Rockies To Promote Jon Gray

The Rockies will promote top pitching prospect Jon Gray to the majors on Tuesday, MLB.com’s Thomas Harding reports (Twitter link).  Gray will make his Major League debut that evening in a start against the Mariners at Coors Field.


Quick Hits: Kasten, Mariners, Prospects

The Dodgers made several additions at the trade deadline yet didn’t move any of their top prospects to do so, a tactic that team president Stan Kasten generally prefers.  “I think I am well known, both by reputation and by my own comments, as having a deep, deep need to develop the farm system as a way of sustaining excellence over the long haul,” Kasten tells Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register.  “It takes discipline to avoid the short term for the long term. And I think we have done that. That doesn’t mean we won’t trade anyone. We will. But we are going to keep our focus on retaining the majority of our high-end prospects so that we can be good and don’t have these pressing needs at the deadlines.”

Here’s some more from around the league as the baseball world still settles down from a busy pre-deadline week…

  • It seems like the Mariners are looking ahead to 2016, though GM Jack Zduriencik described his team’s deadline moves as helpful for both the present and future.  “It’s more about the future, yeah, but also the production you are getting at the big-league level and if you can replace that and still be competitive while adding talent to your organization,” Zduriencik told reporters, including The Seattle Times’ Ryan Divish. “I think that’s what we accomplished.”
  • A whopping 44 of the 57 prospects dealt over the last two weeks were pitchers, as several team officials told Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper that there weren’t many quality minor league position players available on the trade market.  Cooper breaks down the 57 traded prospects, which included six members of BA’s list of the top 50 prospects in the sport.
  • Looking ahead to the August waiver period, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick lists several players who could still be on the move this month.  One of the names listed, Martin Prado, probably won’t be dealt as Marlins officials say Prado is in the team’s plans for 2016.  It was reported prior to the July 31st deadline that Miami could move Prado but only for a major return.
  • James Shields, Jeff Samardzija and Starlin Castro are three more players who could be August trade candidates, FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi says (Twitter link).
  • All 30 general managers receive grades for their trade deadline performance from ESPN’s Jim Bowden (Insider subscription required).  The Blue Jays‘ Alex Anthopoulos was the only GM to receive an A+, while the Diamondbacks‘ Dave Stewart was the only GM to get an F since Arizona didn’t make any deadline trades.

Rangers Notes: Harrison, Daniels, Hamels, Gallardo

Rangers officials personally informed Matt Harrison that he was going to be traded midway through the Rangers’ game on Wednesday, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News writes.  With rumors of the Cole Hamels trade swirling, GM Jon Daniels didn’t want an awkward repeat of the 2013 situation when longtime Ranger Ian Kinsler only found out he was dealt to Detroit via social media.  Harrison assumed the in-game meeting regarded Hamels, though Harrison thought he was being told that his next start was being pushed a day to accommodate the former Phillie.  Here’s some more from the Rangers…

  • Daniels discussed the Hamels trade and more during an appearance on The Front Office with Jim Duquette and Grant Paulsen on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM.  The Rangers first tried to acquire Hamels in 2012 before he signed his contract extension with the Phillies, and talks between the two sides became serious again both this last offseason and this July (Twitter link).
  • The Rangers gave up several prospects for Hamels, though Daniels said it was a necessary price given that the Phillies were taking on Harrison’s contract and also sending $9.5MM in cash to Texas.  “When you’re talking that significant discount financially we understood we had to put a little more talent in the deal,” Daniels said (Twitter link).
  • Daniels also talked about the decision to hold onto Yovani Gallardo (audio link), which was inspired by the Rangers’ desire to make a playoff run, no mandate from ownership to unload Gallardo’s salary and the general feeling that there wasn’t an offer on the table that really intrigued the Rangers.  “It didn’t make sense for us, we didn’t want to pull the rug from under the club,” Daniels said.  “I’d rather have him continue to pitch for us and get the draft pick [if Gallardo leaves in free agency] than get a B- or C-level deal.”  The number of other solid pitchers on the market may have been another reason why a Gallardo deal didn’t materialize, the general manager speculated.
  • In regards to Gallardo’s pending free agency, Daniels said the Rangers will save any negotiations until after the season.


