Odds & Ends: Holt, Lee, Klein, Valentine, Villone

Links for Thursday, exactly 23 years after the Braves and Tigers swapped Doyle Alexander and John Smoltz

  • The Indians signed tenth round pick Tyler Holt according to Baseball America's Jim Callis. Holt's $500K bonus is the largest we've seen for a player drafted in a double-digit round this year. 
  • Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News wonders how much the Texas heat will play into Cliff Lee's decision about whether or not to re-sign with the Rangers after the season.
  • MLB.com' Brittany Ghiroli tweets that Orioles' third rounder Dan Klein is expected to report to one of the team's minor league affiliates once he passes his physical, indicating that the two sides have a deal in place.
  • Someone familiar with Bobby Valentine’s thinking tells Larry Stone of the Seattle Times that Valentine considers the Mariners managerial opening one of "the most appealing jobs in baseball.”
  • The Nationals released Ron Villone, according to Syracuse Chiefs broadcasters Jason Benetti and Mike Couzens (on Twitter). The veteran left-hander, who last pitched in the majors in 2009, posted a 6.59 ERA in Triple A this year.
  • The sale of the Rangers is now final, as MLB.com’s Barry Bloom writes.
  • Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker previews some of the players who could soon make the jump from Japan to MLB. Wei-Yin Chen, a 25-year-old lefty represented by Alan Nero may be posted this offseason.
  • Veracruz, the Mexican team that holds the rights to pitching prospect Luis Heredia, will not entertain offers from MLB clubs until next Wednesday, August 18th, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  • Tim Chambers, Bryce Harper's college coach, told Byron Kerr of MASNSports.com that Harper, the first overall pick in this year’s draft, is “begging to play.” Chambers expects the Nationals to work out a deal by Monday night’s deadline.
  • Angels scouting director Eddie Bane told Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times that the Angels are "fairly close" to an agreement with first rounder Kaleb Cowart, though he expects negotiations to last until Monday, the deadline for signing draft picks.
  • Jamey Newberg counts down the ten biggest August trades in recent Rangers history for MLB.com. Rick Helling and Ryan Dempster have prominent roles on the list, which is worth checking out.

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