Hello, and welcome to the first installment of The Daily Bernie! The Daily Bernie will be your Daily Link Dump for the month of July, focused more on trade news, rumors, and targets during what should be a busy month for that kind of information. Let's get started, shall we?
- The A's and Braves made a win-win move, as RHP prospect Cody Martin was sent to Oakland for international bonus slot 53. This minor move is great for both sides - the A's give up the right to spend money they probably wouldn't have spent anyways in return for some nice young pitching depth, while the Braves have more than enough pitching to go around, and will use the extra slot (along with others acquired) to stay under the penalty limit. Nate Freiman was DFA'd to make room for Martin, and he cleared waivers and was outrighted to AAA Nashville.
- According to various reports, the New York Mets would overpay to bring super-utility man Ben Zobrist to Citi Field. Personally, the Mets don't seem like a great trade partner to me, as they are stuck not wanting to give up their elite young pitching or any of their talented positional prospects.
- Blue Jays' LHP (and potential A's trade target) Matt Boyd got torched to the tune of seven earned runs without recording an out against the Boston Red Sox on Thursday. Following the disaster, Boyd was optioned to AAA, sporting an ugly 14.75 ERA (but somehow a 3.72 xFIP...?) in his short MLB debut.
- Scouts from the Twins, Royals, Cubs, and Nationals were in attendance to see Scott Kazmir's Thursday night gem, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. The Nationals would be a curious fit for Kazmir, unless they were to use him as a replacement for the struggling and injured Stephen Strasburg, but perhaps they were scouting Ben Zobrist and/or Tyler Clippard, two of their reported targets. All four teams have very deep farms to give from in order to acquire Kazmir or another rental.
- Jon Morosi of Fox Sports reports that the Cubs are looking for a starting pitcher and a left-handed outfield bat, if the price is right. While they are said to be targeting a longer term rotation piece, they have been connected to Kazmir in multiple reports. They could also look to move the struggling Starlin Castro. This report, as a whole, does nothing but support the strong interest the Cubs have shown in some of the Athletics' trade chips.
- The All-Star game starting position players were announced Sunday afternoon. Pitchers and reserves will be announced tonight at 4 P.M. PST on ESPN.
Bernie's Daily Deal: Ben Zobrist for Brandon Finnegan
This deal would make a lot of sense for each side. The Royals have shown interest in Zobrist, due to weaknesses in both the outfield and at second base. The switch-hitter fits the Royals' high-contact ways, as Zobrist's 8.6% K rate is easily the lowest of his career, and is the seventh-lowest in all of baseball (minimum 200 PAs). Finnegan, on the other hand, represents a nice buy-low for the A's. The 22 year-old southpaw has struggled with command as he has bounced up and down between Double-A, Triple-A, and the Majors, but he still has the high ceiling of a number three starter, and the high floor of a nice left-handed reliever. The Royals reportedly could make Finnegan available in trades, and this would be a solid trade on both sides.
That's all for the first edition of The Daily Bernie. Let me know if you want more, or if you have any tips/advice for me. Feel free to dump any links in the comments below. Until tomorrow - lean on, A's fans!