Quick Hits: Branyan, Bedard, Vazquez, Turner

On this date in 1999, the Twins traded Scott Downs and Rick Aguilera to the Cubs for Kyle Lohse and Jason Ryan. Aguilera and Ryan ended their careers years ago, but Downs has a 0.84 ERA in 10 2/3 innings for the Angels this year while Lohse owns a 2.17 ERA in 66 1/3 innings for the Cardinals.

Here are Saturday's links, as Cliff Lee prepares to pitch against his former Rangers' teammates…

  • Since joining the Red Sox, the club has learned that Adrian Gonzalez is a great mentor for their young Latin players, writes Peter Gammons of MLB.com.
  • As Matt Eddy of Baseball America (via Twitter) points out, the Diamondbacks' release of Russell Branyan marks the end of his time with his tenth different club.  He's had multiple stops in the same place as well as the Indians had and traded him four different times while the Brewers and the Mariners each had him twice.
  • In today's Insider-only blog post, ESPN's Buster Olney says that any team interested in trading for Erik Bedard would have to convince themselves that he could find the same comfort zone on their team that he has with the Mariners.
  • Seattle is "almost certainly in position to ask for a top prospect" for Bedard according to Olney, who has a 3.94 ERA in eight starts this year but remains an injury risk given all his shoulder trouble.
  • Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez indicated that Javier Vazquez is not pitching for his job today, writes Manny Navarro of The Miami Herald. Vazquez has a 7.55 ERA with more walks (24) than strikeouts (20) in 39 1/3 innings across eight starts this year, in part because his fastball velocity has disappeared.
  • Joel Sherman of The New York Post points out that the Yankees once drafted Mets' infielder Justin Turner, but he turned down a $200K offer as 29th round pick in 2005 and returned to school for his senior season. Turner signed with the Reds for $50K as a seventh round pick in 2006, then was traded to the Orioles in the Ryan FreelRamon Hernandez swap and was later claimed off waivers by the Mets. He went 3-for-4 with an RBI against the Yanks last night.

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