Joakim Soria says he wouldn’t block a trade to the Yankees

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Amid speculation that he could the next Royal to be traded, Joakim Soria told Robert Espinosa of Mexican paper Vanguard that he wouldn’t block a deal to the Yankees, who are on his no-trade list.

In fact, Soria said his no-trade list — which also consists of the Red Sox, Phillies, Tigers, Cardinals and Cubs — was included by his agent for strategic purposes.

In other words, it’s entirely negotiable. Hypothetically, Soria’s agent could leverage the no-trade clause in order to get a team like the Yankees to pick up (or agree to decline) his club options through 2014 or even negotiate a contract extension in order to complete a trade. Or, like Zack Greinke, he might waive it for nothing whatsoever. It’s a smart move.

By the way, are you one of those people who think the Royals have nothing to lose by stretching out Soria out as a starting pitcher during spring training? Well, Soria isn’t on board with that idea. He specifically told Espinosa that he isn’t interested in being a starter.

(Hat-tip to MLB Trade Rumors for the link)

The Cubs send Kyle Schwarber to the minors

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Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.

Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.

Now this:

The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.

The A’s designate Stephen Vogt for assignment

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A surprising move out of Oakland: the Athletics have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.

Vogt is suffering through a bad season at the plate, hitting .217/.287/.357, so on the basis of pure performance it’s understandable that the A’s may want to part ways with the 32-year-old former All-Star. That said, Vogt is considered to be a leader in the Oakland clubhouse and is one of the last players remaining from the A’s 2013-14 playoff teams.

Catcher Bruce Maxwell has been recalled from Triple-A to take Vogt’s place on the roster. Main catching duties will belong to Josh Phegley.