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Links for Friday, as interleague play begins…
- Dodgers GM Ned Colletti told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that he expects to have the flexibility to make deals this summer. That doesn't mean the Dodgers be able to take on much payroll, though.
- Jon Heyman of SI.com thinks the Nationals will call Stephen Strasburg up in mid-June. The team will limit him to about 100 major league innings (Twitter link).
- The Nationals don't expect Brian Bruney to be claimed on waivers and the pitcher isn't sure what he'll do if he isn't claimed, according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson (Twitter links).
- As WEEI.com's Alex Speier explains, the Red Sox considered trading for Curtis Granderson and Javier Vazquez last winter, but acquiring either player would likely have meant giving up Jacoby Ellsbury. The Red Sox wanted to keep him, so they signed free agents instead.
- Trying to predict which teams might become sellers? The Orioles, Astros and Pirates each have less than a one percent chance of making the playoffs, according to Baseball Prospectus' postseason odds.
- Top July 2 prospect Eskarlin Vasquez has questions swirling around his age, according to Frankie Piliere of FanHouse (via Twitter).
- GM Frank Wren told ESPN.com's Buster Olney that the Braves liked walk-off hero Brooks Conrad's versatility and power when they signed him to a minor league deal before last season.
- Former Pirates outfielder Nate McLouth tells Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he's very excited to return to Pittsburgh. This time, it's as an opponent.
- The Mets will probably fire at least one coach if they fire manager Jerry Manuel, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the Mets can't build their team around Jose Reyes and David Wright at this point.
- Troy Renck of the Denver Post confirms (via Twitter) that the Rockies will have interest in Kazuo Matsui once he clears waivers.
Links for Monday, as Jose Bautista continues to astound…
- Jake Peavy told MLB.com's Scott Merkin that he has no interest in being part of a rebuilding effort at this point in his career. He hasn't given up on the White Sox, though.
- The injured Justin Duchscherer tells John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle that he wants to pitch in 2011 (Twitter link).
- Yahoo's Tim Brown lists Dave Trembley, Jerry Manuel and other managers whose jobs aren't completely secure.
- Frankie Piliere of MLB FanHouse names 24 international player to watch leading up to July 2nd, when teams can start signing a new crop of free agents. The Giants are among the favorites to sign top Dominican outfielder Eskarlin Vasquez.
- Cubs GM Jim Hendry says he doesn't have "one thought" in his mind about firing Lou Piniella, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter).
- Another manager whose contract expires after the season, Jerry Manuel, tells Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork that he isn't worried about his status (Twitter link).
- RotoAuthority identifies some pitchers who have gained and lost velocity this season. Francisco Liriano's fastball has more zip than ever and, now that he's in the rotation, C.J. Wilson isn't throwing as hard.
- Rival executives feel that the Nationals could become aggressive this trade deadline, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney. The Nats, now 20-18, could take on an apparently-oversized contract and make a playoff push.
- MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo explains that top college pitchers Anthony Ranaudo and Drew Pomeranz have struggled recently and aren't as attractive to teams as they once were.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports believes the Cubs should consider firing Lou Piniella if they don't jump into serious contention.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs explains that Jose Bautista and Jake Westbrook could be attractive trade chips later in the summer.
- South Side Sox says Kenny Williams' roster construction "lacked imagination and vision" this year. The result so far: a 15-22 record for the White Sox.