Milwaukee Brewers – MLB Trade Rumors Fri, 20 Jul 2018 23:22:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Brewers Sign Richie Shaffer, Rymer Liriano Fri, 20 Jul 2018 13:02:19 +0000 The Brewers have signed corner infielder/outfielder Richie Shaffer and outfielder Rymer Liriano to minor league contracts, according to Jim Goulart of (h/t: Adam McCalvy of Both players will report to Triple-A Colorado Springs.

Shaffer had been without a team since the Indians released him June 8, which came after he opened the season with a .164/.216/.310 line in 125 Triple-A plate appearances. The 27-year-old was far better last season with the Indians’ top affiliate, hitting .227/.338/.464 with 30 home runs in 546 PAs, though he did post a 34.4 percent strikeout rate.

Strikeouts have long been a problem for Shaffer, a former Clemson slugger whom the Rays chose 25th overall in the 2012 draft. Still, Shaffer has registered a useful Triple-A line (.229/.327/.440 with 64 HRs in 1,449 PAs). He also logged league-average major league production in 142 PAs with the Rays from 2015-16, when he combined to bat .213/.310/.410 with five long balls.

Liriano, 27, quickly landed on his feet after the Angels released him Wednesday. Unlike Shaffer, Liriano has held his own at Triple-A this year, hitting .268/.343/.523 with 16 HRs in 269 PAs. Liriano’s now set for his second stint with the Brewers, with whom he suffered facial fractures on a hit by pitch during a spring training game in 2016. He ended up missing the season as a result, and the Brewers waived him that fall.

Also a former Padre and White Sox, Liriano has recorded an impressive Triple-A line of .282/.361/.466 with 47 homers in 1,389 PAs. Despite that, Liriano hasn’t delivered on the promise he had with San Diego, where he topped out as one of the game’s 50 best prospects. Thus far, he has amassed 167 major league plate trips and slashed just .220/.293/.287 with a pair of HRs.

Trade Rumblings: Hand, Dodgers, Dozier, Heaney, Skaggs Thu, 19 Jul 2018 04:00:10 +0000 Though the Phillies lost out to the Dodgers in the Manny Machado sweepstakes, they’re far from done looking for upgrades to their ballclub. Dennis Lin of The Athletic tweets that the club is interested in Padres reliever Brad Hand. As Lin notes, there are certainly many other clubs in competition for the lefty’s services; he’s easily one of the most talented bullpen arms in the game. As one might expect, however, San Diego’s asking price for Hand remains very high, as he can be controlled through the 2021 season at a very reasonable cost. The Yankees, Indians and Cubs are among the other teams who’ve been connected to Hand, who owns a 3.03 ERA and 13.20 K/9 on the season.

More rumors and rumblings from around the league…

  • The Dodgers aren’t done yet, either, Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports reports, as they’ll now pursue a reliever to help closer Kenley Jansen at the back end of their bullpen. It’s worth noting that Los Angeles will sit just a few million dollars below the luxury tax threshold following the acquisition of Machado, so any bullpen additions will likely come cheap, or send a player (such as Logan Forsythe) back to a trade partner in order to offset some of financial burden involved. In addition to Hand, Jeurys Familia, Zach Britton, Kirby Yates, Craig Stammen and Raisel Iglesias are just a few names who could be available.
  • Also in the aftermath of the Machado sweepstakes, the Brewers are left looking to acquire an infield upgrade. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that they’re expected to explore trading for Twins second baseman Brian Dozier. With Minnesota all but out of the the AL Central race already and Dozier set to become a free agent at season’s end, he makes plenty of sense as a potential trade target for the Brewers, despite a down season so far. The Brewers are also expected to explore pitching upgrades, Rosenthal adds.
  • Also from Rosenthal, the Angels aren’t likely to trade young starters Andrew Heaney and Tyler Skaggs, despite previous reports that the club might consider doing so. The Angels see the two young southpaws as key components during a 2019 season in which they hope to contend. Rather, Rosenthal notes, the club is more interested in trading some of their relievers (he lists Jose Alvarez, Blake Parker, Cam Bedrosian and Justin Anderson), though they’d want a good enough return to justify giving up controllable players.
Josh Hader To Undergo Sensitivity Training For Offensive Tweets Wed, 18 Jul 2018 16:48:26 +0000 Major League Baseball announced today that it will require Brewers pitcher Josh Hader to undergo sensitivity training and to participate in the league’s “diversity and inclusion initiatives.” The determination came down quickly, after it emerged last night — in the midst of the All-Star Game — that Hader had sent a variety of offensive tweets before he became a professional baseball player.

Per the league announcement, it was determined that Hader “took the necessary step of expressing remorse for his highly offensive and hurtful language.” Indeed, the now-24-year-old called his own prior statements “inexcusable,” apologizing for what he framed as a youthful mistake — he called himself “young, immature and stupid” — that does not “reflect any of my beliefs going on now.”

Those interested in reading up on the situation can find a worthwhile summation from Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, who documents the tweets and Hader’s response. Needless to say, Hader’s words were deeply offensive. It is encouraging that he acknowledged as much, though clearly he has much work to do to make amends.

Hader stated last night that he is “ready for any consequences” that may come. The league evidently will not impose punishment, per se. Nor, perhaps, would that have been appropriate. While many suggested last night that a suspension may have been warranted, that’s a difficult proposition given that the tweets were sent before Hader was even drafted.

A statement from Brewers GM David Stearns (on Twitter) suggests that the team expects Hader to continue “taking full responsibility for the consequences of his actions.” It’s unclear just what precise expectations the club will set, but it does not sound as if any specific disciplinary action is planned. Stearns says the Brewers “will continue to work through this issue with Josh as we prepare to resume games after the [All-Star] break.”

That said, there’ll surely be broader consequences for Hader, who is in his first full season in the majors. Hopefully, he’ll proactively address this matter and seek ways to turn his prior missteps into an opportunity to grow and make a positive contribution.

Minor MLB Transactions: 7/18/18 Wed, 18 Jul 2018 15:40:40 +0000 Here are the latest minor moves from around the game, all via Matt Eddy of Baseball America unless otherwise noted:

  • A few right-handed hurlers with some MLB experience have found new homes. Casey Coleman has returned to the Cubs on a minors deal after opening the year in indy ball. He has appeared previously in parts of four MLB seasons and thrown 177 1/3 total frames at the game’s highest level, mostly for the Cubs. Coleman has a lifetime 5.72 ERA in the majors and hasn’t seen time there since 2014. Meanwhile, Mike Broadway will go to the Rays after being released by the Royals. The 31-year-old has struggled in the upper minors of late after making 25 appearances in the bigs with the Giants in 2015 and 2016.
  • Another righty, Jeff Ames, has been announced as the newest member of the Brewers organization. The 27-year-old was a sandwich-round selection in the 2011 draft but has yet to make it to the majors. He had worked to a 5.70 ERA with 12.9 K/9 against 3.8 BB/9 over 23 2/3 Double-A innings this year in the Nationals organization.
  • Eddy lists a variety of players who were cut loose, none more prominent than infielder Alexi Amarista. The 29-year-old, a seven-year MLB veteran, had been with the Phillies but slashed just .238/.285/.288 in his 173 plate appearances at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Amarista has a lifetime 68 OPS+ in 702 games of MLB action, so the lack of offensive production is hardly a surprise. He’s obviously valued primarily for his glovework.
  • Also released were outfielder Rymer Liriano (Angels) and lefty Jairo Labourt (Tigers). Both were in the not-too-distant past considered intriguing enough players to make it into the majors and then bounce around a bit via waiver claims. Liriano had posted a robust .268/.343/.523 slash in his 65 games of action at Triple-A with the Halos organization. But he had not yet been given a shot at the big league level this year and will now go looking for a better opportunity elsewhere. The 24-year-old Labourt, on the other hand, only made it into five rookie ball games with the Chicago organization, recording 11 strikeouts over 5 2/3 one-hit innings but also issuing nine free passes and allowing six runs (three earned).
Dodgers, Orioles Reportedly In Agreement On Manny Machado Trade Wed, 18 Jul 2018 05:08:37 +0000 12:08am: Michael Duarte of NBC Sports L.A. tweets that right-handed pitching prospect Dustin May, long reported to be a target of the O’s, is expected to change hands in the deal. Double-A infielder/outfielder Errol Robinson is also believed to be included, per Duarte.

That said, Heyman casts doubt on the inclusion of May, tweeting that the Dodgers’ unwillingness to part with him was the driving factor for structuring a deal around Diaz.

11:22pm: Heyman tweets that the players in the deal are agreed upon, though there could yet be some medical reviews to be finalized. Notably, he suggests that there are “believed to be” five minor leaguers going to the Orioles, though obviously the quality of those five will vary. It’s still unclear who, outside of Diaz, is going to the Orioles in the deal, but Heyman adds that there’s no cash changing hands in the trade. That won’t yet put Los Angeles over the luxury tax line, however. Machado is owed about $6.45MM through season’s end, and the Dodgers were about $15MM south of the luxury tax line prior to this agreement.

9:15pm: Rosenthal tweets that Machado to the Dodgers is indeed happening. Diaz will go back to the Orioles as one of the pieces in the deal. It’s not yet clear which other players are involved or how much money (if any) the O’s are sending to the Dodgers along with Machado.

Meanwhile,’s Roch Kubatko cautions that he hears a deal isn’t “done,” though that seems to be largely a matter of semantics. Kubatko notes that the All-Star Game has been a significant impediment to the deal’s completion. He adds that upon inquiring as to whether the deal could be completed tomorrow, one source replied: “It could have been tomorrow for the last 2 weeks.”

While any deal can unexpectedly crumble before it’s formally announced — Baltimore axed a deal that would’ve sent Zach Britton to the Astros at the last minute last July, for instance — the overwhelming consensus at this point seems to be that Machado will be a Dodger by the time the regular season resumes on Friday.

6:17pm: The Orioles’ return from the Dodgers is expected to consist only of prospects, Rosenthal further tweets. L.A. won’t send anyone from its Major League roster to the O’s barring a last-minute change. As such, if the Dodgers are going to move a big league asset such as Forsythe for luxury tax purposes, that’ll come in a separate trade, it seems.

5:08pm: Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweets that “several” other clubs who’ve been involved in the bidding are expecting the Dodgers to land Machado. The Dodgers are “increasingly likely” to acquire Machado, per Rosenthal. Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times, meanwhile, tweets that the Dodgers are believed to be close on a Machado deal.

4:16pm: Machado tells reporters that he has not heard anything today from either the Orioles or his agent regarding a trade (Twitter link via Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times).

12:48pm: Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Dodgers are the club with the framework of a deal in place. But the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Scott Lauber tweets that the Phillies are still “aggressively motivated” and optimistic of landing Machado.

11:10am: The Dodgers have indeed offered to include Diaz, Heyman tweets.

10:17am: Heyman provides a few more hints regarding the possible connection (Twitter links). One chip to keep an eye on is Dodgers outfielder Yusniel Diaz, he suggests. Working out the money may also mean that an expensive veteran player could head back to Baltimore in a potential deal, Heyman adds. On paper, at least, Logan Forsythe would seem the obvious player to utilize in that regard. Sending salary back to Baltimore would obviously mean that Los Angeles would need to sweeten the return.

