Rays claim Rob Delaney off waivers from the Twins

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Today the Rays added another reliever to the mix for their rebuilt bullpen, claimining right-hander Rob Delaney off waivers from the Twins.

Minnesota designated Delaney for assignment earlier this week to make room on the 40-man roster for left-hander Dusty Hughes, who’s older and has a significantly less impressive minor-league track record, but did spend most of last season in Kansas City’s bullpen.

Delaney has pitched well in two seasons at Triple-A with a 130/38 K/BB ratio in 128 innings, but his ERA there is an unremarkable 4.65 thanks to serving up 17 long balls.  As a fly-ball pitcher with so-so raw stuff Delaney has little room for error and having only a cup of coffee in the majors at age 26 shows that the Twins viewed him skeptically.

However, he’s racked up lots of strikeouts with a repertoire headed by a low-90s fastball and has very good control with just 1.9 walks per nine innings. His upside is likely middle reliever and flopping is very possible, but he’s capable of being a solid contributor and he should get a legitimate opportunity in Tampa Bay.

Cardinals place Dexter Fowler on the disabled list

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The Cardinals announced on Tuesday that outfielder Dexter Fowler has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left forearm. Outfielder Harrison Bader was recalled from Triple-A Memphis to take Fowler’s spot on the roster.

It’s not clear when Fowler suffered the injury, but he went 0-for-12 since a three-hit performance last Friday. He’s hitting .241/.333/.452 with 14 home runs and 37 RBI in 333 plate appearances this season.

Bader, 23, is the Cardinals’ No. 6 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. This season, with Memphis, Bader hit .297/.354/.517 with 19 home runs and 48 RBI in 381 PA.

Dodgers, Cubs could be interested in Justin Verlander

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Jon Morosi of MLB Network said yesterday that the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs have been engaged in trade talks involving starting pitcher Justin Verlander and catcher Alex Avila. Morosi also noted that the Los Angeles Dodgers have shown interest in Verlander as well. Whether this is idyl chitchatting of serious dispute is unclear, of course. Everything is unclear in the leadup to the deadline.

The veteran right-hander is carrying a 4.50 with a 120/57 K/BB ratio over 124 innings. Verlander impressed last year, finishing second in AL Cy Young Award balloting, but he has fallen back to Earth in 2017. His velocity remains high, however, and it’s not hard to imagine him going on a solid run in a way that could help a contender. He is owed $56 million over the next two seasons, however, and has a $22 million option that could vest for 2020, so negotiations for him could be tough. If the Tigers want talent back, they’ll have to eat salary.

Verlander got an ovation from a Detroit crowd last night which seemed to sense that, yes, it’s possible he pitched his last game for the Tigers. Given that he has 10/5 rights, allowing him to veto any trade, that decision is ultimately up to him. It’s not hard to imagine him accepting a trade to a contender, however.

We wait see.