We'll round out the evening with a few notes from around the National League:
- The success of the Pirates was not just about developing youngsters and gem-in-the-rough free agents, writes Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Out of ideas on how to improve the club without extra cash to spend, the Pirates concocted what Sawchik calls "perhaps the most aggressive, systematic approach to run prevention -- from alignment to pitching strategy -- in baseball history." The plan was in the works for years in the organization's lower levels, and developed in the bigs as a combined front office, coaching staff, and player effort. I dare not attempt to encapsulate this interesting piece here, and will instead simply recommend that you give it a full read.
- The Phillies want to add a right-handed, outfielding power hitter to the lineup in 2014, reports MLB.com's Todd Zolecki. While they are hardly unique in this pursuit -- the Diamondbacks and Giants are reportedly among the many teams keen to improve their pop -- the Phils' needs are somewhat more specific. With Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Domonic Brown, Ben Revere, and Cody Asche presumably penciled in as regulars, and righty-swinging Darin Ruf and Maikel Franco already in the infield mix, the club is definitely shopping for a right-handed, corner outfielder, says Zolecki.
- Philadelphia's interim manager Ryne Sandberg says that the team's bullpen has had some questions answered over the last few weeks, reports Zolecki. Sandberg says that "solidify[ing] the starting rotation" is a top priority, along with "figur[ing] out the catching situation and better defense in the outfield." With youngsters like B.J. Rosenberg, Jake Diekman, and Justin De Fratus staking their claim to a spot in the big league pen, Sandberg says the club may have "a better feel [for] what they really need to concentrate on -- as far as the front office -- as far as the necessary pieces that either aren't here or that they need to go and get."
- Wondering where top international amateurs rank now that they've signed? Baseball America's Ben Badler, via J.J. Cooper, says that the Cubs' Eloy Jimenez and Gleyber Torres -- the top two July 2nd prospects per BA -- would likely fall within the top-30 organizational list but outside the top ten. Both should skip the Dominican Summer League and head straght to rookie ball, according to the piece.
Cardinals Sign Aledmys Diaz Cardinals Extend Matt Carpenter Diamondbacks Sign Oliver Perez Nationals Sign Mike Gonzalez Rick Ankiel To Retire Rangers Sign Joe Saunders Indians Acquire Justin Sellers, Designate David Cooper Guillermo Mota Retires Braves To Sign Yenier Bello Athletics Acquire Jake Elmore Carl Pavano Retires Yankees Extend Brett Gardner Yankees Agree To Terms With Andrew Bailey Giants Sign Tyler Colvin Orioles Sign Nelson Cruz Red Sox Sign Chris Capuano Braves Extend Andrelton Simmons Reds Extend Homer Bailey Braves Extend Frank Wren, Fredi Gonzalez Orioles Sign Ubaldo Jimenez Dempster Won't Pitch In 2014 Braves Extend Craig Kimbrel
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