Based on their records it’s tough to tell which team is the buyer and which team is the seller here, but the 57-59 Red Sox have traded catcher Kelly Shoppach to the 55-60 Mets for a player to be named later.
Shoppach is an impending free agent, so the Mets are apparently picking him up in the hopes he can help them close what is a 9.5-game deficit for the Wild Card. Or something.
Meanwhile, the Red Sox are parting with Shoppach because they have minor leaguer Ryan Lavarnway waiting in the wings to fill the “part-time catcher who crushes left-handed pitching” role as the backup for Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Shoppach was a nice offseason pickup for the Red Sox, hitting .250 with five homers and a .798 OPS in 48 games after signing a one-year, $1.35 million deal as a free agent. He’ll split time with the left-handed-hitting Josh Thole in New York.
On Monday, we learned that the Mets offered to swap catchers with the Brewers, Travis d'Arnaud for Jonathan Lucroy. The Brewers, as expected, turned that down. The two still continue to discuss a trade involving Lucroy, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
The Mets certainly could use some help at catcher. The club has gotten an aggregate .608 OPS from their backstops, the fourth-lowest mark in baseball, ahead of only the Pirates, Rays, and Indians. However, the Mets seem to be behind other teams — including a “mystery” team — in the bidding, according to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball.
Lucroy, who took Thursday off, is batting .300/.361/.486 with 13 home runs and 50 RBI in 371 plate appearances for the Brewers this season. He can become a free agent after the season if his controlling club opts against picking up his $5.25 million option for the 2017 season.
The Reds announced that starter Homer Bailey has been activated from the 60-day disabled list and will make his 2016 season debut on Sunday against the Padres. To make room on the roster, the Reds optioned outfielder Kyle Waldrop to Triple-A Louisville and transferred pitcher Caleb Cotham to the 60-day disabled list.
Bailey, 30, underwent Tommy John surgery last year, taking about 14 months to recover. He made only two starts last season and 23 starts in 2014. The right-hander has three more guaranteed years and $63 million remaining on his contract as well as a $25 million mutual option for the 2020 season with a $5 million buyout.
In six rehab appearances with Louisville dating back to June 27, Bailey has a 5.75 ERA and a 13/7 K/BB ratio in 20 1/3 innings. The stats from rehab stints don’t mean too much as long as the Reds feel he’s healthy enough to pitch.