East Links: Valencia, Lucchino, Utley, Espinosa

We’ve already had a collection of NL East Notes and Red Sox Notes earlier today on MLBTR, but there’s always more news flowing out of the two Eastern divisions…

  • The Orioles, Rangers and White Sox are three of the likeliest teams to obtain Danny Valencia, an MLB source tells Chris Cotillo of SB Nation.  Of these clubs, Chicago would have the inside track since they have the higher waiver priority than Baltimore or Texas (presuming, of course, that the four teams behind the Pale Hose don’t put in a claim of their own).  Valencia was rather surprisingly designated for assignment by the Blue Jays and he isn’t expected to clear trade waivers.
  • Larry Lucchino could one day land in the Hall of Fame, but the Red Sox have a very capable replacement for their President/CEO in Sam Kennedy, Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe writes.  “This is Sam’s time,” one team source said. “Everybody in the building knows that.”  Abraham writes that there have been internal concerns in the past that Kennedy would leave the Red Sox to become president of another team. Other teams and even businesses outside of baseball have recruited Kennedy over the years.  Now, he’ll stay in Boston as he succeeds Lucchino.
  • The AL East landscape changed at the trade deadline, Peter Schmuck of The Baltimore Sun writes.  The Blue Jays stole all the headlines in the division, but Schmuck believes that the Orioles found better offensive chemistry with their acquisition of Gerardo Parra.  Schmuck also gives his thoughts on the rest of the division, including the Yankees, who apparently hold their farm system’s best talent in very high esteem.
  • Phillies second baseman Chase Utley, an August trade candidate, is making progress on his rehab assignment and could rejoin the big league club soon, as MLB.com’s Nick Suss writes. When he does get back, he’ll go straight to the starting lineup, even if he’s not in Philly for long. “There’s no way I’m just going to let him sit on the bench,” manager Pete Mackanin said. “Because he’s got value and I think he’s got a lot left.”
  • Danny Espinosa has played a big role for the Nationals this season, but with their regular infield starters back, Espinosa is in a playing-time crunch, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Times writes.  His versatility makes him a prime bench piece, however, and as Janes notes, Espinosa could well find regular time again if veterans need a rest or if the Nats suffer further injuries.
  • Despite selling off key pieces at the deadline, Marlins president Michael Hill says there will be brighter days ahead in Miami.  “There’s optimism in South Florida,” Hill told MLB Network Radio (on Twitter). “We feel like we have a great core…We’re looking at an ace in Jose Fernandez and one of the best power hitters in Giancarlo Stanton.”

AL Central Notes: Dombrowski, Tribe, Samardzija

Daniel Norris‘ career as a Tiger got off a fantastic start today as the newly-acquired left-hander held the Orioles to one run in 7 1/3 innings work.  Norris allowed four hits and a walk while striking out five to earn the victory.  Here’s more from around the AL Central…

  • Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski is confident that last week’s trades have replenished the club’s reserves of young talent, Chris Iott of MLive.com writes.  “We changed the outlook of our organization at the upper levels, which we needed to do,” Dombrowski said of the trades as a whole. “We have traded so many guys in the past. Ideally, you don’t want to be in this position. But based on where we were, we think this gives us an influx of guys who can help us going into next year. It puts us in a good spot going into next year.
  • The Indiansacquisition of pitching prospect Rob Kaminsky from the Cardinals for Brandon Moss was the best trade deadline deal of any team over the last week, Fangraphs’ David Laurila opines.  Jim Callis of MLB.com (on Twitter) is similarly effusive about the deal for the Tribe, calling it “a flat out heist for” Cleveland.
  • Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer addresses some moves that the Indians made and didn’t make at the deadline as part of a reader mailbag.  Of note, Hoynes says the Tribe didn’t plan to pick up David Murphy‘s contract option for 2016 and that the Carlos Carrasco trade talks “were window shopping for future reference” rather than a concerted effort to trade the right-hander.
  • Jeff Samardzija remained focused on pitching while trade rumors swirled around him, so the righty said not much has changed for him in remaining with the White Sox, MLB.com’s Scott Merkin writes.  Samardzija is excited about Chicago’s recent play and hopes they can keep building towards a late-season playoff push.

NL West Notes: Kennedy, Preller, Leake, Tulo

Ian Kennedy‘s deadline day experience was already stressful enough given the number of rumors swirling around his future with the Padres, but the righty’s day was even more hectic since it marked the birth of his fourth daughter.  As he related to reporters (including Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune), Kennedy was originally supposed to go on the paternity list to be present for the birth, but a grounded flight in Miami meant that Kennedy decided to make his scheduled start against the Marlins that night.  He wound up pitching well in the Padres’ extra-innings win, allowing two runs in seven innings.  Kennedy spent his time on his would-be flight “texting with his wife and periodically checking MLBTradeRumors.com,” so if Kennedy is reading this, thanks for making us part of your big day…and congratulations on your family’s new addition!

