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Royals Fan
07-27-2006, 02:50 PM
The update artcile form Kenny Rosenthal.


The defending National League champion Astros plan a major push to add an impact hitter before Monday's non-waiver deadline.

How major?
The club intends to be "super-aggressive," one major-league official says, pursuing trades for big names such as Nationals left fielder Alfonso Soriano and Brewers left fielder Carlos Lee and making virtually everyone on their roster available.

Astros owner Drayton McLane surely doesn't want to take the team's $106 million payroll much higher, but now that he has gone this far, there's no turning back.

The addition of Soriano, Lee or Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada would appear a longshot. But just two years ago, the Astros stunned the baseball world by acquiring center fielder Carlos Beltran in a three-team trade. If general manager Tim Purpura dangles struggling closer Brad Lidge — as he did last off-season in a deal for Tejada — the possibilities could get interesting.


The Astros spent big bucks to bring back Roger Clemens, who is not likely to return next season. (Lynne Sladky / Associated Press)

The Astros already have made two significant additions, spending $12.6 million to bring back right-hander Roger Clemens for little more than half a season and trading two prospects to the Devil Rays for infielder/outfielder Aubrey Huff. But they've gone 5-7 since the All-Star break, falling 101/2 games behind the Cardinals in the N.L. Central and five behind the Reds in the wild-card race.

The team's front office has spent the last two days in meetings trying to figure out how to fix the team's sagging offense. Only the Cubs have scored fewer runs in the N.L.; the Astros' center fielders rank 10th in the N.L. in on-base/slugging percentage, their catchers 13th and their shortstops 14th. Catcher Brad Ausmus and shortstop Adam Everett are defensive stalwarts, but offensive burdens.

The problem for the Astros in any trade pursuit is that they are unwilling to trade their top position prospect, Class AA outfielder Hunter Pence, and reluctant to move their top pitching prospect, Class AAA right-hander Jason Hirsh. Both Clemens and left-hander Andy Pettitte are unlikely to return next season, making Hirsh an important part of the team's future.

The Astros, however, could take on future payroll; their financial flexibility will improve next season if Clemens, Pettite and injured first baseman Jeff Bagwell — three players earning nearly $50 million — no longer are with the club.


Royals' Moore jumps right in
No general manager wins Executive of the Year for stockpiling pitching prospects, but what else is new Royals GM Dayton Moore supposed to do?

Moore obtained five young pitchers this week in deals for right-handed reliever Mike MacDougal, infielder Tony Graffanino and right-hander Elmer Dessens.

He also acquired veteran left-hander Odalis Perez, but the Dodgers are paying Perez's 2007 salary while the Royals pay Dessens', so even that move was worth a shot.


Odalis Perez is just one of the new arms pitching for the Royals. (Michael Zagaris/MLB Photos / Getty Images)

Of the five youngsters, Class AA left-hander Tyler Lumsden, 23, seems the most likely to succeed; rival scouts project him as a potential No. 3 starter.

Moore views the others — left-hander Jorge de la Rosa, 25, Class A right-handers Blake Johnson, 21, Julio Pimentel, 20, and Daniel Cortes, 19 — as the equivalent of extra draft picks.

And the Royals aren't finished yet.

Left-hander Mark Redman seems almost certain to go to a contender. Outfielder Matt Stairs, second baseman Mark Grudzielanek and first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz are among the other candidates to be traded.

If it turns out that the Royals land one or two solid contributors in their flurry of deals — they acquired center fielder Joey Gathright from the Devil Rays in an earlier trade — then Moore's initial moves will be considered a success.

The high rate of attrition for pitching prospects is well-documented, but low-revenue teams such as the Royals face little choice but to collect as many young arms as possible to increase their odds of success.

For Moore, who spent the previous 13 years in the Braves' organization, the experience was a little surreal.

"I felt very uncomfortable," Moore says. "I've always been on the other side of it — trading minor leaguers for major leaguers. This side of it, trading major leaguers for minor leaguers, it's unnatural. And risky."


