1:08 p.m. EDT update: MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert reports that the deal is Ziegler for first baseman Brandon Allen and left-hander Jordan Norberto.
The move suggests that the Diamondbacks will be calling up Paul Goldschmidt to take over as their primary first baeman. Allen was filling the role of late and was hitting .172/.351/.483 with three homers and seven RBI in 29 at-bats.
1:05 p.m. EDT update: USATODAY’s Bob Nightengale reports that a deal has been agreed to between the Diamondbacks and A’s, pending a review of Ziegler’s medical records.
Both ESPN’s Buster Olney and FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal are hearing that the Diamondbacks are making a run at Oakland reliever Brad Ziegler. SI.com’s Jon Heyman reports that a deal is likely.
The A’s haven’t ruled out trading any of their veteran relievers, but Ziegler would probably be the second most expensive to acquire, behind only closer Andrew Bailey. Ziegler has a 2.39 ERA in 37 2/3 innings this season, and right-handers have hit just .198 against him.
Ziegler is strictly a matchup guy: with his sidearm delivery, left-handers have torched him for a .398 average. However, he’s yet to give up a homer to either righties or lefties this season. Also, he’s under control through 2014.
Rosenthal says that a Ziegler trade may end up being the only one the A’s make. They also have Rich Harden, Josh Willingham, Coco Crisp, David DeJesus and a bunch of other relievers available, but nothing has gotten done for any of them.
Update: The San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser chimes in with the news that the A’s asked about Diamondbacks outfield prospect Collin Cowgill last week. The 25-year-old hit .354/.430/.554 with 13 homers in 395 at-bats for Triple-A Reno this season.
Kurt Suzuki will wear a Braves’ uniform through the 2018 season after signing a one-year, $3.5 million extension with the club on Saturday, per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal adds that the two had been in talks for weeks and Suzuki made it clear that he wanted to remain in Atlanta for the foreseeable future. The team has yet to announce the extension.
Suzuki, 33, initially signed a one-year contract with the Braves back in January. The veteran backstop stepped into a backup role behind starting catcher Tyler Flowers, but still found a way to impress at the plate with a .271/.343/.525 batting line, career-best 18 home runs and an .868 OPS through 287 PA. According to FanGraphs, Suzuki’s 2.2 fWAR makes 2017 his most valuable season since his run with the 2009 Athletics.
It’s a prudent move for the Braves, who would have lost one of their most dynamic second-half hitters to the free agent market this offseason. Entering Saturday, Suzuki is second only to Freddie Freeman with 11 homers and 1.4 fWAR since the All-Star break. His stunning comeback also confirmed the team’s decision to look outside the organization for a backup catcher, rather than turning to fellow veteran Anthony Recker behind the plate.
“On a personal level, this season exceeded my expectations,” Suzuki told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s just one of those things I can’t explain. I put a lot of work in and really didn’t have a job until late January. I got an opportunity here and took advantage of it. It was definitely a good fit.”
Tigers’ outfielder Mikie Mahtook is unlikely to play again this season, club manager Brad Ausmus announced Saturday. Mahtook was diagnosed with a Grade 2 left groin strain following Friday’s series opener against the Twins, when he appeared to injure himself after chasing down Byron Buxton‘s two-RBI double in the fourth.
This is the second time Mahtook has sustained a groin injury over the past month. The 27-year-old exited Friday’s game with a .276/.330/.457 batting line, 12 home runs and a .787 OPS through 379 plate appearances with the team.
With the Tigers out of contention, there’s no reason to trot out Mahtook for the remaining eight games of the regular season. The club has yet to specify a timetable for his return, but there’s no reason to believe he won’t be in fine shape to compete for a starting role next spring.