- Denard Span To Undergo Season-Ending Hip Surgery
- Mariners Fire GM Jack Zduriencik
- MLB Wins Collusion Case Versus Barry Bonds
- Cubs Acquire Fernando Rodney, Designate Brian Schlitter
- Chris Perez Retires
- Hanley Ramirez To Play First Base For Red Sox In 2016
- Austin Jackson Clears Waivers, Generating Interest
- Sabathia Possibly Done For Season; Yankees Re-Sign Capuano
- Astros, Dallas Keuchel Have Discussed Long-Term Deal
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- Minor MLB Transactions: 8/28/15
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- Denard Span To Undergo Season-Ending Hip Surgery
- Unknown Team Claims Kimbrel On Revocable Waivers; Trade Unlikely
- Early Notes On The Mariners’ GM Search
- Mariners Fire GM Jack Zduriencik
- MLB Wins Collusion Case Versus Barry Bonds
- Francisco Rodriguez, Darren O’Day On Revocable Waivers
- AL West Notes: Keuchel, Newcomb, Profar, Stearns
- Mets Unlikely To Add Reliever Via Trade
- Cubs Acquire Fernando Rodney, Designate Brian Schlitter
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- Braves Release Jason Frasor
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After suffering a concussion during a simulated game and missing three weeks, 2015 first overall draft pick Dansby Swanson is ready for his first professional game. MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg reports that Swanson will play tonight for the Diamondbacks‘ Class-A affiliate in Hillsboro. Here’s some more from around the NL West…
- The Diamondbacks‘ trades of Oliver Perez and Cliff Pennington both came together rather quickly, GM Dave Stewart told Zach Buchanan of AZCentral.com. Stewart hadn’t had any talks with the Astros or Blue Jays, respectively, about either player prior to the July 31 trade deadline. Stewart doesn’t expect to make any more deals in August, though “I didn’t think I was going to make those…. You never know.”
- Baseball America’s Jack Etkin spoke with Rockies director of player development Zach Wilson about the frightening early-season injury to top outfield prospect David Dahl and the decision Dahl made to have his spleen removed following an outfield collision (subscription required). “The best thing for David’s life was to get that spleen out of there,” said Wilson, who went on to add that the splenectomy has allowed Dahl to play without fear. Dahl, who lacerated his spleen and suffered a concussion in the collision, would have had to play the rest of his career with a protective covering and would have been at risk of rupturing the spleen in the event of another collision. As Etkin notes, that’s a frightening proposition for a “hellbent” player like Dahl, who does not shy away from the outfield wall when roaming the outfield. Dahl is hitting .284/.301/.432 in 86 plate appearances since rejoining the Rockies’ Double-A affiliate.
- The Padres will take a shot at re-signing Justin Upton this winter, GM A.J. Preller told MLB.com’s Barry Bloom. “He’s made a very positive impression here,” said Preller. “We’re going to sit down in the offseason and see what we can do with him.” As Bloom notes, though the Padres haven’t panned out as they’d hoped, the team still has a core in place which can be built upon in future seasons, and improved ticket sales could help boost the team’s payroll heading into a season in which the Padres are set to host the All-Star Game.
- The Dodgers‘ July pitching acquisitions haven’t worked out whatsoever to this point, writes ESPN Los Angeles’ Mark Saxon. Though Luis Avilan has tossed four reasonably effective relief innings, Mat Latos and Alex Wood have both struggled, while Jim Johnson has reverted to his disastrous 2014 form. As Saxon points out, Johnson did have very strong numbers in Atlanta, so it’s tough to fault the team for targeting him. He also points out that Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi must be a fan of Johnson, as he’s now been part of two front offices that have traded for Johnson in two years.
MLBTR will continue to update this post as players reportedly clear revocable trade waivers, making it a running list of players that may be traded to any club in the season’s final two months. Player names are linked to the source articles, and this article can always be found under the MLBTR Features portion of the sidebar on the right side of the page.
