haven’t seen your face in a year
I can’t wait till I get there
Just to kiss and squeeze and hug
Girl you know the rest ’cause they tell me

It never rains in southern California
It never rains in southern California

Maybe I’ll take the flight out tonight
and you can pick me up about 8
I don’t know what airline girl
but I know it won’t be late ’cause they tell me

It never rains in southern California
It never rains in southern California

Yankees scouting Reds ace Johnny Cueto on Sunday

Johnny Cueto

Here’s a juicy bit of information from Jon Morosi of FOX Sports …

Cueto entered his start Sunday afternoon against the Indians with a 2.73 ERA (140 ERA+), 0.90 WHIP, and 113/22 K/BB ratio in 118 2/3 innings. He’s used to pitching in power-friendly environments: Yankee Stadium and Great American Ball Park are second and third behind Coors Field in runs allowed for the 2015 season.

Cueto is also thought to be drawing serious interest from the Royals and Dodgers, and there are a number of other teams that would make sense for him. The 29-year-old right-hander is due to become a free agent this winter. He could be the first domino to fall in a major trade-deadline fire sale for the rebuilding Reds.