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Baseball Daily Dose

Padres Going All-In

by D.J. Short
Updated On: August 31, 2020, 4:02 pm ET

After acquiring reliever Trevor Rosenthal on Saturday, Padres general manager A.J. Preller stayed quite busy on Sunday. Like, the sort of busy which makes the rest of us look really lazy.

The Padres pulled off three more trades, acquiring catcher Austin Nola, and relievers Austin Adams and Dan Altavilla from the Mariners, first baseman Mitch Moreland from the Red Sox, and catcher Jason Castro from the Angels. We’ll go through each of them below.

Padres acquired C Austin Nola, RHPs Austin Adams and Dan Altavilla from the Mariners for OF Taylor Trammell, INF Ty France, C Luis Torrens, and RHP Andres Munoz

Nola is the centerpiece for the Padres. A late-bloomer, the 30-year-old is batting .306/.373/.531 with five homers, 19 RBI, and 15 runs scored through 29 games this season. While he’s served as the primary catcher for Seattle this season, he has experience all over the infield. The Padres will presumably use him in a creative fashion.

Adams and Altavilla are a pair of hard-throwing upside arms. The 29-year-old Adams posted a 3.77 ERA with 51 strikeouts and 14 walks over 31 innings with Seattle last year. He had surgery last October for a torn ACL, but he could be a difference-maker for San Diego down the stretch.

You have to love what the Mariners did in this deal, as they are exactly the sort of team who should be taking a chance on a talent like Trammell. The 22-year-old has now been traded twice and lost a bit of prospect sheen after a disappointing 2019 season, but the talent is obvious. The Reds altered his swing in an attempt to generate power, which could provide some context for the struggles. With the right voices around him, he emerge as a long-term building block for this team. He’ll join a group of young outfielders which also includes Kyle Lewis, Jarred Kelenic, and Julio Rodriguez. Giddy up.

As for Munoz, he had future closer written all over him prior to undergoing Tommy John surgery this part March. He should join Seattle’s bullpen in the early part of next season. Torrens hasn’t seen his minor league numbers translate to the majors so far, but he comes with the reputation of a strong defender. France mashed in Triple-A last year and has enjoyed some success in a small sample in the majors this season, but there just wasn’t a spot for him with the Padres.

Padres acquired 1B Mitch Moreland from the Red Sox for 3B prospect Hudson Potts and OF prospect Jeisson Rosario

The Padres added Moreland in a deal with the Red Sox earlier in the day. He’ll likely slide into a regular designated hitter role against right-handed pitching. It was a savvy move for San Diego, as Moreland has put up a monster .328/.430/.746 batting line with eight home runs and 21 RBI through 79 plate appearances this season. This includes a 1.225 OPS against right-handed pitching.

Moreland’s contract includes a reasonable $3 million club option (or a $500,000 buyout) for 2021, so there’s a chance he’ll still be with the team this time next year.

Potts, 21, was a first-round pick (24th overall) back in 2016 while Rosario is still just 20 years old. Neither have progressed as hoped so far in the minors, but there’s some upside with each and the Mariners will try to tap into that.

As for the major league roster with the Red Sox, the club called up prospect Bobby Dalbec on Sunday. The 25-year-old started at first base in his debut and went 2-for-4 with a homer.

Padres acquired C Jason Castro from the Angels for RHP Gerardo Reyes

The Padres will have not one, but two catchers to share playing time with Austin Hedges behind the plate. While Nola holds some mixed league appeal due to his offense, that’s not the case with Castro. The 33-year-old is batting just .192/.323/.385 with two home runs through 62 plate appearances. Still, he has 10 years of experience and is known for his strong defense.

Other Trades on Sunday:

Cubs acquired 1B/OF/DH Jose Martinez from the Rays for two players to be named later

Acquired in the deal which sent prospect left-hander Matthew Liberatore to St. Louis, Martinez was batting just .239/.329/.388 through 76 plate appearances this season. As Rotoworld’s own Matthew Pouliot pointed out on Twitter on Sunday, Martinez’s StatCast numbers have declined sharply from a couple of years ago. Still, he holds a 946 OPS against southpaws for his career and makes for a useful bat on any contender. It helps that teams can put him on the DH spot in both leagues and not have to think about sacrificing defense.

With Martinez on his way out, the Rays called up Randy Arozarena from their alternate training site. Arozarena was also part of that Liberatore deal.

