In a rather surprising All-Star break move, the Blue Jays in essence acquired young shortstop Yunel Escobar from the Braves in exchange for veteran shortstop Alex Gonzalez. Left-hander Jo-Jo Reyes also is going to Toronto, with Minor League lefty Tim Collins and Minor League infielder Tyler Pastornicky migrating to Atlanta’s organization.
Escobar, still considered one of the more talented shortstops in the National League despite his off-year (.238 batting average, .618 OPS, zero homers), will be heading into his first of three arbitration years this offseason, while Gonzalez (batting .259 with 17 homers) has a $2.5 million club option.
Both are very good defensive players, but right now, it’s Gonzalez who seemingly gives the Braves their best chance
to maintain their NL East division lead, while Escobar could — if a change of scenery serves as a big beneficiary — give the Blue Jays a young, talented shortstop for years to come.
Here’s more from around the league …
* The Brewers are reportedly shopping All-Star and Home Run Derby participant Corey Hart, with the Giants, Rays, Padres and Braves rumored to be interested. According to The San Francisco Chronicle, the Brewers asked the Giants for Jonathan Sanchez and Madison Bumgarner in exchange for Hart. Giants general Brian Sabean, however, is reluctant to part with those two.
* Torii Hunter
is playing GM a little bit. Hunter, the Angels center fielder signed through 2012, told MLB.com’s Bill Ladson he’d like to have Adam Dunn
in Anaheim, and according to The Los Angeles Times, he’s been working on speedster Carl Crawford
* Don’t expect a 2010 reunion between Pedro Martinez
and the Phillies, writes MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki
. Martinez hasn’t even thrown off the mound yet.
* The injury-ravaged Red Sox have spoken to the Royals about outfielder David DeJesus, according to FOXSports.com. The Web site said the two clubs talked less than two weeks ago and said they’d remain in touch. The Royals have been scouting the Red Sox’s farm system, but names haven’t been exchanged, FOXSports.com added.
* The Braves, seeking a right-handed-hitting outfielder, have shown interest in the Marlins’ Cody Ross. Florida finds itself 10 games back in the NL East heading into the second half of the season and could be sellers before the Trade Deadline.
– Alden Gonzalez