Trade Deadline Roundup: AL East

Here’s a roundup of activity from around the AL East, covering the last few days before this afternoon’s trade deadline.


NL Central Notes: Chapman, Reds, Brewers

A glance at the NL Central..

  • Reds GM Walt Jocketty told reporters that there was a lot of interest in Aroldis Chapman and Jay Bruce, but the Reds were more focused on the free-agents-to-be, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweets.
  • Adam McCalvy of MLB.com (on Twitter) hears that the Brewers and Cardinals were never close on Adam Lind.  It would have taken a big haul for Milwaukee to trade Lind within the division since he also has a 2016 option.
  • Jocketty referred to what the Reds are doing as a “reboot,” but not a full rebuild, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com tweets.
  • Jocketty told reporters, including Fay (on Twitter), that the Reds will try infielder Adam Duvall in leftfield at Triple-A Louisville.

Mariners Promote Ketel Marte

The Mariners (on Twitter) announced that they have promoted infielder Ketel Marte to the majors. Marte, 21, was rated No. 50 on Baseball America’s midseason top 50 prospects list.

Marte signed for just $100K in the Mariners’ ~$6MM 2010 int’l class, but he has proven to be that group’s best prospect, as BA writes.  Marte’s arm limits him at shortstop and he doesn’t boast a ton of power, but scouts project that he can become an above-average defender at second base.

The youngster has spent the bulk of the 2015 season at Triple-A Tacoma.  In 287 plate appearances, Marte has hit .314/.359/.410 with three homers.



AL Central Notes: Cespedes, Tigers, White Sox

Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski and Mets GM Sandy Alderson got to know each other a little bit better on Friday.

We must have had at least 20 conversations with Sandy Alderson today,” the Tigers GM said, according to Jason Beck of MLB.com (on Twitter).

All of that talking wasn’t for nothing as the two sides agreed to a deal sending Cespedes to New York this afternoon. The Mets didn’t want to part with Michael Fulmer until today, but they had a change of heart that paved the way for the deal. Here’s more out of the AL Central..

  • The Tigers made the Yoenis Cespedes deal with the Mets with the belief that they’ll be reunited again this winter, Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets.
  • Dombrowski said the Tigers didn’t come close to making any other trades, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press tweets.
  • White Sox GM Rick Hahn is a little bit frustrated that he couldn’t make a splash today as he was optimistic something would get done, Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com tweets.  In the end, he says that the cost did not justify the return.
  • Hahn said the only big change in the White Sox‘s strategy was considering short-term rentals, Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune tweets. Ultimately, however, he didn’t want to hurt the club’s long-term future.

AL East Notes: Revere, Orioles, Red Sox, Jays

A look at the AL East..

  • The Orioles came “very close” to acquiring Ben Revere from the Phillies before the Blue Jays swooped in and got him, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com tweets.
  • Orioles GM Dan Duquette said that designating Bud Norris for assignment was “a personal disappointment,” as Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com tweets.  Baltimore explored trades with every team they talked to before DFA’ing him, so they’re not terribly optimistic now, she adds.
  • The Red Sox didn’t make big moves today but GM Ben Cherington says he now has a better sense of what Boston could do in the offseason in terms of trades, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe tweets.
  • Rays President of Baseball Operations Matthew Silverman says he will continue to explore waiver deals in August, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets.
  • Red Sox manager John Farrell says he’s excited to see what he can get out of the newly acquired Ryan Cook, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald writes.  “This is a guy that’s been a closer in the past,” Farrell said. “I know that there’s been some change of role out in Oakland. As we did with (recently acquired reliever) Jean Machi to come in and take a look at him, this will be a similar situation.”

Orioles Designate Chris Parmelee

5:19pm: The Orioles have announced that they’ve actually designated Chris Parmelee, not Snider, to clear space for Parra. Parmelee, a lefty-hitting outfielder and first baseman, was hitting .216/.255/.433 in 102 plate appearances with the O’s. The Orioles signed him to a minor league deal last winter, and he hit well in 265 plate appearances for Triple-A Norfolk before being promoted in mid-June. Since then, his good power but low batting average and on-base percentage have been consistent with his performances over parts of four previous seasons with Minnesota.

