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Snake Bytes 7/27: Second Fiddle

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Trade deadline... intensifies?

Arizona Diamondbacks v Chicago Cubs Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Arizona Diamondbacks News

[Arizona Sports] Cleveland Indians claim former D-backs LHP Alex Young off waivers - The Cleveland Indians claimed left-handed pitcher Alex Young off waivers from the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday, the Indians announced. Young was designated for assignment on July 21 after he went 2-6 with a 6.26 ERA with the D-backs this season in 41.2 inning pitched. Young was in his third season with the D-backs after being drafted in the second round of the 2015 MLB Draft. Young was a bright spot for the team in his first season with the big league club in 2019, going 7-5 with a 3.56 ERA in 83.1 innings as a rookie and starting 15 of 17 games he pitched in. His numbers significantly fell off in the shortened 2020 season, pitching to a 5.44 ERA across 46.1 innings.

[The Rattle] Josh Rojas’s Altered Approach Helped Finish His Transformation - [Josh] Rojas’s swing change was the first step to a breakout campaign, but it wasn’t the last. His April passivity against fastballs early in the count held him back. He not only couldn’t do damage on the pitches he’s best against, but he was also forced into two-strike counts. Following the disappointing first month, he attacked heaters more often while remaining disciplined against other pitches. That has led to a breakout campaign that has been a rare bright spot amidst a struggling Diamondback squad, despite his recent injury (broken finger). While he’s probably more of a league average hitter at present, his bat combined with his versatility make him a valuable piece that the D-backs can hold onto for quite some time.

[The Athletic] ‘I’m still here’: How a fall in March became a series of health scares for Diamondbacks coach Dave McKay - Dave McKay is tired. Not long ago, he was a bundle of energy. He craved activity. The Diamondbacks’ first-base coach would spend 12 hours at the ballpark only to come home in search of something else to do. But now, by the end of each day and sometimes long before that, his legs feel like jelly. McKay is 71, and most might chalk that up to the inevitable effects of old age. But McKay’s 71 is different than most. For four decades — all of them, without interruption, spent coaching first base in the majors — he has been a health nut and a medical marvel. He looks 20 years younger than he is. He is in better shape than most of the players he instructs. He is fastidious about working out and disciplined about what he puts in his body. The reason McKay is exhausted — not just physically, but mentally and emotionally — is because of a series of health complications that no one could have foreseen five months ago. On March 8, during a spring training game against the Giants at Scottsdale Stadium, McKay lost his footing in the dugout and fell. He hit his side and arm on the bench. “He hopped back up like nothing happened,” says catching coach Robby Hammock. McKay is Teflon. Nobody thought much of it. Yet two days later, McKay passed out at home in front of his wife. Paramedics rushed him to the hospital, where he learned he had a broken rib and a third-degree laceration of the spleen. He’d been bleeding internally for two days. He required surgery, and the Diamondbacks expected him back by Opening Day. But McKay remains out.

Around the League

[Yahoo Sports] MLB trade deadline tracker: A’s add bullpen muscle with Andrew Chafin deal - Currently clutching the American League’s second wild-card spot, the Oakland A’s are reportedly making a deal to add firepower in the bullpen. The A’s are set to acquire left-handed reliever Andrew Chafin from the Chicago Cubs, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports...The deal, still pending medicals, would give Oakland a second reliable southpaw in the bullpen and add flexibility for Jake Diekman, one of their best relievers. The mustachioed Chafin has been excellent for the Cubs in 2021, logging a 2.06 ERA in 39 1/3 innings. The A’s will be sending back two players, according to Rosenthal, including outfielder Greg Deichmann. Chafin was among the most obvious trade chips once the Cubs faded from contention and signaled their intention to sell.

[MLB Trade Rumors] Max Scherzer Reportedly Open To Waiving No-Trade Rights - Nationals ace Max Scherzer has been one of the most intriguing trade candidates in baseball as the Nationals have slid down the standings following a scorching month of June, but a trade surrounding him is also complicated for myriad reasons. He’s being paid $35MM in 2021 and has more than $100MM in deferred money still owed to him from 2022-28. The Nationals, historically, do not operate as sellers under general manager Mike Rizzo. Scherzer has full no-trade protection as a 10-and-5 player (10 years of MLB service, the past five with the same team). Additionally, agent Scott Boras has previously suggested that Scherzer would require some type of incentive (e.g. a contract extension) in order to waive those rights. It would seem that at least one of those major hurdles, however, is surmountable. Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post reports (via Twitter) that Scherzer is open to being traded and would not invoke his 10-and-5 rights for the sole purpose of remaining with the Nationals. However, Scherzer could use that full no-trade protection as a way to have a say in his ultimate destination if the Nats are presented with offers from multiple clubs.