- The Rangers have asked the White Sox about Jose Quintana, Crasnick writes. The Rangers likely won’t be significant bidders for Quintana, however, unless the White Sox’ price comes down. The two teams discussed Quintana at the trade deadline during the season, and the White Sox asked for Jurickson Profar plus “a lot more.” The Rangers thought that price was too high. There would, of course, be little reason for the White Sox not to ask for a lot in return for Quintana, who is controllable for the next four seasons. While it’s not surprising that the White Sox wanted more than Profar in exchange for Quintana, the basic framework of the deal makes sense — the Rangers reportedly targeted another controllable starter, Joe Ross, when the Nationals asked about Profar.
- The Rangers are still pursuing potential trades for starting pitchers, Crasnick writes. The Rangers’ rotation is strong at the top with Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish, and Martin Perez makes a decent third option. But they’re weak after that, with wild-card new signee Andrew Cashner topping a list of possible fourth and fifth starters.
- The Rangers also continue to linger on the periphery of Edwin Encarnacion’s market. Encarnacion’s agent said earlier today that several teams had made offers to Encarnacion of three or four years, although it’s unclear if the Rangers are one of those teams. GM Jon Daniels has said that it’s “highly unlikely” the Rangers will sign Encarnacion, despite a clear opening for a bat to play first base and/or DH.
There has been significant movement on the market for closers, leaving the Rays with an interesting trade piece in Alex Colome. But while the team is receiving ongoing interest in the controllable young hurler, it’s not moving off of a “price they believe is appropriately high,” Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets. Moving Colome would put a dent in the team’s 2017 hopes, Rosenthal notes, and it seems fair to say that the organization’s other recent moves do not suggest that the organization has any intentions of packing it in before reaching Spring Training. It still seems much more likely that the club will deal a starter; Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times recently provided the latest on that front, suggesting that one of Drew Smyly, Alex Cobb, and Erasmo Ramirez may be more likely to be dealt than are Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi.
- The Mariners have been talking with both the Rays and the Reds about starters, Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports on Twitter. Seattle has been said to be hunting for one more rotation piece, and it’s not surprising to see these two particular organizations mentioned. Tampa Bay, as noted, has long been expected to consider trading out of its staff; the M’s could conceivably have interest in just about any of the pitchers listed above. And while we haven’t heard much in the way of specifics from Cincinnati, it stands to reason that the club would at least weigh offers for pitchers such as Anthony DeSclafani and Dan Straily.
- The Tigers and Cubs have been in contact about left-handed reliever Justin Wilson, tweets Morosi, although he notes that it’s unclear whether there’s any momentum. Detroit acquired Wilson last winter in a trade that sent Chad Green and Luis Cessa to the Yankees, and while Wilson didn’t have the year the Tigers likely envisioned (4.14 ERA in 58 2/3 innings), there were plenty of positive indicators in the 29-year-old’s results. Wilson turned in a career-best 10.0 K/9 and career-low 2.6 BB/9 in his 58 2/3 frames out of the Detroit ’pen, and he also notched a career-high 54.9 percent ground-ball rate.
- Before landing Adam Eaton, the Nationals approached the Rangers about a deal to acquire infielder Jurickson Profar, Rosenthal reports (Twitter links). Washington was reputedly interested in utilizing Profar at shortstop, which would have meant keeping Trea Turner in center field, but moved on when Texas requested righty Joe Ross in return. It’s certainly not clear whether the Nats would have preferred to work something out on Profar rather than acquiring Eaton, but it’s nevertheless interesting to learn of the discussions. If nothing else, it represents one of the first suggestions we’ve heard of a team approaching the Rangers about the 23-year-old, a former top prospect who is now one of the more hard-to-peg potential trade chips in baseball. He has been thrust into a utility role after dealing with significant shoulder issues, and hit just .239/.321/.338 in 307 plate appearances last year. Further, despite his relatively scant MLB experience (184 total games), Profar has already racked up over three years of service time. But the prospect pedigree is second to none, and he has shown flashes of his talent in the upper minors and (in stretches) in the majors.