2:07pm: The Orioles will designate outfielder Travis Snider for assignment, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun tweets. He’ll lose his roster spot to make way for the just-acquired Gerardo Parra.

Snider, 27, had been hitting .239/.318/.344 in 233 plate appearances since arriving in a trade last winter. He was coming off a good season in a part-time role in Pittsburgh last season, but didn’t provide enough offense in Baltimore, particularly given that he’s purely a corner outfielder. The hot-hitting Parra, who also bats lefty, made Snider mostly superfluous. He’s making $2.1MM in his second season of arbitration eligibility, and the Orioles will be responsible for most or all of that amount unless he’s claimed.


Mets Notes: Upton, Bruce, Wheeler

The latest post-deadline news out of Queens..

  • The Mets also discussed Justin Upton before dealing for Yoenis Cespedes, a source tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).  The Mets preferred Cespedes in part because of his defense and the Padres also pulled back near the end.
  • A Jay Bruce deal was on the table for a week before the Reds backed out and decided they wanted more from the Mets, according to Marc Carig of Newsday (Twitter links).  While talks were serious and the teams exchanged medical info, the deal never got all that close to happening.
  • Mets GM Sandy Alderson said that he discussed adding another bullpen arm with teams, but he’s happy with the Tyler Clippard addition, Adam Rubin of ESPN.com tweets.  The GM also noted that there are waiver trades in August, which could be an indication of what’s to come.
  • Zack Wheeler called Alderson early this afternoon and expressed his desire to stay and the GM said that made an impact on him, Mike Puma of the New York Post tweets.
  • Alderson says the Mets are going for it, but wouldn’t term it as playoffs-or-bust, Matt Ehalt of The Record tweets.

Minor MLB Transactions: 7/31/15

Today’s minor MLB moves..

  • The Rays announced (on Twitter) that catcher Bobby Wilson was claimed off waivers by the Rangers.
  • The Pirates designated Deolis Guerra for assignment to clear roster a spot for Joakim Soria, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review tweets.  Guerra gave up two three-run homers to Brandon Phillips yesterday, which probably didn’t help his job security with the Bucs.
  • The A’s announced that they have acquired lefty Felix Doubront from the Blue Jays for cash.  Doubront was designated for assignment just days ago to make room for the acquisition of Troy Tulowitzki.
  • Caleb Thielbar will be designated for assignment to make room for Kevin Jepsen on the Twins‘ 40-man roster, according to MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger (on Twitter).
  • To make room for Jonathan Broxton, the Cardinals have designated Marcus Hatley for assignment, Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com tweets.
  • The Brewers announced that they have claimed Preston Guilmet off waivers from the Dodgers.  The well-traveled Guilmet didn’t spend much time with the Dodgers, who selected him off waivers from the Rays on July 10. Guilmet tossed three innings for the club’s Triple-A affiliate prior being designated for assignment.  He’s been very good at Triple-A this season, tallying a 1.95 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 32 1/3 innings between Buffalo, Durham and Oklahoma City.
  • The Nationals announced (on Twitter) that they have assigned catcher Dan Butler outright to Triple-A.
  • The Indians announced (on Twitter) that they have acquired left-hander Jayson Aquino from the Pirates for cash considerations.
  • The Pirates have outrighted Gorkys Hernandez to Triple-A, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review tweets.
  • The Cubs have designated Ben Rowen for assignment, Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com tweets.

Yankees To Promote Luis Severino

Luis Severino‘s next start will be in the majors, Yankees GM Brian Cashman told reporters, including Sweeny Murti of WFAN (on Twitter). Severino’s name came up in trade rumors in recent days – unsurprising given his upside – but the Bombers did not part with him.

While there were no true untouchables in the Yankees’ farm system this summer, Aaron Judge and Luis Severino came “close” to earning that label, George A. King III of the New York Post recently wrote.  Heading into the season, Baseball America ranked Severino as the No. 35 prospect in the country.  The right-hander got the bump up to Triple-A this season, pitching to a 1.91 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 11 starts.


Mets Acquire Yoenis Cespedes

The Mets have officially acquired outfielder Yoenis Cespedes from the Tigers, as Bruce Levine of 670thescore.com first reported on Twitter. In return, Detroit will get righties Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa from New York, as Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported on Twitter. GM Sandy Alderson says the Mets will pay all of the approximately $3.75MM remaining on Cespedes’ 2015 salary, David Lennon of Newsday tweets.

