Quick Hits: Victorino, Phillies, Dempster, Pirates

Shane Victorino was a late scratch for today's game against the Braves, but it's apparently nothing more than a manager's decision by skipper Charlie Manuel.  However, Victorino doesn't appear to be long for Philadelphia anyway as he will almost certainly sign elsewhere if he is not dealt before July 31st, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.  People familiar with the familiar with the Phillies' thinking have suggested that while they intend to make a strong effort to keep Cole Hamels, their efforts to retain the outfielder are expected to be lukewarm at best.  The Dodgers have a bit of interest in Victorino while he could also be a fit for the Pirates, Indians, and Tigers, Heyman tweets.  More Sunday afternoon linkage..

  • A big scouting presence is expected for Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster's start against the ‪Mets‬ today, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  The right-hander was on the disabled list for three weeks with a sore right lat.
  • Former Rangers and Indians GM John Hart told Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (via Twitter) that while it's "common knowledge" that the Bucs are looking for offense, he believes that they should also consider adding a big pitcher.
  • Giving Jonathan Papelbon a four-year, $50MM contract has handcuffed the Phillies from making other essential moves, writes Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.  While Papelbon has posted a 3.45 ERA with 10.9 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 on his way to a fifth All-Star selection, the rest of the bullpen has been battered by injuries.

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