Braves acquire right-hander Trevor Cahill from Diamondbacks

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UPDATE: Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports that the deal is done. The Diamondbacks will trade Cahill and cash (about $6.5 million) to the Braves for minor league outfielder Josh Elander.

Elander, 24, is a .275/.356/.435 hitter across three seasons in the minors. He has yet to play above High-A. Of course, this deal was mostly about dumping salary for Arizona. As Piecoro writes, the deal does indeed open up a spot in the rotation for Archie Bradley. That should be fun.

The Braves have been looking at options like Wandy Rodriguez and Eric Stults for the back-end of their rotation, so Cahill is a decent gamble given the relatively small investment involved. He’s coming off a rough year, but his peripherals weren’t terrible and he has enjoyed success in the past. Just getting out of Arizona will likely be a good thing for him.

7:05 p.m. ET: Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Diamondbacks are “on the verge” of dealing Cahill to the Braves. No word on who Arizona will receive in return, but Atlanta is expected to pay about half of Cahill’s $12 million salary for 2015.

6:15 p.m. ET: It was announced on Monday that right-hander Trevor Cahill had secured a spot in the Diamondbacks’ starting rotation, but there could be a change of plans.

Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Diamondbacks “have had trade discussions” involving Cahill. According to various reports, the Braves are among the teams involved.

The Diamondbacks have multiple options they could put in Cahill’s place, but a trade would presumably clear a spot for top prospect Archie Bradley. The 22-year-old right-hander has been fantastic this spring, posting a 1.61 ERA and 14/6 K/BB ratio across 22 1/3 innings. He was mentioned as a possibility for the team’s final bullpen spot earlier this week, but Hale indicated to Piecoro earlier today that the door was still slightly open for him to win a spot in the rotation.

Cahill, 27, had an ugly 5.61 ERA across 17 starts and 15 relief appearances last season and is owed $12 million this season. The Diamondbacks would likely have to cover a large portion of his salary or take back another bad contract in order to get a deal done.

Japanese Baseball to begin June 19

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Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.

The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.

The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.

In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.