UPDATE: The deal is done. Buster Olney reports that the Rays have acquired Jesse Crain from the White Sox for future considerations. Olney believes that the future considerations will be based on how many games Crain, who has a bad shoulder, pitches for Tampa Bay. The more he pitches, the better the return.
Crain, if healthy, will be a solid addition to the Rays’ pen. Between this and the Scott Downs trade, it’s been a pretty bullpenny day.
12:40 PM: OK, maybe not so fast:
Sources: Deal for Jesse Crain to Rays not close to done. Talks for now. Good news for White Sox is teams aren’t scared off by his shoulder.
There were thoughts that Crain’s shoulder injury and current DL-status would prevent a deal from happening. But that, it seems, is being overcome. And may be part of the reason why Levine reports that the deal is “complicated.”
For the Rays, a move to pick up Crain would be a rare buy-at-the-deadline transaction. But if Crain can pitch in the second half, he’d be a boon to their bullpen. In 38 appearances this year he’s put up a fantastic 0.74 ERA while striking out 46 batters and walking 11 in 36.2 innings.
The Red Sox, who won the AL East last season with a 93-69 record, have under-performed so far this season, entering Wednesday’s action with just two more wins than losses at 23-21. The club hasn’t had a winning streak of more than two games since April 15-18. As a result, manager John Farrell may be on the hot seat, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported on Tuesday.
Beyond the mediocre record, Rosenthal cites two incidents that happened this season that caused Farrell’s stock to drop. The first was the brouhaha with the Orioles when Manny Machado slid into Dustin Pedroia at second base, causing Pedroia to suffer an injury. When reliever Matt Barnes intentionally threw a fastball at Machado, Pedroia was seen telling Machado, “It wasn’t me. It’s them.” The word “them,” of course, would ostensibly be referring to Barnes and Farrell.
The second incident happened last week when pitcher Drew Pomeranz challenged Farrell in the dugout after being removed with a pitch count of 97. Rosenthal suggests that some of Farrell’s players aren’t on the same page as the skipper.
Rosenthal also mentions that Farrell didn’t have the entire backing of the Red Sox clubhouse in 2013, when the club won the World Series. So the issues this year may not be unique; they may be part of a larger trend.
The biggest impediment in making a managerial change for the Red Sox is having a good candidate. After letting Torey Lovullo leave after last season to manage the Diamondbacks, the team’s two most likely interim candidates would be bench coach Gary DiSarcina and third base coach Brian Butterfield. DiSarcina has one year of managing experience above Single-A (Triple-A Pawtucket in 2013). Butterfield hasn’t managed in 15 years.