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Angels acquire RHP Despaigne from Marlins

MLB.com

SAN DIEGO -- Starved for pitching depth, the Angels acquired right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne from the Marlins on Tuesday night in exchange for cash considerations. Right-hander Dayan Diaz was designated for assignment to clear a spot for Despaigne on the 40-man roster.

Manager Mike Scioscia said Despaigne will be used as a starter and help fill the holes in the rotation that were created by the injuries to Nick Tropeano and Tyler Skaggs. Despaigne is expected to join the Angels in the next couple days and is an option to start Thursday or Friday at Texas.

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SAN DIEGO -- Starved for pitching depth, the Angels acquired right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne from the Marlins on Tuesday night in exchange for cash considerations. Right-hander Dayan Diaz was designated for assignment to clear a spot for Despaigne on the 40-man roster.

Manager Mike Scioscia said Despaigne will be used as a starter and help fill the holes in the rotation that were created by the injuries to Nick Tropeano and Tyler Skaggs. Despaigne is expected to join the Angels in the next couple days and is an option to start Thursday or Friday at Texas.

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"He's definitely going to help us in our rotation," Scioscia said. "We're trying to patchwork a lot of stuff and adapt to what we have to do on the pitching side. He'll help us do that."

Despaigne, 31, logged a 5.31 ERA over 20 1/3 innings in 11 appearances for the Marlins this season. He opened the season in Miami's rotation but made only one start before being moved to the bullpen. Despaigne spent a month on the disabled list with a right forearm strain earlier this season and has not pitched in the Majors since May 31.

Despaigne was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on June 7 and posted a 4.36 ERA with 40 strikeouts over 43 1/3 innings in 13 games, including four starts. A native of La Habana, Cuba, Despaigne played for the Havana Industriales of the Serie Nacional for eight seasons before defecting and signing a Minor League deal with the Padres on May 2, 2014. He has a 4.76 ERA in 98 career Major League games with the Padres, Orioles and Marlins.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Los Angeles Angels, Odrisamer Despaigne

Cano goes 1-for-4 in return from suspension

MLB.com

OAKLAND -- As Robinson Cano met with the media three hours before game time on Tuesday after rejoining his ballclub following an 80-game suspension, a line of teammates formed at the back of the room to support the eight-time All-Star.

Cano returning to the Mariners is a big deal and anybody wondering about the reaction of his team needed only to see Nelson Cruz, Jean Segura, Dee Gordon, Ryon Healy, Mike Zunino, Denard Span, Cameron Maybin and Andrew Romine lined shoulder to shoulder in the interview room at Oakland Coliseum.

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OAKLAND -- As Robinson Cano met with the media three hours before game time on Tuesday after rejoining his ballclub following an 80-game suspension, a line of teammates formed at the back of the room to support the eight-time All-Star.

Cano returning to the Mariners is a big deal and anybody wondering about the reaction of his team needed only to see Nelson Cruz, Jean Segura, Dee Gordon, Ryon Healy, Mike Zunino, Denard Span, Cameron Maybin and Andrew Romine lined shoulder to shoulder in the interview room at Oakland Coliseum.

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"It means a lot to me," said Cano, who went 1-for-4 in the Mariners' 3-2 loss to the A's. "It's always meant a lot to see the way teammates support. I really appreciate this. I didn't expect this, but thank you guys."

While the pitchers were in a meeting, most of the club's position players -- including several who could be losing playing time or need to move positions in order to accommodate Cano's return -- made sure he knew they were there.

"We just wanted to show him that we all make mistakes, myself included, but you're not here alone," said Gordon, who served a similar suspension himself in 2016 while with the Marlins. "Because those 80 days are really, really dark and a long time. They seem like they're never going to end."

But Cano's suspension ended Tuesday and he was back in the lineup, albeit at first base in place of Healy now that Gordon became entrenched at second base during Cano's absence. Cano also was batting second instead of his normal third, as the club has hit well in the five games since moving Mitch Haniger to a leadoff role and putting Segura third.

"It's good with me," Cano said of the changes. "It's not about myself. It's about the team and helping the team keep winning games and make it to the playoffs. I'll go out and do my best. No matter where they need me, I'll be ready for it."

The Mariners optioned right-handed reliever Casey Lawrence to Triple-A Tacoma to open a spot for Cano and right-handed reliever Sam Tuivailala was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to open a spot on the 40-man roster. Tuivailala is facing surgery to repair a right Achilles tendon injury and will be out for the remainder of the season.

Cano will split time at first base with Healy over the final seven weeks of the regular season, and he could be used to occasionally give third baseman Kyle Seager and designated hitter Cruz a day off. Cano is not eligible to play in the postseason, per MLB's rules on positive drug tests.

The 35-year-old played two games at first base, one at second, one at third and one at DH during five Minor League contests last week with Tacoma and Class A Short-Season Everett while batting .389 (7-for-18) with one double, two home runs and six RBIs.

The Mariners were 23-17 when Cano was suspended in mid-May and went 46-34 during his absence, the same winning percentage in twice as many games. Seattle sits 2 1/2 games back of the A's in the chase for the American League's second Wild Card spot. "I have to give the guys a lot of credit," Cano said. "They've played great. That was my goal, to be ready when I got back to be able to contribute and help this team win. We're all on the same page from the beginning of Spring Training. We want to make the playoffs. Knowing I'm not going to play, but I want to help the team make the playoffs."

Prior to his suspension, Cano appeared in 39 games this season, batting .287 with 24 runs, 10 doubles, four home runs, 23 RBIs and a team-leading .385 on-base percentage. Since making his Major League debut on May 3, 2005, with the Yankees, he has appeared in 2,037 games, the second most of any player in that span.

