The Los Angeles Dodgers have acquired right-handed pitcher Bud Norris from the Atlanta Braves, as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported on Thursday.
Per the teams’ announcements, the Dodgers also received Double-A outfielder Dian Toscano and a player to be named later in the deal. In return, the Braves got two minor league pitchers: Double-A righty Caleb Dirks and High-A lefty Phil Pfeifer.
The addition of Norris makes a lot of sense for the Dodgers. Their starting pitching staff has taken a beating this season, with Clayton Kershaw becoming the most recent injury victim, being placed on the 15-day disabled list today due to a back issue.
The 31-year-old Norris signed with the Braves on a one-year, $2.5 million deal this offseason, providing them with some rotation depth. Now, as he’s shipped to Los Angeles, he will do the same, helping to stabilize a Dodgers’ rotation that is currently falling apart.
As the moment, along with Norris, the Dodgers’ rotation consists of Kenta Maeda, Scott Kazmir, Julio Urias and Brock Stewart. Kershaw, Brett Anderson, Brandon McCarthy, Hyun-jin Ryu and Alex Wood are all starting pitchers on the disabled list.
Norris has been a decent member of the Braves’ staff thus far this season.
He’s 3-7 with a 4.22 ERA and a 60 to 28 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 70 ⅓ innings pitched this season. He’s made 22 appearances, 10 of which came as starts. Norris has a 3.84 FIP and a 4.08 xFIP this year. He has been worth 0.8 fWAR.
Norris’ last five starts have been excellent, however. The eight-year MLB vet has a 2.15 ERA and a 29 to 8 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 29 ⅓ innings pitched, leading the Braves to four victories.
The Miami Marlins have acquired right-handed pitcher Fernando Rodney from the San Diego Padres on Thursday, as Keith Law of ESPN.com first reported.
In return for Rodney, the Padres received Chris Paddack, a right-handed pitcher at Class-A Greensboro. The teams have since announced the deal.
The Marlins have been a surprise contender so far this season and are currently 41-37, putting them in place to capture a Wild Card spot if the season ended today. One of their weaknesses, however, has been in the bullpen, and Rodney will help alleviate some of those issues.
Miami’s bullpen includes the likes of A.J. Ramos, David Phelps, and Kyle Barraclough, all of whom have been good this year. Despite their performances, Miami’s bullpen still ranks 10th-worst in the Majors in fWAR, due to the fact that they have a high xFIP.
Rodney, 39, is signed to a one-year, $2 million deal with a team option for 2017. This season, he has been phenomenal in the closer’s role in San Diego.
In 28 ⅔ innings pitched, Rodney has a miniscule 0.31 ERA (1 ER) and an impressive 33 to 12 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He has converted all 17 of his save opportunities.
Rodney’s advanced pitching metrics suggest that he is due for some regression (though it’s hard to sustain a 0.31 ERA) but has still been good nonetheless. Rodney has a 2.32 FIP and a 3.25 xFIP. He also has been worth 0.8 fWAR, putting him 17th in the Majors.
On the Padres’ side of the deal, the addition of Chris Paddack is an interesting one.
The 20-year-old Paddack was an eighth round pick of the Marlins in 2015. This season, he’s been basically unhittable, posting a 0.95 ERA and a 48 to 2 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 28 ⅓ innings pitched at Class-A. He has not allowed a hit in his last three starts, pitching 15 innings (five in each) and posting a 28 to 1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Paddack should help the Padres in their rebuilding efforts, especially if he continues to pitch even close to this as he progresses through the minor leagues.
The Washington Nationals have promoted right-handed starter Lucas Giolito to the Major Leagues, manager Dusty Baker announced Monday afternoon.
Giolito, 21, will make his big league debut Tuesday versus the New York Mets, Baker said.
A need for a starting pitcher arose in Washington when right-hander Stephen Strasburg was placed on the 15-day disabled list due to an upper back strain. He has missed his last two scheduled starts.
Giolito has the opportunity to stick with the Nationals even after Strasburg comes back, however. Baker noted that his role will be taken on a start-to-start basis.
