Rosenthal On Braves, Dempster, Rizzo, Astros

One scout told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that the work of the Braves’ hitting instructors and the performance of Kris Medlen has made the difference for the team so far in 2012. Atlanta GM Frank Wren agrees with that assessment, according to Rosenthal, who offers notes and rumors from around the league in his latest column:

  • The Cubs are more likely to trade Ryan Dempster if they sign Matt Garza to an extension. However, Dempster’s ten and five rights allow him to veto any trade, so he’ll have leverage if the Cubs look to make a move. It doesn’t seem likely that Dempster will sign a below-market extension to stay in Chicago, Rosenthal writes.
  • The Cubs don’t have immediate plans to call up Anthony Rizzo, who figures to stay in the minor leagues until an opening emerges.
  • Releasing Alfonso Soriano doesn’t appear to be an option; the outfielder has approximately $50MM remaining on his contract with the Cubs.
  • General managers criticize the collective bargaining agreement, Rosenthal reports. Some low-revenue teams dislike spending restrictions on the draft, since they feel the limitations will drive up the price of MLB talent.
  • Chien-Ming Wang, who is now rehabbing at Triple-A, could be valuable insurance for the Nationals, since they’ve decided to cap Stephen Strasburg’s innings.
  • Brett Myers’ 2013 option likely vests with approximately 55 games finished, Rosenthal suggests. The right-hander will obtain a $500K bonus if the Astros trade him.
  • One scout says Blue Jays catching prospect Travis D’Arnaud looks like Russell Martin did with the Dodgers.

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