Welcome back to the Daily Bernie! Now that the All-Star festivities have passed, the trade season is just about to pick up. It’s the best dance in the game, so let’s get rolling once more!
- For the fourth consecutive year, the American League beat the National League in the All-Star Game, claiming home field advantage in the World Series. All-Star Game MVP Eric Hosmer led the club to a 4-2 victory with two hits, including an opposite-field home run in the second inning. After failing to add two worthy candidates to the roster in A’s pitchers Rich Hill and Ryan Dull, manager Ned Yost left the A’s only representative, catcher Stephen Vogt, as the only position player on his bench. Don’t worry, though - Orioles catcher Matt Wieters and his 91 wRC+ managed two clutch strikeouts instead.
- Prior to Tuesday’s game, Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke with the media about many topics. Among those covered was the A’s stadium issue. Manfred once again stated that league expansion will not be considered until a conclusion is reached regarding new stadiums for the Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays. Manfred remains committed to keeping the A’s in Oakland, even going as far as saying MLB would look back and regret it if they moved the A’s elsewhere. He also added that the Raiders’ stadium situation will have no impact on any decision-making regarding the Athletics. At this point, after years of Bud Selig’s empty promises, it’s hard to believe anything until plans for a new stadium are actually set in stone. However, Manfred’s statements are still reassuring. (All Twitter links from John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.)
- Something could be in the works between the Texas Rangers and Milwaukee Brewers, as Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports. Eighteen scouts were in attendance at a Rookie League game of one of the Rangers’ farm teams, many of which were from Milwaukee. Rosenthal speculates that Texas could be pursuing catcher Jonathan Lucroy, as the weak starting pitching market could force teams to target offense in an attempt to simply outscore opponents. Nothing seems imminent, but things could develop quickly now that the All-Star Game has passed.
- The Rangers have also looked into acquiring former Athletic Drew Pomeranz from the San Diego Padres, as Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles, and Miami Marlins have also shown interest in the southpaw. Pomeranz is having a surprise season for the Padres, with a 2.47 ERA and 3.18 FIP through 17 starts thus far. He has two more seasons of team control remaining, and is one of the top arms potentially available at the deadline this year (although I would argue in favor of Rich Hill’s better command and lower ERA/FIP). Padres GM A.J. Preller has strong interest in young Rangers infielder Jurickson Profar, but Texas may be hesitant to move the 23 year-old.
Bernie’s Daily Deal: Rich Hill to the Houston Astros for Derek Fisher and David Paulino
The Astros are back within striking distance, only five and a half games behind the Texas Rangers in the AL West. However, top starters Dallas Keuchel, Mike Fiers, and Collin McHugh have been disappointing this season, and Doug Fister will only be able to beat his FIP for so long. Houston sorely needs another starter, and could certainly match up with Oakland again after acquiring Scott Kazmir from the A’s last July.
Due to the weak starting pitching market and his sheer dominance, Hill’s price will be higher than Kazmir’s was. Derek Fisher is a 22 year-old outfielder with plenty of speed and power, with 14 home runs and 19 stolen bases so far. Playing mostly centerfield this year in Double-A, Fisher should be an above-average corner outfielder at worst. The left-handed hitter will need to cut down on his strikeouts, but has otherwise solid tools and could be an impact starting outfielder. Fisher is ranked number 94 on BaseballAmerica’s midseason top 100 list.
David Paulino has jumped up prospect lists thanks to an outstanding season so far. However, after serving a short suspension violating an unnamed team rule, he has felt some arm soreness. He should be healthy in the near future, and when healthy, he has been great. He has posted a miniscule 1.86 ERA in Double-A this season, thanks to rates of 10.24 K/9 and only 1.71 BB/9. The 22 year-old righty utilizes a plus fastball and curveball that would make him, at worst, a dominant bullpen option. He is ranked number 47 on BaseballAmerica’s list.
That’s all for today. Expect plenty of trade rumors today, as no games will be played until Friday. Feel free to dump any links in the comments below. Until tomorrow - lean on, A’s fans!