About half of the teams in the league have expressed some level of interest in Padres lefty Brad Hand, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports. Evidently, those discussions have yet to get truly serious, as Lin adds that the Friars aren’t believed to be closing in on any swaps. A significant portion of the rest of the pitching staff has received attention of some kind, too, Lin adds. There are a few other interesting pitching trade candidates on the San Diego roster — Trevor Cahill chief among them, perhaps — and it wouldn’t be surprising to see several deals go down before the deadline.
Here’s more from out west:
- The Astros announced that reliever Will Harris is headed to the 10-day DL with right shoulder inflammation (h/t Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle, via Twitter). That’s somewhat troubling news at first glance, though Harris says he doesn’t anticipate a significant layoff (video via MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, on Twitter). The 32-year-old has continued his stellar run in Houston, compiling 34 2/3 innings of 2.86 ERA ball on the year — with 10.1 K/9 against just 1.3 BB/9. Clearly, he’s a key member of the pen and a big part of the team’s planning the rest of the way. (Harris is also controlled through 2019 at very appealing rates.)
- Meanwhile, the Astros are likely focused on adding a starter and a lefty reliever. As regards the latter, the team is said to have an eye on Tigers lefty Justin Wilson, per Ken Rosenthal of MLB Network (via Twitter). The teams discussed Wilson over the winter, per Rosenthal, and the southpaw’s quality effort early over the first half surely hasn’t reduced the interest. Wilson currently carries a career-high 12.8 K/9 with 3.4 BB/9 along with a 2.36 ERA over his 34 1/3 innings.
- Giants closer Mark Melancon seems unlikely to make it back before the trade deadline, likely removing him from consideration as a trade candidate, as Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News writes. The veteran righty, shelved for the second time this year with a forearm issue, has been able to pick up a baseball. But skipper Bruce Bochy suggested the team plans to bring him along slowly. As Baggarly suggests, it never seemed particularly likely that Melancon would end up being dealt regardless. For what it’s worth, though, I would add that Melancon would represent a very plausible August trade candidate if that proved desirable.
- Angels righty Garrett Richards still hasn’t been cleared to throw, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register writes. The unfortunate hurler discussed the frustrations of his long-running effort to get healthy, telling Fletcher that he is at least encouraged that his current problem (with a biceps nerve) has improved somewhat — and that it doesn’t implicate his elbow, which he says still feels great. “Nobody knows anything about this injury,” said Richards, who says it isn’t clear when he’ll be deemed ready to begin throwing again. “I can’t worry about getting all caught up in playing right now,” he added. “I’ve got to worry about getting healthy first. When that happens, I’ll be ready.” Meanwhile, Fletcher notes that both Andrew Heaney and Tyler Skaggs are continuing to progress while working off of a mound, which seems to hold out some real promise of bolstering the team’s injury-riddled rotation in the relatively near future.