UPDATE: CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Mariners will indeed receive a player to be named later and the Cubs’ final international bonus pool slot (which Greg Johns of MLB.com says is worth $210,000) in return. The Cubs will receive some cash along with Jackson.
6:11 p.m. ET: With the waiver trade deadline just a few hours away, Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN reports that the Cubs have acquired outfielder Austin Jackson from the Mariners. Greg Johns of MLB.com confirms the report and adds that the Mariners will receive a player to be named later and potentially an international bonus slot in return.
Jackson, who will be a free agent after the season, reportedly cleared revocable waivers earlier this month. The 28-year-old is batting .272/.312/.387 with eight home runs, 38 RBI, and 15 stolen bases over 107 games this season and has been especially hot of late. The Cubs already have Dexter Fowler in center field, but the move gives Joe Maddon some additional flexibility. Remember, the team is missing Jorge Soler right now due to an oblique injury. Jackson was flipped from the Tigers to the Mariners last July as part of the three-team David Price deal, so the Cubs will be his third team in 13 months.
As for the Mariners, Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports that they plan to use Brad Miller as their primary center fielder down the stretch.
Good news for the first-place Astros, as rookie shortstop Carlos Correa is back in the starting lineup for tonight’s game against the Mariners after missing the past four games with a sore left hamstring. He’ll bat third against left-hander Vidal Nuno.
Correa hasn’t appeared in a game since last Tuesday. The Astros went 2-2 during his absence. While the team understandably played things safe with their young phenom, he told Chandler Rome of MLB.com this afternoon that he’s good to go.
“It feels great, really good,” Correa said. “I’m ready to go, so we’re going to be out there playing today. Really exciting.”
Correa, who turns 21 next month, is batting .278/.347/.510 with 15 home runs, 43 RBI, and 11 stolen bases over his first 68 major league games. His .856 OPS is highest among MLB shortstops with at least 250 plate appearances.
UPDATE: FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that Padres left-hander Marc Rzepczynski is the reliever who was claimed off revocable waivers by the Mets. It’s unclear how long the two sides have to complete a deal.
Rzepczynski was just acquired from the Indians last month. The 29-year-old owns a mediocre 4.88 ERA in 60 appearances this season, but he has 33 strikeouts in 27 2/3 innings and the highest ground ball rate of his career. With his history of keeping left-handed batters in check, you can see why the Mets would consider taking a chance on him. He’s making $2.4 million this season and will be arbitration-eligible for the fourth and final time this winter.
3:10 p.m. ET: FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the Mets have put in a waiver claim on a reliever. The team with the reliever can either let him go to the Mets, negotiate a trade, or pull him back off waivers.
2:59 p.m. ET: MLB’s waiver trade deadline is coming up on Tuesday and Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that the first-place Mets are “making progress” on acquiring a reliever.
While it’s no sure thing that a deal will ultimately come together, Rubin hears that the Mets are having “tangible talks.” The team has already added Tyler Clippard and Eric O’Flaherty in separate deals with the Athletics over the past month. While Clippard has settled in as the primary set-up man for closer Jeurys Familia, O’Flaherty has allowed 10 runs on 13 hits and one walk over six innings with his new club. The Mets have gotten next to nothing out of the likes of Jenrry Mejia, Jerry Blevins, Bobby Parnell, and Vic Black this season, so the bridge to the late innings is a bit shaky at the moment.
Acquiring a left-handed specialist would be ideal, but it will be interesting to see if a quality arm makes it to them through waivers. There’s incentive for other teams to put in a claim first, either out of legitimate need or to block.