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Tag:trade deadline
Posted on: July 31, 2011 4:07 pm
Edited on: July 31, 2011 4:15 pm
 

Pirates make last-minute acquisition of Ludwick



Score one for the Pittsburgh Pirates: They snuck around Cleveland minutes before Sunday's trade deadline and acquired outfielder Ryan Ludwick for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Buyers for the first time since 1992, the Pirates wind up with both Ludwick and first baseman Derrek Lee as they continue their surprising push in the NL Central.

Though disappointing in San Diego since landing there last July, Ludwick's bat, once removed from cavernous Petco Park, could be a boost to the Pirates in a tight NL Central race.

In Ludwick, the Pirates will get a one-time potent bat that has lost its stride in the past year. Ludwick is 3 for his past 21 and is hitting .238 with 11 homers and 64 RBI.

Acquired from the Cardinals at last July's trade deadline to boost a Padres team that then was challenging for the NL West title, Ludwick hit .211 with six homers and 26 RBI in 59 games for the Padres in 2010.

Still, because of Petco Park's vast dimensions, it's hard to say how close Ludwick can come in Pittsburgh to his 2009 form in St. Louis, when he hit 22 homers and collected 97 RBIs, or even '08, when he hit 37 homers with 113 RBI.

Posted on: July 31, 2011 3:24 pm
Edited on: July 31, 2011 6:12 pm
 

Shocked Bell watches Adams leave for Texas

A still-dazed looking Heath Bell sat at his locker one hour before Sunday's trade deadline and moments after the Padres had shipped set-up man Mike Adams to the Rangers still trying to figure it all out.

His wife had just left him am message and told him: You've been traded to Texas.

Yes, she had been watching television.

"So I went to the back room to call her, and I came back into the clubhouse and Mike's traded," Bell said.

Bell? He was staying in San Diego, according to one Padres' source, barring some late, astronomical offer from the Yankees or the Phillies (or another late entrant).

And as you might have heard, that never came.

"I'm surprised," Bell said. "Texas is getting a great pitcher [in Adams]. It's unbelievable. I'm happy for him. He's from Texas."

Even after the Adams deal an hour before Sunday's 4 p.m. EDT non-waivers trading deadline, had Bell been told he was staying?

"I haven't been told anything," he said. "You never know what's going to happen. Jed [Hoyer, Padres' general manager] makes the hard decisions."

Bell has repeatedly said he will be willing to accept a discounted contract, either now or while on the free agent market this winter.

"I haven't been offered anything," he said. "I can't take a discount on something I haven't been offered. I'm not taking an insane discount, but I would take a discount as a free agent to come back here."

As for Sunday's wild day in the Padres clubhouse, Bell shook his head.

"Supposedly, there were going to be four or five of us traded," Bell said. "Now there's only been one [two, after Ryan Ludwick was shipped to Pittsburgh minutes before the deadline]. I'm not relieved. Mike Adams is one of the best set-up men in the game.

"We're going to miss a great friend and a good teammate."

Posted on: July 31, 2011 1:12 pm
Edited on: July 31, 2011 1:24 pm
 

Indians close to acquiring Ludwick

The Cleveland Indians are on the verge of finishing what they started the other day, knocking off a deal to acquire Padres outfielder Ryan Ludwick.

CBSSports.com first reported Saturday in the wake of Cleveland's Ubaldo Jimenez trade that the Indians were in position to acquire Ludwick on Sunday morning.

Though disappointing in San Diego since landing there last July, Ludwick's bat, once removed from cavernous Petco Park, could be a boost to the Indians in a tight AL Central race. Cleveland, which has been searching for outfield bats, landed Kosuke Fukudome from the Cubs the other day.

In Ludwick, the Indians will get a one-time potent bat that has lost its stride in the past year. Ludwick is 3 for his past 21 and is hitting .238 with 11 homers and 64 RBI.

Acquired from the Cardinals at last July's trade deadline to boost a Padres team that then was challenging for the NL West title, Ludwick hit .211 with six homers and 26 RBI in 59 games for the Padres in 2010.

Still, because of Petco Park's vast dimensions, it's hard to say how close Ludwick can come in Cleveland to his 2009 form in St. Louis, when he hit 22 homers and collected 97 RBIs, or even '08, when he hit 37 homers with 113 RBI.

With Shin-Soo Choo and Grady Sizemore both on the disabled list, the Indians need whatever help can come their way.
Posted on: July 30, 2011 3:31 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2011 3:31 pm
 

Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers in on LA's Kuroda

Maybe Rafael Furcal will be the only Dodgers player asked to waive a no-trade clause, maybe not.

