Trade rumors: Cook, Hawpe likely staying put

July 30, 2010 | 10:26 am | 32  

The Colorado Rockies would like to have Jhoulys Chacin back in their starting rotation and have reportedly been working quietly in the past week to trade Aaron Cook to open a spot. Cook, however, has been inconsistent this season and followed seven shutout innings against the Cincinnati Reds in his first start after the All-Star break with two disappointing outings in which he allowed 10 runs in 6 2/3 innings.

Ken Rosenthal at FoxSports.com reports the Rockies would move Cook for a bullpen piece and a prospect and notes the St. Louis Cardinals, who have reportedly had interest, might be a fit. Cook is the sort of pitcher who could revive under Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan.

The hangup for any deal would be Cook’s cost. He’s owed more than $12 million the rest of this season and next. The Rockies would almost certainly have to pick up some of that money in order to trade Cook, but earlier this week were reportedly willing to do so.

With Roy Oswalt, Dan Haren and Cliff Lee already traded, the market for starting pitchers is getting thin. Arizona’s Edwin Jackson and the Chicago Cubs’ Ted Lilly are drawing the most interest. The passing of the trade deadline, however, might not mean the end of the market for Cook. As Tracy Ringolsby notes here, the trade deadline — technically baseball’s non-waiver trade deadline — means less these days since teams are especially wary of claiming players on waivers they might end up stuck with. Cook’s remaining salary would likely allow him to pass through waivers unclaimed after the beginning of August.

UPDATE, 11:05 a.m.: Edwin Jackson is now among the traded, going to the Chicago White Sox for a pair of prospects. The Washington Nationals have been trying to add Jackson as part of their plans for next season and may yet work out a deal with the White Sox involving Jackson and Adam Dunn. But the trade of Jackson reduces the market of pitchers by one for contenders looking for rotation help.

UPDATE, 3:40: More from Rosenthal: Rockies are shopping one of their left-handed relievers, Randy Flores and Joe Beimel, but want a legit prospect in return.

UPDATE, 5:03 p.m.: ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark tweets the Rockies are telling teams they won’t be trading Brad Hawpe because they need him to play first base until they know more about Todd Helton‘s health. Will be interesting to see if the good swings he took in the Pirates series continue. When Hawpe is hot, seems like he hits everything, but he hasn’t had a good stretch since the early part of last season. If the Rockies hold on to Hawpe through the rest of the season, decline his $11M option and offer him arbitration, he currently projects as a Type A free agent and would bring two draft picks in return — more quality than he’s likely to bring back in a trade right now. Even if he slipped to a Type B, he would bring a supplemental first-rounder.

UPDATE, 6:21: Beginning to sound like Aaron Cook and Brad Hawpe both will stay put. The Cardinals, who reportedly were looking at Cook, are now looking more closely at Cleveland’s Jake Westbrook according to ESPN’s Stark. If the Rockies make a deal, mostly likely it will involve one of their left-handed relievers, Beimel or Flores, and the team would bring up Matt Reynolds.

32 Comments »

  • Eric W | July 30, 2010 | 10:40 am

    Hummm.

  • ProgMatinee | July 30, 2010 | 10:43 am

    i don’t really think we need bullpen help. don’t we have to put long term faith in players like Daley and Matt Reynolds? If we do get bullpen help, at the least I hope that makes Morales more expendable. Mr O’Dowd, please don’t keep holding onto pieces like Franklin Morales that most Rockies fans don’t want anything to do with. Maybe a change of scenery can do everyone some good here. Trade him while other teams still think he has potential. Same with Manny Corpas.

    Also, I don’t understand the thought of looking for bullpen help and then also talking about trading Joe Beimel away. IMO Beimel is worth giving a 2 or 3 year contract to. He’s solid.

  • Steve Foster | July 30, 2010 | 11:11 am

    Seeking a reliever might be an acknowledgment that some of the Rockies’ current bullpen depth — Morales, Corpas, Beimel — could be involved in deals. In Beimel’s case, he’s a free agent and maybe not back next season so looking for a reliever, probably a young reliever at that, could be a move to provide depth for next season.

