Cleveland Indians – MLB Trade Rumors 2018-08-17T23:50:52Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Steve Adams <![CDATA[Adam Jones Clears Revocable Trade Waivers]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=130674 2018-08-16T15:58:21Z 2018-08-16T15:58:21Z Orioles center fielder Adam Jones has cleared revocable trade waivers and is technically now eligible to be traded to any team, reports Fancred’s Jon Heyman. Of course, that distinction is largely a technicality, as Jones’ 10-and-5 rights (10 years of MLB service, the past five coming with one team) give him the ability to veto any trade scenario presented by the team.

Jones, 33, reportedly vetoed a trade that would’ve sent him to the Phillies prior to the non-waiver trade deadline and is said to prefer to remain in Baltimore to close out the season, despite the team’s awful results in 2018. Heyman adds a bit of context, writing that Jones had the chance to talk to one or both of Phillies execs Andy MacPhail and Matt Klentak, both of whom know him from their days with the Orioles. The Phils planned to play Jones around four times per week, Heyman continues, though it’s not clear whether that limited role impacted his decision to nix the deal.

The O’s also approached the Yankees about Jones recently, per the report, but it’s a known fact that remaining south of the $197MM luxury tax threshold his a priority for the Yankees. Adding the remainder of Jones’ $17MM salary — roughly $4.27MM as of this writing — wouldn’t do New York any favors in that regard. The Yankees, at present, are about $7MM shy of that barrier, per Cot’s Contracts. Furthermore, Marc Carig of The Athletic reported last night that in spite of a highly inaccurate initial estimate on Aaron Judge’s timetable for recovery from a chip fracture in his wrist, the Yankees don’t appear likely to add any outfield help.

The Indians were the other team who was most heavily linked to Jones prior to the non-waiver deadline, and there’s still plenty of reason to think they might have some interest. Cleveland picked up Leonys Martin in a deadline deal with the division-rival Tigers, but Martin developed a frightening and even life-threatening bacterial infection that landed him on the disabled list. While he is (thankfully) now said to be in stable condition and on the road to a full recovery, there’s no timeline for his return to baseball activity.

Paired with the litany of outfield injuries the Indians have sustained — Bradley Zimmer, Lonnie Chisenhall and Tyler Naquin are all out of action — that scenario at least creates a clear potential opening for Jones on the Cleveland roster. The money still owed to Jones wouldn’t be an easy pill for the Indians to swallow either, though, as they’re already well into franchise-record payroll territory.

Any team weighing a run at Jones would also need to consider just how much of an upgrade his bat would be through season’s end. He’s been swinging it quite well as of late, hitting at a .341/.398/.518 pace with three homers and six doubles over his past 93 plate appearances. However, that surge has only pushed his season-long batting line to a roughly league-average slash of .282/.317/.438. Given his poor defensive ratings in center field, some clubs may express trepidation over taking on some or all of the money he’s owed, surrendering minor league talent and giving him regular playing time in what has been a down season for the five-time All-Star.

And, again, all of that could largely be a moot point if Jones is indeed uninterested in green-lighting a trade. He’s spent nearly his entire MLB career in Baltimore and has a family there as well as numerous charity efforts in the Baltimore community — all of which is said to have played a significant role in his preference to remain with the O’s. If the allure of playing for a contender for the final month of the season and into October begins to hold increasing appeal for Jones as the Aug. 31 postseason eligibility deadline draws nearer, though, the O’s at least know they’re free to discuss him with any team in the game.

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Steve Adams <![CDATA[Indians Place Trevor Bauer On DL With “Small Stress Fracture” In Right Fibula]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=130545 2018-08-14T21:03:51Z 2018-08-14T20:52:05Z Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer has been placed on the 10-day disabled list due to a “small stress fracture” in his right fibula, manager Terry Francona tells reporters (Twitter link via Jordan Bastian of MLB.com). Bauer sustained the injury upon being hit by a comebacker in a recent start, and there’s no timetable for his return to action just yet. Left-hander Tyler Olson is up from Triple-A to take his spot on the roster for now, and righty Adam Plutko will join the team this weekend to start in Bauer’s place.

