Placido Polanco has slumped horribly following a great first month, hitting just .219 with a .541 OPS in 56 games since May 1, and admitted yesterday that he’s struggled to play through a back injury that has led to leg numbness and “doesn’t feel right.”
The injury and two-month slump didn’t keep him from being voted into the All-Star game as the National League’s starting third baseman and it won’t keep him from playing in the game either.
“I won’t probably make it any worse,” Polanco told Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.
He’s been playing through the injury for two months already, so another few innings isn’t going to dramatically change anything, but given how poor his performance has been during that time it would seem like an opportunity to completely rest for a few days in an effort to get on track in the second half.
Charlie Manuel told Zolecki he doesn’t have a problem with Polanco playing, calling it “a big honor for him.”
Rian Watt of Baseball Prospectus is hearing that a trade that would send Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs involves prospect Gleyber Torres and more going to the Yankees. He adds that the holdup in the trade talks is centered around a contract extension for Chapman, believed to be around four years in length and $60 million total. The deal may not be finalized if the Cubs don’t get him signed to an extension they like. In Watt’s words, “Package is set. Extension is not.”
We learned earlier on Sunday that the Yankees were working hard to trade Chapman, reportedly in contact with at least four teams. The Cubs were not believed to be the front runners but certainly upped the ante by offering Torres.
Torres, 19, is rated the Cubs’ #1 prospect and #24 overall in baseball by MLB Pipeline. The shortstop has spent the season with Single-A Myrtle Beach, batting .275/.359/.433 with nine home runs, 47 RBI, 62 runs scored, and 19 stolen bases in 409 plate appearances.
Torres is currently roadblocked at shortstop by Addison Russell, and 21-year-old Ian Happ is rated #3 in the Cubs’ system, so the club would be dealing from surplus.
Prior to Sunday afternoon’s game against the Mariners, the Blue Jays designated reliever Drew Storen for assignment and recalled reliever Ryan Tepera from Triple-A Buffalo.
Storen, 28, had a nightmare of a time with the Jays, leaving with a 6.21 ERA and a 32/10 K/BB ratio over 33 1/3 innings. The Jays acquired him in January from the Nationals in exchange for outfielder Ben Revere and a player to be named later.
Storen is owed the remainder of his $8.375 million salary, which makes it likelier that the right-hander will pass through waivers unclaimed. He’ll be eligible for free agency after the season.