Cano has five years remaining on the 10-year, $240 million contract he signed with Seattle after nine seasons with the Yankees. He said he's not going to worry about negative fan reaction or anything else besides what happens on the field, drawing on his experience from going back to New York after he signed with Seattle.

"That is something that won't bother me," he said. "They have the right to say whatever they want. It's on me to not focus on them and get my mind away from the game. My goal is the team and helping to win games, not focus on people are saying, regardless, even before this."

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners, Robinson Cano

Royals tab Lopez to start, send Smith to 'pen

MLB.com

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals announced after Tuesday night's 6-5 loss to the Blue Jays that right-hander Jorge Lopez would be recalled from Triple-A Omaha and start Wednesday's game at Kauffman Stadium.

Lopez, 25, was acquired along with outfielder Brett Phillips from the Brewers in the Mike Moustakas deal before the non-waiver Trade Deadline.

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KANSAS CITY -- The Royals announced after Tuesday night's 6-5 loss to the Blue Jays that right-hander Jorge Lopez would be recalled from Triple-A Omaha and start Wednesday's game at Kauffman Stadium.

Lopez, 25, was acquired along with outfielder Brett Phillips from the Brewers in the Mike Moustakas deal before the non-waiver Trade Deadline.

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Royals manager Ned Yost said a corresponding move to make room for Lopez on the 25-man roster would be made before Wednesday's game against the Blue Jays.

Lopez posted a 5.26 ERA in 26 outings at Triple-A this year between the Royals' and Brewers' organizations. In Lopez's last outing with Omaha, he threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings while giving up three hits and striking out seven against Salt Lake City.

"We got six weeks left [to the season]," Yost said. "He made a start the other day that was as good as he's had down there. We've got six weeks left and we want to look at him."

Right-hander Burch Smith, who had been in the rotation and was scheduled to start on Wednesday, will move back to the bullpen.

"I told Burch over the weekend that he was going back to the bullpen," Yost said. "He's been preparing for that. Tonight was his first night in the 'pen."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Kansas City Royals, Jorge Lopez, Burch Smith

Rays get Bucs' No. 4 prospect to cap Archer deal

MLB.com

NEW YORK -- The final piece of the Chris Archer trade with the Pirates came into focus on Tuesday, when Pittsburgh sent right-hander Shane Baz, its No. 4 prospect, to Tampa Bay as the player to be named in the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline deal.

That unnamed player was expected to be one of consequence, and Baz certainly fits that bill. The 19-year-old from Texas was the Pirates' first-round Draft pick in 2017 (12th overall selection), and he signed above slot value for $4.1 million.

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NEW YORK -- The final piece of the Chris Archer trade with the Pirates came into focus on Tuesday, when Pittsburgh sent right-hander Shane Baz, its No. 4 prospect, to Tampa Bay as the player to be named in the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline deal.

That unnamed player was expected to be one of consequence, and Baz certainly fits that bill. The 19-year-old from Texas was the Pirates' first-round Draft pick in 2017 (12th overall selection), and he signed above slot value for $4.1 million.

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"I know we're excited to get him," manager Kevin Cash said. "He's a really high-end prospect. Twelfth overall pick. Very powerful right-handed kid. There's probably going to be some time before we see him, but to put a kid like that into our system ... I know he's a guy that during the Draft, we talked a lot about. We were happy with who we picked at four, but we were disappointed we didn't get the opportunity, and now with that trade, we have him."

Video: Top Prospects: Shane Baz, RHP, Rays

Baz, ranked No. 95 among all prospects by MLB Pipeline, projects as a top-of-the-rotation arm, with fastball velocity that touches 98 mph and sits between 92-96 to go with a plus cutter that scouting reports suggest can be turned into a true slider. He also spins a unique curveball, giving him an elite multi-pitch arsenal that not many his age possess.

Baz went 4-3 with a 3.97 ERA and 54 strikeouts over 10 starts (45 1/3 innings) this year for the Bristol Pirates, a Rookie-level affiliate. He made 10 starts for the Gulf Coast League Pirates last year, going 0-3 with a 3.80 ERA. He has 73 strikeouts in 69 pro innings and was named the Appalachian League Pitcher of the Week on Monday after recording back-to-back scoreless outings for the first time this season.

Breaking down Archer trade with final piece set

In total, the Pirates sent Baz, outfielder Austin Meadows and right-hander Tyler Glasnow -- each of whom is expected to play a significant Major League role in the coming years -- in exchange for Archer, who has made two starts for the Pirates and is scheduled to start on Wednesday. Meadows was Pittsburgh's first-round pick in 2013, and Glasnow was taken in the fifth round in 2011.

Glasnow, who was moved to the Pirates' bullpen earlier this year, has returned to the rotation for the Rays, filling in behind All-Star Blake Snell and Jake Faria. Glasnow has made three starts for Tampa Bay, giving up three earned runs while holding opposing hitters to a .150/.209/.325 slash line in 12 innings. He topped out at 99.7 mph and averaged 97.1 mph in his most recent start, on Sunday in Toronto.

Video: TB@TOR: Glasnow sharp against Toronto in no-decision

Meadows, who had been up and down between the Pirates and the Minors, was assigned to Triple-A Durham the day following the trade. He's hitting .333/.372/.718 with three homers in 42 plate appearances over 11 games for Durham.

"I think it's a pretty good haul," Faria said. "I wouldn't have expected anything less. Trading a guy like Arch, you expect to get a pretty good haul.

"But we got two big league-ready guys, and one guy who was a first-rounder last year. Seems like a pretty big guy. I mean, Twitter fell apart as soon as his name was announced. Looks like a really good return on our part."