8:05am: The Dodgers “appear to be the leading contender” to acquire Orioles infielder Manny Machado, according to Jon Heyman of Fancred (Twitter link). That said, there’s still no deal in place and Heyman adds that “the situation is fluid.”

As we’ve traced this key trade deadline story in recent weeks, multiple teams have emerged at one point or another as supposed “favorites” or “leaders” to add Machado. All along, we’ve also heard reporters caution that many clubs aren’t yet sure just when the O’s will make a decision. And with two weeks yet to go, it’s still plausible to imagine that they’ll continue to wait.

Thus, while Heyman says a “deal should be done this week,” he adds an important proviso (“barring turnabout”). And while this latest report indicates the Dodgers are homing in on Machado, it was reported late last night that the Phillies were surging into the lead by dangling one of their best pitching prospects.

Before that, the Brewers were reputedly part of a trio of leaders, and Heyman tweets that the Milwaukee organization remains a possibility. He adds that the Diamondbacks — another team once deemed the favorite by some — are also still on the periphery. And who could forget that, less than a week ago, we were learning of a surprise Yankees surge. Perhaps it should not surprise if other teams manage to vault back into the conversation, too.

There are plenty of ways to interpret all this, of course. It could be that the Dodgers are indeed lining up to get Machado. Or, maybe it’s the Phils that are doing so. Perhaps the Orioles really are preparing to strike a deal coming out of the All-Star break, a seemingly sensible approach that would avoid further injury risk. Or, it might be that the steady stream of horse racing metaphors is an indication that the Orioles are seeing how far they can push the bidding, comfortable in the knowledge that they can still move the finish line back a few more times.

From Machado’s perspective, as Roch Kubatko of writes, it’s hard to play through the “distractions.” The longtime O’s star says he wishes he knew more about where he might be headed, but adds that VP of baseball ops Dan Duquette “has been doing a really good job of trying to keep us informed as much as he can.” Machado also gave something of a preview of his anticipated approach to free agency this coming winter, saying he’ll be looking to figure out where he and his family will be “happy” rather than maximizing his earnings.

Latest On Manny Machado Tue, 17 Jul 2018 03:03:12 +0000 10:03pm: The Phillies “would include” young righty Adonis Medina in a deal for Machado, per’s Jon Morosi. Medina, a top-100 prospect, is a player the Orioles have long been rumored to have interest in. If he’s in the package, it could make the Phils “well-positioned” to land Machado, writes Morosi, though surely there’s still time for other organizations to boost their offers as well.

3:55pm: The Orioles are getting “very close” to reaching an agreement on a Manny Machado trade, reports Roch Kubatko of (via Twitter). However, despite a report of a “handshake agreement” between the Orioles and Phillies by Barstool Sports, Kubatko adds that there’s no deal between the two teams in place. To the contrary, Kubatko notes that both the Brewers and the Dodgers remain involved in the Machado market. Brittany Ghiroli of agrees, tweeting that “numerous” sources tell her that rumors regarding an agreement with the Phillies are “untrue.”

To be sure, it’d be strange for any club, especially one in the Orioles’ position, to effectively close off bidding 36 hours in advance of completing a trade when a better offer could come floating in at any time. An arrangement of that nature would come with little in the form of precedent. The inevitable Machado trade will be a franchise-altering moment for the Orioles, and cutting off negotiations this far in advance would be a downright bizarre means of going about it. By agreeing to a delayed agreement, they’d leave no room for the Dodgers, Brewers or any other club — the Yankees, D-backs, Braves, Indians and others have been involved to varying extents — to top whatever is currently being offered by the Phillies.

That said, it’s true that the league generally frowns on news of this magnitude breaking during All-Star festivities. It’s certainly possible that both sides are optimistic about something coming together shortly after the All-Star Game, and none of this is to say that the Phils won’t ultimately come away as the “winners” of the Machado sweepstakes, so to speak. But for the time being, it’s only logical to assume that the bidding for Machado remains open as the the Orioles seek to extract the best possible package of young talent.

Regardless of where Machado ultimately lands, the timeline depicted this lengthy saga may indeed reach its end shortly after the All-Star Game. Reports over the past week have indicated that the O’s are loath to trade Machado prior to the Midsummer Classic, where he’ll represent them in Washington D.C. as the American League’s starting shortstop. Jim Bowden of The Athletic took matters a bit further this morning, tweeting that Machado is “expected to be traded” after Tuesday’s All-Star Game and before the regular season resumes play on Friday.

As one can imagine, the rumor cycle is beginning to wear on even Machado himself. Speaking to reporters during the media hour for today’s events, Machado said that if he is ultimately going to be traded, he “100 percent” hopes it is over with sooner rather than later (Twitter link via The Athletic’s Jayson Stark). “To not answer these questions anymore, that would be good,” said Machado. The infielder also once again acknowledged that he has “no say” in where he plays following a trade (Twitter link via Fancred’s Jon Heyman), but his preference in free agency will be to pursue opportunities where he’s able to play shortstop (Twitter link via Ghiroli).

Phillies, Dodgers, Brewers Reportedly In Lead For Manny Machado Sun, 15 Jul 2018 19:59:20 +0000 JULY 15, 2:59pm: The Phillies, Dodgers and Brewers are indeed in the lead for Machado, according to Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun, but a source tells him “it’s too close to call” whose offer is the best. The Braves are still alive, adds Encina, who writes that “the strength of the Yankees’ offer appears to have been exaggerated.”

2:32pm: The Yankees are still “serious” about acquiring Machado, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe hears.

1:37pm: The Orioles continue progressing toward a deal, tweets Olney, who echoes Heyman in suggesting the Phillies, Brewers and Dodgers are the three most likely clubs to acquire Machado. Olney omits the Yankees and Indians, however.

9:06am: The Brewers have made a “good offer” for Machado, Heyman tweets, adding that they “appear” to join the Phillies and Dodgers as the most likely landing spots for the shortstop. The Yankees and Indians are also still alive, Heyman suggests.

JULY 14, 5:44pm: The Orioles are “definitely motivated” to get a deal done as soon as possible, Olney adds, citing an evaluator who is familiar with trade discussions.

5:14pm: The Orioles are “making progress and narrowing their focus” in Machado trade talks, Buster Olney of ESPN tweets. The Phillies and Brewers are said to be among the finalists; it isn’t clear who the other finalist(s) might be at this time.

1:19pm: The Phillies are “thought to be” ahead of the Yankees “and maybe most others” in the Machado derby, Heyman tweets. The Brewers, Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Indians remain in the mix, though, per Heyman.

JULY 13, 6:30pm: Rosenthal adds on Twitter that the O’s are taking a closer look at the Philadelphia farm. And Jon Heyman of Fancred tweets that there has been “some progress” between the sides

That said, there’s some uncertainty among teams pursuing Machado as to when the O’s intend to make a decision, according to’s Jerry Crasnick (Twitter links). While the club is said to “have a pretty good idea what [Machado] can bring” back in a trade, it seems that some suitors are wondering if the Orioles won’t wait to act until the deadline gets closer.

12:55pm: The Phillies have improved their offer to the Orioles for star infielder Manny Machado, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (Twitter links). In recent days, the Brewers, Dodgers and Yankees have been categorized as the favorites to land Machado. However, Rosenthal suggests that while the Dodgers and Yankees have the strongest offers on the table, the Brewers are beginning to fade from the mix, while the Diamondbacks are, at this point, “on [the] periphery” of the market.

Regarding the Yankees’ interest in Machado, some have considered it a questionable fit given the presence of Miguel Andujar and Didi Gregorius on the roster. Rosenthal, though, echoes recent suggestions from’s Jon Morosi that it’s at least possible that Andujar could be utilized as the centerpiece of a trade to acquire a controllable piece in the rotation, thus opening a spot for Machado. There are questions about Andujar’s defense, Rosenthal notes, which is borne out in defensive ratings (-12 Defensive Runs Saved, -7 Ultimate Zone Rating).

Suffice it to say, there are plenty of moving parts on the Machado front. Baltimore has been said to be keen on acquiring controllable starting pitching, and the Phillies have plenty of options in that regard, as do the Brewers, Yankees and Dodgers.

It’s not yet clear what, precisely, the Phillies (or any team) is willing to offer up, though the Phils have intriguing young rotation pieces in the form of Zach Eflin and Enyel De Los Santos, each of whom has already pitched in the Majors this season (extensively so, in Eflin’s case). Right-handers Sixto Sanchez and Adonis Medina are each considered to be among the game’s top 75 or so prospects, and the Phils have a number of MLB-ready back-of-the-rotation options on the 40-man roster who could be secondary pieces (e.g. Ben Lively, Jake Thompson, Drew Anderson, Mark Leiter Jr.)

Regarding the Yankees’ scenario, while some fans would undoubtedly bristle at the very notion of moving Andujar, third base is a position of depth for the Yanks, who still have Brandon Drury as an option who could step onto the big league roster following the season, should that scenario ultimately play out. Of course, the Yankees also figure to be prominent players in the offseason market to acquire Machado this winter, and if they’re successful in that regard, Andujar would’ve potentially been viewed as an expendable piece anyhow. As ever, it’s worth emphasizing that that’s one of numerous scenarios that’s likely being kicked around at this juncture.

As for the Brewers, they’ve previously been said to be among the most aggressive suitors, but right-hander Corbin Burnes, one of the Orioles’ targets, could prove to be a sticking point in those talks. Tom Haudircourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel took a lengthy look at the fit between the Brewers and Machado earlier today, calling him an “absolutely perfect” fit given the team’s deficiencies in the lineup — particularly at shortstop. Milwaukee, according to Haudricourt, still views struggling Orlando Arcia as its shortstop in 2019 and beyond, but Machado would give them a potentially overpowering top of the order, joining Lorenzo Cain, Christian Yelich, Jesus Aguilar, Travis Shaw and Eric Thames/Ryan Braun.

