MLB Trade Deadline: Kansas City Royals Among List Of Losers For Not Dealing Enough

Stay here for the latest trade deadline rumors for the Royals and throughout the AL Central.

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34 Total Updates since July 13, 2011
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Cardinals Trade Prospect Alex Castellanos For Dodgers' Rafael Furcal

The St. Louis Cardinals have made their first move of the deadline weekend, trading for 33 year-old Rafael Furcal previously of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Furcal, twice an All-Star, and the National League Rookie of the Year in 2000, is batting just .197/.272/.248 this year in 37 games for the Dodgers, but will add veteran value to a team that has struggled with finding consistency out of Ryan Theriot.

A lifetime .283/.349/.407 hitter, St. Louis in banking on Furcal having something left in the tank to help a team that is six games above .500 at the moment. The switch-hitter has battled injuries this season, twice appearing on the disabled list but as Derrick Goold points out at stltoday.com, Fucal has seven hit is his last 18 at-bats.

Furcal will earn about $4 million the rest of this season and is on the books with a $12 million option for next season. The Dodgers are obviously in a financially troubling situation right now and needing to rid themselves of payroll.

Furcal had to approve of the trade to St. Louis.

In return the Dodgers are receiving 24-year old AA outfielder Alex Castellanos. With Springfield, Castellanos is batting .319/.379/.562 with nineteen home runs and 62 RBI. He is a bit of an older prospect in AA, but seems to be a solid return for Furcal.

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Cleveland Indians Going For It All: Looking To Trade Drew Pomeranz, Other Top Prospects For Colorado Rockies Ace Ubaldo Jimenez

Well the Indians are certainly going after it in the American League Central Division.

The same day that Detroit helped their rotation by picking up Doug Fister, the Indians upped the ante as it appears they will be trading for Ubaldo Jimenez of the Colorado Rockies. In picking up Jimenez, Cleveland receives a 27-year old 6'4" right-hander with a 56-45 career record with a 3.62 ERA. His FIP is just a bit better at 3.57. Any pitcher with those numbers in Colorado is a solid addition. The deal is being finalized per Troy Renck of the Denver Post.

Many may think Jimenez has regressed after last season's stellar 19-8 season when he finished with a 2.88 ERA, but his strikeout rate and walk rate are still very near what they were during 2010. Opponents are just hitting better against him, this season a .247 clip where last year batters only averaged .207 against Jimenez.

Veolocity has been a concern in 2011, as his fastball has dropped from 96.1 mph last season to just 93.4 mph this year, while his slider is down three mph, curveball two mph, and changeup one mph.

Dave Cameron at Fangraphs wrote a piece earlier in the month discussing the challenges Jimenez has faced this season, but doesn't seem to be concerned about any regression or inconsistency.

In return Cleveland has to give up a lot. While it will make the major league club better right now, it's concerning looking at the amount of talent the Indians will be sending to Colorado.

Cleveland will be sending Drew Pomeranz, Alex White, Joe Gardner, and Matt McBride in the trade.

Pomeranz was the first round selection of the Indians last season (5th overall) out of Ole Miss. A big 6'5" 230 lbs lefty, Pomeranz was ranked the 61st best prospect in baseball coming into the season by Baseball America. He was ranked the fourth best prospect in the Cleveland system. Recently promoted to Class AA Akron, Pomeranz is 3-3 this season with a sparkling 1.98 ERA. His WHIP was 1.14. In 91 innings with the organization he struck out 112 batters while walking 38.

White, a right-handed pitcher, was the second ranked prospect in the system and 47th overall in baseball before the year began. A 22-year old who played for North Carolina, White was the 15th overall pick in the first round of the 2009 draft. After posting a 1-0 record with a 1.90 ERA in four starts at AAA this season he moved up the big league team where he is also 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in three starts.

Gardner, 23, is yet another pitcher and was ranked the ninth best prospect in Cleveland's organization. The 6'4" right-handed pitcher is 20-14 with a 3.63 ERA since being chosen in the third round of the 2009 draft. At AA Akron this season Gardner was 7-8 with a 4.99 ERA in addition to rather high 1.59 WHIP in 97.1 innings.