Jurickson Profar could be one of the Rangers’ biggest trade chips this offseason in their search for starting pitching, writes MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, although GM Jon Daniels spoke highly of Profar and said he expects him to be with the team next year. “As we sit here today, I expect him to be a part of the club in a winning role,” said Daniels of the 23-year-old Profar, who missed both 2014 and 2015 due to shoulder injuries but returned to play 90 games for Texas in 2016. The former No. 1 overall prospect batted just .239/.321/.338 in 307 plate appearances while playing first base, second base, shortstop, third base and left field. Daniels did acknowledge that he’s aware of Profar’s desire to play shortstop on an everyday basis, though there’s no avenue for him to do that with Elvis Andrus coming off a career year. However, as Daniels noted, the increase in roster versatility around the league has allowed utility players to effectively become regulars — a role that Profar could hold next year. Profar is under control through the 2019 season.
More from the division…
- Astros GM Jeff Luhnow tells Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle that he and the rest of his front office are leaving this week’s GM Meetings with a lengthy list of “leads” to pursue in terms of both free agents and trades. “I think we’re going to start making some offers right away, both with teams as well as with agents and players,” said Luhnow. “Whether or not it leads to anything next week, I don’t know. But I would like to have one or two things done before the winter meetings if possible.”
- Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register tweets that Angels GM Billy Eppler has informed Huston Street that he’ll have to win the closer’s role in a competition during Spring Training. Young righty Cam Bedrosian, who took over the ninth inning when Street hit the disabled list with a season-ending knee injury, will also be in the mix. The 33-year-old Street missed a month with an oblique strain early in the year before requiring knee surgery in August, limiting him to just 22 1/3 innings. Street recorded a brutal 6.45 ERA in that time and posted a 14-to-12 K/BB ratio while his fastball averaged a career-low 88.2 mph. Bedrosian, meanwhile, turned in a dominant 1.12 ERA with 11.4 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 and a 49.5 percent ground-ball rate in 40 1/3 innings. The 25-year-old saw his own season end preemptively as well, however; he first hit the DL due to a tendon strain in the middle finger on his right hand before undergoing surgery to repair a blood clot in his arm.
- Fletcher also reports that the Angels turned down a trade offer for an offensive-minded second baseman at this week’s GM Meetings due to the fact that the unnamed player was a defensive liability (Twitter link). It’s not clear who, exactly, is being referenced with the report — speculate away in the comments section — but Fletcher gets the impression that defense will be a high priority for the Halos as they look to fill add a second baseman. (Of note, Fletcher implied in a followup tweet that the second baseman in question wasn’t exactly a big name.)
- Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto suggested that his club will pursue a more targeted offseason than it did last year, as Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. “Last year was about heavy lifting and effectively re-creating the way we played,” he said. “This year is about focusing on ways we can get better in the parameters we set up last year.” With some “freedom” in the payroll, Seattle will still be looking to add a right-handed-hitting option at first, a righty-swinging outfielder, and a lefty reliever. Divish ticks through some of the many options on the market.
Rangers GM Jon Daniels managed to engineer an AL West title, but his club washed out in the ALDS. Today, he and manager Jeff Banister addressed the 2016 season and broke down the roster needs heading into the offseason, as MLB.com’s TR Sullivan was among those to cover:
- Texas will exercise its club option over catcher Jonathan Lucroy, which is about the easiest decision the team will face this winter. The 30-year-old’s $5.5MM tab for 2017 was one of the chief reasons that the Rangers gave up a strong haul of prospects to acquire him at the trade deadline. Lucroy rewarded the investment with a .276/.345/.539 batting line and 11 home runs over 168 plate appearances down the stretch.
- Starting pitching represents the Rangers’ top priority heading towards 2017, Daniels suggested. Texas also needs to fill in at center field and first base. There are a variety of considerations in all of those areas involving departing free agents, open-market options, trade targets, and internal candidates for increased roles. Regarding the team’s own players whose contracts are expiring — righty Colby Lewis, first baseman Mitch Moreland, and outfielders Ian Desmond, Carlos Gomez, and Carlos Beltran — Daniels says: “All of those free agents, under the right circumstances, we would love to have back.”
- Bolstering the rotation will be accomplished somehow, Daniels promised. “We will be better,” he said of the position, while also suggesting that the team still has enough assets in its farm to strike a significant swap to bring in a new hurler. Texas also needs to make a call on the $11MM option of lefty Derek Holland — declining it would require a $1.5MM buyout, as well as a $1MM buyout of his ensuing $11.5MM option for 2018 — after he turned in a 4.95 ERA over 107 1/3 innings. Daniels indicated that the team remains undecided on that move.
