AL West Notes: Mariners, Astros, Walker

The Mariners designated Aaron Harang for assignment earlier this evening but that might not be the only roster move made by GM Jack Zduriencik & Co. this week.  This morning, Kendrys Morales was claimed off revocable trade waivers, giving the M's and the mystery club a total of two days to hammer out a trade.  It was believe that the Mariners rebuffed interest from the Rangers and other clubs in late July with the hopes of re-signing Morales this winter, but the right deal might cause them to think otherwise.  Here's more out of the AL West..

  • The Astros own the worst record in the big leagues but they are also MLB's most profitable team as they have a remarkably low $13MM payroll, according to Dan Alexander of Forbes Magazine.  Owner Jim Crane has previously said that he eventually plans on making Houston's payroll one of the largest in the majors, but Alexander argues that Crane is likely to use some of the team's profit to help pay down the $275MM debt he took on when he bought the club.
  • The Astros responded to the article this evening in a statement to the press, arguing that the "information reported in the Forbes article relating to the Astros’ revenues, the Astros media rights fee from CSN Houston, and CSN Houston’s per subscriber rate are all significantly inaccurate" and as a result, "the conclusion about the Astros operational profit is significantly inaccurate."  
  • Mariners assistant GM Tony Blengino wasn't let go by the club, but actually requested to look into other MLB opportunities since his role in the organization has decreased, writes Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times.  The stats guru said that when he called the Mariners last week, he was advised that his contract for 2014 would not be renewed.
  • More from Baker, who wonders if today's move with Harang was done to open up a rotation spot for Triple-A starter Taijuan Walker.  Walker was ranked as the No. 20 prospect in the country by Baseball America prior to this season.

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