Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com has the scoop:
According to a baseball source, the Phillies are in serious talks with the Baltimore Orioles about a potential trade involving Jim Thome.
The Orioles are in the market for a designated hitter and the Phillies are willing to deal Thome to a club where he could fill that role.
Thome is still the Phillies down in Miami, but that could change at some point in the very near future.
The 41-year-old has posted a .242/.338/.516 batting line, five home runs and 15 RBI in 71 plate appearances this season. He would serve as a part-time designated hitter for Baltimore if a deal can be worked out.
UPDATE, 5:51 PM: Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun has confirmed through a source that a trade is indeed close and says the Phillies will likely be receiving “minor-leaguers” in return from the O’s.
UPDATE, 6:04 PM: FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that a trade has been agreed upon. It will be announced after the Phillies and Orioles complete the games they’re currently in the midst of playing.
UPDATE, 6:28 PM: According to Rosenthal, the Phils will get right-hander Kyle Simon and catcher Gabriel Lino in return from the O’s. Simon, 21, was a fourth-round selection in 2011. He has a 3.96 ERA in 72 2/3 innings this season at Single-A. Lino, 19, is batting .218/.282/.340 in 56 games — also at the Single-A level.
ESPN’s Keith Law reported on Saturday evening that a bad contract swap involving the Braves’ Hector Olivera and the Padres’ Matt Kemp was “getting close.” Olivera has been pulled off the field, per Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that only a last-second medical would kill the deal at this point, and that the Padres will be sending money to the Braves.
Kemp, 31, will have $64.5 million remaining on his contract through 2019 after this season, but the Dodgers will pay $3.5 million annually over those remaining three years, so the $64.5 million is really $54 million. The veteran has compiled a .262/.285/.489 triple-slash line with 23 home runs and 69 RBI in 431 plate appearances for the Padres this season.
Olivera, 31, will have $28.5 million remaining on his contract through 2010 after this season. The outfielder was handed an 82-game suspension, beginning on May 26, for his involvement in a domestic dispute on April 13. He has a .501 OPS in 21 major league at-bats this season and a .278 OPS in 37 PA at Triple-A.
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres will consider designating Olivera for assignment. The trade is all about the salary dump for the Padres, as they’d rather give outfield playing time to prospects Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot.
The Athletics and Royals swapped outfielders on Saturday. The Athletics sent Billy Burns to Kansas City and the Royals sent Brett Eibner to Oakland.
Burns, 26, doesn’t provide much in the way of offense, but he runs the bases well and plays solid defense. He was hitting .234/.270/.303 with 11 doubles, four triples, and 14 stolen bases in 274 plate appearances.
Eibner, 27, was batting .231/.286/.423 with three home runs and 10 RBI in 85 plate appearances. He has spent most of the season with Triple-A Omaha, where he’s put up a .902 OPS in 219 PA. Eibner played the outfield corners in the majors, but racked up a ton of time playing center in the minors, so his versatility will be valuable to the A’s.
Burns will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the 2017 season while Eibner has hardly accrued any service time, which might explain part of the motivation behind the trade for the small-market Athletics.