White Sox complete trade for Teahen, decline Dye's option

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After some non-denial denials from both sides, the White Sox and Royals made things official with the three-player trade reported yesterday: Mark Teahen to Chicago for Chris Getz and Josh Fields.
For a full breakdown of the deal check out my lengthy analysis from yesterday. Short version? Teahen is overrated and probably not worth the money he’s about to make. Getz and Fields are nothing special, but they’re cheap and somewhat useful. Good trade for the Royals.
Interestingly, general manager Ken Williams announced immediately that Teahen will be the White Sox’s starting third baseman, with Gordon Beckham sliding across the diamond to second base. Initial reports had Chicago targeting Teahen to replace Jermaine Dye in right field and that may still be an option if Williams ends up making a run at someone like Chone Figgins via free agency.
For now though Teahen is back to being a poor defensive third baseman rather than a poor offensive right fielder. In related news, the White Sox have declined their $12 million option on Dye for 2010, predictably choosing to buy him out for $1 million. Dye had a strong 2008 and hit .302/.375/.567 with 20 homers in the first half this season, but absolutely fell apart in the second half while batting just .179 in 60 games. Dye has bounced back from extended slumps before, but he’s 35 years old now and letting him go was a no-brainer at that price.

NL Wild Card Game: Cubs vs. Pirates lineups

Jake Arrieta

Here are the Cubs and Pirates lineups for tonight’s Wild Card game in Pittsburgh:

CF Dexter Fowler
RF Kyle Schwarber
LF Kris Bryant
1B Anthony Rizzo
3B Tommy La Stella
2B Starlin Castro
C Miguel Montero
SS Addison Russell
SP Jake Arrieta

Cubs manager Joe Maddon wanted Tommy La Stella in the lineup over Jorge Soler or Chris Coghlan, so he starts at third base and Kris Bryant shifts to left field. Bryant started just four games in left field all season, compared to 136 starts at third base. Also of note: After batting Addison Russell ninth–behind the pitcher–116 times this season Maddon has him in the more traditional eighth spot tonight.

RF Gregory Polanco
3B Josh Harrison
CF Andrew McCutchen
LF Starling Marte
C Francisco Cervelli
2B Neil Walker
SS Jordy Mercer
1B Sean Rodriguez
SP Gerrit Cole

Pedro Alvarez started 119 games at first base for the Pirates and with right-hander Jake Arrieta on the mound he was the presumed starter tonight, but instead manager Clint Hurdle has benched the 27-homer slugger in favor of utility man Sean Rodriguez. Alvarez is vastly superior to Rodriguez offensively, especially versus a righty, but he’s also very shaky defensively. During the regular season Rodriguez started a grand total of one game at first base against a right-hander, so this qualifies as a hunch by Hurdle.

The Cardinals are optimistic about Yadier Molina’s status

St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina celebrates as he arrives home after hitting a solo home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina‘s bum thumb responded well after participating in baseball activities Tuesday, including catching, hitting, blocking balls and the like.

This morning Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said that he’s now even more optimistic that Molina will be on the NLDS roster. The Cards’ first game will be Friday against the winner of tonight’s Cubs-Pirates tilt.

Having Molina would obviously be a boon for the Cardinals on the field. For a look at what Molina means to the Cardinals off the field, however, take some time to go read Derrick Goold’s excellent story about what Molina’s teammates think of him. Short version: the world. It’s worth your time, even if you’re not a citizen of Cardinals Nation.