- Desmond is “the Rangers’ first choice to play center field,” according to Sullivan. He seems a highly-likely qualifying offer candidate, though that wasn’t confirmed in the presser. Gomez, too, could be a consideration up the middle. “We like what we saw from Gomez,” said Banister. “We feel like he is a quality player.” It’ll certainly be interesting to see what kind of interest he’ll draw on the open market after bouncing back with a .284/.362/.543 batting line in his 130 plate appearances late in the year with Texas. Otherwise, Texas has a wide variety of uncertain outfield options already kicking around in the system. “We have a number of guys we believe in and have talent,” said Daniels. “They are certainly going to get opportunities. Competition is very healthy.”
- At first base, the big question may be whether the club is ready to entrust Joey Gallo with a big chunk of playing time. The 22-year-old put up a .240/.367/.529 slash and swatted 25 long balls in his 433 trips to the plate at Triple-A, but has struggled badly in limited MLB exposure. “Joey is still a premium talent,” Banister said. “This guy has what very few in the game have. His raw power is off the charts. The power shows up, but it’s the hit-ability and the consistency that has to get better.”
- Another question mark of sorts is infielder Jurickson Profar, the former top prospect who finally returned to health this year. He isn’t lined up for much time up the middle after strong years from Elvis Andrus and Rougned Odor, with Sullivan suggesting he may yet be a trade candidate. But Texas believes in his talent and values his versatility, writes Sullivan, and his trade value may not be quite what the team would need to pull the trigger on a deal. Profar has just three seasons of control remaining, and only ended up with a .239/.321/.338 slash line on the year. “As I sit here today, my expectation is for [Profar] to be on the ballclub in a winning role,” said Daniels. “I think he is a winning piece.”
Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner had a long and interesting chat the Michael Kay Show (audio link) in which he discussed his organization’s rare sale-side moves at the deadline. Carrying three ace closers, he said, was an “incredible luxury, but not a necessity,” which seemingly helped to ease his mind in parting with Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman. He further explained that the organization didn’t simply decide at some point that it would undergo a sale, but instead considered each individual move on its own merit as opportunities arose. Generally, he emphasized that he looked closely at every player in every deal and suggested that the group of trades has helped position the organization for the near-future and beyond. There’s plenty more in the interview, which is well worth a full listen.
Here are few more notes coming off of the trade deadline …
- As has been expected, the Yankees will call up catcher Gary Sanchez once again, per Shane Hennigan of the Scranton Times-Tribune (via Twitter). It’s not yet clear whether he’ll just provide a temporary DH option — as he did earlier in the season — or stick for good, but Steinbrenner did note that the organization believes he’s ready for extended big league time. The owner emphasized that fans can expect to see several fresh faces down the stretch as the Yankees look to see what they have in the upper-level prospects they have been developing — not to mention those just added over the last several days.
- The Giants have moved veteran righty Jake Peavy to the bullpen to accommodate the acquisition of Matt Moore, as Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News reports. Though Peavy has worked almost exclusively in the rotation over his long career, he seemingly took the news quite well. San Francisco has liked what it has seen of late from Matt Cain, who was the other candidate to move to a relief role, and thinks that Peavy will be better able to handle the transition, skipper Bruce Bochy explained.
- Speaking of Moore, the Rangers turned their attention elsewhere given the Rays’ asking price on the lefty, per Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). Texas would have needed to send not only Lewis Brinson and Luis Ortiz — each of whom were packaged to acquire Jonathan Lucroy and Jeremy Jeffress — but also Jurickson Profar, per the report.
- Part of the calculus for the Blue Jays’ acquisition of Francisco Liriano was the opportunity for him to work again with backstop Russell Martin, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca explains. Both GM Ross Atkins and manager John Gibbons noted the importance of that connection, and Martin offered glowing reports of Liriano’s stuff. As Atkins put it: “The experience of Russ and the familiarity, if we come up with a plan we should expect some correction. This is not on Russ Martin by any means, but we did see that as an added benefit.”
9:00pm: Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com also characterizes a deal as “unlikely,” reporting that the Phillies were asking for at least two young hitters in the deal — requiring that one be ready to immediately step into the Majors. As Salisbury notes, that would likely mean players such as Nomar Mazara, Joey Gallo, Lewis Brinson and Jurickson Profar came up in talks.
JULY 30, 8:15am: Despite the action on Velasquez, a deal is still considered unlikely, a source tells ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick (Twitter link).
JULY 29: 9:35pm: Things may be heating up between the Phillies and Rangers, as the teams are said to be in “pretty deep” trade talks regarding Velasquez, per a report from Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. He adds that Jeremy Hellickson is also of interest to Texas, albeit as more of a secondary target.
