This isn’t quite on the level of the Athletics-Cubs mega-deal from last night, but we have another trade to report.
According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Angels have acquired left-handed reliever Joe Thatcher and outfielder Tony Campana from the Diamondbacks. No word yet on who Arizona will receive in return.
When healthy, Thatcher is one of the better left-handed specialists in the game. He owns a 2.63 ERA and 25/3 K/BB ratio over 24 innings this season and has held left-handed batters to a .240 batting average. Campana has a .246 batting average and .580 OPS over 462 plate appearances in the majors, but he’s 66-for-74 in stolen base attempts and can play center field. He’ll be a bench piece for the Angels.
UPDATE: CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Diamondbacks will receive prospect outfielder Zach Borenstein and prospect right-hander Joey Krehbiel in return.
Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports that the Pirates have decided to convert outfielder JB Shuck into a two-way player. Recent comments relayed from the club’s director of player development, Larry Broadway, indicated that the outfielder would be coached in developing his pitching skills while working at Triple-A Indianapolis.
Per Broadway, the change would be enacted to help the veteran outfielder develop some much-needed versatility in the majors, where he’s only ever been limited to outfield and DH responsibilities. Well, except for the two games in which he pitched an inning of relief: once, against the Nationals in a blowout 11-4 loss in 2016, then in a similarly painful loss to the Diamondbacks this past April. During the latter outing, he finished the game with a 13-pitch ninth inning after allowing just one hit and one walk.
Add to that one minor-league outing in 2012, and the 31-year-old Shuck has pitched just three times over the course of his 12-season career in pro ball. While he has three years of experience on the mound from his college days, he’ll need quite a bit of preparation to handle the kind of workload expected from a two-way outfielder/reliever: 20+ innings pitched over a season and 20+ games played as a designated hitter or position player.
Still, his lack of experience doesn’t seem to faze Broadway, at least not this early in the process. There’s no word yet on how soon Shuck would be expected to debut his new skillset on a major-league level.