  • Curt in Florida | July 30, 2010 | 11:20 am

    I agree completely that a starting spot must be made for Chacin. He’s just not a reliever. Cook, of course, is the logical candidate (especially since I believe that DLR and maybe even Francis will be resigned for 2011). A deal with the Cards makes the most sense, particularly in light of the insightful comment about Dave Duncan’s ability to salvage something from not that much, i.e., Darryl Kile).
    All that said, how about Jason Motte and a middling prospect for Cook? The prospect improves based on how much salary the Rox will agree to pay Cook while in St. Louis.

  • Swam | July 30, 2010 | 11:23 am

    Steve,
    Are you hearing any more about Theriot coming over to the Rox in a trade? I’m just trying figure out how he might fit and if that would mean Barmes is being shopped.

    Also, what is the likelihood that players like Mora or Giambi might hit the waiver wire to clear roster space for EY2, Chacin, etc.?

  • Steve Foster | July 30, 2010 | 11:38 am

    All I’ve read regarding Theriot recently is that the Dodgers are now looking at him as a part of a deal in which they also get Ted Lilly from the Cubs. I’d love to see the Rockies add Theriot for this season and next — he makes an really interesting platoon partner at second base with either Herrera or Nelson.

    On Barmes, something to consider is he’s making $3.3 million and is arbitration eligible again after the season. That’s likely to kick his salary upwards of $4M and maybe near $5M. Not sure if the Rockies would be willing to pay that much for him when they were already looking for an upgrade at second base when Tulowitzki got hurt. Theriot is making $2.6M this year and is a year behind Barmes in service time. He will end up making somewhere between $3-4M in arbitration next time around. Because there hasn’t been much of a market for Barmes in a deadline deal, acquiring Theriot would mean shopping Barmes after the season or non-tendering him as the Rockies did with Atkins last year.

    On Mora and Giambi, it depends on what happens in the next couple weeks. If the Rockies remain in or at the edge of the race, I don’t see either player going anywhere. Neither player is signed for next season, so there’s no salary to clear. If the Rockies fall out completely and want to get a longer look at EY Jr. or Chris Nelson, then maybe the Rockies try to trade Mora to create playing time. A roster spot for Chacin would be unrelated to those two, however. In any case, you can expect to see Nelson, Young and Chacin no later than the September roster expansion.

  • Eric W | July 30, 2010 | 11:52 am

    I would have to agree now that Chacin should be in the rotation. Steve will we see the Rockies move any or for some players.

  • ProgMatinee | July 30, 2010 | 12:01 pm

    Does the hold the line edict come from the Monforts or is that O’Dowd’s personal preference as well?
    I think as a GM I’d get bored or envious seeing so many teams make moves but have to stand pat year after year.

  • Doc | July 30, 2010 | 12:19 pm

    The Aaron Cook that threw three shutout innings in the 2008 All-Star game is nowhere to be found. I’m not talking about ability, I’m talking about attitude. I don’t see the same competitive fire in him unless he has some incentive to help him focus—e.g. when he’s Giambi’s designated runner or performing in front of his hometown friends and relatives in Cincy. I’m sure he thinks he’s really, really, trying and is just going though a “rough patch”, but I’m not buying it. I don’t see him turning it up a notch unless these current trade talks scare him and/or someone in management lights a fire under him.

    If he is traded, I’d think his new team would be getting a fired-up Cook, set on proving his worth and would be getting a great deal. Since the Rox would probably get an AA pitcher and a player to be named later in return–plus having to pay 6 or 7 million of his salary–I’d be reluctant to trade him. First I’d challenge him and, if he didn’t respond, I’d use him as the long man until I could work out the best available trade. My gut feeling is that the trade talks will serve as a wake-up call, and we’ll see the old Cookie back on the mound.

    I agree with you, ProgMatinee, Beimel should be signed to a longer contract and used more. Unfortunately, he along with Iannetta don’t appear to be Tracy favorites. I told my wife the other day that Beimel’s been giving up these recent home runs because he wants to be traded. If so, I think his wish is about to be granted. I just hope Dan O gets something of value for him.

