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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.
So much for those Boston and Los Angeles rumors: Jayson Stark of ESPN reports that the chances of Chris Sale getting traded before the 4pm EDT deadline are “under five percent.”
It would take a huge package to get Sale, one of baseball’s best starters. This is especially true given that he is under team control through 2019 at a reasonable-for-an-ace price. Just spitballing, it would seem that the White Sox would demand a package that begins with top Boston prospect Yoan Moncada, and most folks who follow Boston seem to think he’s untouchable. Add in the fact that the Red Sox would likely have to add in more and you can begin to see why Stark’s sources are so pessimistic.