White Sox trade Tyler Saladino to Brewers, pick up Trayce Thompson from Athletics

White Sox trade Tyler Saladino to Brewers, pick up Trayce Thompson from Athletics

The White Sox made two moves on their day off Thursday, trading infielder Tyler Saladino to the Brewers for cash considerations and sending cash to the Athletics for outfielder Trayce Thompson.

The Sox drafted Thompson in the second round out of high school in 2009, and he made it to the majors with the Sox for 44 games in 2015. He batted .295 with five home runs, a .363 on-base percentage and a .533 slugging percentage, then was traded with second baseman Micah Johnson and pitcher Frankie Montas to the Dodgers in a deal that netted the Sox third baseman Todd Frazier from the Reds.

Thompson, 27, played sparingly in two seasons with the Dodgers, batting .207 in 107 games in 2016-17. The brother of NBA All-Star Klay Thompson and son of former top overall NBA draft pick Mychal Thompson was designated for assignment by the Dodgers on March 27, claimed by the Yankees on April 3 and then by the A’s two days later. The A’s designated him for assignment Tuesday after he went 1-for-7 in three games.

Saladino, 28, slashed .231/.281/.330 while playing slick defense in parts of four seasons with the Sox. His best season came in 2016, when he hit .282 with eight home runs and 38 RBIs in 319 at-bats before a herniated disk in his back ended his season in September and required surgery.

He has struggled since, batting .178 in 281 at-bats in 2017 and finding playing time scarce in 2018, appearing in six of 15 games. The Sox drafted Saladino in the seventh round out of Oral Roberts in 2010.

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Fantasy Baseball Outlook: Lowrie shines, Cespedes falters

Fantasy Baseball Outlook: Lowrie shines, Cespedes falters

Oakland Athletics’ Jed Lowrie, right, is congratulated by third base coach Matt Williams after hitting a home run off Chicago White Sox pitcher Miguel Gonzalez during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, April 17, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Another week of MLB action is in the books and it personally had me yelling at my TV multiple times (Mets, how does it take five pitchers to record three outs while simultaneously blowing a 6-1 lead!?!). Anyway, at this point in the season everyone’s respective fantasy baseball standings should be taking place and teams now know what they need to improve on. Here is some information that will hopefully help you on your path to fantasy glory.

Stud of the Week: Jed Lowrie, Second Base, Oakland Athletics

Nobody has been hotter than Jed Lowrie this past week. Since last Wednesday, Lowrie has hit a .423 average with three home runs, six runs scored and eleven RBI. This is just an improvement on what has already been a good season for Lowrie, as he currently is slashing .351/.407/.595 on the season. He is currently the No. 1 ranked second baseman in fantasy baseball. Lowrie’s ownership is up a staggering 45.9 percent but only sits at 68.9 percent total so if he is still available, scoop him up.

Dud of the Week: Yoenis Cespedes, Left Field, New York Mets

The production that Yoenis Cespedes has put out over this past week has been pitiful, hitting just .227 with three RBI and not crossing home plate once. The only possible positive is that he struck out only seven times over six games this week. When compared to the 16 strikeouts over six games that occurred the previous week, it is a drastic improvement. However, this does not even come close to making up for the lack of prowess at the plate. If you have Cespedes on your fantasy team it might be time to bench him until he shows signs of life again. However as soon as he begins to produce again plug him right back into your starting lineup. Cespedes is a proven beast at the plate, and it is only a matter of time until he shakes out of this funk.

Injury Fallout: Josh Harrison, Second Base, Pittsburgh Pirates

After being hit by a pitch on Sunday, Harrison was diagnosed with a broken bone in his left hand and placed on the 10-day disabled list. This injury will sideline him for about six weeks. Harrison qualifies at both second base and third base, so owners could now be struggling to find someone to replace him at either spot. White Sox infielder Yolmer Sanchez has had a good season so far and also qualifies at both positions. He is currently owned in only 13.4 percent of leagues and could be a good filler until Harrison returns. Second baseman Ketel Marte (12.0 percent OWN) and third baseman Derek Dietrich (20.2 percent OWN) are also viable options that are not too widely owned.