Fortunately for the Indians, they can afford to be cautious with a return for Bauer. Cleveland holds a virtually insurmountable 12.5-game lead over the Twins in the American League Central with just under seven weeks to play this season, so while the loss of one of their best pitchers undoubtedly stings, it’ll have almost no bearing on their ability to reach the postseason.

Having said that, the eventual determination of Bauer’s recovery timeline will be a significant development to follow. Certainly, Cleveland will hope to have Bauer back in enough time that he’s able to be relied upon as a member of the postseason rotation. The Indians will likely pair Corey Kluber and Bauer atop their starting mix in the postseason, giving them one of the more formidable one-two punches in all of October baseball (Bauer’s health permitting).

The 27-year-old Bauer has long been touted as a potential top-of-the-rotation arm, and he’s realized that potential and stepped up into “ace” territory in 2018. Through 166 frames this year, Bauer boasts a sensational 2.22 ERA with 11.6 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 0.43 HR/9 and a 44.2 percent ground-ball rate.

Fielding-independent metrics like FIP (2.38), xFIP (3.12) and SIERA (3.18) all largely support his breakout campaign, and Bauer’s combination of innings, strikeouts and run prevention would quite likely have thrust him among the front-runners for American League Cy Young honors. If he’s able to return in reasonably short order, perhaps that’s still possible, but missing even a few starts could jeopardize that possibility, given the strength of performances by other contenders, including Chris Sale, Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Blake Snell and his teammate (and reigning Cy Young winner) Kluber.

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Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Leonys Martin Recovering From Bacterial Infection]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=130487 2018-08-14T17:38:32Z 2018-08-14T17:38:31Z Aug. 14: The Indians issued an encouraging statement on Martin’s progress:

“Leonys has made considerable progress and is currently in stable condition. The medical team is optimistic that he will make a full recovery, but progress is expected to be slow. The collective focus is to help Leonys return to full health, and there have been no considerations regarding a timeline for his return to baseball activities.”

Aug. 13: Indians outfielder Leonys Martin, who was recently placed on the 10-day disabled list for a then-unidentified ailment, is battling a serious bacterial infection. Club president Chris Antonetti provided the update to reporters including MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian (Twitter link).

Martin is said to have faced a life-threatening situation involving “multiple organs.” Fortunately, it seems his treatment at the Cleveland Clinic has been proceeding well. Indications are that the 30-year-old’s “outlook looks good,” as Bastian characterizes the situation based on the update provided by the organization.

While it’s sobering to hear of just how significant a health issue Martin faces, it’s obviously quite a relief to learn that he’s on the upswing. It still seems that he faces a long road back to full health, with Antonetti explaining that “progress will be measured in weeks, not days.”

In situations like this, the baseball ramifications are of limited importance. What it means for Martin’s future is not yet clear. But it now appears uncertain whether he will have a chance to contribute to his new organization the rest of the way. Given that the Indians acquired Martin to play a significant role in their outfield mix, the team may now need to look again at possibilities on the August trade market.

MLBTR extends its best wishes to Martin, along with his friends and family members, for a full and speedy recovery.

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Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Indians Place Edwin Encarnacion On DL]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=130349 2018-08-12T02:32:40Z 2018-08-12T01:07:10Z
  • Speaking with Paul Hoynes of cleveland.com and other reporters on Saturday, Indians manager Terry Francona revealed that designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion could be headed for the disabled list. Encarnacion, who’s dealing with an injured left biceps, had an MRI on Saturday and visited with a hand specialist, Hoynes writes. The 35-year-old has also battled a bone bruise in his right hand, which likely helps explain his so-so production to this point. One of the game’s biggest offensive threats from 2012-17, Encarnacion has only posted a .229/.317/.461 line (108 wRC+) this year, though he has continued to show off serious power with 25 home runs and a .232 ISO. [Update: The Indians have indeed placed Encarnacion on the DL, Hoynes tweets. The club’s recalling infielder Yandy Diaz from Triple-A Columbus in a corresponding move.]
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[AL Central Notes: Martin, Santana, Perez]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=130294 2018-08-11T16:38:12Z 2018-08-11T16:38:12Z The Indians have not given much indication as to the medical issue that forced just-acquired outfielder Leonys Martin to the disabled list, but indications are that it’s a rather concerning health matter of some kind. As Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer writes, manager Terry Francona explained yesterday that Martin does not wish to publicize details of his situation at present, but the 30-year-old ballplayer is presently receiving treatment at the Cleveland Clinic. MLBTR joins those around the game in extending its best wishes to Martin and his family. We hope to see him back to full health as soon as possible.

