Tag: Scott Feldman

Boston Red Sox’s Top Free-Agent, Trade Targets Post-New Year

With 2017 officially here and spring training just around the corner, the Boston Red Sox have the luxury of already having checked the big boxes on their offseason to-do list.

They didn’t need much to begin with but made a splash anyway by adding Chris Sale, Mitch Moreland and Tyler Thornburg and jettisoning Clay Buchholz. A Red Sox team that won the AL East in 2016 is now projected by FanGraphs to be the American League‘s best in 2017.

“If we started spring training right now, we would be content where we are,” Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said after Buchholz was traded, via Tim Britton of the Providence Journal.

However, we should stop short of seeing the 2017 Red Sox as a finished product. They do have lingering questions to answer, so let’s look at five free-agent and trade targets who could answer them.


1. Trevor Plouffe

As of now, the Red Sox have Pablo Sandoval penciled in at third base. It’s an upside play in light of his improved conditioning, but also a risky play in light of his disastrous 2015 and injury-shortened 2016.

Mark Polishuk of MLB Trade Rumors is right in thinking that third base insurance tops Boston’s remaining needs. The free-agent market has just the guy for it: Trevor Plouffe.

The Red Sox seem to already know this. Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reported in late December that they have their eye on Plouffe, who spent his first seven seasons with the Minnesota Twins.

Beyond the fact he can likely be had on a cheap one-year contract, Plouffe’s appeal is his solid track record. The 30-year-old has been a league-average hitter in 723 major league games. He’s also played mostly passable defense at the hot corner.

If Sandoval were to prove up to the challenge he’s facing, Plouffe could also serve the Red Sox as a platoon bat. He’s a right-handed hitter with an .809 OPS against left-handed pitching. He also has experience at first base, left field, right field, second base and shortstop in addition to third base. 

Of course, Plouffe may prefer a more direct opportunity to be an everyday player on another team. That’s why the Red Sox need a Plan B, such as…


2. Adam Rosales

Plouffe isn’t the only right-handed utility type the Red Sox have on their radar. According to Rob Bradford of WEEI, Adam Rosales is on there as well.

As well he should be. Rosales isn’t so much a utility man as he is the utility man. He’s played at least 80 games at all four infield positions and also has some experience in left field and right field.

What Plouffe has that Rosales doesn’t is an offensive track record. Rosales is only a .227 career hitter with a .665 OPS, making him an easily below-average hitter.

However, Rosales is coming off a breakthrough in his age-33 season in 2016. He put up a career-high .814 OPS with 13 home runs for the San Diego Padres. He backed all this up with a 36.9 hard-hit percentage, a career best by plenty.

Rosales is certainly more appealing as a platoon player than as a possible everyday third baseman. But if he were to pick up where he left off on offense, he would have more than just a steady glove to offer while playing the hot corner.

The Red Sox need a Plan C in their search for a third base/utility type. He might be a long shot, but there’s one guy on the trade market who sticks out…


3. Hernan Perez

The Red Sox may have missed their shot at acquiring Hernan Perez. If they really wanted him, they may have found a way to include him in the trade that brought Thornburg from the Milwaukee Brewers for Travis Shaw.

But never say never.

Perez quietly found his stride in 2016. The 25-year-old played in 123 games and posted a .730 OPS with 13 homers and 34 stolen bases. He mostly played third base but also some right field, second base and first base.

Perez’s 2016 breakout didn’t end when the MLB season ended. He also starred (h/t Jim Goulart of Brewerfan.net, via Brew Crew Ball) in the Venezuelan winter league, winning the batting title and the Gold Glove at third base.

Perez’s rising star could make the Brewers want to hold on to him. But it also gives him trade value that could only go down in 2017. With Shaw locked in at third base and the other three positions on the infield also spoken for, Perez is only projected to be a utility guy.

The Red Sox would have to give up something (or somethings) of value to get Perez. But if they got him, they would get a younger, more controllable version of what Plouffe and Rosales could be for them—and with more upside, to boot.

