Brewers trade first baseman for reliever
(AP) — The Yankees have added to their already overcrowded first base carousel.
New York acquired minor league first baseman Garrett Cooper from the Milwaukee Brewers for left-handed reliever Tyler Webb on Thursday, providing more depth at a position that has been played by 10 players this season.
The 26-year-old Cooper batted .366 with 17 home runs and 82 RBIs with Triple-A Colorado Springs, which has one of the most hitter-friendly ballparks in the minors. Cooper has been assigned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
New York entered the season planning to use Greg Bird at first, but injuries have hampered the 24-year-old for a second straight year. Chris Carter leads the team with 48 starts at the position, but he was twice designated for assignment before being released earlier this month. Matt Holliday, Austin Romine, Rob Refsnyder, Tyler Austin and Ji-Man Choi have also started at first, and Chase Headley, Gary Sanchez and pitcher Bryan Mitchell have appeared there, too.
Choi, a left-handed hitter from South Korea, has gotten the most time there recently, and the right-handed hitting Cooper could give New York a workable platoon if no other deals materialize before the non-waiver trade deadline. New York trails the Boston Red Sox by 3 1/2 games in the American League East.
Webb will join the Brewers on Friday, when the team returns from the All-Star break to host the Philadelphia Phillies. The Brewers have optioned right-handed reliever Michael Blazek to Triple-A Colorado Springs in a corresponding move.
Webb had a 4.50 ERA in seven appearances this season with the Yankees without recording a decision. He made his big league debut on June 24 after going 3-1 with a 3.24 ERA in 21 games at Triple-A. He turns 27 next week.
He'll give the Brewers another left-hander in a bullpen that has been inconsistent at times except for All-Star closer Corey Knebel.
The Brewers are the surprise leader in the National League Central at the All-Star break, leading the Cubs and Cardinals each by 5 1/2 games.
Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell also said OF Brett Phillips would be recalled from Triple-A for the Phillies game to take the roster spot of RHP Junior Guerra (right shin), who went on the DL on Sunday. Counsell said he anticipated OF Ryan Braun (left calf) to be OK to play Friday after getting hurt last weekend.