Jul 30, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Detroit Tigers left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) rounds the bases on right fielder J.D. Martinez ( not pictured) two run double during the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles  at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

With the move, New York finally lands the power bat it was rumored to be pursuing for some time in the lead-up to the deadline. New York had already added reliever Tyler Clippard, third baseman Juan Uribe, and utilityman Kelly Johnson. After a widely-reported deal for Carlos Gomez fell through, the Mets turned their sights to alternatives and ultimately landed the 29-year-old slugger.

The Mets were said to be going after a controllable piece that was capable of playing center field, such as Gomez, but changed course in adding the free-agent-to-be Cespedes, who has spent most of his time in left. With Michael Cuddyer potentially out longer than had been hoped, Cespedes figures to take over there. But the club is also reportedly considering utilizing Curtis Granderson in center in some situations, as incumbent Juan Lagares has struggled since signing a significant extension before the season.

Cespedes is highly talented, if sometimes inconsistent, but he’s been outstanding in 2015. He’s hitting close to the levels he did in his breakout rookie campaign back in 2012, after two high-power/low-OBP seasons in between, with a .293/.323/.506 slash and 18 home runs through 427 plate appearances. Cespedes is delivering more hard contact, a better line-drive percentage, and more home runs per flyball than he has over any single full season. And Cespedes has increased his output on the defensive side of the ledger as well, drawing strong reviews from defensive metrics.

MLB.com now ranks Fulmer and Cessa the fifth- and ninth-best prospects, respectively, in an improved Tigers farm system. The 22-year-old Fulmer, the 44th overall pick in the 2011 draft, was in the midst of an impressive season at Double-A Binghamton, posting a 1.88 ERA, 8.7 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 86 innings. MLB.com notes that his fastball is regularly in the mid-90s, and that he has a strong slider and a changeup good enough that he could one day be a Major League starter.

Cessa, meanwhile, is a 23-year-old converted infielder who performed well for Binghamton, with a 2.56 ERA, 7.1 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in 77 1/3 frames. He struggled after a promotion to hitter-happy Triple-A Las Vegas, but maintained his solid peripherals, striking out 24 batters and walking four despite allowing an unsightly 23 earned runs in 24 1/3 innings there. MLB.com notes that his fastball is generally around 93 MPH, and that he could wind up in the back end of a big-league rotation.

Cespedes now finds himself on his fourth team since last summer. He was dealt from the Athletics to the Red Sox, then to the Tigers over the winter, before landing in New York. It’s an unlikely series of transactions, all said.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.


Padres To Acquire Marc Rzepczynski From Indians

The Padres and Indians have agreed to a minor swap that will send lefty reliever Marc Rzepczynski to San Diego for outfielder Abraham Almonte, tweets ESPN’s Keith Law.

Rzepczynski, better known as Scrabble, has pitched to a 4.43 ERA with 10.6 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 this season.  For his career, the 29 year old (30 later this month) has posted a 3.81 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 across seven seasons.  Rzepczynski wasn’t mentioned much in trade speculation this month but the Padres apparently had their eye on him to bolster their bullpen.

Almonte, 26, has appeared in 31 games for the Padres this season with a rather underwhelming slash line of .204/.271/.259.  He has fared much better in 61 games for Triple-A El Paso, however, hitting .275/.361/.414.


Pirates Acquire J.A. Happ

The Pirates announced that they’ve acquired left-hander J.A. Happ from the Mariners in exchange for minor league righty Adrian Sampson.

J.A. Happ

In picking up Happ, the Pirates have struck a last-minute deal to add a back-of-the-rotation starter to their ranks. The 32-year-old pitched to solid results for much of his first and only season with the Mariners, but he’s run into trouble as of late, posting an unsightly 8.47 ERA over his past four starts — a span of just 17 innings. At his best, Happ is a serviceable back-of-the-rotation arm whose greatest problem is a susceptibility to home runs versus right-handed hitters. PNC Park’s dimensions will help to mitigate that concern, as it’s ranked as one of the toughest parks in terms of right-handed home run factor in each of the past three full seasons.

