Leon Halip/Getty Images

Report: Phillies might be willing to trade Odubel Herrera

4 Comments

The Rangers are looking for an upgrade in the outfield. As such, the club has discussed speedy center fielder Billy Hamilton with the Reds, per MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan. Sullivan adds that the still-rebuilding Phillies might be willing to trade center fielder Odubel Herrera which would create a match with the Rangers.

Herrera, soon to be 25 years old, was originally signed in the summer of 2008 as an amateur free agent by the Rangers. The Phillies selected him from the Rangers in the Rule-5 draft two winters ago. Herrera had an outstanding rookie campaign in 2015, batting .297/.344/.418 in 537 plate appearances. He was able to maintain that production in 2016, finishing with a .286/.361/.420 triple-slash line with 15 home runs, 49 RBI, 87 runs scored, and 25 stolen bases in 656 PA. Herrera was the Phillies’ lone representative in the All-Star Game.

Herrera has shown the ability to play above-average — though inconsistent — defense. He strikes out a fair amount but showed a massively-improved eye at the plate last season, boosting his walk rate from five percent to nearly 10 percent. What might be most attractive to interested teams, however, is likely the fact that he’s under team control through the 2020 season.

As the free agent market is not particularly robust, teams in need of upgrades may be forced to make trades which works out well for teams like the Phillies.

Dodgers, Cubs could be interested in Justin Verlander

4 Comments

Jon Morosi of MLB Network said yesterday that the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs have been engaged in trade talks involving starting pitcher Justin Verlander and catcher Alex Avila. Morosi also noted that the Los Angeles Dodgers have shown interest in Verlander as well. Whether this is idyl chitchatting of serious dispute is unclear, of course. Everything is unclear in the leadup to the deadline.

The veteran right-hander is carrying a 4.50 with a 120/57 K/BB ratio over 124 innings. Verlander impressed last year, finishing second in AL Cy Young Award balloting, but he has fallen back to Earth in 2017. His velocity remains high, however, and it’s not hard to imagine him going on a solid run in a way that could help a contender. He is owed $56 million over the next two seasons, however, and has a $22 million option that could vest for 2020, so negotiations for him could be tough. If the Tigers want talent back, they’ll have to eat salary.

Verlander got an ovation from a Detroit crowd last night which seemed to sense that, yes, it’s possible he pitched his last game for the Tigers. Given that he has 10/5 rights, allowing him to veto any trade, that decision is ultimately up to him. It’s not hard to imagine him accepting a trade to a contender, however.

We wait see.

A 30-year-old rookie won his major league debut

2 Comments

The Dodgers beat the Twins last night thanks to a Cody Bellinger three-run homer. But Bellinger was not the only Dodgers rookie who had a notable game. A far more unconventional one is worth mentioning as well.

That rookie is reliever Edward Paredes, who made his big league debut last night. What makes him unconventional: he’s 30. Turns 31 in September, actually. Paredes pitched professionally for 12 years before making it to The Show. Most of that time was in the affiliated minors in the Mariners, Indians, Angels and Dodgers organizations. He spent time in the independent Atlantic League in 2013-15 as well.

Paredes did not do anything heroic last night. It was more of a right place/right time kind of appearance, retiring the side in order with a fly out, line out and a ground out and remaining the pitcher of record while Bellinger hit that three-run homer. That’s enough for a W, though. A W that Paredes waited a lot longer for than most pitchers who notch one in the bigs.