Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the Pirates have “looked into” first baseman Mike Napoli and outfielder Shane Victorino of the Red Sox.
Napoli, 33, has had a tough year at the plate, entering Sunday’s game batting a meager .205/.301/.372 with 11 home runs and 33 RBI. He is owed the remainder of his $16 million salary and can become a free agent after the season.
Victorino, 34, has also scuffled at the plate when he hasn’t been on the disabled list. He’s hitting .245/.324/.298 with one home run and four RBI in 106 plate appearances. Victorino is owed the remainder of his $13 million salary and can also become a free agent after the season.
The second-place Pirates, at 57-41, have mostly been using Pedro Alvarez at first base. Alvarez, however, has a severe platoon split, so pairing him with Napoli would alleviate that problem. Victorino would function as a fourth outfielder.
The Angels have placed Andrew Heaney on the 10-day injured list with left shoulder inflammation, the club announced Saturday. The move is retroactive to July 17, though it’s not yet certain that he’ll be cleared to pitch again by the end of the month.
It’s an unfortunate development for the 28-year-old southpaw, who has battled inflammation in his pitching elbow on and off since spring training. In fact, his arm issues date back several years, including the shoulder impingement that put him on the shelf in 2017 and the Tommy John surgery he underwent in 2016. With such a complicated medical history, it makes sense that the Angels would want to proceed with caution as they facilitate the lefty’s eventual return to the mound.
Given his ongoing struggles, Heaney has seen mixed results with the club in 2019. Prior to his recent IL assignment, he pitched to a 1-3 record in nine starts with a 5.09 ERA, 3.7 BB/9, and 10.6 SO/9 through 46 innings. Since the end of June, however, his starts have gotten shorter and shorter; he lasted just 4 1/3 innings in his final outing against the Astros, expending a tremendous 103 pitches and issuing two runs, two walks, and five strikeouts during the team’s eventual 7-2 win.
In a corresponding roster move, the Angels claimed lefty reliever Adalberto Mejía off of waivers from the Twins. Mejía, 26, is expected to be activated ahead of Saturday’s game versus the Mariners. Over 13 appearances with Minnesota, he turned in an 8.80 ERA, 7.0 BB/9, and 8.8 SO/9 in 15 1/3 innings.