Todd Helton celebrated his 38th birthday with a 3-for-6 performance (that included a homer) against the Dodgers today. Best of all for Helton, the Rockies picked up a 7-6 win in a 13-inning affair against their NL West rivals.
Some news from around the majors....
- "There is a strong belief" that the Blue Jays have discussed a contract extension with general manager Alex Anthopoulos, writes Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star. The catch is, the terms of Anthopoulos' original deal in 2009 were never made public, so the end date of the GM's current contract is unknown to all but himself and the club. Anthopoulos' quotes to Griffin would seem to indicate that he is staying in Toronto for years to come.
- The Marlins have denied several requests from teams to interview GM Michael Hill and VP of player personnel Dan Jennings for open front office positions over the last few years, reports Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Rodriguez feels the two men have earned the right to run their own team since Larry Beinfest calls the shots in Florida, though in Hill's case, he would have to be offered a president position to leave since he's already a general manager.
- If Rich Harden is traded this month or just reaches the end of his one-year contract, he's still a candidate to return to the Athletics in the offseason, reports Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Harden has family in the Bay Area, enjoys pitching in Oakland and has "a great relationship with pitching coach Ron Romanick."
- Slusser also notes that the A's were looking for a first baseman for Harden at the deadline (like Lars Anderson from Boston), but since they've acquired Brandon Allen in the interim, the A's could ask for an outfielder or third baseman in a potential Harden trade package.
- Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle looks at how Brian Bogusevic went from a failing minor league pitcher to a productive member of the Astros' outfield.
- "It's important to have talented players in uniform in Pittsburgh," Pirates owner Robert Nutting told Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "That's exactly what we're trying to do, whether it's through a long-term assurance in a contract or whether it's bringing in great talent (through the draft)." The Bucs have had an expensive week, spending $17MM on draft picks, signing Jose Tabata to a contract extension and closing in on another multiyear deal with Neil Walker.
- The Rockies have dealt some notable right-handed prospects in recent years, but as Rich M of Inside The Rockies details, the club hasn't lost any significant arms.
- Scott Van Slyke's impressive minor league campaign should earn him a chance at the Dodgers' first base job in Spring Training, argues Jon Weisman of ESPN Los Angeles. Van Slyke, 25, has a .343/.424/.576 line in 474 plate appearances for Double-A Chattanooga this season. Incumbent first baseman James Loney is expected to be non-tendered by L.A. this winter.
- Ryan Madson's meltdown against the Nationals on Friday night is a sign that the Phillies need to stop using him on three consecutive days, opines Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer. You can catch up on all the latest info about the Phillies' bullpen and every other late-game situation in baseball on MLBTR's sister site, Closer News.