The Padres swapped All-Star closer Huston Street to the Angels last night in a six-player trade and they likely aren’t done making deals.
According to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, the Padres are expected to trade outfielder Chris Denorfia before the July 31 non-waiver deadline. The 34-year-old is batting just .244/.295/.329 with one home run this season, but he owns an .809 OPS against southpaws for his career and could be a useful platoon player/extra outfielder for a contender. He’s making $2.25 million in 2014 and will be a free agent this offseason.
The return for Denorfia will likely be minimal, but the Padres could fetch more if they end up dealing third baseman Chase Headley, right-hander Ian Kennedy, and new closer Joaquin Benoit. All three names continue to surface in trade rumors, with the Blue Jays among the teams linked to Headley.
Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.
GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”
Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.
Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.
Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.
The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.