By trading prospect Brett Wallace just months after getting him from the Cardinals for Matt Holliday the A’s showed that they don’t think he’ll be able to stick at third base defensively and apparently his new team agrees.
Wallace was taken in the first round of the 2008 draft as a third baseman and has played the position in 165 of his 192 games in the minors, but Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos made it clear in an MLB.com chat with fans over the weekend that he’ll be shifted to first base full time in 2010:
We think Wallace is capable of playing third. But, we see him being an above average defensive first baseman. Our hope is to have as strong as a defensive club as we can and putting players in a position where they have a chance to impact the club in the best way defensively.
In other words, maybe Wallace could be passable at third base, but the Blue Jays aren’t interested in that as a best-case scenario and mostly just want his bat in the lineup without his glove hurting them. Wallace will likely begin the year at Triple-A after Toronto got him in a straight-up swap with Oakland for fellow prospect Michael Taylor, but that could change if the Blue Jays clear first base for him by trading Lyle Overbay.
The Orioles announced, prior to Sunday’s game against the Yankees, that the club signed pitcher Tommy Hunter to a major league contract. In related roster moves, the club recalled pitcher Oliver Drake from Triple-A Norfolk and designated pitcher T.J. McFarland and outfielder Julio Borbon for assignment.
The Indians released Hunter on Thursday after he struggled in a rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus. Hunter was recovering from a non-displaced fracture in his lower back. The right-hander put up a respectable 3.74 ERA with a 17/5 K/BB ratio in 21 2/3 innings for the Indians.
This will be Hunter’s second stint with the Orioles. The O’s had acquired him along with first baseman Chris Davis at the trade deadline from the Rangers in 2011 in the Koji Uehara trade.
The Orioles are only responsible for paying Hunter the prorated major league minimum.
Orioles DH Mark Trumbo drilled a two-run home run to left-center field off of reliever Ben Heller in the eighth inning of Sunday afternoon’s game against the Yankees. In doing so, he became the first player to reach the 40-homer plateau this season.
Trumbo finished 1-for-4 on the afternoon. Along with the 40 dingers, he’s hitting .257/.317/.541 with 96 RBI. He has already set a career-high in homers and is four RBI away from tying his career high in that regard.
Trumbo is eligible for free agency after the season. Needless to say, his performance in 2016 bodes well for his ability to secure a hefty contract.