Colton Willems Rumors

Odds & Ends: Crawford, Raynor, Lackey, Strasburg

Links for Tuesday, as Tim Lincecum reclaims the MLB strikeout lead…

  • Marc Topkin of The St. Petersburg Times spoke to Crawford, who said he was misquoted in the upcoming Sports Illustrated piece mentioned below. "Nothing's changed, no decisions," he said. "I don't know what Carlos [Pena] is doing.''
  • Pirates' GM Neil Huntington told Chuck Finder of The Pittsburgh Post Gazette that he tried to made a deal with the Marlins that would allow Rule 5 pick John Raynor to remain with the Pirates, but to no avail. Raynor was returned to Florida today.
  • John Lackey said he wasn't surprised when the Angels let him depart as a free agent given their trade record with letting home grown players leave, according to Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles. "It's different," said Lackey. "The way they preach the team game and giving it up for the team. That's a little suspect. You're supposed to give it up for the team. When the time comes, they might not want to give it up for you. But I totally knew that was a possibility. I was prepared for that. That's the nature of the game today."
  • Stephen Strasburg has been promoted and will make his Triple A debut Friday against Freddie Freeman and the Gwinnett Braves, reports's Bill LadsonESPN's Rob Neyer notes that Strasburg seems to be on the Mark Prior path to the bigs, perhaps delayed a few weeks for cost savings.
  • MASN's Ben Goessling says Nats 2006 first-round pick Colton Willems has decided to retire.  The team has the pitcher on the restricted list in case he changes his mind.
  • An upcoming Sports lllustrated piece on Carlos Pena features this quote from Carl Crawford: "This core group is going to still be together, me and Carlos are the only two guys that are going to be leaving."
  • The Royals granted reliever Roman Colon his release so he can sign with the Kia Tigers of Korea, according to the team.  Just three months ago, Colon and Juan Cruz were in the mix to be Joakim Soria's primary setup man.  The Royals' bullpen sports an AL-worst 5.56 ERA in 81 innings.
  • White Sox GM Kenny Williams wouldn't rule out a fire sale at a later date, but said the team's aggressive nature will probably prevent it (Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times reporting).
  • ESPN's Buster Olney explains that his Saturday story about Cliff Lee being likely to reach free agency was prompted by a call Olney made to Lee's agent.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that the Blue Jays attempted to sign Kelly Johnson to play left field during the offseason, offering more than the $2.35MM Johnson received from Arizona.  Johnson told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic in March that he strongly considered offers from the Blue Jays, Pirates, and Indians.
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post points out that the upon acquiring Javier Vazquez, the Yankees considered two 2011 draft picks part of the deal.  Already, Vazquez's Type A status and arbitration offer are in question.  We'll be able to give you Vazquez's exact Elias standing later this month, when Eddie Bajek makes his first pass at 2009-10 rankings.
  • Dejan Kovacevic's latest article for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette suggests the Pirates were overly optimistic about Akinori Iwamura, currently their highest-paid player.
  • Click here to listen to my radio appearance on KFNS St. Louis from earlier today.

Nats Trying To Acquire Dukes?

Rays Index dug up a story on a Dominican news site.  Apparently the Nationals are trying to acquire Elijah Dukes with the intent of making him their center fielder.  Manny Acta went to the Dominican Republic to watch Dukes play recently.  The Rays, of course, are asking for pitching in return.  The Nats don’t want to give up Collin Balester, Colton Willems, Zech Zinicola, or Glenn Gibson in the deal.

If you speak Spanish check out the article here and let us know any interesting info in the comments that we weren’t able to glean from Google Translator.