Welcome back to The Daily Bernie! It's the best dance in the game, so let's get rolling once more!
- Scouts were very satisfied by lefty Scott Kazmir's most recent gem, writes Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Slusser also reports that the A's front office isn't guaranteed to trade Kazmir, and is "looking for a lot for him, according to industry sources, primarily top Triple-A prospects." This confirms a popular belief that if the A's sell, they will be building for 2016 with high-minors talent rather than younger lottery tickets.
- The market for Ben Zobrist is heating up. Peter Gammons reports in his daily column that at least six teams - the Pirates, Yankees, Nationals, Royals, Cubs, and Mets - have shown notable interest in the super-utility man. Zobrist is one of the most unique players available at the deadline, and one of the only middle infielders, so Zobrist should command a lot of interest and a sizable return.
- The Yankees will likely stand pat at second base and at the top of their rotation, as Mark Feinsand of The New York Daily News reports in two articles. The Yankees have been connected to both Kazmir and Zobrist, but it seems they don't think an upgrade would be worth the cost of acquisition. However, I wouldn't count out the Yankees just yet - they have both the farm and the financial power to pull off almost any deal, and could do so at any minute.
- Some quick notes from around the league: the Tigers could look to deal lefty ace David Price and/or left fielder Yoenis Cespedes in exchange for future talent (link); the Angels will be prioritizing a controllable outfielder rather than a rental (link); the Mets don't seem to believe they can trade for "one transformational bat" (link), but do have many young trade chips on the farm (link); the Pirates, interested in Justin Upton, will have to prioritize acquiring an infielder after injuries to Jordy Mercer and Josh Harrison (link).
Bernie's Daily Deal: Scott Kazmir and Jesse Chavez to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Austin Barnes, Scott Schebler, Zach Lee, and Kike Hernandez
So looking back on it, yesterday's Daily Deal was pretty bad. It turns out, after reading some reports, Ben Zobrist and Scott Kazmir will be worth much more than I'd anticipated. So let's try this again.
The Dodgers need pitching, badly. After Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, their rotation is very shaky. The health of both Brett Anderson and Brandon Beachy is about as trustworthy as a sleazy timeshare realtor. They could target Johnny Cueto or Cole Hamels, but would likely have to give up some of their young future stars in exchange. Enter Kazmir and Chavez. Kazmir, in the midst of a dominant season, would thrive in the National League, and could be replaced in 2016 by fellow lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu. Chavez, on the other hand, is under team control through 2016, and could provide great depth in case some of the Dodgers' younger starters don't pan out right away next season. Los Angeles has previously shown interest in both.
In return, the A's get a nice haul, but one that the Dodgers can afford to give up. Austin Barnes is unique in that he is a catcher that can play second base and third base as well. The 25 year-old right-handed hitter has walked more than he's struck out in Triple-A, while also slugging eight homers and swiping ten bases. Schebler is a 24 year-old left-handed hitting outfielder with great pop and nice speed. His strikeouts are a little concerning, but it's hard to pass up on his thirty home run potential. Lee is a former consensus top prospect that, for whatever reason, has drawn the cold shoulder from the Dodgers. Despite their rotational struggles, they have refused to call Lee up and give him a chance. Lee's strikeouts are down, but the 23 year-old righty has shown great control and is MLB-ready. Finally, Enrique "Kike" Hernandez is a nice contact hitter with some speed and some power potential, but his real value is his defense. Hernandez is a strong defender all over the diamond, as he has played everywhere but first base, pitcher, and catcher in his career. Kike would make for an excellent super-utility man, a poor man's Ben Zobrist. All four players are MLB-ready and under control for six more seasons.
That's all for today. The A's take on the Toronto Blue Jays at 7:05 P.M. PST, with Kendall Graveman facing his former club. Feel free to dump any links in the comments below. Until tomorrow - lean on, A's fans!