UPDATE: The deal is now official, pending physical exams. Baltimore will send relievers David Hernandez and Kam Mickolio to Arizona for Mark Reynolds.
President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail admitted this morning that the Orioles are “making progress” with the Diamondbacks on a trade for Mark Reynolds, which given the typical lack of public statements about in-the-works deals suggests the two sides are very close to getting something done.
Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com reports that David Hernandez would likely be the centerpiece of the trade from Arizona’s point of view. He has underwhelming overall numbers with a 4.93 ERA in 181 career innings, but Hernandez thrived after moving from the rotation to the bullpen and is now viewed as a long-term reliever.
He was consistently knocked around as a starter, but Hernandez is 7-3 with a 2.95 ERA and 49/13 K/BB ratio in 40 innings as a reliever and also has the raw stuff teams generally look for in late-inning options. His average fastball this year clocked in at 94 miles per hour and he posted big strikeout totals in the minors.
Rangers reliever Jake Diekman will have surgery on January 25 to help alleviate ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. As a result, the lefty will miss at least half of the 2017 regular season, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Diekman was diagnosed with the illness when he was 11 years old. He has brought awareness to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America with a “Gut It Out” campaign.
Diekman, who turns 30 years old on Saturday, finished the 2016 campaign with a 3.40 ERA and a 59/26 K/BB ratio in 53 innings. He came to the Rangers from the Phillies in the Cole Hamels trade on July 31, 2015.
The Rangers and Diekman avoided arbitration last Friday, agreeing to a $2.55 million salary for the 2017 season.
It’s been on the verge of happening for a few days now, but now it’s official: the Toronto Blue Jays and Jose Bautista have reached a one-year deal with a mutual option. The deal is pending physical. An announcement making the deal official is expected later in week.
The exact financial figures have not been disclosed, but Jon Heyman reports that it will be in excess of the $17.2 million Bautista turned down when he turned down the Jays’ qualifying offer.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.