Atlanta has been linked to various left-handed relievers leading up to the trade deadline and the Braves finally got their man, acquiring Scott Downs from the Angels for minor leaguer Cory Rasmus.
Downs has long been one of the best lefty relievers in baseball, posting a 2.27 ERA in 422 appearances since 2007, and the 37-year-old impending free agent has a 1.84 ERA in 29 innings this season. He’ll slide into a setup role in front of closer Craig Kimbrel.
Rasmus was a first-round pick in 2006, but has thrown just seven career innings in the majors at age 25. He has fantastic numbers at Triple-A this season with a 1.72 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 37 innings, but has also walked 5.4 batters per nine innings and projects as a middle reliever if his control remains an issue.
Free agent right-hander Trevor Cahill reportedly has a one-year deal in place with the Athletics, according to MLB.com’s Jane Lee. The exact terms have yet to be disclosed, and as the agreement is still pending a physical, it has not been formally announced by the club.
Cahill, 30, is coming off of a decent, albeit underwhelming year with the Padres and Royals. He kicked off the 2017 season with a 4-3 record in 11 starts for the Padres, then split his time between the rotation and bullpen after a midseason trade to the Royals. By the end of the year, the righty led the league with 16 wild pitches and had racked up a 4.93 ERA, 4.8 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 in 84 innings for the two teams.
The A’s found themselves in desperate need of rotation depth this week after Jharel Cotton announced he’d miss the 2018 season to undergo Tommy John surgery. Right now, the team is considering some combination of Andrew Triggs, Daniel Gossett, Daniel Mengden and Paul Blackburn for the back end of the rotation — a mix that seems unlikely to change in the last two weeks before Opening Day, as Lee points out that Cahill won’t be ready to shoulder a full workload by then. Instead, he’s expected to begin the year in the bullpen and work his way up to a starting role, where the A’s hope he’ll replicate the All-Star numbers he produced with them back in 2010.