Tag:Casey Blake
Posted on: December 20, 2011 5:37 pm
Edited on: December 20, 2011 6:05 pm
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Rockies sign Casey Blake to one-year deal

By Matt Snyder

The Rockies have agreed to sign free agent third baseman Casey Blake to a one-year contract, general manager Dan O'Dowd announced to reporters during a press conference to introduce new right fielder Michael Cuddyer. The deal is worth $2 million, according to CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman. It is still pending a physical, which is especially important to remember here because Blake battled a neck injury all season. In fact, he had season-ending surgery to repair it in September.

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Blake, 38, appeared in only 63 games last season and wasn't really 100 percent when he did play. In 2010, he hit .248/.320/.407 with 28 doubles and 17 home runs.

The Rockies have a hole at third base until highly-touted prospect Nolan Arenado is ready. The 20-year-old spent last season in High-A ball, so there's no way he's ready to make the jump all the way to the bigs in time to be the opening day starter in 2012. Perhaps inking Blake to a one-year deal shows the Rockies are confident he'll be ready to take over by 2013? It's entirely possible. Of course, if Arenado's not ready, the Rockies can surely find another stopgap to sign to a one-year deal. Arenado hit .298/.349/.487 with 20 homers and 122 RBI in 134 games for the Modesto Nuts in 2011.

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Posted on: December 3, 2011 8:39 pm
Edited on: December 3, 2011 9:39 pm
 

Saturday rumors: Kuroda, A's and more

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Saturday's the last day at home for a couple of days for most in baseball, as the winter meetings kick off Monday in Dallas -- and that goes for reporters, as well. That meant a rather light day in rumors, but expect things to pick up on Sunday and then go fast and furious on Monday. Last year news of Jayson Werth's deal with the Nationals came on the day before the start of the meetings, so that goes to show things don't just go down in the hotel lobby.

Hiroki KurodaThe news of Chris Capuano's signing with the Dodgers seemed to signal the end of Hiroki Kuroda's time in Los Angeles, and maybe even his time in the United States. However, the Rockies are pursuing Kuroda (Denver Post). Kuroda's also been mentioned as a possibility for the Red Sox, Yankees, Tigers, Angels, Rangers and others. Kuroda blocked deals to the Tigers and Red Sox last season. WEEI.com reports Kuroda is open to pitching in Boston. His former team in Japan, the Hiroshima Carp, have also offered him a contract.

The A's could be popular in Dallas, as the team has pitching for sale. "I wouldn't rule anybody out," assistant GM David Forst told the San Francisco Chronicle. The A's are looking for an outfielder in return. Closer Andrew Bailey is among the most popular trade targets on the team, already drawing attention from the Rangers, Blue Jays, Reds, Padres, Mets and Mariners. (Chicago Tribune)

Someone put in a bid for Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima. The Seibu Lions are expected to accept the bid, regardless of the amount. (Kyodo News)

Matt Garza's agent told the Cubs' right-hander to prepare for "an active winter meetings." Garza told him he'd be in Italy. Garza was dealt from the Rays to the Cubs last offseason and is under team control through 2013. The Cubs have let it be known that they're open to trading just about anyone. (MLB.com)

The Rockies are interested in Japanese second baseman Kensuke Tanaka. The left-handed hitter played in just 49 games this past season for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters because of an ankle injury, but is said to be healthy now. (FoxSports.com)

The Red Sox will meet with Bob Garber, the agent for C.J. Wilson and Roy Oswalt, during the winter meetings. (Boston Herald)

Not many have thought that Rays general manager Andrew Friedman would consider taking the Astros' GM job, but free agent outfielder Johnny Damon seems to think it's a possibility. "He's not going to sign me and then leave," Damon told the Boston Globe of Friedman. "If he goes to Houston, his hometown, he's going to try and bring me along with him. That's where my waiting game is." Damon also said he told David Ortiz to play in New York and take advantage of the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium.

Casey Blake is drawing interest from nine teams, including the Indians. He can play both corner outfield spots and both corner infield spots. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

The White Sox are looking to trade for a starter and an outfielder and are dangling John Danks, Gavin Floyd, Carlos Quentin and Matt Thornton. Among the teams that could be a match are the Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers, Nationals, Reds and Braves. (Chicago Tribune)

Tim WakefieldKnuckleballer Tim Wakefield said he has a "strong desire" to pitch for the Red Sox next season. The 45-year-old needs seven wins to surpass Roger Clemens and Cy Young as the franchise's all-time leader. (Boston Herald)

The Reds held their annual RedsFest in Cincinnati this weekend, so there's plenty of news from the banks of the Ohio thanks to the media availability of GM Walt Jocketty, manager Dusty Baker and most of the team's roster and top prospects. Jocketty said the team is looking for a "top of the rotation" starter and have targeted six different players, but didn't name any of them. Jocketty also said the team had looked at Detroit infielder Ramon Santiago as a backup shortstop, and would ideally like to sign a left-handed hitter or switch hitter to back up Zack Cozart (Cincinnati Enquirer). Baker said the team is looking both internally and externally for a closer, but will not have a closer by committee to replace Francisco Cordero (MLB.com). 

