Just wanted to check in with some trade talk that occurred over the holiday weekend that may have slipped through. The first came from Fox Sports' Jon Paul Morosi. Following up his report that the Tigers are targeting pitching, Morosi now says they have inquired about Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda. (Via MLB Trade Rumors)
Morosi wrote on Twitter:
#Tigers have some interest in Hiroki Kuroda of #Dodgers. But he has a no-trade clause, and it's not clear if he would waive it.
It's also not clear if the Dodgers would part with the 36-year-old righthander. Kuroda has a 2.90 ERA -- Jarrod Washburn alarm bells are going off -- with a 6.7 strikeouts per nine inning rate. His ground ball rate is about 44% and his FIP is 3.78. He'll be owed about $2.7 million from the July trade deadline through the end of the year, MLBTR reports.
Next, we have the second base situation. Ryan Raburn isn't good. Carlos Guillen ran into a slight setback during his rehab, though he did return to the Mud Hens on Tuesday with a home run. Ramon Santiago is clearly not the answer. So who's out there? FoxSports.com suggests the Astros might move second baseman Jeff Keppinger -- and Wandy Rodriguez if you're still looking for that pitching help.
The team likely will be an aggressive seller regardless, entertaining offers for left-hander Wandy Rodriguez, center fielder Michael Bourn and others, sources say
Keppinger is batting .328 with a .346 on-base percentage and .424 slugging average. His ZiPS projection for the rest of the season is .289 / .340 / .401 for those numbers, thanks in part to a BABIP that is 40 points higher than his career norm. Through 1776 innings at second base, his UZR overall is just a tad below average.
Keppinger’s $2.3MM salary makes him a more expensive option than Jeff Baker or Jamey Carroll, two other trade candidates at the position. He's still relatively cheap, though. By the time the trade deadline arrives, Keppinger will have less than $1MM remaining on his contract. Plus, he’s under team control in 2012, so an acquiring team would have flexibility for next year.
If you're still thinking of pitching -- and who wouldn't be? -- Rodriguez has an ERA of 2.97 with an FIP of 3.87. His K/9 is 7.2, BB/9 is 2.5 and ground ball % is 46%.
The Astros blog Crawfish Boxes discusses some trade possibilities, too.
What's your take?