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Oakland decided to take a small chance on a fading more star pitcher
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- While this news would have been more exciting a few years ago, the Athletics made a move to bolster their pitching depth as they signed Matt Harvey to a minor league deal. Harvey’s fall from grace has been pretty dramatic going from a potential ace for the Mets to getting unceremoniously booted from there to struggling to stay in the league at all.
- With their whole team struggling as of late (but the offense apparently being the area that management felt most needed a wakeup call), the Phillies fired hitting coach John Mallee and replaced him with (gasp) 75-year-old Charlie Manuel, who led them to a World Series victory as manager in 2008 and served as the team’s skipper for a total of nine years. The Phils will hope that plugging a senior citizen into a coaching role at midseason gives them as much of a spark as it did for the division rival Mets, who are 28-19 since appointing 82-year-old Phil Regan interim pitching coach on June 20.
- After a tenure with the Diamondbacks that started well but took a very rough turn — and culminated with his release — Greg Holland is headed back to the Nationals, the same team that helped resurrect his career over the final two months of last season.
- Less panic, more Panik: the Mets have signed Joe Panik to a 1-year major league deal. Panik had a rough first half of the season in the Bay, slashing .235/.310/.317 with only three homers. Now back in his home state and earning the league minimum for the year, Panik can, very much like the Mets, turn this show around.
- The Cubs have been dealing with some depth issues at catcher of late thanks to an injury to Willson Contreras, but they did get a bit of a reprieve last week when they signed Jonathan Lucroy. This move is one that likely would have been more exciting when Lucroy was playing All-Star level baseball, but for a late season addition…the Cubs could do far worse that Lucroy.
- While Tim Beckham certainly isn’t a bust in the same way that guys like Mark Appel and Brien Taylor have been, he hasn’t lived up to expectations as a former No. 1 overall pick, either. The 29-year-old Mariners infielder added another chapter to his complicated legacy last week when he received an 80-game suspension, effectively ending his 2019 season and potentially his major-league career.
- The Cubs got a twin bill of bad news last week. First, they found out that they are going to be without catcher Willson Contreras for the better part of a month due to a hamstring injury. Then, it was announced that the struggling Craig Kimbrel was also going to have to have a stint on the IL due to inflammation in his knee. It wasn’t fun times in Chi-Town.
- The Nationals have had some injuries of their own in their infield with Ryan Zimmerman and Howie Kendrick on the mend. To shore up their infield a bit, they went out and signed Asdrubal Cabrera to a major league deal through the end of the season.
- Due to make $25M but only see $15M of that due to deferment (ah yes, the best friend of major league baseball owners) Nationals’ pitcher Stephen Strasburg has a big decision this offseason. Will he exercise his 2020 option?
- The Pirates and Reds got into quite the skirmish last week after Keone Kela threw at Derek Dietrich on purpose, followed by Amir Garrett choosing to charge the entire Pirates dugout. The fallout from the ensuing brawl was that six players and both managers were given suspensions from Major League Baseball. Lots of appeals have already been filed.
- The Astros got the biggest deal done at the trade deadline and it took RIGHT up until the deadline to complete as they added Zack Greinke to their already strong rotation by sending several highly regarded prospects to Arizona.
- The Giants got their own last-minute deal done as they were able snag Scooter Gennett from the Reds for just cash considerations. Gennett is not having anywhere close to the season he had last year when he was named an All-Star, but the Giants are likely hoping that he can find that form again and help them remain competitive in the NL Wild Card race.
- The Cubs made a splash at the deadline as well as they were able to grab Nick Castellanos from the Tigers. The Tigers could have cashed in on trading Castellanos before the season started after he had a really strong season in 2018, but instead they opted to wait until the trade deadline and a tough market combined with a less than optimal season really hurt the return they ended up receiving.
- The Braves made several moves to remake their bullpen at the trade deadline with the biggest move being the one that yielded Shane Greene from the Tigers. Given all of the posturing that the Tigers wanted a top prospect in order to part with Greene, it was a bit surprising that the Braves didn’t have to move any of their top 10 prospects or so to get him. We think Braves fans don’t mind that development very much.