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- Twins Remove Ron Gardenhire From Manager Role
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The Tigers aren't actively pursuing second base help, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). Members of the team's front office don't believe available infielders represent an upgrade over Danny Worth and Ramon Santiago. Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com notes that the game's best second basemen aren't available in trades and reports that the Tigers would like to upgrade at the position if possible (Twitter link).
Tigers second basemen — Santiago, Worth, Ryan Raburn and Brandon Inge — have combined for a .178/.253/.252 batting line so far this year. The group's .504 OPS ranks last in the American League at second base and next-to-last in MLB (the Giants rank 30th). The Tigers released Inge earlier in the season and optioned Raburn to Triple-A this week.
The Pirates have placed outfielder Nate McLouth on release waivers, Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports (on Twitter). If McLouth clears waivers he'll be granted his unconditional release and hit free agency.
The Pirates designated McLouth for assignment six days ago following a disappointing encore in Pittsburgh. McLouth signed a one-year, $1.75MM deal with the Pirates this past offseason after spending two and a half years in Atlanta. The 30-year-old posted a .385 OPS in 62 plate appearances back in Pittsburgh.
Before the season started, White Sox general manager Kenny Williams told manager Robin Ventura not to expect more than a .500 season, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports. The White Sox expected to trade away veteran players midseason, but the team now sits in first place with a 29-22 record, so Williams plans on adding talent this summer, according to Nightengale.
Jake Peavy would have been available if the White Sox weren’t contending, but he’s now “untouchable.” The White Sox could look for more offense at third base, in my opinion. Veteran second baseman Orlando Hudson is now starting at third, but between Hudson and Brent Morel, White Sox third basemen have the lowest OPS in the Major Leagues (.439) at the position.
The latest outright assignments from around MLB…
The Brewers may sit in fifth place with a 22-28 record, but the principal owner of the defending National League Central champions doesn’t anticipate selling off talent at this summer’s trade deadline. Mark Attanasio told reporters that the Brewers prefer to add rather than subtract.
"We always have a buyer's mindset," Attanasio said, according to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com. "In seven years, we've always had a buyer's mindset."
Zack Greinke, Shaun Marcum and Francisco Rodriguez are among the Brewers headed for free agency after the season. They would surely draw interest if Attanasio and president of baseball operations Doug Melvin make them available. The Brewers have had a particularly difficult time staying healthy this year. Jonathan Lucroy, Mat Gamel, Alex Gonzalez, Chris Narveson are all on the disabled list after sustaining serious injuries.
The latest minor moves from around MLB…
- The Cubs signed free agent right-hander Shane Lindsay and released left-hander Nate Robertson, MLB.com's Carrie Muskat reports. Lindsay, who was released by the Dodgers earlier this month, will report to Triple-A Iowa. He has a 3.61 ERA with 10.8 K/9 and 8.9 BB/9 in three Triple-A seasons. His trouble with walks persisted in the Dodgers' organization earlier this year.
- Robertson has pitched more than 1100 innings over the course of nine seasons in the Major Leagues. The free agent last appeared in an MLB game in 2010.
The 27-23 Yankees sit in third place in the American League East and the 28-23 Mets occupy third place in the National League East. Here's the latest from New York on an off day for the city's two teams…
- Baseball officials are skeptical that Melky Cabrera can sustain his performance as an elite player, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. However, there’s no denying that Cabrera has played at an All-Star level since the 2011 season. “He has turned into one of the better hitters in the league,” Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers said. Sherman chronicles Cabrera’s journey from extra outfielder in New York to middle-of-the-order hitter in San Francisco.
- Sherman suggests the budget conscious Yankees will probably not sign Cabrera or Nick Swisher when the switch-hitting outfielders hit free agency after the season.
- Ken Davidoff of the New York Post offers a template for how the Mets can handle David Wright’s contract status in the coming months and years. Davidoff suggests the Mets offer Wright an extension later this year — maybe $115MM for six years — and exercise their 2013 club option if he declines to sign. The Mets could then listen to trade offers for the third baseman and make a deal if an exceptional offer emerged. Though the Mets can’t control the result of their discussions with Wright, they can manage the process, Davidoff writes.
