Cardinals acquire DeRosa from Indians

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Late Saturday night, the Cardinals acquired Mark DeRosa from the
Indians in exchange for Chris Perez and a player to be named later.
Bandied about in trade rumors for the better part of the last two
months, DeRosa was batting .270/.342/.457 with 13 homers and 50 RBI in
his first season with the Tribe. Known for his versatility with the
glove, DeRosa will see most of his time at third base.

He figures to be a huge boost to a Cardinal team that has been looking
for a solution at the hot corner ever since Troy Glaus went down with a
right shoulder injury this spring. This season, Cardinals third baseman
have combined to hit just .227/.300/.367 with six homers and 26 RBI. If
Glaus somehow manages to return, DeRosa could easily slot in at second
base or the outfield.

DeRosa also adds a righty bat to a lineup that sorely needs one.
Sure, they have Pujols, but as a team, the Cardinals have a pathetic
.228 batting average against left-handers, third worst in the majors.
The team has only hit 17 homers against southpaws this season, but keep
in mind that nine of them have come off the bat of Pujols. Lastly, the
acquisition of DeRosa is a nice jab to the rival Cubs, who are
jockeying for position with the Cardinals in the competitive National
League Central. It’s a great trade for the Cards.

As for the Indians side of things, Perez, a former 2006 first-round
draft pick, will enter a bullpen that has been a disaster this season.
So far they have pitched to a 4.97 ERA, third worst in the majors,
while serving up 35 home runs. Only the Yankees have given up more.

Perez has a 3.78 ERA, 1.37 WHIP and 71/37 K/BB ratio in 64 1/3 career
innings in parts of two major league seasons. The 22-year-old
right-hander has a 4.18 ERA, .195 BAA, and 30 strikeouts in 23 2/3 in
2009. He projects as a future closer for the club. As for the player to
be named later, since DeRosa was so coveted on the trade market, the
Indians will probably get a legitimate prospect, as well. This trade
can’t possibly be judged from the Indians perspective until we find out
who that second player is.

Braves sign Bud Norris to one-year contract

Bud Norris

Bud Norris has found a home for his attempt at a bounceback season, signing a one-year deal with the Braves. Jon Heyman of says it’s worth $2.5 million, which is a huge cut from his $8.8 million salary this year.

Norris had established himself as a solid mid-rotation starter from 2009-2014, but had a brutal 2015 season split between the Orioles and Padres with a 6.72 ERA in 83 innings and a late-season move to the bullpen.

In announcing the signing the Braves referred to Norris as a starting pitcher, so joining the rotation for a rebuilding team gives him a chance to get his career back on track with an eye on hitting the open market as a free agent again next offseason. And if he fares well, the Braves could use him to add a prospect or two at the trade deadline.

The Cubs acquire Rex Brothers from the Rockies

Rex Brothers Rockies

The number of people who, if you held a gun to their head, would say that “Rex Brothers” was a game show host and/or local TV news personality from the late 1970s or early 80s is not insignificant. But if you’re a Rockies fan or if spend all day thinking about baseball you know that he’s a reliever who has played in Colorado for the past five years. Now you know him as a reliever for the Cubs:

Brothers — a former Best Shape of His Life All-Star — was pretty good until he hit a brick wall in 2014 and spent most of 2015 in Triple-A. He had something of a bounceback after being called up when rosters expanded in September, but that’s not the sort of thing to excite anyone. He could be useful for the Cubs or just spring training cannon fodder and organizational depth.

Cabrera just turned 18 a couple of weeks ago and pitched a grand total of 14 games in the Dominican Summer League. He’s young and was a $250,000 signee from the Dominican as a 16-year-old so, by definition, he’s a project. Worth giving up Rex Brothers for him if you’re the Rockies, worth risking for some depth in the pen if you’re the Cubs.

Diamondbacks hire Dave Magadan as hitting coach

Dave Magadan Rangers
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Steve Gilbert of reports that the Diamondbacks’ new hitting coach is Dave Magadan, who “parted ways” with the Rangers last month after three years filling the same role in Texas.

Magadan also previously was the Red Sox’s hitting coach and his teams have generally done pretty well, including the Rangers scoring the third-most runs in the league this year.

He’ll have plenty of talent to work with in Arizona, as the Diamondbacks scored the second-most runs in the league led by Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock, and David Peralta. Turner Ward, who had been Arizona’s hitting coach, chose to leave the team two weeks ago.

A’s reacquire Jed Lowrie in trade with Astros

Jed Lowrie

Jed Lowrie, who was traded from the Astros to the A’s in 2013 and then re-signed with the Astros as a free agent last offseason, has now been traded back to the A’s.

Lowrie got a three-year, $23 million deal from the Astros with the idea that he’d play shortstop in the first season and then move to another position whenever stud prospect Carlos Correa arrived. Instead he got hurt right away, Correa became an immediate star, and the Astros weren’t so keen on paying him $15 million over the next two seasons.

He could resume playing shortstop for the A’s, who watched rookie Marcus Semien make an absurd number of errors there this year. Lowrie hit .271 with a .738 OPS in two seasons in Oakland, which is similar to his career totals and makes him a solidly above-average offensive shortstop. There’s a decent chance the A’s will have a Lowrie-Lawrie double-play duo in 2016.

In return the Astros get minor leaguer Brendan McCurry, a 24-year-old right-hander who split 2015 between high Single-A and Double-A with a 1.86 ERA and 82/17 K/BB ratio in 63 relief innings. He was a 22nd-round draft pick in 2014 and doesn’t have exceptional raw stuff, but McCurry’s numbers are incredible so far.