Per a report from Rob Rains of StlSportsPage.com, the Cardinals are expected to call up top prospect Oscar Taveras from Triple-A Memphis. Rains cites an unnamed source, and adds that Taveras was seen packing his bags in the Memphis clubhouse. Dionisio Soldevila of ESPN Deportes is also reporting the Taveras call-up.
Taveras, 21, was rated the #3 overall prospect entering the season by both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus. The outfielder has a .325/.373/.524 slash line with seven home runs and 40 RBI in the minors thus far.
The Cardinals could use some more pop in the outfield. Collectively, their outfielders have posted a .687 OPS, which ranks 11th out of 15 National League teams.
Update: Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that first baseman Matt Adams will go on the disabled list, clearing up a spot on the roster for Taveras.
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Indians and Padres are still discussing a potential trade for a starting pitcher, namely Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer. Rosenthal adds that a deal isn’t close and is unlikely to occur before Opening Day. The Padres are balking at the Indians’ asking prices for the two starters.
The Padres could certainly use an ace at the top of the rotation. With the addition of Manny Machado, the lineup is looking decent, but beyond Joey Lucchesi, the starting pitching doesn’t inspire confidence.
Kluber, who turns 33 years old next month, has club options for the next two seasons at $13.5 million and $14 million with $1 million buyouts each. Last year, the right-hander finished third in AL Cy Young balloting, finishing 20-7 with a 2.89 ERA and a 222/34 K/BB ratio in 215 innings.
Bauer, 28, is earning $13 million this season and will enter his fourth and final year of arbitration heading into 2020. Last year, Bauer went 12-6 with a 2.21 ERA and a 221/57 K/BB ratio across 175 1/3 innings.
The Indians are the prohibitive favorites in the AL Central once again, but that has as much to do with the mediocrity of the rest of the division as the Indians’ commitment to competing. If the Indians were to trade either or both starters, that would be good news for the Twins, who are projected to be 15 games worse than the Indians but still finish in second place, according to PECOTA from Baseball Prospectus.