Miguel Cabrera might have been hitting home runs in Anaheim if the Angels had been able to swing a deal for him in 2007, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. The Marlins had Cabrera on the trade market, and the Angels offered Howie Kendrick, Jeff Mathis and either Ervin Santana or Nick Adenhart. But the Marlins wanted both Santana and Adenhart, and the Angels changed their minds about dealing Kendrick, and the trade fell through. Had the deal worked out, Shaikin says, Cabrera could have joined with fellow 2012 MVP candidate Mike Trout in the Angels' lineup. (Of course, Trout was acquired with the No. 25 pick in the 2009 Draft, which was a compensation pick for losing Mark Teixeira. If the Angels had acquired Cabrera, they might not have acquired Teixeira, which means it's possible they wouldn't have drafted Trout. They also would have had to sign Cabrera to a long-term deal, the way the Tigers did. Reimagining history can be complicated.)
The Marlins' side of the deal would have worked out a bit better, too. We'll never know what might have been with Adenhart, who died in an accident in 2009, and Mathis hasn't hit well. But Kendrick turned out to be a better player than any the Marlins got when they sent Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to the Tigers for a package centered around Andrew Miller and Cameron Maybin.
Here are more notes from around MLB.
- After Jesus Montero's demotion, his role in the Mariners' future is unclear, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports writes. Mike Zunino now appears to be the Mariners' future catcher, and Montero will work on playing first base at Triple-A Tacoma. If Montero will play predominantly first base and designated hitter going forward, that puts him in an awkward position, because one of the reasons he was sent down in the first place was that his hitting wasn't particularly good even for a catcher. Still, the door remains open to Montero, Morosi notes, since Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak has not hit well, and main DH Kendrys Morales will be a free agent at the end of the season.
- Yan Gomes' play so far is creating a "pleasant problem" for the Indians, Sheldon Ocker of the Akron Beacon-Journal writes. Gomes, who arrived in Cleveland with Mike Aviles when the Indians sent Esmil Rogers to the Blue Jays last offseason, is hitting .311/.328/.672 with five home runs in 61 at bats so far. His performance suggests he might be able to one day become an everyday catcher, not just a utility player who catches occasionally, Ocker writes. Carlos Santana is, of course, the Indians' starting catcher, but if Gomes keeps hitting, the Indians will have to find a way to get him more playing time.
- The Dodgers were criticized for absorbing hundreds of millions of dollars in salary (and giving up five players, including prospects Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa) when they acquired Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto from the Red Sox last August. But, MLB.com's Lyle Spencer tweets, Gonzalez, Crawford and Punto have been the Dodgers' three best position players this year. Of course, that says more about the Dodgers' offense than anything else -- the Dodgers are scoring just 3.39 runs per game, 15th in the National League.
Nationals GM Mike Rizzo might make an intriguing free agent after the 2015 season, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal says in a recent video. Rizzo's friends tell Rosenthal that Rizzo is not afraid of leaving after 2015 if the team does not pay him well. The Nats exercised their 2014 option on Rizzo last month, and have another option for 2015. Earlier this week, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reported that the decision to exercise the 2014 option may have annoyed Rizzo, since the contract from which the option came was not especially lucrative. Under the 2014 option, Rizzo will be in the bottom third in GM pay, Kilgore noted. Here's more from Rosenthal.
- Rosenthal notes that Jose Altuve's recent decision to leave Scott Boras for his old agency, Octagon, is not necessarily an indication that Altuve will sign long-term with the Astros. There are currently no extension talks between the two sides, Rosenthal reports.
- If the Dodgers were to fire manager Don Mattingly, one problem would be that there are few obvious replacements, Rosenthal reports in another video. Neither Tony LaRussa nor Bobby Cox look like likely options, and members of Mattingly's staff like Davey Lopes, Trey Hillman and Tim Wallach aren't ideal. Still, Rosenthal says, the Dodgers will likely fire Mattingly anyway if the team doesn't improve, and the Dodgers have a rough schedule coming up.
While the Indians didn't get much for Cliff Lee, they did get one significant player in their 2008 trade of another Cy Young winner, C.C. Sabathia, Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer argues. That would be outfielder Michael Brantley. Pluto stops short of defending that trade (which also included Matt LaPorta, Zach Jackson and Rob Bryson) but notes that Brantley's hitting has gradually improved -- he's hitting .312/.366/.399 this season. Here are more notes from around the American League.
