Mark Trumbo

D’backs, Angels, White Sox agree to three-team Mark Trumbo deal

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3:00 p.m. EST update: A source told the Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro that the deal is done. The Diamondbacks will get Trumbo and two players to be named, and they give outfielder Adam Eaton to the White Sox and left-hander Tyler Skaggs to the Angels. Left-hander Hector Santiago will go from Chicago to Anaheim.

Trumbo is expected to play left field for the Diamondbacks and could bat fourth or fifth behind Paul Goldschmidt. A.J. Pollock will serve as Arizona’s primary center fielder, with Gerardo Parra facing righties and Cody Ross starting against lefties in right field.

Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register says that right-hander A.J. Schagel is one of the PTBNs going to Arizona. He had a 7.05 ERA in Triple-A last year and wasn’t protected on the Angels’ 40-man for the Rule 5 draft.

2:25 p.m. EST update: FOXSports.com’s Jon Morosi says the three-team trade is close to being finalized.

1:25 p.m. EST update: MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez hears that the three-team deal is “getting pretty close” and that Howie Kendrick is not involved.

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ESPN.com’s Keith Law hears the White Sox are now part of the trade talks designed to send Mark Trumbo to Arizona, with the White Sox getting outfielder Adam Eaton and sending Hector Santiago to Anaheim.

Diamondbacks prospect Tyler Skaggs is also expected to go to the Angels in the trade.

Santiago, who went 4-9 with a 3.56 ERA in 23 starts and 11 relief appearances for the White Sox last season, would jump right into the Angels rotation while carrying only a minimum salary. With Trumbo’s approx. $5 million salary off the books, the Angels would then have the ability to pursue a more expensive free agent to join Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson and Garrett Richards. Skaggs would also be a rotation possibility, but probably not until after another month or two in Triple-A.

Eaton’s addition in Chicago would free up Alejandro De Aza for a trade, and he’d be pretty attractive in a market that just saw Nate McLouth and Rajai Davis land two-year deals in the $10 million range. De Aza hit .264/.323/.405 with 17 homers and 20 steals in 607 at-bats for the White Sox last season. He’s due about $4.5 million in arbitration and will be eligible for free agency for the first time after 2015. Eaton would probably be a downgrade in the short term, but he may offer better defense in center and he’s making the minimum for  a couple of more years.

It’s the Diamondbacks who would likely lose out in the deal if they sent both Skaggs and Eaton packing for Trumbo, even if they wouldn’t realize it while he’s hitting 35 homers next season. He just probably wouldn’t contribute much of anything besides the homers to their cause.

Update: MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert is hearing that the Diamondbacks will also receive a pair of prospects if the deal is completed, which could even things up some.

Update 2: Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times says that while the White Sox have talked to the Angels about catcher Hank Conger this winter, he’s not believed to be in the current deal.

Is Bud Black the favorite to be the next Braves manager?

Bud Black
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We talked last week about how Fredi Gonzalez is likely a dead man walking as the Braves manager. They stink, he’s a lame duck and part of the team’s whole marketing thrust is “2017 will be a new beginning,” what with the new ballpark and all. It stands to reason that Mr. Gonzalez doesn’t have long for this world.

Last week I suspected he’d be fired tomorrow, the Braves off day before a home stand. They’ve won in the past week, but it still wouldn’t shock me. Even if firing Gonzalez would be an act of scapegoating. It’s the roster that’s the problem, not the manager, even though Fredi doesn’t exactly inspire anyone.

Today Bob Nightengale throws this into the mix:

As of yet he hasn’t followed that up with an actual column or more tweets about who, exactly, considers Black to be the heavy favorite, but there’s a definitiveness to that which makes me think he’s heard something solid.

Black, as you know, was the long time Padres manager who had an unsuccessful flirtation with the Nationals before they hired Dusty Baker this past offseason. Black is now cooling his heels with his longtime boss Mike Scioscia in Anaheim, in what is clearly a “wait for his next managing opportunity” posture.

Could it be in Atlanta? At least one national writer and some nebulous group of insiders believe so, it would seem.

The Reds bullpen set a record for futility

Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher J.J. Hoover reacts after giving up a solo home run to Chicago Cubs' Javier Baez, left, during the ninth inning of a baseball game Friday, April 22, 2016, in Cincinnati. The Cubs won 8-1. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Associated Press
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I mentioned this in the recaps this morning but it’s worthy of its own post.

The Cincinnati Reds’ bullpen gave up two runs last night. In so doing it made for the 21st consecutive game in which it has allowed at least one run. That’s a new major league record, having surpassed the 2013 Colorado Rockies’ record of 20, according to Elias.

Last year the Reds set a record — shattered it, really — by going with rookie starting pitchers in 64 straight games to end the season. Those guys aren’t rookies anymore, but they’re still really inexperienced. They could probably use some better bullpen help than they’ve been getting.

Headline of the Day– A-Rod: “Trophy Boyfriend”

Alex Rodriguez
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For as long as there have been couples, the woman in a couple has been publicly defined by the man’s life and accomplishments. It doesn’t matter if the woman cures cancer, walks on the moon or wins the Eurovision Song Contest, when news stories or obituaries are written, she is invariably referred to as “wife of ___” or “girlfriend of ___.” Even if the guy is a grade-A schmuck.

While that pattern still persists, it’s nice to see someone flip the script on it once in a while. Like The Cut did in its story about a new, high-profile couple going public:

 

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The couple: Alex Rodriguez and Anne Wojcicki. Who, if you were unaware, is a Silicon Valley biotech CEO and a billionaire. She went to Yale, played varsity hockey in college and is a mother. Alex Rodriguez is accomplished and famous, but outside of the sports bubble he’s a padawan to Wojcicki’s master Jedi. Despite this, in places other than The Cut, it would still not be surprising to see her referred to as “A-Rod’s girlfriend,” because that’s just how people roll. Here’s hoping others take The Cut’s lead when referring to women in the public sphere more often.

A related note: in the rare cases when a famous male personality is identified in reference to his female partner and not the other way around, people like to make jokes and like to question the masculinity of the man. Which is equally stupid. And, to the man in question, should be utterly beside the point.

To that end, I think it’s worth noting that Alex Rodriguez has been involved with several women who, outside of baseball, are far more famous than he is and it’s never seemed to be an issue for him whatsoever. People like to say a lot of things about A-Rod’s ego and personality, but in this respect I bet he’s a hell of a lot better adjusted, grounded and self-assured than the vast majority of men who might find themselves in his place.

Video: Jeff Samardzija breaks a bat over his knee after striking out

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Jeff Samardzija had a great night last night. He allowed one run on three hits over eight innings and picked up the win. In the early going he’s proving wrong those who thought that the Giants overpaid for him and is providing solid performance from the third spot in the Giants rotation. It’s all good.

But good is not always good enough for a professional athlete. Especially one like Samardzija, who excelled in multiple sports and likely can count his lifetime athletic failures on one hand. No, when you’re wired like that you get upset even when you’re excellent because sometimes you want to be perfect.

For example, most pitchers don’t get too worried about striking out. They’re there to pitch, not bat. They turn on their heel and calmly walk back to the dugout. Samardzija, however, got a bit irate when he struck out. Then he did this: