Lackey takes physical for Red Sox, may be close to signing

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This morning an unnamed source told Ed Price of Fanhouse that John Lackey would be taking a physical exam for the Red Sox and now FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal confirms that while offering further details:

Free-agent right-hander John Lackey underwent a physical Monday with the Red Sox, an indication that he is close to an agreement with the team, according to a major-league source. The deal is expected to be similar to the five-year, $82.5 million contract that the Yankees awarded free-agent right-hander A.J. Burnett last winter.

Rosenthal futher speculates that signing Lackey could lead the Red Sox to go with a Jeremy Hermida-Mike Cameron platoon to replace Jason Bay in the outfield, and the move could also potentially make them more likely to part with Clay Buchholz in a trade. Two months ago I compared Lackey to A.J. Burnett and concluded that he could end up with a very similar deal and that now sounds likely.

The Rays acquire reliever Dan Jennings from the White Sox

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The White Sox have traded multiple relievers recently. They just traded another, sending lefty Dan Jennings to the Rays for first baseman Casey Gillaspie.

Jennings has a 3.45 ERA and a 38/19 K/BB ratio in 44.1 innings. He’ll likely serve as a setup man with Tampa Bay. He’s more than a rental, as he’s under team control for two more years.

Gillaspie, 24, is hitting .227/.296/.357 with nine home runs in 395 plate appearances at Triple-A. He hit much better in 2016 at Triple-A, however, and made it on some top-100 prospects lists. What the White Sox’ plans for him are with Jose Abreu around, however, are unclear.

The Braves send Dansby Swanson to Triple-A

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The Atlanta Braves have optioned shortstop Dansby Swanson to Triple-A Gwinnett.

It was a move that was a long time coming. It was probably overdue. Swanson had been relegated to a backup role since the All-Star break, and him neither (a) contributing to the club; or (b) getting regular work in order to develop as a player, was the least optimal of situations.

Swanson has had a down, momentarily up, and then down again season. He batted .156 in April and .216 in May. He rebounded in June, batting .306, but his July has been a nightmare in which he has gone 6-for-48 with only five walks. He has started just six of the Braves 13 games since the All-Star break, losing time to Johan Camargo.

Swanson, 23, jumped from Double-A to the big club in August of last year and hit .302 with an .803 OPS over 38 games. That earned him the shortstop job heading into 2017, but he’s obviously in need of either more seasoning or, at the very least, some time to clear his head, because he’s not getting the job done.