Trade rumors: Cook, Hawpe likely staying put
The Colorado Rockies would like to haveback in their starting rotation and have reportedly been working quietly in the past week to trade 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, 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 because they need him to play first base until they know more about ‘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.