McBride, 26, was taken in the second round of the 2006 draft. He's an outfielder that was currently playing in AAA. For his career he is a .282/.345/.467 hitter. Last season  he batted .279 with 21 home runs and 75 RBI. 2009 was his best minor league season thus far when he hit .287 with 18 home runs and 99 RBI. McBride is a marginal prospect, not ranking in the Indians top 10 but could benefit from moving onto a new ball club.

So to cap the trade again, Cleveland is sending three pitchers and an outfielder to Colorado for Jimenez. The three pitching prospects were ranked second, fourth, and ninth among Cleveland prospects per Baseball America.

Pomeranz can't officially be named in the trade until after August 15th, because any player taken in the 2010 draft must wait until one calender year after signing before being moved.

UPDATE

Though the trade is still likely to go through, Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus has tweeted the deal is not yet official (which we knew), as he says the lackluster start by Jimenez this evening has the two teams still talking.

Continue to stay tuned.

UPDATE 2

It now appears the start tonight must have really put a dent into the situation as Goldstein says the two teams will continue to talk and nothing will be finalized this evening.

UPDATE 3

A few conflicting reports as now ESPN is reporting the deal as being done. Interesting indeed.

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Royals Trade Rumors: Coming To The Realization Dayton Moore May Stick With His Guys

We now sit just over a day from the July major league trade deadline and the only part of the Kansas City Royals roster that had been moved recently was third basemen turned pine rider Wilson Betemit who was traded to the Tigers for a pair of low minor league prospects.

It is very likely the fan in me who continually loves to see trades made and players moved that makes today a dissapointment. However as of Saturday afternoon the Royals are still 16 games below .500 and in desperate need of pitching arms for the rotation.

I am starting to come around and see why Kansas City General Manager Dayton Moore may be wanting to hold onto Melky Cabrera. I understand that. After an embarrassing season in Atlanta, Cabrera is putting together a fine .298/.333/.458 season with 13 home runs and 61 RBI. As it stands he is having a career high 3.3 WAR season.

However Moore continually waxes poetic about Jeff Francoeur who is hitting .271/.323/.458 with the same number of home runs and RBI as Cabrera. The offensive difference is Cabrera is on an upswing and showing promise, while Francoeur still continues to strike out at an alarming 16.6% rate. He may be a good clubhouse guy, but 25 great clubhouse guys isn't exactly going to put wins on the scoreboard.

Sure the return for Francoeur might not be the greatest thing in the world either, but if you can get a marginal starter for Frenchy it should be done. Look at what the Royals found on the scrap heap in Denver when they picked up Felipe Paulino from the Rockies.

Meanwhile in Omaha, Lorenzo Cain is batting .319/.390/.520 with 12 home runs and 55 RBI for the Stormchasers. Unfortunately he has faults as well, as he has a higher strikeout rate than Francoeur at the moment. But Cain also has a higher ceiling because of his range in centerfield. It would be addition by subtraction.

If you move Cabrera to right field and bring up Cain to cover center, you likely are a better defensive team because of it and you also would have an acquired player to fit in somewhere as well.

We all know what you get with having Jeff Francoeur on your ballclub, and right now that is a record that is 16 games below .500. I am not saying the Royals would find another Paulino type pitcher in a deal, but what is wrong with taking the risk if you know have a similar player in Omaha who is ready to answer the call and fill in.

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Detroit Tigers Trade With Seattle For Mariners Pitcher Doug Fister

Just as I finished up the previous post, the Tigers have now traded for Seattle's Doug Fister per Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated. He tweeted that a deal had been reached for Fister.

Fister will certainly help out the Tigers staff in the long run. He is also under team control until 2015. You can throw out his pitching record and notice his stats are still quite solid. Fister is a capable number three pitcher in a good rotation. The deal is better than records indicate.

In making the deal, Detroit also received starter recently turned reliever David Pauley who is 5-4 with a 2.19 ERA and .99 WHIP ins 54.1 innings pitched.

Going to Seattle will be rookie Charlie Furbush, a 6'5" left-hander who was taken in the fourth round of the 2007 draft. The 25-year old was 1-3 this year with Detroit with a 3.62 ERA in 17 games (two starts). He had pitched in 32.1 innings.

Seattle also will receive outfielder Casper Wells, as 26-year old who has batted .286/.341/.490 in 100 big league games. This year he has four home runs and 12 RBI.

Seattle will also be receiving other minor parts in the trade as well. Blogger Corey Ettinger, who has a website called AL Central In Focus believes Duane Below of the Tigers may be involved as well.

