AL Notes: Zimmer, Fowler, Castro, Johnson, Coliseum

The baseball world suffered a notable loss today with the passing of Rays senior advisor Don Zimmer. It would be impossible to honor Zimmer’s legacy adequately in a brief note, but suffice it to say that he has been said to have “come as close to seeing it all as a baseball man can possibly come.” And that was over a decade ago.

Here’s the latest out of the American League:

  • The Astros formally completed their acquisition of Dexter Fowler from the Rockies by picking up an additional $25K, Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle reported yesterday via Twitter. While that sum is obviously of marginal import, the results of that swap remain fascinating to follow. Fowler has put up a fairly typical (if less powerful than usual) .257/.375/.356 line as Houston’s everyday center fielder. Meanwhile, Jordan Lyles (3.46 ERA through 69 innings) and Brandon Barnes (.295/.339/.390 through 116 plate appearances) have both been productive, but have cooled of late.
  • Astros backstop Jason Castro said today that he has only had preliminary talks regarding an extension, none of which have been recent, reports Drellich“It’s something you try not to think about obviously during the season, but you know, I would love to be a part of the Astros moving forward,” he said. “Obviously it’s an exciting tie, and we’ll see what happens moving forward.” Castro has cooled dowwn from his .835 OPS 2013, posting a .230/.306/.383 triple-slash through 206 plate appearances this season. He is earning $2.45MM in his first year of arbitration eligibility.
  • It was reported earlier today that the Athletics nearly shipped deposed closer Jim Johnson to the Marlins. Conflicting reports later emerged about the nature of Oakland’s intentions going forward, both via Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter links). While a rival rival executive told Rosenthal that the A’s were willing to eat all of Johnson’s remaining salary and had offered him to multiple clubs, an Oakland source later called that statement “a lie” and denied that Johnson was being shopped. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle later reported that the club would indeed be interested in moving Johnson “in the right deal,” and that the A’s might consider picking up most of the $6.5MM tab still owed on the 30-year-old righty.
  • Athletics co-owner Lew Wolff said recently that the club is close to inking a ten-year lease that would keep the team at the Coliseum, Carolyn Jones of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. What that actually means is somewhat more difficult to assess, and Mark Purdy of the Mercury News breaks down what is known and what is yet to come. There is too much to cover to treat it sufficiently here, but the bottom line, according to Purdy, is that it is much too early to say that a new contract would put an end to the team’s efforts to find a new ballpark deal (let alone the possibility of that stadium landing in San Jose). Purdy further detailed the exceedingly complex situation in an earlier piece.

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