Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson has allowed 10 runs in seven innings since returning from a month on the disabled list with hip and ankle injuries.
Wilson looked bad last night against the Dodgers and manager Mike Scioscia told Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times:
This is probably the worst C.J. has struggled since he’s been a starting pitcher, so naturally, you’re concerned. There’s certainly been some head-scratching over his last seven or eight starts. But seeing how hard he works, seeing that it doesn’t look like it’s anything physical, we’re very confident he’s going to get back on that beam and do what we need him to do.
Wilson had a 3.34 ERA on June 19. Since then he’s allowed 32 runs in 24 innings with a 21/14 K/BB ratio and .394 opponents’ batting average.
He originally went on the disabled list with an ankle injury, but then said he discovered while rehabbing that he’d been pitching through a hip issue that had hurt his performance. If the Angels had any appealing fallback options Wilson might already be booted from the rotation, but his job appears to be safe unless general manager Jerry Dipoto can swing a waiver wire trade.
Wilson is under contract for $18 million next season and $20 million in 2016 as part of a five-year, $77.5 million deal.
Update (7:01 PM EDT): David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the deal has been completed.
ESPN’s Keith Law reported on Saturday evening that a bad contract swap involving the Braves’ Hector Olivera and the Padres’ Matt Kemp was “getting close.” Olivera has been pulled off the field, per Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that only a last-second medical would kill the deal at this point, and that the Padres will be sending money to the Braves.
Kemp, 31, will have $64.5 million remaining on his contract through 2019 after this season, but the Dodgers will pay $3.5 million annually over those remaining three years, so the $64.5 million is really $54 million. The veteran has compiled a .262/.285/.489 triple-slash line with 23 home runs and 69 RBI in 431 plate appearances for the Padres this season.
Olivera, 31, will have $28.5 million remaining on his contract through 2020 after this season. The outfielder was handed an 82-game suspension, beginning on May 26, for his involvement in a domestic dispute on April 13. The suspension is up on August 2. He has a .501 OPS in 21 major league at-bats this season and a .278 OPS in 37 PA at Triple-A.
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres will consider designating Olivera for assignment. The trade is all about the salary dump for the Padres, as they’d rather give outfield playing time to prospects Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot.
The Athletics and Royals swapped outfielders on Saturday. The Athletics sent Billy Burns to Kansas City and the Royals sent Brett Eibner to Oakland.
Burns, 26, doesn’t provide much in the way of offense, but he runs the bases well and plays solid defense. He was hitting .234/.270/.303 with 11 doubles, four triples, and 14 stolen bases in 274 plate appearances.
Eibner, 27, was batting .231/.286/.423 with three home runs and 10 RBI in 85 plate appearances. He has spent most of the season with Triple-A Omaha, where he’s put up a .902 OPS in 219 PA. Eibner played the outfield corners in the majors, but racked up a ton of time playing center in the minors, so his versatility will be valuable to the A’s.
Burns will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the 2017 season while Eibner has hardly accrued any service time, which might explain part of the motivation behind the trade for the small-market Athletics.