Wandy Rodriguez to return next Monday, with Jordan Lyles likely going back to minors

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Wandy Rodriguez threw 60 pitches in a bullpen session yesterday and Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Astros now expect him to come off the disabled list when eligible next Monday.

He’ll first have to avoid a setback with his elbow injury while making a rehab start Wednesday at Double-A, but Levine writes that he’ll likely be limited to 50-60 pitches in that outing.

Rodriguez said after the bullpen session that he “felt great” and “didn’t have any problem.”

Top prospect Jordan Lyles took Rodriguez’s spot in the rotation and pitched well in his debut, but the 20-year-old former first-round pick struggled yesterday versus the Padres and seems likely to be sent back down when Rodriguez returns.

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.