Here’s some more from around the NL West…

  • The Padres‘ quiet deadline drew some varied reaction around the league, and in another piece from Dennis Lin, he hears from rival officials that the Friars had huge asking prices despite allegedly being in “sell mode.”  Some deals seemed close at times, though the Padres then countered with offers that the other team didn’t want to match.
  • GM A.J. Preller told reporters (including MLB.com’s Corey Brock) that he doesn’t mind criticism about his team’s lack of notable moves, and that “ultimately we didn’t see value for the moves we wanted to be made at that time.”  Preller hinted that the team could be active in the August waiver trade period, and Brock writes that the Padres are expected to keep looking for a shortstop.
  • Mike Leake was a perfect deadline acquisition for the Giants, Keith Law of ESPN.com (Insider sub. req’d) writes.  The deal not only makes them a win or so better for the regular season, but Leake could potentially pay big dividends in the playoffs.  All in all, Law feels that the market undervalued Leake’s impressive skill set.
  • Leake, for his part, thought he was getting traded to the AL East and not San Francisco, MLB.com’s Chris Haft tweets.
  • Troy Tulowitzki‘s final season with the Rockies and the sequence of events that led to his trade to the Blue Jays is chronicled by Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post.

Minor Moves: Cards, Carpenter, Murphy, Clemens

Here are today’s minor league transactions from around baseball, with the newest moves at the top of the post…

  • The Cardinals outrighted right-hander Marcus Hatley and first baseman Dan Johnson off the 40-man roster and sent them to Triple-A, according to the club’s official transactions page.  Both players were designated for assignment earlier in the week.
  • Braves right-hander David Carpenter has accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A, SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo tweets.  Carpenter was designated for assignment last week and had the option of becoming a free agent, which he declined to stay in the Braves organization.  Carpenter has only appeared in four games for Atlanta this season, posting a 7.36 ERA over his 3 2/3 innings of work.
  • The Brewers released infielder Donnie Murphy, as per the Pacific Coast League’s transactions page.  Murphy signed a minor league contract with Milwaukee in February and had a .257/.352/.371 line over 162 PA at Triple-A Colorado Springs.  The 32-year-old Murphy has appeared in parts of nine Major League seasons with five different teams since 2004.
  • The Royals signed righty Paul Clemens to a minor league deal, according to MLB.com’s transactions page.  Clemens posted a 5.51 ERA over 98 innings with the Astros in 2013-14 and a 5.54 ERA over 26 innings in the Phillies’ minor league system this season.  He was released by the Phils in June.
  • Chris Capuano has accepted his outright assignment from the Yankees and reported to Triple-A, SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo tweets.  The veteran southpaw had the option of becoming a free agent, though doing so would’ve forfeited the roughly $1.7MM still owed to him on his Yankees contract for the rest of the season.
  • Angels right-hander Jeremy McBryde has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A, the club’s communications department tweets.  McBryde was designated for assignment earlier in the week.  McBryde has a 4.07 ERA over 659 1/3 career minor league innings, though he’s struggled to a 5.63 ERA in 46 1/3 relief frames for the Halos’ Triple-A affiliate this season.
  • While McBryde’s case has been settled, over 20 players are still in DFA limbo.  Check out the MLB Trade Rumors DFA Tracker for a full accounting of the players still awaiting their next assignment.

NL Central Notes: Cards, Melvin, Pirates, Kang

The Cardinals were rumored to be looking for starting pitching depth at the deadline, but instead beefed up the relief corps in the form of Steve Cishek and Jonathan Broxton.  As GM John Mozeliak and manager Mike Matheny told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, adding quality relievers essentially becomes starting depth as it takes less pressure off the starters to go deep into games.  The new arms also will help cut down on the workload of Kevin Siegrist, Randy Choate and Seth Maness, all of whom have pitched quite often this season.  Some more from around the NL Central…

