Cubs, Rockies, Nationals interested in Brandon Webb; Scott Downs is poised for big payday

Major League Baseball

Brandon Webb; Photo by SD Dirk via Flickr

The Winter Meetings are just a week away, meaning the MLB Hot Stove League is warming up in time for the annual main event of the offseason. Kentucky players haven’t been immune to the increase in rumors, so check out those stories and more in some Monday links:

  • Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse reports the Chicago Cubs are “seriously considering” adding former UK right-handed pitcher and Ashland native Brandon Webb.
  • Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago notes Webb is one of several rehabbing pitchers the Cubs have interest in.
  • Troy Renck of The Denver Post tweets the Colorado Rockies are also interested in Webb.
  • Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports the Washington Nationals remain strong contenders to land Webb and plan to talk to his agent during the Winter Meetings.
  • Peter Gammons of MLB.com writes, reflecting a common viewpoint, former UK left-handed pitcher Scott Downs stands to benefit after Joaquin Benoit received his huge deal from the Tigers.
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BluGrass Baseball Rule 5 Recap

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Ben Jukich; Photo by mwlguide via Flickr

We told you earlier about one Kentucky minor league team member that was selected in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft, but he wasn’t the only player with Bluegrass ties taken. The St. Louis Cardinals selected 2009 Louisville Bats starting pitcher Ben Jukich with the 16th pick in the first round of the major league portion of the draft. “The idea is that he could be anything, really,” Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak told Matthew Leach of MLB.com. “He’s someone who can pitch more than an inning. He has been used in the past as a starter. He gives us some flexibility.” For now Jukich looks to be a long-reliever for the team. (Read more)

Two former Lexington Legends were selected in the AAA portion of the draft. Right-handed pitcher Jose Duran, who was 2-1 with a 1.66 ERA in eight games with the Legends in 2008, was selected by the Norfolk Tides in the Baltimore Orioles organization. Duran spent 2009 at high A Lancaster where he was 2-5 with an 8.06 ERA. Outfielder Nick Moresi, who spent parts of 2007 and 2008 in Lexington, was selected by the Syracuse Chiefs of the Washington Nationals organization. Moresi batted .223 in 101 games between high A Lancaster and AA Corpus Christi in 2009.

You can see every Rule 5 pick here.

Astros trade Lexington Legend pitcher for Lindstrom

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Joe Capozzi of The Palm Beach Post is reporting the Houston Astros today traded 2009 Lexington Legend Robert Bono and two other minor leaguers to the Tampa Bay Rays for relief pitcher Matt Lindstrom. Bono was 10-8 with a 3.20 ERA in 25 games for the Legends this season. The right-hander had 66 strikeouts in 143.1 innings pitched and completed three games for Lexington. (Read more)