LaTroy Hawkins

Mark Lowe Mariners

Blue Jays get reliever Mark Lowe from Mariners

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Another move for Toronto, as Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Blue Jays have acquired reliever Mark Lowe from the Mariners for multiple minor leaguers.

Lowe has bounced around a lot over the years in large part because he’s been injured a lot, but when healthy he’s always had very good raw stuff and strong results. He’s having a career-year this season at age 32, logging 36 innings with a 1.00 ERA and 47/11 K/BB ratio after signing with the Mariners as a minor-league free agent.

He joins the Blue Jays’ bullpen in a setup role, along with the recently acquired LaTroy Hawkins.

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

Kris Bryant
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source:

Cubs 9, Rockies 8: Kris Bryant hit two-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and the Cubs trailing by one. That’s about as big as a walkoff comes. This negated Carlos Gonzalez’s two-homer game, one of which gave the Rockies the lead in the top of the inning. After the game the Rockies shipped Troy Tulowitzki and LaTroy Hawkins to Toronto. Read the details of the trade here. And here is our analysis of this very, very strange deal. For the record, Tulo’s last game as the Rockies shortstop: 0-for-5 and an RBI on a groundout.

Orioles 2, Braves 1: Matt Wieters with a walkoff homer in the 11th. This in a game that was 0-0 until the ninth. In that frame Adonis Garcia — apparently the Braves’ new hero — homered. Jim Johnson couldn’t lock down the 1-0 lead in the bottom of the frame, however, giving up a couple of singles and a sac fly, setting the stage for Wieters’ heroics a couple of innings later.

Royals 9, Indians 4: Eric Hosmer drove in four runs and Kendrys Morales knocked in three as the Indians continue to spiral into oblivion. The Royals are just great, though. They even had some fans representing for them in Cleveland. The game story put it this way: “Downtrodden for so many years, these Royals are being treated like rock stars.” Personally, I’ve never been overly taken with the romance of rock stardom. When I hear that I think “they’re being taken advantage of by shady advisors and being screwed out of their publishing rights; they’re indulging too much in excess under the false assumption the money and stardom will keep flowing and then, later, they’ll crash. On the upside, we’ll all be able to see the Royals at a state fair or something in about 15-20 years.

Rays 5, Tigers 2: Curt Casali, which sounds like an alias my brother Curt would use, homered twice and Nathan Karns took a one-hit shutout into the seventh. An uninspiring Tigers performance which led to a closed-door meeting after the game with Dave Dombrowski in attendance. No word on what was discussed then the doors opened again and no news spun out of it. Maybe Dombrowski gave the old law school “look to your left, look to your right, this time next week one of you will be gone” speech. Maybe, like Rajai Davis yesterday, Dombrowski was just trolling the media.

Yankees 6, Rangers 2: A-Rod homered on his 40th birthday. Which leads to a cool factoid: he became the fourth player in major league history to homer as a teen and in his 40s. The others: Ty Cobb, Rusty Staub and Gary Sheffield. Cobb, Sheffield and A-Rod all took major criticism for being horse’s asses. I don’t know about Staub’s reputation in the game in general, but I once talked to Mickey Lolich who, for whatever reason, went on and on about how Staub was a prima donna. It could be that Lolich is just a crank. Or maybe baseball longevity and being a horse’s ass have a lot of things in common.

Cardinals 4, Reds 1: I hate calling homer’s “dongs,” but part of me really wants to say that the story of this game was a “Wong dong.” What kind of dong? A grand salami! The saddest part is that it went out to right center. If it went to left, we could’ve called it an “oppo taco!” That is, if we’re horrible, horrible people who like to use the worst and dumbest slang around. Not saying we’re better than that, of course.

Diamondbacks 4, Mariners 3: Seattle native and University of Washington produce Jake Lamb won the game with a sac fly. Paul Goldschmidt homered in this one as he continues one of the quietest .346/.465/.611 seasons in baseball history.

Giants 4, Brewers 2: Heston stars, Crawford shines in a supporting role. No, I’m not talking about season five, episode 39 of Matin and Lewis’ Colgate Comedy Hour, which was the only time both Charlton and Joan appeared in a production together. I’m talking about Brandon, who hit a homer and Chris, who allowed two runs over seven.

White Sox 10, Red Sox 8: Sox wi–

Well crap. It’s no fun now. Thanks. You totally ruined one of my hackier jokes.😦

Haha, just kidding. Sox win! Sox win! Adam Eaton, playing DH because of a sore left shoulder, had three hits and drove in two. Which is cool, even if a bunch of you dead-enders would rather have had John Danks hit and Eaton be benched. Yeah, that’s right: old jokes AND dredging up arguments from three or four months ago.