Worth noting

• Right-hander Chaz Roe is back with the team after being activated from the 10-day disabled list (torn left meniscus). Roe made two appearances during a rehab assignment for Class A Charlotte, retiring all six batters he faced.

Cash noted that having Roe back means "a lot" to the team.

"We've asked Chaz, basically ever since he got here last year, we've challenged him with getting some big outs," Cash said. "Late in the ballgame, a lot of big outs with right-handed hitters. The knee thing popped up. He tried to pitch through it. Went and got that procedure done.

"He's in a much better spot physically, and probably mentally, knowing he can go out there and perform pain-free. He'll add to some of that veteran leadership. Kind of complement Sergio [Romo] and continue to get big outs for us."

Roe told reporters he's back to full speed and that he has no restraints in regard to what he can and can't do in games.

• Outfielder Tommy Pham (10-day DL, fractured right foot) is with the team in New York as he continues to progress.

"Tommy's doing well," said Cash of Pham, whom the Rays acquired from St. Louis for three prospects on July 31, and who will begin a rehab assignment at Class A Short-Season Hudson Valley. "It's not the easiest thing to come here, then go on the DL and be away from the team for 10 days.

"There's no urgency [for him to return]. We want to make sure he's 100 percent healthy. I know he's going in the right direction. But when you fracture a bone, it takes some time to heal."

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Tampa Bay Rays

Dozier 'healthy like an ox' after allergy med scare

Special to MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- Brian Dozier balled his right hand Tuesday afternoon and pounded on his blue T-shirt with the caricatures of teammates Chase Utley and Enrique Hernandez.

"Heathy like an ox," he said, one day after he was sent to the hospital for an electrocardiogram to test his heart.

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LOS ANGELES -- Brian Dozier balled his right hand Tuesday afternoon and pounded on his blue T-shirt with the caricatures of teammates Chase Utley and Enrique Hernandez.

"Heathy like an ox," he said, one day after he was sent to the hospital for an electrocardiogram to test his heart.

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Dozier was pulled from Monday night's game because of dizziness and protocol called for an EKG test just to be sure. When that showed "irregularities," as manager Dave Roberts called them, further tests were required.

After tests late Monday and early Tuesday, Dozier was given a clean bill of health and he was back at second base and in the leadoff spot Tuesday against the San Francisco Giants.

"Coming from Colorado, I had a lot of sinus issues and sickness feeling and stuff so I took a Zyrtec before the game [Monday] which I don't take any kind of stimulant, any ups, coffee, I don't take any of that stuff," Dozier said. "And apparently that has a little bit in it, which eventually caught up to me in the sixth or seventh inning."

The Dodgers' concerns were heightened since closer Kenley Jansen just went on the disabled list with an irregular heartbeat. It is a condition Dozier knows as well, and it led to some concerns Monday night.

"I've always had an irregular heartbeat like a lot of people do," Dozier said. "And I think that kind of popped up and the protocol with all the dizziness with that, just get more tests done."

Dozier said he never felt any issues related to his heart, just the dizziness. He said his wife took it all in stride.

"My wife, she was great," Dozier said. "She came to the test and took a nap when I was in there. And when I was in there for the tests today, she was at Target shopping, so she was great."

Roberts had no hesitation putting Dozier back in the lineup. His new second baseman is batting .282 with a .590 slugging percentage since joining the Dodgers, crushing three home runs, including one in Colorado over the weekend.

"He is totally cleared and he feels great today and is obviously in the lineup tonight," Roberts said. "He's fine."

Wood returns
The Dodgers activated Alex Wood from the 10-day disabled list before his start Tuesday and put right-hander John Axford on the DL. The Dodgers learned Monday that Axford had a fracture on the tip of his right fibula.

After dealing with leg cramps earlier in the season, Wood went on the DL two weeks ago with left adductor tendonitis. In 17 2/3 innings since the All-Star break, Wood was 2-1 with a 1.53 ERA.

Urias, Hudson progressing
Dodgers left-hander Julio Urias will pitch two innings at Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga on Wednesday, plus one batter in the third inning. The extra batter is to get Urias up-and-down one more time.

Urias, who has not pitched for the Dodgers this season after undergoing left shoulder surgery, is expected to give the Dodgers bullpen depth down the stretch, likely when rosters expand in September.

Right-hander Daniel Hudson (right forearm tightness) participated in a simulated game Monday afternoon facing left-handed batters Utley and Max Muncy. Hudson is eligible to come off the DL on Saturday.

Doug Padilla is a contributor to MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Dodgers, John Axford, Brian Dozier

Bucs send Baz to Rays to cap Archer deal

Right-hander was Pirates' No. 4 prospect
MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS -- General manager Neal Huntington said on July 31 that the Pirates agreed to send a "significant" prospect to the Rays to complete their trade for Chris Archer, and his words proved to be true on Tuesday.

The Pirates completed their blockbuster trade for Archer by sending right-hander Shane Baz, their No. 4 prospect, to the Rays. Baz, a 19-year-old right-hander from Texas, was the Pirates' first-round Draft pick (12th overall) last year and signed for $4.1 million. He was ranked by MLB Pipeline as the No. 95 prospect in baseball.

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MINNEAPOLIS -- General manager Neal Huntington said on July 31 that the Pirates agreed to send a "significant" prospect to the Rays to complete their trade for Chris Archer, and his words proved to be true on Tuesday.

The Pirates completed their blockbuster trade for Archer by sending right-hander Shane Baz, their No. 4 prospect, to the Rays. Baz, a 19-year-old right-hander from Texas, was the Pirates' first-round Draft pick (12th overall) last year and signed for $4.1 million. He was ranked by MLB Pipeline as the No. 95 prospect in baseball.

