The Red Sox signed Rich Hill to a minor league contract on this date in 2010. The 32-year-old southpaw reinvented himself as a reliever with low arm slot and has held left-handed hitters to a .140/.260/.209 batting line with Boston while batting numerous elbow injuries (including Tommy John surgery). Here are some links from Beantown...
- The Red Sox will have some roster decisions to make once they start getting players back from injury, writes Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. Boston could have as many as seven healthy starting pitchers and nine healthy outfielders shortly after the All-Star break.
- Trading Marco Scutaro to free up cash to sign Cody Ross has worked out wonderfully for the Sox, writes WEEI.com's Alex Speier. Ross is hitting .277/.345/.578 with 12 homers after signing a one-year, $3MM contract this offseason.
- Daniel Bard has struggled as a reliever in Triple-A and both CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler and Kirk Minihane of WEEI.com wonders if the failed starting pitching experiment could have long-term ramifications. Boston has not yet missed Bard in its bullpen this season, however.
- Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe muses about Felix Hernandez being a fit for the Red Sox, suggesting that Northwest natives Jon Lester and Jacoby Ellsbury would make sense for the Mariners. Just to be clear, this isn't an actual trade or rumor being discussed, just Cafardo thinking out loud.
The Dodgers have reached an agreement with first round pick Corey Seager on a $2.35MM bonus, reports Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times. Slot money for the 18th overall pick was $1.95MM.
Seager, a high schooler infielder from North Carolina, is the younger brother of Mariners' third baseman Kyle Seager. Baseball America says he offers left-handed power and "it [is] easy to see his upside," though it's unclear if he will remain at shortstop long-term.
Links as Friday turns into Saturday..
- As the Phillies look for a place to move Jim Thome, the Rays and Yankees are not interested, sources tell Buster Olney of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Olney speculates (Twitter link) that the Orioles and Rangers could be solid fits for the veteran.
- Darren Oliver may be a name to watch for the Angels if the Blue Jays decide to be sellers at the deadline, tweets Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com.
- The Orioles have agreed in principle with three of their top seven picks, tweets Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. Second-round selection Branden Kline, Christian Walker (fourth), and Matthew Price (seven) all signed for their slot recommendation.
10:11pm: The Dodgers asked about Lowrie, but he's not in the current talks, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN.com. A source says that there's a 50-50 shot that Carlos Lee accepts a deal to Los Angeles for pitching prospects.
9:57pm: Dodgers' talks with Astros involve Carlos Lee, not Jed Lowrie, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Lee would need to a approve deal and has the right to block a deal to the Dodgers.
9:02pm: The Dodgers are talking to the Astros about a trade that would send Jed Lowrie to the Dodgers with minor-leaguers Zach Lee and Garrett Gould headed to Houston, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.com (via Twitter). One source place the odds of the deal taking place at about 50-50 right now, Olney tweets.
Sources also say that others could be involved in the talks, according to Olney (via Twitter). Lowrie would provide the Dodgers with options at shortstop and third base to go along with a power bat. The 28-year-old has a .262/.350/.492 slash line with 14 homers in 68 games this year.
Lee, 20, was the Dodgers' first-round pick in 2010 and signed with the club over attending LSU on a football scholarship. The right-hander was promoted to Double-A Chattanooga earlier this week after turning in a 4.55 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 in 12 California League starts in 2012.
Gould, also a right-hander, was the club's second-round pick in '09 out of Wichita, Kansas. The soon-to-be 21-year-old has made 12 starts and three relief appearances in the California League this year, posting a 5.12 ERA with 9.0 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9.
The Mets' deadline discussions with other clubs have not started "in earnest" and have been limited to cursory conversations so far, a baseball source told Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Apparently, teams that might be sellers were largely unwilling to concede they were ready for that position yet. The official also projected that trades across baseball will likely be more about absorbing salary than parting with prospects. Here's a look at the Mets tonight..
- A team insider told Rubin that the players available now might not be worth acquiring for the Mets. Players available now such as Chad Qualls and Brad Lidge likely wouldn't be gamechangers for the Mets.
