The Angels have been in the market for an outfield bat for a while now and they finally landed some help tonight by acquiring Shane Victorino from the Red Sox for infielder Josh Rutledge. Alex Speier of the Boston Globe writes that the Red Sox will also cover $3.8 million of the roughly $4.9 million remaining on Victorino’s contract.
Hamstring and calf injuries have limited Victorino to just 33 games this season and he hasn’t been all that productive when healthy, putting up a .245/.324/.298 batting line over 106 plate appearances. Still, Angels left fielders have combined to hit just .212/.277/.312 so far this season, most of it coming from Matt Joyce, so I guess you can call this an upgrade. The 34-year-old Victorino is due to become a free agent this winter.
Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports hears that the Angels view Victorino as a fourth outfielder, so this doesn’t necessarily rule them out from acquiring another outfielder. The Angels have been linked to Jay Bruce of the Reds and Ben Zobrist of the Athletics in recent days.
Rutledge was acquired from the Rockies over the winter, but he has spent the entire 2015 season in Triple-A. The 26-year-old has an 83 OPS+ over 947 plate appearances in the majors and has experience at both middle infield spots and third base.
We heard earlier this afternoon that the Mets are looking at Justin Upton of the Padres among other outfield targets, but FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal and Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan are both reporting that the team has also been in touch with the Rockies about shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. So far, there’s not much momentum toward a possible deal:
As for Rosenthal, he hears the Mets are “under the impression that Colorado does not want to trade” Tulowitzki.
Tulowitzki is still owed more than $100 million through 2021, which has long led to skepticism about whether the Mets would be able to afford him. Even putting that aside, the Rockies don’t seem motivated to move their star shortstop even though they are headed for their fifth straight losing season and could use some pieces for the future. Tulowitzki is 30 years old and has battled injuries in recent seasons, so trading him in a year where he has managed to stay healthy could be perfect timing, but it would clearly require a major haul to convince them to move their face of the franchise. The impact on the fanbase must be considered.
Barring a change of heart from the Rockies, the Mets appear likely to move ahead with Ruben Tejada as their primary shortstop. Wilmer Flores has been playing second base in recent weeks, but he’ll likely move into a part-time role after the acquisitions of Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe on Friday. Johnson is starting at second base on Saturday with Daniel Murphy at third.
Apparently only one minor league rehab game was all Freddie Freeman needed to prove his health, as the Braves announced this afternoon that the first baseman was activated from the 15-day disabled list.
Freeman has been sidelined since June 17 with a bone bruise and “aggravated ligaments” in his right wrist. He began a minor league rehab assignment yesterday with Triple-A Gwinnett and went 2-for-4 with a home run. The original plan called for him to be activated next Thursday, but Mark Bowman of MLB.com writes that the timeline likely changed after the Braves traded Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson to the Mets on Friday.
Kevin McAlpin of the Braves Radio Network reports that Freeman is not slated to arrive in St. Louis until a little bit before tonight’s game against the Cardinals, so the expectation is that he’ll be available off the bench tonight before returning to the starting lineup tomorrow.
Freeman, 25, is batting .299/.367/.520 with 12 home runs and 41 RBI over 66 games this season. The Braves have gone 13-17 during his absence.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson got into a heated exchange with an autograph-seeking fan Friday while in Cooperstown, New York for this weekend’s ceremonies.
The incident occurred after Jackson and other Hall of Famers attended a party at the home of Hall chairperson Jane Forbes Clark. Jackson left to go to dinner with four friends and said he found himself in a crowd of people when he tried to exit out the back of the restaurant.
Jackson recognized one of the autograph seekers. He had already obtained Jackson’s autograph earlier in the day at their golf outing and tried to get a second one, Jackson said, which led to an exchange on the golf course.
“’I told you, I want to sign autographs,’’’ Jackson said that he told him, “’and you’re screwing it up for everyone, but no more.’
“The same guy turned up for dinner. I said, ‘Hey, this guy, no autographs.’ I used profanity, and told him no more autographs with profanity in it.
“I turned and walked away.’’
TMZ posted a 17-second video clip of the exchange, which includes very graphic and regrettable language. According to Bill Madden of the New York Daily News, Jackson appeared to shove the fan in question. However, Jackson vehemently denies that the altercation turned physical.
The first-place Nationals have limped out of the All-Star break, but they are about to get a boost to their lineup, as infielder Anthony Rendon has been activated from the 15-day disabled list after missing the past month with a strained left quad.
Rendon began a minor league rehab assignment a week ago with High-A Potomac and went 8-for-17 (.471) with two doubles over six games. He’s playing second base and batting second in his return tonight against the Pirates. Meanwhile, Yunel Escobar is back at third base after missing two games with a sore left wrist.
Rendon began the season on the disabled list with a sprained MCL in his left knee before suffering an oblique strain, so he has only appeared in 18 games this season. Finally having him healthy down the stretch would be huge for the Nationals, who also have Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman, and Denard Span making their way back from injuries.