First, several notes are in order. For one, many players have and will clear waivers without public reports revealing that status. (Some of them have already been traded, such as Mike Napoli.) Remember, also, that players must be acquired by August 31 to be eligible for their new team’s postseason roster. Click here for a further explanation of the August waiver and trade rules. And bear in mind that a player’s no-trade rights remain effective even if he clears waivers.
Last Updated: 8/24/2015
- Austin Jackson, Mariners — Jackson was once a cornerstone-type center fielder, but he’s seen his productivity fall off quite a bit over the last two seasons. Now 28 and set to hit the market after the year, Jackson has about $1.725MM left on his contract (as of August 24th) and no longer looks like a starting-caliber acquisition for a contender, though he also isn’t a clear platoon option since he’s always posted neutral splits. On the positive side, Jackson is still capable of playing center and has some pop and speed.
- Jonny Gomes, Braves — Gomes is a limited but useful player. The 34-year-old is a prototypical high-character clubhouse guy, and mashes lefties. Though his pop is well off recent levels this year, Gomes has had no trouble reaching base against opposing southpaws, and is playing on a relatively manageable $4MM salary this year. Plus, he comes with a $3MM club option for 2016. (The option vests at 325 plate appearances, but that seems unlikely for a part-time player.)
- Dexter Fowler, Cubs — It’s somewhat surprising that the 29-year-old Fowler, who was owed $2.49MM through season’s end as of Aug. 18, would clear waivers. However, rival clubs probably assume that the Cubs have little intention of trading a regular, solid contributor in the midst of a playoff race. Fowler will be a free agent at season’s end and seems unlikely to change teams this month.
- Addison Reed, Diamondbacks — Still just 26, Reed’s star has faded considerably since a trade to the Diamondbacks. This year, he’s lost the closer’s role and been optioned to Triple-A, though he’s been sharp since his return to the Majors. In the first 10 innings following his recall, Reed yielded just one run on nine hits and a walk with eight strikeouts. But, he’s owed $1.33MM through season’s end (as of Aug. 17) and still has a an unsightly 4.46 ERA on the year as a whole.
- David Aardsma, Braves — Through Aug. 17, Aardsma has a respectable 3.95 ERA and has averaged better than 10 strikeouts per nine innings. However, he’s also averaging 4.6 walks per nine and is generating grounders at less than a 30 percent clip. He’s affordable, as he signed a minor league contract with the Braves earlier in the year after opting out of a contract with the Dodgers.
- Edward Mujica, Athletics — Mujica’s already been designated for assignment once (by the Red Sox) this season, and a trade to Oakland’s spacious park didn’t improve his numbers. In fact, he’s pitched worse with the A’s. Through Aug. 17, Mujica had yielded a ghastly .309/.336/.525 batting line to opposing hitters.
- Fernando Rodney, Mariners — Rodney’s earning $7MM in 2015 and is having one of the worst seasons of his career. His strikeout and walk rates have both gone in the wrong direction, and while he’s still averaging a very healthy 94.9 mph on his heater, he’s sporting a disastrous 1.44 HR/9 rate as of Aug. 17.
- John Axford, Rockies — Axford allowed only one run through his first 19 innings this season, but in the subsequent 19 2/3 innings, he melted down and allowed 19 runs on 29 hits and 15 walks. Some of his struggles are tied to Coors Field, but his poor control will be a factor regardless of what park he calls his home.
- Jose Reyes, Rockies — The 32-year-old Reyes has struggled offensively since being dealt to the Rockies and has seen his defensive work take a hit over the past couple of seasons as well. He was still a very serviceable bat while playing with Toronto, though, and a departure from the artificial turf at the Rogers Centre could benefit his legs and back, perhaps even restoring some of his speed and range. Some have speculated on a potential move to second base for the former All-Star, who is owed about $54.37MM through the end of the 2017 season (as of Aug. 14).
- Chase Utley, Phillies — Utley, 36, has produced at well below his typical rate for much of the year and just ended an extended DL stint. But he’s a highly-respected veteran, and the ankle issue could explain his struggles. Indeed, Utley has looked more like himself since returning to action. He’s owed about $4.5MM the rest of the way (as of Aug. 11), but the absence means that he won’t be a threat to trigger a vesting option for next year. For teams looking to bolster their options at second base down the stretch, Utley will surely hold appeal.
