Cubs calling up Ryan Sweeney from Triple-A

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Ryan Sweeney, who’s been playing at Triple-A since signing a minor-league deal with the Cubs this offseason, is on his way back to the majors.

Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports that the Cubs are expected to call up Sweeney and demote Dave Sappelt to Triple-A. Sweeney hit .337 with six homers and a 1.022 OPS in 23 games at Triple-A, but is a career .280 hitter with a .715 OPS in 535 games as a big leaguer.

He can get on base and play all three outfield spots, and the Cubs figure to give Sweeney most of his action against right-handed pitching. Sweeney spent last season in Boston and the Red Sox acquired him shortly after now-Cubs president Theo Epstein stepped down as their general manager.

Yankees trade Chase Headley, Bryan Mitchell to the Padres for Jabari Blash

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The New York Yankees have traded third baseman Chase Headley and pitcher Bryan Mitchell to the San Diego Padres for outfielder Jabari Blash. Joel Sherman of the New York Post was the first to report the trade. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was the first to report that Blash was coming back in return.

Headley, a third baseman, hit .273/.352/.406 for the Yankees last year. He, of course, played for the Padres from 2007 through the middle of 2014, when he was dealt to New York. Mitchell has pitched 48 games for the Yankees, most from the pen, over four seasons, with an ERA of 4.94 in 98.1 innings. He doesn’t strike out many and he walks a lot. He throws hard.

Blash, an outfielder, has hit .200/.323/.336 with eight homers in 279 big league plate appearances. Blash has shown a lot of power potential in the minors, but has not yet put it together in the bigs. Given what the Yankees have in their outfield at the moment, he’s going to be organizational depth or, perhaps, a chit in a future trade.

This would seem to be an exercise in salary clearing by the Yankees in anticipation of another move, as it takes about $13 million off of their payroll. Which is about how much was added to their payroll for 2018 in the Giancarlo Stanton deal. That could get Todd Frazier back for them, perhaps. Or it could help them retain CC Sabathia or go after another starting pitcher. The club likewise maintains an interest in getting under the $197 million payroll threshold which would trigger yet another year of 50% luxury tax payments for the Yankees.