Elsewhere, the Red Sox’s list of needs comes down to some low-risk starting pitching depth. That makes them a fit for…


4. Scott Feldman

The Red Sox traded Buchholz in part because it didn’t make sense to pay $13.5 million to a guy who wasn’t guaranteed a rotation spot.

With Buchholz gone, however, the Red Sox do have a slight depth issue in their rotation. Sale, Rick Porcello and David Price are an elite trio at the front. After them will be some combination of Eduardo Rodriguez, Steven Wright or Drew Pomeranz, each of whom has durability questions.

It wouldn’t hurt for the Red Sox to add another body to the mix. But their options are limited. They can only target guys who are in a position to accept an opportunity rather than a clearly defined role. And ideally, whoever they pick up could also be used in relief.

Hence, Scott Feldman.

The 33-year-old has been effective when healthy over the last four seasons, posting a 3.85 ERA. But he’s also no longer a lock to stay in anyone’s rotation anymore. He made just 18 starts in 2015 and found himself pitching mostly in relief in 2016.

This makes Feldman just the kind of guy the Red Sox are looking for: a veteran who could be signed for cheap as rotation insurance and could be stashed in the bullpen if no starting role materializes.

There’s one other free agent who matches this description…


5. Bud Norris

Bud Norris is a lot like Feldman. Once a semireliable starter, he’s fallen on hard times as he’s gotten older and is now in a position to try to latch on wherever he can.

Unlike Feldman, Norris hasn’t been effective when he’s been healthy in recent seasons. The 31-year-old has put up a 5.79 ERA since 2015, in which he’s started 30 games and appeared in relief in 43 others.

Norris still has some of the qualities that once made him a decent back-end starter, however. He’s maintaining his fastball velocity well, sitting in the 93-94 mph range. In a related story, he’s still a solid strikeout artist.

Norris is also a better bet than Feldman to stay healthy. Beyond being younger, Norris doesn’t have anything as serious as Feldman’s Tommy John surgery or microfracture knee surgery in his injury history.

These last two aren’t exactly sexy names, to be sure. But when a team’s to-do list is down to names like Feldman and Norris, that’s how you know that team is in good shape.


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs unless otherwise noted/linked. 

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Scott Feldman to Blue Jays: Latest Trade Details, Comments and Reaction

The Toronto Blue Jays announced Monday they have acquired relief pitcher Scott Feldman from the Houston Astros in return for minor league pitcher Guadalupe Chavez. 

Feldman is 5-3 with a 2.90 ERA in 26 games and five starts this season, as the Blue Jays add a versatile arm to their bullpen.  

The 18-year-old Chavez was the Blue Jays’ No. 20-ranked prospect, per MLB.com, and had been pitching in the Gulf Coast League, where he posted a 4-1 record with a 1.69 ERA, per MiLB.com

The acquisition of Feldman came shortly after the Blue Jays announced they dealt reliever Jesse Chavez to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday in exchange for pitcher Mike Bolsinger. It’s also almost a week after they traded Drew Storen to the Seattle Mariners for veteran Joaquin Benoit. 

Beginning the year as a starter, the Astros shifted Feldman to the bullpen after he started 0-2 with a 4.58 ERA in four outings. 

Upon moving to the pen, Feldman became a reliever who was able to appear anywhere from the middle innings to the eighth as a setup man. 

His best stretch of the season began in June when he went on an 11-appearance run in which he allowed a combined three runs while striking out 13. 

Feldman’s ERA sank to as low as 2.40, but an outing on Sunday against the Detroit Tigers saw him pelted for four runs while allowing two round-trippers in two innings of work. 

As the Blue Jays battle the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox for American League East supremacy, Feldman’s acquisition could allow the team to start cutting down on its usage of the less reliable relievers. 

Brett Cecil has an ERA over 4.50, so Feldman could be a solid candidate to take over his role in the bullpen. It will allow the likes of Joe Biagini, Jason Grilli and Benoit to come into more favorable situations while giving closer Roberto Osuna a better chance to finish games off. 


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.