The Troy Tulowitzki trade might be the strangest deadline deal ever

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 19:  Troy Tulowitzki #2 of the Colorado Rockies at bat during a 7-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on April 19, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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The Blue Jays lead the majors in runs.

Now, I don’t mean they lead the league in runs by the usual amount, whether it’s 5, 10, 20 or whatever. The Blue Jays LEAD the LEAGUE in RUNS. They’re scoring 5.28 per game. No one is within 70 runs of them. The second highest scoring offense in the league averages 4.65 runs per game.

Of course, far less impressive than the Jays’ offense is their pitching. For that reason, they were supposed to be all over all of the big-name pitchers available this week. Maybe Cole Hamels was out of reach, but Jeff Samardzija was a popular choice. The Padres’ horde, Mat Latos of the Marlins and Mike Fiers of the Brewers were also being talked about.

And if the Blue Jays did go get a bat, it figured to be an outfielder. Preferably one who hits left-handed. 111 of the Jays’ 130 homers this year have come from right-handed hitters, and while they’ve gotten solid production from every spot, the positions on the team with the lowest OPSs to date are left field and center field.

Then there are the Rockies. The Rockies always need pitching. Their most effective starter this year has been 28-year-old Chris Rusin, a Cubs castoff with a 3-4 record and a 4.13 ERA in 65 1/3 innings. Overall, their starters have a 5.12 ERA, which ranks 29th in MLB ahead of only the Phillies. They’re dead last with a 1.52 WHIP and a 1.8 K:BB ratio.

The other thing the Rockies always seem to need to do is to get cheaper. They don’t really like spending money. They’re not very good at it when they do.

None of this would seem to be a likely recipe for a Troy Tulowitzki-for-Jose Reyes trade. To say this one came out of nowhere would be an understatement. No one would have guessed the Blue Jays were in the market for a shortstop. And no one would have imagined that when the Rockies finally traded Tulo, it would be for a player who has a higher annual salary.

Still, as these things tend to do, things seem to make more sense the deeper one digs.

First and foremost, while this will always be referred to as the Tulo-for-Reyes deal, that’s not at all what it’s about. This was a Tulo-for-Jeff Hoffman and Miguel Castro deal. The Rockies landed two prime arms in return for giving up the game’s preeminent shortstop and taking on a modestly overpaid replacement. A third, as yet undisclosed, prospect is also involved, and the Rockies also parted with veteran reliever LaTroy Hawkins. Reyes was not the focus. The trade would have made more sense on the Rockies’ end if it was just Tulo for the young right-handers, but then, the Blue Jays couldn’t have made that deal without somehow shedding Reyes’s salary in the bargain.

It probably comes as a surprise to many, but Reyes is making more than Tulo right now, just not for quite so long. He’s earning $22 million per year through 2017, with a $22 million option or a $4 million buyout for 2018. Tulo makes $20 million per year through 2019, $14 million in 2020 and then $15 million or a $4 million buyout in 2021. There’s also a $2 million trade kicker on Tulo’s contract. At a minimum, the Jays are absorbing an extra $52 million here, while also picking up three more years of control.

So, Reyes essentially had to be in this deal if the Rockies wanted the prospects. What remains to be seen is whether they’ll hold on to him for a bit or if they’ll flip him right away, opening up shortstop for a quality prospect in Trevor Story. Trading Reyes for a couple of prospects, probably eating some salary in the process, is probably the way to go. In Hoffman and Castro, the Rockies got two guys with top-of-the-rotation upside, though it needs to be noted that the former is coming back from Tommy John surgery and the latter couldn’t hack it as a major league reliever this year. Hoffman has the better chance of fulfilling his potential. Castro, though, has an incredible arm, and even if can’t make it as a starter, he could turn into a fine closer.

For the Blue Jays, well, this was all about making it back to the postseason, even if it materialized in a way that no one expected. Tulowitzki is a better hitter and probably a better defender than Reyes. He is injury-prone, but so is the guy he’s replacing. He’s a clear upgrade. He’d also seem to be a luxury purchase when there are still necessities required. Losing Hoffman and Castro is a big blow to the farm system that they’re going to have to dip right back into in an effort to upgrade their rotation. I’m going to withhold my judgment on whether it was the right move until seeing whether the Jays come away with a quality starter prior to Friday’s deadline.