7:56pm: The Rangers have scoured the market for starting pitching, ranging from controllable arms to rentals, so perhaps it isn’t surprising that the team has looked at Phillies righty Vince Velasquez — as MLB.com’s Jon Morosi reported recently on Twitter. While a deal still seems rather unlikely for the young hurler, reports tonight suggest that Texas is dedicating some real resources into making Velasquez an option, with other rumblings suggesting that the team could have other big targets in its sights as well.
The Rangers are “all over” the talented 24-year-old, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter links). He says that the team has done extensive diligence, though it has done the same for a variety of other major potential investments. Texas has multiple scouts on hand to watch Velasquez pitch tonight, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki adds on Twitter, with Morosi tweeting that this suggests serious interest.
Velasquez has been enormously impressive this year, pitching to a 3.34 ERA with 10.1 K/9 against 3.3 BB/9. With just 86 days of MLB service entering the season, however, he’s got a ton of cheap control left. For the big-market Phillies, who’ll no doubt hope to ramp up their competitiveness in relatively short order, it’s impossible to imagine a deal coming together without a truly impressive array of talent coming in return.
Meanwhile, Texas has placed Jurickson Profar in left field for the first time tonight, as Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News notes (Twitter link). The Rays have eyes on that game, and Texas is among several organizations watching the Rays this evening with Jake Odorizzi on the hill, as Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets.
Grant adds in another tweet that numerous other teams with pitching to sell also are scouting Texas. The Rangers’ top pitching targets remain Chris Sale of the White Sox and Chris Archer of the Rays, per MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, though that could be said of many other organizations, too. Sullivan adds that progress from injured Texas pitchers could impact the team’s deadline plans.
Of course, you’ll find those kinds of reports regarding who is sitting in the stands for many other teams. After all, it’s extremely common for a variety of scouts from multiple teams to show up at any given game, so it’s tough to read too much into those reports.
Nevertheless, Grant notes on Twitter that the Brewers have scouts on hand to see the Rangers, which he says is unusual for Milwaukee. Texas still prefers to add pitching above all else, Grant tweets, but there’s a “more detailed exploration” of Lucroy underway. Presumably, the teams could also discuss pitching.
Given the wide variety of scenarios that all of the above information could suggest, it’s obviously best to turn a critical eye towards all the scuttlebutt. But it certainly seems that the Rangers are seeking to line up a major addition, with other organizations perhaps taking that possibility seriously enough to turn their own resources toward exploring the possibilities with a club that holds some impressive trade candidates at or near the major league level.
SATURDAY,9:26pm: The White Sox aren’t motivated to trade either Sale or Quintana, multiple major league sources told Rob Bradford of WEEI.com.
7:52pm: The Rangers are currently unwilling to trade Mazara for Sale, but they’re open to dealing Gallo, Profar and some of their pitching prospects, per Sullivan.
FRIDAY, 5:23pm: The Rangers are “making [a] serious effort” to pry Sale loose from the White Sox, according to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan (via Twitter). Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reported recently that the two teams were already chatting about Sale (and Quintana, too) before it became apparent that Chicago was leaning toward selling.
There’s “no indication” as yet whether these talks are going to go anywhere, Sullivan notes, so it doesn’t sound as if there’s anything building in the immediate term. Indeed, Grant adds on Twitter that no “serious talks” have occurred as of this point. The key takeaway seems to be that Texas at least plans to take a real shot at pulling off a blockbuster.
Indications are that Chicago would have interest in Joey Gallo and Jurickson Profar in any scenario involving Sale. We’ve heard those two names quite a bit of late, and obviously the pair carries a lot of trade value. Still, it’s quite likely that Texas would need to add some real talent to that package to get the White Sox to budge.
Sale, after all, is just 27 years of age, remains under control at cheap rates through 2019, and carries a 3.18 ERA over a league-leading 133 frames on the year. Particularly with the contracts factored in, Sale is one of the most valuable single pitching assets in all of baseball — with Quintana not far behind him.
3:47pm: The White Sox are taking quite a few calls from rival organizations after reports emerged yesterday that the club is prepared to sell. While the extent of the sell-off isn’t yet apparent, and staff aces Chris Sale and Jose Quintana figure to be the most difficult pieces to pry loose, Jon Heyman of Fan Rag writes that the South Siders are at least willing to hear scenarios involving the top southpaws.
