Mark Townsend

  • Padres dump Hector Olivera quickly after acquiring him for Matt Kemp

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 hrs ago

    The San Diego Padres and Atlanta Braves agreed to swap one regret for another on Saturday.

    According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Padres have traded veteran outfielder Matt Kemp to Atlanta in exchange for infielder Hector Olivera. It’s also reported the Padres are set to designate Olivera for assignment on Tuesday as they delve into a full-on fire sale.

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    The Padres will pay the remaining $30M left on Olivera’s contract assuming he goes unclaimed. Right now, that’s about the safest bet you can make as Olivera finishes serving an 82-game suspension following a domestic violence charge. The 31-year-old infielder is eligible to return on Aug. 1, hence the reason is San Diego is waiting 72 hours to dump him, but he still faces charges that could complicate his baseball future.

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  • Andrew Cashner's beard consumed by Marlins' facial hair policy

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 hrs ago

    We’re guessing Andrew Cashner didn’t mind leaving San Diego for a contending baseball team in Miami.

    Then again, Cashner was also asked to leave behind his trademark beard, which had grown to become a legend on its own.

    As we learned in spring training, the Marlins have adopted a strict facial hair policy under new manager Don Mattingly. Ironically, Mattingly himself preferred to sport a mustache during his playing career. He also never promoted any type of facial hair rules while managing the Dodgers, but apparently that’s neither here nor there in terms of his role with the Marlins.

    Instead, Mattingly requires his players to be clean shaven, which means Andrew Cashner went from this…

    To this…

    OMG beardless Andrew Cashner. pic.twitter.com/SY8ZHmgiqs

    — Joe Davis (@Joe_Davis) July 30, 2016

    That’s just wrong Don Mattingly. And it’s not right either.

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  • MLB Trade Deadline Digest: Mets join pursuit of Jay Bruce

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 4 hrs ago

    The Stew’s Trade Deadline Digest recaps the day in news and rumors as MLB gets closer to the non-waiver trade deadline on Aug. 1. If you missed any of Thursday’s action, we’re here to help you catch up with all the important links and tidbits.

    OFFENSE NEEDED: With Jonathan Lucroy looking less likely for the Mets, they’ve now become “very involved” on Reds outfielder Jay Bruce. [@m_sheldon]

    DONE DEAL: The Nationals acquired three-time All-Star closer Mark Melancon from the Pirates. [Big League Stew]

    NATIONAL RELIEF: Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown breaks down the Nationals bullpen situation and why Melancon was needed. [Yahoo Sports]

    MRI PENDING: Likely trade candidate Wade Davis is headed back to Kansas City for an MRI on his elbow. [@JeffPassan]

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  • Indians and A's meet in Free Game of the Day

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 5 hrs ago

    In a meeting of two teams with entirely different agendas, the Cleveland Indians will host the Oakland A’s Saturday night at Progressive Field.

    As we know, the AL Central-leading Indians are approaching the trade deadline as buyers looking for the final piece(s) to what they hope will be a championship puzzle. Meanwhile, the struggling A’s would need a miracle run to make up the necessary ground in the AL West and wild-card races, meaning it’s time to sell their valuable assets to restock the ranks.

    If you’re curious to see these teams in the current form perhaps one final time, they will be featured in the MLB Free Game of the Day on Yahoo Sports. You can stream the game at Yahoo’s Sports Home, MLB index and video home beginning at 7:10 p.m. ET.

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  • Brewers holding out Jonathan Lucroy as trade talks progress

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 6 hrs ago

    There’s a growing feeling that Jonathan Lucroy has played his final game for the Milwaukee Brewers.

    That feeling was enhanced on Saturday when the Brewers elected to hold Lucroy out of their starting lineup for the second time in three days. On Thursday, it was a routine off day. On Saturday, it is clearly related to Lucroy’s trade status as the Brewers are at least protecting their asset from getting injured.

    In fact, Brewers manager Craig Counsell has acknowledged that Lucroy’s off day was requested by general manager David Stearns, which supports the protect the asset theory.

    From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: 

    “David stopped down and said he’s progressing on something and we just thought it best (Lucroy) not be in the lineup today,” Counsell said. “He has not been traded. He is available for us today and I’ll use him if something comes up and I have to use him.

    “But (Stearns) is making progress so we thought it best not to play him.”

    Stay tuned.

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  • Nationals fill bullpen need by acquiring Pirates closer Mark Melancon

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 9 hrs ago

    The Washington Nationals have landed the late-inning reliever they’ve been searching for at this year’s trade deadline.

