Two weeks ago the Orioles declined to offer arbitration to Koji Uehara, but Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that they’re now interested in re-signing the 36-year-old reliever. And they have plenty of company.
According to Connolly at least six teams have expressed interest in Uehara, with the Orioles being joined by the Twins, Red Sox, Mariners, Brewers, and Cardinals.
Connolly speculates that the Orioles could have the edge if they offer Uehara a chance to close again after he saved 13 games in 15 chances this year, but Baltimore is unlikely to offer him a multi-year contract and another team may step up with a two-year deal.
He couldn’t stay healthy as a starter, but Uehara was amazingly good after shifting to the bullpen with a 2.86 ERA, .220 opponents’ batting average, and 55/5 K/BB ratio in 44 innings, including an absurd 45/2 K/BB ratio in the second half.
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.