    Lastly, I wonder if Iannetta will be packaged with Morales and/or Corpas.

  • Wayne | July 30, 2010 | 12:27 pm

    I would hate to see the Dodgers ger Theriot, who would then replace Jamie Carroll as SU and be that much more dangerous.

    While I would love to have Theriot, my gut still says the team will stand pat and do nothing or very little.

  • Steve Foster | July 30, 2010 | 12:33 pm

    It’s interesting how conservative Dan O’Dowd and the Rockies have gotten in trading relative to the Dealing Dan days.

    I don’t know that there is a hold-the-line edict. O’Dowd is trying to make the Rockies better but doesn’t seem to have much inclination to make a big splash. At this point, I really don’t know if the Rockies will make any moves. The players most often mentioned — Cook, Hawpe and Beimel — could go because the Rockies can trade them and still not give up on the season. Of the three, the Rockies seem to have real motivation to move Cook to clear a little salary but also make room for a good young pitcher like Chacin. That said, the Rockies are a lot like the Angels. They’re not a bad team. Injuries and circumstances have them hovering around .500 and at the edge of the race. They’re still in it enough to want to look at getting better, but far enough out that they’re not going to sell off the farm to get one player. What we’re seeing with the Rockies is NOT a team about to rebuild.

    What’s happening is players in the generation that helped them to the World Series in 2007 and the playoffs last year — Cook, Francis, Hawpe, Barmes, Helton, Corpas, Spilborghs — are reaching the end of their contracts or are getting paid more than their production warrants. The Rockies remain on a budget, but the team’s key players — Gonzalez, Tulo, Smith, Stewart, Fowler, Jimenez, Street — are all comfortably under contract for a few years and not costing the team much. So the Rockies, like the Angels, are looking at moves that help them now in case they get hot, but also next year. We won’t see a fire sale, trades for the sake of making trades.

    Maybe O’Dowd is envious, but it could be worse. He could be making mistakes like the Diamondbacks, trading off good young pitchers for players like Edwin Jackson only to turn around and have to dump him a few months later. O’Dowd’s conservative trading in the past five years has kept a nucleus together while he’s made some really great trades like sending out Holliday and adding Marquis.

  • ProgMatinee | July 30, 2010 | 12:39 pm

    We can always look at the Diamondbacks for a little levity and perspective when we feel bad about the Rox situation.

  • Neil | July 30, 2010 | 1:00 pm

    I agree 100% with Prog about Beimel. I don’t get why Tracy has the short leash with him but kept trotting Morales out there when he was with the club. Beimel is underutilized IMO and it baffles me. If you’re looking for some consistency and solidarity within your bullpen then why trade one of your guys that has been giving you that for the better part of the season?

    One more thing, this musical chairs with the line-up card has got to stop. How is anyone going to get into a rhythm when Tracy is constantly tinkering with the line-up?

  • Swam | July 30, 2010 | 2:00 pm

    I just saw the BANKRUPT, FIRST PLACE Rangers acquire Cantu and Guzman over the last 24 hours. I am hereby not allowing the Rockies ownership to use lack of money as an excuse to not get players or finish at the top of the division.

  • David Martin | July 30, 2010 | 2:22 pm

    I think Doc said it best. The old Cook is nowhere to be found and he seems to have lost focus.

    Take a look at his numbers. He has blown a lead 14 times this year!! 14! I think that is a clear sign of letting his guard down and getting comfortable. At this point, with the money owed to Cook, the Rockies would be lucky to get a box of baseballs for him.

  • ProgMatinee | July 30, 2010 | 2:37 pm

    Swam, the one thing about the Rangers is they don’t have to worry about anything long term. Theres a chance that all management related to the team today won’t be there come next April. The organization is going to be a little worse for wear if they don’t win big this year. They have to compensate for the teams covering the payroll by giving up better prospects. They will look like fools if they lose in the first round, IMO.

  • Eric W | July 30, 2010 | 3:34 pm

    Quiet on the Rockies side. Lance Berkaman appears to be going to Yankees.

