In his latest Insider-only piece for ESPN.com, Buster Olney reports that he’s spoken to executives around the league who assume that the Red Sox will target James Shields in free agency this offseason. Shields would be a good fit for a Boston team that is suddenly light on veteran pitching after Jon Lester, John Lackey and Jake Peavy were all traded within the last week. I wonder how high the Sox would be willing to bid on Shields, however, since the team’s concerns about paying big money to a pitcher throughout his 30′s kept them from working out an extension with Lester. While Shields would come at a lower price and probably a shorter-term deal, Shields will also be 33 on Opening Day. Here’s some more from around the AL East… A clause in Yoenis Cespedes‘ contract will allow him to become a free agent after the 2015 season, and according to Fangraphs’ Dave Cameron (Twitter link), it means the Red Sox would have to non-tender their newly-acquired outfielder. This would make Cespedes ineligible to receive a qualifying offer, and thus Boston wouldn’t get any draft pick compensation if Cespedes signed elsewhere
The Orioles have signed veteran left-hander Joe Saunders to a minor league contract, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports (Twitter link). Saunders joins his third organization of the season after being released by the Royals and Rangers within the last month. The southpaw posted a 6.13 ERA in 39 2/3 innings with Texas earlier this year and also struggled in four starts with Kansas City’s Triple-A affiliate. This is Saunders’ second stint in Baltimore, as he was first acquired by the O’s in late August 2012. He was a key part of the Orioles’ playoff push that year, posting a 3.63 ERA over seven regular season starts and then a 1.59 ERA over two postseason starts, earning the win in the Orioles’ wild card game victory over the Rangers. Baltimore had some interest in Saunders during the offseason and, according to Connolly, are looking at Saunders as a possible long relief option out of the bullpen.
The Indians have designated right-hander Zach McAllister for assignment, as per a team press release.
This just had to happen. Yesterday’s deals not only changed the context for earlier summer trades, but reshaped rosters around the game. For purposes of this poll, let’s focus on the teams that were looking to upgrade their current MLB roster. Here are the moves that contenders made yesterday, by team: Tigers get David Price; give up Drew Smyly, Austin Jackson, Willy Adames Mariners get Austin Jackson, Chris Denorfia; give up Nick Franklin, Abraham Almonte, Stephen Kohlscheen Marlins acquire Jarred Cosart, Enrique Hernandez, and Austin Wates; give up Colin Moran, Jake Marisnick, Francis Martes, and comp draft pick Braves get James Russell and Emilio Bonifacio; give up Victor Caratini Yankees get Martin Prado, Stephen Drew; give up Peter O’Brien, Kelly Johnson Nationals get Asdrubal Cabrera; give up Zach Walters Orioles get Andrew Miller; give up Eduardo Rodriguez Athletics get Jon Lester, Jonny Gomes, Sam Fuld; give up Yoenis Cespedes, comp draft pick, Tommy Milone Cardinals get John Lackey, Corey Littrell; give up Joe Kelly, Allen Craig Brewers get Gerardo Parra; give up Mitch Haniger and Anthony Banda So, which of these teams made the wisest addition(s) yesterday, given team need and the price they paid? Take Our Poll
The Marlins have designated lefty Donnie Joseph for assignment, according to the MLB transactions page. Presumably, the move relates to the team’s recent acquisition of Jarred Cosart. Joseph, 26, had just one very rough outing this year at the major league level. Through 33 innings at Triple-A, he had worked to a 5.45 ERA with 9.5 K/9 against a troubling 7.6 BB/9. With his strikeout levels down and walk issues still prevalent, Miami saw fit to take his 40-man spot when the need arose.
The Braves have released righty Luis Vasquez, reports MLB.com’s Mark Bowman (via Twitter). The move will help clear roster space for the club’s recent deadline acquisitions. Vasquez, 28, had struggled to a 11.91 ERA in 11 1/3 frames at Triple-A this year, with 11.9 K/9 but a troubling 8.7 BB/9. He came to Atlanta over the winter after spending all of his career with the Dodgers. Vasquez has always struggled with his control, but an increase in his strikeout numbers last year presumably made him interesting to the Braves.
You’ve got questions about Thursday’s non-waiver Trade Deadline, and we’ve got answers. Here is all you need to know about one of the wildest days in the history of the Major League Baseball transaction wire.
THURSDAY: Cain and the Giants are weighing whether the righty will undergo a procedure on his right elbow to clean up bone chips and other debris, reports Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com. Tommy John surgery is not on the table, says Baggarly. If Cain has the procedure now, he would likely be out for the rest of the year, but would be expected to be ready for a standard ramp-up to the 2015 season. TUESDAY: Giants starter Matt Cain is set for a visit with Dr. James Andrews regarding his ongoing difficulties with inflammation in his right elbow, CSN Bay Area analyst (and former big leaguer) Shawn Estes tells 95.7 The Game (Twitter link). Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com confirmed the report via Twitter. Certainly, the club will hope that good news comes out of the consultation, but the necessity of the visit presumably only adds to the team’s reported desire to add a starter at the trade deadline.
The Cardinals parted with Allen Craig and Joe Kelly, two players drafted and developed by the organization and both quite popular among their now-former teammates. It left those in the clubhouse who were preparing for a day game against the Padres subdued and shocked.