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The Pirates gave up Baz along with outfielder Austin Meadows and right-hander Tyler Glasnow, but they felt that was the cost necessary to acquire a proven starter with top-of-the-rotation stuff like Archer.

"We're excited to have Archer, and we knew that Archer's price tag was going to be high," manager Clint Hurdle said on Tuesday. "We wish [Baz] nothing but good things. I hope it turns out to be a great trade for both sides. The other hard part is not every Minor League prospect ever pans out to be a great Major League pitcher. You just don't know. We love the kid. We love the development, the progress, the track that he was on -- just as we did with Glasnow, just as we did with Meadows."

Baz was 4-3 with a 3.97 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 45 1/3 innings over 10 starts this season for Rookie-level Bristol. His last two starts, both made since the Trade Deadline deal, were perhaps the best of his young career. Baz pitched 9 2/3 scoreless innings while striking out 12 batters over his last two outings to earn Appalachian League Pitcher of the Week honors.

"It's all part of organizational development and success," Hurdle said. "There's only two types of currency in today's game to go get players that you don't have and you're not raising: you either buy them, or you trade for them. This was the option that we were able to choose."

Video: Top Prospects: Shane Baz, RHP, Pirates

Baz may one day develop into a top-of-the-rotation starter, as scouts have projected after seeing him throw a fastball that touches 98 mph, a plus cutter and a curveball. But he is years away from the Majors, and while the Pirates aren't all-in on this season, they are confident in their current core. That group now includes Archer, who is under contract next season with club options for 2020 and '21.

Still, it was an unexpectedly aggressive move by Pirates general manager Neal Huntington. Glasnow and Meadows will be under club control for several more years, and both were once ranked among the game's top prospects. Meadows showed flashes of his potential during his first few weeks in the Majors this season, and Glasnow has harnessed his overpowering arsenal during his first three starts with the Rays.

"We believe in this team," Pirates president Frank Coonelly said at the time of the trade. "We believe in the young core that's here, the young core that will be here for several years as we move forward and the wave that's right behind them that we believe in. We wouldn't have paid the steep price that we paid today in terms of Major League players and prospects for a player who was here for two months. But we were able to bring in somebody who we believe can help push us forward this year and then help us in '19, '20 and '21. That was important."

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Swihart off DL; Kinsler close to returning

MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- Not only are the Red Sox in possession of a commanding lead in the American League East, but they are getting healthier.

Backup catcher/utility man Blake Swihart (right hamstring strain) was activated from the disabled list prior to Tuesday's game. And starting second baseman Ian Kinsler, who had the same injury but to the left hamstring, could return as early as Wednesday.

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PHILADELPHIA -- Not only are the Red Sox in possession of a commanding lead in the American League East, but they are getting healthier.

Backup catcher/utility man Blake Swihart (right hamstring strain) was activated from the disabled list prior to Tuesday's game. And starting second baseman Ian Kinsler, who had the same injury but to the left hamstring, could return as early as Wednesday.

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"He feels that he's close to being 100 percent, so there might be a chance he might be back tomorrow or Friday," said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. "We feel very good where he's at. He had good workouts in Lowell and I'm happy he's around us again."

The Red Sox decided not to have Kinsler go on a Minor League rehab assignment. Instead, he will face lefty Eduardo Rodriguez in a simulated game in Philadelphia on Wednesday and the Red Sox will make their decision from there.

To make room for Swihart on the roster, the Red Sox designated catcher Dan Butler for assignment.

When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster, and 25-man roster if he was on that as well. Within seven days of the transaction (it was previously 10 days), the player must either be traded, released or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.

When Kinsler returns, Boston's infield depth will be greatly improved.

"We'll mix it up," said Cora. "Obviously Brock [Holt] can play short, Ian we have to take care of him, too. Same way with [Rafael Devers]. They're coming back from hamstring injuries, so we'll make it work. Brock can play first, too, and he can play the outfield, so we'll be fine. We'll find a way [to keep everyone involved]."

Set to Sale on Sunday

Ace Chris Sale, who returned from the disabled list with a dominant effort in Baltimore (68 pitches, 12 strikeouts, no earned runs in five innings) will make his next start on six days of rest with the Red Sox having two off-days this week. Brian Johnson will open the homestand against the Rays on Friday, followed by David Price on Saturday and Sale on Sunday.

Video: BOS@BAL: Sale fans 12 over 5 frames in return from DL

"I actually found out about the 12 strikeouts when we were on our way to [Philadelphia]," Cora said. "I was like, 'Wow. He struck out 12 on 68 pitches? That's almost impossible.' His fastball was good. His breaking ball was good. He seems effortless again."

Sale's next two starts will both be against the Rays. He will miss the four-game showdown against the Indians at Fenway Park next week.

J.D. gets both games in Philly

Without the designated hitter for this two-game series in Philadelphia, star slugger J.D. Martinez is starting both games in right field. Jackie Bradley Jr. got a rest on Tuesday, with Mookie Betts playing center. On Wednesday, Betts will get a rare break, which comes prior to a team off-day on Thursday.

One of Cora's goals down the stretch is to keep everyone as fresh as possible.

Insights from TLR

One thing Cora has enjoyed in his first season as a manager is the unique opportunity to tap into the insights of Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa, who is in his first season as a special advisor to Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski. La Russa is around the team the majority of the time. The way Cora looks at it, the more the better.

"We talk a lot," Cora said. "I enjoy having dinner with him. That's pretty cool. He feels a little bit awkward to be in the clubhouse or be at batting practice, and I'm the other way around, man. Like, 'Come down. You won a lot of games.' I think guys enjoy his company, his stories and he's connected to the game."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Dan Butler, Ian Kinsler, Blake Swihart

After thriving at Triple-A, Neris recalled

MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- In part to add an extra reliever for their two-game set against the slugging Red Sox, in part because they believe their former closer has returned to form, the Phillies added a familiar face to their bullpen Tuesday. The club recalled right-hander Hector Neris and optioned infielder J.P. Crawford to Triple-A Lehigh Valley in a corresponding move.