If Carlos Quentin keeps hitting and the 17-35 Padres continue struggling, contending teams figure to call about the left fielder this summer. In a trade market that seemingly features little power, Quentin’s right-handed bat will have considerable value.
The 29-year-old recently returned to the Padres’ lineup after missing nearly two months to recover from arthroscopic knee surgery. So far, the results have been remarkable. He has seven hits, including three home runs, in 12 trips to the plate. It’s a small sample, of course, but in more than 2400 career plate appearances the two-time All-Star has a .254/.347/.496 batting line. In other words, Quentin offers an attractive combination of on-base skills and power as a hitter. On defense, he’s sure-handed and has decent range with a below-average throwing arm, according to The Fielding Bible Volume III.
Quentin will earn $7.03MM this season before hitting free agency. Similar players — think Josh Willingham, Jason Kubel and Luke Scott — are worth $6-8MM on the free agent market, which means a qualifying offer in the $12-3MM range seems highly unlikely. The Padres won’t be getting draft picks for Quentin, so a trade appears to be the only way for the team to obtain a long-term asset for the left fielder.
When GM Josh Byrnes acquired Quentin last December, he sent minor league left-hander Pedro Hernandez and right-hander Simon Castro, a former top-100 prospect, to the White Sox. The Padres may be able to acquire better prospects if Quentin’s knee holds up and his bat returns to form. As I mentioned before, there doesn’t seem to be much power on the trade market (Alfonso Soriano could probably be had, but he earns $18MM in 2013 and 2014, which makes things messy). And it could take a while for bats to become available because more teams than ever are within striking distance of a playoff berth.
Once Quentin plays enough to show he is healthy, Byrnes could make him available and wait for other teams to start making offers. The Indians, Orioles and Dodgers are among the teams that might have interest in adding a right-handed hitting outfielder with power in the next eight weeks. If Quentin is healthy the Padres may come out ahead this summer and trade him for better prospects than the ones they surrendered to acquire him.
Photo courtesy of US Presswire. I discussed Quentin and the Padres yesterday on XTRA Sports 1360 in San Diego.
Cal Ripken Jr. started his streak of 2,632 consecutive games played on this date 30 years ago. He played third base and batted eighth for the Orioles back on May 30th, 1982 and continued playing until September, 1998. Here are today's links…
- Jamie Moyer told Troy Renck of The Denver Post that he hopes to continue pitching after being designated for assignment by the Rockies earlier today (Twitter link). When asked if Moyer will keep playing, MLBTR readers were split nearly 50-50.
- It’ll be an interesting summer for Blue Jays fans as they await the moves of GM Alex Anthopoulos, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports writes.
- Kevin Goldstein explains how teams could clear space for top prospects like Wil Myers and Anthony Rizzo in a piece at ESPN.com.
- Will Middlebrooks and Yu Darvish join Matt Moore, Bryce Harper and Mike Trout on Jim Bowden's list of rookies with the best long-term futures at ESPN.com.
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
As the number of long-term contracts and contract extensions increases, teams lock themselves into payroll obligations well into the future. With some help from Cot's Baseball Contracts, let's take a look at the longest current contracts for all 30 teams…
Signed Through 2023
- Reds: Joey Votto
Signed Through 2021
- Angels: Albert Pujols
Signed Through 2020
Signed Through 2019
Signed Through 2018
Signed Through 2017
- Cardinals: Yadier Molina
- Diamondbacks: Miguel Montero
- Giants: Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner
- Marlins: Jose Reyes
- Pirates: Andrew McCutchen
- Rangers: Ian Kinsler and Yu Darvish
- Yankees: Alex Rodriguez
Signed Through 2016
- Cubs: Gerardo Concepcion
- Indians: Carlos Santana
- Mets: Jonathon Niese
- Padres: Cameron Maybin
- Phillies: Ryan Howard
- Rays: Matt Moore
- Royals: Salvador Perez
- White Sox: John Danks
Signed Through 2015
- Athletics: Yoenis Cespedes
- Blue Jays: Jose Bautista and Ricky Romero
- Braves: Dan Uggla
- Mariners: Danny Hultzen
Signed Through 2013
- Astros: Wandy Rodriguez