    Here are some other recent notes from the American League Central:

    • Twins righty Ervin Santana had some choice words for the front office after his start last night, as Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press reports. Santana suggested that the organizational higher-ups have given up on the team despite the fact that the players are still “not giving upon” on the season. “They took our pieces away, and it’s difficult to play without our good pieces,” said the veteran hurler. It’s hard to argue with his characterization, of course, as the Twins have dealt away multiple quality veterans. Frankly, though, that has seemed an advisable course given the roster’s struggles in advance of the trade deadline. Santana himself could end up on the move, though he has struggled through four starts since returning from a lengthy stint on the disabled list.
    • Katie Strang of The Athletic took a worthwhile look at Tigers prospect Franklin Perez in a subscription piece. His injury-riddled campaign has impacted the team’s broader rebuilding efforts, as it has robbed one of the organization’s most promising players of a key season. While it’s never good to hear of lat and shoulder issues in a pitcher, the Detroit front office remains bullish on Perez. Fortunately, too, the organization is relatively rich in quality pitching prospects. Strang explains that the hope is to get him back to full health over the offseason, then launch him at Double-A to open the year. The post includes a lengthy chat with Astros international guru Oz Ocampo, who explains that Perez was “pretty much a finished product” from the time he entered the Houston system. Perez, of course, headlined the return in last August’s Justin Verlander swap.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Indians "Perhaps The Most Realistic Landing Spot" For Donaldson?]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=130211 2018-08-10T17:27:25Z 2018-08-10T17:27:25Z If Josh Donaldson is able to return from the DL soon and display some of his usual form, Fancred Sports’ Jon Heyman writes that the Blue Jays might yet be able to trade the third baseman before August ends.  In this scenario, the Indians are “perhaps the most realistic landing spot.”  Jays president Mark Shapiro and GM Ross Atkins have ties to Cleveland and knowledge of the franchise’s prospects, plus the Tribe was trying to make a splash at the deadline by checking in on big names like Manny Machado and Bryce Harper.  Acquiring Donaldson would allow Cleveland to move Jose Ramirez to second, and Jason Kipnis into the outfield to help shore up the Tribe’s outfield depth.  Heyman also lists the Cardinals, Braves, Cubs (if Kris Bryant’s shoulder keeps him on the DL), and Red Sox as potential suitors for Donaldson, though Boston seems like the longest shot of that group.

    [SOURCE LINK]

    • The Nationals received calls from “about eight teams” about Bryce Harper when rumors arose around the trade deadline that Washington was at least open to considering dealing the star outfielder.  Despite the interest in Harper’s services, it doesn’t seem like talks got very far with any suitor, as the Nats were understandably hesitant about dealing Harper whatsoever.  The Indians were the only team known to have shown interest in Harper.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Central Notes: Martin, Cutch, Bucs, Hamilton, Carpenter]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=130132 2018-08-09T18:46:02Z 2018-08-09T15:42:01Z The Indians announced today that recently acquired center fielder Leonys Martin is headed to the 10-day DL owing to a stomach ailment. It’s unclear at this point how long he’ll be sidelined, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian adds on Twitter. The club will surely hope the issue resolves itself in short order, as Martin is expected to play a significant role in the team’s outfield rotation down the stretch and into the postseason. The 30-year-old had been off to a productive start in his first six games in Cleveland.

