The Reds are planning to add several fresh faces Thursday when major league rosters expand, according to MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon.
Chief among those September callups will be catching prospect Devin Mesoraco.
A 23-year-old from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania (yes, home of the famous groundhog), Mesoraco has posted an impressive .289/.371/.484 batting line with 36 doubles, 15 home runs and 71 RBI in 120 games this season at Triple-A Louisville. He was the No. 15 overall pick in the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft and has steadily developed into one of the top young talents in the sport. Baseball America ranked him this winter as their 64th best prospect.
Manager Dusty Baker is likely to keep catchers Ramon Hernandez and Ryan Hanigan fairly active down the stretch, but Mesoraco will see a couple of random starts as the Reds try to get the youngster accustomed to life in the majors. Hanigan is signed through 2013, but Hernandez is set to become a free agent this winter.
The Athletics appear to be closing in on a deal for Mets’ right-hander Jeurys Familia, according to reports from ESPN’s Buster Olney. Nothing has been finalized just yet, however, as the Mets confirmed that they would not be announcing a trade tonight and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic points out that other teams may still be in the mix for Familia’s services. It’s not clear what the A’s would be giving up in any potential deal for the reliever.
Familia, 28, has been pitching well this season. He currently sports a 2.88 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and 9.5 SO/9 through 40 2/3 innings — across-the-board improvements from his last run with the Mets in 2017 — and has racked up 17 saves to boot. He’s due another $3 million for the remainder of 2018, and Rosenthal adds that the club is willing to throw some cash in the deal in order to guarantee a better return for the closer.
While the A’s have one of the better bullpens in the American League, sitting seventh-best with a 3.50 ERA and 2.8 fWAR, they still have a ways to go in order to overtake the Mariners and Astros for a postseason berth by season’s end. Familia’s contract expires at the end of the year, but he should provide enough short-term value to give the A’s the boost they need.