Second baseman Brad Emaus, who was just returned from the Mets to the Blue Jays under the terms of his Rule 5 status, was traded from Toronto to Colorado for right-hander Chris Malone on Friday.
The Rockies, presumably, will stick Emaus at Triple-A Colorado Springs. Had they wanted him for the major league team, they could have simply claimed him off waivers from the Mets before he was returned to Toronto.
Now that Emaus is no longer on a 40-man roster, he can freely be assigned to the minors. The 25-year-old hit .162/.262/.162 in 37 at-bats for the Mets after winning the team’s second-base job in spring training. He was designated for assignment earlier this week when the team decided to instead go with Daniel Murphy and Justin Turner there.
In return for Emaus, the Jays pick up the 27-year-old Malone, who had allowed two earned runs over 4 1/3 innings as a reliever for Double-A Tulsa this season. He had a 4.10 ERA and a 45/27 K/BB ratio in 59 1/3 innings for Tulsa last year, but he is a strong groundball pitcher and the Jays must see something they think he can do better.
Emaus is further insurance for the Rockies in the infield in case they eventually opt to trade Jose Lopez or even Ian Stewart. He’ll likely play mostly second base for Colorado Springs initially.
The Tampa Bay Rays were reported this week to be “open for business” as far as trades go. Normally that means nothing happens until late June or something. The Rays are getting right down to it, though, as they’ve just traded closer Alex Colome and outfielder Denard Span to the Seattle Mariners.
The Mariners, who have played some outstanding ball lately thanks to some outstanding starting pitching, and are looking to bolster other areas as they make a push in the AL West, will likely slot Colome into a setup role in front of closer Edwin Diaz. Span will take over center field, allowing Dee Gordon to, eventually anyway, once he recovers from a fractured toe, cover for the suspended Robinson Cano at second base. If the M’s make the playoffs he’d likely do so in the postseason too, given that Cano will be ineligible for any October play due to his suspension.
Colome has saved 11 games for the Rays, with a 4.15 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 23/8 in 21.2 innings.Span is hitting .238/.364/.385 with four homers and six stolen bases on the season.
Two players are going back to the Rays: righties Andrew Moore and Tommy Romero. Moore was the Mariners’ second round pick in 2015 and made his big league debut last season, pitching 59 innings in 2018 but back in the minors so far in 2018. Romero was a 15th rounder for Seattle in 2017 and is currently plying his trade in A-ball.
The Rays, as expected, are using the 2018 season to acquire prospects. The Mariners, who are unexpectedly strong in the early going, are trying to go for it even harder. Quite a big trade for late May.