  • Brewers GM Doug Melvin told Jim Duquette and Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio (Twitter links) that he feels “the Mets have taken some unfair criticism about asking for money back in the [Carlos] Gomez deal.”  Melvin explained that teams often for money in one form or another in deals, as “it’s all part of the GM landscape these days.
  • Brewers manager Craig Counsell isn’t sure how long his team’s rebuilding process will take, he told reporters (including Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel), as “we’re always going to be trying to win a baseball game….But evaluating it from a bigger picture is part of our jobs as well.”  Haudricourt wonders if the Brewers and their fans would be able to stomach a multi-year rebuilding effort as the Cubs did for the last few years.
  • The Pirates stuck to their recent trend of making “modest upgrades while not giving away their top prospects,” writes Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.  While getting an ace pitcher could’ve come at a big price for the Bucs and come with no guarantee of a playoff spot, Sawchik notes that the rotation is suddenly lacking depth with A.J. Burnett‘s season now in doubt.
  • Also from Sawchik’s piece, he argues that Jung-ho Kang deserves a regular starting job even when Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer return from the DL.  It’s hard to argue Sawchik’s point given how Kang entered today with a .299/.372/.460 slash line over his first 312 Major League plate appearances, giving the Pirates some badly-needed help given their injury-riddled left side of the infield.

Rays To Demote Matt Moore

The Rays will demote Matt Moore to Triple-A Durham on Monday, as MLB.com’s Bill Chastain writes.  Moore has struggled at the Major League level this season and the Rays hope that a stint in the minors will help him get back on track.  The move also gives Tampa Bay the opportunity to go with a four-man rotation.

One, this is the first time we’ve had an opportunity to go to a four-man rotation,” manager Kevin Cash said. “It’s definitely not fair to ask Matt Moore to go into the bullpen. We need to get his innings on a consistent track, because that factors into what he’s capable of doing next year for us. But most importantly, we need to get Matt back to being the guy that he is. We know, as an organization going forward, he’s a huge part of what we’re doing. And I think this stability, keeping him on his five days, will help.”

Moore, a top prospect who emerged as a budding star in 2012 and 2013, has been battling his way back from a UCL replacement.  So far in 2015, he has not looked like the same pitcher, posting an 8.78 ERA with 5.7 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9.  With some time in the Rays’ farm system, the club hopes that he can get closer to his old form.  In 2013, Moore earned his first All-Star appearance and posted a 3.29 ERA with 8.6 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9.


Red Sox To Promote Henry Owens

Red Sox pitching prospect Henry Owens will be called up to make his Major League debut on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium, Sox manager John Farrell told reporters (including the Providence Journal’s Brian MacPherson).  Owens gets the call to replace Rick Porcello, who was placed on the 15-day DL today with a right triceps strain.  By coincidence, Owens will pitch a day before Yankees prospect Luis Severino makes his own much-anticipated debut.

Owens, 23, was chosen with the 36th overall pick of the 2011 draft and the lefty has since become not only Boston’s top pitching prospect, but one of the more well-regarded young arms in baseball.  Owens rated highly on preseason top-100 prospect lists from MLB.com (19th), ESPN’s Keith Law (20th) and Baseball America (44th).  The 2015 Baseball America Prospect Handbook described Owens as showing “an advanced feel for pitching that exceeds his age” in terms of reading and adapting to hitters’ swings.  Owens can touch 94mph on his fastball through he usually works in the 89-92mph range, with an “excellent” changeup and a promising curve that needs some more development.

Despite this praise, however, Baseball America actually downgraded Owens on their midseason prospect list, slotting him at #47.  The list, published on July 7, may have reflected Owens’ somewhat rocky start to his Triple-A season, though he has an overall 3.16 ERA in 122 1/3 innings.  Owens only has a 7.6 K/9 rate, a notable drop from his K/9 over his first three pro seasons, and he has continued to have some control issues.  He has a 4.1 BB/9 this season, in line with the 4.0 BB/9 he has posted over 518 career innings.


Dan Haren “Probably” Retiring After 2015 Season

Newly-acquired Cubs righty Dan Haren is leaning towards ending his career once this season is over, Haren told reporters including MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat.  Upon being dealt to Chicago, Haren tweeted that he would wearing jersey #50 as a Cub, which was his number when he first broke into the big leagues “and it’ll probably be my last.”

Expanding on that tweet, Haren left himself a bit of wiggle room but “I would say right now the chances are this will probably be it.  I don’t want to say this is it and pull a Brett Favre. That’s why I said ‘probably’ [on Twitter]. At least I leave myself a little way out.  Chances are this is it.  After the season, I’ll relax and see where I’m at. I definitely want to make a push to get to where this team wants to go.”

The decision isn’t a surprise, given that Haren considered retiring last offseason after being traded from the Dodgers to the Marlins.  Haren has spoke openly about the difficulty of being away from his wife and children and his home in southern California, so it may be that an offer from a team in that region may be the only thing that changes Haren’s mind about retirement.

If this is indeed it for Haren, he’ll go out with an impressive 13-year stint in the majors that saw him make three All-Star teams and earn just under $81.5MM.  Haren, who turns 35 in September, posted a 3.77 ERA, 7.6 K/9 and 4.07 K/BB rate from 2003-2014 with the Cardinals, A’s, Diamondbacks, Angels, Nationals and Dodgers.  He’s still pitching effectively this year (a 3.42 ERA in 129 innings for Miami), which is why the Cubs pursued him at the deadline to bolster the back end of their rotation.


Cafardo’s Latest: Gray, Iwakuma, Red Sox, Padres

The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo recaps the trade deadline moves, evaluates which teams fared well or poorly with their transactions (or lack thereof) and also looks ahead to the August trade market in his latest column.  Some highlights…

  • “Plenty of teams” approached the A’s about a trade for Sonny Gray, though unsurprisingly, Oakland held onto the young ace.
  • The Mariners believe they can re-sign Hisashi Iwakuma (a pending free agent) for one or two more seasons.  For this season, the M’s decided to keep the righty at the deadline, though Iwakuma drew interest from multiple teams.
  • Mike Napoli could be an August trade candidate, as one GM called him “a guy teams want to see a little bit more of” to see if Napoli can heat up at the plate.  The Red Sox first baseman is only hitting .206/.307/.387 with 13 homers over 362 plate appearances.  Boston shopped Napoli prior to the July deadline though the Pirates were the only team known to have any interest.
  • There was some deadline day speculation that the Padres could make a run at Pablo Sandoval, though no deal materialized.
  • The Red Sox pursued Cole Hamels for 18 months but are still looking for a rotation-topping ace as Hamels ended up dealt to Texas.  Cafardo wonders if all this wasted time will hurt Boston, as he feels the Sox could’ve matched or topped the prospect package the Phillies got from the Rangers.  Now, the Red Sox will have to spent far more than Hamels’ remaining salary to obtain an ace this winter.
  • One team evaluator though the Phillies ultimately fared well in their deadline deals for Hamels, Jonathan Papelbon and Ben Revere, though “from where they started in their demands to where they wound up, it’s quite a fall. But if you look around at other deals, nobody was giving up No. 1 or 2 prospects. They settled for quantity in some cases, but they got a fair share of quality, as well.”
  • Cafardo was surprised to see the Tigers deal Joakim Soria, “as relievers of this ilk are hard to come by and the Tigers have a history of being unable to identify them. They finally did with Soria and yet they traded him.”
  • The fact that the Tigers entrusted GM Dave Dombrowski with trading Soria, Yoenis Cespedes and David Price could be a sign that Dombrowski may remain in Detroit, Cafardo opines.  The two sides hadn’t made progress on an extension as of early July, though Dombrowski’s last extension to remain with the Tigers (in 2011) wasn’t settled until August of that year.
  • You can add the Nationals to the list of teams that showed some interest in Justin Upton, as Cafardo writes that Washington “considered” a move for the Padres outfielder.
  • Speaking of Upton, Cafardo thinks the Padres could move both he and James Shields in August if the team finally decides they’re out of the race.  I would think an Upton deal would be extremely difficult, since any number of teams would put in waiver claims to block him from going to a rival and wouldn’t hesitate taking on the roughly $5MM remaining on Upton’s contract.  As for Shields, his much longer and pricier contract makes him unlikely to be claimed on waivers, so Cafardo thinks a team like the Yankees could make a move for Shields to upgrade their rotation.

A.J. Burnett May Miss Rest Of Season

After being placed on the 15-day DL with elbow inflammation on Friday, A.J. Burnett admitted that the injury may sideline him for the rest of the 2015 season.  In an interview with MLB.com’s Tom Singer, Burnett predicted that his Monday appointment with Pirates doctors will reveal that he’s suffered damage to either his UCL or flexor tendon, yet the veteran righty has no plans to undergo surgery for either issue.

It is difficult.  I’m prepared for both…if I just need some rest or something more. In my mind, surgery is not an option. I’d built up some pain tolerance. It comes and goes, part of doing this 16 years. You figure out what you can and can’t do,” Burnett said.  “It was just really bad on everything the other night. I never got loose, never got comfortable. We’ll find out tomorrow, when they look at it. I don’t expect it to go away, don’t expect it to get better.