- With the fifth pick in the upcoming draft, the Indians would consider selecting Jonathan Gray, Mark Appel or Kris Bryant, if any of them fall that far, Paul Hoynes of the Plain-Dealer reports. That seems unlikely, however. Beyond that, Indians scouting director Brad Grant says Cleveland will "take the best available player," although he doesn't tip his hand about who that might be.
- Mark Hendrickson of the Orioles is busy in Triple-A trying to make it back to the major leagues at 38, Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com reports. Hendrickson signed a minor-league deal with the O's in February. Now he's pitching entirely as a sidearmer. Dubroff notes that Hendrickson has played for four NBA teams (the 76ers, Kings, Nets and Cavaliers) as well as five MLB teams (the Blue Jays, Rays, Dodgers, Marlins and Orioles). He last appeared in the big leagues with the Orioles in 2011.
- Angels manager Mike Scioscia is happy with his team's pitching depth, reports Robert Falkoff of MLB.com. Billy Buckner, who started on Saturday for the Angels, is the team's 10th starting pitcher of the season, and its 29th pitcher overall. "The organizational depth has been tested," says Scioscia. "It's an important part of what we need to do. I think we've seen the last couple of weeks that our pitchers have performed better. The fact that we've used so many is obviously not the template, but these guys are important to us."
While Alfonso Soriano shot down a trade that would have sent him to the Giants last year, he may be more open to a deal if it presents itself this season, writes Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.
"Yeah," Soriano said when asked if he's more likely to consider waiving his no-trade rights than he thought he might be a few months ago. "But it depends on them. It depends what the team wants. A chance to win, that's the most important thing. But it depends on the front office. It's not on me."
Soriano is hitting just .262/.291/.399 this season and will make $18MM this year and next, so he doesn't appear to be a particularly attractive trade target. Depending on how much salary the Cubs are willing to absorb, however, a team might be willing to trade for him, hoping for something more along the lines of last year's peformance, when he hit .262/.322/.499.
Charlie Wilmoth contributed to this post.
Huff, 28, has a 5.40 ERA with 5.1 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 across 52 career big league starts and six relief appearances. Huff was designated for assignment by the Indians just two days ago in order to make room on the roster for fellow southpaw Scott Barnes. The hurler, who was drafted 39th overall in 2006, made just three relief appearances during his short stint with Cleveland's varsity squad.
Rondon, 25, has yet to reach the major leagues. He has been with the club's' Double-A affiliate in Trenton with less-than-stellar results, posting a 7.46 ERA with 6.9 K/9 and 6.4 BB/9 across 35 innings this season.
The Mets have been one of baseball's worst teams thus far: they currently outpace only the Astros and Marlins with a 17-27 record. While the team's weak start hardly qualifies as a major surprise, the club certainly hoped to remain in contention and see more development from several promising youngsters. Already staring at a ten-game deficit in the NL East, attention has turned to the future ...
- The future could come early for one piece of the Mets' long-term plans, as we learned yesterday that top minor league arm Zack Wheeler is firmly expected to be called up sooner rather than later. With the club hoping to avoid handing Wheeler an extra year of arbitration, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com took a look yesterday evening at different teams' projections of the "safe" date for avoiding Super Two status. He reports that the Mets appear to have an earlier target than other teams; while some executives quoted a mid-to-late June timeline, New York seems to feel comfortable with a range between early June and June 10. This leads Rubin to project that Wheeler could come up to face the Cardinals at home on June 12, or could be held back until a road start against the Cubs on the 17th.
- MLBTR's Tim Dierkes recently explained the Super Two cutoff projection for players who could qualify following this season. Mets outfielder Lucas Duda is among those who figure to obtain a fourth year of eligibility.
- One major component of the Mets' current and future success, of course, is star third baseman David Wright, who signed a major extension (eight years, $138MM) over the off-season. With the team not only off to a poor start but featuring several struggling younger players, Mark Hale of the New York Post posed the question whether Wright regrets committing to New York. The 30-year-old insists that he has "zero" regrets, and believes in the vision laid out to him by GM Sandy Alderson. "As far as specifically what Sandy and I talked about and I guess the plan moving forward, a big part of that plan is pieces we have in the higher minor leagues," said Wright. "I'm disappointed in our performance as a team. I'm not disappointed in [what] I believe what the plan is going forward and what I believe this organization is capable of doing in the near future." The six-time All-Star also expressed confidence in some of the younger major league players, such as Ike Davis and Ruben Tejada, who are off to slow starts: "I've seen Ike at a ridiculously high level. I've seen Ruben be a very, very solid shortstop. ... They have a track record of being able to produce at this level."
