The Indians were known to be looking at outfield help in the lead-up to the trade deadline, and The Athletic’s Zack Meisel reports that Cleveland checked in on a pair of major NL Central names — the Tribe spoke to the Pirates about Bryan Reynolds, and with the Reds about Jesse Winker. It isn’t known if any serious talks took place about potential deals, or if the Indians were just doing their due diligence and were quickly rebuffed.
The Pirates are reportedly viewing Reynolds as a building block and aren’t looking to move him (at least for anything less than a gigantic offer). As for the Reds, it wasn’t even certain if they were going to be deadline sellers at all, even though Cincinnati had only a 39-40 record at the end of June. However, the Reds have gone 32-21 since July 1 and now hold a 1.5-game lead over the Padres for the second NL wild card slot. Given how Winker has developed into one of the game’s best bats, it’s safe to assume the Reds won’t be very open to offseason trade inquiries about his services, short of any “too good to be true” proposals.
More from the NL Central…
- Speaking of Winker, the slugger has recently started some baseball activities as he continues to work his way back from an intercostal strain. Reds manager David Bell told The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Bobby Nightengale and other reporters that Winker has begun throwing and strengthening exercises, and he’ll start swinging a bat sometime this week. Nightengale writes that Winker is “is still a couple of weeks away” from being activated from the 10-day injured list, after Winker was first placed on the IL on August 16.
- Also from Bell’s update to reporters, Brad Brach should begin a minor league rehab assignment this week. A right shoulder impingement sent Brach to the IL on August 8. Brach signed a minors contract with the Reds in May, and he has posted a 5.59 ERA over 29 relief innings since joining the big league roster.
- X-rays were negative on Ke’Bryan Hayes’ right hand after the Pirates third baseman left today’s game with a hand contusion, manager Derek Shelton told reporters (including The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Jason Mackey). Hayes was replaced at third base for the top of the eighth inning during the Bucs’ 4-3 win over the Cardinals. Fortunately, the injury appears to just a day-to-day situation for the rookie, who has already missed two months of the season due to a wrist injury. Over 312 plate appearances, Hayes has a modest .246/.317/.370 slash line and five home runs this year.
- Eduardo Escobar was playing catch on the field prior to today’s Brewers game, The Athletic’s Will Sammon reports (via Twitter). Escobar was retroactively placed on the 10-day IL due to a right hamstring strain on August 23, and was given an initial recovery timeline of 10-14 days. After being acquired in a trade with the Diamondbacks, Escobar appeared in only 21 games with his new team before being sidelined. Escobar was Arizona’s All-Star representative this season, and he has hit .252/.307/.473 with 24 homers over 489 combined PA with the D’Backs and Brewers.