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Tag:Rockies
Posted on: February 23, 2012 3:31 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2012 3:44 pm
 

The Winter Standings, from 1 through 30

The Angels and Marlins spent plenty, the Astros stood pat, and the Mets did worse than that. Here they, one through 30, from most improved team to least improved.

1. Angels. Anytime you add Albert Pujols when you don't really need a first baseman, that's quite a luxury buy. Maybe 10 years are too many, but he'll obviously make a major impact in the first years of that deal. C.J. Wilson gives them as good a first four as just about anyone. Plus, he comes directly from the main competitor.

2. Marlins. Jose Reyes is a monster get, when healthy, Mark Buehrle fits as the perfect veteran lefthander to pitch behind Josh Johnson and Heath Bell is a very good closer. Ozzie Guillen spices things up. Much more interesting team as they move to their new park.

3. Diamondbacks. Loved that they didn't rest on their laurels. Trevor Cahill bolsters their rotation and Jason Kubel their lineup. Also tried hard for Hiroki Kuroda, offering him $13 million, $3 million more than he got from the Yankees. Terrific effort by a team in an area hit hard by the economic downturn.

4. Nationals. I don't love Gio Gonzalez's 1.48 lifetime road WHIP, but he's a talented, young lefthanded starter who's exactly what they needed. Of course, they still could use a center fielder.

5. Yankees. Hiroki Kuroda is the solid starter they needed, and Michael Pineda has a chance to be better than that, especially if he masters his changeup. Jesus Montero will be a mega star but they needed the pitching, so it was a worthwhile gamble. A.J. Burnett is addition by subtraction.

6. Rockies. Michael Cuddyer is a huge get, even if he did cost $31.5 million over three years. Jeremy Guthrie steps in as the Opening Day starter and Tyler Chatwood has a chance, though rotation questions still remain. Casey Blake might not have a lot left at third base, but super prospect Nolan Arenado looks to be close.

7. Rangers. Yu Darvish is going to be better than Wilson. They flirted with Prince Fielder, but came up a few years short. Had they pulled that one off, too, they would have easily topped this list. A lefthander in the pen wouldn't have hurt, either.

8. Rays. Carlos Pena will bring a lot more punch than Casey Kotchman, and if healthy, Luke Scott brings more still. Somehow, they find a way.

9. Blue Jays. Sergio Santos, Francisco Cordero and Darren Oliver represent a nice bullpen upgrade over Frank Francisco and Jon Rauch. Never made the huge deal folks were expecting, though.

10. Reds. They gave up a lot for Matt Latos, a talented pitcher who'll have to adjust going from pitching-firendly PETCO Park to Great American Ballpark. The pen is better with Ryan Madson in as the closer and strong lefty Sean Marshall over from Chicago. Looks like a contender.

11. Tigers. Owner Mike Ilitch gets props for the $214-million, nine-year band-aid he bought in Fielder after Victor Martinez's brutal knee injury.

12. Phillies. They imported Jonathan Papelbon, who has a longer track record, to replace Ryan Madson. Jim Thome fills the resident nice guy role left vacated by Brad Lidge's departure (and Juan Pierre won't hurt in that dept. either, assuming he makes the team). They have more versatility with Ty Wigginton adding to their bench strength.

13. Pirates. The new killer B's are here -- Rod Barajas, Erik Bedard, Clint Barmes and A.J. Burnett. The Bucs certainly should be better.

14. Mariners. Hong-Chih Kuo, Shawn Camp and Hisashi Iwakuma have a chance to help. But their offseason will turn on whether Montero becomes a bigger star than Pineda. The guess here is, he does.

15. Padres. They maximized the Latos trade. Yonder Alonso and Yasmani Grandal could become stars, and Brad Boxberger may be the closer of the future. Huston Street ably replaces Bell. And Carlos Quentin may thrive back in his hometown.

16. Cubs. David DeJesus is a solid outfielder, and Paul Maholm will help. But their winter will turn on whether slugging first baseman Anthony Rizzo is the player they think he is. The real loss for them was the new rule limiting bonus pools for drafted players.

