The Angels are moving right-hander Jesse Chavez from the rotation to the bullpen, reports Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter links). That in and of itself is somewhat noteworthy, but the timing of the move is more interesting. As Moura points out, Chavez is one start away from unlocking a significant boost in his contract’s incentives package and could earn as much as $1.7MM between now and season’s end. While the timing of the move probably won’t sit well with Chavez, he certainly hasn’t helped his own cause as of late. The 33-year-old has allowed 25 runs on 40 hits and 16 walks over his past 32 2/3 innings, making for a 6.89 ERA in his past seven starts. Right-hander Troy Scribner will step into the rotation in place of Chavez, according to Moura.
A few more notes from the division…
- The Mariners acquired Drew Smyly this past offseason in hopes of a breakout over the course of his remaining two years of control, but last month’s unfortunate diagnosis of a torn ulnar collateral ligament means he may not throw a single regular-season pitch for the Mariners. Smyly is almost certain to be non-tendered this winter due to his Tommy John operation, but manager Scott Servais tells Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times that he hopes the front office will look to retain Smyly (presumably on a more affordable deal) so that he can eventually impact the rotation down the line. “I still would love to have him going forward,” said Servais. “Those are deals that Jerry (Dipoto) and his agent have to work out. But I still think there’s a very good fit for him here. … I did say to [Smyly], ‘I’d like to see what you could do pitching in Seattle for a year,’ and he smiled and said, ‘I’d like to see it too.'”
- Adrian Beltre didn’t sugarcoat his words in telling the media that he wasn’t pleased with the Rangers’ trade of Yu Darvish, writes Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Beltre acknowledged that he understands the business side of the game but still hadn’t given up on the 2017 season when Texas flipped its ace to the Dodgers in exchange for three prospects. The future Hall of Famer, playing at the age of 39, also made clear that he’s not interested in playing for a rebuilding club, if that’s the direction the Rangers go. “At this stage of my career, I’m not here for a rebuild,” said Beltre. “But I don’t think it will be. I think there is a possibility of this team playing better this year.” Beltre said a rebuild would “absolutely” change his mind about wanting to remain in Texas, though GM Jon Daniels downplayed the notion that such a path is even under consideration. Asked if the Darvish trade was the onset of a lengthier rebuild, Daniels replied: “I don’t look at it that way at all.”
- Though he won’t play again this season due to the freak knee injury he suffered in his MLB debut with the Yankees, Dustin Fowler is expected to compete for the Athletics’ Opening Day center field spot in 2018, writes John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. Manager Bob Melvin offered strong praise for the type of player he hopes to be getting in the 22-year-old Fowler. “He looks to be exactly the type of athlete we’re looking for,” said the skipper. “We need to get a little bit more athletic within our system. He’s a good start for that, and it looks like [Jorge] Mateo is as well.” Both Fowler and Mateo were acquired (alongside righty James Kaprielian) in Monday’s Sonny Gray blockbuster.