Storylines: Is Jon Lester headed out of Boston?
In this MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @AndrewIBI.
Here are the stories from Monday, July 28.
- "There's a growing expectation from rival execs that Jon Lester is going to be traded before [the July] deadline," ESPN's Buster Olney reported, and the Dodgers are seen as the likeliest candidate to add the Red Sox left-hander. Los Angeles has shown interest in Lester, though there were conflicting reports yesterday about whether the two sides had actually seriously discussed a trade. ESPN's Jayson Stark added that the Red Sox have contacted every contending team in each league and told them that Jon Lester is available for a two- to three-prospect package fronted by at least one upper-echelon prospect. Multiple major league sources told Rob Bradford of WEEI.com that it looks as though the Red Sox's decision to trade Lester will most likely be made close to the 3 PM CT deadline on July 31st, with the likelihood of a deal gaining steam. One source said the Red Sox are unlikely to re-engage in talks with Lester's representatives prior to the deadline.
- Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera is "an option" for the Jays, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported. Cabrera would presumably be a candidate at second base for Toronto since Jose Reyes is locked into the shortstop job; Cabrera saw lots of action at the keystone over the first three years of his career but hasn't seen any action at 2B since 2009. He is a free agent this winter and is thought to be an expendable piece for the Tribe since top prospect Francisco Lindor is on the way.
- Though he won't be activated from the disabled list until this Friday, the Indians are "very willing" to tradeJustin Masterson, sources told Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. Cleveland's preference would be to obtain controllable starting pitching in return for their embattled right-hander.
- After a historical power surge last weekend, Cleveland's Carlos Santana was named the American League Player of the Week. The infielder/designated hitter belted five home runs in the Indians' series against the Royals alone, becoming the first player in baseball to go yard five times in a series this year and the first since Hunter Pence in September of last year. Over the course of seven games last week, Santana hit .556 (15-for-27) with three doubles, six home runs, 10 RBIs, five walks and eight runs. He led the Majors in batting average, homers, hits, runs scored, total bases (36) and slugging (1.333).
News and Notes:
- Despite already trading two of their better prospects in the Jake Peavy deal, the Giants have maintained an interest in Ben Zobrist and had two scouts watching the Rays this weekend, FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi reported. San Francisco is one of "multiple teams" who are "ready to act" if Tampa indeed makes Zobrist available, sources told Morosi and Ken Rosenthal.
- Troy Tulowitzki would welcome a trade to the Red Sox, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe heard from a source. Given Tulowitzki's controversial appearance in the stands at Sunday's Blue Jays/Yankees game, expect more trade buzz than ever about the Rockies' star shortstop both over the next several weeks and through the offseason.
- The Cardinals and Mets are also staying in touch with the Rockies about Troy Tulowitzki's availability, and the Mets are willing to include top pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard as part of a trade package, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported. Colorado isn't budging, however, unless Tulowitzki actually demands a trade, which could be part of the "let him be the bad guy" strategy that Passan considers "a ludicrous way to run a franchise."
- The Tigers are so impressed with Eugenio Suarez's play that they could look to trade Jose Iglesias, according to some scouts. It would definitely be a sell-low move on Iglesias, who seemed to be Detroit's shortstop of the future before stress fractures in his shins cost him the entire 2014 season.
- Jonathan Papelbon has told the Phillies that he won't waive his no-trade clause to go to a team that will use him as anything less than a full-time closer, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported. Between the lack of teams looking for closing help and Papelbon's large remaining salary, this is yet another obstacle that would hamper the Phils' ability to trade their stopper, though they're reportedly willing to eat at least some of Papelbon's salary in a trade.
- The Dodgers have been floating Carl Crawford's name in trade talks, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported. It isn't known how much the Dodgers are willing to eat of the roughly $69.25 million owed to Crawford through 2017, yet needless to say, it "will need to be a lot."
- The Dodgers bolstered their infield depth and their defense with the acquisition of Darwin Barney from the Cubs, both teams announced. Chicago will send Barney and cash considerations to Los Angeles in return for a player to be named later, according to releases from each team. MLB.com's Carrie Muskat reported that the Dodgers will pay $500,000 of what is owed to Barney this season.
- The Blue Jays announced that they acquired Danny Valencia from the Royals in exchange for Liam Hendriks and Erik Kratz.
- The Padres have received a lot of interest in outfielder Chris Denorfia and a trade is likely to happen "sooner rather than later," sources told Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish. The Giants, Mariners and Blue Jays are all interested, and the Royals have also talked to the Padres about a possible move, and could get in on Denorfia if they can't acquire Alex Rios or Marlon Byrd. San Francisco and Seattle are new names connected to the Denorfia sweepstakes, and like the Jays and Royals, both teams would be helped by a right-handed hitting outfield bat. The Mariners and Braves are the two teams pursuing Denorfia most heavily right now, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
- The Rays designated southpaw Erik Bedard for assignment in order to clear roster space for right-handerJoel Peralta, who came off the disabled list, the team announced.
- The Nationals have asked the Astros about available relievers, and Houston had scouts watching the Nats' Triple-A and Class A affiliates over the weekend. Left-hander Tony Sipp best fits the Nationals' needs, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post surmised, since Washington is thin on southpaw relief options.
- The Yankees announced that they designated veteran lefty Jeff Francis for assignment and recalled outfielder Zoilo Almonte from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.