The Phillies have acquired lefty reliever Aaron Loup from the Blue Jays, Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports. The Jays will receive minor league pitcher Jacob Waguespack in return, per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand. Loup is a free agent after the season, so this is purely a rental for the Phillies.
Loup, 30, has been in the league seven years, putting together a 3.47 ERA over 318 2/3 innings. This year has been among the worst of his career, as he stands with a 4.54 ERA and a 42/13 K/BB ratio in 35 2/3 innings. Loup certainly handles lefties better than righties, so Phillies manager Gabe Kapler will almost certainly use him in situations that give the team the platoon advantage.
The Phillies already have two lefties in the bullpen in Austin Davis and Adam Morgan. The Phillies designated infielder Trevor Plouffe for assignment to make room on the 25-man roster for Loup.
Waguespack, 24, has split his season between Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Combined, he put up a 4.68 ERA with 79 strikeouts and 36 walks in 82 2/3 innings across 15 starts and six relief appearances.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Giants have made first baseman Brandon Belt available in a trade and says that several teams have expressed interest in him.
Which is kind of weird, really.
Belt turns 31 early next season. He hit .253/.342/.414 with 14 homers over 112 games last year due to a knee injury and time lost to an appendectomy. He has a history of concussions and has averaged only 115 games over the last five seasons. Oh, and makes $48 million over the next three years.
Yes, he could be a very useful player if healthy, but taking on that kind of money, even a part of that money, when many very affordable first base/DH options are out there on the market makes little sense to me. Matt Adams. Justin Bour. Lucas Duda. As good as Belt? No, I don’t think so. But way cheaper and requiring less of a commitment.
But hey, rumors are rumors. Let a thousand flowers bloom.