With the trade deadline drawing ever nearer, both the Dodgers and Nationals have started to set their sights on potential pitching reinforcements. That includes Tigers’ powerhouse lefty reliever Justin Wilson, though FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal notes that the club may be reluctant to sell at the deadline as they’re still in the hunt for a wild card.
That doesn’t appear to have deterred interest in the 29-year-old southpaw, who will collect a $2.7 million salary in 2017 and is under control through the 2018 season. Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that as many as four clubs have sent scouts to follow the Tigers lately, including the Astros, Cubs, and aforementioned Dodgers and Nationals. Should the Tigers become sellers at the deadline, Rosenthal adds that there would be no shortage of teams interested in the flame-throwing lefty.
The Astros nearly had a deal to acquire Wilson during the 2016 offseason, but couldn’t meet the asking price after the Tigers reportedly rejected a trade for top outfield prospect Derek Fisher. Of Wilson’s four suitors, the Astros’ and Dodgers’ bullpens currently rank at the top of the league, while the Nationals are in dead last with a collective -0.7 fWAR and 5.15 ERA. Unlike a prospect-rich organization like the Astros, the Nationals don’t appear to have many bargaining chips left to net someone of Wilson’s talent. With or without him, however, they’ll need to figure out a way to bolster their relief corps if they want to make a deep run in the playoffs this fall.
There’s much to like about Wilson aside from his obvious affordability, including the 2.48 ERA, 3.3 BB/9 and stunning 13.2 SO/9 he’s produced over just 32 2/3 innings this year. He assumed the closing role from a struggling Francisco Rodriguez in early May and set down a 2-2 record with eight saves in 20 appearances since the switch.
Newly acquired third baseman Todd Frazier spent his first five games with the Yankees on the road, playing once in Minnesota and four games in Seattle. He was set to take his first at-bat as a Yankee at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night against the Reds. Unfortunately, things didn’t quite go how he likely expected them.
The Yankees quickly loaded the bases on consecutive singles from Matt Holliday, Didi Gregorius, and Chase Headley to lead off the bottom of the second inning. That brought up Frazier in his first at-bat at Yankee Stadium. He got ahead in the count 3-1 against Luis Castillo before hitting a sharp grounder to shortstop Jose Peraza. Gregorius went back to second base because he thought the ball had a chance to be caught on a line. Peraza stepped on the second base bag, then fired to first base for the double play. Votto then threw across the diamond to Eugenio Suarez at third base, catching Gregorius out in no man’s land. Holliday scored in the meantime, breaking a 0-0 tie, but Gregorius was eventually called out for running out of the base line in a run down.
Frazier entered the evening with just two hits (both singles) and one walk in 18 plate appearances as a Yankee.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Brewers have agreed to a deal with the White Sox for reliever Anthony Swarzak. The White Sox will receive 3B/OF Ryan Cordell in return.
It’s no secret that the 53-48 first-place Brewers are on the hunt for relief help. While closer Corey Knebel has been great, the Brewers have been shaky leading up to the ninth inning as Carlos Torres owns a 4.65 ERA and Oliver Drake 5.05.
Swarzak, 31, has posted a 2.23 ERA with a 52/13 K/BB ratio in 48 1/3 innings this season. He can become a free agent after the season.
Cordell, 25, hit .284/.349/.506 with 10 home runs and 45 RBI in 292 plate appearances at Triple-A Colorado Springs. He’s the Brewers’ No. 17 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.