Shuffling the deck chairs: Dodgers acquire Juan Rivera from Blue Jays, drop Marcus Thames

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I’m not sure if this means the Dodgers think they’re buyers at 41-51 or what, but they’ve acquired Juan Rivera from the Blue Jays for a player to be named later or “cash considerations” while designating Marcus Thames for assignment.

Setting aside the absurdity of the Dodgers sending “cash considerations” to another team–surely the Blue Jays are paying nearly all of Rivera’s remaining salary–Rivera and Thames are about as identical as two players can get, as they’re both defensively challenged, right-handed-hitting corner outfielders with 25-homer power who should be limited to platoon roles facing left-handed pitching.

Rivera is 34 and has a .779 career OPS, Thames is 32 and has a .794 career OPS. Rivera might be slightly better than Thames in a larger role and he’s healthier at the moment, but by swapping them the Dodgers are basically doing nothing. Talk about shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic.

The Rays acquire reliever Dan Jennings from the White Sox

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The White Sox have traded multiple relievers recently. They just traded another, sending lefty Dan Jennings to the Rays for first baseman Casey Gillaspie.

Jennings has a 3.45 ERA and a 38/19 K/BB ratio in 44.1 innings. He’ll likely serve as a setup man with Tampa Bay. He’s more than a rental, as he’s under team control for two more years.

Gillaspie, 24, is hitting .227/.296/.357 with nine home runs in 395 plate appearances at Triple-A. He hit much better in 2016 at Triple-A, however, and made it on some top-100 prospects lists. What the White Sox’ plans for him are with Jose Abreu around, however, are unclear.

The Braves send Dansby Swanson to Triple-A

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The Atlanta Braves have optioned shortstop Dansby Swanson to Triple-A Gwinnett.

It was a move that was a long time coming. It was probably overdue. Swanson had been relegated to a backup role since the All-Star break, and him neither (a) contributing to the club; or (b) getting regular work in order to develop as a player, was the least optimal of situations.

Swanson has had a down, momentarily up, and then down again season. He batted .156 in April and .216 in May. He rebounded in June, batting .306, but his July has been a nightmare in which he has gone 6-for-48 with only five walks. He has started just six of the Braves 13 games since the All-Star break, losing time to Johan Camargo.

Swanson, 23, jumped from Double-A to the big club in August of last year and hit .302 with an .803 OPS over 38 games. That earned him the shortstop job heading into 2017, but he’s obviously in need of either more seasoning or, at the very least, some time to clear his head, because he’s not getting the job done.