- Whatever happens the rest of the way this season, Rubin notes on Twitter that the Mets figure to flash big money after the year. In fact, the club only has $25MM committed in salary next year to two roster spots (Wright and pitcher Jon Niese), although it is also on the hook for a $5.5MM buyout of the last year of Johan Santana's deal. Its payroll has hovered in the low-$90MM range the last two years after sitting well over $100MM (and as high as $149MM) over the preceding five seasons. The Mets also have several players with arbitration eligibility, in addition to the aforementioned Duda. Tejada joins Dillon Gee, Justin Turner, and Mike Baxter as first-time eligible players, while Davis will reach his second year of arbitration along with Daniel Murphy, Bobby Parnell, and Scott Atchison. In addition to assessing whether or not to tender contracts to its slate of arbitration-eligible players, the club should have substantial flexibility to pursue some of the top available free agents and/or take on payroll via trade.
Valdez, who celebrated his 35th birthday earlier this week, signed a minor league deal with the Marlins in March. His performance at Triple-A New Orleans wasn't enough to earn him a ticket up to the big leagues, however, as he hit .232/.275/.259 in 122 plate appearances. For his major league career, Valdez owns a slash line of .236/.281/.313 across seven seasons. While he has never shined at the plate, Valdez has a reputation for solid defense at second base, third base, and shortstop with a bit of outfield experience as well.
1:54pm: The White Sox announced that they have outrighted Sanchez to Triple-A Charlotte. With the move, Chicago's 40-man roster now stands at 39.
12:53pm: Infielder Angel Sanchez, a Rule 5 pick who was waived on Thursday by the White Sox, cleared waivers and was offered back to the Angels, tweets Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. With a roster crunch at the major league and Triple-A level, however, DiGiovanna reports that the Angels declined to take Sanchez back.
Sanchez, 29, has been on the disabled list since April 10th with a lower back strain. He has appeared in just one game this season with the White Sox. In parts of five seasons at Triple-A, Sanchez owns a .294/.359/.388 slash line.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
The Rangers have claimed 25-year-old outfielder Joe Benson off of waivers from the Twins, tweets MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger. Apart from a brief call-up in 2011, Benson has spent his entire career in the minors.
Thus far, he has struggled to a .192/.256/.285 line in 164 plate appearances for the Twins' Triple-A affiliate. The claim enabled the Twins to free a 40-man roster spot for pitcher P.J. Walters to take the rotation spot of the scuffling Vance Worley.
The Rangers subsequently optioned Benson to Double-A, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News (on Twitter). To make space on the team's 40-man roster, Texas moved Matt Harrison to the 60-day DL, according to a tweet from Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
If it is fair to label the Yankees' hot start as a surprise in spite of the team's history and payroll, then certainly the same should be said of the Red Sox. With a win today, the team noted in a press release, the Sox would move to an even 30-20, good for its best start since 2008. Let's check in on the team that sported the fourth-highest Opening Day payroll:
- Perhaps the biggest surprise in Boston is starter John Lackey, whose five-year, $82.5MM deal has long been viewed as a major drag on the organization. After a terrible 2011 season, Lackey missed 2012 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Now, explains John Tomase of the Boston Herald, a "vintage" Lackey is back throwing in the mid-90's and hitting his spots. He has thrown to a 2.72 ERA over 39 2/3 innings this year, and is sporting an enviable 9.1 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9. He is producing ground balls at a strong 53.6% clip, and his performance is backed up by a 2.92 FIP and 3.03 xFIP. While it remains unlikely that the Red Sox will ultimately get full value for their investment in the 34-year-old righty, the remainder of the deal is starting to look much more palatable. In addition to the $15.25MM Lackey will be paid this season, he is under contract for 2014 at a $15.25MM rate. More importantly, as Ben Goessling recently noted at ESPNBoston.com, Lackey's TJ procedure triggered a 2015 team option at the league minimum. In addition to generating cap and luxury tax benefits for the Sox, that option year could be an incredible bargain if Lackey maintains anything remotely close to his current performance.
