The Indians haven’t given up on signing Shin-Soo Choo to an extension

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The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the Indians are trying to work out a multi-year contract with Shin-Soo Choo:

“We’re still in the midst of discussions,” said [GM Chris] Antonetti. “I don’t view it as the negotiations being closed.”

Choo is one of the most underrated guys in baseball. He’s still got three seasons to go in Cleveland — unless they trade him, that is — and he’s a Scott Boras client.

I suppose there are things that are less likely to happen than Choo agreeing to an extension that buys out anything other than his arb years, and there are things less likely to happen than the Indians actually offering to pay Choo a cent more than they’d have to if they simply went year-to-year with him.  It’s just that I can’t for the life of me think what any of those things are at the moment.

Yankees trade Chase Headley, Bryan Mitchell to the Padres for Jabari Blash

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The New York Yankees have traded third baseman Chase Headley and pitcher Bryan Mitchell to the San Diego Padres for outfielder Jabari Blash. Joel Sherman of the New York Post was the first to report the trade. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was the first to report that Blash was coming back in return.

Headley, a third baseman, hit .273/.352/.406 for the Yankees last year. He, of course, played for the Padres from 2007 through the middle of 2014, when he was dealt to New York. Mitchell has pitched 48 games for the Yankees, most from the pen, over four seasons, with an ERA of 4.94 in 98.1 innings. He doesn’t strike out many and he walks a lot. He throws hard.

Blash, an outfielder, has hit .200/.323/.336 with eight homers in 279 big league plate appearances. Blash has shown a lot of power potential in the minors, but has not yet put it together in the bigs. Given what the Yankees have in their outfield at the moment, he’s going to be organizational depth or, perhaps, a chit in a future trade.

This would seem to be an exercise in salary clearing by the Yankees in anticipation of another move, as it takes about $13 million off of their payroll. Which is about how much was added to their payroll for 2018 in the Giancarlo Stanton deal. That could get Todd Frazier back for them, perhaps. Or it could help them retain CC Sabathia or go after another starting pitcher. The club likewise maintains an interest in getting under the $197 million payroll threshold which would trigger yet another year of 50% luxury tax payments for the Yankees.