As first reported by CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Orioles have acquired lefty starter Joe Saunders in a waiver trade from Arizona. Matt Lindstrom, a right-handed reliever, is headed to the Diamondbacks in return along with a player to be named later.
Saunders passed through waivers on Friday and was at that point eligible to be dealt to any team. The 31-year-old has posted a decent 4.22 ERA and 1.36 WHIP in 130 innings this season, but the D’Backs have a number of young arms in their system and did well to land a reliable setup man in their return package from the O’s.
Lindstrom, 32, registered a 2.72 ERA and 1.29 WHIP across 36 1/3 innings this year for Baltimore.
Saunders will be eligible for free agency this offseason. He’s earning $6 million in his final year of arbitration.
Pablo Sandoval could be tabbed to play second base in the near future, per a report from John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. According to Shea, Sandoval has been spotted taking grounders at second during pre-game warm-ups and may be considering switching to the keystone on a part-time basis.
It wouldn’t be the weirdest thing the 31-year-old corner infielder has done this year — that distinction goes to the flawless inning of relief he pitched in a blowout loss against the Dodgers last month. But it would represent a pretty notable departure from his comfort zone even so; Sandoval has primarily manned first and third base throughout his 11-year career in the majors and has also taken a few reps at DH during his resurgence with the Giants in 2018.
Of course, this wouldn’t necessarily be a permanent switch for Sandoval. As Shea points out, the Giants are thin on middle infielders after losing Joe Panik to a torn UCL in his left thumb and backup Alen Hanson to a left hamstring strain. Provided he can get up to speed quickly (no easy feat, according to infield coach Ron Wotus), he’d give the club some added depth behind Kelby Tomlinson and Miguel Gomez until Panik is ready to take the field again. Sandoval has impressed at the plate this spring, batting a healthy .270/.329/.429 with six extra-base hits and a .757 through 70 plate appearances.