- James Shields, Padres — The veteran hurler is in the first season of a four-year pact, making him an atypical trade candidate, but San Diego’s struggles and desire to clear payroll could see him dangled. There’s only about $2MM left to pay in 2015 (as of Aug. 11), but the deal is backloaded: it comes with $65MM in future guarantees (including the buyout on a $16MM option for 2019). The contract does have an opt-out after next season. Shields is already 33, and hasn’t been quite as good this season as in years past, but he’s still a durable and reliable arm who could help a lot of clubs.
Dodgers president Stan Kasten told Jim Bowden of SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio (on Twitter) that he last spoke to Zack Greinke about his opt-out in the spring. He says that the two sides are playing things out this season and will worry about Greinke’s contractual situation in the offseason. Poised to hit the market as one of the top arms available, the 31-year-old hurler (32 this winter) may prefer to test his value rather than opt in with Los Angeles. Here’s a look at the NL West..
- The Dodgers have some dead money on the books but Kasten says that he views it more as a short-term expense than a financial burden (link). Those dollars, he says, are a “short-term expense for long-term gain.”
- Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post isn’t so sure about the return the Rockies got for shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. Colorado acquired three quality pitching prospects in Jeff Hoffman, Miguel Castro, and Jesus Tinoco in the swap, but Colorado has a poor track record of developing pitchers. If things do work out with Hoffman, however, he could be a significant rotation piece in 2017, when the Rockies might be able to make some noise.
- The Padres will likely explore August trades but GM A.J. Preller might decide that the offseason is the better time to overhaul the roster, Dennis Lin of U-T San Diego writes.
Here are today’s minor moves from around the league.
- Blue Jays outfielder Ezequiel Carrera has accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A, tweets Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. The 28-year-old was designated for assignment after Toronto acquired Ben Revere at the trade deadline. Carrera has managed a solid .279/.327/.374 line with three home runs and two steals in 164 plate appearances.
- Lefty Aaron Laffey has accepted the Rockies‘ outright assignment and will head to Triple-A Albuquerque, SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo tweets. Colorado designated Laffey for assignment last week. He has pitched 7 1/3 innings for them this season.
- The Phillies have released veteran righty Juan Gutierrez, MLBTR’s Steve Adams tweets. Gutierrez’s camp is negotiating with at least two teams, including one with whom it’s deep in talks. The 32-year-old Gutierrez has posted a 3.66 ERA, 7.3 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 51 2/3 innings this season at two Triple-A affiliates. He spent last season in the Giants bullpen.
- The Orioles have outrighted OF/1B Chris Parmelee, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun tweets. The O’s designated Parmelee for assignment when they acquired Gerardo Parra at the trade deadline. He hit .216/.255/.433 in 102 plate appearances with Baltimore.
- The Mets have outrighted lefty Alex Torres to Triple-A Las Vegas, ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin tweets. The Mets designated him for assignment when they acquired Eric O’Flaherty last week. Torres has posted a 3.15 ERA and 9.2 K/9 in 34 1/3 innings with the Mets this year, but with 6.8 BB/9.
- Catcher Eric Fryer has accepted the Twins‘ outright assignment and will report to Triple-A Rochester, the Pioneer Press’ Mike Berardino tweets. The Twins designated Fryer for assignment on Thursday. He’s played very sparingly in parts of five seasons with Pittsburgh and Minnesota, batting .235/.316/.324 in 152 plate appearances in his big-league career.
- The Diamondbacks plan to select the contract of righty-hitting infielder/outfielder Jamie Romak, agent David Sloane tells MLBTR. The 29-year-old Romak hit .289/.373/.554 with 22 home runs in 458 plate appearances for Triple-A Reno after the D-backs signed him to a minor-league deal last offseason. He played briefly for the Dodgers in 2014 but has spent most of the past several years in the high minors. In parts of 13 seasons, Romak has also played in the Braves, Pirates, Royals and Cardinals organizations, and he has a career .255/.344/.463 line in the minors. He has played outfield, first base and third base throughout most of his career, but this year he has also appeared in 24 games at second base.
