Craig Calcaterra

Jose Pirela

Yankees trade infielder Jose Pirela to the Padres for a minor-league pitcher


I feel like the Yankees have traded with the Padres a billion times in the past 20-25 years. Maybe a little less than a billion, but they seem to trade a lot. And sign each other’s free agents.

These two teams dealt again today. It was not Chase Headley-level deal. It was not Andy Hawkins or Dave Winfield relocating from on coast to the other. But on November 11 we take any deals we can: The Yankees traded Jose Pirela to the Padres for minor-league pitcher Ron Herrera.

Pirela was thought by some to be the Yankees’ second baseman of the future and, to some degree, was given consideration as that by the club. He turns 26 in a couple of weeks, however, and has only been given 103 major league plate appearances in the past two years. His 2014 cup of coffee encouraged those who think things like “sample size” is the stuff of sorcery — he hit well in a mere 25 plate appearances– but in 2015 he hit poorly with a tad more exposure. His decent performance in Triple-A and a fresh start in San Diego could bode well for his future, however.

Herrera is only 20 but already has 82 minor league games — 74 of them as a starter — under his belt. In that time he is 23-24 with a 3.80 ERA and a 296/100 K/BB ratio in 415 innings. His top stop has been Double-A San Antonio where he was rather “meh” in eight starts this year. Figure on him beginning 2016 in Double-A as well.

Police incident report lists “overdose” as a possible cause of Tommy Hanson’s death

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Tommy Hanson (48) works in the first inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins in Atlanta, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012. The Braves won 6-2. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

When a 29-year-old athlete dies suddenly it’s only natural to wonder how such an awful thing could’ve happened. And, unfortunately, it’s understandable to wonder if drugs played a part.

In the case of former Braves and Angels pitcher Tommy Hanson, we don’t know and won’t know what his official cause of death was for some time, but Atlanta’s WSB-TV and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution are reporting that an initial police report listed “overdose” as a possible “crime” connected to his death. Toxicology reports, however, could take several weeks to come back and a final cause of death determination is for a coroner, not the police.

Sad circumstances regardless.

The Reds are apparently open for business

Aroldis Chapman

The Reds have a lot of good players for being such a crappy team. I can’t decide if that’s more or less frustrating than simply having crappy players.

On the one hand, as a Braves fan, I can tell you that simply having a roster of crappy players is pretty miserable and that it’d be cool to at least see guys like Joey Votto, Todd Frazier or Aroldis Chapman play a lot. On the other hand, if you’re a Reds fan, you have to live with the notion that the team you root for is dramatically less than the sum of its parts and that’s just some existential angst in the making.

Luckily — or unluckily, depending on your point of view — the Reds will likely not have as many good players come spring. That’s because, as Buster Olney and many others are reporting, the Reds are listening to offers on basically everyone, including Chapman. Olney recently referred to it as a Chicago Cubs/Houston Astros-style rebuild.

That may be a tad extreme in that the selling already began last summer when the Reds traded Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake prior to their walking in free agency and unloaded Marlon Byrd. They got some decent players in return — particularly the three lefties the Royals gave them for Cueto — so it’s not like they’re starting completely from square one. The problem is that their offensive core, led by Votto and Frazier, is going to be long in the tooth by the time anything approaching a decent pitching staff has been assembled and matured. And, in the meantime, the Reds are playing in the toughest division in baseball.

Figure Chapman to get the most play in the short term and then, if he’s dangled, Frazier. In the meantime figure on the Reds not being very good for a few years.