Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
The Boston Red Sox have acquired lefty Fernando Abad from the Twins for minor league righty Pat Light.
Abad has posted a 2.65 ERA in 34 innings this season. He’s been particularly effective against left-handed hitters, holding them to a line of .163/.192/.265. It has been a nice bounce back year for him after a subpar 2015 with the Athletics.
Light, 25, was shelled in his two games with Boston this season but they were his only two major league games ever, one coming in April, the other in early July. At Pawtucket this year he has a 2.32 ERA in 25 games. He throws hard but he has control issues and obviously needs some polish.
Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Dodgers have acquired outfielder Josh Reddick and starting pitcher Rich Hill from the Athletics. He says that pitching prospects Jharel Cotton, Frankie Montas and Grant Holmes are heading to Oakland.
Reddick was seen as the fallback option for a team who wanted outfield help but didn’t land Jay Bruce. But to be honest, he’s probably a better player than Bruce. He’s hitting .296/.368/.449 with eight homers on the season in 68 games. He missed time with a broken thumb. He’s 29 and is earning $6.575 million this season and can become a free agent at season’s end.
Hill has missed a lot of time this year with a groin strain and blister issues, but he’s been excellent when he’s been healthy, going 9-3 with a 2.25 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 90/28 in 76 innings. Hill is also poised to be a free agent. The Athletics were trying to extend both Reddick and Hill, but were unable to get any deals done so on the block they went.
Cotton is 24 and was a 20th round pick in 2012. He’s 8-5 with a 4.90 ERA at Triple-A Oklahoma City this year. Holmes was the Dodgers first round pick in 2014. He’s 20 and is currently pitching in high-A ball. Montas pitched seven games for the White Sox last season but has spent this season between Double-A an Triple-A, where he has pitched effectively. He’s 23. He found his way to Los Angels in the three-team Todd Frazier deal last winter.
These three players are, by some measures, the Dodgers’ 5th 8th and 13th-ranked prospects, which seems like a lot to give up for two rentals. But the Dodgers are only two games back of the Giants, so every little bit on the big league level helps right now. Also, it’s worth noting that not all 5th, 8th, and 13th-ranked prospects are created equally across organizations. To wit:
UPDATE: Buster Olney reports that the Mets are on the verge of completing a trade for Jay Bruce.
9:57 AM: Jeff Passan now says that the Mets are “the favorites” to land Jay Bruce.
9:28 AM: Multiple reports are bubbling up saying that the Mets are in “active discussions” for Bruce. They targeted Bruce last year in a deal many people thought was going to happen until falling through at the last minute. As it stands now it’d be hard to see how Bruce fits with the Mets — they have Curtis Granderson in right; they really need a center fielder — but maybe Yoenis Cespedes is hurt worse than many believe.
7:41 AM: Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports this morning that the Reds have a deal in place to trade outfielder Jay Bruce. Where? He doesn’t know. But he knows it’s not the Dodgers. Bob Dutton, who covers the Mariners, believes it’s not them either. So I guess we’ll just have to wait to hear.
Bruce is enjoying one of the best seasons of his career, hitting .265/.316/.559 with 25 homers and 80 driven in. It’s certainly his best power season, as he’s on pace for 39 homers. His career best is 34. The right fielder is owed the remainder of his $12.5 million salary for 2016 and is subject to a club option for 2017 at $13 million with a one million dollar buyout.