Odds & Ends: Hill, Sampson, Butler, Lewis

On this day in 1977, Sadaharu Oh hit his 756th career home run, passing Hank Aaron for the (known) all-time professional record.  It's just the 'known' record since we don't know for sure how many homers Josh Gibson hit in the Negro Leagues.  Oh finished his Japanese career with a whopping 868 long balls. 

Some news items…

  • Andrew Stoeten of the Drunk Jays Fans blog and The Toronto Sun's Bob Elliott both recently outlined the Blue Jays' upcoming decision about Aaron Hill's 2012-14 club option years.  If the Jays decline to exercise all three options at once by next Opening Day, Hill can no longer be retained by the team on his $10MM club option for 2014.  It's very likely that Toronto will pass on the three-years-at-once option and then look at Hill's $8MM options for 2012 and 2013 after next season.  In short, Hill's lackluster play this year has cost him $10MM thus far.
  • Chris Sampson has accepted his minor league assignment from the Astros and will report to Triple-A Round Rock, tweets Alyson Footer of MLB.com.  Sampson could've opted for free agency, but will instead finish the season in Houston's system and pursue free agency in the offseason.
  • If Eric Hosmer continues to develop, ESPN.com's Jason A. Churchill suggests that Kansas City might trade Billy Butler to avoid paying him a significant contract.  Butler is a first-time arbitration candidate this offseason and could make 10 times his current $470K salary in 2011.
  • Cleveland manager Manny Acta says that Jensen Lewis' future with the Tribe may depend on how he looks in relief outings this September, writes Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.  Lewis will reach arbitration for the first time this winter and is out of options, so he's a possible non-tender candidate.
  • In a reader chat, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News gave his opinion on such Rangers hot stove topics as Cliff Lee's future with the club and whom the Rangers might target in free agency this winter.
  • Brandon Boggs has cleared waivers and been assigned to Texas' Triple-A affiliate, reports MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez.  Boggs was designated for assignment on Tuesday.
  • Eric Chavez "is not ready to announce [his] retirement," tweets MLB.com's Jane Lee, but would consider a post-playing career of coaching or broadcasting (also from Twitter).
  • Blogger El Lefty Malo looks at how the Giants have gotten better at acquiring "band-aid" veterans.
  • Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall tells FOXSportsArizona.com's Jack Magruder that money will not be a factor in hiring the team's new general manager, but admits "I'd be lying if I said it wasn't an issue."
  • Alex Rodriguez's recent split with agent Scott Boras may have been influenced by advisers from the entertainment business and Rodriguez's "infatuation with Hollywood stardom," reports ESPNNewYork.com's Wallace Matthews.  Somewhere, Ari Gold is yelling at Lloyd to place a call on his behalf…

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