Mets acquire James Loney
The New York Mets have acquired first baseman James Loney from the San Diego Padres, according to a team announcement on Saturday.
The Padres received cash considerations in the deal.
The 32-year-old Loney has been in Triple-A this season after signing a minor league deal with San Diego during the offseason. Loney had an opt-out clause in his contract, and had he not been traded, he would have likely landed with the Mets anyway.
Ever since starting first baseman Lucas Duda went on the disabled list on May 21 with a lower back stress fracture, the Mets have been on the lookout for a viable replacement.
In his absence, the team turned to Eric Campbell at first base, who is hitting .182/.303/.255 on the year in 66 plate appearances.
Loney has been hitting well with Triple-A El Paso, posting a .342/.373/.424 triple-slash line with two home runs and 28 RBIs over 169 plate appearances.
Loney was last in the Major Leagues in 2015 with the Rays, but was released the end of the season after hitting just .280/.322/.357 with four homers and 32 RBIs in 388 plate appearances. He was worth -1.3 FanGraphs Wins Above Replacement (fWAR).
With the Mets, Loney will likely start at first until Duda returns to action.
Atlanta Braves' third baseman and outfielder Hector Olivera has been suspended through Aug. 1 for violations of MLB's domestic violence policy, it was announced on Thursday.
Olivera was arrested on Apr. 13 after allegedly assaulting a woman in suburban Washington D.C. at the Braves' team hotel. The woman, who had visible bruising, called 911 at 6:51 am with the report.
Olivera's suspension, which is retroactive to Apr. 30, will last 82 games.
The 31-year-old signed a six-year, $62.5 million deal with the Dodgers in March 2015 after defecting from Cuba.
He was traded to the Braves in a three-team deal that sent Mat Latos to the Dodgers in late July last year. He received a cup of coffee in the Majors, playing in the first 21 games of his career.
Olivera has a career 108 plate appearances over two seasons, and he has hit .245/.296/.378 with two home runs and 13 RBIs in 30 games. According to FanGraphs, he has been worth -0.2 Wins Above Replacement for his short career.
Olivera becomes the third player to have been disciplined under Major League Baseball's new domestic violence policy. Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman and Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes were each handed suspensions earlier in the year.
The Pittsburgh Pirates announced that they extended catcher Francisco Cervelli on a three-year deal Tuesday.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported that Cervelli's deal will be worth $31 million.
"We are very pleased to be able to reach a joint commitment with a quality player and person like Francisco Cervelli," Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said in a statement. "We look forward to Francisco's abilities, passion and energy making us better through at least the 2019 season."
The 30-year-old Cervelli took over the starting catcher's role in Pittsburgh last season and flourished. In a spot previously held by Russell Martin (who exited for Toronto), Cervelli was worth 3.8 FanGraphs Wins Above Replacement.
His bat was very good. Over 510 plate appearances, Cervelli hit .295/.370/.401 with seven home runs and 43 RBIs. His defense was similarly special, as Cervelli is often ranked amongst the best defensive catchers in the Major Leagues.
This season, Cervelli has gotten off to a solid start as well, hitting .276/.386/.319 with 18 RBIs and a 0.7 fWAR.
In 2014, the Pirates acquired Cervelli from the New York Yankees, the team that signed him as a amateur free agent in 2003. Never a starting catcher, Cervelli was supposed to be good depth for Pittsburgh behind Martin, but has come into his own since.
Cervelli was expected to become a free agent after the 2016 season, but instead will reportedly make $9 million, $10.5 million, and $11.5 million to stay with Pittsburgh.
This offseason's free agent class continues to get even weaker as many of the better players that were going to be on the open market have signed extensions with their current teams. Most notably, this includes Stephen Strasburg, who just recently struck a deal with the Nationals.
As for the Pirates, they are attempting to keep their core intact as long as possible. The team has made the postseason in each of the last three seasons, and they have locked up Andrew McCutchen, Gregory Polanco, Josh Harrison, Starling Marte, and now Cervelli all to long-term contracts to continue their successes into the future.
Braves fire Fredi Gonzalez
The Atlanta Braves fired manager Fredi Gonzalez on Tuesday, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
The team has named Triple-A Gwinnett manager Brian Snitker as their interim manager, according to Mark Bowman of MLB.com. He is expected to remain in that position for the remainder of the season.
Gonzalez had been mentioned to be on the hot seat for some time now though it appeared that the Braves' management may decide to give him more time before making a final decision.
The 52-year-old Gonzalez had been serving as the Braves' manager since the 2011 season.
In that time, he has led the team to success, as the Braves have gone 434-413 in six years under his leadership. They made the playoffs in both 2012 and 2013.
In 2016, however, the Braves are rebuilding for the future. Even still, however, they have played some historically bad baseball, going 9-28 in their first 37 games. That's a 39-win pace over the course of an entire season.
It likely isn't entirely Gonzalez's fault that the Braves have played so poorly this season.
Many key players, including center fielder Ender Inciarte and left fielder Hector Olivera, have missed time due to injury or other personal problems. It can't help that offseason acquisition Erick Aybar is hitting for a .422 OPS, either. Regardless, Gonzalez is the casualty due to the Braves' bad play.
Permanent replacement options are currently unknown, though former Padres manager Bud Black and Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo have been mentioned by some as speculative fits.
The Los Angeles Angels are close to signing free-agent right-handed starter Tim Lincecum to a Major League deal, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported Monday afternoon.
Contract details are currently unknown.
Lincecum was reportedly deciding between three serious suitors. In addition to the Angels, these teams included the White Sox and Giants.
Lincecum held a showcase for teams on May 6. This was done to show that Lincecum was healthy after rehabbing from a hip surgery in 2015. Approximately 20 teams went to scout him.
The soon-to-be 32-year-old Lincecum pitched 76 1/3 innings with the Giants in 2015, posting a 4.13 ERA and a 60 to 38 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 15 starts. The Giants were interested in a reunion with him though only as a relief pitcher.
In Los Angeles, however, Lincecum will get an opportunity to start. The team has dealt with a plethora of injuries to their starting rotation, including the loss of Andrew Heaney and Garrett Richards to UCL injuries.
The team has been forced to turn to Jhoulys Chacin and Nick Tropeano in spite of these injuries. Lincecum, at the very least, will provide depth to a starting rotation that currently has the the fourth-highest expected FIP (xFIP) in the Majors.
Lincecum, at his best, won back-to-back Cy Young awards with the Giants in 2008 and 2009. He was known as one of the best young pitchers in baseball but since 2012 has not been able to pitch to the same excellence.