Last week the Phillies demoted rookie reliever Michael Schwimer to Triple-A, but the right-hander was unhappy about the move and believed he should have been placed on the disabled list instead because of elbow soreness.
That may not seem like a big difference, but a DL stint would mean collecting a major-league salary and accruing major-league service time, both of which beat the hell out of Triple-A.
It’s now five days later and Schwimer has yet to report to Triple-A, with Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer writing that he’s seeking a second opinion to prove that the elbow injury is legitimate
When asked about the situation, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. replied:
He’s not in Lehigh Valley, but we don’t plan on taking any action. I really can’t comment on anything else.
There are examples of players in similar situations filing grievances against the team, although considering Schwimer is years from arbitration, let alone free agency, you’d think the Phillies would ditch the hardline stance before it got to that point.
Ken Rosenthal reports that the San Diego Padres have traded closer Brad Hand and reliever Adam Cimber to the Cleveland Indians. In return the Padres are getting top catching prospect Francisco Mejia.
Hand, the Padres’ All-Star closer, has a 3.05 ERA and 65/15 K/BB ratio and 24 saves over over 44.1 innings of work this season. In addition to helping an Indians bullpen which has struggled mightily this season, Hand will provide an insurance policy for the next two seasons given that both Andrew Miller and Cody Allen are due to hit free agency this winter. Hand, meanwhile, is under contract for this year and next for a total of $13.5 million, with a $10 million club option for 2021.
Cimber is another fine reliever who, along with Hand, suddenly transforms the Indians’ bullpen. He’s a 27-year-old rookie, but he’s been a very useful one this year, posting a 3.17 ERA in 42 games, with a K/BB ratio of 51/10 in 48.1 innings. He’s pitched even better than that of late and has been particularly hard on righties. He’s under team control through 2023.
In Mejia, the Padres are getting the Indians’ top hitting prospect. A catcher — though not necessarily a great defensive one — Mejia has struggled in brief stints in the big leagues thus far but is a .291/.344/.438 hitter in six minor league seasons and, at times, has shown star potential. He turns 23 in October.
A nice piece for the Padres in the long term and an immediate upgrade to the Indians’ bullpen in the short term. In short: a baseball trade.