Alyson Footer, who works for the Astros as their director of social media, reports that Houston has traded 32-year-old catcher Kevin Cash to the Red Sox for shortstop Angel Sanchez.
It’s a pretty minor deal, but should work out well for both sides. The Red Sox have been scrambling for a reliable backup since Victor Martinez hit the disabled list and Jason Varitek was promoted to starting duties. The Astros, meanwhile, have been on the hunt for middle infield help since losing shortstop Tommy Manzella to a fractured left index finger.
Cash hit .207/.271/.333 with two home runs and one double in 61 plate appearances for the Astros this season. He played for the Red Sox from 2007-2008.
Sanchez, 26, failed to get a hit in his three at-bats for the Red Sox this year. He spent most of his time at Triple-A Pawtucket, where he batted .274/.348/.327 in 223 at-bats.
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports that the Mariners will sign Ichiro Suzuki to a minor-league deal. If he makes the roster he’ll make $750,000. At least until he retires.
I say that because it seems quite clear that the idea here, telegraphed since last season, is to activate Ichiro for the Mariners’ series against the Oakland Athletics in Tokyo on March 20-21 and for hoopla surrounding it all. The Mariners and A’s will have a 28-man roster for that series, which is officially part of the regular season schedule, but it will be pared back down to 25 once games begin in the United States.
Suzuki, 45, hit .205/.255/.205 in 47 plate appearances through May 2 last season, at which point he agreed to be deactivated to join the Mariners’ front office. Many assumed Ichiro would announce his retirement later that season or during the offseason, but the Japan Series soon crystalized as an obvious way for him to offer his final farewell to both his American and his Japanese fans.
Unless of course he goes 6-10 with three doubles in that series, at which point everyone will be tempted to keep him on the roster past Japan. Which, given the Mariners’ rebuild and likely poor performance this coming season, wouldn’t exactly be hurting anyone, would it?