    Here’s more from the central divisions …

    • Bob Nightengale of USA Today took an interesting angle on the Pirates’ deadline moves recently, discussing them with former star Andrew McCutchen. The veteran outfielder, who was dealt to the Giants in the winter, said he was surprised that the Pittsburgh organization decided that this was the summer to push hard for improvements. It’s an interesting story, particularly for fans of these two clubs, in no small part because McCutchen discusses the feeling within the clubhouse of going through the trade deadline. Referring to his past experiences with the Bucs, he explained: “We felt we had a good team to compete, but then you see other teams making those moves, getting the key pieces to their team to make them stronger, and you feel like, “Dang, we’ve got to do something, too.'”
    • In a recent post with notes on several ballclubs, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic presents one potential explanation for the timing of the Pirates’ moves. (Subscription link.) He writes that an executive with another team posits that the acquisitions of Chris Archer and Keone Kela were driven in some part by the team’s slumping attendance. That’s not the case, per president Frank Coonelly, who says instead the swaps were made out of a “desire to improve the club for this 2018 stretch run and for the next several years.” Coonelly also cited prospect depth as a factor that enabled the maneuvers. That certainly seems to be a fair explanation, but there’s also little doubt that the team has an eye on the bottom line as well. As Rosenthal writes, perhaps there’s some evidence here of “the power of a disgruntled fan base to effect change.”
    • As Rosenthal further reports in that post, the Reds’ decisionmaking on center fielder Billy Hamilton continues to be influenced by the views of owner Bob Castellini, who has gone on record as a proponent of the exceedingly speedy but light-hitting player. Hamilton didn’t feature as a particularly likely August trade candidate regardless, though perhaps there’s some hypothetical plausibility to such a scenario. But the report suggests the organization may still be rather reluctant to part with the 27-year-old, who is set to enter his final season of arbitration eligibility after earning $4.6MM this year. Perhaps there’s still a way the front office can make this all work in a sensible manner. Hamilton, after all, is a useful MLB player — he’s a great defender and baserunner, and has at least been somewhat better historically against right-handed pitching — who is simply miscast in an everyday role. He could still make sense on what’s hoped to be a competitive 2019 roster, at least if the organization makes a supplemental addition in center and commits to leaning less heavily on Hamilton.
    • It seems like it was just yesterday we were preaching patience in response to chat questions from irate Cardinals fans about Matt Carpenter’s struggles. But a turnaround of this magnitude remains a surprise. As things stand, he’s among the most productive hitters in baseball — even including his meager opening performance — with a .281/.393/.598 slash and 31 home runs through 476 plate appearances. It’s a fascinating situation for a variety of reasons, to be sure. Carpenter himself evidently feels that way, too, as MLB.com’s Joe Trezza tweets. “It’s just not who I am,” says the 32-year-old Carpenter of his exploits. “It’s not who I was. It’s not the hitter I’ve ever been. I’m developing into somebody I’ve never dreamt of or tried to be like. I don’t have an explanation for it.”
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 8/8/18]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=130074 2018-08-08T23:24:48Z 2018-08-08T23:24:27Z We’ll track the latest minor moves in this post:

    • The Royals have released right-hander Michael Mariot, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com tweets. The 29-year-old Mariot had been in his second stint as a member of the Royals, with whom he initially pitched from 2014-15 after they chose him in the eighth round of the 2010 draft. Mariot, who was with the Phillies from 2016-17 and the Padres earlier in 2018, threw 37 2/3 innings between the Royals’ Double-A and Triple-A affiliates this year. The majority of that work came with the latter club, as Mariot recorded a 3.81 ERA with 9.85 K/9 and 2.22 BB/9 in 28 1/3 innings (18 appearances, two starts).

    Earlier updates:

