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Links for Tuesday…
- MLB.com's Bill Ladson reports that Mike MacDougal left the Nationals' Triple A club via an out clause, but could remain with the organization if they decide to promote him to the Majors.
- Dave O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution speculates on some outfield options for the Braves.
- According to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Chris Duffy accepted the Brewers' assignment to Triple A. Duffy was designated for assignment on May 22nd.
- For some reason, Scott Boras weighed in on the Padres' attempt to trade Jake Peavy (talking to Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune). Boras suggested it might be a breach of contract, but Peavy's agent Barry Axelrod isn't as offended. Barry Rozner of the Daily Herald has more from Axelrod, who said, "the entire process was unfair."
- Howard Megdal of SNY campaigns for the Mets to acquire a passable shortstop, while retaining Ramon Castro and Brian Schneider as catchers.
- MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo looks at the middle infielders in the upcoming draft. And MLB.com's Lisa Winston has a column on Grant Green.
- Talking to Jack Curry of the New York Times, C.C. Sabathia wondered about his six-year old son's possible high school future in New Jersey. Sabathia can choose to opt out of his contract after the 2011 season. Is this anything? The kid will be going to high school in eight years or so, so the contract will be up regardless. More telling might be Sabathia's comments to Jayson Stark earlier this month.
The Brewers designated Chris Duffy for assignment to make room for their latest acquisition, Jody Gerut, according to the Sports Network (via the Miami Herald). Duffy, 29, was hitting .125/.222/.156 for the Brewers in 37 plate appearances. He showed promise as a 25-year-old when he hit .341 for the Pirates in 39 games of semi-regular playing time, but has since fallen off.
The Brewers announced they’ve signed two outfielders to minor league deals: Trot Nixon and Chris Duffy.
Nixon, 35 in April, hit .309/.434/.558 in 181 Triple A at-bats before a trade to the Mets. He played eleven games for the Mets before hitting the DL for a strained groin and then hernia surgery.
Duffy, 29 in April, amassed only 109 minor league ABs this year as he was limited by September ’07 shoulder surgery.
Collection o’ links…
- Craig Monroe has cleared waivers and become a free agent.
- ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick talks to Pirates GM Neal Huntington about his deadline deals.
- Pirates players Chris Duffy and Franquelis Osoria cleared waivers and will head to Triple A.
- Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi says manager Cito Gaston will be back next year.
- Yesterday Dan Shaughnessy wrote a few sentences about the commissioner’s office investigating Manny Ramirez‘s final hours with the Red Sox. It’s become a national story. More on the situation from the L.A. Times.
- Sean McAdam wonders if the Red Sox could acquire Toronto shortstop John McDonald. He’d have to get past ten other AL teams first.
- In regards to the Chad Bradford deal, Andy MacPhail said, "I can use the dough." MacPhail said the Orioles will receive a prospect, to be determined in the offseason.
- Jack Etkin of the Rocky Mountain News believes Rockies reliever Kip Wells is expendable.
- Tracy Ringolsby heard speculation that Nationals VP of baseball operations Mike Rizzo could replace GM Jim Bowden.
Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has the latest Pirates hot stove buzz.
- The Pirates and Adam LaRoche have reached an impasse in extension talks. LaRoche is set to reach free agency after the ’09 season; his free agency years have to be worth $10MM each. Kovacevic notes that the Pirates might be permanently done trying to sign LaRoche.
- Kovacevic reports "no recent movement" on a Matt Capps extension. Last time we checked, talks with Capps inexplicably fizzled after Manny Corpas signed a team-friendly deal with Colorado.
- Capps probably isn’t going anywhere, but LaRoche certainly could be traded. The presence of Major League-ready Steve Pearce may not be a factor since Pearce became a full-time outfielder this spring. Pearce is more likely to push Xavier Nady.
- In case you missed it, Kovacevic named his five Pirates most likely to be traded back on March 30th.
- Center fielder Chris Duffy didn’t make that list, but the Braves are still interested in him. He had surgery on his rotator cuff in August of last year and may be game-ready by month’s end.
UPDATE, 12-4-07 at 6:50pm: O’Brien corrects himself – Willits is not on the Braves’ radar. Nor is Josh Hamilton, in case you were wondering. They’ve got some mild interest in Chris Duffy.
FROM 12-4-07 at 8:26pm:
According to David O’Brien of the AJC, the Braves have talked to the Angels about outfielder Reggie Willits. The Braves could plug Willits into their center field spot for a few years. But what could they offer the Angels?
- Both beat writers are saying not to expect Jason Bay to be traded at the Meetings. It would be a sell-low move with bad PR.
- Both also agree that Matt Morris staying put. Kovacevic spins it as if the Pirates should actually want to keep Morris, while Perrotto’s sources suggest the Bucs would have to eat more than 70% of Morris’ contract to ditch him.
- Kovacevic also suggests that the Pirates need Jack Wilson, and that’s why he won’t be going anywhere.
- Relievers Salomon Torres, Damaso Marte, and John Grabow are available and drawing some interest. Marte in particular interests the Yankees.
- Chris Duffy can be had; the Braves and Marlins have previously expressed interest. Maybe they’ll renew that with center field vacancies and a new Pirates GM. Duffy will start in Triple A if he’s not dealt.
- The Pirates are still talking to Shawn Chacon about returning.
- Perrotto notes that interest in center fielder Nate McLouth is picking up, with the Padres and Marlins interested.
- Xavier Nady won’t be non-tendered, contrary to previous reports.
Remember Chris Duffy? Before the 2007 season began, fantasy leaguers looked at his September ’06 numbers (.336/.403/.458, 12 steals) and cast him as a possible 100 run, 50 steal leadoff man for the Bucs.
Indeed, Duffy entering ’07 with the Pirates’ starting center field job. He suffered a sore neck in Spring Training, but shook it off to post a respectable .350 OBP in April. He slumped in May and was moved to the #2 hole. Then in mid-June he sprained his right hamstring. That led to an ankle sprain later that month. Now he’s got a shoulder problem and may miss the rest of the season.
With Nate McLouth having a fine August and top prospect Andrew McCutchen coming on strong, Duffy’s window with the Pirates may have closed. According to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pirates are ready to move on from Duffy. The implication is that they’ll trade him.
Whenever young center fielders come available, the Marlins are always mentioned. Are the Fish still on the prowl for a center fielder? Most likely – the Miami Herald mentioned earlier this month that the team had casual internal discussions about moving Hanley Ramirez to center field, but the current plan is to keep him at shortstop.