- The Mets are already actively working to get bullpen help and called the Padres to ask about Huston Street, a source tells Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (via Twitter). Street's prior issues with bench coach Bob Geren would also not be a factor if there is a fit.
Items out of the AL and NL Central divisions..
- Jed Hoyer of the Cubs, Doug Melvin of the Brewers and Jeff Luhnow of the Astros figure to be among the busiest general managers in baseball as the trade deadline approaches, Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (Insider sub. req'd) writes.
- Twins general manager Terry Ryan has changed his team's draft philosophies because of Target Field, writes Spencer Fordin of MLB.com. Minnesota used to look at left-handed pitchers and hitters, but he said that the team's new outdoor facility favors right-handed hitters and outfielders who can cover a lot of ground.
- Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN Radio (via Twitter) supports the Twins' new contract for Ryan Doumit, saying that the club has problems but doesn't mind a $7MM deal for a catcher with pop.
Lidge has returned home to his native Colorado since being cut and said he is happy spending time with his family. Meanwhile, he has instructed his agents to take calls from interested teams.
Lidge, 35, came to the Nats on a $1MM deal in January but was sidelined by sports hernia surgery in late April and struggled in his return earlier this month. "Lights Out" had a 9.64 ERA with ten strikeouts and eleven walks in 11 appearances for Washington this year. For his career, Lidge owns an ERA of 3.54 with 11.9 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 for the Astros, Phillies, and Nats.
The A's could be gearing up for a sale closer to the deadline, but for now Oakland sits at 37-40 as they enter tonight's game in Texas and may look to see how things play out. In the interim, the club would like to move left-hander Brian Fuentes. Here's the latest out of Oakland..
- In addition to Fuentes, the A's will also be willing to move Brandon McCarthy once he is healthy, major league sources tell Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The right-hander has a 2.54 ERA with 6.0 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9 through 12 starts this season. However, Rosenthal notes that his injury concerns could require extra rest from which ever team may acquire him. Sources add that the A's are under no financial pressure to make moves.
- The A’s also are open to moving right-hander Grant Balfour, but will seek more in return than they would for McCarthy, Rosenthal writes. Balfour is under control for 2013 with a $4.5MM club option.
- A source also tells Rosenthal that outfielder/DH Seth Smith is unlikely to be traded. Smith makes just $2.415MM this season and is and under club control through 2014.
- Fuentes politely declined to comment when asked about trade rumors or whether he has requested a trade, tweets Joe Stiglich of the Bay Area News Group.
Earlier today the Dodgers officially announced the signing of Cuban outfielder Yasel Puig to a seven-year deal. The news of the agreement sent shock waves through baseball this week and clearly shows that the club is very serious about getting back into signing top Latin American players. Here's more out of Los Angeles..
- The Puig deal could be just the start of major moves to come from the Dodgers, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. According to major league sources, they have talked multiple times to the Cubs, Astros, and Brewers. They've also touched base with a number of other teams, including the Mariners, Royals, Twins, Blue Jays and Padres, sources said. The Dodgers would like to add a hitter, a starting pitcher, and a left-handed reliever.
- Speaking of the Cubs, the Dodgers are viewed as a favorite to land Ryan Dempster once he returns from the disabled list, sources suggest to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. The two sides haven't talked since the week before Dempster went down but a person familiar with the situation says Los Angeles has a very good chance to land the right-hander.
- The Dodgers are lukewarm to the idea of signing Derrek Lee, and would prefer to explore other options first, a major league source told Rosenthal. Lee would require time at Triple-A and the Dodgers seem to prefer more certainty and perhaps a more immediate solution at first base.
The Phillies and Orioles are talking seriously about a deal involving Jim Thome, a source tells Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. recently disclosed that he's open to moving the veteran if there is a deal that makes sense for both the slugger and the team.
After Thome's recent strong showing at designated hitter during interleague play, he is on board with joining an American League club in need of a bat. The Phillies have been reportedly been shopping Thome to teams in need of a DH and a team like the O's would fit the bill.
This post was originally published on June 30th.