Let us first stipulate that, yeah, it’s probably way too early for free agent rumors. So much happens between now and when guys file that it’s kinda silly for anyone to put too much stock in the various whispers out there. But hey: if people can spend all day arguing that wins are what makes a pitcher great, I can engage in some irresponsible rumor mongering too, right?
This one is fun: Buster Olney says that the Orioles may go after Victor Martinez “in a combo 1B-C-DH/leader type of role.”
Who knows if it would happen, but I think it’s not a terrible idea. They have no first baseman to speak of for 2011. I’m assuming they’ll keep Luke Scott around to DH next year — he’s arbitration eligible and will get a raise — but he can play a corner if need be, and of course Matt Wieters could use an occasional rest. Martinez’s defensive flexibility could allow Buck Showalter to do a lot of things.
I know that the first thing most people say when they talk about fixing the Orioles is to work on pitching, but they’re 13th in the AL in both runs scored and runs allowed (and the pitching has been better in recent weeks). Improvement in any capacity would be a good thing.
The Giants have acquired All-Star infielder Eduardo Nunez from the Twins in exchange for minor league pitcher Adalberto Mejia, the club announced on Thursday night.
Nunez, 29, went 0-for-4 in Thursday night’s game against the Orioles. He’s hitting .296/.325/.439 with 12 home runs, 47 RBI, 49 runs scored, and a league-best 26 stolen bases in 391 plate appearances this season. Nunez has played mostly at shortstop this season, but has also logged significant time at third base and a handful of games at second base, so he’ll give the Giants some versatility.
Nunez will likely play a lot of third base for the Giants as Matt Duffy is still sidelined with a strained left Achilles. He’s earning $1.475 million this season and will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility heading into 2017.
Mejia, 23, was considered the Giants’ seventh-best prospect by MLB Pipeline. He earned a promotion to Triple-A Sacramento last month after posting a 1.94 ERA with Double-A Richmond. In seven starts with Sacramento, he has a 4.20 ERA with a 43/11 K/BB ratio in 40 2/3 innings.
With a roster spot open, the Twins called up infield prospect Jorge Polanco from Triple-A Rochester, per MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY reports that the Mariners have received “strong” trade interest for starter Taijuan Walker. The right-hander is currently on the mend from tendinitis in his right foot. He’ll throw a bullpen on Friday at Wrigley Field with scouts in attendance.
Walker, 23, has a 3.66 ERA with an 80/18 K/BB ratio in 86 innings this season. It’s his first bit of sustained success at the major league level. What’s arguably just as intriguing is the fact that Walker will be under team control through 2020.
The Mariners have been hovering around .500 for the last month and entered Thursday six games behind the first-place Rangers in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot, behind three other teams as well as the two Wild Card leaders. It’s enough uncertainty which could push the Mariners to sell.