While plenty of teams continue to show interest in Colorado Rockies starter Ubaldo Jimenez(notes), they're still playing coy 11 days before the trading deadline. The Rockies haven't received a single official offer for the right-hander yet, according to a club source.
The most smitten teams thus far – the Detroit Tigers, Cincinnati Reds and New York Yankees – all have farm systems deep enough to satisfy the Rockies' desire for four top-end prospects, at least one of whom is major league-ready. They're also wary that Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd is banking on one of the dozen or so teams that has gauged the cost of Jimenez growing desperate and overpaying.
Ubaldo Jimenez tips his cap to fans as he leaves the game in the seventh inning Tuesday. He beat the Braves to pick up his sixth win.
The Rockies aren't inclined to trade Jimenez for anything less, the source said. The frustration over the team's underachieving this year – since an 11-2 start, they've gone 34-49 – led O'Dowd to at least entertain the idea of making trades. Though catcher Chris Iannetta(notes) and utilityman Ty Wigginton(notes) appeal to other teams, the Rockies are not actively shopping either.
Same goes for Jimenez, who threw his 10th consecutive start with three earned runs or fewer Tuesday night against a left-handed heavy Atlanta Braves lineup. Jimenez's fastball velocity remains down – he peaked at 96.3 mph, his average last year – but in a thin pitching market, he constitutes a gem.
A package from Detroit would need to involve Jacob Turner(notes), the right-hander who signed a major league deal out of high school in 2009 and has pitched well, if not dominantly, at Double-A. The key target from Cincinnati would be catcher Devin Mesoraco(notes), a late-blooming catcher with an .861 OPS at Triple-A. The Rockies have inquired about catcher/DH Jesus Montero(notes) and left-hander Manny Banuelos(notes) from the Yankees.
The New York Mets on Tuesday provided Carlos Beltran(notes) with a short list of teams to consider as they attempt to trade him before the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline, and the Philadelphia Phillies are believed to be on the list.
A mediocre offensive team, the Phillies are seeking to upgrade with an outfielder and middle-of-the-lineup bat, preferably right-handed. Beltran, batting .287 and ninth in the National League with 59 RBIs, is a switch-hitter. He is in the final year of a contract that pays him $18.5 million this season. Because he has no-trade protection, Beltran would have to approve the deal.
The Mets have indicated they will pay much – or all – of the contract, depending on what they receive in return. The Boston Red Sox, San Francisco Giants and New York Yankees are also thought to have interest in Beltran. It is possible Beltran would prefer to remain close to his home in New York for at least this season, making Boston, Philadelphia and the Yankees more desirable destinations.
One scout pegged the Milwaukee Brewers as a darkhorse in the Beltran sweepstakes, though after an offseason in which trades ravaged their farm system, they lack the marquee prospect Mets GM Sandy Alderson desires. Within the past two days, Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin watched his Triple-A team, with first baseman/third baseman Mat Gamel(notes) possible trade bait.
Mets shortstop Jose Reyes, whom the club would prefer to keep through the summer, has told friends he would love to sign with the Angels when he becomes a free agent after the season, a source said Tuesday. While Reyes might look good in manager Mike Scioscia's system, Angels owner Arte Moreno is unlikely to approach Reyes' asking price if Reyes does indeed demand a Carl Crawford(notes)-type contract (seven years, $142 million). Also, the Angels like Erick Aybar's(notes) dependability and consistent effort, even if his raw tools don't match Reyes'.
While the Angels will consider an upgrade at third base, where this year they've gotten a reasonable batting average and on-base percentage but little in terms of power or run production from Alberto Callaspo(notes), their emphasis at the trading deadline will be the bullpen. They would like to add a power arm or two to go along with Jordan Walden(notes) and Scott Downs(notes) at the back end but for the moment believe the cost of, say, Heath Bell(notes) or Mike Adams(notes) is prohibitive. They might be more apt to sort out the second-tier relievers.
The Angels are now five games back of the surging Rangers, who beat Los Angeles 7-0 for their 12th consecutive win Tuesday night.
After a 4-2 loss to Kansas City on Tuesday night, the Chicago White Sox remain in the most awkward of July positions: mediocre enough that a losing streak could torpedo their playoff chances but close enough to first place that an addition could push them over the top.
Always-maneuvering GM Kenny Williams, who traded for Edwin Jackson(notes) and picked up Manny Ramirez(notes) on waivers only to finish six games out of first in the AL Central last year, is up against a payroll crunch and may find the only help internally from outfielder Dayan Viciedo(notes), who is raking at Triple-A.
The White Sox as sellers, on the other hand, doesn't seem as far-fetched. On Friday, they start back-to-back three-game series against Cleveland and Detroit, who are tied for first place and 4½ games ahead of the White Sox. Should they falter, manager Ozzie Guillen would give Williams his blessing to sell.
"Kenny has the right to do what he's supposed to do," Guillen said. "That's his job. The players know. I know. The coaches know. I don't have any problem with that. If we don't perform the way we can perform, I don't blame him one bit."
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