Brewers acquire Adam Lind from Blue Jays for Marco Estrada

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UPDATE: The deal is now official.

2 p.m. ET: Andrew Walker of 590 The Fan in Toronto reports that the Blue Jays will receive right-hander Marco Estrada from the Brewers. The 31-year-old posted a 4.36 ERA over 18 starts and 21 relief appearances this past season while his 29 homers allowed were the most in the National League. Rogers Centre isn’t exactly the best place to hide his warts, but he could start or pitch in a swingman role.

1:52 p.m. ET: We learned earlier today that the Blue Jays exercised Adam Lind’s $7.5 million option for 2015, but it sounds like he’ll be playing elsewhere next season.

Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that the Brewers have acquired first Adam Lind from the Blue Jays. Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca previously reported that a deal was close. No word yet on what Toronto will receive in return.

First base has been an area of need for Milwaukee for a while, so Lind is a solid fit as a left-handed bat, even though he’s not great with the glove and will likely need a platoon partner against lefties. The 31-year-old batted .321/.381/.479 with six home runs and 40 RBI over 96 games this season and his contract still includes an affordable $8 million club option for 2016. Brewers first baseman were last in the National League in batting average (.207), on-base percentage (.287), and slugging percentage (.356) this past season.

The Blue Jays claimed Justin Smoak off waivers from the Mariners earlier this week and figure to keep him as a low-cost replacement for Lind.

Astros block Detroit Free Press from clubhouse at Justin Verlander’s request

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Last night a BBWAA-credentialed reporter from the Detroit Free Press was barred from the Houston Astros’ clubhouse by team security following the Tigers win over the Astros. The reporter — who was almost certainly Anthony Fenech, who covers the Tigers — was kept out at the request of Astros starter Justin Verlander. Here’s the scene as described by the Free Press. The article contains a photo, taken by Fenech, of the three Astros officials who blocked the door to prevent him access:

At 9:35 p.m., the Astros opened their clubhouse to credentialed media in coordination with MLB rules. As other media members entered the clubhouse, the Free Press reporter with a valid BBWAA-issued credential was blocked from entering by three Astros security officials . . . The reporter contacted Mike Teevan, MLB vice president of communications, who said he would immediately reach out to Dias regarding the issue. Dias eventually gave the reporter access to the clubhouse at 9:41 p.m., after Verlander’s media session had ended . . . Once inside, the reporter approached Verlander, who said: “I’m not answering your questions.” When asked to comment on Wednesday’s loss, Verlander walked away.

That after-the-fact access for the reporter came only after he called Major League Baseball who, in turn, called Astros officials, presumably, to tell them that they cannot bar credentialed media.

It’s unclear at the moment what the beef is between Verlander and either the Free Press or the reporter. For what it’s worth, I follow Fenech and, while he’s a bit more witty and, occasionally, cutting than your average beat reporter, he’s self-effacing and doesn’t do cheap shots. Though he talks often about former Tigers and has made a point to highlight Verlander’s post-Tigers career whenever relevant, to my knowledge he hasn’t said or done anything specific to tweak Verlander in the past.

I will note, though, that last night, about eight minutes before Fenech was barred access, the Free Press Twitter account sent this tongue-in-cheek tweet out. It’s unclear if he or someone else at the paper wrote it:

Maybe that pissed off Verlander, who is known to be active on social media and is usually pretty aware of what’s being said about him. Hard to say.

What’s easy to say, though, is that no matter what has hurt Verlander’s fragile ego, the Astros barring the reporter from the clubhouse is in blatant violation of the agreement between Major League Baseball and the Baseball Writers Association of America, which ensures access for credentialed reporters. Verlander doesn’t have to talk to the guy — he doesn’t have to talk to anyone he doesn’t want to talk to — but the team honoring Verlander’s wishes to bar access is totally unacceptable and, frankly, about as low-rent as it gets from a media relations perspective.

We’ll probably hear more about this later today.