Little more than 24 hours before Sunday's 4 p.m. EDT non-waivers trade deadline, three clubs continue to seriously engage the Dodgers in conversations regarding starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, according to CBSSports.com sources: The Yankees, Red Sox and Rangers.

It is not known if Kuroda will consent to a deal if traded. A source close to him told CBSSports.com earlier in the week that he still seems a "little apprehensive" about leaving Los Angeles, the only major-league organization he's known since leaving Japan following the 2007 season.

Kuroda is just one of the starters available in a fairly weak starting pitching market at the 2011 trade deadline. The biggest target remains Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez, who will make what could be his final start for the Rockies tonight in San Diego. However, it remains unclear whether Colorado will deal him. The Yankees and Red Sox both are interested.

Detroit acquired Doug Fister from Seattle earlier Saturday, taking him off the board. Other starting pitchers who could go include Baltimore's Jeremy Guthrie and Koji Uehara, San Diego's Aaron Harang, Tampa Bay's Jeff Niemann and Seattle's Erik Bedard.

Kuroda this season is 6-13 with a 3.11 ERA in 21 starts for the Dodgers.
Posted on: July 30, 2011 2:37 pm
Edited on: July 31, 2011 12:09 pm
 

Furcal to Cardinals deal done

The Cardinals officially obtained the shortstop they were seeking on Sunday morning when Rafael Furcal waived his no-trade clause and the deal with the Dodgers was formalized: Furcal heads to St. Louis, and the Cardinals send Double A outfielder Alex Castellanos to the Dodgers, along with $2.5 million.

In the midst of rearranging things on the fly while trying to fend off the Brewers, Pirates and Reds in the NL Central, the Cardinals shipped center fielder Colby Rasmus to Toronto the other day for pitching help, and now are close to filling a huge hole at shortstop.

They've been going with Ryan Theriot and Daniel Descalso. But they moved him to second base on Saturday against the Cubs for his first start there.

Furcal in the past has been a dynamic shortstop and top-of-the-order player, but he has battled injuries all season. An oblique strain struck him early in the year and, consequently, Furcal is hitting a career-low .197 with a .272 on-base percentage and a .248 slugging percentage. A switch-hitter whose game normally is getting on base and running, Furcal has been limited to 15 runs in just 37 games in 2011.

However, he's feeling better now than he has all season, and he's getting healthy at the right time. Over the past two weeks, Furcal has batted .270 with a .400 on-base percentage in 11 games, and over the past seven days, he's hit .333 with a .455 on-base percentage in five games.

Approximately $4 million remains from Furcal's $12 million salary through the rest of this season. His contract also includes a $12 million option for 2012.

Because Furcal, 33, waived no-trade rights as a 10-5 player -- 10 years in the majors, the past five with the same club -- the deal would did not become official for 24 hours after the Dodgers and Cardinals agree to terms, which was Sunday.

The deal allows the Dodgers to save a couple of million from Furcal's contract and opens a position for prospect Dee Gordon. The Dodgers also now will keep Jamey Carroll for infield depth.

St. Louis' interest in Furcal was first reported by Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Friday.
Posted on: July 29, 2011 11:03 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2011 12:50 am
 

Braves, Indians, Reds talk Ludwick with Padres

With Hunter Pence now off the board following his acquisition by the Phillies, and with uncertainty as to whether the White Sox will deal Carlos Quentin, everybody looking for a bat is now rushing to ... San Diego, to get Ryan Ludwick?

Not exactly. The Braves continued to show interest on Friday, according to CBSSports.com sources, along with the Indians and the Reds.

The Braves continue to appear to be the main players, but talks did not appear to be hot. Perhaps with Pence no longer available in Houston, Atlanta's efforts will increase toward Ludwick. But as the Padres shop their outfielder in advance of his impending free agency, no deal was imminent as of Friday night.

Part of that, according to sources, is because the Braves are still traveling parallel paths in their quest to obtain an outfielder. They had interest in Pence, continue to have interest in Quentin and Tampa Bay's B.J. Upton, and could turn to Oakland and Josh Willingham.

The Indians, who acquired outfielder Kosuke Fukudome from the Cubs on Thursday, had several lines out on Friday both for another bat and for pitching.

The Reds, who have had a very disappointing season and were five games under .500 heading into this weekend's series with San Francisco, were thought by many to be veering into "seller" territory after getting pummeled by the Mets earlier in the week. But Cincinnati general manager Walt Jocketty said flatly Friday that the club is not in sell mode and added that with so many games remaining against NL Central rivals, there is time for the Reds to climb back into the race.

