Author: Craig Calcaterra

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Padres, Braves are favorites for Yasmany Tomas

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MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez reports that the Padres and Braves “have emerged as the favorites” for Yasmany Tomas.

Of course, being a favorite isn’t a guarantee of anything. The Phillies were considered the favorite for Tomas until, like, yesterday, but have “cooled” on him. The Braves and Padres, not typically the top bidders for high-profile guys, could do the same and we could see other teams emerge. As of yesterday it was reported that Tomas would attend the Winter Meetings in San Diego. That’s more than two weeks from now, and a lot can happen in two weeks.

Whoever ends up with him will pay a pretty penny, of course. Sanchez says that that Tomas is seeking $15 million per season on a 5-7 year deal, but could seek more per year on a shorter-term deal to take advantage of free agency a second time before he gets too much mileage on the odometer.

Sexual assualt charges reinstated against Tigers pitcher Evan Reed

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UPDATE: The Judge handling the sexual assault case against Tigers pitcher Evan Reed has reinstated charges. It would appear, then, that Reed is heading for a trial arising out of the March incident.

Wednesday, 12:30 PM: Back in August, charges of “criminal sexual conduct” leveled against Tigers pitcher Evan Reed were dropped. The basis was a lack of probable cause, according to the judge’s finding. The judge specifically found that his accuser was not credible and that there was no evidence that she was incapacitated, as per her allegations against Reed.

Prosecutors have appealed that finding, however:

The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office is appealing the dismissal of criminal sexual conduct charges against baseball pitcher Evan Reed, who started and ended this past season with the Detroit Tigers.

The appeal will be heard at 9 a.m. on Friday before Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Michael Callahan.

There is nothing in the article to suggest that there is new evidence against Reed. So, presumably, the prosecution will still have to base the bulk of its case on the witness, who the previous judge found to have “backtracked” and gave “vacillating testimony.”

The Reds are considering dealing Jay Bruce

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Ken Rosenthal reports that the Reds “have engaged in preliminary discussions” about trading outfielder Jay Bruce. He says the Padres are one team they have spoken to.

Bruce is coming off the worst season of his career, so it is something of a sell-low situation. Which could be why, according to Rosenthal, the Reds aren’t committed to dealing him as much as they are merely feeling other teams out on the idea.

Bruce is under team control through 2017. If he bounces back, he’d be a nice pickup for someone, given that before his bad 2014 — which the Reds attribute to lingering effects from a injury — he posted four straight years of solid production and represents a rare source of team-controlled power.

Replay system is going to keep managers’ challenges

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Joe Torre said last week that replay will be tweaked in order to keep managers from meandering out on to the field as their coaches decide whether or not to challenge a call. Based on what Rob Manfred said at the owners meetings yesterday, that doesn’t really seem possible:

“I think the core of replay is going to be similar,” Manfred said. “I think the changes that we’re contemplating are largely technology, cameras, things like that. There are some issues related to exactly how long it takes to get the replay going that we’re looking at.”

So managers’ challenges are still going to be a thing. Which, for reasons we’ve articulated countless times around here, is dumb. Dumb and, to date, never really justified publicly by Major League Baseball. Really, I went back and looked at coverage on this going back a couple of years and I can’t find an instance where Joe Torre or anyone else explained what makes managers’ challenges a good thing. But oh well.

Dodgers acquire Joel Peralta from the Rays in a four-player trade

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Andrew Friedman plucked a couple of players from his old team as the Rays and Dodgers engaged in some late night dealing, swapping a total of four pitchers. The Dodgers got reliever Joel Peralta and minor league pitcher Adam Liberatore from the Rays in exchange for prospects Jose Dominguez and Greg Harris.

Peralta, 38, has been a reliable bullpen arm for several years now, though he fell off a bit this past season, posting a 4.41 ERA tin 2014 following a four-year run in which he had a combined 3.07 ERA in 255 innings. His strikeout/walk numbers are still very strong, however, suggesting that he’s still solid and was the victim of some defensive falloff, balls in play getting through and the like. He’ll certainly help a Dodgers bullpen that had some serious problems getting to Kenley Jansen last season.

Liberatore is a 27-year-old minor league reliever. Dominguez and Harris are interesting (mostly) minor league arms. Dominguez can top 100 m.p.h. on the gun, even if he struggled in 14 appearances in the bigs. Harris pitched in A-ball last season. He’s the son of one of the Greg Harrises that pitched in the bigs back in the 80s and 90s. Greg A. Harris was his old man, not Greg W. Both of them had stints on the Padres, thus confusing everyone even more.

This is of no interest to anyone younger than, oh, 35 I imagine. And to Harris himself, of course.