Brewers Place Jonathan Villar On DL Sun, 15 Jul 2018 18:07:21 +0000
  • The Brewers announced that they’ve placed second baseman Jonathan Villar on the 10-day DL with a right thumb injury and recalled outfielder Brett Phillips from Triple-A. It’s not known how much time Villar will miss, but it’s the latest disappointing development for a player who has experienced a marked drop-off since a great 2016. Villar has bounced back since a disastrous 2017 to some extent, though he has still batted a subpar .261/.315/.377 with six home runs and 14 steals in 279 plate appearances. The 27-year-old has been a key part of a generally weak middle infield, an area Milwaukee may bolster with a trade for Orioles shortstop Manny Machado. [UPDATE: An MRI revealed that Villar had just a sprained thumb and no structural damage, Brewers manager Craig Counsell told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and other reporters.]
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    Latest On Manny Machado Sun, 15 Jul 2018 00:49:47 +0000 As a whirlwind of rumors continues to surround Manny Machado, suitors for the All-Star seem to fall in and out of the mix by the day, and frontrunners seem to emerge and recede like horses at the racetrack. Last we heard earlier today, the Orioles were beginning to narrow their search, with the Phillies and Brewers among the finalists. But a flurry of whispers have given the situation a slightly different outlook over the past hour. Here’s what we’ve heard…

    • Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweets that the Dodgers remain in the mix for Machado, while the Brewers and Phillies continue to be in “consistent contact” with the Orioles. The Yankees, however, reportedly seem “less involved”. Rosenthal notes that the situation is hardly predictable considering the politics of Baltimore’s front office at present. Last we heard, the Orioles were targeting Dustin May and Gavin Lux in talks with the Dodgers, neither of whom figured to be available.
    • Correspondingly, Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports tweets that rival executives believe that the Dodgers will acquire Machado, though the wording of his tweet is somewhat confusing and leaves room for interpretation.
    • In talks with the Phillies, the Orioles showed some interest in recently-promoted starter Enyel De Los Santos, Jon Heyman of Fancred hears. Unsurprisingly, Philadelphia prefers not to include him (probably in part because he’s now contributing in the majors). Heyman quotes Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports as listing Adonis Medina, Jhailyn Ortiz, Ranger Suarez, Arquimedes Gamboa and Franklyn Kilome as other names of interest to the Orioles.
    • In a video for FOX Sports, Rosenthal says the Orioles would prefer to separate Machado and reliever Zach Britton in trade discussions, believing they can maximize their return by moving them in separate deals. That could be in part because the Astros (who are not likely suitors for Machado) have interest in Britton.
    Brewers Scouting Nathan Eovaldi Sat, 14 Jul 2018 21:59:35 +0000 While it’s unclear if either Skaggs or Heaney will hit the block, Rays righty Nathan Eovaldi will likely end up on the move in the next couple weeks. The Yankees, with whom he pitched from 2015-16, have “closely” watched Eovaldi of late, as have the Brewers and Braves (among others), Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports. Eovaldi’s most recent start was a nightmare, as he allowed eight earned runs on nine hits and two walks in 2 2/3 innings against Minnesota on Friday. In the process, his season ERA climbed from 3.35 to 4.59 (with a 4.45 FIP) over 51 innings.

    Brewers Place Eric Thames, Junior Guerra On DL Sat, 14 Jul 2018 13:59:02 +0000 The Brewers announced that they’ve placed first baseman/outfielder Eric Thames (right hamstring) and right-hander Junior Guerra (forearm) on the 10-day disabled list. To take their places, the club reinstated left-hander Brent Suter from the DL and recalled infielder Nate Orf from Triple-A Colorado Springs.

    Fortunately for Milwaukee, Thames’ injury doesn’t appear to be serious. After he departed their loss to the Pirates early on Friday, Thames told Mason Wittner of and other reporters that his ailment isn’t “too bad.” With the All-Star break set to run for most of next week, the short-term loss of Thames shouldn’t be particularly damaging for the Brewers. Although Thames previously missed significant time with a torn thumb ligament, he’ll wrap up his first half with a stellar .250/.344/.556 line and 13 home runs in 183 plate appearances.

    It’s unclear how long Guerra will be out, but the location of his injury is ominous. He’s also fresh off the worst performance of his season, having yielded six earned runs on nine hits in four innings on Friday. That aside, it was a successful first half for Guerra, who pitched to a 3.23 ERA with 8.85 K/9 and 3.59 BB/9 in 97 2/3 innings. ERA estimators FIP (3.96), xFIP (4.32) and SIERA (4.22) suggest he was fortunate in terms of run prevention, but each metric still paints Guerra as a useful starter.

    Manny Machado Trade Rumors: Thursday Thu, 12 Jul 2018 22:38:15 +0000 The number of rumors surrounding Manny Machado seems to increase by the day, with the Yankees now not only joining a previously reported field of seven teams, but moving toward the forefront of the teams most prominently linked to Machado. The Dodgers, Brewers, Phillies, Diamondbacks, Braves, Indians, Cubs and Red Sox have all been at the very least linked to Machado — though Boston’s interest has been heavily downplayed, and the same is largely true of the Cubs. We’ll track today’s Machado chatter here until more significant developments arise…

    • The Dodgers, Brewers and Yankees have “separated themselves from the pack” with their current offers to the Orioles, tweets USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, though he notes that there’s no clear favorite among those three just yet. That’s largely a continuation, then, of previous rumblings surrounding Machado. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported this weekend that the Dodgers and Brewers were the two most aggressive clubs in pursuit, and Fancred’s Jon Heyman reported last night that the Yankees had emerged with a “strong” offer — though Roch Kubatko of added the important context that New York had yet to offer up pitching prospect Justus Sheffield.
    • Not only has Sheffield not been included in an offer to date, he’s been effectively made off limits entirely, per Jim Bowden of The Athletic and MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (Twitter link). The Orioles, Bowden hears, “have been told [Sheffield] will not be included in any potential deal” for Machado. Milwaukee, Los Angeles and Philadelphia all remain in the mix for Machado, he adds, noting that offers are continually improving.
    • Meanwhile, Heyman writes in his latest notes column that the D-backs are definitely interested in Machado, but there’s a belief that they may ultimately end up prioritizing pitching upgrades. Unlike the top three teams linked to Machado, the Diamondbacks have a fairly thin farm system, so perhaps there’s some concern that there’ll be difficulty in adding both Machado and a meaningful upgrade to the pitching staff — though that’s just my own speculation.
    • Buster Olney and Keith Law of ESPN talk extensively about the Machado rumor mill on today’s Baseball Tonight podcast (audio link, with Machado talk beginning around 15:20). Both suggest Sheffield to be too steep a price to pay, with Law stating that he’d be “floored” to see Sheffield moved in nearly any trade — let alone for a rental — given his proximity to the Majors and the potential to develop into a viable No. 2 starter. Olney questions how strongly the Yankees are pursuing Machado, noting that it only helps the Orioles for those rumors to circulate and put pressure on other clubs. Ultimately, both feel it to be likelier that Machado lands with an NL club — with both the Dodgers and Brewers standing out as plausible destinations.
    Yankees Reportedly Make “Strong” Offer For Machado; Other Clubs Still In Play Thu, 12 Jul 2018 03:00:25 +0000 10:00pm: Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic also hears that the Yankees’ interest in Machado is “serious,” though he describes the interest of both the Dodgers and Brewers the same way (Twitter link). The Diamondbacks and Phillies, he adds, are still “keeping in touch” regarding Machado but don’t appear to be as aggressive as the others.

    6:07pm: Roch Kubatko of reports that Sheffield is not in the Yankees’ current offer for Machado (Twitter link).

    5:53pm: The Yankees have made a “strong” offer for Manny Machado to the Orioles, tweets Fancred’s Jon Heyman. While he notes that he’s yet to receive indication that the Yankees are the favorites to land Machado, they very much look to be a serious player in the vast field of teams vying to acquire his services.

    It’s not clear just what the Yankees have put forth, though earlier today, Jon Morosi of reported that the Orioles would be willing to send Machado to the Bronx if the Yankees would be willing to part with top left-handed pitching prospect Justus Sheffield.

    Exactly where Machado would line up with the Yankees isn’t clear at the moment. The left side of the infield has been a strength in the Bronx, with Miguel Andujar stepping up as a respectable contributor at the hot corner while Didi Gregorius enjoys a solid overall season himself (even if he’s slumped since a torrid April showing). Morosi has previously speculated that Andujar could be utilized as a piece in attempting to acquire a controllable arm for the rotation, though to this point there’s no indication that that sort of multi-layered scenario is at play. It also seems unlikely that the Yankees would send Andujar to the Orioles as part of a trade to acquire a few months of Machado.

    That said, New York has slipped to 3.5 games back of the division lead in the AL East as the Red Sox have ridden an eight-game winning streak to one of their most comfortable leads in recent memory. With the Red Sox pulling away while also scouring the trade market for a significant boost to their bullpen, the Yankees could, in theory, feel that a proactive strike to upgrade the roster is prudent — even if the upgrade in question doesn’t serve to fill a glaring area of need.

    Furthermore, it stands to reason that the Yankees are unlikely to be the only club to make a formal offer to the Orioles at this point. Machado has been widely known to be available for weeks, and trade talks surrounding him reportedly began to accelerate last week. As such, it’s likely that the Yankees’ offer is one of multiple packages being mulled over by the Baltimore front office at present.

    Brewers Have Spoken To Twins About Dozier, Escobar Thu, 12 Jul 2018 01:48:41 +0000
  • The Brewers have been in contact with the Twins about infielders Brian Dozier and Eduardo Escobar, tweets Jon Morosi of There’s no indication that talks are serious or have extended beyond preliminary stages, though the Milwaukee middle infield has been a weak point in 2018. Brewers second basemen entered play hitting a combined .248/.299/.376, while their shortstops have batted just .202/.255/.300. Milwaukee has been heavily linked to Manny Machado, of course, but either Minnesota slugger would represent a less expensive option — both in terms of prospect capital and salary. Reports have suggested that the Twins are open to selling off pieces, but the Twins have also won six of their past seven and play in a weak division.
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    Orioles Still Seek Top Young Pitching Talent For Machado Wed, 11 Jul 2018 18:48:31 +0000 Gauging the value of stars on the trade block makes for popular sport among MLBTR readers. Quite often, we’re asked whether a given player could command, say, a “top 100 pitching prospect.” Now, we seem to have a clear test case, as the Orioles are reportedly trying to land just such a player — a top-end pitching prospect, that is — in talks involving star infielder Manny Machado.

    It’s nothing new to suggest that the Baltimore organization would like to convert Machado into a talented young hurler, of course. The reported aim over the winter was to get two such arms in exchange for a single season of Machado. When that failed to materialize, the O’s instead held him in hopes of contending. Now, as the team pursues its fallback plan of a mid-season sell-off, it has continued to try to pry loose pitching talent as the headlining element of a return for Machado.

    The most recent reports indicate that the O’s are still shooting for the moon. With several weeks left until the trade deadline, of course, that’s arguably just what they ought to be doing. Still, the odds seem long that the club’s most optimistic wishes will be fulfilled.

    Baltimore will no doubt drive a particularly hard bargain with the Yankees, who stand as recent entrants to the Machado derby. The Orioles are willing to deal their best player to their division rivals, according to Jon Morosi of (via Twitter), but only if they score pitching prospect Justus Sheffield. He’s an unsurprising target, but that appears to be rather a steep ask given the 22-year-old’s pedigree and performance this year. The southpaw entered the year rated as one of the game’s fifty or so best prospects and has mowed down hitters at both the Double-A and Triple-A levels, turning in 85 innings of 2.44 ERA ball with 10.1 K/9 against 4.0 BB/9.

    Given the Yanks’ slate of needs, both now and in the near future, sending Sheffield out for Machado wouldn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense. Morosi does add on Twitter that the club’s “need for Machado increases greatly if they trade Miguel Andujar for a controllable pitcher,” but that concept seems to fold in quite a notable bit of speculation — namely, that the team is considering parting with the talented Andujar, who is already a useful (albeit still-raw) MLB player. Perhaps there are some low-likelihood scenarios where Yankees GM Brian Cashman manages such a multi-part balancing act, but that doesn’t make the concept of Sheffield-for-Machado any more facially reasonable as a value proposition.

    It doesn’t seem that the Orioles are holding only the Yanks’ feet to the fire, however. Baltimore is also trying to secure a top young arm from the Indians, Morosi also tweets. The ask, in that case, is for either Triston McKenzie or Shane Bieber. Neither pitcher figures to be parted with lightly, particularly for a rental piece.