Per the report, the Red Sox are among the teams to have logged a phone call with the Chicago brass. Heyman suggests that Boston could theoretically also have interest in reliever David Robertson, and also notes that the Dodgers will surely check in on Sale and Quintana. No doubt plenty of other teams will also; as the recent chatter surrounding Chris Archer shows, controllable standouts draw wide interest no matter the time of year.
Ultimately, it seems that the White Sox are mostly looking to gauge the market for Sale and Quintana as they assess how far to go with their sales plan. GM Rick Hahn has acknowledged that the team won’t buy short-term assets, but hasn’t declared his organization open for business on the sell side, and it’s possible to imagine the club taking various routes given its array of veteran talent. Certainly, there’s no urgency to deal a top arm, though perhaps the Sox wonder if the time could be ripe with the market seemingly lacking the supply to match the demand.
The most likely pieces to be traded, generally, would be pending free agents. But as Chicago’s depth chart shows, the team’s walk-year vets don’t hold much appeal: Austin Jackson and Alex Avila are hurt, while Dioner Navarro has been ineffective and Justin Morneau only just returned to the big leagues. The Sox have one more season of arb control over infielders Todd Frazier and Brett Lawrie; there’s one more year on the contract of southpaw reliever Zach Duke and two to go for Robertson. Both Melky Cabrera and James Shields could draw interest, though their expensive contracts will require some number-crunching.
The team’s true core, though, lies in the players it has locked up to lengthy deals. First baseman Jose Abreu has had some down moments, but remains an appealing asset. Outfielder Adam Eaton is a great value on his contract. And then there’s Sale and Quintana, who are probably the most appealing White Sox trade chips of all. Of course, their extremely favorable contracts, young age, and top-level production all make them important assets to an organization that probably doesn’t intend to oversee a full-blown teardown. But taking a package of near-MLB prospects could theoretically still make sense, and it seems that Chicag would like to at least know what’s possible.
Here’s the latest on some names who may or may not be on the move by the August 1 trade deadline…
- The White Sox are reportedly asking for “five top prospects” for Chris Sale, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reports. It’s an incredibly high asking price but one that at least one rival executive thinks will be met, though others believe Chicago may not actually be serious about dealing its ace. The Marlins are among the teams who have inquired about Sale but with such a thin farm system, Miami doesn’t seem close to meeting Chicago’s demand. The Red Sox and Rangers do have deep systems and have asked about Sale, though Heyman reports that the Rangers/White Sox talks haven’t led to much progress.
- The Rangers are known to be widely scouring the starting pitching market, and if Sale can’t be obtained, Texas will turn to the Padres’ Andrew Cashner or the Rays’ Jake Odorizzi or Matt Moore, tweets T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com.
- The Rays continue to ask for Jurickson Profar from the Rangers in exchange for a starting pitcher and Texas is still refusing, FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi reports (Twitter links). Several other Rangers prospects have been mentioned in talks between the two teams, including lefty Yohander Mendez and first baseman Ronald Guzman.
- The Twins are seen as something of a “backup plan” for multiple contending teams in case other deadline plans ball through, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports (Twitter link). Ervin Santana, Eduardo Nunez, Fernando Abad and Kurt Suzuki are a few of the Twins mentioned as possible trade chips, though since none of these players are top-tier upgrades, it makes sense that contenders would explore other options first.
- Barring a knockout offer, it doesn’t look like the Braves will move Ender Inciarte at the deadline, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman writes. Inciarte received some trade interest even after Atlanta acquired him from the D’Backs last offseason, though a hamstring injury sidelined him for a month and he hasn’t delivered much at the plate. Still, Inciarte has so much defensive value in center field that the Braves consider him to be a strong piece for the future.
The Rangers aren’t optimistic that they’ll land one of the Rays’ controllable starting pitchers, writes FOX’s Ken Rosenthal in his latest notes column. The Rays continue to focus on Jurickson Profar, who could fill a void at shortstop, but the Rangers like the idea of Profar playing all four infield positions and seeing time for them in the outfield next year as well. The Rangers may be willing to budge on Profar if it meant Chris Archer, but Jake Odorizzi and Matt Moore are seemingly held in lesser regard.
