White Sox GM Rick Hahn and Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer began trade discussions on July 9, ESPN.com’s Jesse Rogers reports, and it wasn’t until July 20 that the two sides reconnected for what became more intensive talks that led to a pair of major trades. In separate deals, the Sox acquired Ryan Tepera on July 29 and then a deadline-day blockbuster that saw Craig Kimbrel head to the south side of Chicago.
Nick Madrigal emerged as the top piece in the Kimbrel deal, though it wasn’t until the day of the trade that the White Sox also added right-hander Codi Heuer to make it a two-player package. That was enough to put the Sox ahead of a competitive market, and in Kimbrel, the team landed a player that Hahn and executive VP Ken Williams had both prioritized as a key acquisition to bolster the bullpen.
More on both the AL and NL Central divisions…
- Josh Donaldson continues to be bothered by soreness in his right hamstring, and he didn’t see any action for the second consecutive game. Over the Twins’ last 10 games, Donaldson has started twice and come off the bench three times, and manager Rocco Baldelli said the club is “still going to wait and see” if Donaldson can avoid the injured list. “JD is still a little sore and we are still working our way through, just figuring out a timeline as far as when he’ll be able to return,” Baldelli told Betsy Helfand of the St. Paul Pioneer Press and other reporters.
- Matthew Boyd threw a live batting practice session at the Tigers’ Spring Training facility in Lakeland, manager A.J. Hinch told MLB.com’s Jason Beck and other reporters. Boyd hasn’t pitched since June 14 due to a triceps issue, so a move to the 60-day injured list could be in the works should Detroit require some 40-man roster space in the near future. Boyd’s BP session does represent some progress, and a proper minor league rehab assignment could follow provided Boyd doesn’t hit any setbacks. The left-hander was off to a solid start to the 2021 season, posting a 3.44 ERA over his first 70 2/3 innings.
- Reds manager David Bell provided an update on Art Warren, telling reporters (including The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Bobby Nightengale) that Warren will require roughly another month to recover from a left oblique strain. The rookie right-hander has already missed about four weeks due to the injury, which interrupted a strong beginning to Warren’s first season in Cincinnati. Warren struck out 36.2% of opposing batters while posting a 1.88 ERA over 14 1/3 innings out of the Reds’ bullpen.
- The Brewers announced that right-hander Dylan File has been activated off the 60-day injured list and optioned to Triple-A Nashville. File underwent elbow surgery in February and has yet to pitch this season, apart from some minor league rehab outings. Considering that the Brewers are dealing with several bullpen absences due to injuries and a COVID-19 outbreak, it might not be out of the question that the 25-year-old File is called up to make his MLB debut before the 2021 season is through.