  • Eric W | July 30, 2010 | 3:34 pm

    Berkman sorry

  • Doc | July 30, 2010 | 3:40 pm

    What would we do with Cantu even if we had him, Swam? The guy is a defensive liability and at best would become a right-handed Giambi for us. We definitely need help at first base, but I’d like to see Hawpe get the bulk of the playing time to see what we’ve got. He looks like he enjoys being closer to the action, and I think this might help his concentration at the plate.

    Mora at first is a nice Band-Aid but this shouldn’t be revisited until Hawpe gets a couple of weeks of steady play. If Hawpe’s funk continues, then hang an Atkins sign around his neck and hope that we can trade him.

  • Steve Foster | July 30, 2010 | 3:41 pm

    Just added an update above. Rockies are shopping one of their lefty relievers, either Joe Beimel or Randy Flores, but want a legit prospect in return. Makes sense. Both have been solid this year and the Rockies probably want to make room for Matt Reynolds if they can. If they can get a solid prospect in return, would be tough to pass up. This seems the most likely way they’ll make a trade in the next day.

  • Bill | July 30, 2010 | 4:14 pm

    I’ve heard both the radio and TV broadcasters say that Aaron Cook is the nicest guy in the world. That’s great but it doesn’t help win games. Personally I would much rather have a nasty guy who can pitch. Nobody much liked Bob Gibson but he could pitch. Funny, in this week’s SI they had an article on Stan Musiel and Bob Gibson called him the nicest person he ever met in baseball. So you can be good and be nice and produce. Cook is nice, has talent, but doesn’t produce much.

    Berkman would be great but he’s not coming here. And frankly if we can get anything for Flores or Beimel trade them. Get a prospect, bring up M. Reynolds, let’s see about him. And whoever they trade will probably be available again during the off-season if they want him back.

  • Lerxst | July 30, 2010 | 4:17 pm

    I can’t imagine anyone giving more than a middling prospect for Flores. Soft-tossing LH specialists just won’t demand a legit prospect. Beimel would bring more in return, but much like some of the others on this board, I think he is a valuable member of our bullpen and I’d like to see him back. It’s possible they might move him (Beimel), then attempt a re-sign for next year once he is a free-agent again…

  • Eric W | July 30, 2010 | 5:05 pm

    Heard from ESPN Rockies won’t be move Cook or Hawpe right now.

  • Steve Foster | July 30, 2010 | 5:11 pm

    Another update above that the Rockies are holding on to Hawpe because they need him to play first base.

  • Eric W | July 30, 2010 | 5:49 pm

    Can the Lance Berkman deal still fall with it not official for another 24 hours and the 10-5 rights?

  • Jason H. | July 30, 2010 | 7:28 pm

    Is there a way the Rockies could score Josh Hamilton this offseason since the Rangers are broke? If so, we could sure use a powerbat in the outfield (or any part of the field)… I know his salary is a bunch but I don’t believe as big as a flop as Mike Hampton or Deny Nagle…

  • Eric W | July 30, 2010 | 7:42 pm

    Steve are the Rockies still interested in a fielder like Ryan Theriot?

  • Reader f/k/a Mike | July 30, 2010 | 10:55 pm

    No chance at Josh Hamilton. His salary is very manageable and makes it even more impossible to deal for him. (He’ll be arb eligible but is still pre-FA.) Plus the Rangers will be auctioned/sold, so their financial problems will ease. Still, it’s fun to imagine–he could be very Walker-like for the Rockies.

  • Doctor_Christopher | July 30, 2010 | 11:42 pm

    The way Hawpe has been hitting the past few games gives me hope that he might be about to go on one of those Hawpe runs where he is on fire for two or three weeks. Maybe he is finally healthy. At this point, you have to hold him and see what happens. As for Cook, no one is picking up that salary, and I say put him in long relief. His sinker has not looked right since 2008, with teh exception of a game here or there. I love Cookie, great guy, but he cannot be run out there every 5 days anymore. That is the danger in contracts over 2 years. The Rocks might get something decent for either Flores or Beimel because there is a dearth of solid lefty relievers, and some of the game’s best hitter are lefties.