Free Agent Find: Alex Cobb, Starting Pitcher, Baltimore Orioles

Alex Cobb got absolutely destroyed in his first start for the Baltimore Orioles, lasting just 3.2 innings, giving up 10 hits, seven earned runs and striking out no one. To be fair, he was facing the red-hot Boston Red Sox who are 14-2 at the time of this being written. The next two scheduled starts for Cobb present much more favorable matchups. On Thursday, Cobb faces a 6-9 Detroit Tigers team that is currently 26th in the Majors for runs scored and OPS. On Tuesday, he is scheduled to go up against the 5-13 Tampa Bay Rays who, like Detroit, are in the bottom third of the league in both categories. Cobb is not a pitcher who typically gets lit up like he did against the Red Sox, so I fully expect him to bounce back and have two very strong outings against two of the weaker teams in the league. Heavily dropped after his first game, he is now only owned in 28.7 percent of leagues, so he could be a nice steal. Grab him before his value goes back up to where it belongs.

Free Agent Find: Miguel Rojas, Shortstop, Miami Marlins

Last week I listed Rojas as a potential replacement for Elvis Andrus who was placed on the DL, and his performance in the week that followed supported it. Rojas is currently riding a ten-day hitting streak and is slashing .299/.356/.433. He is currently the 17th ranked shortstop in fantasy and is owned in only 5.9 percent of leagues. Now, being in the Marlins lineup means that the opportunities for scoring and RBI can be less than average, but if he keeps hitting like he has been he will for sure get a decent amount. At the very least Rojas will provide a boost to your team batting average as well as be a valuable pickup for teams that are weak in the shortstop or middle infield positions.

Free-for-all: A's draw nearly full house by not charging for admission

Free-for-all: A's draw nearly full house by not charging for admission

There’s an expression for when MLB games go into extra innings: free baseball.

The A’s weren’t interested in working overtime Tuesday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their first game in Oakland.

Instead, they started with free — no admission or parking charges — to kick off a party attended by 46,028 at the Coliseum. They even had a birthday cake, cut by team president David Kaval. The icing: A 10-2 win over the White Sox.

“I’ve been here for a lot of playoff games, and tonight I got that vibe with how packed it was. There was a lot of electricity,” right fielder and Pleasanton, Calif., native Stephen Piscotty said (via the East Bay Times). 

Tickets were distributed in advance (no game-day walk-up sales) and some sections were blocked off for season-ticket holders, but for the most part it was open seating for the near-capacity crowd.

“It was loud, it looked like the place was packed,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “I think that was the objective, and I really wanted to put on a good show for ’em. … When our crowd gets into it, they have a lot of fun.”

The rocking atmosphere was in contrast to Monday’s crowd of 7,479 that looked even smaller in the cavernous Coliseum. The A’s, 25th in attendance this season, have seen four crowds of fewer than 10,000.

Asked by the Times if an event like Tuesday night could bring more people to the park, one fan offered some free advice: “Sure, if they do this every night.”

Athletics' Jonathan Lucroy: Collects three hits, three RBI against White Sox

Athletics' Jonathan Lucroy: Collects three hits, three RBI against White Sox

Lucroy went 3-for-4 with three RBI and a run in Oakland’s 10-2 victory over the White Sox on Tuesday.

Lucroy is still without a home run on the season but he was able to bump his average up to .280 and on-base percentage to a solid .357 with this three-hit effort. He seems to be getting plenty of at-bats behind the plate for Oakland in the early going, but he’ll have to start putting up more counting stats and, ideally, hitting for a bit more power before he can reclaim the status he once possessed as one of the game’s elite-hitting catching options.

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