Welcome back to The Daily Bernie! It's the best dance in the game, so let's get rolling once more!
- Super-utility man Snoop Dogg shined in his showcase yesterday, showing off his speed and agility in the bottom of the second inning, legging out a hustle double and avoiding the tag by the second baseman. Initially called out, Dogg insisted the umpires check replay, and upon further review Dogg was deemed safe. In the top of the third, Dogg was mic'd up, and he showed his true ability as a team leader while encouraging his fellow outfielders. He also showcased his hustle by leaping over the short fence to try and chase down a deep home run. The 43 year-old's high ceiling makes him perhaps the game's surest bet to be the next Mike Trout, and the A's should definitely do all they can to bring him on board. (Oakland legend Rollie Fingers homered off of Snoop in the top of the fifth inning, but we can ignore that. Dogg also struck out Jordin Sparks in the top of the sixth.)
- In real news, Red's third baseman Todd Frazier won the Home Run Derby in his team's home city of Cincinnati on Monday night. The 29 year-old beat out 23 year-old Dodgers' outfielder Joc Pederson in the final round by a score of 15-14. Frazier has been one of the game's most underrated players these past two seasons, posting 4.8 fWAR in 2014 and already 4.1 fWAR so far in 2015. After setting a career-high in home runs of 29 in 2015, Frazier has already smashed 25 at the halfway point in 2015. Frazier is easily one of the game's best third baseman. Former A's third baseman Josh Donaldson was knocked out of the semi-finals by Frazier.
- The A's probably won't hold a fire sale, per John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group. Hickey reports that General Manager Billy Beane is still optimistic that his club's play will improve closer to their Pythagorean record (50-41) or their BaseRuns record (53-38) rather than their actual record (41-50). This means that while there is still a high chance pending free agents Scott Kazmir, Ben Zobrist, and Tyler Clippard could be moved, it seems less likely that others such as Josh Reddick and Jesse Chavez (under team control through 2016) would be dealt.
- The Houston Astros have turned their focus towards Reds' ace Johnny Cueto, per Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Despite having fallen to second place in the AL West after some poor play to finish off the second half, the Astros still strongly believe they have a shot to take the division, and Cueto would surely help them do so. Cueto is 6-6 with a 2.73 ERA in 2015 and would likely slot in behind All-Star Game starter Dallas Keuchel. The righty Cueto would combine with the lefty Keuchel to form a dominant one-two punch. Houston has also shown interest in arms such as Kazmir and Jeff Samardzija.
Bernie's Daily Deal: Ben Zobrist to the New York Yankees for Gary Sanchez, Jake Cave, and PTBNL
The Yankees have shown interest in Zobrist, and if youngster Rob Refsnyder fails to produce in the majors, they could very well target Ben. He would likely play second base every day instead of Refsnyder or Stephen Drew (-0.3 fWAR). The Yankees, hanging on tightly to a 3.5-game division lead, would definitely push hard to acquire an upgrade like Zobrist.
In return for their super-utility man, the A's would grab three youngsters. Gary Sanchez is a toolsy, 22 year-old right-handed catcher with a .788 OPS in Double-A in 2015. However, Sanchez has some makeup issues and defensive questions, and although his bat would still profile well as a first baseman or designated hitter, it would be much more valuable as a catcher with a plus arm like his. Jake Cave is a 22 year-old left-handed outfielder in Double-A with no real standout tools, but solid play all around, including sneaky speed and nice discipline. Finally, there are plenty of options for the third player. Left-handed starter Ian Clarkin, lefty reliever Jacob Lindgren, and third baseman Eric Jagielo are all injured, but have decent floors and ceilings. Or perhaps the A's could go safer and request speedy High-A shortstop Tyler Wade. Regardless, even without including a big name like Aaron Judge or Luis Severino, the A's could acquire some nice young talent from the Yankees in exchange for Zobrist.
That's all for today. The MLB All-Star Game will begin at 4:00 P.M. PST today, on FOX. Watch starter Sonny Gray and catcher Stephen Vogt represent the Green and Gold! Feel free to dump any links in the comments below. Until tomorrow - lean on, A's fans!