East News & Rumors: Hellickson, Kim, Yanks, Rays

Posted: July 29, 2017 in Uncategorized
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Right-hander Jeremy Hellickson changed clubs when the Phillies traded him to the Orioles on Friday, but a car crash has delayed his arrival to meet his new teammates, reports Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com. Hellickson was rear-ended on his way to the airport to fly to Texas, where the Orioles are playing, and he and his girlfriend had to go to the emergency room as a result. Fortunately, it seems the two avoided major injuries. “I think Jeremy is OK, but his girlfriend had to go to the emergency room,” manager Buck Showalter said Saturday. “I know Roger (McDowell) has talked to him a couple of times. If everything stays…if she gets cleared, they’ll be in Baltimore tomorrow. No reason to come here (to Texas) now. We’ve got a catcher set up tomorrow in Baltimore.”

The Phillies received little-used outfielder Hyun Soo Kim in the package for Hellickson, and the 29-year-old’s playing time won’t increase with his new team, writes Matt Breen of Philly.com. “I don’t know how much time I’ll be able to get for Kim,” admitted manager Pete Mackanin. “It’s a conundrum.” With Aaron Altherr and Nick Williams flanking center fielder Odubel Herrera, the Phillies have younger options entrenched in starting roles. That’s unfortunate for Kim, who hit .302/.382/.420 in 346 plate appearances as a rookie last year. The free agent-to-be took massive steps backward this season before the trade (.232/.305/.288 in 142 tries), and he won’t have an opportunity to improve his stock in the next couple months. As MLBTR’s Steve Adams suggested Friday, including Kim and his $4.2MM salary in the trade was a money-driven decision by the teams.

The latest on a couple of Baltimore’s AL East rivals:

  • The Yankees made Double-A right-hander Zack Littell a healthy scratch from his start on Saturday, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter). Sherman believes the move has something to do with Monday’s trade deadline, and it’s worth noting that the Yankees and A’s are deep in talks regarding Oakland right-hander Sonny Gray. Speculatively, Littell could end up in the package going to Oakland if the Yankees acquire Gray (or as part of another deal). MLB.com ranks the 21-year-old Littell as New York’s 22nd-best prospect.
  • More from Sherman, who writes that the Yankees may trade hot-hitting Triple-A outfield prospects Billy McKinney and Jake Cave by the end of August as a way to alleviate the 40-man roster crunch they’re slated to face in the offseason. Neither player is on the Yankees’ 40-man right now, and the team is already well off in the outfield. In lieu of protecting the McKinney-Cave tandem over the winter, then, the Yankees could do what they did with outfielder Ben Gamel last year and deal one or both of them. Gamel wasn’t on the 40-man for New York when it traded him to the Mariners last Aug. 31 for a pair of pitching prospects. While Gamel’s now enjoying an excellent rookie season in Seattle, odds are that he wouldn’t have gotten the chance to shine as a major leaguer this year had he stayed in the Yankees organization.
  • In regards to the low-payroll Rays’ trading spree this season, owner Stuart Sternberg told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times: “The impetus? This is a special group of guys who have the talent and are hungry.” Sternberg has picked up $7MM in salary via trades this year – though Colby Rasmus’ departure did save the team $2.5MM, as Topkin points out – and is looking to make more additions to the Rays’ playoff-contending roster. “The money and the talent we no longer have hurts, and makes us a bit weaker in the future,” continued Sternberg. “In a perfect world there will be more to do to improve the club. It’s hard to see how that presents itself, though I have confidence (we) will explore any and every opportunity.”

from MLB Trade Rumors http://ift.tt/2vib4R4
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