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Storylines: After being designated for assignment by Oakland, Trevor Plouffe has been picked up by the Tampa Bay Rays

Trevor Plouffe has found a home after being designated for assignment, but it's across the country from his last venture. The veteran is on his way from Oakland to Tampa Bay.

Top Storylines:

? Trevor Plouffe’s time in limbo didn’t last long.  Just days after being designated for assignment by the Oakland Athletics, Plouffe is heading across the country to the Tampa Bay Rays, as they have acquired him via trade along with cash from the Athletics in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.  The veteran inked a deal with the Athletics last offseason after being non-tendered by the Minnesota Twins.  He lost his job to slugging third baseman Miguel Sano and became the odd man out in Minnesota.  His stint with the Athletics did not go as planned as he hit just .214/.276/.357 and held an alarming 29.1% strikeout rate in just 199 plate appearances.  He was struggling to hit for power as well and the Athletics decided to give their third base prospect Matt Chapman the nod to start at the hot corner.  Plouffe is coming to a Rays team that already has a starting third baseman in Evan Longoria.  The Rays are weak in the bench department as their infielders on the bench are Michael Martinez and Rickie Weeks.  Plus their top home run hitter Logan Morrison struggles against lefties. so they are hoping that Plouffe can be productive against southpaw pitching.  The Rays are making sure they have him on their team rather than risk their AL East counterparts the Boston Red Sox try and swing a deal to get him as they are receiving little to no production at the hot corner from an offensive standpoint.  The Athletics are sending about $2M in the deal to the Rays to cover the remainder of Plouffe’s 2017 salary.

Other Storylines:

? The Baltimore Orioles expect to see slugger Chris Davis out at least until the All-Star break due to an oblique strain per Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun.  Davis is reportedly having trouble sleeping and moving around due to the injury, which is not a good sign or indicator that he’ll be able to recover quickly.

? Boston Red Sox right-handed reliever Carson Smith has suffered another setback in his recovery from Tommy John.  He is suffering right shoulder inflammation and will be shut down for about four or five days before resuming baseball activities.  He has only pitched in three games since being acquired via trade from the Seattle Mariners last year. 

? AL West rivals the Houston Astros and Oakland Athletics have both reportedly been in contact and are mutually interested in coming together to make a trade that would send righty Sonny Gray to the Astros per Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.  The Athletics have strongly scouted the Astros’ farm system and a deal certainly seems possible between the two given how both sides match up well in terms of need and want.

? The Boston Red Sox have limited interest in recently released third baseman Jhonny Peralta per Cafardo.  Peralta was hitting a paltry .204/.259/.204 in 21 games with the St. Louis Cardinals before they cut him loose.  The Red Sox are in need of a better option at third base as veteran Pablo Sandoval is just not cutting it, but Peralta may not represent an upgrade, as he has played just as or even more poorly than Sandoval has so far in the season.

? Chicago Cubs righty Kyle Hendricks will not be making it back to the mound any time soon.  The hand tendinitis that sent him to the D.L. has not gotten much better and is giving him problems. He is expected to hit the shelves for several more weeks before the team activates him per Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.  He wasn’t having the same magical season he had in 2016 but the Cubs’ pitching depth is thin enough as it is, so losing one of their regular starters for an extended period of time does not bode well for the 2016 World Series Champions 


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