Indians, Reds and Diamondbacks talking three-team trade

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Danny Knobler of CBS Sports reported earlier that the Reds were trying to acquire outfielder Shin-Soo Choo from the Indians, with Drew Stubbs and infield prospect Didi Gregorius heading to Cleveland in return. But that deal has since grown a bit larger.

According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, on the table now is a three-team blockbuster that would send Choo to Cincinnati along with infielder Jason Donald, Stubbs and a young Diamondbacks starting pitcher to the Indians, and Gregorius to the Snakes.

Patrick Corbin, Trevor Bauer and Tyler Skaggs are the Arizona pitchers that are currently being discussed. Rosenthal thinks the D’Backs are least likely to want to move Skaggs and Bauer is a pretty highly-rated prospect, so we’d guess it’s going to be Corbin.

It’s not a sure thing that there will be a resolution to these discussions before the end of the night.

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UPDATE, 8:11 PM: Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona says the Diamondbacks will get more than just Gregorius and Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer hears that nine total players could be involved.

UPDATE, 8:52 PM: CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the part of the trade sending Choo and Donald to the Reds has been agreed upon, but also that there’s “a lot more” coming. So stay tuned.

UPDATE, 9:02 PM: According to MLB.com beat writer Steve Gilbert, the Diamondbacks and Indians have not yet finalized their end of the three-team swap. But the expectation is that they will soon.

UPDATE, 9:07 PM: Rosenthal reports that pitchers Bryan Shaw and Matt Albers will go from Arizona to Cleveland. Asdrubal Cabrera could wind up with the Diamondbacks. Gregorius seems headed to the Tribe.

UPDATE, 9:10 PM: The Indians are getting Bauer from the Diamondbacks, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney. We’ll put up a fresh post when all the names and destinations are revealed.

UPDATE, 9:13 PM: Rosenthal now clarifies that Cabrera is not involved. Gregorius will go to Arizona.

UPDATE, 9:15 PM: Gilbert says the Diamondbacks are getting left-hander Tony Sipp and outfielder Lars Anderson from the Indians. Lots of moving parts here, folks. We’ll try to clarify it all soon.

UPDATE, 9:26 PM: All sides have agreed to the three-team, nine-player trade. Head HERE for more.

Blue Jays release John Axford

John Axford
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The Blue Jays have released right-handed reliever John Axford from his minor league contract, per an announcement on Saturday. Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi speculates that the move could provide an avenue for the club to rework Axford’s contract, but the Blue Jays have yet to confirm or deny the report.

Axford, 35, was dealt a blow on Thursday after getting diagnosed with a stress reaction in the olecranon bone of his right elbow. Elbow soreness dogged the right-hander through much of his time in camp, and although he was scheduled for a follow-up examination later this spring, a definite return date had not been established.

Prior to the diagnosis, Axford was tabbed for a setup role with the team in 2019. He pitched to mixed results in 2018 (thanks in part to a late-season fracture of his right fibula) with a 5.27 ERA, 4.9 BB/9, and 9.8 SO/9 through 54 2/3 innings with the Blue Jays and Dodgers. Now, however, it’s not certain that he’ll return to the mound this season in any capacity.

Axford isn’t the only reliever the Blue Jays have lost to injury lately, either, as right-handers Ryan Tepera and Bud Norris have been sidelined with right elbow inflammation and forearm fatigue, respectively. Per Davidi, the Blue Jays offered Norris a $100,000 retention bonus to prevent him from opting out of the minor league contract he signed in February.