Neris opened the season as the Phillies' closer, but he lost his job after posting a 7.71 ERA over a nine-appearance stretch in May. He was demoted after allowing three home runs in a 17-7 loss to the Nationals on June 29, lugging a 6.90 ERA with him. But the 29-year-old excelled at Triple-A, pitching to a 1.75 ERA across 19 appearances for the IronPigs.

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PHILADELPHIA -- In part to add an extra reliever for their two-game set against the slugging Red Sox, in part because they believe their former closer has returned to form, the Phillies added a familiar face to their bullpen Tuesday. The club recalled right-hander Hector Neris and optioned infielder J.P. Crawford to Triple-A Lehigh Valley in a corresponding move.

Neris opened the season as the Phillies' closer, but he lost his job after posting a 7.71 ERA over a nine-appearance stretch in May. He was demoted after allowing three home runs in a 17-7 loss to the Nationals on June 29, lugging a 6.90 ERA with him. But the 29-year-old excelled at Triple-A, pitching to a 1.75 ERA across 19 appearances for the IronPigs.

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"We will use him in important situations going forward," Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. "The reports were outstanding. The swing and misses have been significant. The walk rates have been low. He's been attacking with his fastball more in the zone. The numbers say he's ready to step into big situations for us again."

Neris said the adjustments he made at Lehigh Valley were more mental than physical, though he said his signature split-fingered fastball regained its effectiveness.

"[Down there], they told me not to think too much, keep the tempo, keep everything fluid," Neris said. "'Who is the hitter? What's the sign? Now throw the pitch you want to throw.'"

Neris gives the Phillies a nine-man bullpen, swelling a unit that's excelled in recent weeks. Philadelphia has the Majors' top bullpen ERA (2.73) since the start of July. Promoting the right-hander also offered the club the chance to alleviate a roster logjam on the position player side. With newly acquired Justin Bour set to receive most of the left-handed pinch-hitting chances, few opportunities figured to exist for Crawford, who'd been a non-factor since recovering from a broken left hand.

Crawford did not appear in any of the Phillies' three games since he was activated from the disabled list Friday. The 23-year-old rookie was hitting .194/.312/.333 across 34 games when he was injured in late June. Kapler cited that missed time as a determining factor in the decision to demote Crawford instead of Scott Kingery, who is hitting .223/.266/.321.

Essentially, the club decided there was more value in carrying an extra bullpen arm than two utility players in the short-term.

"Kingery has had an incredible amount of development time at the Major League level this season … where as J.P. has missed some development time," Kapler said. "For J.P., as tough as it is, his role on this club, it's not a clear one. With all of that in mind, we felt it made the most sense for J.P.'s development for the next couple of weeks by getting him into a rhythm a little bit and allowing him to play regularly."

Ramos close to debuting

Another, major roster move appears earmarked for later this week, as the Phillies expect Wilson Ramos to make his team debut imminently. Acquired from the Rays prior to the non-waiver Trade Deadline, Ramos completed a three-game rehab assignment with Class A Advanced Clearwater on Monday, catching nine innings. He'll return to Philadelphia to be evaluated by team doctors in the coming days. Ramos has been on the DL with a left hamstring strain since July 18.

As for his timetable, Kapler said: "Nothing is set in stone and nothing is off the table."

Around the horn

• The Phillies made another transaction Tuesday, trading right-hander Jake Thompson to the Brewers for cash. Thompson, who had a 4.96 ERA in nine games this season, was designated for assignment to clear 40-man space for Bour last week. Originally acquired from Texas in the Cole Hamels trade, Thompson made 30 appearances (18 starts) for Philadelphia over the past three seasons.

• Right-hander Jerad Eickhoff was scheduled to pitch four innings for Clearwater on Tuesday. It'll be the second outing of this most recent rehab assignment for Eickhoff, who made 57 starts for the Phillies from 2016-17. He has been sidelined all season due to a right lat strain and tingling in his throwing fingers.

Lineup shuffle

In an attempt to kick-start the Phillies' sluggish offense, Kapler significantly rejiggered his lineup prior to Tuesday's series opener against Boston. Of the notable changes: Carlos Santana was dropped from the cleanup spot in favor of Rhys Hoskins, Asdrubal Cabrera was lifted into the No.3 slot and Nick Williams slotted in second.

Kapler cited the platoon flexibility the new arrangement provides. By slotting three switch-hitters in the first six spots (Cesar Hernandez, first; Cabrera third, Santana fifth), Kapler was able to alternate righties and lefties between them (left-handed Williams second, right-handed Hoskins fourth and righty Maikel Franco sixth). But the changes are clearly also centered on Santana, who was bumped from the No. 4 hole for the first time since June 2. After reaching a season-high .804 OPS on June 23, Santana has hit .192 with a .650 OPS since.

"It's not some major shakeup juggle," Kapler said. "I think it's just, 'Let's take a fresh look at this.'"

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.

Philadelphia Phillies, J.P. Crawford, Hector Neris

Trade Talk: Cutch, Holland, Granderson, Bruce

MLB.com

The July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline has come and gone, but the transaction wire could stay hot ahead of Aug. 31. That date is important because clubs acquiring new players via trade must have those players on their 40-man roster by then in order for that player (or players) to be eligible for its postseason roster. Teams can acquire players after Sept. 1, but those players would not be eligible to play with that team in the playoffs. 

