Astros targeting Soriano or Lindstrom for bullpen

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Houston has an opening at closer after Jose Valverde declined arbitration and an empty setup spot with LaTroy Hawkins is headed to Milwaukee, so the Astros are reportedly pursuing trades for Matt Lindstrom of the Marlins and Rafael Soriano of the Braves.
Soriano surprisingly accepted Atlanta’s arbitration offer and because the Braves have already rebuilt the bullpen with free agents Billy Wagner and Takashi Saito they’re looking to essentially do a sign-and-trade for Soriano. FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal pegs Houston and Tampa Bay as the most likely destinations.
Lindstrom is due for a raise via arbitration, so naturally the Marlins have been shopping him all week and an unnamed source told Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post that they’re “close” to dealing him to the Astros. Lindstrom is coming off a career-worst year, but between 2007 and 2008 he had a 3.11 ERA and 105/47 K/BB ratio in 124 innings and his probable salary of around $2 million is only expensive to the Marlins.

Blue Jays acquire Gift Ngoepe from the Pirates

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MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports that the Blue Jays have acquired infielder Gift Ngoepe from the Pirates in exchange for cash considerations.

Ngoepe, 27, made his major league debut this past season. Overall, he hit .222/.323/.296 in 63 plate appearances. He mostly played second base, but also spent time at shortstop and third base.

Ngoepe is from South Africa. When he debuted on April 26, he became the second African-born player to play in the majors along with Al Cabrera of the 1913 Cardinals. He had spent parts of eight seasons in the minors prior to 2017.

In case you’re wondering, Ngoepe is pronounced “in-go-pay.”