The Braves announced on Monday night that the club acquired minor league outfielder Alex Jackson and a player to be named later from the Mariners in exchange for pitchers Rob Whalen and Max Povse. The Mariners designated pitcher Ryan Weber for assignment to open roster space.
Jackson, 20, was selected by the Mariners in the first round (sixth overall) in the 2014 draft. In his second season at Single-A Clinton, Jackson hit .243/.332/.408 with 11 home runs and 55 RBI in 381 plate appearances. MLB Pipeline rated Jackson as the sixth-best prospect in the Mariners’ system.
Whalen, 22, made his major league debut this past season, making five starts. He yielded 20 runs (18 earned) on 20 hits and 12 walks with 25 strikeouts in 24 2/3 innings. He will most likely open the season with Triple-A Tacoma.
Povse, 23, split the season between High-A Carolina and Double-A Mississippi, putting up a 3.36 ERA and a 139/29 K/BB ratio in 158 innings. The right-hander could potentially open the year at Triple-A Tacoma as well.
Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.
Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.
The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.
A surprising move out of Oakland: the Athletics have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.
Vogt is suffering through a bad season at the plate, hitting .217/.287/.357, so on the basis of pure performance it’s understandable that the A’s may want to part ways with the 32-year-old former All-Star. That said, Vogt is considered to be a leader in the Oakland clubhouse and is one of the last players remaining from the A’s 2013-14 playoff teams.
Catcher Bruce Maxwell has been recalled from Triple-A to take Vogt’s place on the roster. Main catching duties will belong to Josh Phegley.