Friday, June 19, 2009

We're Moving!

Eli's MLB Rumors will be moving in the next day or two to a new platform. We will be joining SB Nation under a new name, MLB Daily Dish. The site will be exactly the same, and I hope you will continue to follow me, among others, over at MLB Daily Dish!


This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Report: Sosa Tested Positive

The New York Times is reporting that free agent outfielder Sammy Sosa tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. Sosa was among the 104 players who tested positive for PED's in 2003, but the substance he used is unknown.

Names from the list of 104 continue to come out, and it will be interesting to see if more names or the complete list comes out.  

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Cubs Fire Hitting Coach Gerald Perry

After 2 1/2 seasons, the Cubs have fired hitting coach Gerald Perry. The move comes after the teams .246 batting average, which ranks last among the National League. He will be replaced by Iowa Cubs hitting coach Von Joshua.

The move to bring in Joshua should certainly spark conversation about the possibility of bringing back Jake Fox. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Pedro Martinez Update

Free agent pitcher Pedro Martinez is still working out in the Dominican Republic in preparation for a team making him an offer. The economic recession has tightened the belts of nearly every major league franchise, which has led to very few signings off the free agent market. Yet, Martinez is still asking for 5 million dollars for the season. 

The Rays and Cubs reportedly have some interest in Martinez, but he would have to back off his five million dollar asking price for either team to make a move. Unfortunately for Martinez, the struggles he had last season with the Mets, despite his strong play in the WBC, have limited his options for the 2009 season. The only way he could get signed somewhere now is if a major injury hit a rotation, or if a team is willing to take a chance on him for, say, one million dollars.  

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Nationals to Fire Acta's Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Nationals will fire manager Manny Acta and replace him with bench coach Jim Riggleman. Acta has been with the team since the 2007 season, and has done a fairly good job despite poor records. Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is having a breakout year for the Nationals, hitting .315 with 11 home runs and a .391 on-base percentage. Acta also has had an influence on young catcher Jesus Flores, who was hitting .311 with 4 home runs and 5 extra-base hits before landing on the disabled list.

The Nationals pitching has been quite a disappointment up to this point in the season, and a change is in order. Riggleman brings years of managerial experience, having managed the Padres, Cubs, and Mariners. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Peavy Out For A Month

Padres pitcher Jake Peavy is expected to miss at least a month with an ankle injury, meaning he may be out until after the All-Star Break. He was scratched from his Saturday start versus the Angels, a start you can expect the Angels would be watching closely. However, an MRI revealed a tear behind his right ankle. 

"I was getting treatment and we were getting by," said Peavy, who had the ankle heavily taped for his previous two starts and did limited work between outings. "Up until yesterday, I thought it was manageable. It could have gotten ugly if we didn't take the action that we did."

Peavy is 6-6 with a 3.97 ERA in 13 starts this season. He vetoed a trade to the White Sox earlier this season, and this injury does not help the Padres chances of dealing him before next offseason. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hangin' With Hunter with Big Papi

One of my favorite shows from last season, Hangin' with Hunter is back. Angels outfielder Torii Hunter kicks off this season with Big Papi.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Cardinals Interested In Tejada

Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch is reporting that the Cardinals have interest in Astros shortstop Miguel Tejada. Tejada is hitting .355 with 6 home runs and 21 doubles in 57 games, and is hitting .378 in the month of June. Tejada is owed 13 million dollars, and the Astros probably would like to clear payroll considering their current financial situation. Watching Miguel Tejada, you know he would be perfect for the Cardinals. The intensity he brings to each game would give the Cardinals another boost, and make them a much harder team to face in the NL Central. 

The Astros could take Khalil Greene with a prospect in return, but with the Astros in last place, they may be better off getting prospects. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Check out Down on the Farm!

I am writing a new blog for the Chicago Tribune's online network, Chicago Now, which covers the Cubs and White Sox top minor league prospects. The site, Down on the Farm, is already drawing attention. If you are a Cubs or Sox fan, or have an interest in the minor leagues, check out the site. I've done interviews with several of the teams top prospects, and have talked with executives and coaches from each side of town. Check it out! 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Nationals Sign Storen, Strasburg Next

The Nationals have come to terms with their 10th overall pick, Drew Storen. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. As a sophomore at Standford, Storen went 7-1 with a 3.80 ERA and 7 saves. The Nationals hope that his attitude on the mound, as well as his mid-90s fastball, will move him quickly through the minor league system and into the Nationals bullpen as their closer or set up man. 