    McKenzie graded as one of the best pitching prospects in baseball entering the year and has spun 38 1/3 innings of 3.05 ERA ball in his first attempt at the Double-A level. He’s not getting quite as many strikeouts as in prior years, with 7.5 per nine, but is allowing less than a batter per inning to get aboard. As for Bieber, he has never enjoyed the hype of McKenzie (to say nothing of the pop star who shares his last name). But he’s turning plenty of heads now. The 23-year-old owns a 3.47 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9 through his first 36 1/3 MLB frames.

    Needless to say, it’s particularly difficult to imagine the Cleveland organization giving up a player who is currently making a significant contribution in the majors. The same holds for the Brewers, who face a tight divisional race and have long been cited as a potential buyer of pitching.

    In talks with Milwaukee, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported recently (subscription link), the O’s have tried with little success to get the Brewers to offer up Corbin Burnes. He, too, is a top-100 prospect. Despite middling results at Triple-A, he sported solid K/BB numbers there and just turned in a memorable MLB debut in a multi-inning relief capacity.

    It came as some surprise, then, when Rosenthal’s colleague Jim Bowden tweeted today that the Brewers “have discussed [a] package” of not only Burnes, but also Keon Broxton and Orlando Arcia, as a potential means of landing Machado. Perhaps there’s more to this concept than is evident from that single tweet, but it seems questionable that the Milwaukee organization would even contemplate such an arrangement. Indeed, Jon Heyman of Fancred reports on Twitter that there’s “no way” of the O’s landing that particular haul for Machado.

    Certainly, it’s understandable that the O’s are pushing to get a foundational arm as they bid adieu to a franchise cornerstone. And with so many contending clubs showing serious interest — the Dodgers, Diamondbacks, and Phillies are among the others tied to Machado in recent weeks — it’s still possible that there’ll be a surprising return. While plenty of other teams figure to function as sellers, after all, none have anything close to a rental player of Machado’s caliber on offer.

    That said, the odds are decidedly against the Orioles convincing a contender to give up a quality, near-to-the-majors starter. Such players are not only prized for their long-term value — the tantalizing possibility of quality output at a bargain price for multiple seasons — but also their potential near-term impact. Some of the hurlers noted above have already or could soon reach the majors. And most of the top-rated pre-MLB hurlers could at least be significant staff members at some point in the 2019 season. Perhaps there’s some room for creativity, potentially including package arrangements and/or a willingness to pay down salary, to facilitate the acquisition of the type of asset the Orioles seek. But getting something done is going to require the exploration of quite a few possibilities and plenty of negotiation, which perhaps more than anything explains the volume of reporting we’ve seen of late on conceivable Machado trade permutations.

    Manny Machado Rumors: Tuesday Tue, 10 Jul 2018 20:17:23 +0000 Yesterday’s news wire included quite a lot of chatter surrounding Orioles infielder Manny Machado, who is the clear top player available on this summer’s trade market. Last we checked, the Brewers and Dodgers were said to be working hard at making a deal with the Yankees also entering the fray.

    Here’s the latest:

    • The Brewers and Dodgers are indeed still trying to sort out arrangements with the Baltimore front office, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, who provides more details on the talks in a subscription link. Rosenthal suggests that the O’s are targeting Milwaukee hurler Corbin Burnes and Dodgers prospects Gavin Lux and Dustin May, none of whom appear to be available in talks. Notably, per the report, the Brewers “would prefer to build their package” around outfielder Brett Phillips and pitching prospect Luis Ortiz — both highly-ranked young talents in their own rights, perhaps suggesting that the Orioles have had some success in generating quality offers. Of course, every team will have its own preferences on young talent, and prospect rankings are little more than a general guide for outside observers. Broadly, it does not sound as if either the Milwaukee or Los Angeles organizations are close to striking a deal for Machado. It also seemingly remains an open question whether the Orioles are really interested in dealing him before the All-Star Game. That’d surely be the approach taken if the club feels it can best maximize the return right now, though it would also be tough to see Machado lined up in a different uniform down the street in D.C.
    • Meanwhile, after Machado himself threw a bit of cold water on the notion of a shift back to third base — which would be the only way he’d really fit in with the Yankees — New York GM Brian Cashman cast further shade on the concept of a move to the Bronx. As Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports, Cashman suggests he’s focused primarily on boosting his team’s starting pitching. The third base position, he says, is a clear strength for the club. That hardly rules out a move for Machado, of course, though Cashman did make clear that he views it as his “job” to “attack weakness” on the roster. All things considered, it seems this intriguing match is a low-likelihood match, but one that shouldn’t be dismissed entirely.
    • Of course, some teams that once figured to represent suitors no longer really seem to be in the mix. That’s the case for the CubsBob Nightengale of USA Today writes. He cites an O’s source that pegs the Diamondbacks as another leading contender to land Machado, along with the two noted above, so it seems Arizona is still involved even if the team hasn’t been linked as strongly in recent days. But the Chicago organization seems understandably pleased with its existing lineup, with pitching representing a greater need. Likewise, the Cardinals don’t appear to be involved on Machado, which Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch argues is a reflection of the front office’s accurate assessment of the team’s outlook.
    Brewers Have Considered Derek Dietrich Tue, 10 Jul 2018 15:45:20 +0000
  • In other news from Miami, the Marlins are getting some hits on utilityman Derek Dietrich, Heyman also tweets. Soon to turn 29, and controllable for two more years via arbitration after earning $2.9MM this season, the left-handed-hitting Dietrich is another interesting asset for the Fish. He’s slashing a sturdy .287/.353/.452 and can play in the infield or corner outfield. Of course, his defensive flexibility doesn’t really come with a positive reputation for glovework. Among the teams that “could” have interest, per the report, are the Brewers and Cubs. Both of those organizations seem to have more pressing needs and better potential fits elsewhere, though it’s always possible they could make Dietrich a priority if they really believe in his bat.
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    Manny Machado Trade Rumors: Monday Mon, 09 Jul 2018 19:40:48 +0000 2:40pm: Outfielder Brett Phillips is one prospect who could go from the Brewers to the Orioles in a potential trade package, reports ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick (via Twitter). Phillips doesn’t have a clear path to playing time in an outfield mix that has Lorenzo Cain, Christian Yelich, Ryan Braun, Eric Thames and Domingo Santana, but he’s more or less big league ready and could give Baltimore a potential replacement for Adam Jones in center field. Crasnick notes that Jones, a free agent at season’s end and a trade candidate in his own right, wouldn’t stay in center field beyond 2018 even if he ultimately returned to the O’s.

    Phillips, 24, is in his second season at the Triple-A level and has batted a combined .280/.359/.498 with 23 homers and 20 steals through 716 plate appearances at that level. He entered the season ranked as the game’s No. 80 overall prospect, per Baseball America.

    9:34am: Morosi now tweets that in addition to Buehler and Verdugo, the Dodgers are also unlikely to include Ruiz in a trade for a rental player.

    8:50am: The Manny Machado saga continues to be the focal point of Major League Baseball’s rumor mill and appeared to take a step forward over the weekend. Seven teams have reportedly made offers for Machado, with the Dodgers and Brewers now reported to be the most serious suitors. Today,’s Jon Morosi takes a look at those top two teams and the manner in which each lines up with Baltimore as a trade partner.

    Morosi echoes a prior report from USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, writing that he hears Dodgers Class-A right-hander Dustin May is of particular interest to the Orioles. So, too, is Double-A catcher Keibert Ruiz, whom Baseball America recently dubbed the No. 26 prospect in all of baseball. It’s not clear how willing the Dodgers are to part with either player, though Morosi notes that L.A. would be reluctant to trade away either Walker Buehler or Alex Verdugo for a half-season of Machado (or any rental player).

    The Brewers, however, appear to be a better fit in terms of the type of MLB-ready arms that they can offer, Morosi observes. Corbin Burnes and Luis Ortiz are both on the cusp of MLB readiness (to say nothing of Brandon Woodruff), and the Brewers have multiple players with MLB experience that have been back and forth between Triple-A and the Majors this season, including Orlando Arcia, Domingo Santana and Keon Broxton.

    Meanwhile, Roch Kubatko of reports that some of the teams who’ve approached the Orioles have expressed interest in package deals involving both Machado and one of the Orioles’ relievers — Zach Britton, Brad Brach and Mychal Givens, specifically. The Orioles are open to packaging Machado and Britton or Machado and Brach in order to enhance a potential return, per Kubatko, but the team’s preference would be to hang onto Givens, who is controlled through 2021.

    It’s certainly easy to understand why the O’s would prefer to hang onto Givens, whose stock is down from last year thanks to worsened control an a half-mile-per-hour dip in his average fastball velocity. There’s no urgency to trade him as there would be with Brach or the struggling Britton, each of whom is a free agent at season’s end. If Givens is finishes the season strongly or turns things around in 2019, his value could take a substantial step forward given that remaining club control. Of course, there’s also a case to be made that the O’s should be amenable to the idea of trading virtually anyone on the roster, given the poor quality of the farm system and the sizable gap between them and the Yankees and Red Sox — not only in 2018 but over the next few seasons as Baltimore reshapes its roster.

    7 Teams Have Made Offers For Manny Machado Sun, 08 Jul 2018 17:38:10 +0000 SUNDAY: The Dodgers and Brewers are at the forefront of the Machado derby, and the Indians are also “in the mix,” Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweets.

    SATURDAY: It’s possible Manny Machado’s tenure with the Orioles will come to an end as early as this weekend, according to the Baltimore Sun’s Eduardo A. Encina, who reports that seven teams have made offers for the soon-to-be free agent. The Dodgers have put forth the most enticing proposal, Encina hears, with the Diamondbacks, Brewers, Phillies, Braves, Indians and Cubs (in that order) coming in behind them. But the offers are “very close” in value, per Encina, so any of those other six clubs could leapfrog Los Angeles to land Machado prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

    Roch Kubatko of passes along slightly different information than Encina, suggesting the Indians are currently in last place among the previously mentioned seven teams in the race for Machado. Cleveland has made an offer, Kubatko reports, but a source tells him other clubs are “more active” in the sweepstakes. Interest in Machado goes beyond the seven teams mentioned, Kubatko adds, as several others have at least “checked in” on him.

    It “seems unlikely” Baltimore will deal Machado this weekend, Encina writes, but it’s all but guaranteed to happen sometime this month. After all, the Orioles (24-64) own the majors’ worst record, and they’ll either have to trade the 26-year-old Machado in the next three-plus weeks or watch him leave for draft-pick compensation in free agency. The superstar shortstop/third baseman is sure to reel in one of the richest contracts in the history of the sport once he hits the open market, and he has helped his future earning power by batting a healthy .310/.381/.560 with 21 home runs and nearly as many walks (40) as strikeouts (50) in 375 plate appearances this season.

    If the Dodgers are the team that upgrades at short with Machado this summer, it may come at the expense of either outfield prospect Alex Verdugo or young pitcher Yadier Alvarez. The Orioles have shown interest in both of those farmhands – two of the finest talents in the minors – though the Dodgers’ offers so far have not included either player, Encina relays, and Kubatko writes that LA has not made Verdugo available. Considering their wealth of offensive talent, it’s arguable the Dodgers won’t even need Machado as they seek a sixth straight National League West title and a second consecutive NL pennant. But acquiring him would still be a boon to them and a blow to the rival Diamondbacks, who lead LA by one game in the NL West and haven’t gotten high-end production from their shortstops this year.