17. Royals. Jonathan Sanchez is just the type of high-ceiling pitcher who fits, Bruce Chen was needed back and Jonathan Broxton is worth a flyer.

18. Dodgers. They managed to cut to below $90 million as cash-strapped Frank McCourt sells the team, but they pieced it together pretty well. Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang are solid starters but most of the other imports are extras. They also made an exciting secret grab at Fielder but were outbid by the Tigers. Their best move, though, was signing Matt Kemp for eight years at $160 million,

19. Indians. Given the restrictions of the budget, not terrible. Casey Kotchman looks to be on the upswing, and Derek Lowe is a veteran presence needed especially now that Fausto Carmona is better known as Limbo Carmona.

20. Giants. Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan are late bloomers, and they might do as well as the combo of Caros Beltran, Andres Torres and Cody Ross. The comeback of Buster Posey is probably the biggest key. Also like the smaller pickups of Clay Hensley and Ryan Theriot.

21. Cardinals. It's hard to lose Pujols (not to mention Tony La Russa and Dave Duncan) and not feel it. But somehow, the Cardinals seem to find a way. Beltran replaces some of Pujols' lost offense, if not his presence. Adam Wainwright's return is the biggest addition, though.

22. Orioles. Nobody did more different things, but it's tough to evaluate or guess what Wei-Yin Chen or Tsuyoshi Wada will become. Wilson Betemit was an odd signing in that no one saw a two-year deal coming.

23. White Sox. Love the Robin Ventura move (though I suspect they should have made him take a more-experienced staff). The team will be a lot younger, too, with all the kids acquired for Santos and Quentin. Buehrle is tough to replace, though.

24. Braves. Their big deal was for utlityman Jack Wilson, which says a lot. Never found the right deal for Jair Jurrjens or Martin Prado.

25. Twins. Josh Willingham has a lot of pressure on him to make up for the loss of Cuddyer and Kubel. Joe Nathan preferred to go to a contender. Not sure how much Jason Marquis has left.

26. Red Sox. I like the way they recovered from the loss of Papelbon by adding Mark Melancon and Andrew Bailey. Cody Ross and Nick Punto are nice complementary pieces. But I think they'll miss Jason Varitek more than think. And they still don't have a No. 4 or 5 starter or starting shortstop after trading Marco Scutaro in exchange for "flexibility.'' Bobby Valentine was a great call for manager, and he does his best work when there are issues, so maybe he pulls it all together.

27. A's. They did a nice job collecting prospects (Jarrod Parker, Brad Peacock and A.J. Cole could be stars) but will be hard-pressed to avoid 90 defeats this year after trading Cahill, Gonzalez and Bailey. Big Talent Yoenis Cespedes and Mannyball spice things up. Interesting offseason.

28. Brewers. Tough to make up for the loss of Fielder. Aramis Ramirez is a nice middle-of-the-order bat, Alex Gonzalez is an upgrade at shortstop and Nori Aoki may work. Also lost some bullpen depth with Takashi Saito and Hawkins gone.

29. Astros. They took a flyer on the oft-injured Fernando Martinez but after failing to unload Wandy Rodriguez, Carlos Lee or Brett Myers, they basically return the same team. Which is not necessarily good news when you lost 106 games.

30. Mets. They lost the heart of the team (though an of-injured one), and Andres Torres wouldn't be my first choice to replace the dynamic Reyes. Actually, Pagan would have been better. But that's nitpicky. Let's face it, no one that cuts an unprecedented $50 million can do well.
Posted on: December 21, 2011 5:29 pm
 

Orioles, Red Sox, Blue Jays others like Jurrjens

Jair Jurrjens has drawn some interest from the Orioles, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Rockies, Tigers, Rangers and others. However, while Jurrjens is a terrific young starter, he appears to be behind Oakland's Gio Gonzalez on the pecking order of most teams, possibly because of potential concerns about the knee injury that hampered him at the end of last year.

Baltimore has seemed especially interested in Jurrjens. However, one person connected to the teams said they wouldn't consider trading young center fielder Adam Jones straight-up for Jurrjens. "Not even close,'' the person said. There was some suggestion the Braves might need to include the versatile and available Martin Prado to make that deal work. But that duo may be too much for the Braves to part with.

