Take a look at some Major League Baseball News and Notes:
Josh Donaldson Finds New Home With Indians
In a day of several moves around the league, the Cleveland Indians may have made the most impactful. With the August waiver deadline rapidly approaching, the Indians acquired Josh Donaldson from the Toronto Blue Jays. Donaldson, who has been nursing injuries to his shoulder and calf that have kept him out for a good chunk of the season, could be a difference maker for the Indians.
When healthy, he is an All-Star caliber third baseman that would not only lengthen their lineup (think Lindor, Ramirez, Donaldson, Brantley and Encarnacion together), but it will also make them better defensively. If he can prove his health, it may push Jose Ramirez to second base and Jason Kipnis to the outfield.
Again, health is going to be a question mark for the rest of the season for Donaldson, but it was a risk worth taking if you are the Indians. For a team that will likely also see powerhouses like the Red Sox, Yankees and Astros in the postseason, this puts the Indians right in that same conversation.
Brew Crew Makes Trio Of Moves
Many Brewers fans have been upset with GM Daniel Stearn all year due to his lack of acquisitions in the starting rotation. On Friday, he got some help for his rotation, his bullpen, and his bench.
For the rotation, the Brewers acquired lefty Gio Gonzalez from the Washington Nationals. On the season, Gio is 7-11 with a 4.57 ERA, 1.53 WHIP and opponents are hitting .272 against him. In 145.2 innings pitched, he has 126 strikeouts, 70 walks and has allowed 15 home runs. He is no longer a top of the rotation type player, but he does give the Brewers’ rotation a veteran arm that should be able to eat some innings and has the potential to turn in quality starts on a nightly basis.
Xavier Cedeno was also picked up on Friday to help the bullpen. The southpaw was acquired from the White Sox in exchange for a couple of minor leaguers. Cedeno has pitched to a 2-0 record with a 2.84 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and a .204 batting average against. The acquisition will help to solidify a bullpen that has seen a couple of their relievers falter this season. Another perk of the acquisition is that Cedeno will be controlled for one more season beyond this one.
The last of the three acquisitions was that of veteran outfielder Curtis Granderson from the Toronto Blue Jays. Granderson is hitting .245/.342/.430 with a .772 OPS. He has 11 home runs, 34 runs batted in and 48 runs scored in 302 at bats. While his best days are behind him, he should serve as a nice lefty off of the bench that can occasionally make spot starts for the Brewers.
Cutch To Wear The Pinstripes
Andrew McCutchen is going from one coast to the other. On Friday it was announced that the Yankees had acquired McCutchen from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for infielder Abiatal Avelino and righty Juan De Paula.
The veteran McCutchen will give the Yankees another experienced bat in their lineup while also protecting against any concerns of Aaron Judge not being ready come playoffs. On the season, Andrew McCutchen is hitting .255/.357/.415 with a .772 OPS. He has 15 home runs, 55 runs batted in and has scored 65 runs.
He has also added 13 stolen bases in 19 attempts. While his best days might be behind him, the 31-year-old still has a lot to offer. This will be the first time that he will be playing in the American League and his addition makes a Yankees team that has been playing well as of late a little more dangerous.
Other Moves Around The League
In addition to the moves listed above, there were a series of other moves in the major leagues over the last few days. The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired relief pitcher Ryan Madson. The Diamondbacks acquired Chris Stewart. The Cubs signed Jaime Garcia as well as traded for catcher Bobby Wilson. Additionally, the Rockies acquired catcher Drew Butera and the Athletics acquired reliever Cory Gearrin,
Shohei Ohtani To Make First Start After Injury On Sunday
Even though he has served as a designated hitter for the Angels, Shohei Ohtani has not pitched in a game since early June, when he was diagnosed with a grade 2 UCL sprain. Prior to his injury, Ohtani was 4-1 with a 3.10 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and opponents were hitting just .202 against him. In 49.1 innings pitched, he had 61 strikeouts, 20 walks and had allowed 5 home runs. While the Angels will likely monitor his innings and pitch counts closely, it is certainly encouraging for Angels’ fans to see him back on the mound. He will get the Astros in his first start.
Astros Extend A.J. Hinch
The World Series champs have been taking care of their own since winning the World Series. GM Jeff Luhnow signed an extension through the 2023 season, Jose Altuve was signed to a 5 year, $151 million extension and on Thursday, the Astros announced that manager A.J. Hinch was signed to a four-year extension that will get him through the 2022 season.
In his fourth year as the Astros manager, Hinch has never had a losing season with the Astros and last season led them to their first World Series title in franchise history. Seen as a data-driven manager, he and Jeff Luhnow complement each other well, so it is no surprise that Luhnow would want to extend him.
While Hinch had a rough start to his managerial career with the Arizona Diamondbacks, he has proven that he is one of the best over the last few years. Now, the Astros will need to turn their attention to trying to keep their young core together, which includes players like George Springer, Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa, in addition to Altuve.