    Like the D-backs, none of the Brewers, Phillies or Braves have fared well at short. The Indians and Cubs have, on the other hand. But Machado could be a third base solution for the Indians, who have the great Francisco Lindor at short and would be able to shift fellow superstar Jose Ramirez from the hot corner to second base to make room for Machado. In doing so, the Tribe would presumably relegate struggling second baseman Jason Kipnis to a bench role. The Cubs, meanwhile, have an impressive-looking setup at second (Javier Baez), short (Addison Russell) and third (the currently injured Kris Bryant), so it’s unclear where Machado would fit, though there has long been speculation about Russell going to Baltimore in a deal. However, Russell is under affordable control through 2020 and would be a lot to give up for a rental player – albeit one who’d serve as an upgrade for a Chicago team which trails NL Central-leading Milwaukee by 1 1/2 games.

    Brewers Promote Corbin Burnes, Activate Lorenzo Cain, Place Ryan Braun On DL Sun, 08 Jul 2018 16:10:33 +0000 The Brewers are set to promote one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, right-hander Corbin Burnes, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets. The team has also activated outfielder Lorenzo Cain from the 10-day disabled list; sent fellow outfielder Ryan Braun and catcher Manny Pina to the DL; recalled infielder/outfielder Nate Orf and catcher Jacob Nottingham from Triple-A; and optioned righty Aaron Wilkerson, per Adam McCalvy of

    In yet another move, Milwaukee announced that it has designated lefty Mike Zagurski for assignment. Between Zagurski’s exit and Burnes’ promotion, the Brewers still have an open spot on their 40-man roster.

    Now 23, Burnes will get to the majors quickly after joining the Brewers as a fourth-round pick in 2016. After Milwaukee selected him, Burnes proceeded to race through the lower levels of the minors over the previous two seasons, and has spent all of this year at Triple-A. Burnes hasn’t been great at preventing runs in 2018, having recorded a 5.15 ERA in 78 2/3 innings (19 appearances, 13 starts), though the Brewers’ Triple-A home in Colorado Springs is a tough environment for pitchers. And to his credit, Burnes has managed 9.27 K/9 against 3.55 BB/9.

    Both (No. 56) and Baseball America (No. 58) regard Burnes as a top-60 prospect in baseball and one of the best farmhands in a quality Brewers system. In its free scouting report, lauds Burnes’ “lightning-quick arm,” adding that he offers a 92 to 95 mph fastball with “natural cutting action,” two impressive breaking pitches and a solid changeup.

    It’s unclear whether Burnes will factor into the Brewers’ rotation in the short term, as Wade Miley is nearing a return from the DL and could join Junior Guerra, Chase Anderson, Jhoulys Chacin and Freddy Peralta to comprise their starting staff. Wilkerson started for the club Saturday, going five innings and allowing two earned runs in a loss to Atlanta. The defeat dropped the Brewers to a still-excellent 53-36, good for a 1 1/2-game lead in the NL Central. With Milwaukee looking like a strong playoff contender, it could further bolster its roster – including its rotation – in advance of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, though the club does have potential pitching reinforcements on the way in Miley, Jimmy Nelson, Brent Suter and Zach Davies (all of whom are on the DL). Although, Nelson may not pitch until September, if at all, general manager David Stearns told Haudricourt and other reporters Sunday.

    Cain, meanwhile, will act as a reinforcement for the Brewers’ position player group after missing nearly two weeks with a groin strain. He had gotten off to a tremendous start in the first season of a five-year, $80MM contract. The also-expensive Braun has been uncharacteristically ineffective, on the other hand, with a .235/.283/.427 line in 255 plate appearances. Injuries have been an all-too-common issue of late for Braun, who’s now dealing with a back strain.

    Pina, the Brewers’ starting catcher, is heading to the shelf with a left biceps strain. He’s part of a Brewers backstop contingent that hasn’t offered much at the plate this year, as Pina has hit .227/.294/.376 in 214 PAs. Pina has thrown out 36 percent of would-be base stealers, however, and been a middle-of-the-pack pitch framer, per Baseball Prospectus. His absence will leave the Brewers with Erik Kratz and Nottingham as their two catchers.

    As for Zagurski, he lasted under two weeks on Milwaukee’s 40-man before it designated him. The well-traveled 35-year-old has seen his first major league action since 2013 this season, though it hasn’t been pretty. In two appearances with the Brewers, Zagurski has combined for one inning and allowed seven earned runs on five hits and two walks.

    Manny Machado Trade Rumors: Friday Fri, 06 Jul 2018 22:45:30 +0000 5:45pm: If the O’s are to strike an early deal involving Machado, it seems they may not be able to do so with the Phillies. Per’s Mark Feinsand, via Twitter, the Philadelphia organization has “moved on from Machado for now, as [the] Orioles’ asking price is too high.” Of course, a change of heart on either side could take place at any moment, so there’s no reason to think the match is off the table at this early stage of the summer trade period.

    12:38pm: Though Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic recently reported that trade talks surrounding Manny Machado have “accelerated” this week, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick tweets that teams still aren’t offering anything close to what the Orioles are hoping to obtain for Machado. That sounds like a similar situation to the one Baltimore encountered in the offseason, when its front office sought a pair of MLB-ready rotation pieces in exchange for the final year of Machado’s contract but could not find a taker at that exorbitant price tag.

    Controllable pitching has reportedly been among the Orioles’ top priorities once again, and they’re also said to be interested in landing some type of replacement for Machado in the infield. But, with Machado set to hit free agency at season’s end, extracting multiple MLB-ready assets from a rival club is a difficult, if not borderline unrealistic goal for the Orioles.

    As Crasnick notes, the rental market, in general, has proven less fruitful for sellers in recent seasons, and talented as Machado may be, he’ll be a free agent at season’s end. While many fans have wishfully speculated about negotiating windows and extension scenarios that could prevent Machado from reaching the market, the reality is that he’s going to explore free agency in search of a record-setting contract this winter.

    [Related: MLBTR Poll — Which Team Will Land Manny Machado?]

    To that end,’s Jon Morosi wrote yesterday that the Phillies would be reluctant to part with either top prospect Sixto Sanchez or big league right-hander Zach Eflin in order to acquire Machado. While Eflin’s success in the Majors is limited — he struggled greatly in 2017 — he’s looked legitimately impressive through 63 2/3 frames so far in 2018. In 11 starts, Eflin has a 2.97 ERA with 8.9 K/9, 2.0 BB/9, 0.71 HR/9 and a 37.1 percent ground-ball rate. His 2.90 FIP helps to support that ERA, and he’s sporting career-bests in swinging-strike rate (10.8 percent) and average fastball velocity (94.2 mph). Eflin has moved away from his two-seamer/sinker in favor of a vast increase in four-seam fastballs and sliders, and the results, to this point, have been outstanding.

    Morosi also discusses potential reluctance on Atlanta’s behalf, though it’s not clear what prompts the specific scenarios he explores; the Braves haven’t been rumored to have significant interest in Machado — to the contrary, they’re rumored to have limited funds available — and Morosi’s specification of Ian Anderson and Max Fried appears to be a purely speculative package which one source deemed too rich. (For that matter, it’s unclear why the column focuses solely on the NL East.) That shouldn’t come as any real surprise, given that the O’s weren’t able to acquire to arms of that caliber for a full season of Machado this past offseason and are now marketing just two to three months of his talents.

    Meanwhile, Fancred’s Jon Heyman writes that the Brewers have “checked in” on Machado, largely echoing Rosenthal’s previous assessment that the Brew Crew has done “due diligence” on Machado but isn’t likely to meet the Orioles’ asking price. That meshes with today’s report from Heyman, who cites a person “with Brewers ties” in stating that the Brewers check in on virtually every player available (as one would expect from contending clubs).

    Perhaps more interestingly, Eno Sarris of The Athletic recently endeavored to see just what exactly can be made of the metrics that suggest Machado’s defense at shortstop to be so unsightly (subscription link). In an excellent exploration of Machado’s glovework, Sarris notes that Machado’s season at shortstop rates among the worst ever recorded by measure of Ultimate Zone Rating. However, UZR doesn’t include plays on which a defender is shifted to the opposite side of second base. Beyond that, 80 percent of the balls hit to Machado this season have been routine plays that are made 90 to 100 percent of the time, and Machado, accordingly has converted about 97 percent of those plays.

    Subtracting the given outs and the shift plays, Sarris concludes that data suggesting Machado has been a historically bad defender is based on a matter of roughly 56 plays — and that small of a sample may not be a fair means of judging a player who is re-acclimating himself to a position he hasn’t played this frequently in more than a half-decade. Of course, there’s little evidence to suggest that Machado has been an especially good (or even average) shortstop, either, but the extent of his deficiencies remains difficult to accurately evaluate.

    Brewers Sign First-Round Pick Brice Turang Fri, 06 Jul 2018 13:42:55 +0000 July 6: Turang’s bonus with the Brewers is $3,411,100, reports Callis (via Twitter). That comes in nearly $400K over the slot value.

    July 5: With less than 24 hours until the signing deadline, the Brewers have inked first-round pick Brice Turang, as Turang himself announced tonight (Twitter link). Bonus terms aren’t known, though Turang’s No. 21 slot came with a $3,013,600 slot value.

    The 18-year-old Turang, a high school shortstop out of California, had been committed to Louisiana State but will instead forgo college to embark on his professional career. There’d been some debate as to whether he’d sign at all, with GM David Stearns telling reporters earlier tonight that there was still “nothing to report” on Turang (Twitter link via Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).

    Heading into the draft, Turang was ranked as the draft’s No. 14 prospect by the team at Baseball America. Kiley McDaniel and Eric Longenhagen rated him 18th at Fangraphs, while ESPN’s Keith Law ranked him 24th. Turang was ranked 25th by Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo of,

    Scouting reports on Turang generally indicate that he wowed scouts throughout the country earlier in his high school career but didn’t impress as much last summer or in his junior season. Law calls him a potential 70 defender at shortstop with some power but questions his hit tool, while Callis and Mayo give him an above-average hit tool but below-average power. Given the discrepancy between Turang’s early work in high school and his more recent showings, opinions on him vary, but there’s no clear area where scouting reports universally indicate that he’s below average. The variance with prep players is always high anyhow, and the general feeling that Turang can stick at shortstop with plus speed creates plenty of cause for optimism even if his bat is less certain.

    Brewers Designate Eric Sogard For Assignment Thu, 05 Jul 2018 20:28:29 +0000 The Brewers announced Thursday that they’ve reinstated Tyler Saladino from the 10-day disabled list and created a spot on the active roster by designating struggling second baseman Eric Sogard for assignment. The move leaves Milwaukee’s 40-man roster at a total of 39 players.

    Sogard, 32, re-signed with the Brewers last October after turning in a quality season at the dish and in the field. The 2018 season has been a disaster for Sogard, though, as he’s batted just .134/.241/.165 through 113 trips to the plate. And while he’s known as a strong defender at second base, he’s spent more time this season at shortstop, where he hasn’t rated out as well defensively.