The Braves also have suggested that they will not trade Jurrjens within their division, thereby eliminating the active Marlins as a potential suitor.

Jurrjens had an excellent year in 2011 but was hampered at the end by a knee concern. The Braves say his health shouldn't be an issue, as his velocity was back up to the mid 90s in instructional league and would have pitched in the playoffs had the Braves advanced.

The Braves say they are only considering trading Jurrjens because they have a wealth of starting pitchers, and a need for improving their offense. Jurrjens' arbitration number is expected to be very high, as well, and Atlanta has been limited financially this winter.

One other issue with the Braves is that their history of trading starting pitchers is so good that some others teams are leery about trading with them. It seems they know just went to deal pitchers, right at the height of their value.
 
Posted on: December 16, 2011 11:03 am
Edited on: December 16, 2011 12:23 pm
 

Cuddyer is perfect fit for Rockies

Michael Cuddyer, who has agreed to a $31.5-million, three-year deal with the Rockies, was the team’s top target this winter for obvious reasons. He is the righthanded hitter they seek. He is also the great clubhouse presence they love.

He is also similar in many ways to Michael Young, the one who got away.

The Rockies thought they had agreement before the 2011 season that would have sent Eric Young and another young (lower case) player to Texas for Michael Young. But when Michael Young told the Rangers he’d like to stay, the Rangers asked out of the deal, and the Rockies very nicely obliged with the stipulation that they’d have first crack at Young if he should go back onto the market.

Cuddyer, like Young, is a excellent righthanded hitter who’s versatile and great in the clubhouse. He isn’t quite as good a hitter as Young, but he fills the bill, nonetheless.

It also helps set the Rockies up for the rest of the winter. Cuddyer’s deal marks the end of Colorado’s pursuit of Carlos Beltran who is said to be talking to the Cardinals, Blue Jays and one other team.

They still seek a starting pitcher and have shown interest in Hiroki Kuroda and Joe Saunders. They also had made an early offer to Kevin Milwood.

Cuddyer, a longtime Twin, had received three-year offers from the Twins and Phillies and possibly also the Mariners.

For more MLB news and rumors from Jon Heyman, follow @JonHeymanCBS.
Posted on: December 15, 2011 1:55 pm
Edited on: December 16, 2011 12:17 pm
 

Yankees, Rockies, others like Kuroda

The attention is all on hot Japanese righthander Yu Darvish, but veteran countryman Hiroki Kuroda is drawing significant interest as well.

Kuroda is much lighter on buzz, but some teams actually prefer Kuroda, as he is the proven one in the majors. The Yankees, who are said to have placed a "modest" bid on Darvish and have no expectation of winning the posting process, seem to almost prefer Kuroda, anyway.

The Rockies and Diamondbacks are also believed interested in Kuroda. While Kuroda turned down overtures from several teams at the trade deadline because he preferred to stay with the Dodgers, a person close to Kuroda said he is open to playing in New York and a few other places. He hasn't ruled out returning to Japan, either.

He is believed to be interested in a two-year deal. Kuroda made $12 million in base salary and would likely receive at least that off another productive season in L.A.

For more MLB news and rumors from Jon Heyman, follow @JonHeymanCBS.
Posted on: December 13, 2011 11:06 am
Edited on: January 24, 2012 9:10 pm
 

Rockies making a push for Beltran

By Jon Heyman

The Colorado Rockies, a surprise player for top free agents, are making a push for star outfielder Carlos Beltran. The Rockies would like to sign either Beltran or Michael Cuddyer for the outfield.

Colorado has competition for Cuddyer, who was offered $25 million over three years by the incumbent Twins. Minnesota is still hoping to re-sign Cuddyer.
Beltran's market has been something of a mystery, but it is believed Colorado would go two years to add him to the middle of their lineup, where he'd combine with Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez.

Beltran's knee history is a concern to many teams, but he played without knee trouble last year whe he produced for both the Mets and Giants.

The Cardinals have been rumored to be another possible suitor for Beltran, who is still only 33.

For more baseball news and rumors, follow @JonHeymanCBS.




 
 
 
 
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