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IN THIS ISSUE

American League

National League

BALTIMORE ORIOLES
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Purchased the contract of INF-R Paul Janish from Triple-A Norfolk; outrighted RHP Eddie Gamboa to Triple-A Norfolk; placed C-L Steve Clevenger on the paternal leave list. [8/25]

Opportunity is the only thing separating Janish from history. He entered Thursday with a career .215 True Average, or a figure closer to Mario Mendoza's body of work (25 points) than the league-average mark (45 points). Obviously Janish isn't going to receive enough plate appearances to supplant Mendoza as the king of offensive futility—this is his first big-league run since 2013, after all. But consider it a testament to Janish's defensive abilities that he's managed more than 1,200 plate appearances in the majors despite consistently posting some of the league's worst offensive numbers.

TAMPA BAY RAYS
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Purchased the contract of C/1B-R J.P. Arencibia from Triple-A Durham; placed C-R Curt Casali on the 15-day disabled list (strained hamstring); recalled and placed LHP Grayson Garvin on the 60-day disabled list. [8/26]

Arencibia's return to the majors isn't due to merit—his .259 on-base percentage was the worst among the 15 Bulls with more than 150 plate appearances (though, in fairness, he ranked fourth in slugging)—but because the Rays have no alternatives. Veteran third catcher Bobby Wilson was lost on waivers in July—a move that forced Arencibia, who had been playing first base, back behind the plate—and neither of the Rays' top catching prospects, Luke Maile and Justin O'Conner, had shown enough offensive skill to earn a cameo. So the Rays have no choice other than to pair Arencibia with Rene Rivera until Casali returns. Expect that duo to swing (and miss) a lot, walk little, and provide the occasional extra-base hit.

TEXAS RANGERS
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Claimed LHP Chris Rearick off waivers from the Padres. [8/26]

How's this for a turn of events: Last week the Rangers sent Jon Edwards to the Padres to complete the Will Venable trade; the Padres then designated Rearick for assignment to make room for Edwards on the roster; now the Rangers have claimed Rearick off waivers, a move that makes you wonder why the two sides didn't include him in the original trade and save everyone the trouble. Anyway, Rearick has had a miserable season in Triple-A, where he's walked more than he's struck out and has compiled a 5.23 ERA. His decent fastball-slider combination gives him a chance to become a second lefty, but he could well return to the waiver wire in the coming weeks.

TORONTO BLUE JAYS
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Claimed RHP Donn Roach off waivers from the Reds; transferred OF-L Michael Saunders to the 60-day disabled list (knee soreness). [8/25]

This is the third time in the past year Roach has been claimed off waivers, giving him an almost perfect 1-to-1 big-league-innings-to-waiver-claim ratio. Teams continue to employ Roach because he's demonstrated the ability to throw strikes (he's walked fewer than two batters per nine in Triple-A this season), coax ground balls (better than 60 percent), and sneak under the microwave in high-leverage situations. Yet Roach's employment is often a temporary arrangement because of his inability to miss bats or strike out anyone—even those serving sentences in Triple-A. As such, view Roach as depth, or as someone who can nibble on meaningless innings come September, rather than the new Bo Schultz. And, if the Blue Jays do milk a Schultz-like effort from Roach, then it's time to open an investigation.

CHICAGO CUBS
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Signed UTL-S Emilio Bonifacio to a minor-league deal. [8/25]

Earlier in the week, the Cubs signed Quintin Berry. Now they've added Bonifacio, a familiar face who hasn't performed well since leaving the Friendly Confines last July. Bonifacio's stint with the White Sox featured no redeeming qualities: He hit .167/.198/.192 in 82 plate appearances, and even failed on four of his five stolen-base attempts. Presumably the Cubs view Bonifacio as a minor piece of depth, or another potential pinch-running option. Whatever the plan, the cost is such that it's hard to argue.

WASHINGTON NATIONALS
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Activated OF-L Denard Span from the 15-day disabled list (back tightness); optioned RHP Tanner Roark to Advanced-A Potomac. [8/25]

With due respect to Span, whose return should aid the ailing Nationals, the more interesting subplot for TA purposes involves Roark. His optional assignment isn't punishment for an uneven season, but rather a way for him to stretch out before rejoining the rotation in place of Joe Ross, who is nearing his innings cap. You might question the timing—the minor-league season is almost over, so why wait until now versus a week or two ago?—but at minimum this allows Roark more time to ramp up than he had earlier in the year, when he transitioned back to the rotation after taking a week between appearances. Roark could be auditioning for a spot in a 2016 rotation, so he'll need to make the most of his chance.

Of course, in the time it took to write this blurb, this happened. So … umm … let's scrap that whole aiding the ailing Nationals thing.