Throughout August, it's not uncommon for high-profile players to be placed on waivers. In fact, most clubs will place a sizable portion of their Major League roster on waivers to gauge interest for their talent ahead of the offseason. 

The July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline has come and gone, but the transaction wire could stay hot ahead of Aug. 31. That date is important because clubs acquiring new players via trade must have those players on their 40-man roster by then in order for that player (or players) to be eligible for its postseason roster. Teams can acquire players after Sept. 1, but those players would not be eligible to play with that team in the playoffs. 

Throughout August, it's not uncommon for high-profile players to be placed on waivers. In fact, most clubs will place a sizable portion of their Major League roster on waivers to gauge interest for their talent ahead of the offseason. 

When a waiver claim is placed, the player's original club has three options:
• Work out a standard trade with the claiming club within 48 hours
• Allow the player -- and all money remaining on his contract -- to go to the claiming club with no return
• Pull the player back off waivers

A player who is pulled back off waivers can be placed on trade waivers a second time, but at that point the waiver request becomes irrevocable. If a player passes through waivers unclaimed, he can then be traded to any club, free of restriction (though all 40-man-roster players in the trade must clear waivers before being dealt).

Glossary: Trade Waivers & Aug. 31 'Deadline'

With that in mind, here is the latest trade buzz: 

Cutch, Holland among top August trade candidates
Aug. 14: The market has been relatively quiet since the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, with Mike Fiers, Fernando Rodney and Justin Bour representing the biggest names to have been moved in August. But as MLB.com's Mark Feinsand wrote Tuesday, trade season is far from over.

And though they are still in the thick of the National League postseason race, the Giants could be an interesting team to watch. San Francisco entered Tuesday with a 60-60 record, putting it five games out in the NL West and 6 1/2 behind in the NL Wild Card chase. However, the Giants will need to leapfrog three other teams to win the division and six teams to grab the second NL Wild Card spot.

Giants outfielder Andrew McCutchen and left-hander Derek Holland each made Feinsand's list of 10 August trade candidates. Both players are set to become free agents this offseason.

Feinsand notes that the Blue Jays could be active on the trade market before Aug. 31 as well, with third baseman Josh Donaldson, outfielder Curtis Granderson and right-hander Marco Estrada among Toronto's most likely candidates to be dealt.

Reds right-hander Matt Harvey, White Sox right-hander James Shields, Twins right-hander Ervin Santana, Rays right-hander Sergio Romo and Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias also made Feinsand's list. More >

Granderson reportedly clears revocable waivers
Aug. 14: Blue Jays outfielder Curtis Granderson, who was one of the 10 August trade candidates MLB.com's Mark Feinsand broke down Tuesday, has cleared revocable waivers and is free to be dealt anywhere, reports Robert Murray of The Athletic. 

Tweet from @ByRobertMurray: #BlueJays' Curtis Granderson has cleared revocable trade waivers, source tells The Athletic. He's free to be traded anywhere.

Granderson, who can become a free agent this offseason, owns a solid .766 OPS against right-handers in 2018. He also has extensive postseason experience, having played in the playoffs in seven seasons.

Granderson, 37, was part of an August trade just last season, going from the Mets to the Dodgers after passing through waivers unclaimed earlier in the month. More >

Bruce could be odd man out of Mets' outfield
Aug. 14: Jay Bruce is a name to monitor this month as the Mets could look to deal from their outfield surplus. Trading Bruce would open up time at the corners for Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo.

Bruce is nearing a return from a right hip injury that's sidelined him since June 17. Joel Sherman of the New York Post suggested Monday that Bruce could be dealt if he show's he's healthy before the end of the month, pointing to the Giants, Mariners, Rockies, Indians and Tigers as potential trade partners for the Mets.

Bruce has a five-team no-trade clause of the Orioles, Mariners, Rays, Blue Jays and A's, per Sherman, and two years, $28 million remaining on his contract after this season. He's batting .212/.292/.613 with three homers and 17 RBIs through 62 games this season.

Will Dodgers look to trade market to bolster injury-plagued bullpen?
Aug. 14: The Dodgers are down another reliever, with John Axford set to join Kenley Jansen, Tony Cingrani, Josh Fields, Yimi Garcia and Daniel Hudson on the disabled list after suffering a fractured tibia when he was hit by a comebacker Sunday.

While Los Angeles recently moved starters Kenta Maeda and Ross Stripling to the bullpen to help out its beleaguered relief corps, it's possible the club will look to swing an August trade for some bullpen help.

The problem? There might not be many attractive options available.

Sergio Romo, Jim Johnson and Tyler Clippard pitch for AL teams, meaning the Dodgers will be one of the last clubs that has a chance to claim them, based on the waiver-priority rules. Those hurlers might not even make it out of the AL before being claimed, as was the case with Fernando Rodney, who was traded to the A's last Thursday after being snagged off waivers from the Twins.

As for NL relievers, pitchers such as Bud Norris, Kirby Yates, Craig Stammen, Jared Hughes and David Hernandez also have a good chance of being claimed before the Dodgers have the opportunity to grab them.

Tigers southpaw Francisco Liriano reportedly cleared waivers already, but he's unlikely to draw interest as anything more than a lefty specialist. Liriano has held same-sided hitters to a .567 OPS since the outset of 2017, but right-handed batters have posted an .849 mark against him in that time.

Video: LAD@COL: Friedman provides update on Jansen

Marlins remain open to trading more veterans
Aug. 13: While the Marlins have traded Dee Gordon, Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich, Cameron Maybin, Brad Ziegler and Justin Bour in less than nine months, they might not be done dealing.

According to the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson, the Marlins remain open to moving some veterans before Aug. 31, with infielder/outfielder Derek Dietrich, second baseman Starlin Castro and right-hander Dan Straily among the most likely candidates to be dealt.