Ludwick, who batted fourth for the Padres on Friday night, is hitting .238 with 11 homers and 62 RBIs. He is a free agent this winter, and the Padres are not expected to make a bid to retain him.
Posted on: July 29, 2011 10:13 pm
 

Rangers, Padres find no middle ground on Bell

The Padres have vowed they will not deal closer Heath Bell for anything less than a highly attractive return, and heading into the final hours toward the trade deadline, they're putting the Rangers to that test.

The Padres and Rangers continue to discuss Bell, sources with knowledge of the talks told CBSSports.com, though those discussions did not advance much Friday from where they were a day earlier. The Padres' price has not come down, and Texas' offer has not increased.

Even at that, however, Bell still may be the Rangers' player to lose (if there is such a thing as "losing" a player you've never had): St. Louis continues to stay involved, according to sources, but only on the "fringe." And the Angels, who are said to be looking to boost their bullpen, currently are not involved.

That isn't to say the Angels or other clubs could not jump into the talks Saturday or sometime before Sunday's 4 p.m. EDT deadline. But as of now, the Rangers remain the biggest presence at the trade table, and they and the Padres continue to engage in a staredown.

According to CBSSports.com sources, the Padres are asking a three-player return for Bell, which surely could be adjusted down to two players if Texas produces the right two players. The Padres watched left-handed pitcher Robbie Erlin's last start for Double-A Frisco and are believed interested in him. A few other key names in the Texas system: Martin Perez, a left-hander pitching at Triple-A Round Rock, Frisco right-handers Tanner Scheppers and Joe Wieland, and shortstop Jurickson Profar, 18, currently playing at Class A Hickory.

Bell, who collected his 30th save on Thursday, owns a 2.34 ERA and said of a trade, "It's going to happen."

He predicted: "It probably will be down to the wire."

That's the way it looks now. Texas is intent on improving its bullpen: Its 4.46 ERA is fourth-highest in the AL and the Rangers' 15 blown saves were tied for the third-highest. And as highly regarded as closer Neftali Feliz is, Rangers manager Ron Washington said the other day that he would like to see "a little more fire" from the closer.

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels traveled to Toronto for this weekend's series with the Blue Jays, and several of his key advisers are with him as they sort through final offers and final moves between now and Sunday's deadline.

If the Padres elect to hold on to Bell and he leaves as a free agent this winter, they would receive two compensatory draft picks for him, the first one likely 20-something picks into the draft and the other in the 40s.


Posted on: July 29, 2011 1:28 pm
 

Five teams talking Dodgers' Kuroda

Five clubs continue to engage the Dodgers in talks for right-hander Hiroki Kuroda in trade discussions that probably present the biggest wild card between now and Sunday's non-waiver trade deadline.

The Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers, Indians and Tigers all continue to push the Kuroda talks as the weekend nears, sources with knowledge of the discussions tell CBSSports.com.

As they do, there is still no indication as to whether Kuroda will waive his blanket no-trade clause. One source close to Kuroda says he continues to "seem apprehensive" about doing so, which is where the wild-card part of it comes in this weekend.

Several industry sources believe Kuroda will only accept a deal to the Yankees or Red Sox, but that has not stopped the Tigers, Rangers and Indians from positioning themselves to attempt to swing a deal.

As colleague Danny Knobler wrote Thursday, in a summer in which no clear ace is available at the July 31 deadline -- unlike, say, Cliff Lee last year or CC Sabathia in '08 -- the handful of mediocre starters has only muddled the trade market picture.

The Tigers have been tied to every pitcher this side of Walter "Big Train" Johnson, and the Red Sox and Yankees are expected to have a scout in Seattle on Friday night when Erik Bedard makes his long-awaited exit from another disabled list trip to start for the Mariners.

Jeff Niemann? Jeremy Guthrie? Jason Marquis? Aaron Harang?

You can see why Kuroda, who is just 34-43 with a 3.50 ERA in four big league seasons, is being hawked like a field mouse as contenders scramble to pick up any scrap of starting pitching they can.

Because of the glut of mediocrity combined with the high prices being asked, guys like Kuroda, Bedard, Harang and Co. probably will be last minute deals on Saturday or Sunday.

But one thing to remember about Kuroda: Because of his no-trade clause and the fact that he appears reluctant to leave Los Angeles, this one will take longer than others to put together. The process will involve the Dodgers putting a deal together (if they decide to pull the trigger), then taking it to Kuroda, then Kuroda taking time to decide on the no-trade clause.

In other words, this process for the Dodgers is going to have to begin with more lead time than, say, an hour before Sunday's 4 p.m. EDT deadline.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com