Welcome back to the Daily Bernie! It’s the best dance in the game, so let’s get rolling once more!
- Thursday’s biggest news was the Boston Red Sox acquisition of Drew Pomeranz from the San Diego Padres. The full deal was first reported by Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Pomeranz, a former Athletic, is in the midst of a breakout year, posting a 2.47 ERA and throwing 102 innings in the majors, already a career high. The 27 year-old southpaw has two years of team control remaining after 2016, and thus did not come cheap - Boston had to send highly-touted righty Anderson Espinoza to the Padres. Only 18 years old, Espinoza can already throw triple digits and is seen as one of the best pitching prospects in the game. This trade unfortunately seems to take Boston out of the bidding for A’s lefty Rich Hill. Pomeranz and Hill are very similar pitchers, though Pomeranz has the edge in youth and team control remaining, while Hill has the edge in performance.
- Hill has been scratched from tonight’s start against the Toronto Blue Jays due to a blister, as Jane Lee of MLB.com reports. Lee asserts that this is actually a blister, and not just cover-up for a trade, which Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports confirms. While at first glance this seems bad for Hill (who already has durability issues) it could be a blessing in disguise, as keeping him from facing the intimidating righty-heavy Blue Jays lineup could keep his trade value as high as it is now.
- Having missed out on Pomeranz, some think the Texas Rangers could now focus on Hill, as Buster Olney of ESPN reports. The Rangers will be getting Yu Darvish back from the disabled list in the coming days, but their rotation could still use an upgrade if they don’t want Colby Lewis starting a playoff game. With a very deep farm, Texas could make a solid match-up with Oakland for Hill.
- While the New York Mets could certainly use another big bat for their lineup or a starter to help their injured rotation, they are currently focusing on relief help, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post. One name that “could appeal” to the club is Athletics righty John Axford. Axford struggled big time after a stellar April, but has started to turn it back around in recent appearances. He is owed $5 million in 2017.
- After trading three incredible young talents for him, the Arizona Diamondbacks have optioned righty Shelby Miller to Triple-A. Last winter, GM Dave Stewart sent first overall pick Dansby Swanson, Gold Glove-caliber outfielder Ender Inciarte, and intriguing young pitcher Aaron Blair to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for Miller. Since then, Miller has gone 2-9 with a 7.14 ERA in 14 starts for the club. Meanwhile, although Enciarte and Blair have disappointed, Swanson has become one of the top prospects in the game. As many predicted, this trade has turned out horribly for Arizona, but I don’t think anyone predicted it would be this bad this soon.
Bernie’s Daily Deal: Rich Hill to the Texas Rangers for Lewis Brinson and Luke Jackson
As Olney reported, Hill makes a ton of sense for the Rangers, who have already set their sights on him. The Pomeranz trade has set the price for starting pitching, and it might be even higher than expected.
Lewis Brinson is an extremely talented 22 year-old outfielder. A fantastic defensive centerfielder, Brinson has the potential to become an impact five-tool player. He is experiencing a power surge this year, with ten home runs in only 59 Double-A games, and has plenty of speed, with ten stolen bases as well. The batting average hasn’t been pretty, and Brinson will never walk a whole lot, but his strikeout rate is down quite a bit this season. Between his speed and his great swing, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see that batting average rebound.
Luke Jackson is a reclamation project. The 24 year-old righty hasn’t been able to figure it out at the major league level, but has a live arm. His command has never been good and probably never will be, but his stuff is enticing enough to be worth a shot. At best, he could become a back-end starter; if not, he could be a solid middle reliever.
That’s all for today. Real baseball is back, as Daniel Mengden and the A’s will take on Marcus Stroman and the Toronto Blue Jays tonight at 7:05 PM. Feel free to dump any links in the comments below. Until next time - lean on, A’s fans!