In his latest Inside Baseball column, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports provides a laundry list of free agent and trade-related info. He kicks off the piece with a lengthy look at the curiously passive approaches of two teams that were seen as likely to be active sellers: the Reds and Padres. San Diego GM A.J. Preller told Heyman that his team discussed a number of deals and felt that, ultimately, the long-term nature of most of the Padres’ trade chips outweighed the value they were offered. The one notable exception is Justin Upton, who, as first reported by Buster Olney, could’ve fetched Michael Fulmer from the Mets. Regarding Upton talks, Preller told Heyman: “…the evaluation was what we’re being offered versus the value of the pick and having Justin for the rest of the year. There were offers right on the line, but none that made us move.” As for the Reds, Heyman notes that many are questioning the team’s decision to hang onto Aroldis Chapman, who is controlled through 2016, when the Reds may not be competitive until 2017. The Reds backed out of a Jay Bruce-for-Zack Wheeler swap, a source tells Heyman, with a second source telling him that Cincinnati simply “got cold feet” when it came to dealing Bruce. He also spoke to a number of executives who expressed disbelief that neither team was more active at the deadline.
Some more highlights from his column, though there’s far more in the full article than can be summarized here, so it’s worth reading in its entirety…
- The Diamondbacks are still seeking an elite closer after coming up empty in their pursuit of Aroldis Chapman, and they might pursue him again this winter. Heyman lists their priorities as: a closer, a starting pitcher (someone below the tier of Johnny Cueto/David Price) and a bat to slot behind Paul Goldschmidt in the order. The Snakes talked about deals for Jeremy Hellickson, Oliver Perez and Cliff Pennington. They came the closest to trading Hellickson, who drew interest from the Pirates and Blue Jays, he adds.
- Kevin Gausman‘s name was very popular in trade talks with the Orioles, as he was asked for by the Rockies (in exchange for Carlos Gonzalez), the Tigers (Yoenis Cespedes) and Padres (Justin Upton). The Orioles also talked to the Dodgers about Carl Crawford (for a lesser package) but found his injury history and contract too risky.
- Others are “convinced” that the Cubs will land one of the top starting pitchers on the market this winter, with Price as a leading candidate but Zack Greinke, Jordan Zimmermann and Cueto all landing on Chicago’s radar as well. The Cubs are expected to shop both Starlin Castro and Javier Baez this winter. The Padres‘ interest in Baez has been reported many places, though they do have some reservations about Baez’s approach at the plate (as, I would imagine, most teams do).
- The Blue Jays, Astros and Giants all expressed interest in White Sox righty Jeff Samardzija, but the White Sox‘ winning streak plus so-so offers led the team to hold onto the right-hander. Heyman hears that the return would’ve been similar to the one the Reds ultimately got in exchange for Mike Leake, so the Sox simply held onto Samardzija. (Speaking of Leake, he adds that industry consensus pegs Leake as the most likely rental to stay with his new club — perhaps not surprising given Leake’s ties to California and the Giants’ history of retaining such pieces.)
- The Indians received interest not only in Carlos Carrasco, but also in Danny Salazar, Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber. The Dodgers, Cubs and Red Sox all tried for Carrasco.
- The Rockies were always more motivated to trade Troy Tulowitzki than Carlos Gonzalez, as the drama surrounding Tulo had become soap-opera-esque. The team didn’t shop Jose Reyes after the Tulo deal but did have his name come up in talks; Heyman writes that the Yankees are one club that “may have fit,” as they could’ve used him at second base.
- The Angels made a brief run at Yoenis Cespedes but didn’t come close to landing him. Cespedes won the hearts of Mets fans in part by expressing an interest in signing long-term to remain in Queens, but as Heyman notes, Cespedes did the same in Boston and Detroit without any results. A long-term pact between the Mets and Cespedes is more likely than a reunion with the Tigers though, Heyman writes, as Detroit isn’t likely to enter a bidding war for the outfielder, let alone win one.
