Dan Duquette was out of baseball for ten years and wasn't sure if he'd find his way back, but the Orioles GM has surprised many by putting together a strong club for 2012, writes Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe. The GM was quick to credit the work of manager Buck Showalter for the team's success and also pointed to some good breaks for the club as they dealt with a young and oft-injured rotation. Here's more from Cafardo..
- Johnny Damon could be a fit for the Braves as they are in need of a lefthanded pinch hitter. Atlanta is looking all around for a part-time lefthanded bat and they are scouting almost every team out of the race. Damon posted a posted a .222/.281/.329 batting line with four home runs in 224 plate appearances for the Tribe this year.
- The Braves aren’t optimistic that they can re-sign Michael Bourn when he becomes a free agent, in part because they don’t seem to do well with Scott Boras clients. Given that, it also seems unlikely that they'll aggressively pursue Jacoby Ellsbury this offseason.
- Atlanta will have to replace both Bourn and Chipper Jones, and one Braves official didn’t rule out Kevin Youkilis if the White Sox don’t pick up his $13MM option. Of course, the Braves would be looking to spend considerably less than that to sign him.
- D'Backs pitcher Joe Saunders would be an interesting trade piece if they feel they can’t make the playoffs. The left-hander has looked strong as of late and is headed towards free agency, but Arizona doesn't expect to resign him. With Patrick Corbin, Tyler Skaggs, and Trevor Bauer all in the fold, Kevin Towers & Co. could easily part with him.