Now, there's Strasburg. Early indications are that negotiations are positive and that a deal should be reached well before the August 15th deadline. Keith Law of suggested that the Nationals have a clause in the contract that says he will be in the majors by a certain date. The Nats should offer a deal in the 22-24 million dollar range, with a 'in the MLB' clause kicking in, say, before the trade deadline. He has already thrown 109 innings this season, and the Nationals would be smart to limit him to 150-165 innings so that he doesn't overwork his arm. The Nationals are already 18 games out of first, there is no need to overwork your best and newest pitcher when you are well out of contention. 
This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Should the Dodgers Trade Pierre?

Dodgers outfielder Juan Pierre has stepped up big time since Manny Ramirez was suspended, hitting .352 with 28 runs scored, 13 stolen bases, and a .412 on-base percentage. Pierre has three years and 28.5 million dollars left on his contract, and has a limited no-trade clause. 

While I think the Dodgers should trade Pierre, mostly because of the prospects they could net, it may not be worth it to eat a large portion of his salary. Pierre is a great fourth outfielder and gives you a speed off the bench. He can bunt almost on command and gives pitchers headaches when he reaches base. 

If you were Ned Colletti, would you trade Juan Pierre?

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Jays' Litsch Out For Season is reporting that Jays pitcher Jesse Litsch will undergo Tommy John surgery and will miss the remainder of the season. Litsch, a 13 game winner last season, is just 24 years old. The Jays envisioned him as the number two guy behind Roy Halladay, but they will have to wait until mid 2010. 

The Jays are currently 2.5 games out of first, and may need to add a veteran starter to keep them in contention. Carl Pavano could be that guy. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Nationals Select Strasburg

The Washington Nationals selected pitcher Stephen Strasburg with the first overall pick in the MLB Draft today. Strasburg was 13-1 with 195 strike outs in 109 innings for the San Diego State Aztecs, leading them to the postseason for the first time since 1991. 

The tough part will be to sign Strasburg, who is reportedly seeking a 50 million dollar contract. I believe the Nationals will be able to sign Strasburg, but probably not until the August 15th deadline if they choose to play hardball with Scott Boras. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Bell to Cubs?

Padres closer Heath Bell is 2-1 in 25 games with 1.42 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP, but is making just 1.5 million dollars in 2009. Bell won't be a free agent until after the 2011 season, but his salary will continue to climb if he continues to throw the ball well. If the Padres were to make the closer available, we should expect to see a lot of teams calling.

One of those teams could be the Cubs, one source believes. Current Cubs closer Kevin Gregg has been very inconsistent, and Carlos Marmol hasn't been as dominant as he was in 2008. Angel Guzman is emerging as a solid late inning reliever, taking a lot of time away from the struggling Aaron Heilman. The Cubs' bullpen used to be rock solid, and now it is a huge question mark. Cubs starter Randy Wells should have three wins, but the bullpen has blown the lead three times, denying him of his first career win. A Guzman-Marmol-Bell tandem would make for one of the best in baseball. 

The Yankees are a possible destination for Bell also.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Monday, June 8, 2009

White Sox Sign Garcia

The White Sox have signed pitcher Freddy Garcia. Garcia was with the team in 2005 when they won the World Series, winning the series clinching game four. Garcia, who was released by the Mets on April 28th, is 118-77 with a 4.07 ERA in ten major league seasons.

He will likely go on a minor league assignment before joining the White Sox. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Pavano to Phillies?

With the Phillies pitching rotation still in ruins, the Phillies front office may start asking around for available pitchers. One of those guys could very well be Indians pitcher Carl Pavano. Pavano has won six of his last eight starts, throwing at least seven innings in the past three, including a complete game.

Pavano is 6-4 on the year with a 4.63 ERA in 12 starts with a 1.26 WHIP. If he can stay healthy, he would make for a nice addition to the Phillies rotation. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Phillies Eye Penny

A scout has confirmed an report that the Phillies called the Red Sox about pitcher Brad Penny. Despite a 5-2 record, Penny owns a 5.85 ERA in 11 games with a 1.60 WHIP. The Red Sox have John Smoltz, Clay Buchholz, and Michael Bowden all performing well in Triple-A, meaning they will likely join the team soon. 