The Yankees would raise a number of questions if they traded reliever Scott Proctor for Braves infielder Wilson Betemit, a possibility first reported by the New York Post and confirmed Wednesday by FOXSports.com.

The trade of Proctor would make more sense if right-hander Octavio Dotel already had made his expected return from elbow surgery; if the Yankees moved Proctor now, they almost certainly would need to add another late-inning reliever in a separate deal.

The addition of Betemit, whose best positions are third base and shortstop, also would be something of a head-scratcher.

Betemit could fill in at second while Robinson Cano recovers from his hamstring injury, but probably isn't a long-term solution at that position. His future playing time, then, likely would be minimal unless the Yankees traded Cano or — ahem — third baseman Alex Rodriguez.

The return of third baseman Chipper Jones from an oblique strain Wednesday night could make the Braves more willing to trade Betemit, but even then they might be reluctant to part with their emerging talent.

Betemit, 25, could develop into a 25-homer, 40-double man, and the Braves control him through 2010. Trading such a player for a reliever, even one as good as Proctor or the Padres' Scott Linebrink, would be a decidedly risky move. The Braves might want another player added to such a deal.


This 'n' that

Executives from several clubs believe that the high asking prices of GM David Littlefield will result in the Pirates failing to trade several of their veterans — an outcome that would be inexcusable for a club that likely has no intention of re-signing potential free agents such as outfielder Jeromy Burnitz, third baseman Joe Randa, right-hander Kip Wells and outfielder Craig Wilson. ...

The Diamondbacks have decided that they will not trade left fielder Luis Gonzalez, who is batting .397 in July with a .468 on-base percentage. The Rangers have shown interest in Gonzalez, but it's doubtful that any team could make an offer to satisfy the D-Backs. Trading the popular Gonzalez for prospects in the middle of a pennant race would be a public-relations nightmare.
If the Diamondbacks move right fielder Shawn Green, it's more likely to happen in August — Green, who is guaranteed $9.5 million in 2007 plus a $2 million buyout in '08, almost certainly would clear waivers — or in the off-season. It's possible, however, that one of the losers of the Lee/Soriano/Bobby Abreu sweepstakes could take a run at Green before Monday.

The Indians asked the Angels for Class AAA shortstop Erick Aybar before settling on Mariners Class AAA outfielder Shin-Soo Choo and a minor leaguer to be named for first baseman Ben Broussard. Choo, 23, figures to be a significant upgrade over Todd Hollandsworth as the team's fourth outfielder next season; his addition also gives the Indians the flexibility to move right fielder Casey Blake to first base. ...


For teams looking for starting pitching, Philadelphia is the place to be. The three AL East contenders — the Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays — all sent scouts to watch right-hander Jon Lieber, who pitched Wednesday night, and right-hander Cory Lidle, who pitches Thursday. The Cardinals and Reds were among the other clubs represented.
Ken Rosenthal is a senior baseball

westofyou
07-27-2006, 02:52 PM
their financial flexibility will improve next season if Clemens, Pettite and injured first baseman Jeff Bagwell — three players earning nearly $50 million — no longer are with the club.

No kidding.... obvious statement of the year.

Blue
07-27-2006, 03:07 PM
The Astros could trade Petitte and Clemens for a king's ransom and win the division every year for the next 10. Instead, they'll try to trade for an impact bat and hope they can re-sign him, and will pick up the FA scaps left over by the Yankees, Red Sox, and Mets.

Oh well, its better for us.

Phhhl
07-27-2006, 03:22 PM
Everything in Texas is Big, including the humongous failures. It's been a pleasure watching this team try so hard and fail so miserably year after year after year. I know they went to the series last year, but they got flattened Texas-style in that too.

I can't stand to see George and Barbara and Dreighton McClane bunch around home plate every night looking like rejects from that famous painting, American Gothic. They are almost 10 games out of first place and barely on the radar screen for the wild card, and they are "going for it?" Going for what? Another late season meltdown?

I can't decide if I hate the Cardinals or Astros more. The Reds MUST put one of these teams away soon.