    Steve, you made the comment about O’Dowd’s conservatism, but in truth, aside from Lee (who was a rentla), Haren (I have a hard time seeing him dealth within the division), and mabye Oswalt (who would not have waived his no-trade to come here), is there anything out there that makes you go “jump”? Maybe Dunn, but with this team you cannot have that liabiltiy at 1st base, and he cannot play the OF here either (and he is a rental). I mean this year there really is nothing that says, “season changer.” Which raises the question Steve, after 7/31, is there a chance of the Rockies taking the big risk on a waiver claim (the one benefit of being the furthest back in the WC and division chase) on a worthwhile bat (presumably 3B or 2B, since they are already on the hook for Todd’s salary at 1B)? I know this team has trouble taking on big money, but maybe it is time to take a risk while this team is in its prime. Although it might well mean (depending on the salary) they lose their chance to re-sign DLR and/or Francis.

    I remember when 7.31 trades used to be big, but these days its more fast food quality than banquet meals.

  • Griff | July 31, 2010 | 1:11 am

    Does anyone else have the strange feeling that Dick and Charlie let out a huge sigh of relief when this recent skid took place? It sure took a lot of pressure off the Rockies to make a move. From 2 games out and world series dreams dancing in our heads to becoming sellers in a matter of 2 weeks. Wow, that sure saved the Monforts some serious cheddar.

    What really gets me is how we are continually sold on the idea of being a “small market team”. Really? Denver seems to do fine in football, basketball and hockey. They, except the Avs in recent years, have spent money with the best of them. the Rox have been a very competitive team for the last 3 years and look at the attendance. We were 6th in mlb last I read. That kind of revenue, with the 15-20 million annually in luxury tax teamed with the middle of the pack payroll and they still cant afford to add a few pieces? Give me a break. I get so sick and tired of this team crying poormouth every chance they get.

    It has been nice to see O’Dowd finally have a real plan and stick to it the last few years. Unfortunately, any good plan is subject to adjustments. And that is exactly what they need. A few pieces and they could be a real threat to win it all. Yet, they hold onto every prospect as if he is the second coming of Babe Ruth and we miss out again on a big name. No, there aren’t a ton of big names out there this year. And yes, as frustrated as I get, I realise we can’t sign guys to 200mil contracts. But seriously, you can’t make a run at Dan Haren? He was traded for peanuts! i know the cost would have been higher in the division, but they have the firepower to make a deal like that. If they were serious about winning, they would make a run at Adam Dunn. I understand he is not an extraordinary defender, but is he more of a defensive liability than Mora or Giambi who have manned first a lot this year? And of you really ever watch him, he’s a decent defender, much better than he was in the outfield. unfortunately our owners are in this for profit, not championships.

    Lastly, look at our lineup. we have been sold for years on how this Generation R was the real deal and would bring multiple rings to Denver. Who on this team would start for any other contender? Tulo, Cargo and Ubaldo, no one else. Not even close. There are a lot of good players and a ton of potential, but thats not enough. All they have to do is add a bat or 2 and maybe another arm. Shoot, if you are so in love with all these prospects, sign Jermaine Dye. Last I read he is sitting by a phone praying for a call. Hes a little older, but the guy hit 30 plus dingers last year and would add a real power right handed bat to the team. He could play 3 or 4 times a week by the end of the year and be a real contributor. Sorry to go on a rant, but it is so hard to take. Baseball is the greatest game in the world and the last few years have been so much fun to actualy watch meaningful games in September. It just really stinks to see my team right in the race, only 5 1/2 out of the playoffs with 59 games left, and because of a recent bump in the road, management wont try to improve. We won’t be a true contender until they decide to try and improve instead of hoping to improve!

  • gary | July 31, 2010 | 4:00 am

    Is it just me,or does there have to be a “suspicious” back story to Jermaine Dye? Why is he sitting by the phone w/no one calling-money-drugs-attitude,just wondering.

  • JimK | July 31, 2010 | 3:54 pm

    FYI, I just saw online that the Cubs traded Theriot and Lilly to the Dodgers for DeWitt, minor leaguers and $2.5M. Lilly’s problem this year has been lack of run support. I wonder if the Dodgers are really much better in that department than the Cubs. Anyone?