    • The Indians announced that they have released righty Zach McAllister, who had recently been designated for assignment. Though he cleared waivers, due in no small part to his $2.45MM salary, the 30-year-old ought to draw interest on the open market. After all, he had been quite a useful reliever for the Indians over the prior three seasons before hitting some bumps this year. McAllister is throwing strikes and getting swings and misses at the same levels as before. Though he’s giving up a fair bit of hard contact, he did that in 2017 as well. Of course, he had been outperforming ERA estimators in recent years. With a 68.5% strand rate and 1.51 homers per nine in 2018, some of the prior issues have finally shown up on the earned-run ledger. McAllister will qualify for free agency at season’s end, having already exceeded six full years of MLB service.
    • Per the MLB transactions page, the Padres have selected the contract of righty Brett Kennedy. His forthcoming promotion was reported a few days back by Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune (via Twitter). Though he isn’t generally cited among the organization’s best prospects, the 24-year-old Kennedy turned in strong results over 16 Triple-A starts this year, pitching to a 2.72 ERA with 8.1 K/9 against 2.3 BB/9 along with a 52.6% groundball rate.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Mike Chernoff On Tribe's Trade Deadline]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=129911 2018-08-06T15:31:57Z 2018-08-06T15:31:57Z Oliver Drake earned an unusual spot in the record books upon making his Twins debut on Saturday, as the right-hander became the first player in history to pitch for five different MLB teams in a single season.  After three waiver claims and a trade, the well-traveled Drake has now taken the hill for the Twins, Blue Jays, Angels, Indians, and Brewers since the start of the 2018 campaign.  “It’s definitely been a long year,” Drake told MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger and other reporters.  “It’s always a good thing to be wanted in this game. My wife definitely would appreciate being a little more settled. She’s been moving around a lot with me, and it’s kind of chaos. But it’s all part of it, it’s the lifestyle we live, and we’re just making the best of it.”  Drake had already taken a long journey of a different sense just to reach the Show, as he was a 43rd-round pick for the Orioles in the 2008 draft and didn’t crack the big leagues until 2015.  Ironically, Drake had a pretty stable run for much of his pro career, as he was a member of Baltimore’s organization until he was dealt to Milwaukee in April 2017.

    • Indians GM Mike Chernoff talks to The Athletic’s Zack Meisel (subscription required) about how a front office prepares for the trade deadline, as well as managing the hectic, last-minute flurry of calls and messages from other teams on deadline day itself.  Cleveland had already acquired Brad Hand and Adam Cimber to reinforce the bullpen earlier in July, leaving the team with one less positional target to worry about as July 31 approached.  “There have been times at the deadline where we’ve had multiple needs and you’re juggling a lot of different things at the same time….Because we addressed the bullpen much earlier in the process, we could really shift our focus to, ’How do we help the outfield?’ “, Chernoff said.  The piece is well worth a full read for an insight into the many factors that every team must juggle as it looks to make any trade, let alone multiple deals at the busiest time of the year for transactions.
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    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[Indians Pursued Ian Kinsler Trade]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=129653 2018-08-04T20:05:22Z 2018-08-04T20:05:22Z Among many notes of interest in his deadline run-down (subscription link), Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic writes that the Indians made a run at Ian Kinsler before the Angels instead sent him to the Red Sox.

    That move would have bumped incumbent second baseman Jason Kipnis into the outfield mix and perhaps precluded the Indians’ eventual acquisition of Leonys Martin. As things stand, the Cleveland organization still seems a plausible buyer of infield help on the August trade market (particularly considering Kipnis has hit a paltry .200/.217/.311 so far since the All-Star break), though they’re also likely to explore additional outfield upgrades as well.

    With MVP candidate Jose Ramirez being a perfectly capable second baseman, the news that the Tribe pursued Kinsler implies that they might also be open to potential third base upgrades; the club was already known to be heavily in on Manny Machado before he was shipped to the Dodgers. That could include the likes of Josh Donaldson, should he return to health before the end of August. It’s worth noting that the Indians also have third baseman Yandy Diaz waiting in the minor-league wings, though his defense has a malignant impact on his value.

    Then again, it could simply be that the Tribe saw Kinsler as a significant enough upgrade to pursue him ahead of most available outfield options. That being said, outside of Donaldson the outfield options who could potentially be had in August are far more interesting than any of the infield options who might clear waivers. Andrew McCutchen, Kole Calhoun and Avisail Garcia are some of the names who the Indians might be willing to pursue were they to stick with Kipnis at his natural position, though that’s simply my own speculation.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Indians Designate Zach McAllister For Assignment]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=129600 2018-08-03T19:03:18Z 2018-08-03T18:45:46Z The Indians announced Friday that they’ve activated lefty Andrew Miller from the 60-day disabled list and cleared roster space by designating right-hander Zach McAllister for assignment. McAllister, who has been with the team since 2010, was one of the team’s longest-tenured players.

