Not just Adrian Gonzalez: The Dodgers have claimed Josh Beckett too

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Claiming Adrian Gonzalez is one thing, but claiming Josh Beckett too?  Yep, the Dodgers have done that, Sean McAdam of CSNNE confirms.

This is a little different than the Adrian Gonzalez claim.  For one thing, the Red Sox may very well just want to be rid of Josh Beckett. The fan base has turned on him and, depending on how much blame you put on him for the clubhouse problems in Boston — probably nowhere near as much as some folks claim, but in Boston everything sucks right now — it’s not like you have to sell the fans on letting him go.  The fact that he’s pitched like butt this year makes it easier too.  He’s due $35 million through the end of 2014 too, so losing him saves a lot of money.

But it’s also different in that Beckett has 10/5 rights, and a player with 10/5 rights has the right to block waiver claims too.  Beckett has given no indication that he’d waive his no-trade protection in the past, although things have gotten way worse in Boston lately so maybe he’s of a different mind about such things now.  Added incentive: pitching in the NL West could really help him rebound between now and 2014 when he’ll likely want to cash in on one last big free agency deal.

One final possibility: maybe the Dodgers claim of both Gonzalez and Beckett is the precursor to a gigantic mega-trade/player dump involving the two teams.  Again, the Dodgers don’t have that much to offer besides salary relief, but weirder things have happened. I think.

Stay tuned!

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.