Follow all the moves with the CBSSports.com free agent tracker.

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Posted on: December 3, 2011 4:15 pm
 

Homegrown Team: Toronto Blue Jays



By C. Trent Rosecrans


What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.

The American League East is the biggest, baddest division in baseball -- in large part because of the deep pockets of the Yankees and Red Sox, but also because of the drafting and development from the Rays. Somewhere in the middle is the Blue Jays, a team that could be a giant in maybe any other division in baseball. In our exercise, the Blue Jays have an argument as one of the best teams in baseball, largely because of a stout rotation.

Lineup

1. Reed Johnson, CF
2. Aaron Hill, 2B
3. Michael Young, 1B
4. Adam Lind, DH
5. Vernon Wells, LF
6. Alex Rios, RF
7. Ryan Roberts 3B
8. J.P. Arencibia, C
9. Cesar Izturis, SS

Starting Rotation

1. Roy Halladay
2. Chris Carpenter
3. Ricky Romero
4. Shaun Marcum
5. Alfredo Aceves

Bullpen

Closer - Brandon League
Set up - Marc Rzepczynski, Tim Collins, Brandon Lyon, Dustin McGowan, Casey Janssen
Long - Jesse Litsch

Notable Bench Players

Orlando Hudson, Felipe Lopez, Casey Blake, Travis Snider, Eric Thames.

What's Good?

That rotation, are you kidding?

What's Not?

There's Rios and Wells -- two of the most overpaid players in the game. Those two are not just overpaid, they're also not very good. Eric Thames could step in for either one. There are some decent players on the bench, but not a lot of pop.

Comparison to real 2011

The 81-81 season was seen as a step forward for the Blue Jays in 2011, but with this lineup the expectations would be much, much higher. The rotation alone makes this team the favorite in the AL East in our hypothetical. The offense lacks the impact of Jose Bautista, but there's enough to support the pitching staff. Not only is this team better than the real Blue Jays, they have a shot at winning it all.

Next: Colorado Rockies

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Posted on: October 28, 2011 1:06 pm
Edited on: October 28, 2011 1:19 pm
 

Free agent third base rankings: Aramis or bust



By Matt Snyder

If your favorite team is looking for a really good run producer to play third base next season and free agency is the route it's taking, there is only one choice. Otherwise, this free agency class is mostly backups or guys who will retire. It's a pretty embarrassing position in terms of how thin it is. How it affects Aramis Ramirez's ability to get a big deal remains to be seen, but it seems like he should have a lot of leverage, no? You need a third baseman? It's Wilson Betemit after me.

List of MLB free agents

1. Aramis Ramirez. He's only 33 and showed he can still swing the bat with authority in 2011, as he hit .306/.361/.510 with 26 homers and 93 RBI. He's also not the butcher many believe he is at third base -- though he's not exactly Adrian Beltre, either. Ramirez is unlikely to have his option picked up by the Cubs, so it seems like he'll have a new home for the first time since 2003, when he landed in Chicago on a July trade. As already stated, if someone wants to sign a good free agent third baseman, the buck stops here.
Potential teams: Marlins, Brewers, Tigers, Rockies, Angels, Orioles (mercifully making Mark Reynolds a DH) ... and the Cubs are still possible

2. Wilson Betemit. He hit .285/.343/.452 with 22 doubles and eight home runs this season in 97 games. He's a decent to slightly above-average hitter who can play several infield positions, but not really an everyday starter. The dearth of good free agent options at third base could very easily land Betemit a starting job, though. I'd just be weary of a multiple-year deal, as he hasn't played in more than 97 games since 2007.
Potential teams: Brewers, Tigers, Rockies, Marlins, Angels

3. Casey Blake. He only hit .252/.342/.371 and had serious neck issues, causing him to contemplate retirement. The Dodgers have declined Blake's option, so he's headed elsewhere. Retirement is possible, but Blake is seeking a one-year deal and probably willing to be a backup.
Potential teams: Yankees, Brewers, Tigers, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Marlins, Reds, retirement

