According to Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker the Chiba Lotte Marines have received at least one acceptable bid for infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka and have scheduled a press conference for Friday to announce the winning MLB team.
Seattle, San Francisco, Boston, and San Diego are among the teams said to be interested in Nishioka, but various reports have pegged Minnesota as the surprising front-runners for the switch-hitting batting champion whose 206 hits this season were the most since Ichiro Suzuki in 1996.
Once the top bid is announced the winning team will have 30 days to negotiate a contract with Nishioka, at which point the posting fee will be refunded if the two sides can’t come to an agreement. Nishioka batted .346 with 22 steals this season, but his track record includes far less impressive production and lots of injuries, and there are some questions about whether he has the arm strength to be an everyday shortstop.
On Monday, we learned that the Mets offered to swap catchers with the Brewers, Travis d'Arnaud for Jonathan Lucroy. The Brewers, as expected, turned that down. The two still continue to discuss a trade involving Lucroy, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
The Mets certainly could use some help at catcher. The club has gotten an aggregate .608 OPS from their backstops, the fourth-lowest mark in baseball, ahead of only the Pirates, Rays, and Indians. However, the Mets seem to be behind other teams — including a “mystery” team — in the bidding, according to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball.
Lucroy, who took Thursday off, is batting .300/.361/.486 with 13 home runs and 50 RBI in 371 plate appearances for the Brewers this season. He can become a free agent after the season if his controlling club opts against picking up his $5.25 million option for the 2017 season.
The Reds announced that starter Homer Bailey has been activated from the 60-day disabled list and will make his 2016 season debut on Sunday against the Padres. To make room on the roster, the Reds optioned outfielder Kyle Waldrop to Triple-A Louisville and transferred pitcher Caleb Cotham to the 60-day disabled list.
Bailey, 30, underwent Tommy John surgery last year, taking about 14 months to recover. He made only two starts last season and 23 starts in 2014. The right-hander has three more guaranteed years and $63 million remaining on his contract as well as a $25 million mutual option for the 2020 season with a $5 million buyout.
In six rehab appearances with Louisville dating back to June 27, Bailey has a 5.75 ERA and a 13/7 K/BB ratio in 20 1/3 innings. The stats from rehab stints don’t mean too much as long as the Reds feel he’s healthy enough to pitch.