The previous week in MLB was about a third baseman switching leagues, a reliever suffering an injury and a starting pitcher could be dealt.
Giants Acquire Evan Longoria from Rays
The San Francisco Giants have been seeking to add a bat this offseason, and they’ve made an upgrade to their lineup.
The team has acquired three-time All-Star third baseman Evan Longoria and cash considerations from the Tampa Bay Rays. The Giants sent infielder Christian Arroyo, outfielder Denard Span, Stephen Woods and Matt Krook to complete the deal, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) December 20, 2017
The Rays typically have one of the lowest payrolls in MLB, and it made sense that Longoria would eventually be traded. The third baseman is set to make $81 million over the next five years with a club option for the 2023 season worth $13 million.
The third baseman had a solid season for the Rays in 2017 as he posted a .261 batting average and .737 OPS with 20 home runs and 86 RBIs. This marked the fifth straight year that he crushed at least 20 homers.
Longoria will be an upgrade for the Giants at the position. San Francisco third baseman hit a combined .216 last year.
He isn’t the MVP-type player he was earlier in his career, but can still provide plenty of value to the Giants with his glove and bat.
Orioles Closer Zach Britton Out Six Months with Ruptured Achilles
The Baltimore Orioles will be without a critical piece of their bullpen for much of the 2018 campaign as reliever Zach Britton has ruptured his Achilles.
The injury occurred while Britton was working out and he’s expected to be sidelined for six months, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
BREAKING: Orioles closer Zach Britton ruptured his Achilles yesterday working out in California. Expected to be out at least six months.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 20, 2017
Britton had multiple visits to the disabled list in 2017, which limited his availability as he appeared in just 38 games and posted a 2.89 ERA in 37.1 innings with 15 saves.
The Orioles could split the duty of closer between Brad Brach and Darren O’Day. Brach was their closer last year when Britton was injured and O’Day can also close as well.
The loss of Britton will hurt the Orioles as it could force the bullpen to throw more innings. The team finished last in the American League East in 2017 due to a starting rotation that was last in the Majors with a 5.70 ERA.
Yankees And Pirates Still Talking Gerrit Cole
The New York Yankees would like to add another arm to their rotation, and they’re still in discussions with the Pittsburgh Pirates about acquiring starter Gerrit Cole, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Sources: The New York Yankees are working on a deal to acquire starting pitcher Gerrit Cole from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Sides are talking, and while a final package has not come together, there is confidence. “A matter of when rather than if,” one source said.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 22, 2017
Passan also mentioned that the Pirates are highly motivated to move Cole even if a deal with the Yankees doesn’t happen.
The Yankees at this point are the likeliest destination for Gerrit Cole, but if that falls through, sources believe Pittsburgh is highly motivated to trade him. Likelihood Cole moves is very strong.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 22, 2017
Cole is under team control for three more years, and the Pirates could get a package of talented players for him.
This would accelerate a rebuild for a team that has missed the postseason in each of the last two seasons after making it three straight years, and they’re in a very competitive NL Central.
The Pirates probably won’t re-sign Cole to a long-term deal, and it makes sense to deal the right-hander while his value is still high.
He posted a 4.26 ERA in 203 innings (33 starts) last year with 196 strikeouts, 55 walks issued and a 4.08 FIP. It marked the second time in three years that he tossed at least 200 innings and fanned more than 195 batters.
Cole was an All-Star in 2015 and still has the potential to lead a rotation.
- Chris is a 25-year old New Jersey native whose favorite sports team is the Arizona Diamondbacks. He previously attended Western New England College to study Sports Management. Chris has been following the Diamondbacks since he was 12. You can find him on Twitter [email protected]
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