Perhaps the best pitching prospect in the minor leagues, Giolito is currently ranked as the No. 1 overall prospect by MLB.com:
"Giolito has the highest ceiling among Minor League pitchers, boasting an elite fastball that sits mid-to-upper-90s and a 12-to-6 curveball that he throws with power and hard, downer action," according to the website's scouting report.
"His changeup has steadily improved in the past two seasons and his confidence along with it, giving him a legitimate weapon against left-handed hitters."
Giolito has the ability to turn into an ace at the Major League level, but it remains to be seen what type of success he will have coming out of the gate.
Certainly having the talent to pitch at the Major League level, the former 2012 1st round pick has not yet progressed past Double-A and his time there has been anything but spectacular.
In 71 innings with Double-A Harrisburg this season over 14 starts, Giolito is 5-3 with a 3.17 ERA and a 72 to 34 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He has a 3.22 FIP there.
The New York Mets have signed shortstop Jose Reyes to a minor league deal on Saturday, they announced.
The team assigned Reyes to the Brooklyn Cyclones, the team's Short Season Class A affiliate. There, he will not only play shortstop but also fill in at third base and in the outfield.
The Rockies placed Reyes on release waivers on Thursday, making him eligible to become a free agent today.
Reyes was suspended the first 52 games this season due to a domestic violence incident that occurred last offseason while he was in Hawaii. When eligible to return, the Rockies designated him for assignment.
Now, he heads to the Mets, who are struggling offensively due to injuries to major cogs in the batting order.
Third baseman David Wright is in danger of missing the rest of the season due to a herniated disk in his neck. First baseman Lucas Duda is out four-to-six weeks due to a stress fracture in his lower back.
They acquired James Loney to fill the hole at first, and he has played well there so far. But at third, they've been forced to turn mostly Wilmer Flores, who has an 83 OPS+.
Since Wright went on the disabled list on May 28 (retroactively), the Mets are 11-14 and have scored just 3.2 runs per game. Their team OPS of .706 in June is fifth-worst in the Majors and fourth-worst in the National League.
The 33-year-old Reyes has certainly lost a step offensively but may still be a viable option at numerous positions once he appears in the Major Leagues, whenever that may be.
In 519 plate appearances with the Blue Jays and Rockies last season, Reyes hit for a .274/.310/.378 clip with seven home runs, 53 RBI and 24 stolen bases in 116 games. He walked 26 times and had 62 strikeouts.
According to FanGraphs, Reyes was worth 0.5 Wins Above Replacement.
Reyes spent most of his big league career with the Mets, playing there from 2003 to 2011. He hit for a .782 OPS with the team and averaged 57 stolen bases per 162 games. Reyes was also named to four All-Star teams with New York's National League squad.
The Colorado Rockies have placed shortstop Jose Reyes on release waivers Thursday.
Reyes will be on release waivers for 48 hours, and unless he is claimed by a team, he will become an unrestricted free agent on Saturday.
The chances that Reyes will be claimed on waivers are practically zero, as if a team decided to claim him, then they would be forced to pay the rest of his current contract.
Reyes is still owed an approximate $38 million on his contract. He is owed over $11 million through the rest of the season, followed by a $22 million salary in 2017 and a $4 million buyout for a 2018 team option.
The Rockies designated Reyes for assignment on June 15, the day he returned from a 52 game suspension for a domestic violence offense that occurred last offseason.
The 33-year-old Reyes has already been on a decline performance-wise during the past few years.
In 2015, Reyes hit for just a .274/.310/.378 clip with seven home runs, 53 RBI, and 24 stolen bases in 519 plate appearances for the Toronto Blue Jays and the Rockies. He was worth 0.5 fWAR.
When he was younger, Reyes was a perennial All-Star with the New York Mets, with his best season coming in 2011. Reyes led the league in batting average with a .337/.384/.493 line in 586 plate appearances, adding 39 stolen bases.
The Mets may be interested in a reunion with Reyes, as their offense has faltered over the past few weeks. The team has the seventh-worst on-base percentage in the Majors, as well an OPS that ranks in the bottom third.
They must weigh a PR decision, however, as Reyes does come with the domestic violence incident attached to his name.
When Reyes signs with another team, whomever that may be, it will likely be for the league minimum (if it is a Major League deal). He will still be paid his large salary by the Rockies.