4. Eric Chavez. He hit .263 with two homers and 26 RBI in his first non-Oakland season, but he still couldn't avoid an extended trip to the disabled list. According to various reports, Chavez isn't sure if he wants to play again in 2012 or retire. If he decides to play, he'll likely get the Yankees' backup third base job again. If he doesn't, he'll be free from the aggravation of constantly being injured. My guess is he retires and the Yankees grab Blake.
Potential teams: Yankees, retirement

5. Greg Dobbs. Dobbs enjoyed lots of playing time in 2011, gathering the most plate appearances of his career. He hit .275 with 23 doubles and eight homers while showing versatility on defense. He's not a great option to start every day, but a really good player to have off the bench. The Marlins reportedly want him back, but a dry free agency crop might land him a decent contract and starting job elsewhere.
Potential teams: Marlins, Brewers, Rockies, Phillies

6. Kevin Kouzmanoff.
Once a decent prospect with power potential -- he did hit 23 home runs while playing half his games in Petco Park in 2008 -- Kouzmanoff's stock has plummeted. He hit .255 with three homers in 27 games after joining Colorado, and the Rockies reportedly haven't ruled out bringing him back. It's possible he has a good full season in a hitter's park, if he stays there (he'd only previously played extended stretches in pitcher's ballparks).
Potential teams: Rockies, Brewers, Cubs, Marlins, Reds, Tigers

7. Omar Vizquel. The 44 year old just keeps hanging on. Is he trying to get to 3,000 hits? He currently has 2,841, but only collected 42 in 2011. So it doesn't really seem to be happening any time soon. Vizquel might just love the game so much he refuses to go until someone won't sign him. And someone will this offseason. He'll be playing again in 2012, bet on it.
Potential teams: White Sox, after that it's a complete guessing game. Any team looking for a veteran backup infielder would have interest, and that could be anyone.

8. Bill Hall. At age 26, Hall hit 35 homers for the Brewers. At age 31, he finished the season in the minors after hitting just .158/.220/.211 for 16 games with the Giants. He might get a shot with the Yankees if neither Blake nor Chavez are there, or someone could use him as a pinch-hitter off the bench. Regardless, don't expect there to be tons of interest. He hasn't been a good player for five years.
Potential teams: Orioles, Nationals, Yankees, retirement

9. Jorge Cantu. The 29 year old was once a run producer, but Cantu had a dreadful 2011 season, hitting .194/.232/.285 in 155 plate appearances for the Padres. He was decent after signing with the Rockies ... in Triple-A.
Potential teams: Rockies, Marlins, Brewers -- but this would be a desperation move to start him. He's basically going to be a backup or retire.

10. Andy LaRoche. Once a top-20 prospect -- for two straight seasons -- LaRoche's career has been a monumental disappointment. The only season he approached being a decent player was 2009 for the Pirates, but last season LaRoche was designated for assignment by the lackluster A's. So that should tell you where his stock stands. It's possible a team strapped for cash attempts to catch lightning in a bottle, as LaRoche is still only 28.
Potential teams: Reds, Marlins, Brewers, Cubs, Orioles, Mariners, Red Sox, Indians, many more.

11. Alex Cora. Cora's on-field value has dwindled all the way to zero, but he's reportedly a great clubhouse guy and baseball mind. Several reporters, fellow players and coaches have noted in the recent past that Cora will make a great manager someday. Cora has said he wants to keep playing in 2012, but it might behoove him to get a start on his next career quite soon.
Potential teams: Nationals, retirement

Other free agents who could play third: Jamey Carroll, Edwin Encarnacion, Jerry Hairston, Ramon Santiago, Willie Bloomquist, Aaron Miles, Ronny Cedeno, Jack Wilson, Mark DeRosa, Nick Punto, Willie Harris, Craig Counsell, Jose Lopez, Orlando Cabrera

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Posted on: August 22, 2011 1:28 pm
 

Report: Blake pondering retirement

By Matt Snyder

Dodgers third baseman Casey Blake has been on the disabled list three times this season and has played in only 58 games. He's currently missed the past four games with a pinched nerve in his neck, and it may ultimately be what ends his career.

"Obviously, this neck thing is pretty serious," he said (LATimes.com). "I want to be able to move my neck when I'm 50."

Blake is not specifically saying he's going to retire right now, but that it's a possbility. It is telling that he's shifted focus on his personal goals. He reportedly went into the season wanting to play well enough that the Dodgers would pick up his $6 million option for next season. That focus has changed, due to the injury.

"I'm not even worried about that right now," Blake said (LATimes.com). "The main focus is just getting healthy and doing what's best for my neck and my future."

Blake also noted that he's been told by doctors the condition could worsen if he plays with it.