    McAllister, 30, was traded to Cleveland by the Yankees eight years ago this month as the player to be named later in 2010’s Austin Kearns swap. While he never found his footing as a stater with the Indians, McAllister blossomed into a quality bullpen piece when taken out of the rotation in 2014. Over the next three seasons, from 2015-17, he pitched to a pristine 2.99 ERA with 10.0 K/9 against 3.3 BB/9 through 183 1/3 innings of work.

    This season, however, has been another story entirely for McAllister. Through 41 2/3 innings, he’s limped to a 4.97 ERA with a diminished 7.3 K/9 mark against 2.2 BB/9 while serving homers at a career-worst rate (1.5 HR/9). He’s yielded seven homers through those 41 2/3 frames after surrendering only eight long balls throug 62 innings in 2017.

    The 2018 season would’ve been McAllister’s last year of club control anyhow, as he’s now accumulated the requisite six years of Major League service time needed to reach free agency. Unfortunately for him, he’ll hit the open market on his worst full season as a reliever.

    It’s still possible, of course, that another club could snag McAllister and plug him into its relief corps in the hopes that a change of scenery and some different coaching will foster a return to form. McAllister, after all, is still averaging just over 95 mph on his fastball with a near-identical swinging-strike rate to the one he posted in 2017, and his chase rate has actually jumped by nearly five percent. He’s only earning a $2.45MM base salary, with about $773K of that sum yet to be paid out, so he wouldn’t exactly break the bank for a team in search of a bullpen mercenary to close out the season.

    If he ultimately is run through outright waivers and clears, McAllister does have enough service to reject an outright assignment to the minors in favor of free agency while retaining the rights to the remainder of his salary. At that point, he’d be a free agent available to all 29 other teams for only the pro-rated league minimum.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[40-Man Moves: D-backs, Dodgers, Indians, Mets, Mariners, Cubs, Marlins, O’s]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=129443 2018-08-01T00:43:52Z 2018-08-01T00:43:52Z This has been a trade-packed day across Major League Basbeall, meaning there are plenty of corresponding smaller moves that have been announced over the past couple of hours as teams make today’s agreed-upon deals official. Here’s a look at the DFAs, contract selections and other 40-man transactions that came along with today’s action…

    • The Diamondbacks designated left-handed reliever Jorge De La Rosa to make room for newly added southpaw Jake Diekman, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic tweets. De La Rosa, a longtime Colorado starter who’s in his second season in Arizona, switched to a full-time relief role upon changing teams and hasn’t produced inspiring results. The 37-year-old has logged a 4.38 ERA/4.98 FIP with 7.51 K/9, 4.17 BB/9 in 86 1/3 innings since joining the D-backs. On the bright side, De La Rosa has posted a 48 percent groundball rate and been tough on left-handed hitters. Considering he’s only owed the balance of a $2.25MM salary, perhaps a team will be interested in taking a flyer on De La Rosa.
    • The Dodgers designated righty Ariel Hernandez for assignment to open a spot for John Axford, per the MLB.com transactions page. Hernandez, 26, scuffled through his first MLB action last year with the Reds and hasn’t made it back since. Over fifty frames this year in the upper minors, he’s carrying an appealing 2.52 ERA, but has also handed out 29 walks to go with his 49 strikeouts.
    • The Indians announced that they’ve designated outfielder Johnny Field for assignment. His spot on the 40-man will go to newly acquired outfield prospect Oscar Mercado, whom Cleveland acquired in a rare all-prospects trade with the Cardinals (full details here). Field, 26, only recently landed with the Indians himself after spending most of the year (and his entire professional career to that point) with the Rays. Field posted a meager .213/.253/.373 batting line in his first 179 MLB plate appearances, all accumulated earlier this season.
    • The Mets announced today that they’ve claimed infielder Jack Reinheimer, who was designated for assignment last week, off waivers from the Diamondbacks. A former fifth-round pick, Reinheimer received a cup of coffee with the D-Backs last year but hadn’t done much to force his way back to this point in 2018. In his fifty games at Triple-A, Reinheimer owns a .237/.312/.353 batting line. Additionally, outfielder Matt den Dekker cleared waivers and was sent outright to Triple-A Las Vegas. He’ll have the right to elect free agency now or at season’s end.
    • Outfielder Isaac Galloway is on his way to the Majors to make his MLB debut with the Marlins, the club announced. It’s a long time coming for an eleven-year pro who has never before tasted the majors. Through 356 plate appearances this year at Triple-A, Galloway carries a .262/.315/.429 triple-slash.
    • Galloway’s contract was selected following the trade of Cameron Maybin to the Mariners, who opened a spot for Maybin by moving right-hander Dan Altavilla from the 10-day DL to the 60-day DL in yet another 40-man move. Similarly, Cubs righty Justin Hancock was transferred to the 60-day disabled list in order to open a spot for Brandon Kintzler, who was acquired from the Nationals today.
    • The Orioles are selecting the contract of right-handed reliever Cody Carroll, who will step into the roster spot of Kevin Gausman following today’s trade to Atlanta. Carroll landed with the Baltimore organization in the recent swap that sent reliever Zach Britton to the Yankees.
    • First baseman Ryan O’Hearn had his contract selected by the Royals, per a team announcement. Infielder Cheslor Cuthbert moved to the 60-day DL to open a spot. It’s the first crack at the majors for O’Hearn, who’ll get the call despite tepid results (.232/.322/.391) this year at Triple-A.
    • Righty Warwick Saupold cleared waivers and was sent outright to Triple-A by the Tigers. The Aussie hurler threw 34 1/3 innings of 4.46 ERA ball this year in Detroit, but managed only 16 strikeouts and a 6.1% swinging-strike rate in that span.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Indians Acquire Oscar Mercado From Cardinals]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=129415 2018-07-31T23:02:13Z 2018-07-31T20:42:12Z In a rare prospects-only swap, the Indians announced Tuesday that they have acquired minor league outfielder Oscar Mercado from the Cardinals in exchange for another pair of minor league outfielders: Conner Capel and Jhon Torres.