M2
07-27-2006, 03:28 PM
So the Astros vow they'll be "super aggressive" and that everyone is on the table ... expect possibly the two kids other teams might actually want.

That right there is a team deep in a delusional trench.

Blue
07-27-2006, 03:29 PM
I am developing an irrational hatred toward the Cardinals. It revolves around their owner and GM sitting on their hands during the offseason, knowing full well that Big Al will carry them to the playoffs. It almost came crumbling down when he was injured.

M2
07-27-2006, 03:36 PM
I am developing an irrational hatred toward the Cardinals. It revolves around their owner and GM sitting on their hands during the offseason, knowing full well that Big Al will carry them to the playoffs. It almost came crumbling down when he was injured.

???

The Cardinals have been the most aggressive team in the NL Central when it comes to making deals for this entire century. It's remarkable how willing they've been to turnover that roster.

Blue
07-27-2006, 03:42 PM
???

The Cardinals have been the most aggressive team in the NL Central when it comes to making deals for this entire century. It's remarkable how willing they've been to turnover that roster.

I'm just talking about this offseason. Its not a deep seeded hatred.

flyer85
07-27-2006, 03:44 PM
everyone is on the table ... expect possibly the two kids other teams might actually want.

That right there is a team deep in a delusional trench.Nah, Ausmus and Taveres will bring the mother lode.:laugh:

Royals Fan
07-27-2006, 03:50 PM
Jason Stark on ESPNews just mentioned that Miguel Taejeda- that he wouldnt be suprsied that Miguel is sent to the LAA or the Astros before the trade deadline- The O's are looking at Brandon Wood and Howard Kensick i think the two names mentioned in trade talk with them and Brewers are in team meeting right now in regards to putting Carlos Lee on the market.

Royals Fan
07-27-2006, 03:57 PM
At the end of Rosenthal article the Reds are mentioned about Lieber and Lidle and having scouts in Philly this week. Lidle has 8 k so far today in his game with the D-backs.

REDREAD
07-27-2006, 04:05 PM
The Astros could trade Petitte and Clemens for a king's ransom and win the division every year for the next 10. Instead, they'll try to trade for an impact bat and hope they can re-sign him, and will pick up the FA scaps left over by the Yankees, Red Sox, and Mets.

Oh well, its better for us.

Doesn't Clemens have some kind of no trade clause?

They could trade Petite, I suppose. But keep in mind that they are only 5 games behind in the wildcard race. I can see the logic of not punting this season, considering that next year is going to be tough for them to contend. Sure, they'll have plenty of financial flexiblity this offseason, but the FA market is pretty competitive. If the
Astros can trade Lidge for a nice bat, they might make a good run at it. Perhaps they could even trade for a bat that will help them beyond this year.

M2
07-27-2006, 04:20 PM
I don't know that I'd trade Juan Castro for Brad Lidge at this moment in time.

blumj
07-27-2006, 04:30 PM
So the Astros vow they'll be "super aggressive" and that everyone is on the table ... expect possibly the two kids other teams might actually want.

That right there is a team deep in a delusional trench.
It would be quite fitting for them to waste their time trying to deal with the Orioles at the trade deadline, then.

Puffy
07-27-2006, 04:31 PM
At the end of Rosenthal article the Reds are mentioned about Lieber and Lidle and having scouts in Philly this week. Lidle has 8 k so far today in his game with the D-backs.

I cannot stand Cory Lidle. I would absolutely hate any trade for him.

That pretty much guarantees he will be a Red again shortly.

westofyou
07-27-2006, 04:32 PM
I cannot stand Cory Lidle. I would absolutely hate any trade for him.

That pretty much guarantees he will be a Red again shortly.
Cory left under the huge shadow of being labeled a whiner and not a team player.

He won't be back.

Puffy
07-27-2006, 04:34 PM
Cory left under the huge shadow of being labeled a whiner and not a team player.

He won't be back.

Different owner, different GM, different manager.

