The Angels completed their trade for outfielder Justin Upton on Friday, sending right-handed pitching prospect Elvin Rodriguez to the Tigers. The Tigers also received right-hander Grayson Long in the deal.
Rodriguez, 19, was ranked No. 22 in the Angels’ system by MLB Pipeline. He spent the bulk of his 2017 season in rookie-level Orem, where he went 5-1 in 11 starts and commanded a 2.50 ERA, 1.8 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 through 54 innings. While his big league debut is still several seasons away, his continued consistency merited a jump to Single-A Burlington in August, where he issued nine runs, three walks and struck out 12 of 63 batters in his first 14 innings.
According to MLB.com’s Jason Beck, the Tigers are still waiting to complete two trades from the last several months. They’re due cash or a player to be named later from the Cubs after dealing Justin Wilson and Alex Avila, and will need to supplement the Astros’ acquisition of Justin Verlander with cash or a PBTNL as well.
Free agent right-hander Trevor Cahill reportedly has a one-year deal in place with the Athletics, according to MLB.com’s Jane Lee. The exact terms have yet to be disclosed, and as the agreement is still pending a physical, it has not been formally announced by the club.
Cahill, 30, is coming off of a decent, albeit underwhelming year with the Padres and Royals. He kicked off the 2017 season with a 4-3 record in 11 starts for the Padres, then split his time between the rotation and bullpen after a midseason trade to the Royals. By the end of the year, the righty led the league with 16 wild pitches and had racked up a 4.93 ERA, 4.8 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 in 84 innings for the two teams.
The A’s found themselves in desperate need of rotation depth this week after Jharel Cotton announced he’d miss the 2018 season to undergo Tommy John surgery. Right now, the team is considering some combination of Andrew Triggs, Daniel Gossett, Daniel Mengden and Paul Blackburn for the back end of the rotation — a mix that seems unlikely to change in the last two weeks before Opening Day, as Lee points out that Cahill won’t be ready to shoulder a full workload by then. Instead, he’s expected to begin the year in the bullpen and work his way up to a starting role, where the A’s hope he’ll replicate the All-Star numbers he produced with them back in 2010.