Angels and Pirates “engaged in serious talks” about Jeff Mathis-for-Garrett Jones swap

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Pittsburgh’s quest for catching help following injuries to Chris Snyder and Ryan Doumit led them contact the Angels about Jeff Mathis, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com.

Morosi reports that the Pirates and Angels “engaged in serious talks” about Mathis-for-Garrett Jones swap, but “the discussions fell apart after Pirates officials decided they couldn’t part with Jones’ power bat.”

Which is sort of funny, since Jones hit .248 with nine homers in the first half for a .438 slugging percentage that ranks 85th among MLB hitters with at least 200 plate appearances. He’s also 30 years old.

In other words, he seems like a perfectly reasonable return for Mathis, who’s currently hitting .195 and has a lifetime .569 OPS. Morosi, of course, has a slightly different take, writing: “Although they didn’t come to fruition, the talks reflect how seriously each team is pursuing improvements for a primary area of need.”

Yeah, something like that.

Red Sox trade Roenis Elias back to the Mariners

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The Boston Red Sox announced this afternoon that they’ve traded lefty Roenis Elias to the Seattle Mariners for a player to be named later or cash.

Boston had acquired Elias in the same trade that netted them reliever Carson Smith in exchange for Wade Miley and Jonathan Aro back in December of 2015. Since that time Elias has not been a part of the Red Sox’ plans, pitching in just four big league games — eight innings total — in all of 2016 and 2017 and not making an appearance for the big club this season. He was pretty solid for Pawtucket in 2016 but 2017 was largely lost to injuries.

Now he’s headed back to Seattle where, once upon a time, Elias posted a 3.85 ERA in 29 starts as a rookie for the Mariners.