Welcome to the first weekend edition of The Daily Bernie! This will be more brief than the weekday version. It's the best dance in the game, so let's get rolling once more!
- The A's won't jump the gun on trading Ben Zobrist, Ken Rosenthal tweets. He is drawing "heavy interest" but the deal is "unlikely to happen quickly" as the A's have been flooded with offers and are likely still discussing players with teams. Ben Zobrist is the only hitter of his kind on the market (and the market is pitcher-heavy in general) so he should command a large return, especially with a great number of teams bidding for Zobrist's services. Teams connected to the super-utility man include the Nationals, Yankees, Mets, Royals, Cubs, Angels, and Pirates. Other speculative fits include the Giants and the Orioles.
- The Mets, however, no longer seem to be pursuing Zobrist. On Friday afternoon, the Metropolitans put pen to paper on a trade to acquire infielders Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson from the Braves, in exchange for young righties John Gant and Rob Whalen. The move has been confirmed. The Braves continue to stockpile young arms, as their front office has done since this past winter. Their farm has become a good one, and a very deep one. The Mets, on the other hand, add two above-average hitters (by wRC+) - something only two other qualifying Mets can boast (Curtis Granderson and Lucas Duda). This seems to be a fair deal for both ends, especially as the two low-minors arms are more than expendable for the pitching-heavy Mets.
- In other major Mets news, top prospect Michael Conforto has been promoted to the major leagues. However, the move is probably temporary, as a stopgap until the Mets can acquire an outfield bat. Conforto seems more and more untouchable every day.
- Now for some other news and rumors from around the league: the Cardinals acquired reliever Steve Cishek from the Marlins in exchange for minor league reliever Kyle Barraclough (link); the Astros don't seem to be done, even after adding Scott Kazmir (link); the Royals are not prioritizing adding a starter or an outfielder, and could look to add both (link); the Reds have placed a high price on top closer Aroldis Chapman (link); the Padres seem to be shopping starters James Shields and Andrew Cashner aggressively (link); the Nationals and Phillies have talked about closer Jonathan Papelbon (link); Jon Heyman has a gaudy collection of notes and rumors that are definitely worth a read (link).
Bernie's Daily Deal: Tyler Clippard to the Washington Nationals for Nick Pivetta and Gilberto Mendez
Very simple, very straightforward. The Nationals are looking to upgrade their bullpen, and a reunion with Clippard isn't out of the question. Clippard's value isn't too high, due to a strong market for pitching and Clippard's lack of control in 2015, but he's still worth a nice little piece or two due to his elite track record.
Pivetta is a 22 year-old right-handed starter in Double-A. He seems like the kind of fringey back-end guy that the A's know and love. He throws in the low nineties and has a decent slider. Pivetta could be ready for the major leagues by mid-2016. Mendez, also 22, right-handed, and in Double-A, is a reliever with great strikeout and walk rates for his minor league career. Mendez could possibly even jump straight into the major league bullpen. This isn't an earth-shaking return, but I wouldn't expect a great return for two months of a reliever with questionable control.
That's all for today. The A's take on the Giants once more in the second game of the Bay Bridge Series at 1:05 PST. Feel free to dump any links in the comments below. Until tomorrow - lean on, A's fans!