    Sogard did bat .273/.393/.378 through 299 plate appearances last season, but his overall body of work in the Majors — a .238/.309/.314 slash in 1743 plate appearances — suggests that he’s unlikely to return to those heights. Both Defensive Runs Saved and Ultimate Zone Rating peg Sogard as a strong defender at second base and at third base, and he could continue to provide infield depth for the Crew if he ultimately clears waivers.

    Could Travis Shaw Move To Second Base? Thu, 05 Jul 2018 00:50:22 +0000 The Twins are open to trading their pending free agents,’s Jon Paul Morosi reports, as the team begins to look ahead to the 2019 season.  Minnesota’s loss to the Brewers today drops them to 35-48 on the season, 11.5 games out of first place in the AL Central and 18 games out of a wild card slot.  One NL executive believes the Twins would be willing to hold trade talks for just about every player on the roster, not just the free agents, though Morosi doubts the team’s younger players under long term control would be seriously discussed.

    • A recent report from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal (subscription required) stated that the Brewers had been working Travis Shaw out at second base, which created speculation about Milwaukee potentially targeting third basemen at the deadline.  Brewers GM David Stearns, however, said in an e-mail to’s Adam McCalvy that Shaw’s pregame alignment is fairly routine procedure.  “We have guys taking ground balls all over the field during early work and BP….Travis plays on that side of the bag a fair amount in our shift alignments so it makes sense for him to take ground balls over there. Adding to positional versatility is always helpful,” Stearns wrote.  For his part, Shaw said that the team asked him both recently and earlier in the season “if I would be open to playing second if that situation presents itself,” and he said he’d be willing to do so.  Shaw has never played second base during his eight-year professional career, so it would be a bold move if Milwaukee actually shifted him to the keystone midway through the season to accommodate a new acquisition at third base.
    Brewers Are Potential Suitor For J.A. Happ Wed, 04 Jul 2018 19:50:54 +0000
  • The Yankees may be the “main player” for Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ, per Jon Heyman of Fancred (via Twitter). Not only is Happ arguably the best rental starter on the market, but it seems the Yanks hold him in high regard. They won’t be alone in pursuing the Toronto southpaw, however.’s Mark Feinsand tweets that the Jays are directing some scouting resources toward the Brewers farm system, perhaps in anticipation of interest from the Milwaukee organization.
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    Manny Machado Trade Talks Have Reportedly Accelerated Wed, 04 Jul 2018 04:12:59 +0000 Though there’s still four weeks until the 2018 non-waiver trade deadline, trade talks surrounding Manny Machado have “accelerated” in recent days, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (subscription link). The Orioles, according to Rosenthal, would prefer to move Machado “sooner rather than later,” as they can extract more in a trade if the acquiring team controls Machado for three months as opposed to two months.

    To this point in the summer, the teams most connected to Machado have been the Dodgers, Phillies, Diamondbacks and Indians. The Brewers and Cubs have been more loosely tied to Machado on the rumor mill, though Rosenthal reports that while Milwaukee is doing its due diligence, the team is unlikely to meet Baltimore’s asking price.

    That, it seems, could be true of the Phillies as well.’s Todd Zolecki reports that the Phillies should be considered “longshots” in the Machado trade sweepstakes. Zolecki writes that while the Phillies “love” Machado and plan to make a serious run at him in the offseason, the team doesn’t feel itself to be one piece away from a World Series. That, of course, makes it considerably more difficult to meet what is likely a rather lofty asking price from the O’s.

    Rosenthal suggests that the D-backs and Indians could be the “most motivated” teams in the Machado market, and Zolecki, too, specifically lists the D-backs as a club likelier to acquire Machado than the Phillies.

    USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, meanwhile, tweets that the Dodgers continue to “aggressively” pursue Machado, adding that the Orioles have been scouting L.A.’s system heavily and are particularly interested in Class-A Advanced right-hander Dustin May. There’d obviously be more at play than a mere one-for-one swap, but May, a third-round pick in 2016, is generally considered to be among the Dodgers’ more promising young arms. He’s off to a strong start in 2018 as well, having pitched to a 3.18 ERA with 9.1 K/9, 1.7 BB/9 and a 54.1 percent ground-ball rate through 65 innings (12 starts).

    Of course, there could still be other organizations involved in discussions. Jim Bowden of The Athletic tweets that eight teams have had at least some engagement with the O’s regarding Machado within the past ten days. That would suggest that there are at least a few mystery teams hanging around the periphery of talks.

    Brewers Select Nate Orf, Move Nick Franklin To 60-Day DL Mon, 02 Jul 2018 21:15:21 +0000 The Brewers announced that they’ve selected the contract of infielder Nate Orf from Triple-A Colorado Springs and optioned right-hander Aaron Wilkerson to Triple-A in his place. In order to open a spot for Orf on the 40-man roster, infielder/outfielder Nick Franklin was transferred from the 10-day DL to the 60-day DL.

    It’ll be the first call to the Majors for Orf, a 28-year-old career-long Brewers farmhand whom they signed as an undrafted free agent back in 2013. He’s enjoying his best season yet in the minors, hitting .307/.412/.463 with six homers and 20 steals (in 21 attempts). Orf has never shown much power prior to this season, but he’s already just three homers away from his career-best mark of nine. He’s also never been this aggressive on the basepaths, but the speed and efficiency he’s displayed so far can only have helped his cause in reaching the big leagues.

    Orf has moved all over the diamond throughout his career, logging time at second base, third base, shortstop and in all three outfield spots. While second and third have been his two primary positions, he’s spent more time at second and shortstop than at third base so far in 2018. Milwaukee has received little in the way of production from its second basemen (.252/.299/.377) or especially its shortstops (.193/.243/.297), and they could reasonably look to Orf as an option at either spot. For now, it seems likelier that he’ll get more action at shortstop, given that Orlando Arcia was recently optioned to Triple-A for a second time in 2018.

    Notable International Prospect Signings Mon, 02 Jul 2018 16:12:59 +0000 With the 2018-19 international signing period kicking off today, there will be dozens of six- and seven-figure bonuses handed out to teenage prospects, primarily out of Latin America, filtering in throughout the day today. Many of these have been in the works for quite some time, as is reflected by the fact that most of the top players’ destinations and signing bonuses have been previously reported/projected (and by the fact that the top agreements will all be reported in one swift avalanche today).

    We’ll keep track of the notable National League signings here and the notable American League signings in a separate post. Note that you can read up on each of these players with the dedicated international coverage available from Ben Badler of Baseball America (subscription required), Jesse Sanchez of and Kiley McDaniel & Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs, each of whom has scouting info on the top echelon of international amateurs. Badler is also tracking the all of the signings from all 30 teams.

    Onto some of the more notable signings…

    Read more

    David Stearns "Open To Every Possibility" As Deadline Nears Sun, 01 Jul 2018 20:02:57 +0000
  • As the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline approaches, the Brewers are “open to every possibility,” according to GM David Stearns (via Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). With his team in first place in the NL Central by 1 1/2 games, Stearns is “highly motivated” to make improvements, writes Haudricourt, who notes that the Brewers could opt for a high-profile addition to their lineup instead of their rotation. That could be Machado, who’d be a massive upgrade for a Brewers team that hasn’t gotten much from the shortstop position this year and sent Orlando Arcia to the minors Sunday. Machado’s not under contract beyond this season, though, and as a result, Haudricourt doesn’t expect the Brewers to end up with him.
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    Brewers Still Interested In Whit Merrifield Sat, 30 Jun 2018 14:18:22 +0000
  • The Brewers were interested in Royals second baseman/outfielder Whit Merrifield this past offseason and are once again inquiring on his services.  The late-blooming Merrifield has continued to establish himself as a solid everyday player this season, batting .284/.358/.401 over 339 PA, plus 16 steals in 20 chances.  Second base has been a problem spot for Milwaukee, and while the Brewers recently acquired Brad Miller as infield depth, Merrifield would represent a more solid upgrade at the keystone.  Though the Brewers could also need rotation help, Rosenthal reports that they haven’t discussed Danny Duffy as part of their talks with Kansas City.

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    Injury Notes: Darvish, Nelson, Cordero, Chapman, Strasburg, Cespedes, Font, Dunning Sat, 30 Jun 2018 04:58:11 +0000 With ongoing uncertainty leading to some real worry, it came as something of a relief when the Cubs announced that Yu Darvish has been diagnosed with a right elbow impingement, as Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic was among those to cover on Twitter. Already on the DL, Darvish will receive a cortisone shot before being examined again next week. It’s not yet known what the course will be from that point, but the club is no doubt pleased that there’s not a more significant underlying issue plaguing the high-priced hurler.

    Let’s run through some other health updates of note …

    • The Brewers are still unsure when they’ll welcome back righty Jimmy Nelson, GM David Stearns tells reporters including’s Adam McCalvy (via Twitter). “We still think Jimmy is going to pitch for us this year,” Stearns stressed. But the shoulder surgery that knocked Nelson out has required a “slower process,” says Stearns, with Nelson still “yet to pitch off a mound.” It seems there’s no chance that the Brewers will welcome back their staff ace in advance of the trade deadline, meaning they’ll need to assess their rotation without full knowledge of his ability to contribute down the stretch.
    • Padres outfielder Franchy Cordero appears quite likely to elect season-ending surgery,’s AJ Cassavell tweets. It’s still not a certainty, and the lack of urgency in making the final call — it has been under consideration for at least ten days — speaks to the general timeline. Though Cordero would miss the rest of the MLB campaign, he’d likely be ready to participate in winter ball and certainly be at full health for Spring Training next year.
    • Athletics third baseman Matt Chapman has progressed to taking swings, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. He has already been out for about two weeks with a hand injury.
    • It seems there’s some cause for optimism for the Indians regarding reliever Tyler Olson.’s Jordan Bastian tweets that Olson has been able to throw a bullpen session, which certainly indicates he’s progressing rather well from a lat injury that perhaps could have been worse.
    • Likewise, Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg turned in a surprise bullpen session, as Dan Kolko of was among those to tweet. That’s the first real indication that Strasburg is ready to begin working back toward a return from shoulder inflammation in earnest.
    • In other NL East news, the Mets increasingly have a confounding situation on their hands with regard to star outfielder Yoenis CespedesKristie Ackert of the New York Daily News writes. Cespedes went on the DL in the middle of May with what seemed to be a minor injury, but still has not resumed running. Skipper Mickey Callaway says the veteran is “feeling a lot better,” but there’s no real sense of a timeline.
    • Righty Wilmer Font left today’s game with a lat injury, with Rays skipper Kevin Cash saying it’s probably a serious one, as Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports on Twitter. The recently claimed righty “in all likelihood will miss significant time,” says Cash, which is quite a disappointment for all involved. Entering play today, the 28-year-old had found his groove with the Rays, turning in 22 innings of 1.64 ERA ball with 7.0 K/9 against 3.7 BB/9.
    • In news of longer-term consequence, the White Sox are still holding their breath with regard to well-regarded pitching prospect Dane Dunning. The team announced that he has been diagnosed with a “moderate elbow sprain that presently will not require surgery.” For the time being, he’ll rest for a while and resume throwing in about two months’ time if he’s deemed ready. That’s hardly good news, but is certainly better than the worst-case that may have been feared.
    Brewers Select Mike Zagurski Thu, 28 Jun 2018 20:05:41 +0000 The Brewers announced Thursday that they’ve selected the contract of left-handed reliever Mike Zagurski from Triple-A Colorado Springs and optioned right-hander Adrian Houser back to Triple-A in his place.

