Blue Jays move prospect Aaron Sanchez to bullpen in Triple-A; majors the next step?

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Aaron Sanchez is considered the Blue Jays’ top pitching prospect, but the team appears prepared to give him his first taste of the majors in a relief role.

Jeff Blair of Sportsnet 590 The Fan passes along word that the Blue Jays have moved Sanchez to the bullpen with Triple-A Buffalo. The thought is that he could be promoted to the Blue Jays within 10 days.

Sanchez, a supplemental first-round pick from 2010, has posted a 3.94 ERA and 82/57 K/BB ratio over 98 1/3 innings this season between Double- and Triple-A. The 22-year-old right-hander has never thrown more than 90 1/3 innings in a season in pro ball prior to 2014, so the Blue Jays are looking to protect his workload. A short-term move to the bullpen might be the best way to accomplish that, especially given the team’s needs at the major league level. Blue Jays relievers are 27th in the majors this season with a 4.39 ERA.

Cardinals option Aledmys Diaz to Triple-A

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The Cardinals announced on Wednesday that shortstop Aledmys Diaz has been optioned to Triple-A Memphis and infielder Alex Mejia’s contract has been purchased from Memphis.

Diaz, 26, impressed last season when he posted an .879 OPS and finished fifth in National League Rookie of the Year balloting. This year has been rough on Diaz, as he’s batting .260/.293/.396 with seven home runs and 20 RBI in 288 plate appearances. He’s the second major Cardinals player to get sent down to the minors along with Randal Grichuk.

Diaz was surprised by the demotion. Via MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch:

Mejia, 26, opened the season with Double-A Springfield but was promoted to Triple-A two weeks ago. With Springfield, he hit .251/.305/.366 in 251 PA. In 42 PA with Memphis, he hit .263/.333/.289.

Report: Red Sox, Yankees have contacted Marlins about Martin Prado

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With just over a month to go before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, trade rumors are beginning to crop up. According to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports, the Red Sox and Yankees have each reached out to the Marlins about infielder Martin Prado.

The Marlins enter play Wednesday 35-40 and in third place in the NL East. They are expected to continue to sell after trading shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to the Rays. However, as the club itself is in the middle of rumors with a handful of prospective new owners, major pieces like Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich probably won’t be moved until that is settled.

Prado, 33, is hitting .277/.299/.398 with two home runs and nine RBI in 87 plate appearances. He has played in only 21 games due to calf and hamstring injuries. When he’s healthy, though, he is typically productive and he can play all four infield positions as well as the outfield corners. Prado is under contract for the next two seasons as well, at $13.5 million and $15 million.

With either the Red Sox or Yankees, Prado would likely assume third base. The Red Sox have gotten a major league-worst .562 out of its third basemen while the Yankees have gotten a .678 OPS, 24th out of 30 teams.