Burnett said he’d been dealing with some degree of elbow discomfort for years, though “it hasn’t been anything to worry about” until his start last Thursday.  Given Burnett’s rough performance since the All-Star break (10.13 ERA over 16 innings), it could be that his injury has been bothering him for longer than just his most recent outing, or it could be that Burnett was simply regressing a bit after an outstanding first half.

While Burnett has ruled out surgery, he isn’t willing to return to mound unless he’s able to pitch effectively through the pain.  He won’t try to tough it out just for the sake of coming back “if I can’t throw, or if I’m throwing what I was throwing the other night. I can’t do it to these guys.”

If the elbow injury indeed ends Burnett’s season, it will also mark the end of his 17-year career, as the veteran has already announced that he’ll be retiring once the 2015 campaign is over.  Burnett went out on a high note, making his first All-Star team after posting a 2.11 ERA and 100 strikeouts (against 33 walks) over his first 119 1/3 innings.  Even if the right-hander is done for the season, he’s already more than delivered on the one-year, $8.5MM deal he signed last winter to return to Pittsburgh.

The Pirates’ postseason chances will suffer a blow with Burnett out, though they still have Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano headlining a rotation that includes Jeff Locke, Charlie Morton and the newly-acquired J.A. Happ.


NL East Notes: Marlins, Ozuna, Phillies, Mets

Agent Scott Boras says the Marlins are leaving outfielder Marcell Ozuna at Triple-A New Orleans to potentially delay his arbitration eligibility, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes.  The agent claims that Marlins players are upset about the situation and this “is not what Marlins fans deserve.” The Marlins, meanwhile, deny that Ozuna is being kept in the minors for financial reasons. Here’s more out of the NL East..

  • Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin is doubtful that new acquisition Matt Harrison will be on the mound in 2015, Matt Breen the Philadelphia inquirer writes.  “I said, ‘I know you feel bad, but we’re looking at you for what we’re about to become rather than this year,’ ” Mackanin said. “Because, we’re really not playing for a whole lot this year.”   Harrison came to the Phillies from Texas as part of the Cole Hamels deal last week.
  • The development of Jorge Alfaro could dictate the final verdict on the Phillies‘ return in the Cole Hamels trade, Jake Kaplan of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes. Alfaro, who could miss the rest of this season because of a left-ankle injury suffered June, was labeled “one of the minors’ best catching prospects” recently by ESPN’s Keith Law.
  • Several Marlins players were not happy about the club’s trades last week, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes. “Can we go home now? Can we go home now? They got rid of everybody,” one prominent player said loudly in Miami’s clubhouse on Friday, according to Jackson. Other players expressed disappointment privately about the roster moves, he writes.
  • In order to open up a roster spot for Yoenis Cespedes, the Mets demoted top prospect Michael Conforto, as Anthony Rieber of Newsday writes.  Conforto previously impressed at Double-A, now he’ll experience Triple-A for the first time.

Red Sox Notes: Lucchino, Chapman, Swihart

Minutes ago, Red Sox President/CEO Larry Lucchino issued a statement confirming that he will be stepping down at the end of the season.  He explained that he has been planning to cut back ever since 2004, the year of Boston’s first championship.  Lucchino thanked Boston ownership and he offered up a strong endorsement for Sam Kennedy, his likely successor.

I believe the end of this year is a good time for this change. We would have preferred to announce all of our transition plans at once, including my new role, but I can tell you we all feel strongly that Sam Kennedy, who has been with me for 20 years, should be the next President of the Boston Red Sox. Sam will do a terrific job. He is able, well-prepared, and fiercely dedicated to the Red Sox and to Boston,” Lucchino said.

Here’s more on the Red Sox..

  • Scott Miller of Bleacher Report (on Twitter) hears that Lucchino will take some time away and then maybe look for one more run with one more club.
  • The Red Sox didn’t make a splash at the trade deadline, but they did at least explore making some big moves, John Tomase of WEEI.com writes.  A source familiar with Boston’s thinking wouldn’t name names of potential targets, but he told Tomase said they, “threw a couple of things out there.”   The Red Sox were in the market for a young frontline starter but, as GM Ben Cherington acknowledged, those don’t come cheap.
  • One splashy move to explore would have been trading for Reds closer Aroldis Chapman and converting him to a starter.  However, a source told Tomase that the Red Sox did not go down that path.
  • When the Red Sox fielded calls, they got more calls on center fielder Mookie Betts, shortstop Xander Bogaerts, and catcher Blake Swihart than anyone else, a source told Tomase.