    Oscar Mercado | Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

    The acquisition of Mercado is an interesting one for the Indians, who spent much of the week leading up to the deadline seeking outfield upgrades but ultimately swung only a minor deal to acquire veteran Leonys Martin from the division-rival Tigers, While Martin can serve as a useful platoon partner for fellow veteran Rajai Davis, the addition of Mercado gives the Indians an advanced prospect capable of playing all three outfield spots who isn’t that far from MLB readiness.

    Mercado, 23, has spent the season performing well with the Cardinals’ Triple-A affiliate in Memphis. Through 427 trips to the plate, he’s batted .285/.351/.408 with eight homers, 21 doubles, a triple and a hefty 31 stolen bases (in 39 attempts). He was the No. 10 prospect in the Cardinals’ system on MLB.com’s midseason update, slotting in behind newly acquired Justin Williams (acquired earlier today in the Cardinals’ Tommy Pham trade with Tampa Bay). MLB.com’s Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo note that the converted infielder is a plus runner with a plus arm who profiles as a plus defender and “looks like he was meant to roam the outfield.”

    It’s a somewhat puzzling move for the Cardinals, who will receive a pair of lesser-regarded outfielders in return — albeit two that won’t have to be added to the 40-man roster this winter, thus giving the Redbirds a bit of flexibility in that regard. Capel is the higher-profile of the two, at least per prospect rankings (link to MLB.com, Fangraphs), though he’s not as well regarded as Mercado.

    The 21-year-old Capel has spent the season in Class-A Advanced, where he’s posted a .261/.355/.388 slash with strong plate discipline despite facing older competition (12.8 percent walk rate vs. 18.8 percent strikeout rate). Reports on him praise his above-average power and speed, with MLB.com suggesting he has the potential to stick in center while Fangraphs pegs him as a corner bat with the ability to hit.

    Torres is 18 years of age and has yet to progress beyond the Indians’ Rookie-level affiliate. He’s hitting .273/.351/.424 with four homers in 111 plate appearances thus far in short-season ball but generally hasn’t been regarded among Cleveland’s best prospects.

    Robert Murray of The Athletic first reported the deal (on Twitter).

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Indians Acquire Leonys Martin]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=129225 2018-07-31T21:17:00Z 2018-07-31T18:22:28Z The Indians struck a trade with the Tigers that will bring center fielder Leonys Martin to Cleveland for shortstop prospect Willi Castro as well as minor league righty Kyle Dowdy.  The deal is now official.

