Congrats to Justin Verlander. The Tigers' ace threw a no-hitter against the Blue Jays this afternoon, the second of his career. He's now one of only 28 men to throw multiple no-hitters in the big leagues. Here are Saturday's links...
- Red Sox GM Theo Epstein was personally scouting UConn RHP Matt Barnes tonight, reports Dom Amore of The Hartford Courant (on Twitter). Barnes is expected to go in the first round this year, in which the Red Sox have two picks.
- Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News reports that the Rangers called up Craig Gentry to replace Nelson Cruz, who was placed on the disabled list (Twitter links). He notes that one possible reason why they didn't call up Endy Chavez is because they'd have to place him on waivers once Cruz was healthy.
- In a guest post for Through The Fence Baseball, MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith took stock of the winter's biggest offseason deals.
- Bill Madden of The New York Daily News wrote about the numerous big-money players that are struggling this year, including Derek Jeter and Hanley Ramirez.
- Stan Kasten confirmed to Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post that he sold his ownership stake in the Nationals this March. Kasten stepped down as team president late last year, but it's unclear what he'll do next. He was mentioned as possibly trustee when MLB took over the Dodgers' financial operations.
- Alfredo Simon was in the Orioles' clubhouse today, and will continue working his way back with a minor league appearance next week according to Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun. Connolly says the team will have to recall, waive, or release Simon by "roughy May 22" after he spent two months in a Dominican Republic prison and being placed on the restricted list.
- Bernie Miklasz of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch spoke to Cardinals GM John Mozeliak about the resurgent Lance Berkman. "We did a lot of due diligence," said the GM. "We truly believed he could have a bounce-back year. When we looked at it, we knew he was working extremely hard on his conditioning, was getting the knee healthy, was getting himself in tremendous shape, and that he'd be a lot stronger. That was a big thing. We knew that he still had an eye for hitting, and he would work the count and take walks. The question was, how would he be physically. And once we knew how much he was putting into his training, it gave us confidence."