UPDATE: Several other reporters including Buster Olney and Marc Topkin are now following up on DRaysBay’s report, an expanded version of which you can see here. Of course none of these other people are actually crediting DRaysBay from what I’ve seen because bloggers apparently don’t know nothin’ never, but it does appear that their report has been borne out.
10:57 AM: DRaysBay is reporting that Kyle Farnsworth and the Rays have agreed to a deal. It hasn’t been confirmed by team or player yet. Indeed, Drays Bay is still working to verify it themselves, as it could be a misfire rumor. Could be legit. Could just be every Yankees and Red Sox fan’s fantasy.
Ah, I can’t gin up any real Farnsworth hate. He’s a useful guy if you don’t (a) think he can still throw 100 m.p.h.; (b) think he can handle high-leverage situations; or (c) pay him anything approaching real money. He’s an arm with some things to recommend it, even if it does make you sick when he’s your team’s big move at the trade deadline. The Rays could use him. Lots of teams could.
And besides, if Farnsworth continues to pitch, he’s guaranteed to get more features over at The Dugout, and that’s comedy gold.
Update (7:01 PM EDT): David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the deal has been completed.
ESPN’s Keith Law reported on Saturday evening that a bad contract swap involving the Braves’ Hector Olivera and the Padres’ Matt Kemp was “getting close.” Olivera has been pulled off the field, per Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that only a last-second medical would kill the deal at this point, and that the Padres will be sending money to the Braves.
Kemp, 31, will have $64.5 million remaining on his contract through 2019 after this season, but the Dodgers will pay $3.5 million annually over those remaining three years, so the $64.5 million is really $54 million. The veteran has compiled a .262/.285/.489 triple-slash line with 23 home runs and 69 RBI in 431 plate appearances for the Padres this season.
Olivera, 31, will have $28.5 million remaining on his contract through 2020 after this season. The outfielder was handed an 82-game suspension, beginning on May 26, for his involvement in a domestic dispute on April 13. The suspension is up on August 2. He has a .501 OPS in 21 major league at-bats this season and a .278 OPS in 37 PA at Triple-A.
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres will consider designating Olivera for assignment. The trade is all about the salary dump for the Padres, as they’d rather give outfield playing time to prospects Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot.
The Athletics and Royals swapped outfielders on Saturday. The Athletics sent Billy Burns to Kansas City and the Royals sent Brett Eibner to Oakland.
Burns, 26, doesn’t provide much in the way of offense, but he runs the bases well and plays solid defense. He was hitting .234/.270/.303 with 11 doubles, four triples, and 14 stolen bases in 274 plate appearances.
Eibner, 27, was batting .231/.286/.423 with three home runs and 10 RBI in 85 plate appearances. He has spent most of the season with Triple-A Omaha, where he’s put up a .902 OPS in 219 PA. Eibner played the outfield corners in the majors, but racked up a ton of time playing center in the minors, so his versatility will be valuable to the A’s.
Burns will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the 2017 season while Eibner has hardly accrued any service time, which might explain part of the motivation behind the trade for the small-market Athletics.