- The Dodgers showed more interest in Cole Hamels than they did in either Price or Cueto. They were completely closed off to the idea of trading either Corey Seager or Julio Urias, though. He adds that right-hander Jose DeLeon wasn’t available in talks for rental pieces, which could imply that he was at least attainable in Hamels talks.
- Dan Jennings is expected to be welcomed back to the Marlins‘ front office this winter, when the team will search for a long-term manager to replace him. The Marlins are also planning on trying to extend Dee Gordon and Adeiny Hechavarria this offseason, he hears. Talks for Hechavarria went nowhere last winter, and the shortstop’s batting line is nearly identical to its 2014 mark. Defensive metrics are far more impressed with Hechavarria’s work this season, though, for what it’s worth.
- While Rays relief aces Jake McGee and Brad Boxberger were oft-mentioned in rumors leading up to the deadline, other teams came away with the impression that Tampa Bay wasn’t that interested in moving either.
- There’s an “unhappy scene” surrounding the Nationals and manager Matt Williams, Heyman hears. Williams isn’t beloved by many of the team’s players, who feel that he’s “not loose” and “never relaxed.” There are those who have also questioned his bullpen usage, from the decision not to use Drew Storen/Tyler Clippard in the final game of last year’s NLDS to leaving both Jonathan Papelbon and Storen in the bullpen in close road games versus the Mets shortly after acquiring Papelbon (only to have both pitch with a five-run deficit in the next series). Heyman spoke to one Nats player who said the team is loose and has fun regardless of Williams’ demeanor. “I don’t think it affects us,” said the player. “That’s just how he is.”
Full Story | 49 Comments | Categories: Adeiny Hechavarria | Arizona Diamondbacks | Aroldis Chapman | Baltimore Orioles | Boston Red Sox | Brad Boxberger | Carl Crawford | Carlos Carrasco | Carlos Gonzalez | Chicago Cubs | Chicago White Sox | Cincinnati Reds | Cleveland Indians | Cliff Pennington | Cole Hamels | Colorado Rockies | Corey Kluber | Corey Seager | Danny Salazar | David Price | Dee Gordon | Detroit Tigers | Houston Astros | Jake McGee | Javier Baez | Jay Bruce | Jeff Samardzija | Jeremy Hellickson | Johnny Cueto | Jordan Zimmermann | Jose Reyes | Julio Urias | Justin Upton | Kevin Gausman | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Los Angeles Dodgers | Miami Marlins | Mike Leake | New York Mets | Oliver Perez | Paul Goldschmidt | Pittsburgh Pirates | San Diego Padres | San Francisco Giants | Starlin Castro | Tampa Bay Rays | Toronto Blue Jays | Trevor Bauer | Troy Tulowitzki | Washington Nationals | Yoenis Cespedes | Zack Greinke | Zack Wheeler
Giants rental acquisition Mike Leake will miss his upcoming start with a hamstring strain suffered during routine workouts, reports Chris Haft of MLB.com. While the Giants and Leake are both hopeful that he’ll miss just the one outing, but says he won’t know until today. It sounds like the maximum amount of time he’ll miss will be two starts, and swingman Ryan Vogelsong will step into the rotation in his place. The Giants traded their top prospect, righty Keury Mella, to the Reds along with corner infielder Adam Duvall in exchange for Leake on July 30.
More from the NL West…
- The Mets offered right-hander Michael Fulmer to the Padres in exchange for Justin Upton near the trade deadline prior to acquiring Yoenis Cespedes, ESPN’s Buster Olney first reported earlier this week. That, clearly, wasn’t enough to get a deal done, as Upton remains in San Diego and Fulmer was eventually traded to the Tigers (along with fellow righty Luis Cessa) for Cespedes.
- Peter Gammons spoke to Padres GM A.J. Preller, who addressed the notion of buying and selling as well as the perceived inactivity of his club. “When someone said, ‘it’s easier to buy than sell,’ that did bother me,” Preller told Gammons. “That implies that we did little preparation. They don’t realize the three weeks to a month that so many of our scouts and baseball people were out on the road, going from town to town without seeing their families, trying to find the right players. They worked their hearts out for the Padres.”