This certainly looks to be a win for the Detroit Tigers who are much better than they were yesterday.

EDIT

It has been confirmed the Mariners will also receive prospect Francisco Martinez in the trade. Just 20-year old, Martinez is already at AA and was batting .282/.319/.405 with seven home runs and 46 RBI for Erie. Martinez is currently play third base.

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Detroit Tigers Eyeing Trades For Pitching; Involved With Ubaldo Jimenez and Doug Fister

The Detroit Tigers are currently 2.5 games ahead of Cleveland in the American League Central Division but are desperately look to upgrade their pitching staff. In order to extend that lead and gear up for a potential playoff race the Tigers find themselves in an arms race like many do at this time of year.

Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez is the biggest name potentially out on the open market, as the big 6'4" right-hander is just 27-year old and not far removed from his 19-8 season last year in which he struck out 214 batters with a 2.88 ERA. He would go to the All-Star game and finish third in the National League's Cy Young Award voting.

Jimenez has regressed a bit to 6-9 this year with a 4.20 ERA but has pitched better in the last two months. In July he has improved his strikeout rate to 11.03 K/9.

He certainly won't come cheap, but the Tigers believe they have the pieces to offer the Rockies in return. Per Danny Kobler of CBSSports any Detroit deal for Jimenez would have to involve either Jacob Turner or Rick Porcello in return.

Because of the steep price for Jimenez, Detroit may have turned their eyes recently to Seattle's Doug Fister. Fister, also 27, is on a cheap contract with the Mariners and while he is just 3-12 this year he does sport a respectable 3.33 ERA to go with a 1.17 WHIP. That all proves that a pitching record doesn't mean as much as many still believe. 

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Phillies Acquire Hunter Pence Via Trade With Houston Astros

Long rumored to be on the market, off the market, and back on again, Hunter Pence finally knows where he will continue playing baseball as the Philadelphia Phillies picked up Pence in a trade Friday evening with the Houston Astros.

Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi of Fox Sports had been working on the potential trade all afternoon, but Morosi finally started tweeting details around 9 pm eastern time.

In picking up Pence, Philadelphia acquires a 28-year old former second round draft pick of the Astros. Currently hitting .309/.356/.472 with 11 home runs and 62 RBI, Pence is a career .290/.339/.480 batter. His career offensive season came last year when Pence hit 25 home runs and 91 RBI to go with a .282 average. Pence has hit 25 home runs each of the last three seasons.

Houston will be receiving Johnathan Singleton, Jarred Cosart, and two players to be named later. According to Baseball America, Singleton was ranked second in the Phillies system while Cosart was fourth. Singleton was ranked the 39th best prospect prior to the season, Cosart came in at 70th.

Singleton, 19, is already 6'2" 215 lbs and was hitting .282/.386/.411 with 9 home runs and 47 RBI for Clearwater (A+), while Cosart , 21, was 9-8 with a 3.92 ERA for Clearwater. The right-hander has 79 strikeouts against 43 walks.

Astros fans should be happy as Baseball America's Ben Badler seems to love Singleton (via twitter)-

 don't know that Jared Cosart can stay healthy, but man oh man do I like Jonathan Singleton's bat

Make sure to check out more Astros coverage at The Crawfish Boxes and Phillies coverage at The Good Phight.

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Chicago Cubs Trade Kosuke Fukudome To The Cleveland Indians

The injury plagued Cleveland Indians are just 3-7 over their past 10 games and now find themselves two games behind Detroit in the American League Central Division. 

On Thursday morning they made an effort to help boost the outfield by acquiring 34-year old Kosuke Fukudome of the Chicago Cubs.

A fourth-year veteran from Japan who is in the final year of his contract, Fukudome will take a .273/.374.369 batting line to Cleveland that includes three home runs and 13 RBI in 345 plate appearances. He is a career .262/.369/.403 hitter at the major league level.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports first mentioned this morning that the Indians were interested in making a deal with Chicago.

The Cubs will be on the hook for much of the remaining money left on Fukudome's contract for this season. In return the Cubs will be receiving two prospects from Cleveland. At this time the two names are unknown. The deal has been agreed to, however it will not be finalized until this afternoon.

