According to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo, the Dodgers and Brewers are still in talks regarding a potential trade for Milwaukee outfielder Ryan Braun. The two sides initially had a trade in the works last August, when it was rumored that the Dodgers would receive the veteran outfielder in exchange for outfielder Yasiel Puig, right-hander Brandon McCarthy and two unidentified prospects. However, talks fell through prior to the August 31 deadline and discussions appeared to be tabled, though not entirely nixed.
Now, both Cafardo and MLB.com’s Jon Morosi report that the clubs have started to revisit the deal. While it is unlikely that the two sides will finalize anything in the first month of the new season, it’s worth noting that Braun will gain his 10-and-5 rights on May 24, allowing him to veto any potential trade offers. Morosi speculates that Braun would be unlikely to reject a trade to the Dodgers, both because the team was left off of his no-trade list last season and because of their proximity to his home in Los Angeles.
Following Saturday’s game against the Reds, the 33-year-old outfielder has gone 9-for-46 during the 2017 season with three home runs and three stolen bases. He’s looking to follow up on a productive 2016 run, during which he slashed .305/.365/.368 with 30 home runs and 3.2 fWAR in 135 games with Milwaukee. The Dodgers, meanwhile, could use the extra support in the outfield, where their fielders are drawing a collective .242/.338/.462 at the plate and Franklin Gutierrez and Andre Ethier have been compromised by injuries.
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.