Canadians Cal Quantrill, Josh Naylor part of Cleveland's haul for Mike Clevinger
New Padres pitcher may have worn out welcome after breaking COVID-19 protocols
The San Diego Padres acquired Mike Clevinger in a multi-player deal with Cleveland on Monday, bolstering their rotation with another bold move ahead of baseball's trade deadline.
San Diego got Clevinger, outfielder Greg Allen and a player to be named from Cleveland for a package of young players that included outfielder Josh Naylor, of Mississauga, Ont., Cal Quantrill of Port Hope, Ont., a right-handed pitcher, and catcher Austin Hedges.
Led by exciting young shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. and suddenly hot Manny Machado, San Diego is going for its first playoff appearance since 2006. The acquisition of Clevinger is the Padres' fifth trade since Saturday.
Clevinger said the Padres are "the most exciting team in baseball by far right now. It's definitely kind of the place to be right now. I'm stoked that they wanted me here. This is definitely a destination a lot of guys would like to be. Definitely something special brewing here and I think it's going to be something special for coming years, not just this year."
Clevinger said the Padres were already a World Series contender before all the trades.
"I think this is a team that can make a serious, serious run. I don't think there will be many teams that will get in the way of what we've got right now," said Clevinger, who hopes to join the Padres in time for a series that starts at Anaheim on Wednesday.
San Diego acquired veteran catchers Jason Castro and Austin Nola in a pair of deals on Sunday, making Austin Hedges expendable. First baseman Mitch Moreland came over in a trade with Boston, and the Padres added reliever Trevor Rosenthal in a deal with Kansas City.
The 29-year-old Clevinger strengthens a rotation that has had a few stumbles lately, including Garrett Richards going two or fewer innings in consecutive starts and opening-day starter Chris Paddack struggling before bouncing back with a strong performance on Sunday at Colorado.
Clevinger went 13-4 with a 2.71 earned-run average in 21 starts last year. The long-haired right-hander nicknamed "Sunshine" also is contractually controlled through the 2022 season.
Clevinger owns a 42-22 record and 3.20 earned-run average in 101 appearances (88 starts) over four-plus seasons with Cleveland, including a 1-1 mark with a 3.18 ERA in four starts this season.
Rift created inside Cleveland clubhouse
Cleveland is in the mix for the American League Central title, but Clevinger may have worn out his welcome when he was caught breaking COVID-19 protocols a couple weeks ago, leading to a trip to the team's alternate training site.
Clevinger and teammate Zach Plesac left the team's Chicago hotel, socialized outside the team's "bubble," missed curfew and caused a rift inside the clubhouse. Clevinger returned to Cleveland's rotation on Wednesday, pitching six effective innings in a victory over Minnesota.
"I think we all have some hiccups and I don't think that one mistake in my life is going to define me or my career," Clevinger said. "It doesn't define what I've done for the past five years or the kind of teammate I've been or the kind of person I am.
"I knew the changes the had to be put in place, maybe some self-reflecting that needed to be done was done. I never want to put any other organization, let alone [Atlanta], in that predicament again."
Clevinger is the third front-line starter traded away by Cleveland in the past year. Trevor Bauer was shipped off to Cincinnati at the 2019 deadline, and two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber was dealt to Texas in December.
Quantrill, 25, owns a 2-0 mark and 2.60 ERA in 10 appearances (one start) this season. He's 8-8 with a 4.79 ERA in 33 career appearances (19 starts) with the Padres, who selected him No. 8 overall in the 2015 MLB Draft.
Naylor, 23, is batting .278 in 18 games this season with one homer and four runs batted in. Naylor, who is the brother of Cleveland catcher Bo Naylor, has a .253 batting average with nine homers and 36 RBI in 112 career games with the Padres.
The Indians intend to play Josh Naylor as their left fielder the rest of this season.—@Buster_ESPN
Cleveland also got infielder Gabriel Arias, left-hander Joey Cantillo and infielder Owen Miller in the Clevinger deal.
Plesac to rejoin rotation
Even without Clevinger, Cleveland has plenty of young pitching with ace Shane Bieber, Aaron Civale, Plesac and rookie Triston McKenzie, who has looked like a seasoned veteran in two starts.
Cleveland general manager Chris Antonetti said the team had moved past Clevinger breaking the COVID protocols, but felt it had starting pitching depth to make a deal. He said Plesac will rejoin the team Monday and take Clevinger's spot in the rotation Tuesday.
"What we were seeking to do was impact this year and future years," the GM said. "This deal allows us to do that, where we're bringing back a blend of players, both to our major league team and to our system that will position us to do that. We're excited about bringing Josh and Cal and Austin to our major league team and I think they'll help us in areas we need.
"And we're excited for Zach to rejoin the rotation. A lot's transpired since he last started a major league game for us, but he's a really effective starter for the starts he made this season."
The trade could signal more moves.
All-star shortstop Francisco Lindor's future looms over the Cleveland franchise. He has turned down several contract extensions from the club, which has acknowledged it can't compete with what other teams can offer him as a free agent.
Lindor is under contractual control through 2021, so the team has to weigh chasing a World Series title — they haven't won one since 1948 — or dealing the popular star before he walks.
Starling Marte joining Marlins
The Miami Marlins have acquired outfielder Starling Marte from the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Arizona will receive pitchers Caleb Smith, Humberto Mejia and Julio Frias in the trade, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, in a reported deal that landed before the Major League Baseball trade deadline.
Marte, 31, has a club option for next season on his current contract worth $12.5 million US. He will be an unrestricted free agent in 2022. Marte spent eight years with the Pittsburgh Pirates before a January trade sent him to Arizona.
With the Diamondbacks, Marte is hitting .311 this season with two homers and 14 RBI in 33 games. A career .288 hitter, Marte has 110 home runs and 434 RBI. He was a two-time Gold Glove winner and an all-star in 2016 with the Pirates.
Ex-Blue Jay Pillar headed to Rockies
The Boston Red Sox traded outfielder Kevin Pillar and cash to the Colorado Rockies.
The Rockies will send a player to be named and international slot money to Boston, according to mlb.com.
Pillar, who was in his first season with the Red Sox, batted .274 with four homers and 13 RBI in 30 games. The 31-year-old Pillar has a .261 career average with 80 homers and 331 RBI. He has twice hit 21 homers, including last season with the San Francisco Giants.
Pillar played six full seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays from 2013-18 and got off to a slow start in 2019 (1-for-16) before being traded to the Giants.
A's add veteran hurler Mike Minor
The Oakland Athletics acquired left-hander Mike Minor from the Texas Rangers on Monday.
The Rangers will receive two players to be named later in the reported deal that comes a few hours before Major League Baseball's trade deadline.
Minor, who will be a free agent after the season, signed a three-year, $28-million US contract with Texas prior to the 2018 campaign. Minor posted a 14-10 record with a 3.59 ERA in 2019 while registering a career-best 200 strikeouts. However, the 32-year-old is 0-5 with a 5.60 ERA in seven starts this season.
With files from CBC Sports & Field Level Media