AL Central Notes: Guardians, Hosmer, Kepler, Brieske

MLB Trade Rumors

It was a quiet trade deadline for the Guardians, as Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes that the club “at times…felt they were close” to landing Sean Murphy from the Athletics, yet no deal was completed.  Murphy was known to be a trade target for the Guards, though another somewhat surprising name was at least briefly on their radar, as Hoynes reports that Cleveland and San Diego had some talks about first baseman Eric Hosmer.  However, those discussions didn’t get far, as the Guardians are one of the 10 teams on Hosmer’s no-trade list.  Hosmer also used his no-trade protection to scuttle his involvement in the Padres’ blockbuster deal with the Nationals for Juan Soto, so the Padres instead moved Hosmer to the Red Sox.

San Diego dealt Hosmer and two prospects to Boston for lefty pitching prospect Jay Groome, and the Padres also covering basically all of the $44MM remaining on Hosmer’s deal (which runs through the 2025 season).  It’s fair to guess that the Guardians might have had interest in something similar, with Hosmer joining Josh Naylor and Owen Miller as part of the first base/DH mix.  Hosmer might have been viewed by the Guards as just a one-season fill-in now that the team is seemingly willing to part ways with Franmil Reyes, but with the Padres footing the bill, Cleveland could have kept Hosmer around as a veteran complement to their younger players.

More from around the AL Central…

  • The Twins activated outfielder Max Kepler from the 10-day injured list, and optioned outfielder Mark Contreras to Triple-A.  Kepler is making a relatively quick return from a fracture in his right baby toe, after he was hit by a pitch on July 24.  Kepler has generated 2.0 fWAR over his 85 games this season, thanks to solid defense and an above-average (113 wRC+) offensive line of .244/.344/.390 in 337 plate appearances.
  • Tigers right-hander Beau Brieske had a Triple-A rehab start yesterday, and manager A.J. Hinch told reporters (including The Detroit News’ Chris McCosky) that Brieske is perhaps on track to be activated from the 15-day injured list in time to start the Tigers’ game with the Guardians on Wednesday.  Forearm soreness sent Brieske to the IL on July 18, but it appears as though the rookie has avoided any serious setback — a rare bit of good health news within an injury-plagued season for Detroit pitchers.  All of these injuries open the door for Brieske to make his Major League debut, and the righty posted a respectable 4.19 ERA over his first 15 starts and 81 2/3 innings in the Show.

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