    It’s a somewhat remarkable return to the Majors for Zagurski, who last appeared at the big league level back in 2013. Since that time, he’s been with the Triple-A affiliates for the Blue Jays, Indians and Tigers in addition to spending two seasons pitching for the Hiroshima Carp of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball.

    Zagurski has a 7.05 ERA in 75 1/3 innings at the MLB level, but he posted terrific K/BB numbers in the Tigers’ minor league system last season and has racked up 48 strikeouts against a dozen walks in 30 innings with the Sky Sox so far in 2018. Lefties have managed just a .224/.283/.286 slash against him through 53 plate appearances this season. He’s currently sporting a 3.90 ERA in Triple-A despite the exceptionally hitter-friendly nature of his home environment, and he owns a lifetime 2.90 ERA with 12.4 K/9 against 4.2 BB/9 in 279 1/3 Triple-A frames.

    Latest On Manny Machado Thu, 28 Jun 2018 01:35:52 +0000 Manny Machado will be the most oft-discussed player in baseball from now until the point that he’s ultimately traded, and Orioles general manager Dan Duquette said for the second time this month that interest in the free-agent-to-be is greater than it was when the O’s made him available in the offseason (link via Roch Kubatko of

    “There are some teams that are in the market for help on the left side of the infield and some are looking for a shortstop and some are looking for a third baseman,” said Duquette. The asking price on Machado, of course, figures to be fairly steep — and the sheer volume of teams who could show interest can only help the Orioles. Kubatko notes that controllable starting pitching is a known priority for the Orioles, as is finding a potential replacement for Machado.

    Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that, among the teams with interest in Machado, the Dodgers are perceived by some in the industry as the favorites to land Machado. Los Angeles has gone 26-10 to surge back up the ranks in the National League West, and they’ve done so without the benefit of star young shortstop Corey Seager, whose season ended back in May when he required Tommy John surgery. Machado could step into that void, of course, and provide a massive upgrade at the plate while freeing Chris Taylor and Enrique Hernandez to bounce around the diamond.

    Per Nightengale, the O’s have placed a heavy focus on scouting the Dodgers’ minor league system. However, there are numerous other clubs at least keeping tabs on Machado, per the report, including the Phillies, the Diamondbacks and the Cardinals. There’s also industry speculation that the NL Central-leading Brewers could jump into the mix, given their aggressive offseason, an expected tight race in the division and the struggles of Orlando Arcia. And, of course, other clubs could yet emerge as potential suitors. The Angels, for instance, learned today that they’ve likely lost Zack Cozart for the rest of the year due to a torn labrum in his left shoulder that will require surgery.

    One of those clubs, the Diamondbacks, has a particularly compelling case to add Machado to its ranks, as Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic explores. With A.J. Pollock and Patrick Corbin up for free agency following the season and Paul Goldschmidt only controlled through 2019, Piecoro argues that the Diamondbacks will never have a better chance to win with this core of players than they do right now. The front office has already been aggressive in acquiring Brad Boxberger, Jon Jay and Steven Souza Jr. (even if that move has yet to pay dividends), and it would indeed seem curious to take the metaphorical foot off the gas pedal now.

    The Machado sweepstakes, clearly, will be one of the more intriguing storylines to follow this summer and again in free agency. There’s no clear timetable for when a trade might come together, but Duquette didn’t mince words when acknowledging that his club has “declared as sellers” and suggesting that there’s a “more defined” market for Machado this time around. Nightengale does note, though, that one Orioles exec predicted that based on the manner in which the market is coming together, it’s possible that Machado could be moved before the All-Star break.

    Brewers Place Lorenzo Cain On DL, Recall Keon Broxton Tue, 26 Jun 2018 20:40:49 +0000 The Brewers announced Tuesday that they’ve placed Lorenzo Cain on the 10-day disabled list due to a groin strain and recalled fellow outfielder Keon Broxton from Triple-A Colorado Springs in his place. Cain’s placement on the DL is retroactive to Sunday.

    Cain, 32, was among the highest-paid free agents of the 2017-18 offseason, landing a five-year, $80MM contract to return to the organization that originally drafted him in the 17th round back in 2004. Thus far, that investment has paid off in spades, as Cain is enjoying one of the most productive seasons of his career and is playing his usual bland of outstanding defense.

    In 312 plate appearances, Cain is hitting .291/.394/.438 with eight homers, 15 doubles and 16 steals (in 19 attempts). Defensive Runs Saved pegs Cain at +11, while Ultimate Zone Rating is similarly bullish at +7.1. Meanwhile, Statcast’s Outs Above Average metric has Cain tied for third among Major League outfielders, trailing only Delino DeShields Jr. and Adam Engel.

    The Brewers didn’t provide a timeline for Cain’s return, though certainly the hope is that he can recover with a minimal DL stint. There’s no indication yet that he’s in line to miss significant time.

    In his absence, the Brewers will give Keon Broxton his first look in the Majors this season. A popular offseason trade candidate who ultimately wound up staying put, the 28-year-old Broxton is hitting .263/.336/.431 with nine homers and 24 steals so far in Triple-A. Broxton is know for his tantalizing blend of power and speed, but the center fielder is also among the game’s most strikeout-prone players. He fanned at a 37 percent clip in 707 plate appearances from 2016-17 and is striking out at a 35.6 percent clip in Triple-A this season. That said, a team eyeing outfield help at this year’s deadline could certainly show interest in Broxton, who can be controlled through at least the 2022 season.

    Brewers Release Boone Logan Tue, 26 Jun 2018 17:54:29 +0000 TODAY: Milwaukee announced that Logan has cleared waivers, meaning the team will be on the hook for the remainder of his guaranteed salary.

    YESTERDAY: The Brewers have requested release waivers on left-hander Boone Logan, as was first reflected on the team’s official transactions page. Assuming he clears, he’ll become a free agent who can explore the market in search of a new opportunity.

    Logan, 33, opened the season on the disabled list due to a triceps strain and was never really able to find his footing once he was activated. Signed to a one-year, $2.5MM deal this offseason, Logan appeared in just 16 games for Milwaukee, yielding seven runs on 15 hits and 10 walks with 14 strikeouts in 10 2/3 innings. That certainly wasn’t the followup he was hoping for on the heels of a lackluster 2017 campaign that was also shortened by injury; Logan tossed 21 innings of 4.71 ERA ball for the Indians a year ago before a lat strain cut his season short.

    Logan is still just a couple of seasons removed from a strong 2016 campaign, in which he worked to a 3.69 ERA with 11.1 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 46 1/3 innings for the Rockies. He’s never had much trouble missing bats in the big leagues, averaging nearly 10 strikeouts per nine innings pitched. Control has long been an issue for Logan, however, as he’s also averaged more than four walks per nine frames in his MLB career. And while he’s been oft-used as a situational lefty, he doesn’t have the type of dominance against left-handed hitters that one might expect. While lefties certainly haven’t hit him well, the .238/.317/.372 slash he’s allowed to lefties in his career isn’t exactly overpowering, either.

    If and when Logan becomes a free agent, any new club wishing to sign him will only owe him the pro-rated league minimum for any time he spends in the Majors. That sum will be subtracted from what the Brewers still owe him, but Milwaukee will remain on  the hook for the vast majority of Logan’s 2018 salary.

    Matt Albers Likely Out Until After All-Star Break Sun, 24 Jun 2018 18:33:37 +0000
  • The Brewers will likely go without reliever Matt Albers until after the All-Star break, manager Craig Counsell told Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and other reporters Sunday. Albers is “going in the right direction,” though, Counsell noted. The 35-year-old has been out for just under two weeks with right shoulder soreness. Albers, whom the Brewers signed to a two-year, $5MM guarantee over the winter, has pitched to a 3.53 ERA with 7.85 K/9, 2.2 BB/9 and a 45.7 percent groundball rate in 28 2/3 innings.
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    Brewers Option Domingo Santana Sat, 23 Jun 2018 16:33:06 +0000 The Brewers announced today that they’ve optioned outfielder Domingo Santana to Triple-A Colorado Springs. In a related move, the club has elected to promote Brad Miller, whom the team acquired from the Rays just under two weeks ago.

    It’s been quite the fall from grace for the soon-to-be 26-year-old Santana, who last season enjoyed a breakout campaign headlined by 30 homers, 15 stolen bases and a .278/.371/.505 batting line. That hardly seems like a fluke on the surface, considering Santana’s .362 xwOBA ranked just outside the 10th percentile among 546 hitters with at least 50 batted ball events. His hard contact rate (39.7%) and plate discipline (12% walk rate, 26.5% chase rate) also supported the argument that Santana was simply a very good hitter.

    Santana’s struggles this season have been well-documented. He appears to have taken a step backwards in nearly every facet of his game. Certainly the power has mysteriously disappeared, evidenced by a mere three homers and .354 slugging percentage. But equally alarming is the fact that his walk rate has dropped off significantly; his 8.5% clip so far would be the lowest of his career by a full two points (not including an 18 PA cup of coffee in 2014). Santana’s batting average has also dropped a full 31 points even despite a marginal increase over last year’s gaudy .363 BABIP. His one stolen base thus far puts him on pace for a dramatic drop-off from the 15 bases he stole in 2017.

    One of the biggest differences in Santana’s game this year is his batted ball profile. His line drive rate has plummeted from 27.4% last season to 22.8% so far in 2018. Those lost liners have all turned into ground balls, and as a result Santana’s hit the ball on the ground more than half the time this year. He’s also been chasing quite a few more pitches outside of the strike zone; his chase rate of 30.8% is a large jump from last year’s 26.5% clip.

    The move likely means more playing time for Jesus Aguilar, who’s been a revelation for the Brewers this season. Aguilar, who came to Milwaukee last year after being designated for assignment by the Indians, has been one of the top ten best hitters in baseball this season. However, due in part to the return of Eric Thames to the lineup, Aguilar has sat on the bench twice in the past week. The removal of Santana from the active roster should help clear up a bit more playing time for a hitter who has certainly earned it with his 16 homers and .975 OPS.

    2018 Amateur Signings: 6/22/18 Sat, 23 Jun 2018 05:48:25 +0000 Let’s round up Friday’s draft deals of note. As always, the rankings referenced come courtesy of FangraphsMLB.comBaseball America and ESPN’s Keith Law; Fangraphs and scouting reports are available to the public free of charge, while the others require subscriptions.

