Along with the previously reported Nationals, the Astros had interest in Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Both teams’ interest in Realmuto dates back to at least last offseason, but neither they nor anyone else have been able to pry the star backstop out of Miami. Instead of Realmuto, the Astros ended up acquiring the much less exciting Martin Maldonado from the Angels before the deadline. He’s backing up Max Stassi, who has emerged as the Astros’ starter since Brian McCann underwent knee surgery a month ago. Stassi got off to a great offensive start this year before cooling off significantly over the past couple months, though he is having an elite season behind the plate.
- The Red Sox inquired about Marlins closer Kyle Barraclough before the deadline, but Boston ultimately “backed off,” Cafardo writes. Barraclough wound up staying with the Marlins, who placed a high asking price on the flamethrowing right-hander. The 28-year-old hasn’t been good of late, as his ERA has skyrocketed from .99 to 3.28 since the beginning of July, but he still comes with a quality track record and affordable team control. As a result, the Marlins elected to keep Barraclough, who will make his first of three possible trips through arbitration during the winter.
- In an interestingly timed move, the Angels announced Sunday that special assistant Eric Chavez will manage their Triple-A team in Salt Lake for the rest of the season. Previous manager Keith Johnson will finish the year on the Angels’ coaching staff, and GM Billy Eppler said Sunday that the Halos want him to work with their young infielders (Twitter link via Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times). The decision to replace Johnson with Chavez raised eyebrows, though, given that the latter has come up as a potential replacement for Angels skipper Mike Scioscia, who’s reportedly going to retire at the end of the season. The 40-year-old Chavez, a longtime major league third baseman, had never managed at any level until the Angels handed him the Triple-A reins.
- Standout White Sox outfield prospect Eloy Jimenez is “getting really close” to earning a major league promotion, director of player development Chris Getz said Sunday (via 670 The Score, on Twitter). The 21-year-old Jimenez, whom Baseball America, MLB.com and FanGraphs all regard as the game’s third-best prospect, has hit an astounding .376/.425/.679 with eight home runs and a .303 ISO in 120 plate appearances since the White Sox moved him to Triple-A Charlotte in late June.