- WEEI.com's Alex Speier wraps up his three-part look at Red Sox ownership and management by documenting changes in the relationship between the club's baseball operations department and its ownership/upper-management. He notes that principal owner John Henry, in particular, has been increasingly assertive. According to Henry, "Over time, I've become less of a chain-of-command guy because the issues in professional sports have become so financially oriented -- there aren't that many issues that don't have a financial component that are of real substance. Having a stronger presence, in my view, was needed. I'm more hands-on than I was." I recommend a full read of this piece, along with the first two segments, as there is much more valuable material than can be passed along here.
- One benefit of Boston's miserable 2012 season, writes Tim Britton of the Providence Journal, is that the club will have its first top-15 selection in the amateur draft in fifteen years. Sitting at number seven, Boston will have an opportunity to score a talented youngster to go with the high-upside prospects (and massive salary relief) that it picked up last season in last year's stunning blockbuster trade with the Dodgers. Past years have seen such impact big leaguers as Prince Fielder, Troy Tulowitzki, Clayton Kershaw, and Matt Harvey snagged with the seventh choice. While Britton discusses the possibility of the Sox going after an arm, several recent mock drafts have the Red Sox landing a bat, such as North Carolina's Colin Moran or Georgia high schooler Clint Frazier.
The Yankees and Dodgers have far and away the game's highest Opening Day payrolls, but have had polar opposite results thus far. While the Yanks were supposed to be the team that failed to deliver performance commensurate with its big spending, they sit atop the AL East with a robust 29-18 record. The Dodgers, meanwhile, are buried seven games back in the basement of the NL West, sporting a 19-27 mark after a listless showing against the Cardinals last night at Dodger Stadium. Let's take a look at the latest on these clubs:
- It has been a comedy of injuries this year for the Yankees, with a steady flow of DL stints nevertheless failing to slow the team's winning ways. Last night brought more of the same, as two key players -- outfielder Curtis Granderson and starter David Phelps -- left the team's 9-4 drubbing of the Rays. MLB.com's Bryan Hoch had the story. Phelps, who was hit on the arm by a come-backer, appears to have escaped significant injury and is expected to make his next scheduled start. Granderson was not so lucky. After suffering a broken forearm on a hit-by-pitch during Spring Training, causing him to miss the first month and a half of the year, Granderson only logged 31 big league plate appearances before being struck by another inside pitch. This time, the ball broke a knuckle on his left hand. The preliminary word is that he will miss a minimum of four weeks. The path to a substantial free agent pay day is now murkier for the big left-handed bat, who is set to hit the market after the season. It seems unlikely, at this point, that Granderson will have more than half of a season of performance in his walk year. While he has been a consistent home run and stolen base threat for much of his career, teams will certainly watch closely to see whether his arm and hand injuries sap his power as he finishes off his age-32 season.
- For the Yankees, the loss of Granderson appears unlikely to warrant an immediate look outside the organization. As Hoch tweeted yesterday evening, and confirmed today, the club will call up outfielder Brennan Boesch. The Yanks nabbed Boesch late in the spring due in part to the fact that he still had an option year. He saw 45 unremarkable plate appearances early in the season, slashing .209/.244/.419, but was optioned in mid-May and has struggled to a .179/.343/.214 slash in limited action at Triple-A.
- A swirl of news around a manager is generally not a good thing, and that is certainly the case with the Dodgers' Don Mattingly. Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times explains that, with Mattingly taking on an increasingly combative persona, the skipper may be going down with a fight, but seems to be going down nonetheless. Team president Stan Kasten, along with GM Ned Colletti, expressed agreement with Mattingly's attempts to light a fire under the team. And Kasten did say that Mattingly's job was not at risk. But he also made clear that it would be if the team can't reverse its fortunes: "I do expect us to turn it around, and because of that, I expect Donnie to be here for a long time. There's another side of that, if things don't go well."