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MLB Trade Rumors: San Francisco Giants Set To Acquire Former Kansas City Royals Star Carlos Beltran

Needing an upgrade to their offense it appears the San Francisco Giants are very close to acquiring New York Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran.

Beltran, 34, is set to be dealt to the Giants with $4 million in cash and in return New York will receive pitching prospect Zach Wheeler.

In the final year of his seven-year contract with the Mets, Beltran is batting .289/.391/.513 with 15 home runs and 66 RBI. Beltran was named an All-Star this season for the sixth time in his 14-year major league career. Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal have been covering the expected trade for Fox Sports.

Beltran who spent seven seasons in Kansas City as a member of the Royals, still is in the Kansas City all-time top10 in hits, home runs, RBI, and stolen bases.

In return the Mets will be receiving 21-year old pitcher Zach Wheeler who was ranked by Baseball America as the 55th best prospect in baseball prior to the start of the season. The first round draft choice in 2009 (6th overall) is currently 7-5 with a 3.99 ERA in 16 starts for San Jose (Class A - Advanced). He also has a 1.375 WHIP to go with 98 strikeouts and 47 walks.

Though the deal is not final it certainly appears that for all intents and purposes that it will go through.

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MLB Trade Deadline Rumors: St. Louis Cardinals Deal Outfielder Colby Rasmus To Toronto Blue Jays

After a mostly quiet day on Tuesday, trade rumors have really started to heat up on Wednesday and the Toronto Blue Jays made the big splash on Wednesday afternoon as they acquired young outfielder Colby Rasmus from the St. Louis Cardinals.

Though it wasn't technically, it essentially was a three team trade that went down as follows-

Chicage White Sox receive- Jason Frasor, Trever Miller, Zach Stewart 

Cardinals obtain- Octavio Dotel, Edwin Jackson, Corey Patterson, Marc Rzepczynski (and three players to be named later or cash from the Blue Jays)

Blue Jays acquire- Colby Rasmus, Brian Tallet, Mark Teahen, P.J. Walters 

Rasmus is clearly the center of the trade, as he is just 24-years old and is an established major league centerfielder. He had been batting .246/.332/.420 with the Cardinals, including 11 home runs and 40 RBI. In his three years in the majors Rasmus has batted .259/.334/.444 with 50 home runs 158 RBI. Again at just 24-years old it appears the Blue Jays received a solid cornerstone to build their team around without having to give up much in return other than a bunch of relief pitchers.

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Baseball Trade Rumors: Royals Leaning Towards Keeping Both Cabrera And Francoeur

All seems quiet on the trade front at the moment. In one small deal today the Reds traded Jonny Gomes to the Nationals for prospects Bill Rhineart and Chris Manno. In making the move Cincinnati has opened up room to call up heralded prospect Yonder Alonso.

As for the latest Royals news, the team appears at the moment to be leaning towards keeping outfielders Melky Cabrera and Jeff FrancoeurYahoo's Jeff Passan writes the news in his latest trade update.

Apparently General Manager Dayton Moore is not receiving the interest in Cabrera in terms of prospects to warrant trading Cabrera who is having a fine season after coming to the Royals as a $1.25 million signing this past winter.

Cabera is likely the third best center field option on the market after B.J. Upton and Colby Rasmus. If neither of those players are moved, it likely will raise the price tag on Melky as we move towards the weekend. At that time the Royals may find something more to their liking.

As for Francoeur, the Royals are reportedly wanting to lock up the first year Kansas City player for next year. He seemingly has found a home with the organization and is valued for his leadership in the clubhouse. The Red Sox have been reported as showing interest in acquiring Francoeur this week.

As always the trade deadline and the players rumored to be moving can change day-to-day, so we will continue to update you on any rumored news.

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Rays Asking For A Haul In Potential B.J. Upton Trade

Yesterday Joel Sherman of the New York Post had mentioned to the surprise of many that the Royals were in the race to trade for disgruntled Rays outfielder B.J. Upton. Sherman is back today with another story stating that the Rays are "very serious" about moving Upton.

The Royals have the prospects to acquire Upton, but it appears that Upton is most likely heading towards the National League if he were to be traded as Sherman names the Nationals, Braves, Pirates, Reds, and Cardinals as having the most interest in Upton.