- Though Wilin Rosario‘s name has been kicked around in trade rumors for the better part of a year, he remained in Colorado at the trade deadline and apparently drew relatively limited interest. Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post asked Rockies GM Jeff Bridich about the decision not to move Rosario and was told, “The trading queries were pretty quiet on Wilin.” Saunders says that sources outside the Rockies organization placed too much value on Rosario; the Rockies see him as a Major League talent, writes Saunders, but some other clubs view him as more of a fringe big leaguer.
In a pair of excellent columns, Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet and Jonah Keri of Grantland offer behind-the-scenes looks at the chaotic week of Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos leading up to the trade deadline. Each spoke directly to Anthopoulos, and while Keri’s piece focuses on blockbuster deals for David Price and Troy Tulowitzki, Zwelling’s looks at each day of Anthopoulos’ week leading up to the deadline (including those trades and other discussions) — painting a vivid picture of the life of a general manager during one of the most chaotic times of the year.
Some highlights from each piece, although I’d highly recommend reading each in its entirety…
- Both Zwelling and Keri note that talks between the Blue Jays and Rockies date back to the offseason, but the initial concept of Jose Reyes and pitching prospects for Tulowitzki surfaced in late May. Anthopoulos, Zwelling writes, had been unwilling to part with Jeff Hoffman until the day that Tulowitzki was traded. When Hoffman’s name was put on the table, talks with Rockies GM Jeff Bridich accelerated quickly. Zwelling’s piece also provides a glimpse into the difficult task of Anthopoulos informing Reyes that he’d been traded.
- Meanwhile, Anthopoulos told Keri that the decision to add Tulowitzki did have its detractors within the Toronto front office. “They brought up the length of his contract, the dollars on his contract, the players we’d have to give up,” said Anthopoulos. However, his take on the situation varied. “Players like that don’t become available,” said the Toronto GM. “They sign 10-year contracts and become the face of a franchise. It wasn’t an easy decision. It was weird, the process was long and stressful … but it was also a lot of fun.”
- Zwelling writes that Anthopoulos was in negotiation for players such as Ben Zobrist, Gerardo Parra and Mike Leake as well, but an eventual phone call from Detroit’s Dave Dombrowski caused him to shift his focus to Price. Dombrowski had told Anthopoulos a week before the trade deadline that he’d call him if he decided to move Price, and despite the fact that Anthopoulos saw constant rumors about Price’s availability, his respect for Dombrowski prevented him from calling to check in. “His guarantee that he’d call me was all I needed,” said Anthopoulos. “Dave’s a complete pro. No matter what was being said in the media, I was going to take his word for it. When and if the time presented itself, he was going to call.”
- Anthopoulos tells Zwelling that while there was pressure to get a deal for Price and/or another starter done, he did have a fallback plan. Anthopoulos had a standing agreement in place for a yet-unnamed lesser pitcher than Price that he could’ve swung on July 31, but the move for Price halted that need.
- Keri notes that Anthopoulos was on the phone with Mariners counterpart Jack Zduriencik discussing Mark Lowe when Dombrowski came calling with the info that he was ready to move Price. “I’m dying to jump off the phone, but I don’t want to do that to Jack,” said Anthopoulos. “I did really want Price, though. So I did hurry it along.”
- Keri cites a Blue Jays source in reporting that the Blue Jays nearly had a trade completed for the Indians’ Carlos Carrasco, but talks fell apart just as the Jays thought they had something worked out. The Jays also checked in with the Phillies on Cole Hamels over the winter, in Spring Training, before the All-Star break and with 10 days to go before the trade deadline, Keri reports, but were repeatedly told that Hamels wouldn’t waive his no-trade clause to approve a deal to Toronto. Anthopoulos also aggressively pursued the Padres’ Tyson Ross, according to Keri’s source, though he gives no indication that anything was as close with Ross as it seemingly was with Carrasco.
