Welcome back to the Daily Bernie! This weekend was certainly a hectic one for the baseball world. It’s the best dance in the game, so let’s get rolling once more!
- It seems more likely with each passing day that A’s outfielder Josh Reddick will be traded this deadline rather than kept and extended. According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, the A’s made a three year, $36 million offer to Reddick last spring and Reddick countered with four years and $56 million. Talks did not advance from there. Also per Slusser, talks have not yet resumed and with many teams interested (including the Kansas City Royals, San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays, and Washington Nationals), the A’s could look to capitalize on his trade deadline value. For more on Reddick, check out her article.
- Slusser also reports that rookie Ryan Dull’s dominance may leave the A’s more comfortable moving a late-inning arm. Teams like the Giants, Blue Jays, Nationals, and Cubs could sorely use relief help, so an arm like Ryan Madson would certainly appeal to them. Dull has been sensational, and with Sean Doolittle’s current injury Dull has taken over higher-leverage roles. In my opinion, if the A’s can get any kind of value by trading Madson they should jump on it. He hasn’t been nearly as dominant this year as he was last season, and is still owed quite a bit of money through his age 36 and 37 seasons. The farm is full of enough interesting young arms that the team could afford to move Madson.
- A’s lefty Rich Hill, potentially the best available arm on the market, won’t come cheap, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports in his latest Full Count video. Teams are practically lining up to bid on the southpaw, who could, astonishingly, net a return similar to 2015’s David Price trade. Hill’s biggest red flags - namely his age, injury history, and lack of track record - are mitigated by a weak starting pitching market, high demand, and Hill’s sheer dominance since last September. Between Hill, Reddick, and many others, the A’s have enough trade chips this deadline to net an absolute haul.
- The Boston Red Sox have continued to aggressively add to their roster, picking up reliever Brad Ziegler from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for prospects Jose Almonte and Luis Alejandro Basabe. The deal has been officially announced. The acquisition of Ziegler will strengthen a bullpen weakened by the temporary loss of closer Craig Kimbrel to a knee injury. The former Athletic had pitched to a 2.82 ERA with Arizona this season, as his deception allows him to outperform his lackluster peripherals. After adding an infielder and a reliever, the Red Sox could next look to fortify their struggling rotation. The Diamondbacks, on the other hand, receive a talented young righty in Almonte and an interesting infielder in Basabe. Basabe is not to be confused with his twin brother, outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe, who is generally considered the better talent.
- Pretty much everyone got hurt this weekend. The list of notable injuries these past few days includes but is not limited to: Byron Buxton, Brock Holt, Hanley Ramirez, Craig Kimbrel, Junichi Tazawa, Brandon Phillips, Gregory Polanco, Trevor Rosenthal, Michael Wacha, Wade Davis, C.J. Cron, Matt Harvey, Yoenis Cespedes, Noah Syndergaard, and Carlos Rodon.
Bernie’s Daily Deal: Josh Reddick and Ryan Madson to the Chicago Cubs for Albert Almora and Daniel Vogelbach
The Cubs outfield has been battered all season with injuries and poor performance. Left fielder Kyle Schwarber tore his ACL early on; Jorge Soler has not played well and remains on the disabled list with a hamstring injury; Dexter Fowler has been excellent, but is also struggling with hamstring issues; star Jason Heyward has been disappointing at the plate this season. The team has been forced to use third baseman Kris Bryant and catcher Willson Contreras in the corner outfield spots on multiple occasions, shifting Heyward to center. The bullpen has also been weak, posting a 3.99 ERA through Saturday. While the Cubs’ insane depth has kept them alive, the team has struggled as of late, with a record of 14-20 since June 4. Thus, Reddick and Madson each make a ton of sense for Chicago.
Albert Almora, 22, has a decent ceiling and a very high floor. His great defense and above-average speed will always give the centerfielder considerable value, so the real question is in his bat. He doesn’t have a whole lot of power and has posted low walk rates throughout his minor league career, so his success will ride on his strikeout rate. Generally a solid contact hitter in the minors, he has posted an uncharacteristic 20.3% strikeout rate through his first 74 major league plate appearances. Almora could be the true centerfielder Oakland needs, and could be somewhat superfluous to the Cubs once their outfielders are healthy once more.
Vogelbach is probably the most likely prospect to be traded in all of baseball. Only 23, Vogelbach has been tearing up Triple-A, slashing .312/.426/.547 with 15 home runs. However, the left-handed hitter might be as slow and defensively inept as Billy Butler. A first baseman profiling better as a DH, the Cubs don’t have any room for him, with Anthony Rizzo manning first and no designated hitter in the National League. Vogelbach and Almora combined might be a bit too large of a return, in which case Almora could be swapped for some combination of outfielder Mark Zagunis, righty Ryan Williams, outfielder Billy McKinney, and other Cubs youngsters.
That’s all for today. The first half is over, and we have made it to the All-Star break mostly in one piece. Congrats, Athletics Nation! The Home Run Derby will take place at 5 PM PST tonight on ESPN. Feel free to dump any links in the comments below. Until tomorrow - lean on, A’s fans!