We'll continue to follow this rumor, however it appears the Royals were just checking in on what it would take to acquire Upton. The 26-year old who is struggling this year in Tampa Bay would have been a nice addition at a buy-low price, however with the Rays asking for the moon (and rightfully so) in return, hopefully Kansas City backs off their interest.

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Royals Trade Rumors: Does Kansas City Have Interest In B.J. Upton? I Sure Hope Not

Ahh, twitter. The new rumor mill of baseball. 

According to a tweet from Joel Sherman, a baseball writer for the New York Post, the Royals have shown interest in trading for Tampa Bay Rays outfielder B.J. Upton

On the surface it's hard not to be excited about potentially obtaining a gold-glove caliber center fielder who averages 17 home runs and 72 RBI a year. However in doing so, Dayton Moore would have to back up the prospects truck in Tampa and unload quite the haul to obtain the 26-year old.

Upton is a solid player, but he just doesn't come off to me as a great player. His .256/.341/.411 career line doesn't thrill me, and in the current season is batting just .229. For his career, he also has over twice as many strikeouts as he does walks. Again, it doesn't thrill me in comparison to what the Royals would have to give up in terms of prospects.

Also, if the Royals were to acquire Upton, what place would it leave Lorenzo Cain? Cain is playing well enough in Omaha to deserve a chance with Kansas City, however he is blocked currently by Melky Cabrera. If the Royals trade Cabrera, yet obtain Upton, it leaves Cain once again in the dark.

One person in the business I certainly trust when talking about minor league prospects is Ben Badler of Baseball America. There might not be a better opinion out there when talking baseball prospects, so I often trust whatever he has to say. He also chimed in on twitter with his thoughts, saying it "Would be a disaster for KC". If Ben Badler doesn't think it is a wise move, I don't either.

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Royals Trade Rumors: Who Is Still On The Block?

All seems quiet right now on the Royals trade front, but that certainly doesn't mean that Kansas City won't be active in talking with other clubs during the final week of the July baseball trade deadline. While it was no surprise that Kansas City traded Wilson Betemit, it certainly came out of the blue last week when Kansas City moved him one afternoon to the Detroit Tigers.

Depending on what you read, it seems the player Kansas City is most actively shopping right now is outfielder Jeff Francoeur. It was reported late last week that Kansas City had been discussing a possible Francoeur trade with the Red Sox, however it appears as of now that Boston is just doing their homework on Francoeur. Those discussions could mature this week as Boston recently placed J.D. Drew on the disabled list

Moving onto the other outfielder and likely the biggest trading chip Kansas City possesses (sans Joakim Soria), Melky Cabrera was linked up last week with a possible trade to the Philadelphia Phillies. The teams went as far as discussing names in a possible deal. While it is unknown if the Royals will trade Cabrera, ESPN's Jim Bowden believes neither Francoeur or Cabrera will traded by Kansas City unless Dayton Moore is overwhelmed with the return. If you are more inclined to believe Bowden, then it is likely neither outfielder will be going anywhere this week but on a road trip to Boston and Cleveland with the Royals.

The market seems even more quiet for Royals pitchers Jeff Francis and Bruce Chen, the other players that may be jettisoned before week's end. Bowden mentioned back on July 19th that both Francis and Chen may be moved, but there hasn't been any updated news since then.

We'll continue to keep you updated throughout the week on both rumors and any actual deals the Royals make before July 31st.

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MLB Trade Rumors: With Wilson Betemit Now Gone; Is Melky Cabrera Next?

Now that Wilson Betemit has been whisked away to the Detroit Tigers it appears the Royals are officially open for business. We obviously knew this, but no one knew when the first trade would be made by Dayton Moore. Well according to MLB Trade Rumors, it appears Kansas City has been in talks with the Philadelphia Phillies in a move for Melky Cabrera.

While I am intrigued by what Cabrera has done this season, I feel the Royals should certainly do their homework on moving "The Melkman". Taking into account how poor the trade market appears to be this summer, along with the friendly contract he has, Cabrera's value may never be higher than it is now. If you can get another club to overpay then you certainly should make a deal.

With just 11 days left in the July trade window, it should be an all hands on deck situation for the Royals scouts who are likely out scouting minor league clubs all across the country at the moment. Perhaps the Royals shock everyone and decide to package Joakim Soria and Cabrera to a contender. It certainly will be worth following, as things heat up over the next week and a half. For most Royals fans this is the highlight of their summer.

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