Braves acquired LHP Tommy Milone from the Orioles for two players to be named later

Milone was immediately thrown into the Braves’ shaky rotation for a start against the Phillies on Sunday and it didn’t go well, as he was thrashed for seven runs in 2 1/3 innings. The 33-year-old actually pitched well with Baltimore prior to the trade, posting a 3.99 ERA and 31/4 K/BB ratio over 29 1/3 innings.

Rockies acquired RHP Mychal Givens from the Orioles for SS Terrin Vavra, INF Tyler Nevin, and a player to be named later

Another move for the Orioles, this time a 3-for-1 deal. Givens has pitched well in a set-up role this season, posting a 1.38 ERA and 19/6 K/BB ratio over 13 innings. However, given the uncertainty in the back-end of the Rockies’ bullpen, it will be interesting to see if he gets a shot to close again. Givens saved 20 games between 2018-2019.

WHOA, WAINO

Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright celebrated his 39th birthday on Sunday by doing something he was doing with regularity a decade ago. If only we could all be so fortunate. Wainwright turned back the clock with a vintage performance, delivering his first complete game since July 16, 2016 as part of a 7-2 victory over the Indians.

Wainwright allowed just four hits and two walks, with the only damage coming on a two-run homer from Tyler Naquin in the second inning. He struck out nine batters while throwing 122 pitches. Not bad for the oldest active pitcher in the majors. In perhaps the most 2020 scene possible, Wainwright put on a mask before embracing catcher Yadier Molina upon securing the 23rd complete game of his career.

As if this outing didn’t need any more synergy, Molina was starting his 2,000th career game on Sunday. Meanwhile, this was Wainwright’s first ever start against the Indians, meaning that he has now pitched against all 29 opposing teams in MLB over the course of his brilliant career.

In a season of tumult, Wainwright has been a warm blanket for the Cardinals, posting a surprising 2.65 ERA and 25/8 K/BB ratio in 34 innings over five starts. He’s allowed two earned runs or fewer in four of them. Most importantly on Sunday, he played the role of stopper to snap the Cardinals’ four-game losing streak and give the bullpen a break.  

Wainwright’s reward for the complete game? Young ace Jack Flaherty had a wheelchair waiting for him when the team got to the airport. 

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Sunday Saves

Mark Melancon (6) - Followed a string of shaky performances

Gregory Soto (2) - Soto notched a save for the second straight day on Sunday, but Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire still plans to go with a committee while they try to get Joe Jimenez back on track. Buck Farmer and Jose Cisnero are also expected to be in the mixed based on matchups.

Sam Coonrod (1) - The hard-throwing Coonrod retired Starling Marte, David Peralta, and Christian Walker for his first career save. He’s looked good since coming off the injured list and there could be more chances in his future.

Yohan Ramirez (1) - Ramirez, a Rule 5 pick from the Astros, pitched the 10th after closer Taylor Williams pitched in a tie game in the ninth. The 25-year-old offers some exciting raw stuff, but he’ll need to get his control in check before being a trusted late-inning arm.

Luis Cessa (1) - Cessa finished off Game 2 of Sunday’s doubleheader against the Mets with Aroldis Chapman unavailable.

American League Quick Hits: Sunday’s game between the Athletics and Astros was postponed after a member of Oakland’s organization tested positive for COVID-19 … Rafael Devers went 4-for-4 with a pair of homers in Sunday’s win over the Nationals … J.D. Martinez was hit in the left wrist by a pitch on Sunday, but fortunately X-rays came back negative … Gary Sanchez launched a pinch-hit grand slam in the eighth inning Sunday to help the Yankees sweep Sunday’s doubleheader against the Mets … Xander Bogaerts slugged his eighth homer of the season Sunday against the Nationals … Kyle Lewis homered and scored the go-ahead run in the 10th inning as part of Sunday’s win over the Angels … Luis Robert socked a three-run walk-off homer in the 10th inning Sunday against the Royals … Bo Bichette (knee) fielded grounders and hit in the batting cage Sunday … Charlie Morton (shoulder) is on track to rejoin the Rays’ rotation on Tuesday or Wednesday against the Yankees … Marcus Semien isn’t expected to require a trip to the injured list after an MRI was negative for any structural damage … Yankees prospect Deivi Garcia allowed an unearned run over six innings in his MLB debut in the second half of Sunday’s doubleheader against the Mets before being optioned back to the Yankees’ alternate site … Jeff Passan of ESPN reports that the Rangers are discussing both Lance Lynn and Joey Gallo in trades, though the price tag is considered high … David Fletcher sprained his left ankle running down the first base line Sunday and is considered day-to-day … Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that the Rangers and Blue Jays have discussed a trade involving Mike Minor … Bob Nightengale of USA reported Sunday that the White Sox and Indians were “actively involved” in trade talks regarding Mike Clevinger.

