In which baseball’s newsmakers are compared to “The Princess Bride” characters

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Linked with very little comment because none is really needed, Bill Parker explains how Clint Barmes is Princess Buttercup, Bobby Valentine is Miracle Max, and Dan Shaughnessy is Vizzini from “The Princess Bride.”

And to preempt your comments: (1) yes, it’s a slow news day; and (2) no, I can’t help myself when it comes to “Princess Bride” stuff. Basically, if you put baseball together with that, or Batman or some of my sci-fi obsessions, I’m probably gonna like it more than I should. You can call me a dork if you want to, but understand this: you’d be quite right to do so.

Which reminds me: I put Twitter Questions on hiatus during the playoffs because for some strange reason people wanted to spend their Wednesday evenings watching baseball rather than asking my for my thoughts on Battlestar Galactica. But baseball is over now, so we’re going to crank that up again soon.  Probably not this week because of the holiday, but next week sounds nice.

Set phasers for obscurity.

Astros acquire Aledmys Díaz from Blue Jays

Aledmys Diaz
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The Astros have acquired shortstop Aledmys Díaz from the Blue Jays in exchange for minor league right-hander Trent Thornton, the teams announced Saturday.

Díaz, 28, was originally acquired by the Blue Jays last winter in a swap for minor leaguer J.B. Woodman. He spent the entirety of his 2018 campaign in Toronto, where he slashed .263/.303/.453 with a .756 OPS and career-best 18 home runs through 452 plate appearances. While Díaz spent the bulk of his year filling in for an injured Troy Tulowitzki at short, he has experience at second and third base and may prove useful to the Astros as an extra outfield option, too.

Per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Díaz will serve as protection if the Astros lose shortstop/utility player Marwin González to free agency this winter. González did not receive a qualifying offer from the club this month and has reportedly drawn interest from 29 of 30 clubs in the league.

Thornton, 25, was selected by the Astros during the fifth round of the 2015 draft. The right-hander was promoted to Triple-A Fresno in 2017 and has been up-and-down since then, though 2018 saw some modest improvements across the board as he turned in a 9-8 record through 22 starts with a 4.42 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 8.8 SO/9 through 124 1/3 innings. He was one of several minor league players the Astros would have needed to protect in advance of the Rule 5 Draft on Tuesday.