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Scott Feldman Injury: Updates on Astros P’s Shoulder and Return

As the Houston Astros continue their chase for a playoff spot, their starting rotation will be without a key piece the rest of this season thanks to Scott Feldman‘s shoulder injury. 

Continue for updates. 

Astros Shut Feldman Down

Friday, Sept. 11

According to the Astros’ official Twitter, a sprained right shoulder will force Feldman to miss the rest of 2015. 

The 32-year-old right-hander last pitched on September 1 against Seattle, going just 2.2 innings and allowing five walks before calling the training staff out to look at him. 

Feldman made 18 starts this season, posting a 3.90 ERA with 61 strikeouts in 108.1 innings. He has started and pitched out of the bullpen in his career, which would have given Astros manager A.J. Hinch versatility with his staff down the stretch. 

Houston is currently 2.5 games ahead of Texas in the American League West. General manager Jeff Luhnow did add rotation depth before the deadline, acquiring Scott Kazmir to pitch behind Cy Young contender Dallas Keuchel. 

The Astros’ rotation behind that top two will have to step up in Feldman’s absence to ensure this surprising run has a happy ending in October. 

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One Quick Roster Fix for Six MLB Contenders

It’s highly doubtful that any minor league player is going to have the type of impact Mike Trout had on the Los Angeles Angels when he joined the team in late April of last year and went to have one of the best rookie season’s ever (.326 BA, 30 HR, 83 RBI, 129 R, 49 SB). His team went 83-59 the rest of the way.

It’s also unlikely that any trade acquisition will have the same impact that Fred McGriff had on the 1993 Atlanta Braves when he came over from the Padres and played a huge part (.310 BA, 19 HR, 55 RBI in 68 games) in the team’s 51-17 finish and memorable late-season overtaking of the San Francisco Giants for the NL West title.  

Still, it’s worth trying to find that spark to get a team headed in the right direction. Here’s one quick-fix idea for six contenders.  

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10 Bold Predictions for Roy Oswalt as a Texas Ranger

The Texas Rangers made an unsurprising yet intriguing move by signing free-agent pitcher Roy Oswalt for the rest of the season.

Clearly the addition of Oswalt gives the Rangers the potential to be one of the best rotations in baseball for the rest of the season. 

But what exactly will Oswalt accomplish with the reigning two-time American League Champions?

Here are 10 predictions for Roy Oswalt as a Texas Ranger. 

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Texas Rangers: How to Fix the Bullpen Without Trades

It’s that time of year again. With the draft firmly in the rear view mirror, the Texas Rangers now turn their attention to players that can help them win now via trades. Last year it was Cliff Lee and Bengie Molina who were acquired before the deadline and helped the Rangers reach the World Series for the first time in franchise history. Who will it be this year?

The general consensus is that they will look to acquire some bullpen help and have been linked to names like Heath Bell, Mike Adams and Joakim Soria. If they could acquire one of these three there is no doubt that it would greatly improve the pen—but what if they can’t?

Do they acquire another old, journeyman reliever to add to their growing stable of old, journeyman relievers?

Or what about a reliever with a good history who is just having an off year?

Or what about staying put?

Not the most popular choice, but staying put could be the best alternative to not landing the big names. Look at these credentials of players currently in the minor league system:

  • Cy Young winner
  • Former 17-game winner and opening day starter
  • .647 winning percentage
  • No. 2 prospect in Rangers system with 97 mph fastball

The Cy Young winner of course is Brandon Webb who signed with the Rangers in the offseason to help make up for the loss of Cliff Lee. He has not pitched since 2009 because of injuries and is more suited for the bullpen to help relieve stress on his arm. His velocity is down but Yoshinori Tateyama has proved you don’t need to hit 95 on the radar gun to be effective.

The 17-game winner is Scott Feldman who had microfracture surgery on his right knee after the end of the last season. He has the stuff to be a reliable bullpen guy and actually has the experience of being a closer early in his career. He is fresh off of a 5-inning, no-hit game at Triple-A Round Rock.

