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MLB trade rumors and news: Athletics call up A.J. Puk

Oakland’s No. 2 prospect will make his debut out of the bullpen.

MLB: Oakland Athletics-Workouts Photo by Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The MLB Daily Dish is a daily feature we’re running here at MLBDD that rounds up roster-impacting news, rumors, and analysis. Have feedback or have something that should be the shared? Hit us up at @mlbdailydish on Twitter or @MLBDailyDish on Instagram.

  • Just over three years after taking him sixth overall in the 2016 MLB Draft, the Athletics purchased the contract of lefty A.J. Puk — ranked as the No. 2 prospect in the organization, the No. 43 prospect in all of baseball, and the No. 5 left-handed pitching prospect in the sport by MLB Pipeline — on Tuesday. The 24-year-old lefty, who had Tommy John surgery last April, will debut out of the Athletics’ bullpen.
  • Our Matt Powers has all the details on the short-season debut of Indians first-rounder Daniel Espino.
  • The Red Sox got some much needed good news on Monday as they found out their ace Chris Sale is going to avoid Tommy John surgery, which it was previously feared he might need. The downside is that Boston finds themselves out of a Wild Card spot, and while Sale isn’t going to miss a full season plus, he is most definitely not healthy right now as Boston tries to make a push.
  • The Braves continued to make small improvements to their roster, as they claimed Billy Hamilton off of waivers from the Royals. Hamilton can’t hit really at all, but for a team that just lost Ender Inciarte to a hamstring injury... getting a Gold Glove finalist who is also arguably the best base stealer in the game to be a late-inning defensive replacement and pinch runner is a pretty decent backup plan.
  • Atlanta is ready to contend and is packing on as much potential power as possible. The Braves have signed veteran Adeiny Hechavarria to a major-league deal. After freshly being released by the Mets, the shortstop has found a new home in the same division. While he’ll become the team’s everyday shortstop, he’ll be taking the roster spot of Johan Camargo, utility-man-turned-emergency-shortstop ever since Dansby Swanson hit the IL in late July.
  • Padres phenom Fernando Tatis Jr. will be out for the season with a stress reaction in his back. While there wasn’t much the young shortstop could have done to bring the Padres a Wild Card spot this year, his presence was enough to give much-needed life to the team. Seeing what could have been a Rookie of the Year season end this way is heartbreaking for any baseball fan. Tatis Jr. was slashing .317/.379/.590 with 22 homer and 16 steals. Fingers crossed this doesn’t start the rookie down an injury-prone path. Luis Urías will slide over to shortstop in his place.
  • While this news would have been more exciting a few years ago, the Athletics made a move to bolster their pitching depth as they signed Matt Harvey to a minor league deal. Harvey’s fall from grace has been pretty dramatic going from a potential ace for the Mets to getting unceremoniously booted from there to struggling to stay in the league at all.
  • Yu Darvish is one of the big names to watch as the season begins to wind down. The Chicago Cub has a choice to make: opt out of his contract or be under team control for four more years. He’s due to make $22M in both 2020 and 2021, $19M in 2022, and $18M in 2023. And with an ERA over 4.00 and very obvious struggles this past season and a half with Chicago, it’d seem logical for him to opt in. Do you think Darvish will exercise his 2020 option?
  • After a tenure with the Diamondbacks that started well but took a very rough turn — and culminated with his release — Greg Holland is headed back to the Nationals, the same team that helped resurrect his career over the final two months of last season.
  • The Cubs have been dealing with some depth issues at catcher of late thanks to an injury to Willson Contreras, but they did get a bit of a reprieve when they signed Jonathan Lucroy. This move is one that likely would have been more exciting when Lucroy was playing All-Star level baseball, but for a late season addition...the Cubs could do far worse that Lucroy.
  • Due to make $25M but only see $15M of that due to deferment (ah yes, the best friend of Major League Baseball owners), Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg has a big decision this offseason. Will he exercise his 2020 option?