The Astros have shown interest in White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Abreu carries a stronger track record than Houston first baseman Yuli Gurriel and designated hitter Evan Gattis, either of whom could lose playing time to Abreu if the reigning world champs acquire him. However, in 2018, both Gurriel and Gattis have offered superior production to Abreu, a fellow right-handed hitter who has batted a disappointing .260/.316/.451 through 373 plate appearances. The 31-year-old Abreu also carries a high price tag, as he’s on a $13MM salary this season and should land a raise over that figure next winter during his final trip through arbitration. But despite the veteran’s cost and the fact that the White Sox are rebuilding, they have thus far been unwilling to move Abreu, an important mentor to their array of young players.
Here’s more from Cafardo:
- The Nationals recently sent special assistant Dan Jennings to watch Rays catcher Wilson Ramos, Cafardo reports. The Nationals are already familiar with Ramos, who played with the team from 2010-16, and the pending free agent figures to end up with either them or another club by the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. After a mediocre 2017, the 30-year-old Ramos has rebuilt his stock with a .287/.338/.460 line in 293 PAs. Those numbers are far better than the production Nationals catchers have offered. Washington’s backstops have combined to hit a league-worst .185/.278/.265 in 338 trips to the plate, thus contributing to the team’s five-game deficit in the NL East.
- The Athletics are suggesting to teams that closer Blake Treinen isn’t available for trade, though clubs are wondering if that’s just a ploy to drive up his price, per Cafardo. If the A’s expect to push for a playoff spot this year and next, they may well keep Treinen, who’s under control through 2019 for affordable prices. Treinen has been an integral part of this year’s Oakland team, which is a solid 48-40 and sits 7 1/2 games back of a wild-card spot. Across 42 2/3 innings, Treinen has logged a near-spotless ERA (.84) with 10.97 K/9, 2.53 BB/9 and 22 saves in 24 opportunities.
- Unsurprisingly, the Orioles “would love” to land Indians catcher Francisco Mejia in a potential Manny Machado trade, Cafardo writes. Cleveland has reportedly shown strong interest in Machado, though it’s unknown if the Tribe would be willing to give up Mejia at all – let alone for a rental. The 22-year-old Mejia ranks as the Indians’ top farmhand in the estimation of MLB.com and Baseball America, both of which regard him as one of the game’s 25 best prospects.
- More on Machado, who could wind up in a package with teammate and fellow free agent-to-be Zach Britton, Cafardo hears. As an accomplished reliever, Britton may be a fit for Cleveland, whose bullpen has been among the majors’ weakest this year. It’s unclear how much trade value Britton has, though, given that he fell off somewhat last year after an incredible 2016 and hasn’t been good this season in his first action since suffering a ruptured Achilles over the winter.