Full Story | 14 Comments | Categories: Alex Anthopoulos | Ben Zobrist | Carlos Carrasco | Cleveland Indians | Cole Hamels | Colorado Rockies | David Price | Gerardo Parra | Jeff Hoffman | Jose Reyes | Mark Lowe | Mike Leake | Newsstand | Oakland Athletics | Philadelphia Phillies | San Diego Padres | Seattle Mariners | Toronto Blue Jays | Troy Tulowitzki | Tyson Ross
We’ll track the day’s minor moves here:
- The Giants announced today that infielder Joaquin Arias has accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A (Twitter link). The versatile 30-year-old hit just .207/.207/.276 in 59 plate appearances in 2015 — the second season of a two-year, $2.6MM contract he signed to avoid arbitration following the 2013 season.
- Left-hander Aaron Laffey has cleared waivers and been assigned outright to Triple-A, tweets MLB.com’s Dargan Southard. Lackey will have the option to reject the assignment in favor of free agency. The veteran lefty pitched 7 1/3 innings for the Rockies this season, allowing three runs on eight hits and three walks with three strikeouts.
- Red Sox infielder Jemile Weeks, Angels righty Vinnie Pestano, and Cubs outfielder Mike Baxter have all accepted their outright assignments rather than electing to test the free agent waters, Chris Cotillo of SB Nation reports (Twitter links). The trio of players were all designated for assignment recently as their clubs looked to free roster space for deadline acquisitions. Weeks, 28, has seen only a smattering of big league action since playing as a full-timer in 2011-12. Pestano has been a solid reliever over several full seasons, but has struggled mightily with his control this year. The 30-year-old Baxter will also head to the upper minors to serve as depth after putting up a .246/.348/.263 slash over 66 plate appearances with Chicago.
The Rockies will promote top pitching prospect Jon Gray to the majors on Tuesday, MLB.com’s Thomas Harding reports (Twitter link). Gray, a 23-year-old right-hander, will make his Major League debut that evening at Coors Field in a start against the Mariners.
Rockies GM Jeff Bridich expressed some caution over Gray’s timeline to the Show earlier this month, saying that he wanted Gray to be fully prepared before coming to Denver, possibly influenced by how Eddie Butler, another Rockies prospect, has struggled since coming to the majors. Given how the Rockies have long been lacking in reliable starting pitching, it’s hard to fault Bridich for being careful with such a vaunted homegrown prospect, though it remains to be seen how Gray will adjust to the unique challenge of Coors Field.
Gray’s impressive performance in July may have swayed Bridich’s mind, as the righty has posted a 2.70 ERA and 43 strikeouts (against just 13 walks) over his last 30 innings for Triple-A Albuquerque. For the season as a whole, Gray has a 4.33 ERA, 8.7 K/9 and 2.68 K/BB rate over 114 1/3 innings; respectable numbers considering it’s his first taste of Triple-A action and the Pacific Coast League is notoriously hitter-friendly.
Colorado selected Gray with the third overall pick of the 2013 amateur draft, and he’ll join Kris Bryant, Marco Gonzales, Chi Chi Gonzalez, Michael Lorenzen, Corey Knebel and Matt Marksberry as 2013 draftees to reach the Major Leagues. A University of Oklahoma product, Gray is a 6’4″, 235-pound righty who the 2015 Baseball America Prospect Handbook projected as a possible No. 2 starter at the big league level. According to the BA Handbook, Gray owns an above-average changeup, a slider that could also become an above-average out pitch and a booming fastball that touched the 102mph plateau as recently as 2013, though he was working in the 94mph range last season.
Gray entered 2015 ranked highly top-100 prospects lists from MLB.com (#16th), ESPN’s Keith Law (#22), Baseball America (#24) and Fangraphs (#28). The midseason BA top-50 prospects list bumped Gray down to 35th, noting that “scouts who have seen Gray wish they saw dominant outings on a more consistent basis.” It’s worth mentioning that this list was released on July 7, prior to much of Gray’s recent strong work.
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.