Mark Shapiro likes the Nate McLouth trade

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The GM of team with 25 wins and which sits seven games out of first place praises the GM of team with 26 wins that sits six and a half games out of first place:

[Indians’ GM Mark Shapiro] had read and heard of the public backlash
in Pittsburgh regarding the trading of All-Star outfielder Nate McLouth
to the Atlanta Braves for three prospects, and he made known in an
interview with the Post-Gazette his strong backing of Neal Huntington,
the Pirates’ general manager, as well as his longtime friend and former
front-office employee in Cleveland.

“As another general manager in a very similar market with similar
challenges, I can say that the move was not only understandable but
also wise,” Shapiro said.

Feel better, Pirates fans?

OK, that’s not fair of me. No matter where the Indians sit today,
Shapiro has done a pretty good job of putting a nucleus of talent
together, the best of which came in an All-Star for prospects deal akin
to this one. Sure, it would be silly to expect the dudes Atlanta sent
to Pittsburgh to turn into Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore and Brandon
Phillips, but they aren’t chopped liver either. The move was the right
one to make, even if Pirates fans don’t think so at the moment.

Now, if Shapiro starts praising the moves Huntington makes with his bullpen . . .

Phillies sign Trevor Plouffe to minor league deal

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Infielder Trevor Plouffe has signed a minor league deal with the Phillies, Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports. Plouffe asked for and was granted his release from the Rangers earlier this month.

Plouffe, 31, had a double and a home run in 17 plate appearances with Triple-A Round Rock to start the 2018 season. He spent last year with the Athletics and Rays, putting up a meager .198/.272/.318 batting line in 100 games.

Plouffe has mostly played third base throughout his career, but can also handle the other three infield spots and both outfield corners, so he’ll serve as organizational depth at Triple-A Lehigh Valley for the Phillies.