With MLB’s trade deadline just two weeks away, here are three things we’ll be keeping an eye on around the baseball world throughout the day today:
1. Are more mid-season extension negotiations on the horizon?
While players and clubs typically try to avoid in-season extension talks, that occasionally changes in the run-up to the trade deadline. The Braves signed catcher Travis d’Arnaud to an extension yesterday, and last year’s deal between the Padres and Joe Musgrove stands as another recent example of two sides coming together on an extension in the midst of trade season. While d’Arnaud isn’t the only player for whom an extension has been a recent topic of discussion, other rumored extension possibilities come with roadblocks. The Red Sox reportedly have interest in an extension with young right-hander Brayan Bello, but Bello has indicated he prefers not to negotiate in-season. On the other hand, veteran hurler Marcus Stroman has expressed a desire to stay with the Cubs, but the club’s front office does not appear to reciprocate that interest.
2. Marisnick to undergo MRI:
Dodgers outfielder Jake Marisnick is set to undergo an MRI with the expectation that he’ll require a trip to the injured list, per Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic. Marisnick has appeared in just four games with the Dodgers since signing with the club on a major-league deal last week after stints with the White Sox and Tigers earlier in the season. If Marisnick winds up missing significant time, that would only increase pressure on the Dodgers to add a right-handed outfielder prior to the trade deadline, as the club has begun to rely on a fully lefty outfield of James Outman, David Peralta, and Jason Heyward with Mookie Betts and Chris Taylor taking on more infield work in recent days. In the meantime, Ardaya reports the Dodgers are expected to recall outfielder Jonny Deluca to take Marisnick’s spot on the roster.
3. Recent DFAs to monitor:
Cardinals lefty Genesis Cabrera and Rays right-hander Yonny Chirinos were designated for assignment earlier in the week, and both are more established names than the typical DFA fodder. Cabrera has had a rough stretch in 2022-23 but notched a 3.41 ERA and 28.7% strikeout rate in 92 1/3 innings from 2020-21. Command has always been an issue for him (career 12.2% walk rate), but lefties who average 96 mph and miss bats don’t grow on trees; it’s feasible that the DFA could accelerate talks on a potential trade. Chirinos, meanwhile, has posted a career-low 11.8% strikeout rate this season but nevertheless sports a respectable 4.02 ERA in 66 2/3 innings. Tommy John surgery wiped out most of the past couple seasons for the right-hander, but back in 2018-19 he gave Tampa Bay 223 innings of 3.71 ERA ball with a 21% strikeout rate and terrific 5.9% walk rate. There are workload concerns after he missed so much time from 2020-22, but Chirinos stands as a possible trade candidate who could help teams in need of rotation depth.
Both players’ DFA windows will extend to July 24, but it’s likely the Rays and Cardinals are in ongoing talks with other clubs on the pair of experienced hurlers.