Blake, 38, is hitting .250/.342/.362 this season. He was a key acquisition by the Dodgers in the 2008 season -- in which they went to the NLCS -- as he solidified the hot corner, but since then it's become popular to trash the trade. In the deal, the Dodgers sent promising young catcher Carlos Santana to the Indians. If Blake does retire, he'd deserve a tip of the cap for an admirable career. He's played for five teams over the course of 13 seasons, along the way picking up 1,182 hits, 167 home runs and an above average OPS (107 OPS-plus). He also played in three consecutive postseasons, from 2007-2009.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: June 24, 2011 10:16 pm
 

Furcal could be shifted to second upon return

By Evan Brunell

FurcalDon Mattingly said on Friday that the Dodgers have discussed moving Rafael Furcal to second base when he returns from the disabled list, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Furcal has been sidelined by a strained oblique since June 4 and is hoping to return by the end of the month. However, the shortstop may have lost his job to Dee Gordon, who is hitting .268/.293/.321 in 59 plate appearances. Hardly exciting, but the team is a fan of his play and the speedster is flashing a solid glove. With Casey Blake and Juan Uribe both struggling at the plate, Mattingly could go to an effective platoon between Furcal, Gordon, Uribe and Blake while keeping Jamey Carroll in the lineup by moving him around the infield. Carroll has been the team's best hitter out of the infield so far, so he'll keep getting playing time. Aaron Miles, too, has hit rather well at a .307/.321/.347. Who knew the Dodgers could extract good seasons out of backup infielders?

If Furcal gets shifted to second, that will give the team six infielders. That could be addressed by moving Casey Blake to left field, a position that is a constant source of pain for L.A.

Furcal, when he's going, can be a strong hitter, as evidenced by his .300/.366/.460 line last season. However, he's as injury-prone as they come and has already had two extended stints on the disabled list this season, limiting him to just 69 PA and a .212/.246/.273 line.

Furcal has 36 career games played at second, most coming in 2000 for the Braves. It's possible that playing him at second could limit his chances of getting hurt, as he wouldn't be relied upon to be the linchpin of the infield defense.

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Posted on: May 21, 2011 1:28 pm
 

Rafael Furcal to return to L.A. on Monday

By Evan Brunell

FurcalRafael Furcal will soon return to the Dodgers lineup, perhaps as soon as Monday, moving the club ever closer to fielding an actual, healthy infield.

Furcal went down with a broken thumb after just seven games, depriving the Dodgers of their starting shortstop. Juan Uribe switched over from second base to fill in, but then third baseman Casey Blake followed Furcal to the DL a mere seven additional games later, causing Aaron Miles -- who will just not go away -- to not only make a big-league bench, but start. Miles and fellow backup infielder Jamey Carroll have been holding the fort down with Uribe, but now Uribe has his own injury issues, leaving Friday's game with a strained hip flexor, with further word on the severity of his injury coming later Saturday.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the goal is to have Furcal back with the Dodgers when they open up a set with the Astros. So far on his rehab assignment, he's already avoided another injury scare, banging up his left knee in a slide during Friday's game but with no repercussions. The injury-prone shortstop is one of the best players in the game, but only when he can actually get on the field.

In other rehab news, Blake could join Triple-A early next week as he recovers from a staph infection in his left elbow.

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Posted on: March 21, 2011 9:05 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:09 pm
 

Dodgers' Blake likely to start season on DL

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Casey BlakeThe Dodgers will likely start the season without third baseman Casey Blake, who has been out with a strained back and rib cage since March 12. It appears he will begin the season on the disabled list.

"We're definitely moving in that direction," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told reporters (via the Los Angeles Times).

Blake, 37, hit .248/.320/.407 for the Dodgers last season, with 17 home runs and 64 RBI.

It appears the Dodgers will move Juan Uribe to third and Jamey Carroll at second, opening a roster spot for veteran Aaron Miles.

Miles, 34, is hitting .343/.343/.629 this spring. Miles was cut by the Reds last spring and picked up by the Cardinals, playing 79 games with St. Louis in 2010. He hit .311/.317/.627 for Tony La Russa, playing all over the infield -- and even making two pitching appearances (allowing no runs in two innings).

Or, the Dodgers could go the young route and keep 23-year-old Ivan De Jesus Jr. De Jesus is hitting .303/.333/.364 this spring, but Mattingly has said the team would like to have him playing every day in Triple-A. He is rated the Dodgers' No. 14 prospect by Baseball Prospectus. The team could have him as the starting second baseman and use Carroll in his regular backup role.

The team also has defensive specialists Juan Castro and Eugenio Velez in camp.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com