Sunday, 12:30 ET: The deal was officially confirmed by both teams on Saturday night. The Brewers will send a player to be named later to the Mets for Walker and cash considerations, which will offset some of the infielder’s remaining $4.7 million salary in 2017. Walker was pulled during batting practice prior to the Mets’ game against the Phillies and was replaced in the lineup by second baseman Jose Reyes.
FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Brewers are acquiring second baseman Neil Walker from the Braves. Walker cleared revocable waivers last week and was eligible to be traded to any team in the league, though neither team has officially confirmed the deal yet.
The 31-year-old infielder missed a significant chunk of the season after rehabbing a partial tear in his left hamstring and was activated from the 10-day disabled list just three days before the trade deadline. While a deadline deal with the Yankees was in the works, it fell through at the last minute due to concerns about his medical records. Walker was quick to reassure reporters that he had made a full return to health prior to any trade discussions, however, and called the Yankees’ concerns “a non-story.” Whether his medicals revealed an underlying issue or just gave the Yankees a plausible out after trading for the Athletics’ Sonny Gray is unknown, but the Brewers don’t appear to have the same hang-ups this time around.
Walker is in his second season with the Mets and slashed .264/.339/.442 with 10 home runs and a .780 OPS over 299 PA in 2017. He’s seen a sizable dip in both his playing time and production value this year, but could give Milwaukee some much-needed infield depth as they try to leapfrog the Cardinals and Cubs for the division lead.
It was only a matter of time before Mike Trout courted another all-time record, and on Saturday, he found himself in elite company with his 25th and 26th home runs of the season. He put the Angels on the board with a 429-foot blast in the first inning, depositing an 0-1 fastball from the Orioles’ Kevin Gausman into the left field bleachers:
In the third inning, with the Angels up 2-1, Trout returned to tack on another insurance run. He targeted Gausman’s slider for his second solo shot of the evening and cleared the center field fence with a 418-footer to bring his total to 26 home runs on the year.
Trout has mashed at a staggering .339/.471/.596 clip since his return from the disabled list last month, and Saturday’s totals helped mark his sixth consecutive season with at least 25 home runs. That’s a record few have matched before their age-26 season; in fact, only Hall of Fame sluggers Eddie Mathews and Frank Robinson have ever pulled it off.
Assuming he continues to rake in hits and plate appearances over the last six weeks of the regular season — and there’s nothing to indicate that he won’t — Trout is in line to join elite company of a different kind. The 26-year-old entered Saturday’s game with a 206 OPS+ (park-adjusted on-base plus slugging). According to MLB.com’s Matt Kelly, that means Trout’s hitting at a better clip than the average Major League player by a full 106 percent. Should he finish the year with a 200 OPS+ and 502 plate appearances or better, he’ll be the first player to do so since Barry Bonds obliterated the competition with his 263 OPS+ in 2004.
The Blue Jays acquired right-hander Tom Koehler from the Marlins in exchange for minor league right-hander Osman Gutierrez and cash considerations, the clubs announced Saturday. Koehler is in his sixth year with the Marlins and stands to make $5.75 million in 2017. He’ll be arbitration eligible in 2018 and is set to enter free agency by 2019.
The 31-year-old right-hander struggled to a 7.92 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 7.1 SO/9 over 55 2/3 innings with Miami in 2017. He was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans in late July, where he rebounded with a 1-1 record in seven starts and whittled his ERA down to a 1.67 mark. The Blue Jays have yet to establish Koehler’s role within their organization, but are hoping to see a turnaround from the righty when he breaks back into the big leagues.
Gutierrez, 22, was assigned to Single-A Greensboro on Saturday. He has yet to find his footing in the minors, and exited a 78-inning stint with Single-A Lansing after racking up a career-worst 7.85 ERA and 8.2 SO/9. His lack of control is particularly alarming, with a 6.2 BB/9 that dwarfs the 2.0+ BB/9 of seasons past, but he still has plenty of time to figure out his mechanics before reaching the Show.