Penny will be a free agent at seasons end and is making 5 million dollars in 2009. The Phillies are in serious need of pitching, but shouldn't part with a young pitching prospect for him. The Red Sox reportedly ask for shortstop Jason Donald, who is hitting .226 with 1 home run in Triple-A.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Angels Could Move Aybar

Angels shortstop Erik Aybar is hit .303 in the month of May, bringing his season total to a .277 average with 1 home run. Aybar, 25, is blocking top prospect Brandon Wood, who is hitting .308 with 11 home runs in 39 games for the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees. If the Angels were to trade Aybar, it would open up a spot for the long awaited. 

Ken Rosenthal mentions in his Full Count that the Mets, Cardinals, or Royals could be possible destinations, but I wouldn't rule out the Padres either. The Padres are looking to trade Jake Peavy, but do want to trade him to the Dodgers. They nearly worked out a trade with the Cubs, but it is becoming more clear that the Cubs can't make a move until the ownership is settle, which at the current pace, probably won't be complete until Opening Day 2010. 

If the Angels were to package Aybar in a deal with three other prospects, they could probably land starting pitcher Jake Peavy. Trevor Reckling and Trevor Bell are two solid young pitchers that the Padres could target. 

John Lackey is going to be a free agent at the end of the season, and will likely command a good deal despite the down economy. However, if the Angels add Peavy, it gives them a lot of leverage in negotiations with Lackey. If Lackey decides to sign elsewhere, the Angels would likely receive a compensation draft pick. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Gibson Has Stress Fracture

Missouri pitcher Kyle Gibson has a stress fracture in his right forearm and will be out for six weeks. This will definitely hurt his draft stock for Tuesday's amateur draft, where he was projected to be an early first rounder.

A team can take a chance on Gibson and wait to see him throw prior to signing him before the August 15th deadline. I see him falling to the compensation picks or early second round. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Putz Likely Done With Mets

Mets relief pitcher J.J. Putz is scheduled to have elbow surgery, and will be out for 10-12 weeks. Putz, who is 1-4 with a 5.22 ERA in 29 games, has not made a successful transition to the set up role. 

"If you look at the way I was pitching, I wasn't really getting out in front and letting loose," he said. "I knew it was going to hurt. Mechanically, I was trying to make an adjustment to protect it from hurting. At the same time, I had zero stuff when I went out on the mound."

The Mets hold a one million dollar buyout on Putz's 8.6 million dollar club option, which could be exercised with the emergence of Bobby Parnell. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Braves Acquire McLouth

The Atlanta Braves have acquired outfielder Nate McLouth from the Pirates in exchange for pitchers Charlie Morton and Jeff Locke, and outfielder Gorkys Hernandez. This is a solid move for both clubs, but especially the Pirates. McLouth had a breakout year last season, hitting .276 with 26 home runs in 152 games. McLouth is 27, and should provide the Braves with some much needed support in the middle of their lineup.

The Pirates acquire Charlie Morton, who is 7-2 with a 2.51 ERA in 10 starts this season. He is a 1.05 WHIP. Locke, 21, is 1-4 with a 5.52 ERA in ten starts in the Carolina League.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Rangers Request Waivers On Padilla

The Rangers have requested outright waivers on pitcher Vicente Padilla, who is 3-3 with a 5.57 ERA. Teams can submit claims on Padilla, but that means they would have to absorb the remainder of his salary. Padilla could get picked up somewhere, but it would have to be at a reduced price.

With several free agent pitchers still available, I would be surprised to see a team take a chance on Padilla, who has a history of attitude problems.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Braves Release Glavine

The Atlanta Braves cut ties with future Hall of Famer Tom Glavine, releasing him just a day after throwing six scoreless innings in a rehab start. Glavine, who is recovering from minor elbow surgery, was clocked between 83-86 mph on his fastball. 

"I don't know what else I can do," Glavine said after Tuesday night's game, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Physically I felt good and I feel like I'm ready."

Glavine is still a couple week away from returning, and it is possible he could get picked up if he wanted to continue pitching. The Nationals would benefit from his presence.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Rosenthal: Nats Will Draft Strasburg's Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Nationals will draft Stephen Strasburg with the first overall pick in June's draft. Strasburg's advisor, Scott Boras, is looking for a record 50 million dollar signing bonus. The Nationals do expect to sign Strasburg, but do not feel pressure to sign him after failing to sign their first round pick last year.

Rosenthal points out that if the Nationals fail to sign Strasburg, they will receive the number 2 overall pick in the 2010 draft. If they continue to play like they are now, they could receive the first and second overall pick in 2010. Boras is known to hold out until the last possible moment, getting the most money for his client. Expect these negotiations to go until the August 15th deadline.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.