Alex Verdugo’s name surfaced in trade rumors around the deadline, with at least one unknown AL team reportedly having interest in the Red Sox outfielder. WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford reports that the Yankees and Astros had some talks with the Sox about Verdugo, but naturally no deal was completed. The Astros instead focused on adding pitching (Justin Verlander and Kendall Graveman) at the deadline but have gotten a lineup boost from Michael Brantley’s return from the injured list, while the Yankees only made a couple of lower-level bullpen additions. While it has been an inconsistent season for Verdugo, New York’s decision to not add any batting help backfired, as the near team-wide hitting slump in August sunk the Yankees’ playoff chances.
Boston’s deadline strategy over the last two seasons has been the subject of criticism, and undoubtedly factored into the team’s decision to fire chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom earlier this week. With the Red Sox on the outskirts of the wild card race in both seasons, Bloom didn’t pursue a clear selling-or-buying direction in either year, opting for a more cautious approach rather than going all in on contending or moving any high-profile names.
Most surprisingly, Bradford also reported that Bloom turned down an unknown club’s offer to acquire Chris Sale and all of the remaining money on Sale’s contract at the 2022 deadline. “The Red Sox wanted better players than were offered and no deal was done,” Bradford writes, yet an argument can certainly be made that getting Sale’s salary off the books would’ve represented enough of a win for the Sox that the player return might have been a secondary concern. Sale is making $27.5MM this season and in 2024, with a $20MM club option for 2025 that looks very unlikely to be exercised given how Sale has struggled with injuries over the last few seasons.
Here’s more from around the AL East…
- The Yankees placed left-hander Anthony Misiewicz on the seven-day concussion IL today while reinstating righty Ian Hamilton from the 15-day IL. Misiewicz was carted off the field yesterday after being struck in the head with a Ji Hwan Bae line drive, but manager Aaron Boone told the YES Network today that Misiewicz was released from hospital and “all things considered, I think he’s doing pretty well.” More will be known once Misiewicz undergoes further testing, and while there is no timetable for concussion-related symptoms, it would seem like Misiewicz’s season might be over. The southpaw has a 9.00 ERA over 11 total innings with the Diamondbacks, Tigers, and Yankees this season, and Friday’s game marked Misiewicz’s third game in the pinstripes since being claimed off waivers from Detroit back in July. Hamilton returns after a minimal 15-day absence due to a groin strain.
- Ryan Mountcastle isn’t in the Orioles’ lineup today, and hasn’t played since leaving Wednesday’s game due to left shoulder discomfort. Manager Brandon Hyde told MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko and other reporters that Mountcastle was feeling “just okay” when trying to take some swings yesterday, and was hopeful Mountcastle might be available to pinch-hit in today’s game.
- Blue Jays reliever Adam Cimber will start a Triple-A rehab assignment today, manager John Schneider told The Athletic’s Kaitlyn McGrath and other reporters. A pair of shoulder-related injuries have limited Cimber to 20 2/3 innings this season, and he hasn’t pitched due to June 18 due to an impingement in his right shoulder. This lengthy stint on the 60-day IL means that Cimber will need a few rehab games to ramp up, but he should be able to return to the Jays’ bullpen before the season is through. After posting a 2.53 ERA over 142 1/3 innings with the Marlins and Blue Jays in 2021, Cimber has only a 7.40 ERA this year, though his shoulder issues have likely contributed to those struggles.