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The Daily Bernie, 7/25/16: Finally, a trade!

Only a week from the deadline, an impact trade could be finalizing, and one of the best pitchers in the game was suspended for five days by his own team, among other news.

Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Welcome back to the Daily Bernie! Remember how last week was supposed to be the calm before the storm? Well, it took until late Sunday night, but a large domino has finally fallen and the rest could soon follow, only a week before the August 1st deadline. It’s the best dance in the game, so let’s get rolling once more!

  • The biggest trade news of the weekend was the Aroldis Chapman saga. The New York Yankees, despite a decent week, have decided to move the southpaw. On Saturday night, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported that the Yankees began telling other clubs that they were close to moving the flamethrower. On Sunday morning the Washington Nationals, Cleveland Indians, Chicago Cubs and a mystery team were revealed to be the finalists, per Ken Davidoff of the New York Post. A bidding war ensued throughout the day, as the Indians were first named the frontrunners (per Bruce Levine of and later in the morning the Nationals proposed a package of young righties Eric Fedde and Koda Glover along with one more prospect (per Keith Law of ESPN). However, later in the afternoon the Chicago Cubs scratched top shortstop prospect Gleyber Torres from their High-A lineup, and Jon Heyman of reported that an offer of “Torres plus” was on the table. Finally, Tommy Stokke (also of Today’s Knuckleball) reported that a deal was in fact in place and the two clubs hoped to finalize by Monday. In a huge twist, though, Rian Watt of Baseball Prospectus reported that the deal could be hinging on a possible four year, $60 million extension between Chapman and the Cubs. We should finally have an answer later today.
  • Another player soon to be on the move is San Diego Padres outfielder Melvin Upton. On Saturday night, the Baltimore Orioles began discussing a swap of righty Ubaldo Jimenez for Upton, according to Rosenthal. If a deal were to be completed, it would also include one of Baltimore’s top prospects heading to San Diego. Both players are owed quite a bit of money through 2017, which could certainly complicate a deal. The Cleveland Indians (link) and Toronto Blue Jays (link) have also shown interest in the outfielder.
  • Also in San Diego, Andrew Cashner has been drawing plenty of interest in the bone-dry starting pitching market. Per Heyman, the Orioles, Detroit Tigers, Miami Marlins, Houston Astros, Texas Rangers, San Francisco Giants, and others have shown interest in the righty. To me, Miami seems like the best fit - they have a serious need in the rotation but a weak farm, so buying low on Cashner looks to be a good idea. The Padres are also reportedly looking to deal former Athletics catcher Derek Norris, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. The right-handed hitter has seriously struggled since being dealt to San Diego, posting only an 88 wRC+ over two seasons.
  • The weekend’s headliner was a very bizarre situation involving lefty Chris Sale and the Chicago White Sox. The ace was scratched from his start on Saturday night, leaving many to speculate whether he had been traded. Updates slowly trickled in, and eventually it was discovered that Sale had thrown a tantrum and torn up the team’s throwback jerseys for the night. Stokke was the first to report the details of this insane ordeal. On Sunday morning, the White Sox announced that they had suspended Sale for five days.
  • In Athletics news, utility man Arismendy Alcantara was optioned to Triple-A Nashville to make room for righty Jesse Hahn on Sunday. Despite a very strong outing, Hahn was optioned back to Triple-A later Sunday night in order to make room for a back-up infielder, per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Slusser speculates that Max Muncy will replace Hahn, as Alcantara and fellow utility man Tyler Ladendorf cannot yet return to the major leagues after being optioned recently.
  • Other notes: Reliever Joe Nathan made his return to the big leagues with the Cubs (but it could be short-lived, depending on the resulting roster move of the Chapman trade); the Blue Jays designated struggling reliever Drew Storen for assignment; the Tampa Bay Rays will likely wait until right before the deadline to finalize any trades involving their starting pitchers; the Houston Astros will promote top prospect Alex Bregman to the major leagues today.

Bernie’s Daily Deal: Rich Hill to the Houston Astros for Teoscar Hernandez and Brady Rodgers

Although it hasn’t been as publicized as their state rival Rangers’ quest for starting pitching, the Astros definitely have a desire to add to their rotation. The Astros and A’s lined up on a deal for lefty Scott Kazmir last July, and could match up once more.

This package would be a slight upgrade over last year’s in that both players are closer to the major leagues. Teoscar Hernandez is a 23 year-old outfielder that just made it up to Triple-A. The right-handed hitter has shown vastly improved plate discipline this year to add to his above average speed and decent power. If all breaks right, he could become a Rajai Davis or Brett Gardner type. He’s probably more of a corner outfield-type, but with development could become a passable centerfielder.

Brady Rodgers is a 25 year-old righty with pinpoint control. Almost 26, he is becoming a bit old for a prospect, but is dominating Triple-A this year to the tune of a 2.88 ERA and seems to be MLB-ready. He doesn’t have overpowering stuff, but his low-nineties fastball and average changeup, slider and curveball could make him a decent back-end arm.

That’s all for today. The A’s are in Texas tonight, as Daniel Mengden will take on Martin Perez and the Rangers at 5:05 PM. Feel free to dump any links in the comments below. Until next time - lean on, A’s fans!