MLB Trade Rumors  08/11/2020 19:12:11 

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Right-hander Trevor Cahill will make his Giants debut Wednesday with a start against the Astros, Maria Guardado of reports. The Giants will announce a corresponding roster move before the game.

Cahill signed with the Giants in the offseason as someone with a great deal of starting experience, but he was only able to score a minor league deal in free agency. He just joined the Giants’ taxi squad over the weekend.

At his best, the 32-year-old Cahill has been a productive starter for the Athletics and Diamondbacks, including as recently as 2018. Cahill threw 110 innings of 3.76 ERA/3.54 FIP ball with Oakland that year, but his numbers nosedived in 2019 as a member of the Angels, who inked him to a $9MM guarantee in free agency. He logged only a 5.98 ERA/6.43 FIP over 102 1/3 frames, most of which came out of the Angels’ bullpen.

Cahill will now attempt to rebuild his stock with another California-based club, San Francisco, whose rotation has been a mixed bag during its 8-11 start. Kevin Gausman, Drew Smyly and Logan Webb have been bright spots so far, but Smyly and Jeff Samardzija are on the injured list, which has helped open up an opportunity for Cahill.

Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager began the season on a marvelous pace, but a back problem forced him out of their game against the Giants on Aug. 7, and he hasn’t played since. Manager Dave Roberts issued an update on Seager on Tuesday, saying (via Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times) that the 26-year-old is amid a slow progression. While Seager has been able to swing, run and play catch this week, the Dodgers haven’t ruled out a stint on the injured list for the two-time All-Star and former National League Rookie of the Year.

Seager was a durable and highly effective part of the club from 2016-17, but Tommy John surgery limited him to 26 games the next season. He also spent time on the IL last year because of hamstring issues, though Seager did appear in 134 games. His production then was closer to very good than great, but Seager once again looked like one of the elite shortstops in the game this year prior to suffering this injury. Through 54 plate appearances in 2020, he has slashed .340/.389/.600 (176 wRC+) with three home runs.

As always, the Dodgers are loaded with depth – they’ve had the luxury of plugging in Chris Taylor and Enrique Hernandez at short of late – though they’re certainly a better team when Seager’s available. LA has won seven straight NL West titles, but at 11-7, it’s staring up at the Rockies right now and tied with the Padres, who have beaten the Dodgers in back-to-back days.

The Rays announced that they’ve outrighted left-hander Sean Gilmartin to their alternate training site. He’ll stay in the organization as part of the Rays’ 60-man player pool.

Gilmartin, whom the Rays signed to a minor league contract over the winter, spent a very short period on their roster before they booted him. The club selected Gilmartin’s contract Aug. 7, but it designated him for assignment after he allowed three earned runs on five hits (four strikeouts, one walk) in 3 1/3 innings during a loss to the Yankees on the 8th.

Prior to joining the Rays, Gilmartin saw major league action with the Mets and Orioles from 2015-19. The 30-year-old has recorded a 4.30 ERA/4.63 FIP with 7.22 K/9, 3.24 BB/9 and a 45.4 percent groundball rate across 111 innings.

The Braves made outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. a late scratch before their game against the Yankees on Tuesday because of left wrist discomfort. He’ll undergo further evaluation in New York on Wednesday, Mark Bowman of tweets.

Acuna attributes this injury to a recent slide, per Bowman, and it’s not yet clear whether it’s serious. Regardless, it’s obvious Acuna isn’t someone the Braves can do without for long – especially during a 60-game season. The all-world 22-year-old had his best game of the campaign Sunday, a 4-for-4, two-home run rampage against the Phillies which drove up his numbers after an early season slump. In all, Acuna has slashed .258/.372/.515 (145 wRC+) with four homers in 78 plate appearances.

The Acuna-less Braves went with an outfield alignment of Adam Duvall, Ender Inciarte and Marcell Ozuna in their series-opening loss to the Yankees. They also have Nick Markakis and Austin Riley on hand if Acuna misses time, but losing him would be a nightmare scenario for a Braves club that’s already shorthanded. Mike Soroka, Cole Hamels, Ozzie Albies and Chris Martin rank as the most prominent members of the team who are currently on the injured list.

The Pirates have transferred righty Clay Holmes from the 10-day injured list to the 45-day injured list, per Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. His spot on the 40-man roster goes to Nick Tropeano, who was claimed off waivers earlier today.

Holmes has been out since July 28 with a forearm strain. He has to spend 45 days on the IL from the date of his initial placement — not from the date he’s transferred to the 45-day list — so there’s technically still time for him to return late in the year. However, Mackey notes that the move to the 45-day IL is expected to end Holmes’ season.

Holmes, 27, pitched just 1 1/3 innings this season before being placed on the IL. The Pirates selected him in the ninth round of the same draft that they took Gerrit Cole first overall. Holmes was expected to be a tough sign out of high school and indeed received a $1.2MM bonus to forgo his commitment to Auburn at the time. He ranked among Pittsburgh’s top 30 prospects for each of the next eight seasons, per Baseball America.

To this point, however, he’s yet to find his footing in the Majors. Holmes had Tommy John surgery in 2014 and missed the entire season as well as the bulk of the 2015 campaign. He’s had control issues in the upper minors since but managed to post solid ERA marks. However, he’s appeared in 47 big league games and been knocked around for a 5.91 ERA with 9.0 K/9 and 6.8 BB/9 through 77 2/3 innings. He’s kept the ball on the ground at a whopping 59.2 percent rate, limited homers well (0.81 HR/9) and averaged 94.5 mph on his oft-used sinker in the big leagues. But his penchant for free passes and hit batters (11) have prevented him from establishing himself as a reliable option.