    According to Fox Sports Ken Rosenthal, Washington struck a deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday afternoon, acquiring three-time All-Star closer Mark Melancon. In return, Pittsburgh will receive major-league left-hander Felipe Rivero, according to Rosenthal. Jon Heyman of Fan Rag adds that left-handed pitching prospect Taylor Hearn will also be included.

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    The addition of Melancon is a big acquisition for Washington after they missed out on prime deadline target Aroldis Chapman. With incumbent closer Jonathan Papelbon struggling, it’s clear they wanted a more dependable arm in the ninth inning, and that’s how they view Melancon.

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  • Ichiro reminds us he still possesses a strong right arm

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 12 hrs ago

    Ichiro Suzuki fell short of making history on Friday night, going 0-for-4 in the Marlins 11-6 loss to the Cardinals. That means he’s still two hits shy of becoming the 30th player in MLB history to reach 3,000 hits.

    However, he did remind us of one key element that helped make him one of baseball’s most well-rounded talents in the last 20 years. He has an absolute cannon for a right arm, and even at 42 years old he can fire that cannon with incredible power and precision.

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    Just ask the Cardinals Kolten Wong.

    During the third inning, Wong attempted to challenge Ichiro’s arm on a fly ball to medium left field. Unimpressed and possibly insulted, Ichiro unleashed a missile that covered 238 feet and traveled at 91.6 mph, according to MLB.com’s Statcast technology.

    — #Statcast (@statcast) July 30, 2016

  • Nationals turn first-of-its-kind triple play in win against Giants

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 21 hrs ago

    The 707th triple play in baseball history marked a series of firsts that are almost impossible to believe.

    The Washington Nationals were responsible for turning this historic triple play during Friday’s 4-1 win against the Giants. With the game on the line in the eighth inning, they executed a 3-5 triple play to escape the jam and leave the scuffling Giants absolutely stunned.

    What makes it historic though? Well, perhaps the most improbable reason it marked the first time this specific combination of fielders contributed to a triple play.

    According to @sabr that is the first ((3)-3)-5 triple play in history. https://t.co/bWEiJecIMR

    — Doug Kern (@dakern74) July 30, 2016

    The SABR Triple Play Datebase is the real deal and is worth checking out. Every triple play is there, with every situation and every combination record.

  • Tim Lincecum's comeback couldn't be going any worse

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 22 hrs ago

    Welcome to The Walk Off, the nightly MLB recap from Big League Stew. Here we’ll look at the top performers of the night, show you a must-see highlight and rundown the scoreboard. First, we start with a game you need to know about.

    Despite a mostly encouraging debut on June 18, Tim Lincecum’s comeback bid with the Los Angeles Angels has devolved into a disaster.

    The once dominant right-hander looks like a shell of himself from his Cy Young seasons in 2008 and 2009, or even just excellent years in 2010 and 2011. Honestly, he just doesn’t look like a pitcher who belongs at the big league level, but that’s exactly where the Angels are likely to keep him.

    Lincecum has struggled to find consistency with any of his pitches. His command seemingly abandons him at a moment’s notice. Friday’s outing against the Red Sox was a good example of how far away Lincecum is from making any type of impact. In five excruciating innings, he allowed four runs on five hits.

    There’s no other way to say it: The Angels need to find another starter.

    TOP PERFORMERS

  • Four best landing spots for Jay Bruce

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jay Bruce has seemingly been on the trading block for two straight seasons. With Cincinnati now fully committed to rebuilding though, it’s only a matter of time, perhaps even hours, before the veteran slugger dons a new uniform.

    Though the Reds said Bruce’s market was slow on Friday, it’s become clear that Bruce is a hot commodity among teams searching for offense. The rumor mill centered around his name quite a bit during the evening hours, with a deal being almost certain before Monday.

    Interest in Bruce has a lot to do with how he’s been performing this season, and especially recently. Entering Friday’s game in San Diego, Bruce was hitting .271 with 25 home runs and 79 RBIs through 95 games. Over the last two seasons, he hit just .222 while averaging 22 homers and 76 RBIs.

    Currently, Bruce is enjoying a nine-game hitting streak. During that time he’s hit seven homers and driven in 15.

    Needless to say, he’s taken several steps forward to again become one of baseball’s most productive left-handed hitters. Now we wait to see where he lands, but while we do let’s also examine where he best fits.

    Cleveland Indians

    Los Angeles Dodgers

    New York Mets