Dietrich could draw more suitors than the other two, as he has considerable experience at three positions (2B, 3B, LF), owns a 116 OPS+ over the past four seasons and is controllable through 2020. Per Jackson, the Cubs and Indians inquired about the 29-year-old during July.

Meanwhile, Jackson writes that "no team expressed serious interest" in Castro, who is owed nearly $12 million in '19 and has a team option for $16 million with a $1 million buyout for '20, before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. And though the A's discussed a Straily trade with the Marlins last month, Oakland has since acquired Mike Fiers from the Tigers.

The 29-year-old Straily has two more seasons of arbitration eligibility remaining after this one before he can become a free agent, which helps his trade value. But teams may be hesitant to give up notable prospects for a pitcher who has recorded a lifetime 4.27 ERA with a 4.81 FIP (4.42 ERA, 5.40 FIP in '18).

Suspension served, Cano returns to Mariners

Veteran's arrival comes as Gordon battles sore shoulder
MLB.com

OAKLAND -- After 80 days on the suspended list, Robinson Cano rejoined the Mariners on Tuesday, and his return figures to provide a timely boost for a club fighting for its first postseason berth in 17 years.

Dee Gordon, who replaced Cano at second base during his suspension, was sidelined for a second straight day for Monday's series opener with the A's due to left shoulder discomfort. And even if Gordon is healthy by Tuesday, Seattle is eager to add Cano's potent bat to the lineup in any and every way possible.

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OAKLAND -- After 80 days on the suspended list, Robinson Cano rejoined the Mariners on Tuesday, and his return figures to provide a timely boost for a club fighting for its first postseason berth in 17 years.

Dee Gordon, who replaced Cano at second base during his suspension, was sidelined for a second straight day for Monday's series opener with the A's due to left shoulder discomfort. And even if Gordon is healthy by Tuesday, Seattle is eager to add Cano's potent bat to the lineup in any and every way possible.

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That means Cano will be playing some games at first base in place of Ryon Healy, as well as occasionally giving Gordon a break at second or Kyle Seager a break at third.

"There is no great blueprint that says this is what is going to happen 33 percent of the time or 67 percent of the time," manager Scott Servais said on Monday. "We have to play it day by day and series by series. It's a great offensive player to add to our mix, and the fact he can move around the field and is willing to do it, it should really keep some guys fresh and hopefully it pays dividends."

Cano played five Minor League games with Triple-A Tacoma and Class A Short-Season Everett to prepare for his return, spending two games at first base, one at second, one at third and one at designated hitter. In his 14-year Major League career, he's played all but one inning in the field at second base, moving to shortstop for one frame in an emergency role for the Yankees in 2013.

The last time Cano had played third base was in 2005, when he spent one game there as a 22-year-old in Triple-A Columbus. In his Minor League career, he played 80 games at shortstop and 17 at third base, but he never played first base until this past week.

The Mariners will face an interesting decision on how to work Cano into their lineup now that Gordon is entrenched at second base. To make room on the active roster for Cano, right-hander Casey Lawrence was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma late on Monday, and to make space on the 40-man roster, right-hander Sam Tuivailala, who has a strained right Achilles, was transferred to the 60-day disabled list. .

Cano will be largely taking away the need for veteran utility man Andrew Romine, but Romine can't be sent down to Tacoma without being designated for assignment and exposed to waivers. Romine will be needed if Seattle makes the playoffs, for which Cano would be ineligible due to the rules of a failed drug test.

The biggest thing for now is the ability to add a player who hit .287/.385/.441 in his first 39 games this year and is an eight-time All-Star with 305 career homers.

Servais said the challenge will be to remind Cano that he can't make up for a lost half-season all at once.

"He's a great player," said Servais. "He made a mistake. He wants to put it behind him as quick as he can. In all players' minds, if they go out and produce on the field, then everybody will relax and put it behind them. But it's a day at a time. Don't try to do too much."

Injury updates: Gordon, Tuivailala and more
• Gordon was initially in Monday's lineup, but he was scratched about two hours before game time. The speedster hurt his shoulder sliding into the knee of Astros second baseman Yuli Gurriel on a stolen base on Saturday. He had a pinch-hit single and scored the winning run in the 10th inning on Sunday.

• Reliever Sam Tuivailala will need surgery on his right Achilles tendon that was hurt on Wednesday in Texas, and Servais said the right-hander -- who was acquired two weeks ago from the Cardinals -- is going to be out a "significant amount of time" and may not be ready for the start of Spring Training next season.

• Veteran right-handed reliever Juan Nicasio is getting a second doctor's opinion on his inflamed right knee and is waiting to see whether he'll need surgery. Nicasio went on the 10-day disabled list on Aug. 3.

• Lefty Roenis Elias needed 28 pitches to get through two-thirds of an inning of relief for Tacoma in his second rehab outing while issuing three walks with one strikeout on Sunday. Elias is working back from a strained left triceps and came out of the outing without any health issues.

• Right-handed reliever Dan Altavilla threw well in a live batting-practice session with Tacoma over the weekend, Servais said. Altavilla likely will throw another BP session but has a chance to begin a Minor League rehab stint within a week.

Hisashi Iwakuma, who is signed to a Minor League contract, also threw a live BP session, and it went well enough that he could attempt a rehab outing soon as well.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners, Robinson Cano, Dee Gordon

Cards activate Tyler O'Neill, option Adolis Garcia

MLB.com

The Cardinals announced on Tuesday afternoon that they have activated rookie outfielder Tyler O'Neill from the 10-day disabled list. The team also announced that rookie outfielder Adolis García was optioned to Triple-A Memphis following Monday night's game.