- Meanwhile, internal discord seemingly failed to die down after Mattingly recently called out highly-paid outfielder Andre Ethier. While Ethier expressed surprise and hurt at the public questioning of his effort and toughness, and said he had not even discussed the issue with Mattingly, the manager continued to see things differently. "Guys who play the game right, they don't have any problem with anything I'm saying," said Mattingly. "So I can't even come close to backing off things I said the other day. I feel exactly that way." But was Ethier right that the manager had not even talked about his comments with the player? "I'm getting old and my memory is going, but we definitely talked." Needless to say, this public feud only further reduces L.A.'s leverage should it look to move Ethier's big contract and so-far sluggish bat.
Here are a few National League notes as we head into the weekend:
- Padres utilityman Alexi Amarista has switched his representation to Martin Arburua, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Per MLBTR's Agency Database, Amarista was formerly represented by Proformance. The 24-year-old, who has slashed .280/.309/.452 in 98 plate appearances thus far in 2013, is set to be arbitration eligible beginning in 2015.
- The Nationals are approaching opt-out deadlines for two left-handed relievers that are currently stashed in the minors, explains James Wagner of the Washington Post. Both J.C. Romero and Bill Bray are eligible to elect free agency in June if they are not added to the big league roster. While Washington still has uncertainty in its lefty bullpen options, with Zach Duke scuffling and Fernando Abad only recently added to the squad, its decisions on Romero and Bray will be complicated by injuries to the two southpaws. Romero last saw action on May 8; Bray's last appearance was May 14. Of course, the Nats could always seek to extend those opt-out dates, which could be beneficial to both the team and the players.
- The major decision facing the Nationals this past offseason was whether to bring back free agent Adam LaRoche and, if so, what to do with slugging outfielder/first baseman Michael Morse. With over a quarter of the season in the bag, the Washington Post's Adam Kilogre looks back at the team's ultimate decision to re-sign LaRoche and send Morse to the Mariners. Given the way the season has developed, Kilgore posits, Morse would likely have already been able to achieve over 100 at-bats even with LaRoche in the fold. It is easy to second-guess the decision with Morse's solid start (.244/.310/.462 but with ten long balls) and the struggles of young power-hitter Tyler Moore (.121/.157/.227 and just one home run in 70 plate appearances). Nevertheless, Kilgore explains, the club was not only concerned with carrying Morse's salary and relegating a still-in-his-prime veteran to a secondary role, but needed to recoup some future value after dealing high-end prospect Alex Meyer for center fielder Denard Span.
- As Kilgore notes, the Nats not only landed high-upside pitching prospects A.J. Cole and Blake Treinen in the Morse trade, but also were entitled to a player-to-be-named later. The PTBNL turned into another arm, left-handed reliever Ian Krol, who has flashed promise in his time with the organization. Kilgore points out that Krol has given up only two runs over 22 2/3 innings while working out of the pen for the Nats' Double-A affiliate. The 22-year-old Krol adds another internal option to supplement the team's less-than-inspiring southpaw relief corps.
Nationals manager Davey Johnson announced after tonight's ballgame that the team designated pitcher Yunesky Maya for assignment, Amanda Comak of the Washington Times and others reported (via Twitter). In a corresponding move, the team will call up 24-year-old infielder Jeff Kobernus for his first big league tour.
Maya, a 31-year-old righty who hails from Cuba, has disappointed since the Nats gave him $8MM to sign as an international free agent. In just 59 career big league innings, Maya has struggled to a 5.80 ERA and posted a substandard 4.1 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9. In his only appearance this season, he surrendered a walk-off home run to Pablo Sandoval.
Kobernus, a 2009 second-round pick, was a Rule 5 draftee of the Tigers this past offseason. After challenging for a roster spot with Detroit in the spring, he was returned to the Nationals. Primarily a second baseman for much of his career, Kobernus has seen significant time in the outfield of late, both with the Tigers over the spring and with the Nationals' Triple-A affiliate. He earned the promotion by posting a .333/.378/.420 line over his 193 plate appearances this season.
The Mariners have designated infielder Robert Andino for assignment and elevated shortstop Carlos Triunfel to the big league club. This seemingly simple transaction took some unusual twists and turns throughout the day.
