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A.J. Ellis Rumors
The Dodgers do not plan to bring in a catcher after losing Russell Martin for four to six weeks with a pulled groin, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Instead, they will rely on A.J. Ellis to fill the void, with Brad Ausmus serving as the understudy. Ken Gurnick of MLB.com writes that Torre has faith in the rookie.
The post notes that Paul Bako is likely the top remaining free agent catcher. The 37-year-old hit .224/.308/.336 in 130 plate appearances for the Phillies last season. Another notable catcher without a job is Michael Barrett, though he missed the majority of 2009 due to injury.
A few Thursday evening links to browse through….
- MLB.com's Brian McTaggart reports that the Houston Astros will decrease their spending in 2010, after the team's payroll exceeded $100MM the first time in 2009.
- Filing for free agency may have just been a formality for Jason Schmidt, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. The 36-year-old righty looks headed for retirement.
- Dick Kaegel of MLB.com hasn't heard anything that substantiates rumors of an Alberto Callaspo-A.J. Ellis swap between the Royals and Dodgers.
- Evan Brunell of The Hardball Times is "horrified" that the Phillies are considering Placido Polanco for their third base opening.
- Jenifer Langosch at MLB.com fields Pirates-related questions from readers. Most of them react to Pittsburgh's recent acquisition of Akinori Iwamura.
Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star dishes on the Royals…
- Dayton Moore…step away from the free agent market. The Royals are moving toward trades, with an eye on the long-term. Owner David Glass says the plan is to "turn over some of the club." Moore already made a nice move in flipping Mark Teahen for Josh Fields and Chris Getz.
- Dutton again mentions the talks between the Dodgers and Royals on a possible A.J. Ellis for Alberto Callaspo deal. Ellis, 29 in April, posted OBPs over .436 in Triple A for 2008-09.
- The Royals are probably stuck with Jose Guillen, but David DeJesus and Gil Meche could be trade chips. Dutton says the Royals prefer to keep Meche though.
- Dutton says the Royals are more likely to trade for a center fielder than to re-sign Coco Crisp.
- Via Twitter, Dutton says lefty Lenny DiNardo and reliever Yasuhiko Yabuta elected free agency.