O'Neill has appeared in 23 games with the Cardinals this season, batting .309 with 3 HR's and 9 RBI. In 64 games at Memphis, the 23-year-old O'Neill has compiled a .311 batting mark with 26 HR's and 63 RBI.

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The Cardinals announced on Tuesday afternoon that they have activated rookie outfielder Tyler O'Neill from the 10-day disabled list. The team also announced that rookie outfielder Adolis García was optioned to Triple-A Memphis following Monday night's game.

O'Neill has appeared in 23 games with the Cardinals this season, batting .309 with 3 HR's and 9 RBI. In 64 games at Memphis, the 23-year-old O'Neill has compiled a .311 batting mark with 26 HR's and 63 RBI.

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In three games during his recent injury rehabilitation assignment with the triple-A Redbirds, O'Neill was 4-for-13 (.308) with a pair of RBI.  

García, 25, appeared in five games with the Cardinals following his call-up on August 6, and collected his first Major League hit last Friday (Aug. 10) at Kansas City.   He's batting .269 with 21 HR's and 67 RBI in 98 games at Memphis this season.

O'Neill wears uniform no. 41.

St. Louis Cardinals, Tyler O'Neill

Toronto gets pitcher Baker to complete Oh swap

MLB.com

The Blue Jays acquired right-handed pitcher Bryan Baker from the Rockies on Tuesday as the player to be named in last month's trade that sent right-hander Seunghwan Oh to Colorado.

Baker, 23, has made 43 relief appearances this season for the Lancaster JetHawks of the Class A Advanced California League, posting a 4-2 record with one save and a 3.80 ERA. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound native of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., has recorded 58 strikeouts in 45 innings this year. Since being selected by Colorado in the 11th round of the 2016 Draft, he has posted a career Minor League record of 14-8 in 80 games, including 13 starts, with a 3.73 ERA and 156 strikeouts in 147 1/3 innings pitched.

The Blue Jays acquired right-handed pitcher Bryan Baker from the Rockies on Tuesday as the player to be named in last month's trade that sent right-hander Seunghwan Oh to Colorado.

Baker, 23, has made 43 relief appearances this season for the Lancaster JetHawks of the Class A Advanced California League, posting a 4-2 record with one save and a 3.80 ERA. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound native of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., has recorded 58 strikeouts in 45 innings this year. Since being selected by Colorado in the 11th round of the 2016 Draft, he has posted a career Minor League record of 14-8 in 80 games, including 13 starts, with a 3.73 ERA and 156 strikeouts in 147 1/3 innings pitched.

Toronto Blue Jays

Angels to call up third-base prospect Ward

Former first-round pick expected to be activated Tuesday
MLB.com

SAN DIEGO -- It won't be official until Tuesday, but third baseman Taylor Ward is finally getting his first crack at the Majors.

Ward, who is ranked the Angels' No. 8 prospect by MLB Pipeline, joined the Angels on Monday at Petco Park and is expected to be activated on Tuesday. A first-round Draft pick of the Angels in 2015, Ward has emerged as an offensive force this season, batting .349 with a .977 OPS, 14 home runs and 60 RBIs in 102 games between Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Salt Lake.

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SAN DIEGO -- It won't be official until Tuesday, but third baseman Taylor Ward is finally getting his first crack at the Majors.

Ward, who is ranked the Angels' No. 8 prospect by MLB Pipeline, joined the Angels on Monday at Petco Park and is expected to be activated on Tuesday. A first-round Draft pick of the Angels in 2015, Ward has emerged as an offensive force this season, batting .349 with a .977 OPS, 14 home runs and 60 RBIs in 102 games between Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Salt Lake.

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Ward, 24, was originally drafted as a catcher before making the transition to third base this season. The Angels believe his breakthrough at the plate is tied to the position change, as he no longer has to worry about handling pitchers.

"His bat has really blossomed," manager Mike Scioscia. "I think we always thought he had this offensive potential, but I think getting out from behind the plate has shown what a good offensive player he can be. He's going to get a chance to play and hopefully contribute. He'll give us some offense at third base."

Ward's path to the Majors became clearer after the Angels designated Luis Valbuena for assignment last week. The Angels have been using a combination of Kaleb Cowart, Jefry Marte and Jose Fernandez to fill their void at third base, but Ward will get a chance to play there regularly once he is officially added to the roster.

"He's going to get a good chance to play," Scioscia said. "It's tough to just project how much playing time a guy will get because you're still looking for production and performance. You certainly don't want to give him too much to where a young kid is swallowed up by what the experience is. But we think he's ready for it, and he'll get a chance to meet the challenge."

Trout update
Mike Trout did not travel with the club to San Diego, as he is currently on the East Coast attending to a personal family matter. The Angels had been hoping to get Trout back on Thursday, when he's eligible to come off the 10-day disabled list, but this development has cast doubt on his availability. Trout has been sidelined since Aug. 1 with an inflamed right wrist.

Worth noting
• Shortstop Andrelton Simmons returned to the lineup on Monday after missing one game with left knee soreness.

• The Angels called up right-hander Osmer Morales from Triple-A Salt Lake and optioned right-hander Eduardo Paredes on Monday. It is the first stint in the Majors for the 25-year-old Morales, who has logged a 6.22 ERA over 92 2/3 innings for Salt Lake this year. Scioscia said Morales is a potential starting option for the Angels, who currently have two vacancies in their rotation following the injuries to Tyler Skaggs and Nick Tropeano.

• The Angels announced Monday that they have signed a two-year extension of their player development contract with the Salt Lake Bees. The new deal will cover the 2021-2022 seasons. The two clubs have been affiliates since 2001.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Los Angeles Angels

Reds promote Reed for bullpen depth

Mella optioned to Triple-A Louisville in corresponding move
MLB.com