The Astros announced a handful of roster moves on Monday. Recently acquired reliever Tyler Clippard was activated, the contract of catcher Max Stassi was purchased from Triple-A Fresno, pitcher Reymin Guduan was optioned to Fresno, pitcher Jordan Jankowski was designated for assignment, and catcher Brian McCann was placed on the 10-day disabled list with right knee soreness.
McCann, 33, had been struggling since the start of the second half, owning a .162 average with a .574 OPS over 18 games dating back to July 14. He joins fellow catcher Evan Gattis on the disabled list, meaning Juan Centeno and Max Stassi will handle things behind the dish for the time being.
The Astros enter Monday night’s game against the Diamondbacks with the American League’s best record at 72-45, holding a comfortable 12-game lead over the Angels for first place in the AL West.
Ken Rosenthal reports that the San Diego Padres have traded closer Brad Hand and reliever Adam Cimber to the Cleveland Indians. In return the Padres are getting top catching prospect Francisco Mejia.
Hand, the Padres’ All-Star closer, has a 3.05 ERA and 65/15 K/BB ratio and 24 saves over over 44.1 innings of work this season. In addition to helping an Indians bullpen which has struggled mightily this season, Hand will provide an insurance policy for the next two seasons given that both Andrew Miller and Cody Allen are due to hit free agency this winter. Hand, meanwhile, is under contract for this year and next for a total of $13.5 million, with a $10 million club option for 2021.
Cimber is another fine reliever who, along with Hand, suddenly transforms the Indians’ bullpen. He’s a 27-year-old rookie, but he’s been a very useful one this year, posting a 3.17 ERA in 42 games, with a K/BB ratio of 51/10 in 48.1 innings. He’s pitched even better than that of late and has been particularly hard on righties. He’s under team control through 2023.
In Mejia, the Padres are getting the Indians’ top hitting prospect. A catcher — though not necessarily a great defensive one — Mejia has struggled in brief stints in the big leagues thus far but is a .291/.344/.438 hitter in six minor league seasons and, at times, has shown star potential. He turns 23 in October.
A nice piece for the Padres in the long term and an immediate upgrade to the Indians’ bullpen in the short term. In short: a baseball trade.