Holmes is out of minor league options, meaning the Bucs will have somewhat of a decision on their hands over the winter. He’ll have to break camp with the club in 2021 or else be designated for assignment. If the club doesn’t expect Holmes to be on its Opening Day roster in 2021, it’s possible he’ll be outrighted early in the offseason as a means of opening some 40-man roster flexibility over the course of the winter. Holmes, however, isn’t yet eligible for arbitration, so the Pirates could also keep him around for some added pitching depth.

The Padres have acquired first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Braves for cash, Dennis Lin of The Athletic tweets. He’ll join the Padres’ taxi squad. Alonso had been with the Braves on a minor league contract since the winter, and he hasn’t accrued an at-bat this year.

Now 33 years old, Alonso’s a veteran of a handful of major league organizations since he joined the Reds as the seventh overall pick in 2008. Alonso’s no stranger to the Padres, who acquired him in a 2011 blockbuster with the Reds, but he made a minimal impact in San Diego before it dealt him to Oakland in 2015.

Alonso had his best season between Oakland and Seattle in 2017, but he has generally offered middling production relative to his offensively charged position. He has taken 3,773 plate appearances in the majors, including a combined 335 between the White Sox and Rockies last year, and batted .259/.332/.404 (102 wRC+) with 100 home runs.

Now that he’s back with the Padres, Alonso will give the club a bit of insurance at first behind Eric Hosmer, Jake Cronenworth and Ty France. He’s also now part of the same organization as brother-in-law Manny Machado, the Padres’ third baseman.

The Rays have shut down young left-hander Brendan McKay on account of tightness in his pitching shoulder, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times relays. The two-way player had been working back from a positive COVID-19 test at the Rays’ alternate training site before the team had to shelve him again.

There’s no word on how long McKay will be down from this injury. Unfortunately, though, shoulder problems aren’t anything new for McKay, a former fourth overall pick who dealt with them as a rookie in 2019, as manager Kevin Cash pointed out.

Brendan has noted that he has had some issues, even dating back to last year, Cash said to Topkin. After his San Diego start (on Aug. 13) he said he didnt feel right. Im not totally sure that he has completely gotten past that of having no issue out there.”

McKay did pitch past last Aug. 13, even appearing in three of the Rays’ five playoff games in their ALDS loss to the Astros. Before that, he concluded the regular season with 49 innings of 5.14 ERA/4.03 FIP ball and 10.29 K/9 against 2.94 BB/9.

If healthy, McKay could have been a factor in a Rays rotation that’s currently missing Charlie Morton and Yonny Chirinos, who are on the injured list. And the Rays’ staff may have taken yet another hit Tuesday when righty Andrew Kittredge exited their game against the Red Sox in the first inning because of “discomfort” in his pitching arm, per Juan Toribio of Tampa Bay replaced Kittredge with righty John Curtiss.

The White Sox have outrighted hurler Drew Anderson to their alternate training site, James Fegan of The Athletic was among those to report. The club designated the right-hander for assignment over the weekend.

Formerly a member of the Phillies, with whom he entered pro ball as a 21st-round pick in 2012, Anderson joined the White Sox on a minor league contract last offseason. He made his debut with the White Sox on Aug. 8, but it couldn’t have gone much worse. The 26-year-old yielded six earned runs on four hits (including two homers) and two walks in a loss to the Indians, leading Chicago to drop him from its roster.

Thanks in large part to his one ugly appearance this season, Anderson’s now the owner of a woeful 9.67 ERA (albeit with a far more palatable 4.78 FIP) across 22 1/3 major league innings. He has been much better in Triple-A, though, having logged a 4.34 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 over 159 2/3 frames. Anderson will now stay in the White Sox organization and try to work his way back to the bigs.

The Rangers announced a series of roster moves Tuesday afternoon, most notably adding recently signed Derek Dietrich to the Major League roster and designating first baseman Greg Bird for assignment (after first reinstating him from the injured list). Texas also selected the contract of lefty Wes Benjamin from its alternate training site and optioned right-hander Jimmy Herget and infielder Anderson Tejeda.

Designating Bird for assignment opened one of two requisite roster spots for Dietrich and Benjamin. The other looks to have come from placing right-hander Luke Farrell on the Covid-19 injured list. Texas merely announced that Farrell has been placed on the IL, but Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News further reports that it is a Covid-19 IL placement due to Farrell coming into “close contact” with an individual who has tested positive. Farrell has tested negative to this point, per Grant.

Dietrich only just inked a minor league contract with the Rangers yesterday, but he’ll step in as an apparent first base and second base option in the wake of Bird’s departure. The longtime Marlins utilityman slugged a career-best 19 home runs last year, though the overwhelming majority of his production came in the season’s first nine to ten weeks. Dietrich experienced a precipitous dip in production after that point but will look to rebound in his latest setting after being unable to grab a big league spot on prior minors pacts with the Reds and Cubs.

The 27-year-old Benjamin is stepping onto a big league roster for the first time. He was clobbered in Triple-A in 2019 (5.52 ERA in 135 1/3 frames), but that’s true of most of the league’s pitchers after unprecedented levels of home runs that mirrored the Major League long ball surge. Prior to 2019, Benjamin had run up a sub-4.00 ERA in each of his professional seasons, topping out with a solid showing at Double-A in 2018 (3.62 ERA, 72-to-23 K/BB ratio in 79 2/3 innings).

As for Bird, the former Yankees first base hopeful will again be on the lookout for a new team. He’s shown in the past that he has all of the skill to be a strong offensive contributor in the Majors, but shoulder and ankle injuries have completely derailed his career to this point. It’s perhaps telling that he landed on the IL with the Rangers before taking his first plate appearance with the club.

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