The injury-riddled Braves have secured some insurance for the shortstop position.
Mark Bowman of MLB.com confirms that the Braves have acquired infielder Paul Janish from Reds in exchange for minor league right-hander Todd Redmond. David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes that he’s expected to join the Braves tomorrow.
The Braves have been on the lookout for help ever since Andrelton Simmons fractured his right pinkie finger on Sunday. The need became even more urgent after Jack Wilson dislocated the middle joint of his right pinkie finger and Martin Prado was forced to fill in at shortstop. The Braves have called up Tyler Pastornicky, but Prado is back at shortstop again this afternoon against the Mets.
Janish is highly-regarded for his defense, but he owns a lowly .221/.289/.302 batting line and a .591 OPS over 975 plate appearances in the big leagues, all with the Reds. The 29-year-old has played exclusively with Triple-A Louisville this season, compiling a .237/.332/.391 batting line and .722 OPS in 49 games played.
Redmond has a 3.57 ERA over parts of eight seasons in the minors, but he’s been stuck at Triple-A Gwinnett since the 2009 season. He’s 27 years old and has never been considered a top prospect despite solid results, so he’ll presumably function as organizational depth with Cincinnati.
Yankees’ special advisor and former outfielder Hideki Matsui expects to help the club “convince or recruit” Japanese two-way star Shohei Otani, according to a report from MLB.com’s Deesha Thosar. The Yankees are currently viewed as the favorites to sign Otani, though there still figures to be plenty of competition for his services when he finally becomes eligible to enter Major League Baseball.
Matsui also told Thosar that while he hasn’t seen a player find success as a hybrid pitcher/slugger in the majors, he’s taken notice of Otani’s success in both areas. “He’s done well in Japan, so as a baseball fan I’m looking forward to how he’s going to do here in the Majors and in the U.S.,” Matsui said, later adding, “If [pitching and hitting is] something he wants to do, and the team wants it, then why not?”
Neither the Yankees nor any other suitor should be too concerned with Otani’s ability to translate his .332 batting average and 3.20 ERA to MLB — at least, not just yet. There are still a few roadblocks in his path to the major leagues, most notably the lack of approval from the Players Association. Per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, the union doesn’t want to sign off on an agreement that would give the Nippon Ham Fighters a $20 million posting fee in exchange for Otani’s services. According to the posting system rules, Otani himself would be eligible to receive no more than a $4 million signing bonus.
The good news in all of this? The union agreed to reach a final decision by Monday, November 21, so there’s still a chance Major League Baseball will see the talented two-way player bring his unique skillset to the field in 2018.