Aug 14, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins first basemanJustin Morneau
(33) hits a single in the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Waiver wire trade activity picked up today as two deals were completed in the major leagues.
The Royals acquired Emilio Bonifacio from the Blue Jays for cash or a player to be named later. The Jays are starting to cut their losses in the penultimate month of a profoundly disappointing season. Bonifacio was one of players acquired from the Marlins (last year’s profoundly disappointing team) along with Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, and John Buck.
Of all of these players, Reyes is the only one who has produced for Toronto, hitting .305/.364/.468 with 9 home runs and 12 stolen bases. But even Reyes has had some adversity this year – he missed most of the first half with an ankle injury.
Bonifacio is hitting .218/.258/.321 on the year with 3 homers. He had a .271/.332/.345 slash in his four years with the Marlins. Kansas City hopes he can bring some versatility and speed to their roster as they compete for a playoff spot down the stretch.
Meanwhile the Astros continue their extreme (and long-term) rebuild and fire sale with the trade of LHP Travis Blackley to the cross-state rival Texas Rangers. Blackley is a relief pitcher who has a 4.89 ERA in 49 appearances. The Astros get a player to be named later and cash considerations in return.
The native of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia will provide the Rangers with some help against left handed hitters. Blackley has held lefties to a .200/.258/.367 slash line.
Twins first baseman/DH Justin Morneau also cleared waivers. Morneau has suffered through a passel of injuries over the last few years, but has been hot in August (6 home runs and 2 doubles). His name was floated in several trade rumors before the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline, but a July slump may have hurt his value.
But now that he’s hitting, a contending team in need of a first baseman or DH may be willing to pick him up. As one scout said, “He’s swinging the bat much better than he was,” the scout said. “His body looks more lively, too.”