The Matt Kemp-to-the-Padres trade is not yet official. Why? The results of the physical have not yet been approved or rubberstamped or whatever one does with the results of physicals:
The chatter on this started a bit ago when Will Carroll of Bleacher Report tweeted this:
Others are saying that the Padres are optimistic that things are fine and want the deal to be done.
If, however, it’s not done for some reason, it could create a mess. Not only undoing the Matt Kemp trade, but also impacting the Jimmy Rollins deal too. Why? Because multiple reports have indicated that Zach Eflin, one of the prospects headed to Los Angeles in the Kemp deal, will then be traded to Philadelphia in the package that completes the Rollins deal.
So, we wait.
The Braves designated reliever Anthony Varvaro for assignment on Monday to make room for infielder Alberto Callaspo on the 40-man roster. Now it looks like they have a taker for him:
Varvaro has posted a 2.74 ERA in 123 appearances over the past two seasons. In 2014 the right-hander averaged 8.2 strikeouts per nine and only walked and 2.1 batters per nine, while inducing ground balls nearly 50% of the time. In short: he’s a pretty useful reliever.
In return, the Braves are getting minor league righty Aaron Kurcz and cash. Kurcz pitched pretty well in Double-A last year, striking out over 11 dudes per nine, but he missed all of 2013. Which, I presume anyway, means he had surgery of some kind.
Reliever Michael Kohn signed with the Braves a couple of weeks ago. He knew this would happen eventually:
When he wrote that, Jeff Blauser was the starting shortstop, but he only had one more season of that left, so it wasn’t an awful call.
Anyway, I don’t think Andrelton Simmons is worried. Still, nice call.
Jerry Crasnick reports that the Wil Myers-to-San Diego trade discussed last night is “nearing the finish line.”
He also says that it appears as though it will be a straight two-team trade between the Rays and the Padres. To the extent a third team comes into play, it may be that the Rays may flip one of the pieces it gets from San Diego. Last night it was rumored that the Mariners could be involved. This morning someone mentioned the Washington Nationals.
Either way, Myers is an intriguing pieces. A top prospect and then a Rookie of the Year in 2013, Myers’ 2014 was a mess, at least in part due to injury. It’ll be really interesting to see which direction his career goes from here.
This is obviously way bigger for real people and the real world than it is for baseball, but it will likely have some baseball implications at some point:
American officials say the U.S. and Cuba will start talks to normalize full diplomatic relations as part of the most significant shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island in decades.
Officials say the U.S. is also looking to open an embassy in Havana in the coming months. The moves are part of an agreement between the U.S. and Cuba that also includes the release of American Alan Gross and three Cubans jailed in Florida for spying.
This is way overdue of course, but I’ll spare you all my political thoughts on it. I’m sure you’ll do a great job of it in the comments though.
As for baseball: if this (a) allows more Cubans to participate in organized baseball in places other than Cuba; and (b) prevents Cubans who would seek to do so from having to put themselves in the hands of smugglers and criminals, well, it’s hard to see a downside.
UPDATE: Major League Baseball has issued a statement:
“Major League Baseball is closely monitoring the White House’s announcement regarding Cuban-American relations. While there are not sufficient details to make a realistic evaluation, we will continue to track this significant issue, and we will keep our Clubs informed if this different direction may impact the manner in which they conduct business on issues related to Cuba.”