Here’s the latest from around the AL West…
- Some rival evaluators feel the Mariners could make Steve Cishek, Adam Lind and/or other veterans available before the deadline, ESPN’s Buster Olney reports in his latest subscriber-only news column. Lind has hit just .229/.258/.429 this season and lost playing time to Dae Ho Lee at first base, so in moving Lind, the M’s would be able to shift Nelson Cruz back to DH and improve their outfield defense. Cishek struggled in his last few outings prior to the All-Star break but has overall been quite solid as Seattle’s closer, notching 22 saves and posting a 3.07 ERA, 11.63 K/9 and 3.79 K/BB despite an ungainly 18.9% homer rate. The Mariners fell to the .500 mark after today’s loss to the Astros, so the M’s could certainly turn into deadline sellers barring a quick turnaround.
- Also from Olney, some teams see Angels catcher Geovany Soto as a possible deadline trade chip. Soto has been limited to 22 games this season thanks to a torn right meniscus, though he has hit .284/.333/.478 over 74 plate appearances. It’s worth noting that Soto has missed the last two games with soreness in his left knee. MLBTR’s Steve Adams listed Soto as a trade candidate in his overview of the catching trade market earlier this week.
- Yulieski Gurriel’s five-year contract with the Astros has drawn some split reaction from rival front offices, Olney writes. One executive called the contract “a good deal — three years ago,” while another noted that Gurriel was being outperformed by some former North American minor leaguers when he played in Japan in 2014. On the flip side, other evaluators praised Gurriel’s character.
- With Gurriel and probably top prospect Alex Bregman joining the already-crowded infield mix in Houston, manager A.J. Hinch told reporters (including MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart) that the added depth will allow for Jose Altuve to receive some DH days. The Astros obviously want to keep their superstar second baseman (who has played in 183 consecutive games) as fresh as possible down the stretch, and the likes of George Springer or Carlos Correa could also get some DH time for similar reasons. Altuve delivered four hits as Houston’s designated hitter today against the Mariners.
- It’s been a busy day for AL West news here at MLB Trade Rumors, as we’ve also covered the Rangers’ search for pitching and a number of Athletics-related items, including Oakland’s acquisition of lefty Ross Detwiler from the Indians.