    This match makes quite a lot of sense on paper. The Indians, after all, are running away with things in the AL Central but had a clear need in the outfield. In particular, the team was missing a left-handed-hitting outfielder capable of playing center after watching Bradley Zimmer struggle and ultimately go down for the year with an injury.  Martin will likely share time up the middle with veteran Rajai Davis, who hits from the right side. There’s not much left on Martin’s tab for the present season, as he’s earning just $1.75MM. He’ll also be controllable for 2019 via arbitration, so could represent a piece of the puzzle next year as well.

    Though Martin’s .251/.321/.409 batting line is below average, it’s still the best work of his career to date.  A left-handed batter, Martin is an ideal candidate for a platoon.  He’s long been a defensive asset in center field, with strong metrics dating back to 2013.

    On the other side of this swap, the Tigers had every reason to get what they could for Martin. While he could certainly have been retained, cashing him in now better fits the team’s priorities.  Castro, a shortstop signed five years ago out of Puerto Rico, earned a 50 overall grade from MLB Pipeline.  Currently at Double-A, Castro is a switch-hitter with an above average bat and a good chance to stick at shortstop, according to MLB Pipeline and Baseball America.  The Tigers did well to sign Martin affordably in December, and then spin him into Castro several months later.  Dowdy, a 25-year-old righty, began the year as a Double-A reliever, then jumped into the Triple-A rotation for the Toledo Mud Hens before a move back to Double-A.

    Robert Murray of The Athletic broke the trade, with Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free-Press adding the Dowdy detail.  Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Brad Ziegler Rumors: Tuesday]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=129169 2018-07-31T16:30:10Z 2018-07-31T16:26:45Z Though an MLB.com report of a near agreement on a Brad Ziegler trade between the Cubs and Marlins was ultimately retracted, there’s still plenty of chatter on the veteran submariner, who looks quite likely to change hands today. Ziegler is owed about $2.95MM of his $9MM salary through the end of the season and has pitched to a brilliant 0.93 ERA with 22 strikeouts, 11 walks and a superlative 80.3 percent ground-ball rate in 29 innings over the past two months. Here’s the latest chatter…

    • The Marlins are moving closer to a trade involving Ziegler, but the Cubs are not in the mix anymore, tweets Frisaro. The field, it seems, is down to only a couple of teams.
    • Meanwhile, both Mish and Nightengale have tweeted that Ziegler has been traded, though multiple reports have stated otherwise. Neither Mish nor Nightengale has been able to glean exactly where Ziegler is headed. It seems fairly obvious that Ziegler will be moved, but things appear to be fluid as the Marlins try to hammer out a final deal.
    • Sean McAdam of the Boston Sports Journal, meanwhile, tweets that the Red Sox aren’t likely as they’re prioritizing power arms.

    Earlier Updates

    • The Yankees have been in touch with the Marlins about both Cameron Maybin and Ziegler, reports Mark Feinsand of MLB.com (Twitter links). New York has reportedly been eyeing an extra outfielder with Aaron Judge and Clint Frazier on the DL, and Maybin would fit that bill, while Ziegler would further deepen an already solid ’pen by giving them a strong weapon against right-handed opponents.
    • The Cubs do not have an agreement in place with the Marlins, but they remain the front-runner to land his services, per MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro. However, other teams remain in the mix to acquire him, per Frisaro, who notes that the Indians, Red Sox, Dodgers and Astros have all scouted Ziegler in recent weeks.
    • USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets that the Cubs are indeed expected to land a reliever today and are engaged with the Marlins in trade talks surrounding Ziegler (Twitter link).
    • SiriusXM’s Craig Mish tweets that the Indians are still in the picture for Ziegler as well. Mish also suggested last night that the Marlins are aiming to move Ziegler to a team that can absorb the remaining money on his contract (roughly $2.95MM, as previously noted above) and also has international bonus pool money to spare. Miami was connected last week to top international prospect Victor Victor Mesa (per MASNsports.com’s Byron Kerr, on Twitter), so it’d be reasonable to see the Fish try to boost their pool as teams await Mesa to be cleared for free agency by MLB.
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