Welcome back to The Daily Bernie! It's the best dance in the game, so let's get rolling once more!
- Brett Lawrie's solo bomb in the tenth inning gave the Athletics their first extra-innings win of the season, over the New York Yankees. Baseballgirl provided an excellent recap, so go check it out if you haven't already!
- The Texas Rangers have signed 22 year-old Cuban second baseman Andy Ibanez, per Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He will receive a $1.6MM signing bonus, which will count against the Rangers' international bonus pool, pushing them to $4.2MM out of $4.5MM available to spend. Ibanez has been available to sign for quite some time now, and profiles as a solid second baseman all-around. He will likely begin his professional career in the low minors, perhaps High-A, but could move fast.
- The Baltimore Orioles will look to upgrade their pitching staff at the trade deadline, per Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. They would likely be looking to upgrade over the struggling Chris Tillman and Bud Norris, while also having insurance in case Wei Yin Chen and/or Miguel Gonzalez regress (as both sport FIPs over a run higher than their ERAs). The bullpen, however, has been strong and does not seem in need of an upgrade. Could the Orioles call up Oakland on veteran starters Scott Kazmir and Jesse Chavez?
- Not too long ago, fans and analysts all over were calling for the Red Sox to blow it up and have a fire sale. Now, those same Red Sox are surging, having won seven of their last ten games. This hot streak has gotten them to within five games of the AL East lead, as the other four squads have more or less hung around .500. It seems a deadline move could decide the champion of the tight AL East, and the Red Sox have as much young talent as anyone to use as trade chips.
- Jake Smolinski has finally been freed, taking Chris Bassitt's spot on the roster. Smolinkski will play in the corner outfield spots against lefties, and will look to continue his Triple-A success (1.233 OPS in 25 games between Nashville and Round Rock).
Bernie's Daily Deal: Jesse Chavez to the Baltimore Orioles for Christian Walker and either Zach Davies or Mike Wright
The Orioles, as stated above, could really use some pitching help. Chavez would be a great piece for them, as he is under team control through 2016 and shouldn't be making a whole lot through arbitration next season. With Bud Norris and Wei Yin Chen set to hit free agency next winter, Chavez would be a welcome fit for both this year and next.
In return, Oakland would receive two young prospects. Christian Walker's value isn't very high, as the power he showed in Double-A in 2014 has yet to show itself in the higher minors or the majors, but at the very worst the 24 year-old could be a solid right-handed platoon option at first base, a la Nate Freiman or Mark Canha. Both Davies and Wright are righties in the midst of breakout seasons. Davies, 22, is kind of a twig - six-foot, 150 pounds - and thus doesn't quite light up the radar gun. But he has decent command, and a plus changeup, leading to consistent run prevention in the minors. Wright is the opposite - huge (6'5", 195), and throws his fastball around 95 MPH, but has some control issues. His sinker hs been great thus far, and his offspeed stuff has potential. Wright is 25, and either pitcher would slot right into the A's rotation, even upon acquisition.
That's all for today, after a slower news day. The A's take on the Yankees once more at 4:05 P.M. PST, and I'll have your Game Thread. Feel free to dump any links in the comments below. Until tomorrow - lean on, A's fans!