    • The Pirates have a deal with second-rounder Braxton Ashcraft,’s Jim Callis tweets. Aschcraft’s $1,825,000 bonus comes in well over the slot value for the 51st overall selection ($1,382,400). The Baseball America (#58) and (#64) analysts were highest on the reputedly athletic hurler, who’s regarded more for his projectability than his present ability on the mound. He’ll forego a commitment to Baylor to join the Bucs, who have inked most of their top picks but are still trying to work things out with sandwich round selection Gunnar Hoglund.
    • Astros second-rounder Jayson Schroeder also lands over slot, Callis tweets. Like Ashcraft, Schroeder is a high-school righty who still needs polish but has shown promising tools. He’ll take home a $1.25MM bonus after being taken 66th overall, a choice that carried a $965,300 allocation. Schroeder had been slated to attend the University of Washington.
    • The Brewers announced their deal with second-round choice Joe Gray, with Callis again tweeting the dollars. Gray lands right at the $1,113,500 allocation for the 60th selection. He’s another toolsy player who’ll forego a collegiate commitment, but in his case he’s an outfielder who has decided against a run at the University of Mississippi. A quality defender with power, Gray is seen as possessing significant upside — if his hitting ability can catch up to his other talents. Notably, the Brewers have yet to ink first-rounder Brice Turang. And amateur scouting director Tod Johnson suggested today that a deal is not inevitable, telling Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (Twitter link): “Obviously he and his family have to make a decision as to whether he wants to get on the field and start playing professionally, or go down to LSU and go that route.”
    Brewers Designate Boone Logan Tue, 19 Jun 2018 19:36:27 +0000 The Brewers have designated lefty Boone Logan for assignment, per a club announcement. His roster spot will go to right-hander Freddy Peralta, who was recalled to take a start this evening.

    Logan, who’s closing in on his 34th birthday, simply never got things going after joining the Brewers on a one-year deal over the winter. His $2.5MM guarantee included a buyout for a club option in 2019, which obviously now will not be exercised. The contract also included a hefty $3.2MM incentives package that started to accrue after 25 appearances.

    Logan will continue to receive the promised money, but won’t see any of that potential extra cash. He opened the year on the DL and has struggled since being activated. In 10 2/3 innings, he has allowed seven earned runs on 15 hits and 10 walks (three of them intentional).

    To be fair, Logan has also run up 14 strikeouts and shown well in terms of average velocity (94.3 mph on his fastball) and swinging-strike rate (14.0%). That said, the walks seemed to be a product of real command troubles. Logan has worked in the zone at a 45.0% career rate, but has done so on just 33.9% of his pitches thus far in 2018.

    Rosenthal On Brewers' Deadline Possibilities Sun, 17 Jun 2018 03:34:29 +0000 Rival executives expect the Brewers to be aggressive in targeting starting pitching help this summer, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (video link). The Brewers’ rotation has been a middle-of-the-pack group to this point, as it entered Saturday 13th in the majors in ERA (3.92) and 19th in fWAR (3.8). Of course, the unit has been without its top starter from 2017, Jimmy Nelson, who’s working back from the right shoulder surgery he underwent last September and should return sometime this season. He and another starter acquired from elsewhere could help the Brewers hold on to a playoff spot, which they were unable to do a year ago during an 86-win campaign. Rosenthal also points to catcher and shortstop as positions the Brewers could upgrade, though he notes they’re “unlikely” to be in play for Manny Machado at the latter spot.

    Yankees Acquire Wendell Rijo To Complete Erik Kratz Trade Sat, 16 Jun 2018 15:03:49 +0000 The Yankees have acquired second baseman Wendell Rijo, who is officially the player to be named later in May’s Erik Kratz trade with the Brewers; the club’s PR department has announced the acquisition.

    Nothing about the 22-year-old Rijo immediately jumps off the page. Originally an international signee of the Red Sox out of the Dominican Republic, Rijo’s played all of 374 games at the Double-A level and hasn’t been particularly impressive with the bat overall. This season, Rijo sports a .200/.304/.375 slash line with four homers across 93 plate appearances.

    Notably, though, his walk rate has made a significant jump in 2018. In a limited sample, he’s walked 12.9% of the time, which is up from just 7.7% at Double-A last season. Even more intriguing is the fact that Rijo’s suffered from some severe bad luck thus far; his .214 BABIP indicates that he likely deserves a higher batting average than the mere .200 he owns at present. Rijo was also active on the basepaths in his first three pro seasons, swiping at least 15 bags during each minor league season from 2013-2015. Though he hasn’t done nearly as much of that in recent seasons, one has to imagine he’s still got the potential to kick it up a notch on the bases.

    Regardless, the Yankees will be happy to get anything in exchange for the veteran Kratz, whom they re-signed to a minor-league deal during the offseason following using him mostly in a defensive replacement capacity and during just four MLB games in September of 2017. He’s been surprisingly effective for the Brewers this season: the backstop has three homers and a .511 wOBA across his 29 plate appearances in 2018.

    Amateur Draft Signings: 6/15/18 Sat, 16 Jun 2018 03:49:09 +0000 Here are the day’s deals of note from the top few rounds of the draft (rankings referenced are courtesy of Baseball AmericaMLB.comFangraphs and ESPN’s Keith Law — with the scouting reports from MLB and Fangraphs both coming free to the general public) …

    • The Giants agreed to a $1.5MM bonus with second-round choice Sean Hjelle, according to’s Jim Callis (via Twitter). A towering righty from the University of Kentucky, Hjelle was taken with the 45th overall choice, which came with a $1,587,600 pick allocation. He ranked as high as thirtieth on pre-draft lists, earning that placement on the Baseball America board. Evaluators seem to think the polished collegiate hurler is likely to be a steady, back-of-the-rotation arm, though he isn’t generally seen as possessing immense upside.
    • Mets second-rounder Simeon Woods-Richardson will receive a $1.85MM bonus to forego his commitment to the University of Texas, Callis tweets. That lands above the $1,485,100 slot value at the 48th overall pick. While the right-handed hurler has shown quite a lot of promise at times, there are concerns that he has not consistently maintained that high level throughout his starts. Grades were all over the map, with BA highest at #76. Clearly, the Mets believe they can tap into the tools.
    • The Brewers will save some money against the slot value on Micah Bello, their competitive balance round B pick,’s Jonathan Mayo reports on Twitter. He’ll receive a $550K bonus, leaving the club with some excess pool space from the 73rd overall pick ($824,900 slot). A Hawaiian high-school outfielder, Bello did not draw top-100 billing but placed 121st on BA’s board. He’s credited as a quality overall hitter who may yet have a bit of upside, with some speed and perhaps some untapped power potential, though it’s not clear whether he’ll remain an up-the-middle defender as a professional.
    Yankees Acquire International Pool Space From Brewers Fri, 15 Jun 2018 21:32:36 +0000 The Yankees announced today that they have acquired international bonus pool availability from the Brewers. The swap will send minor-league righty Chad Whitmer to Milwaukee for an undisclosed amount of spending capacity.

    It is not immediately clear whether the funds are from the current signing period, which ends today, or for the new one set to open on July 2nd. Baseball America’s Ben Badler has provided ample detail on the Yanks’ most recent international class and previewed the organization’s upcoming dealmaking.

    Whitmer, 23, was a tenth-round pick last year who has yet to take the mound in the current season. He turned in 19 innings of 3.79 ERA pitching at the Rookie ball level (Gulf Coast League) in his debut campaign, allowing 24 hits but also recording an impressive 22:2 K/BB ratio.

    Brewers Activate Eric Thames Mon, 11 Jun 2018 21:06:28 +0000 The Brewers announced that they’ve activated first baseman/outfielder Eric Thames from the 10-day disabled list and optioned right-hander Brandon Woodruff to Triple-A Colorado Springs to clear a spot on the roster.

    Thames has been out since late April due to a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his thumb and will be returning on the short end of the initial six- to eight-week timeline provided for his recovery. The 31-year-old hardly showed signs of rust in Triple-A on his rehab assignment, though, going 6-for-14 with a homer, a walk and no strikeouts in a total of 15 plate appearances over four games leading up to his activation.

    Prior to his injury, Thames had gotten off to a nice start, hitting .250/.351/.625 with seven homers in 74 plate appearances before suffering the injury. That marked a nice continuation of Thames’ production in his return to the Majors in 2017, when he hit .247/.351/.518 with 31 homers after parlaying a dominant three-year run in South Korea into a three-year contract with Milwaukee.

    The impending return of Thames may very well have contributed to yesterday’s decision to trade Ji-Man Choi to the Rays in exchange for Brad Miller. With Thames, Ryan Braun and Jesus Aguilar all on the roster, the Brewers had little means of getting Choi into the MLB lineup. However, Miller brings some left-handed pop in his own right and provides additional defensive versatility, making him a better fit for the Brewers at the MLB level.

    Rays Trade Brad Miller To Brewers For Ji-Man Choi Mon, 11 Jun 2018 19:13:16 +0000 June 11: Tampa Bay is covering $2.209MM of the remaining $2.709MM remaining on Miller’s contract through season’s end, according to the Associated Press. Choi’s split contract calls for an $850K salary in the Majors and a $250K salary in the minors, and he’d be owed about $513K through season’s end if he were to spend the rest of the year in the Majors. That doesn’t seem likely to be the case, so the Rays will save a bit of money while paying Choi at his minor league rate of pay, though the overall cost-savings in the deal look to be more or less negligible, even for a cost-conscious club like Tampa Bay.

    June 10: The Rays have dealt infielder Brad Miller to the Brewers for first baseman Ji-Man Choi, as announced by both teams on Twitter.  Tampa will also send some cash to Milwaukee as part of the deal.  Miller and Choi have each been optioned to Triple-A with their respective new organizations.

    Miller was designated for assignment earlier this week, though he had hit respectably well (.256/.322/.429 with five homers) over 174 plate appearances for the Rays this season.  Beyond those decent batting numbers, however, Miller brought little else to the table — he has continued his career-long struggles against left-handed pitching, and has posted below-average defensive numbers wherever he has played around the diamond.  Miller is also coming off a rough 2017 campaign, so it could be that the Rays sought to sell as high as they could on him while he was still productive, in order to get at least some of his $2.79MM in remaining salary off the books.

    [Updated Brewers and Rays depth charts at Roster Resource]

    Though Miller doesn’t bring much defensive value as a shortstop or second baseman, he can at least offer the Brew Crew some extra pop at both middle infield positions.  Jonathan Villar hasn’t done much against righty pitching over the last couple of years, while defensively-gifted shortstop Orlando Arcia is suffering through a dreadful year at the plate.  Miller and Arcia could form a platoon, with Arcia stepping in as a late-game defensive replacement on days when Miller starts, plus the Brewers also have veteran Eric Sogard in the bench mix.

    Middle infield was a weak spot for a Brewers team that is fighting for a postseason berth, and the low-cost addition of Miller could mean that the club won’t seek out more substantial second base or shortstop help at the trade deadline.  Miller also adds a bit more depth to the roster at first base and in the corner outfield positions, though Milwaukee is already pretty set at those spots.

    Choi signed a minor league deal with the Brewers last offseason that guaranteed him $850K if he reached the majors, so he’ll only add another $510K or so to Tampa’s payroll.  The 27-year-old hit .233/.281/.500 over 32 plate appearances for the Crew, getting some time at first base with Eric Thames and Ryan Braun hit the disabled list.  (Just yesterday, in fact, Choi hit a pinch-hit grand slam in Milwaukee’s 12-3 rout of the Phillies.)  The 27-year-old will essentially replace Miller as a left-handed hitting option in the Rays organization, though the team is currently giving top prospect Jake Bauers (another lefty bat) a chance to stick in the big leagues as a regular first baseman.