The Dodgers are open to replacing Yasiel Puig at the deadline, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. That could well mean trading him to facilitate a deal, and it seems Los Angeles is at least weighing the possibility of such a move. As Rosenthal notes, it’s hardly certain that the Dodgers will make a move in the corner outfield, let alone that they’ll part with two more years of control over the talented 25-year-old to do it. That’s likely all the more true given that Puig is finally showing signs of life at the plate.
Here’s more from the National League:
- Phillies outfielder Aaron Altherr is nearing a major league return, and MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki says that an active roster spot could be cleared via trade. Peter Bourjos seems the most obvious candidate to be moved; indeed, the free agent-to-be cracked MLBTR’s most recent list of the top 25 trade candidates. Philadelphia manager Pete Mackanin says the club is eager to get a look at Altherr, who has been out all year after undergoing wrist surgery this spring.
- With Yoenis Cespedes asking to move out of full-time center field duties, the Mets are considering whether Michael Conforto can handle the position, ESPNNewYork.com’s Adam Rubin reports. Manager Terry Collins said he was on board with moving Cespedes to the less-demanding, more familiar spot in left. The question is whether Conforto is up to the task given his lack of experience there. It seems, though, that he’ll receive a bit of a trial by fire at the major league level, potentially splitting time with Juan Lagares up the middle.
- The Mets have received some promising news on righty Zack Wheeler, with Marc Carig of Newsday reporting that he’s been throwing bullpen sessions of late. That could set Wheeler up for a rehab assignment in relatively short order. New York won’t have much of a chance to assess his progress before the trade deadline, but can at least rest easy knowing that the talented righty is again making forward progress in his return from Tommy John surgery.
- Padres outfielder Jon Jay tells Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune (Twitter link) that he anticipates returning to the majors within a “couple” of weeks. Of course, that almost certainly means he won’t be able to make it back in advance of the trade deadline, which was always the expectation when he went down with a fractured forearm. Jay could be moved in August, particularly if San Diego is able to get him through waivers early in the month — thus opening the possibility of getting a solid offer once he has returned to full health. Such a waiver placement could be risky, though, because the club might be forced to let him go, take a meager trade return if he is claimed, or pull him back while losing the chance to deal him later in the month. With just over $6MM in annual salary, Jay isn’t a terribly expensive piece for a team in need of outfield help, so it’s not inconceivable at all that a contender would roll the dice on a claim even before he’s at full health.
- Meanwhile, the Padres are drawing stronger interest in Andrew Cashner than his spotty recent track record might suggest, Rosenthal reports in the above-linked piece. The righty did just throw a gem, and still carries a tantalizing arm, so perhaps it isn’t surprising to hear that multiple organizations are interested in a chance at harnessing the evident talent.