Rumors: Cliff Lee to the Yankees?

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I’m not sure if I read Jon Heyman’s daily rumors piece and Twitter posts
because I actually believe what he reports — because I kind of don’t
— or simply because it’s fun to read the stuff he comes up with each
day. For example, today he has:

the Yankees asking about Cliff Lee, with the Indians asking for either Joba or Phil Hughes in return, which I can’t see Brian Cashman being dumb enough to do;

— The Rays shopping Scott Kazmir to the Angels. Query: would that
deal finally stop Mets fans from @!$%#ing about the Victor Zambrano
deal? Wait, who am I kidding? Mets fans never stop @!$%#ing about
anything;

— He also has the Rays in on the Victor Martinez sweepstakes, along
with the Red Sox. It strikes me that if the Sox thought they could get
Martinez than they wouldn’t have acquired LaRoche. It also strikes me
that if the Rays are interested in trading Scott Kazmir and the Indians
are (a) hung up on getting pitching that will, according to Heyman,
“give them hope in 2010”; and (b) insistent on trading Martinez, that
those two teams should be on the phone, like yesterday;

— Lots of Halladay stuff, but nothing new; and

— Further confirmation, such as it is, that the Cardinals and A’s are going to do a Matt Holliday deal.

Finally, Heyman quotes Indians’ GM Mark Shapiro as saying “There is
an understanding of the value of young prospects in roster
construction. But it’s almost to the point where there’s an
over-evaluation of these guys. There’s almost an over-correction.”

So I guess what he’s saying is now is the right time to try and snag Matt LaPorta, who’s wasting away in my hometown for no apparant reason right now?

Mets trade Curtis Granderson to the Dodgers

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The Mets traded centerfielder Curtis Granderson to the Dodgers for cash considerations or a player to be named later, the teams announced late Friday night. Granderson was rumored to be drawing interest from teams earlier in the week, and found a landing place after slashing .256/.360/.721 since the start of the month. In a corresponding move, the Dodgers designated right-hander Dylan Floro for assignment to clear roster space for the outfielder.

As a whole, the 36-year-old’s 2017 campaign has been a tad underwhelming. Granderson entered Saturday batting .228/.334/.481 with 19 home runs and an .815 OPS through 395 PA, and accrued 1.7 fWAR to the 5.1 fWAR he produced during his pennant-winning, MVP-contending season in 2015. Still, with under $4 million remaining on his contract, another 20+ homer season around the corner and the defensive chops to man center field, it looks like a prudent deal for the Dodgers as they continue to bulldoze their way to the playoffs this fall.

The club has yet to outline their plans for Granderson, but his addition to a crowded outfield could displace centerfielder Joc Pederson, who turned in a meager .214/.329/.415 batting line through 292 PA in 2017. It could also have ramifications for fellow veteran Andre Ethier, assuming he’s healthy enough to compete for a starting role when he comes off the 60-day disabled list in September. The Mets, meanwhile, are expected to lean more heavily on rookie outfielder Brandon Nimmo, who’s made just five starts this season after struggling to get consistent playing time on the field.

Corey Kluber exits game with right ankle sprain

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Indians’ right-hander Corey Kluber was removed from the sixth inning of his start on Friday night, bringing a streak of 14 starts with 8+ strikeouts to an unfortunate end after he sprained his right ankle. Kluber stumbled off the mound while trying to field a base hit from Eric Hosmer and was seen visibly limping as he moved to cover first base. He was allowed to stay in the game for one more batter, but quickly yielded a three-pitch single to Melky Cabrera and left the mound with head athletic trainer James Quinlan.

It was a poor ending to another strong outing by the right-hander, who delivered 5 1/3 innings of one-run, four-strikeout ball and took his 12th win of the season after the Indians amassed a nine-run lead. Postgame comments by Cleveland skipper Terry Francona suggest that Kluber isn’t facing a serious setback after sustaining the sprain, however, and might even be good to go by the time his next start comes around on Wednesday.

While the Royals escaped Friday’s loss without injury, the 10-1 drubbing pushed them 6.5 games back of the division lead and half a game behind the Twins and Angels for the second AL wild card berth. They’ll host a rematch on Saturday at 7:15 ET, with left-hander Jason Vargas set to face off against Indians’ righty Trevor Bauer.