Five years ago today, the Athletics claimed righty Jerome Williams off waivers from the Cubs. Williams pitched 30 innings for the Nationals the following year, but then didn't pitch in the Majors until last month with the Angels. Williams went through a lot in the meantime, and considers his return to the bigs "a fairy tale." On to today's Labor Day links…
- Dustin McGowan makes for another nice story; the Blue Jays reinstated him from the 60-day DL today. The former first-round pick once seemed on the cusp of big things, but he hasn't pitched in the Majors in more than three years due to a pair of surgeries on his right shoulder. He'll be one of seven arbitration eligible Blue Jays, but McGowan won't cost much to retain.
- Dodgers reliever Hong-Chih Kuo is learning to manage his anxiety better, and intends to pitch next year, writes Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times. If the Dodgers tender Kuo a contract, he'll earn at least $2.18MM in 2012.
- Free agency will be "interesting," Cardinals starter Edwin Jackson tells Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Scott Boras client, who turns 28 on Friday, has a 3.78 ERA on the season and is on track to make 30+ starts for the fifth consecutive year.
- Reliever Bobby Jenks is probably done for the season, Red Sox manager Terry Francona told WEEI's Rob Bradford and others today. The big righty signed a two-year, $12MM deal after being non-tendered by the White Sox in December, but pitched only 15 2/3 innings for Boston due to a back injury.