Storylines: Mariners acquire Morales
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 Thursday, July 24.
- The Mariners acquired Kendrys Morales from the Twins in exchange for right-hander Stephen Pryor, the team announced. The Twins signed Morales shortly after the draft, paying him the prorated version of a $12 million base salary on a one-year deal. In other words, the Twins paid about $3.08 million for less than two months of Morales and turned that into the hard-throwing but control-challenged Pryor. The Mariners, on the other hand, appear to be on the hook for the remaining $4.3 million on Morales' contract. The pickup of Morales should help their lineup and improve their official sportsbook odds to win in the post-season.
- The MLB Player's Association filed a grievance action against the Astros relating to the team's recent failure to sign top overall draft choice Brady Aiken, Murray Chass reported. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports also reported the filing. Though details remain vague, it appears that the union's action alleges that Houston inappropriately manipulated the signing situations of Aiken and fifth-rounder Jacob Nix after a dispute arose over Aiken's medicals.
- Indians manager Terry Francona is optimistic that shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera will be able to return to the lineup before the end of this weekend's series against the Royals. Prior to Thursday's game in Kansas City, Cabrera tested out his back by hitting off a tee and doing some light running. Francona indicated that the shortstop will increase the intensity of his workout on Friday, with the goal of rejoining the lineup on Saturday or Sunday.
- Indians center fielder Michael Bourn (on the 15-day disabled list with a left hamstring injury) played long-toss in the outfield at Kauffman Stadium on Thursday and continues to do light running drills. There remains no established timetable for Bourn's return to game action, though he will need a Minor League rehab assignment before rejoining the club.
- Justin Masterson of the Indians may still be working through a rehab assignment, but that has not stopped teams from inquiring as to his availability, Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer reported. Hoynes wrote that the interest in Masterson suggests both that the trade market for starters is wanting for quality and that teams value players differently, with some potentially willing to bet on a return to the righty's results from 2013. Of course, as manager Terry Francona noted, a healthy and productive Masterson could also provide a significant boost to Cleveland's own chances.
- As they peruse the market from the buy side, the Indians are looking for players with future control rather than rentals, according to ESPN.com's Jim Bowden. That is unsurprising, given the team's careful resource management and somewhat long postseason odds.
- Excluding pickoffs, Cleveland catchers had thrown out 28 of 88 (31.8 percent) of would-be basestealers, entering Thursday's series with the Royals. That marked the second-best rate in the AL, and the fourth-best rate in the Majors, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com noted.
News and Notes:
- The Yankees had a scout in Chicago to watch Wednesday's start by Ian Kennedy, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, but acquiring him might not be an easy task. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported that the Padres would need to be overwhelmed to move the 29-year-old right-hander. Later in the day, a source told Jim Bowden of ESPN.com that the Yankees and Padres are discussing a deal that would send starter Ian Kennedy to New York in exchange for prospects Eric Jagielo and Ian Clarkin. However, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com refuted the report stating that the Yankees do have interest in Kennedy, but do not intend to give up both Jagielo and Clarkin for him. Heyman added that there is "nothing hot at all" between the clubs at present.
- The A's announced that they designated right-hander Jim Johnson for assignment, refuting reports that they released him (though that could obviously be the ultimate outcome of the move). Evan Scribner was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento to fill his roster spot.
- The Rays are waiting until next week to make any decisions on whether or not to trade ace David Price, according to Jayson Stark of ESPN.com. However, as Stark pointed out, it could still be a difficult judgment call as to whether or not the Rays are close enough to go for it or far enough back to sell. Tampa is currently seven games back of the division lead and four and a half games back from a Wild Card berth.
- Jonathan Papelbon and Cliff Lee aren't likely to be dealt, executives told Jayson Stark. In Lee's case, they feel he's a lock to clear waivers. One executive told Stark that he'd be more inclined to take a chance on Lee were he a free agent, but his contract is too risky at this point. Cole Hamels isn't likely to be dealt either. It's not that the Phillies aren't willing to move him, it's just that the prices they've specified consist of packages "that no one would possibly give up."
- Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said on WEEI radio's Dennis and Callahan show yesterday that extension talks with ace Jon Lester have been tabled until the offseason. Lucchino reminded that Lester's preference is to avoid negotiating during the season. Lester told reporters, including the Boston Globe's Peter Abraham, that he wasn't surprised to hear Lucchino's comments. However, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com did hear from a source that Lester would be open to signing a midseason deal if the Sox were to offer market value for his services right now. The other possibility for Lester could be a trade, if the Sox fall further back in the East — a concept which Lester admits he has considered (via the Globe's Nick Cafardo). Lester said if it came to that, he wouldn't harbor any ill feelings toward the organization.
- The Tigers made a huge move to fortify their bullpen last night by acquiring Joakim Soria from the Rangers, but they're not done looking for bullpen help, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Detroit is on the hunt for a left-handed relief upgrade, though they're not ruling out another right-handed option either, he added.
- Though he could hold appeal as a setup option to a contender, Astros closer Chad Qualls appears unlikely to change hands at the trade deadline, MLB.com's Brian McTaggart reported.
- Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported that the Phillies have shopped Ryan Howard, indicating that they would eat "much or most" of his remaining salary. Rival executives said that Philly is working hard to line up a match. As Heyman noted, an American League team would seem most likely to add the former MVP, and two GMs told him yesterday that Howard was probably worth between $3 million and $5 million annually at this point. (Though presumably that does not mean that a multi-year commitment at that price would be desirable.)
- The Cubs have attempted to deal away starter Edwin Jackson, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported, but initial efforts have not been promising. Jackson, signed before the 2013 season, is playing on a $11 million annual salary this year and is owed the same amount for each of the next two campaigns.
- While the Diamondbacks are interested in moving second baseman Aaron Hill, they have indicated a lack of motivation in dealing jack-of-all-trades Martin Prado, Jon Heyman reported. He stated that the club is "barely listening" to inquiries on the latter.
- The Mariners have inquired with the Rockies about the possibility of acquiring outfielder Drew Stubbs, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. Colorado is willing to listen on Stubbs, Thomas Harding of MLB.com reported, and would be interested in bringing back a controllable young arm in return. There are no talks ongoing regarding Stubbs, Harding reported, but sources tell him that increased activity on the outfielder could occur over the coming week.
- The Yankees acquired lefty Chris Capuano from the Rockies in exchange for cash considerations, the club announced via press release. Capuano joined Colorado on a minor league deal after he was released by the Red Sox.
- The Orioles acquired infielder/outfielder Jimmy Paredes from the Royals in exchange for cash considerations, the team announced. Paredes, who had been designated for assignment by the Royals last week, was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.
Braves, Cardinals, Pirates, Brewers, Giants and maybe the Dodgers in NL
would consider in getting Masterson. The question which team is the most desperate and which team would give the best return in a trade.
I agree, the Rockies will likely get a better return than the Tribe. I'd trade Masterson for a qlty return (a cpl good prospects) and I'd be willing to trade ACab too.
If some one wants Masterson bad enough, trade him.