The .647 winning percentage is property of Tommy Hunter. The team’s No. 4 starter in the playoffs last year has been recovering from a groin strain that propelled Alexi Ogando in the starting rotation. Hunter has probably lost his starting job and is a proven arm that could be a long reliever for the stretch run.

The prospect is Tanner Scheppers. The oft-injured Scheppers has just been activated off of the DL and has the power arm that you want shutting down batters in the eighth inning. The Rangers’ organization can’t make up its mind if Scheppers will start or pitch in relief in the future, but he could be this year’s Alexi Ogando in the pen.

There’s also Darren O’Day who has been injured the majority of the season and Neil Ramirez who is pitching well at Triple-A.

If the Rangers have an opportunity to land a Bell, Soria or Adams they should jump on it. But if not, they have proven arms in their systems that can help them regain their playoff form once they become healthy.

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Texas Rangers Baseball: Adding Cliff Lee Doesn’t Make Them Contenders

To add Cliff Lee or not to add Cliff Lee, that is the question surrounding a lot of teams as the trade deadline is just a few weeks away.

For the Texas Rangers, however, the answer to this question has to be a resounding-no.

For one, the team is currently four and a half games up on the defending AL West champion Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and don’t look to be slowing down any time soon.

Second, unless the Angels make a blockbuster deal that makes them far and away better than they are right now, and unless the Rangers fall on their face, I don’t see this race going any other way than the Rangers’ way.

That being said, I’m wondering if we can kill the Cliff Lee to Texas rumors once and for all.

I’m not saying this team doesn’t need him because Lee definitely makes this pitching staff a lot more formidable than they have been all season.

However, does adding a guy like Lee make them contenders to get to the World Series, let alone the ALCS?

Now, before I got into my rant, bare in mind that this is only my opinion and you can agree or disagree with me all you want, and believe me I welcome a debate on the subject.

For my money, Lee is too expensive and the Rangers would have to give up too much for a guy that is a lock to go into free agency and not sign long term with Texas. So are the Rangers really ready to give up a few of their top hitting and pitching prospects to land a guy for two months?

ESPN Dallas’ Richard Durett talked to Lee when the Mariners made their stop in Texas back in early June. He asked Lee about the possibility of him signing a new deal in Texas and he told Durett, “I’d prefer cooler temperatures and a perfect climate, but any pitcher would tell you that.”

Let’s be honest, Lee is more than likely headed to free agency where there will be no shortage of teams jockeying for his signature on the dotted line.

So, if Lee really does intend to head to free agency after this season and has no intention of signing long term with whatever team he’s traded to, why would any team give up top prospects for two months of his service?

Put yourself in Rangers’ general manager Jon Daniels’ shoes. Think for a second that you have a chance to land one of the best starters in the game right now to your rotation. There’s no question this guy makes you better, but better doesn’t necessarily get you past potential playoff teams like New York, Boston, Minnesota, and Detroit among others.

My intention right now is not to dispel what Lee could do for a team like the Rangers down the stretch, my problem is giving up players that make this team better for years to come and not just for two months.

Let’s say, hypothetically, the Rangers did make a deal that brought Lee to Texas. He gives you another eight to 10 good starts down the stretch and the Rangers win the AL West.

Their first round of the playoffs comes against the New York Yankees and they get beat three games to one a best of five series. Now what?

Lee makes it clear to the Rangers that he’s not willing to sign long term and wants to test the free agent waters. He signs with another team prior to the 2011 season and now you’re out two to three top prospects for what?

I know it seems like I’m making the same point over and over again, but this is not the best move for the team going forward.

The Rangers need a player they can control for the foreseeable future. The Astros are apparently willing to pick up some of Roy Oswalt’s remaining contract, but any deal for the Houston right hander would need approval from the courts as the Rangers are currently in the middle of bankruptcy proceedings.

However, there’s one problem with landing Oswalt. Daniels has been quoted as saying that they are only able to make a deal for a player who’s contract is up at the end of the 2010 season.