Never say never in sports (or wrestling, cause who would have ever thunk Hulk Hogan and McMahon would bury the hacket after the steroid trial in the mid 90s)

Johnny Footstool
07-27-2006, 04:35 PM
I don't know that I'd trade Juan Castro for Brad Lidge at this moment in time.

Felipe Lopez, maybe?

Seriously though, any team would be nuts to pass on Lidge. He's still got killer stuff. He'll be fine.

westofyou
07-27-2006, 04:38 PM
Different owner, different GM, different manager.

Never say never in sports (or wrestling, cause who would have ever thunk Hulk Hogan and McMahon would bury the hacket after the steroid trial in the mid 90s)
Mark Berry and Tom Hume were there and they'll have a say.


He's still got killer stuff. He'll be fine.

Many have and many weren't.

Puffy
07-27-2006, 04:38 PM
Mark Berry and Tom Hume were there and they'll have a say.

Now your just reaching to prove a point!

cincy jacket
07-27-2006, 04:52 PM
I don't know that I'd trade Juan Castro for Brad Lidge at this moment in time.

I would make that trade. Even if you DFA'd Lidge the second after at least we wouldn't have Castro anymore. Not that I mind Castro as much as the fact that Narron still feels he is the best defensive infielder he has and that any day now he will be thinking with his heart again and bat him second.

lollipopcurve
07-27-2006, 04:56 PM
Cory left under the huge shadow of being labeled a whiner and not a team player.

He won't be back.

If I remember correctly, he threw a dart or two on his way out. I'd be surprised to see him return.

M2
07-27-2006, 05:02 PM
Cory left under the huge shadow of being labeled a whiner and not a team player.

He won't be back.

But ... but ... but ... the team needs to update the "Pitch Like Cory" instructional video DanO had made back in 2004.

The children must be taught to pitch to contact.

lucky bugle boy
07-27-2006, 05:03 PM
If general manager Tim Purpura dangles struggling closer Brad Lidge as he did last off-season in a deal for Tejada the possibilities could get interesting.




Why would the Orioles want Lidge when they have Ray? Ray's been much better this year than Lidge.

cincy09
07-27-2006, 05:04 PM
But ... but ... but ... the team needs to update the "Pitch Like Cory" instructional video DanO had made back in 2004.

The children must be taught to pitch to contact.

hahaha......i was at that game, and he looked good

BigRed
07-27-2006, 06:43 PM
I would hope that they are looking at Lieber. I agree. I wouldn't want Lidle back. It seems that he didn't leave here on good terms.

DannyB
07-27-2006, 06:55 PM
I don't know that I'd trade Juan Castro for Brad Lidge at this moment in time.
I would trade Juan for a Budweiser and a pretzel anytime

nkufan
07-27-2006, 07:02 PM
The last time cory lilde was here jerry narron was here so i doubt he comes back. He is to hoping you can find one more starter because we have a good shot the playoffs.

M2
07-27-2006, 07:08 PM
I would trade Juan for a Budweiser and a pretzel anytime

Or some gently used dental floss.

But not Brad Lidge.

doug flynn
07-27-2006, 11:10 PM
I don't know that I'd trade Juan Castro for Brad Lidge at this moment in time.

Was Albert Pooholes to Brad L, as Jack Hamilton was to Tony C? One pitch, career ended?

Johnny Footstool
07-28-2006, 01:08 AM
Was Albert Pooholes to Brad L, as Jack Hamilton was to Tony C? One pitch, career ended?

Nah.

Billy Wagner went through a "gas can" phase once or twice in his career. He came out of it okay.

Lidge will be fine.

M2
07-28-2006, 10:17 AM
Nah.

Billy Wagner went through a "gas can" phase once or twice in his career. He came out of it okay.

Lidge will be fine.

Wagner had exactly on bad season, 2000, when he got injured. Other than that, his career high single season ERA is 2.85.

RANDY IN INDY
07-28-2006, 10:25 AM
The Astros wish Billy Wagner was still their closer.

M2
07-28-2006, 10:46 AM
The Astros wish Billy Wagner was still their closer.