Now that the dust has settled, Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times recapped the series of events. As MLBTR explained earlier today, Dave Cameron of Fangraphs and U.S.S. Mariner tweeted that Andino had been placed on outright waivers to open a 40-man roster spot. A 40-man spot was needed to permit catcher Jesus Sucre to come up and replace the demoted Jesus Montero. However, that waiver move would not have cleared space on the team’s 40-man for 48 hours, the time required for Andino to clear waivers (unless he was claimed). Instead, Baker reported, the Mariners had intended to designate a minor leaguer for assignment to make way for Sucre, leaving Andino on the roster (at least for the time being). As Baker explains, the report of the Andino waiver move meant that the team would be dressing a player who would be (or, at least, believed he would be) out of a job shortly.
Later this afternoon, the Mariners announced that Andino had been designated for assignment, with Triunfel promoted to take his spot. (Baker reported the news first on Twitter.) By designating Andino, the club immediately cleared a 40-man spot for Sucre (who is also now on the active roster) and a 25-man spot for Triunfel (who already occupied a 40-man spot). Triunfel, however, had already flown out this morning with Triple-A Tacoma for the team’s game in Reno, NV. The youngster was then re-routed back to Seattle this afternoon.
This odd sequence leads Baker to infer that the M’s changed course after the Andino waiver news broke. As Baker notes, Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik said that he was already looking to bring up Triunfel. While Zduriencik would not confirm that Andino had been placed on waivers, he did say that no transaction had been made prior to today. Whether the reasons, as Baker explains, “what happened today is hardly routine.”
The net of Seattle’s dealings today is that Andino finds himself in DFA limbo, with the team having ten days to trade, outright, or release him. The 29-year-old Andino batted just .184/.253/.237 for the M's this season, appearing primarily at shortstop. He also has extensive big league experience at second base and has seen some time at third base. Andino was acquired by the Mariners from the Orioles in exchange for Trayvon Robinson back in November.
In parts of nine Major League seasons between the Marlins, Orioles and Mariners, Andino is a .232/.294/.318 hitter. He grades out as a plus defender -- particularly at second base -- according to both UZR and The Fielding Bible.
Jeff Todd contributed to this post.
Here are a few notes from around baseball's Central divisions:
- With the Reds welcoming the division-rival Cubs for a three-game set on the same day that Cincinnati reliever Sean Marshall made another DL trip, Hal McCoy of the Dayton Times looked back on the December 2011 deal between these clubs that put Marshall in the Reds' pen. Travis Wood, the primary piece going to Chicago in that trade, is off to a sparkling start to the year with a 2.24 ERA over 60 1/3 innings. While he has posted a pedestrian 5.8 K/9 to go with 2.8 BB/9, Wood has managed a stellar .928 WHIP this season, good for seventh best among starters, tied with Shelby Miller. (Of course, that mark owes to the lefty's exceedingly low .193 BABIP-against. He sports a career mark of .262; league average currently sits at .292.) Marshall, meanwhile, continues to be effective when he is healthy: he sports an ERA of just over 2.50 over his two seasons in Cincinnati. It is worth noting, as well, that the Reds' rotation is in fine shape thus far without Wood: Cinci starters own the second-best collective ERA in baseball, after the Cardinals.
- Even if the Cubs have played better than their record, the team is looking up in the standings at a host of strong ballclubs. Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times writes that the club is already feeling the mid-summer trade deadline, though it remains a ways away. Manager Dale Sveum acknowledged that, while the team is still "trying to put things together where you pull off some streaks ... to give yourself a chance to give yourself hope," the team "all know[s] that if we don't, there can be changes." Wittenmyer says that a number of players could be on the trading block, including starters Scott Feldman and Matt Garza, relivers Kevin Gregg and James Russell, and outfielder David DeJesus.
- The Cubs' major offseason acquisition, pitcher Edwin Jackson, has been a disappointment among an otherwise solid rotation. Nevertheless, the Chicago Tribune's Paul Sullivan reports, Jackson is in no danger of losing his starting role. Sveum said that the team is "going to stick with him," in part due to Jackson's four-year, $52MM deal. Said Sveum: "You've got a commitment there and you've got to stick with the commitment."
- Twins first bagger Justin Morneau, a soon-to-be free agent, has not engaged in any extension talks with his team, a source tells Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com. As Morneau finishes off his six-year, $80MM deal with Minnesota, he has failed to restore the power that landed him that contract. Morneau slashed .345/.437/.628 over an injury-shortened 2010 season, but registered a .267/.333/.440 line last year and currently sits at .312/.353/.416 over 190 plate appearances this season.