So, with that information being known, a few other players the Rangers could look at come the trade deadline are Jeremy Guthrie, Jake Westbrook, and Ted Lilly.

Honestly, the way Lilly has pitched so far for the Cubs, he would be my first choice, and he’s not going to cost the Rangers nearly as much as Lee would.

Jamey Newberg of The Newberg Report has an interesting article that talks about this exact thing and he goes over some of the prospects, plus major league talent, it would take to possibly get a deal done.

Now, bare in mind that he puts together a lot of names but in the end, he does put it in perspective. One of the names that he mentions I don’t think would bother Ranger fans much at all, Rich Harden.

Harden hasn’t exactly been the pitcher that the Rangers were hoping he would be, though his numbers have declined in each of the past three seasons.

In 2008, Harden finished 5-1 through 12 starts with a 1.77 ERA for the Chicago Cubs. In the very next season, through 26 starts, Harden finished 9-9 with a somewhat respectable 4.09 ERA. But, this season, Harden has struggled to the tune of 3-3 record and a 5.86 ERA through 12 starts and is currently on the disabled list.

While Harden has been struggling, as has Scott Feldman who turned in a career performance in 2009 for the Rangers finishing 17-8 with a 4.08 ERA.

This season, Feldman has looked nothing like his 2009 self. He’s currently 5-7 with a 5.48 ERA and has given up 17 earned runs in his last four starts, including five earned runs each in starts against the Angels and Pirates.

But, even though Harden and Feldman are not the guys the Rangers thought they would have in 2010, they’ve been getting huge starts from not only C.J. Wilson (3.34 ERA) and Colby Lewis (3.35 ERA) but they’ve been pleasantly surprised by Tommy “Big Game” Hunter, who sports an unbeaten record (5-0) and an even more eye opening 1.98 ERA on the season.

With Wilson, Lewis, and Hunter holding the Rangers’ ship afloat so far, it wouldn’t hurt to land another starter to really make this team untouchable.

However, Dave Michaels of KVCE Radio here in Dallas thinks it’s their bullpen that needs to hold strong. “So far during this season they have won games that they were not suppose to win, and they’ve lost games they were suppose to win. Go figure, that’s baseball. As far as what they will need in the playoffs they have the arms right now but they need a bullpen that won’t fold under the pressure.”

That being said, I asked Michaels if he thought the Rangers could move Neftali Feliz from the bullpen to a starter and possibly look at making a deal for a guy like Heath Bell. He told me, “I don’t think [Feliz’s] arm can do that. He is better out of the bullpen and not as a starter. Spot starter maybe but a regular starter no way.”

So, in the end, this is a deal that is going to be broken down and debated in every which way but loose.

There will be fans that want to see this deal get done and have Lee added to the pitching rotation, than there are others who are not willing to bring a rent-a-player who will only be with the team for two months.

As it stands right now, the Mariners have yet to even put the left hander on the trade block, according to Andy Martin and Christian Red of the New York Daily News. A source told both Martin and Red, “It is the same thing with [Mariners’ general manager Jack Zduriencik] as it has been all along. He knows to contact teams when he’s ready to deal. He hasn’t done that yet, but that could change any minute.”

While the baseball world waits for that phone call to come from Seattle, the teams that are interested in acquiring him will make back up plans just in case the Mariners decided to ride out the year with the left hander.

Though the odds of that are slim at this point, but stranger things have happened.

As for the Rangers, they continue to lead the AL West by 3.5 games over the Angels. At this point, they’re not bad where they are and I don’t see them making any sort of a deal prior to the trade deadline due to the court proceedings.

That doesn’t mean they can’t make a waiver wire deal as teams have been known to wait until after the deadline to make their moves. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that the Rangers will be able to make a trade after the bankruptcy dealings are over though it’s unknown when that will be.

For now, as long as the Rangers keep playing the way they have to this point, they should be able to hold off the Angels.

However, if the Angels make the big move, it could make the race that much more interested as we head down the stretch.


You can follow Todd Kaufmann on Twitter (twitter.com/toddkaufmannbr) or find him on Facebook.

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