Think they'd trade Taylor Buchholz, Brandon Duckworth and Zeke Astacio for him?

REDREAD
07-28-2006, 11:15 AM
I don't know that I'd trade Juan Castro for Brad Lidge at this moment in time.

I'd be willing to pick up Lidge as a project (in fact, I'd love to buy low on him now).

I agree with your main point, that the Astros are unlikely to get the impact bat they want for him at this point.

corkedbat
07-28-2006, 11:31 AM
The Yankees would raise a number of questions if they traded reliever Scott Proctor for Braves infielder Wilson Betemit, a possibility first reported by the New York Post and confirmed Wednesday by FOXSports.com.

The trade of Proctor would make more sense if right-hander Octavio Dotel already had made his expected return from elbow surgery; if the Yankees moved Proctor now, they almost certainly would need to add another late-inning reliever in a separate deal.

The addition of Betemit, whose best positions are third base and shortstop, also would be something of a head-scratcher.

Betemit could fill in at second while Robinson Cano recovers from his hamstring injury, but probably isn't a long-term solution at that position. His future playing time, then, likely would be minimal unless the Yankees traded Cano or ahem third baseman Alex Rodriguez.

The return of third baseman Chipper Jones from an oblique strain Wednesday night could make the Braves more willing to trade Betemit, but even then they might be reluctant to part with their emerging talent.

Betemit, 25, could develop into a 25-homer, 40-double man, and the Braves control him through 2010. Trading such a player for a reliever, even one as good as Proctor or the Padres' Scott Linebrink, would be a decidedly risky move. The Braves might want another player added to such a deal.



Wonder if the Yanks would take a 25-RBI 40-single man like Clayton for Proctor? :devil:

Reds/Flyers Fan
07-28-2006, 11:42 AM
Why are the mediocre Astros involved in Miguel Tejada talks but the Reds, leading the WC, aren't? Houston annoys me thinking they are in this.

Falls City Beer
07-28-2006, 11:43 AM
Why are the mediocre Astros involved in Miguel Tejada talks but the Reds, leading the WC, aren't? Houston annoys me thinking they are in this.

Maybe because the Astros have proven themselves to be far more resourceful and resilient than perennial also-rans like Cincinnati?

Spitball
07-28-2006, 11:45 AM
Jason Stark on ESPNews just mentioned that Miguel Taejeda- that he wouldnt be suprsied that Miguel is sent to the LAA or the Astros before the trade deadline- The O's are looking at Brandon Wood and Howard Kensick i think the two names mentioned in trade talk with them and Brewers are in team meeting right now in regards to putting Carlos Lee on the market.

The Angels probably have enough young talent in their system and on their roster to get both Tejada and Soriano. They trade away combinations of Aybar, Wood, Kendrick, McPherson, Kotchman, Gorneault, Murphy, Mathis, Napoli, Morales and perhaps a Kennedy or Figgins. They could get both and run away with the West.

smith288
07-28-2006, 12:20 PM
Felipe Lopez, maybe?

Seriously though, any team would be nuts to pass on Lidge. He's still got killer stuff. He'll be fine.
Mark Wholers says hi! :wave:

Reds/Flyers Fan
07-28-2006, 12:38 PM
Maybe because the Astros have proven themselves to be far more resourceful and resilient than perennial also-rans like Cincinnati?

I understand that. It's still annoying. Why can't they just go away?

TRF
07-28-2006, 12:45 PM
Mark Wholers says hi! :wave:

Myth.

Most of Wholers problems were physical, and went undetected. He sought a sports psychologist for help, but what he needed was a better diagnosis of his elbow. Physically he couldn't do it anymore. after surgery, he was better, but but not the pitcher he was.

Johnny Footstool
07-28-2006, 12:52 PM
Mark Wholers says hi! :wave:

Mark Wohlers' pitches were hitting backstops, mascots, and batboys. Lidge is merely hitting the dirt around the plate.

And as TRF pointed out, Wohlers had an undiagnosed injury.

