The Cardinals acquired right-handed reliever John Axford from the Brewers on Friday for a player to be named later. And that player has now been named.
As first reported by beat writer Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cards have sent right-hander Michael Blazek to Milwaukee to complete the one-for-one swap. Blazek is going to join the Brewers’ bullpen immediately and will presumably pitch out of a middle relief role down the stretch.
The 24-year-old has some experience as a starter in the minors, but he’s been much more effective as a reliever. Blazek had a promising 1.97 ERA with 52 strikeouts through 45 2/3 innings this year in the Cardinals’ minor league system.
Axford made his debut for St. Louis on Saturday night with an eight-pitch scoreless frame.
Reds lefty Brandon Finnegan exited Monday afternoon’s start against the Cardinals in the fourth inning with an apparent shoulder injury. He grimaced after throwing a pitch and promptly walked off the field without even trying to throw a warmup pitch. In three-plus innings, Finnegan allowed three runs on three hits and four walks with two strikeouts on 58 pitches.
Finnegan, 24, was making his first start since April 15. He had been dealing with a strained left trapezius muscle.
The Reds should have more information on Finnegan’s status later tonight. Given how Finnegan acted after throwing his final pitch, a stint on the disabled list looks likely.
The Rays have acquired shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from the Marlins, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports. The Marlins will receive minor league outfielder Braxton Lee and pitcher Ethan Clark. The Rays are expected to assume the remainder of Hechavarria’s $4.35 million salary for the 2017 season.
Hechavarria, 28, has only played in 20 games this season due to an oblique injury. He has mustered a meager .277/.288/.385 triple-slash line with four extra-base hits and six RBI across 67 plate appearances. He still plays decent defense, though, so that may be enough for him to take the everyday shortstop job in Tampa.
Lee, 23, was selected by the Rays in the 12th round of the 2014 draft. This season with Double-A Montgomery, his second stint there, Lee hit .318/.387/.391 over 296 PA.
Clark, 22, was taken in the 15th round of the 2015 draft by the Rays. In his first stint at Single-A in Bowling Green, Clark has a 3.11 ERA with a 50/18 K/BB ratio in 55 innings of work.