On the year, Happ has a 4.64 ERA with 6.8 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 and a 42.1 percent ground-ball rate in 108 2/3 innings. Those numbers are more or less in line with the totals he delivered from 2012-14, although they came in the hitter-friendly Rogers Centre as opposed to the pitchers’ paradise that is Safeco Field. (His ERA+ from ’12-’14 was 89, compared to just 80 this season.) Happ is earning $6.7MM this season and is a free agent this winter, so he’ll be a short-term pick up that the Pirates can use as rotation insurance down the stretch.

The 23-year-old Sampson ranked as the Pirates’ No. 28 prospect on MLB.com’s midseason update, where Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo praise the righty’s sinking fastball and ability to get grounders. The MLB.com duo notes that Sampson has strong command and average stuff across the board, giving him a low ceiling but also placing him close to big league ready. Sampson has started 21 games at Triple-A Indianapolis this season and has a 3.98 ERA with 6.9 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 in 124 1/3 innings in that time.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.


Rangers Acquire Sam Dyson From Marlins For Tomas Telis

The Rangers have acquired reliever Sam Dyson from the Marlins in exchange for catcher Tomas Telis and lefty Cody Ege, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald tweets.

Dyson, 27, owns a 3.68 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in 44 appearances this season.  Dyson also had a strong year in 2014, posting a 2.14 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 31 appearances.  The Blue Jays added Dyson to the 40-man roster in 2012 when he was called up to the Majors, but he appeared in just two big league games (both out of the bullpen) before being returned to the minor leagues. In the offseason, the club faced a roster crunch and the former fourth round draft pick was claimed off waivers by the Fish.  Dyson will now head to his third team, the Rangers.

Telis, who just turned 24 in June, has appeared in just 24 big league games for Texas across the last two seasons.  He has spent the bulk of the last two seasons in Triple-A, where he owns a .309/.343/.432 slash line across 447 plate appearances.

Ege, 24, was a 15th round selection of the Rangers two years ago. The Louisville product was promoted to the Double-A level this season, where he has posted a 0.85 ERA with 10.5 K/9 and 5.4 BB/9 in 26 appearances out of the bullpen.


Cubs Acquire Tommy Hunter For Junior Lake

The Cubs have acquired right-hander Tommy Hunter from the Orioles, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. ESPN’s Buster Olney adds that outfielder Junior Lake will go back to Baltimore in the deal.

[RELATED: Cubs Acquire Dan Haren]

Hunter, 29 this month, has a 3.63 ERA, 6.4 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, 0.60 HR/9, and 46.3% groundball rate in 60 2/3 innings for the Orioles this year. Hunter joined the Orioles four years ago along with Chris Davis, in a trade with the Rangers for Koji Uehara. Since 2013, he has a 3.05 ERA in 191 2/3 innings out of the Orioles’ bullpen. He’s earning $4.65MM this year, and will become a free agent after the season. He’s the lone addition to a Cubs bullpen that includes Hector Rondon, Pedro Strop, Jason Motte, Justin Grimm, Rafael Soriano, and James Russell.

Lake, 25, has struggled in the Majors with a .241/.283/.380 career line. He has played well at Triple-A this year, with a .315/.404/.472 line in 231 plate appearances. Prior to the 2013 season, back when Lake was still an infield prospect, Baseball America said he had “tantalizing tools and inconsistent performance.” If Lake does become a useful big leaguer, he’ll be a late bloomer. He’s the second outfielder the Orioles acquired today, as they made a bigger splash earlier by acquiring Gerardo Parra from the Brewers.


Red Sox Acquire Ryan Cook

The Red Sox acquired reliever Ryan Cook from the Athletics, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.  The A’s will receive a player to be named later, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.

Cook, 28, has pitched in the Majors for parts of five seasons with solid overall numbers.  Acquired by the A’s from the D’Backs in the December 2011 Trevor Cahill trade, Cook made the All-Star team in 2012 and saved 14 games.  However, he missed time with a shoulder injury and forearm strain last year, and was optioned to Triple-A out of spring training.  That’s where he’s spent most of this season, compiling a 4.05 ERA in 33 1/3 innings.  The Red Sox will potentially control Cook through 2018 as an arbitration eligible player.