I guess it's possible that Lidge has one, too, but at his worst he's still way better than the struggling Wohlers was.

REDREAD
07-28-2006, 01:12 PM
Here's an interesting thought. I know the Astros wouldn't do it, but is there anyone here who wouldn't trade Majewski for Lidge right now?

I'm sure there's some people who wouldn't, but consider the price we paid for Majewski and what his ceiling was. While Lidge is also struggling, his ceiling is a lot higher. The guy has dominated in the past.

A Kearns for Lidge trade (instead of Majewski) would've been pretty intriguing. Sure, it gives the Astros a bat, but it would've given us a potential closer. We could've still done Lopez for Bray.

RFS62
07-28-2006, 01:19 PM
Maybe because the Astros have proven themselves to be far more resourceful and resilient than perennial also-rans like Cincinnati?


We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto.

KoryMac5
07-28-2006, 01:20 PM
Kearns for Lidge would have been an interesting trade but no way Houston does that trade straight up. Lidge has way too much potential his confidence is just shot right now plain and simple.

smith288
07-28-2006, 01:56 PM
We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto.
Seriously...I have never seen a "fan" loathe his own team more...

Handofdeath
07-28-2006, 04:27 PM
Myth.

Most of Wholers problems were physical, and went undetected. He sought a sports psychologist for help, but what he needed was a better diagnosis of his elbow. Physically he couldn't do it anymore. after surgery, he was better, but but not the pitcher he was.

Whatever pal

BRM
07-28-2006, 04:29 PM
What does Ric Flair have to do with Mark Wohlers?

Handofdeath
07-28-2006, 06:08 PM
Inside joke. Now shut your mouth fat boy or I'll take your girlfriend there and make a woman out of her.

Brutus
07-28-2006, 06:15 PM
I really think Lidge is just one of those guys that in this situation, needs a change of scenery.

bottom_feeder
07-28-2006, 09:09 PM
I would've loved to have Lidge for Kearns. :rockband:

Since the market is so overpriced for relievers, it would've probably cost us our entire team for Lidge, and the Reds would've paid it.

Royals Fan
07-28-2006, 09:41 PM
Update 20 mins ago

Both the Astros and Angels are offering significant major-league talent for Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada, FOXSports.com has learned.

Orioles owner Peter Angelos, who said last month that the team would not trade Tejada, could reconsider his position due to the quality of the proposals.
The Angels are offering right-hander Ervin Santana and Class AAA shortstop Erick Aybar, according to multiple major-league sources.

The Astros are offering "prime major-league pieces," a major-league source says, topping the proposal they made for Tejada last off-season.

The Tigers and Dodgers also have shown interest in Tejada, who has emerged as a hot trade commodity in part because he is signed through 2009 at an average salary of nearly $13 million per season.

The Angels, pushing hard to add an impact hitter, also are among the teams pursuing Nationals left fielder Alfonso Soriano, who is a free agent at the end of the season.

But considering the Nationals' steep asking price for two months of Soriano, the Angels might prefer three-plus years of Tejada, whom they likely would move to third base.

The Astros, who have become increasingly aggressive in their search for another slugger, would play Tejada at shortstop and include their current shortstop, Adam Everett, in the package for Tejada.

The Astros' offer for Tejada last off-season was Everett, closer Brad Lidge and an outfielder, either Jason Lane or Willy Taveras. The talks died after Tejada rescinded his request to be traded.

Lidge, who is struggling this season, likely would not be included in the Astros' revised package; the Orioles are happy with their young closer, right-hander Chris Ray.

The Angels, sources say, made the second-best offers for Brewers left fielder Carlos Lee, who went to the Rangers on Friday, and Indians first baseman Ben Broussard, who went to the Mariners on Wednesday.

Aybar, who is batting .314 with a .361 on-base percentage and a .480 slugging percentage at Class AAA Salt Lake, was the centerpiece of the Angels' offer for Lee, and the player that the Indians wanted for Broussard.

Ken Rosenthal is FOXSports.com's senior baseball writer.