The Pirates acquired utility infielder/outfielder Sean Rodriguez from the Braves for minor league first baseman Connor Joe, the Braves announced Saturday. Fellow utility player Jace Peterson was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett to cover Rodriguez’s spot on Atlanta’s roster.
Rodriguez, 32, has had a rough go of it this season. He sustained a torn rotator cuff and labrum damage in a car crash during the offseason, and only made 15 appearances for the Braves after returning from a lengthy stint on the disabled list. While he isn’t the player he was during his peak 2016 performance, he’ll try to rebound from a sub-Mendoza Line average in Pittsburgh, where he slashed a cumulative .260/.321/.447 with 22 home runs and a .768 OPS in 2015-2016.
Joe, 24, split the bulk of his starts between first base and right field for Low-A West Virginia and Double-A Altoona in 2017. He maintained a respectable, if underwhelming .240/.337/.378 batting line in 295 combined PA for the two clubs and should give the Braves some extra minor league depth while he works his way up to a big league role.
The Athletics appear to be closing in on a deal for Mets’ right-hander Jeurys Familia, according to reports from ESPN’s Buster Olney. Nothing has been finalized just yet, however, as the Mets confirmed that they would not be announcing a trade tonight and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic points out that other teams may still be in the mix for Familia’s services. It’s not clear what the A’s would be giving up in any potential deal for the reliever.
Familia, 28, has been pitching well this season. He currently sports a 2.88 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and 9.5 SO/9 through 40 2/3 innings — across-the-board improvements from his last run with the Mets in 2017 — and has racked up 17 saves to boot. He’s due another $3 million for the remainder of 2018, and Rosenthal adds that the club is willing to throw some cash in the deal in order to guarantee a better return for the closer.
While the A’s have one of the better bullpens in the American League, sitting seventh-best with a 3.50 ERA and 2.8 fWAR, they still have a ways to go in order to overtake the Mariners and Astros for a postseason berth by season’s end. Familia’s contract expires at the end of the year, but he should provide enough short-term value to give the A’s the boost they need.