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MLB News And Notes for April 4

With the regular season set to kick off this Thursday, teams will be leaving their respective spring training sites as they embark on wherever they are set to play on Opening Day.

Even though spring training is coming to a close, though doesn’t mean that general managers aren’t still trying to improve their teams. This has been evident by a flurry of deals over the last couple of days. Let’s take a look at those and other big stories from the week around MLB.

Padres Bolster Starting Rotation

On Sunday, the San Diego Padres continued to improve their club as they acquired starting pitcher Sean Manaea from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for prospects Erubiel Angeles and Adrian Martinez. San Diego is also receiving minor league pitcher Aaron Holiday in the deal.

On the last year of his current deal, Manaea will be making just under $10 million this season, but he now adds to a rotation that has an incredible amount of depth, including Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove, Mike Clevinger, Blake Snell, Nick Martinez, Chris Paddack and a handful of top prospects as well.

Last season, with Oakland, the 30-year-old Manaea went 11-10 with a 3.91 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and 194 strikeouts in 179.1 innings pitched.

It will be interesting to see what happens with the Padres’ depth now.

They were rumored to be dealing Paddack, along with Eric Hosmer and Emilio Pagan, to the Mets for Dominic Smith on Saturday, but those negotiations apparently hit a snag. It will be interesting to see if the additional depth helps to get those talks going again.

Furthermore, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that Clevinger will likely start the season on the injured list as he returns from Tommy John surgery.

Still having to contend with the Dodgers in the NL West, the Padres have the second-best odds of winning the division at +350. They are +1700 to win the World Series.

For Oakland, a fire sale, which has included Manaea, Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Chris Bassitt, and others, now has the team payroll at one of the lowest in the majors, falling under $35 million.

Yankees Make A Pair Of Deals

The Padres aren’t the only ones wheeling and dealing, as general manager Brian Cashman and the New York Yankees have made a couple of deals over the weekend.

On Saturday, the Yankees bolstered their catcher position by trading pitchers Albert Abreu and Robby Ahlstrom to the Texas Rangers for Jose Trevino.

Trevino is seen as a defense-first catcher that will be used with Ben Rortvedt and Kyle Higashioka behind the plate for New York. The focus for the Yankees has obviously been on defense since training Gary Sanchez to the Twins earlier in the offseason.

On Sunday, the Yankees made a rare deal with the cross-town Mets by sending left-handed reliever Joely Rodriguez in exchange for infielder Miguel Castro. While Castro seems like more of a depth piece for the Yankees, Rodriguez will provide the Mets’ bullpen with a much-needed lefty.

Guardians Sign Closer Long-Term

On Saturday, Mike Rodriguez of Univision reported that the Cleveland Guardians signed their closer Emmanuel Clase to a five-year extension worth $20 million.

In addition to the guaranteed contract, there are two option years for 2027 and 2028 (Clase’s first two years of free agency) worth $10 million each.

Last season, with Cleveland, Clase went 4-5 with 24 saves and a 1.29 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, and had 74 strikeouts in 69.2 innings.

Unfortunately for Cleveland fans, the team did not make a whole lot of moves this offseason and have just the fourth-best odds of winning the AL Central at +1500. They are +7500 to win the World Series.

Angels Part With Justin Upton

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, despite still owing him $28 million for the upcoming season, the Los Angeles Angels have decided to part ways with outfielder Justin Upton by designating him for assignment.

The 34-year-old struggled last season. In 318 at bats, he hit just .211/.296/.409 with 17 home runs, 41 runs batted in, and 47 runs scored. He has also become a bit of a liability in the field.

Still, he fared a bit better against lefties, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see a team take a flyer on him after he clears waivers as a potential designated hitter.

For the Angels, they will turn to Mike Trout, Jo Adell, and Brandon Marsh to fill their outfield vacancies.

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