Gio Urshela, back in action after a bone spur in his elbow, delivered a walk-off RBI single to help the Yankees complete an amazing comeback win over the Mets in Game 1 of their doubleheader on Sunday … Teoscar Hernandez continued his breakout 2020 season with a walk-off two-run single off Orioles closer Cole Sulser in the ninth inning on Sunday … Willy Adames connected for a grand slam in Sunday’s win over the Marlins … Justin Dunn allowed just one hit over six scoreless frames in a no-decision against the Angels on Sunday … Ryan Mountcastle slugged the first two homers of his career Sunday against the Blue Jays … Elvis Andrus (back) is expected to be activated from the injured list Tuesday … Dane Dunning impressed in his return to the majors on Sunday, striking out seven over five no-hit innings against the Royals … Martin Perez could have his next start skipped by the Red Sox due to a blister on his left hand … Griffin Canning was handed a no-decision despite allowing just one run over eight innings Sunday against the Mariners … Jonathan Schoop slugged a go-ahead homer in Sunday’s win over the Twins … Yoshi Tsutsugo went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer and a walk Sunday against the Marlins … Aaron Hicks exited Sunday’s game against the Mets due to cramping in both of his calves … Michael Pineda (suspended) will make his season debut Tuesday against the White Sox … The White Sox placed left-hander Gio Gonzalez on the 10-day injured list with right groin strain … Orioles prospect Keegan Akin will make his first MLB start Monday against the Blue Jays … The Rangers signed right-hander Jerad Eickhoff to a minor league contract.

National League Quick Hits: Ronald Acuna Jr. left Sunday’s game against the Phillies for “precautionary reasons” due to right hamstring tightness … Cody Bellinger homered and stole a base Sunday against the Rangers and is hitting .378 over his last 10 games … Trea Turner went 3-for-5 against the Red Sox on Sunday to extend his hitting streak to 15 games … Walker Buehler (blister) threw a 30-pitch bullpen session on Saturday … Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that the Indians asked the Braves for outfield prospect Drew Waters as part of trade talks for Mike ClevingerSeth Lugo allowed one run in 3 2/3 innings with seven strikeouts in his start in the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader against the Yankees … Chris Paddack was effective in Coors Field on Sunday, allowing two unearned runs over six innings with eight strikeouts … Corey Seager went 2-for-5 with a homer and two RBI in Sunday’s win over the Rangers …  Trent Grisham, Jake Cronenworth, Eric Hosmer, Jurickson Profar, and Josh Naylor also homered for the Padres in Sunday’s blowout win over the Rockies … Kyle Schwarber, Ian Happ, and Jason Heyward all homered twice Sunday against the Reds  … Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports that the Marlins are “exploring” the trade market for left-hander Caleb Smith.

J.D. Davis made an early exit from Sunday’s game with a lingering issue with his left hip dating back to being hit by a 99 mph Aroldis Chapman pitch on Saturday … Josh Bell homered in his second straight game Sunday against the Brewers … Jesus Aguilar (back) will not travel with the Marlins for their makeup game against the Mets on Monday … Andrew McCutchen stayed hot on Sunday against the Braves, going 2-for-5 with a homer, two RBI, and two runs scored …  Tyler Chatwood exited Sunday’s start against the Reds in the third inning with an apparent elbow injury, though Jose Quintana stepped up nicely in relief for the Cubs … Garrett Cooper homered and knocked in four runs Sunday against the Dexter Fowler homered and knocked in three runs in Sunday’s win over the Indians … The Mets lost both Dellin Betances (right lat tightness) and Steven Matz (shoulder discomfort) to the injured list on Sunday … Trevor Cahill was diagnosed with joint inflammation in his left hip after leaving his start on Saturday … Alex Dickerson homered and drove in the go-ahead run in Sunday’s victory over the Diamondbacks … Austin Riley homered and drove in three runs in Sunday’s win over the Cardinals reliever Ryan Helsley (COVID-19) could be activated early this week … The Cubs signed former Marlins closer A.J. Ramos to a minor league contract … The Braves designated first baseman Matt Adams for assignment.