As is the case each year, the Sept. 1 expansion of rosters saw several interesting names called up to the big leagues on Tuesday.
The Atlanta Braves promoting 30-year-old Hector Olivera headlines the list. The Cuban infielder, acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers at the trade deadline, made his debut Tuesday night, going 0-for-4 in Atlanta's 7-1 loss to the Miami Marlins. Olivera figures to draw plenty of attention for the remainder of the season given the $62.5 million contract the Dodgers gave him upon his defection from Cuba.
Of course, Olivera wasn't the only prospect to get the call on Tuesday. Zach Davies, the pitcher whom the Baltimore Orioles traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in the Gerardo Parra deadline deal, was brought up and will make his major league debut on Wednesday.
As for players returning to the majors, Javier Baez joining the Chicago Cubs was among the more notable transactions. Having endured the death of his younger sister earlier this year and a broken finger in June that caused him to miss time, Baez should get the chance to prove he belongs in the majors permanently over the next month. The 22-year-old went 0-for-4 in his first game on Tuesday.
Over the course of the next month, many other potential impact players will likely receive the call to the majors. Until then, here are a few rumors making their way around the league today:
Marlins: Miami is poised to ask Dan Jennings to step down as manager and resume his role as general manager this week, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports, citing major league sources. Jennings has served as manager since the team dismissed Mike Redmond in May, a move that shocked the baseball world given Jennings' status as a front-office executive. Rosenthal writes that if Jennings agrees with the change, it will take place at the end of the season. In the same piece, Rosenthal cites sources that say the Marlins plan to add to the core of their club this offseason, most notably by acquiring a No. 2 starter and closer. Miami tried to trade for Aroldis Chapman of the Cincinnati Reds at the deadline, Rosenthal hears from his sources. Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald also wrote about the Marlins on Tuesday. According to Spencer, Miami, under orders from owner Jeffrey Loria, will make "sweeping changes to the team's baseball operations," a process that could mean Jennings may be out as GM before next season. A rift has developed between Loria and Jennings over the course of the team's disappointing season, sources tell Spencer.
Alex Rodriguez: New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and manager Joe Girardi are at odds over whether or not to use Rodriguez at first base in Mark Teixeira's absence, George A. King III of the New York Post writes. Teixeira's bruised right shin looks to be a bigger issue than what the team expected, and there's a possibility that he may not return during the regular season. As a result, Girardi floated the idea out there that Rodriguez could platoon at first along with left-handed hitting rookie Greg Bird. "I think you have to think about it because you’re going to see left-handers," Girardi said. "There’s left-handers in our division. There’s a lot of division opponents in the last 32 games or whatever we have left. I think you have to start debating the idea.” Cashman doesn't seem to agree. “I don’t think [A-Rod] can play first base,” he said.
Rafael Soriano: The former All-Star closer was designated for assignment by the Cubs on Tuesday. Chicago signed Soriano to a minor league deal in June, hoping the 35-year-old still had some gas in the tank. Instead, Soriano struggled in his time with the team, posting a 6.35 ERA in six appearances.
Hak-Ju Lee: The Rays designated Lee for assignment on Tuesday, Mark Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. Once one of the game's top prospects at shortstop, Lee has struggled mightily since missing most of the 2013 season with a serious knee injury. The 24-year-old, along with Chris Archer, headlined the return Tampa Bay received in the Matt Garza trade to the Cubs.
Billy Eppler: Eppler, currently the assistant general manager of the Yankees, is a name Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com has heard frequently as a candidate to take over the role of GM for the Los Angeles Angels. As we mentioned here on Tuesday, the Angels have stepped up their search for a replacement for previous general manager Jerry Dipoto. Eppler was reportedly a finalist for the Angels' GM job before the team hired Dipoto back in 2011.