A few more highlights from the piece…
- The Rays are also receiving interest in their starters from non-contending clubs that are aiming to contend within the next couple of seasons. That gives Tampa Bay further leverage in talks, as they’re not limited to restocking their farms with only prospects from clubs that are currently in contention. The Astros, too, are eyeing the limited number of controllable arms that are available, and the division rivalry aspect could play into Tampa Bay’s favor if both Texas and Houston set their sights on the same Rays arm. Alternatively, each of their starters has so much club control remaining that the Rays could just wait until the offseason and market their starters as teams miss out on the few quality free agents that are available.
- The Cubs are still seeking a top-tier left-handed reliever even after landing Mike Montgomery, but they’re also eyeing Athletics outfielder Josh Reddick, as previously reported by Jon Morosi. Rosenthal writes that some teams may eventually concede that the pitching help they covet isn’t going to be available at a price they like and could simply upgrade the offense, thinking that adding value is adding value regardless of position. Reddick, he notes, would be an upgrade for the Cubs over Chris Coghlan, and deepening a roster in any fashion bodes well for the playoffs.
- The Astros are looking for left-handed relief help and asked the Braves about Hunter Cervenka as a fallback option if their primary, more established targets don’t pan out. Fellow left-hander Ian Krol has gotten some looks for the Braves as well, Rosenthal notes, though I’d personally imagine that Krol would have a higher price tag, as Cervenka has walked nearly six batters per nine innings this season and has limited big league experience.
Padres general manager A.J. Preller was on-hand to watch the Rangers’ Double-A affiliate earlier this week, writes Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The Roughriders, Grant notes, were playing the Padres’ own Double-A affiliate so there’s the possibility of reading too much into the situation, but he notes that the GMs of selling clubs are more concerned with watching who they might acquire this time of year rather than evaluating their own internal talent. Per Grant, the Athletics also had one of their top minor league evaluators, Billy Owens, present at that contest. Grant notes that names like Andrew Cashner and Rich Hill have been connected to the Rangers in recent weeks, so there’s reason to believe that some homework on one of those two very available pitchers was being done. On a related note, the Padres are reportedly hoping to trade Cashner before his scheduled start tomorrow evening.
A few more notes out of the American League West…
- ESPN’s Buster Olney tweets that rival evaluators and executives are trying to determine exactly how much the Rangers truly value Joey Gallo (Twitter link). Some within the industry, according to Olney, feel that the Rangers’ firm reluctance to part with Gallo is actually a smokescreen, and they’d be more willing to part with him than has otherwise been indicated. Yahoo’s Jeff Passan reported something similar earlier this week, writing that some rival executives do think the Rangers would move Gallo for the right offer. Many Rangers fans questioned why Gallo wasn’t promoted today with news of Prince Fielder’s potentially season-ending injury breaking, but as MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan writes, the likely reason for that is that the Rangers are planning to give the lion’s share of Fielder’s at-bats to another ballyhooed young player: Jurickson Profar.
- Astros top prospect — and the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball, per ESPN’s Keith Law — Alex Bregman played left field for the first time with Triple-A Fresno tonight, writes Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. As Kaplan notes, increased defensive versatility will make it easier to keep Bregman in the lineup once he joins the big league club — especially with Yulieski Gurriel not far behind him. Kaplan says that while the Astros aren’t publicly tipping their hand as to when Bregman will be promoted, it could happen as soon as Friday for the club’s weekend series against the Angels. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX and MLB.com hears similarly, tweeting that Bregman could be playing left field in the Majors by next week.
- The Mariners received a devastating bit of news today, as the club’s first-round pick, Kyle Lewis, suffered a torn ACL as well as medial and lateral meniscus tears in his right knee in a collision at home plate. The former Mercer outfielder was said by some to be the top talent in the 2016 draft but slid to Seattle with the No. 11 pick. The 6’4″, 210-pound Lewis was off to a brilliant start to his pro career, slashing .299/.385/.530 with eight doubles, five triples and three homers through 135 plate appearances with Seattle’s short-season Class-A affiliate in the Northwest League. He’ll be sidelined for the remainder of the 2016 season and hope to be back to full health in time for the opening of the 2017 season.
- Sticking with the Mariners, the team’s acquisition of Dan Vogelbach in today’s Mike Montgomery trade leaves Adam Lind with a virtually MLB-ready prospect waiting in the wings at Triple-A. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports (on Twitter) that many executives believed that the Mariners would shop Lind, who has had a disappointing season, even before acquiring Vogelbach. The addition of the slugging first baseman/designated hitter makes it even likelier that the club will move on from Lind. Of course, Lind is having arguably the worst season of his career; he did slug a homer today (his 15th) but is still hitting just .231/.264/.449.