The Cardinals pick up a troublesome catcher, the Dodgers may have to unload one of their most expensive assets and nobody seems willing to pay the price for Jon Papelbon.
The Cardinals are hoping that they have better luck with controversial catcher A.J. Pierzynski than the Red Sox did, as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Derrick Goold is reporting that St. Louis is about to sign the recently released backstop.
According to Goold’s source, Pierzynski is in Cooperstown for the Hall of Fame inductions and will be meeting up with the team in Chicago to finalize a deal between the two sides. He will be filling in for the injured Yadier Molina, whose torn thumb tendon will keep him out for the next few months.
Pierzynski did not play up to expectations as a member of the Red Sox and was designated for assignment and replaced by Boston’s top catching prospect, Christian Vasquez. He was then released on the July 16.
Kemp looking to leave
It appears that the crowded outfield in Los Angeles may lead to a change of scenery for Matt Kemp, at least according to what his agent, Dave Stewart, told CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman.
“Eight years is a long time to be in one place,” Stewart told Heyman, “Sometimes change is good. This might be the time to change.” He went on to say that Kemp’s time with the team has “never been smooth.” While making it clear that state of affairs was not entirely on the Dodgers organization, blaming everyone involved instead.”Some of it’s the player, some of it’s the situation. It’s not the player, it’s not management, it’s both. It’s never smooth,” Stewart said.
Causing friction this time is Kemp’s belief he should be a starting center fielder, with Stewart also seeing it as center field or bust: “Whether you play him in center field, or you trade him, you do something.”
Manager Don Mattingly has already made it clear how he feels about that choice. In response to Kemp telling writers, “I’m a center fielder,” Mattingly told the same group, “That’s fine. He can view himself however he wants. I’m playing him in left.”
Papelbon is too good, expensive a closer
The market for Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon has not seen much traction despite many top teams having glaring needs in the bullpen, according to Jon Heyman. It’s not the price right now, however, but the issues with the thorny back end of his player-friendly deal. Papelbon’s due $13 million next season and possibly again in 2016 if he manages to appear in 100 combined games over these next two seasons.
Also dampening the market is Papelbon’s established position as closer, which fewer teams are looking for than more flexible relievers. Heyman says that teams like the Giants, Pirates and Dodgers are weary about picking up someone in a set role, especially with his financial baggage.
Finally, those who might be more pliable money-wise, such as the Angels and Tigers, have already paid a steep price for players like Huston Street and Joakim Soria. Whether or not the cost to the Phillies of trading Papelbon will outweigh the long-term benefit of being able to cut payroll will likely determine whether or not they move him. Considering recent reports from CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury saying they are talking about “moving on without Ryan Howard,” they may be more willing than we think.
from SBNation.com – All Posts http://bit.ly/1orcYnA