Indians trade Jeanmar Gomez to Pirates

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Cleveland designated Jeanmar Gomez for assignment last week and now Keith Law of ESPN.com reports that the Indians have traded the right-hander to the Pirates for minor leaguer Quincy Latimore.

Gomez has a 5.18 ERA in 207 career innings spent mostly as a starter, including poor control and one of MLB’s worst strikeout rates during that time at 4.9 per nine innings. He does induce a good number of ground balls and is still just 25 years old with a minimum salary, so Gomez could settle in as a decent back-of-the-rotation starter in Pittsburgh.

Latimore was the Pirates’ fourth-round pick in 2007, but repeated Double-A last season at age 23 with sub par numbers offensively and has mostly played left field in addition to some time in center field. He’s a non-prospect at this point, so the Indians basically just dumped Gomez and the Pirates added some cheap depth.

Nick Williams has been trying to sell Jake Arrieta on the Phillies

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CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.

Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”

On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”

Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.

Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.