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Jake Fox Rumors
As if Ryan Doumit's fractured ankle wasn't enough, today the Pirates learned that catcher Chris Snyder will need surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back. Dusty Brown and Wyatt Toregas are holding down the fort down right now, and Rob Biertempfel of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the team is searching around for some help behind the plate (on Twitter).
The recently waived Jake Fox is not a fit according to Biertempfel simply because he is too much of a defensive liability. Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun reiterates that such a claim is unlikely. The Angels are carrying three catchers (Hank Conger, Jeff Mathis, Bobby Wilson) and could match up as a trade partner, ditto the Padres (Nick Hundley, Rob Johnson, Kyle Phillips). Ivan Rodriguez's name has been popping up in rumors as well, though it's unclear if Pittsburgh is looking for a long-term solution or just a short term fix until Doumit returns.
Some items from the eastern divisions….
- "You will not see a major move this year," Phillies GM Ruben Amaro tells Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com about his team's trade deadline plans. Amaro feels the Phils are already good enough to compete and it's just a matter of the club finding its peak form. He also notes that the team has very little payroll flexibility, but "for $170 MM-plus, we should be good enough to be a World Series contender.”
- Blue Jays prospect Brett Lawrie will be out for two-to-four weeks with a non-displaced fracture in his left hand, tweets Rogers Sportsnet's Arash Madani. Lawrie was tentatively scheduled to make his Major League debut last week before being hit by a pitch in a Triple-A game.
- Jake Fox was put on waivers by the Orioles earlier today and he might get some attention from the Pirates. Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review notes that the Pirates had some interest in Fox during Spring Training, and the Bucs might have need for a catcher since Chris Snyder left today's game with a back injury. (Twitter link)
- The Dan Uggla trade hasn't panned out well for either the Braves or the Marlins thus far, writes Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.
The Orioles have been unable to trade Jake Fox since designating him for assignment, and it appears likely the catcher has been exposed to outright waivers, writes Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. Any team can claim a player once he's on outright waivers.
Teams are not permitted to comment on waivers, but considering the lukewarm interest in Fox on the trade market and the time that's passed since he was DFA'd, this scenario appears likely, explains Zrebiec. If no team claims Fox during the 48-hour waiver period, the O's would probably outright him to Triple-A Norfolk.
Fox, acquired by the O's last season from the A's, was hitting .188/.250/.396 in just 52 plate appearances this season for Baltimore.
One GM told ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark that he’d like to see the season shortened because it’s a mental and physical grind for the players and they could use more rest to regroup. Stark provides and passes along many suggestions, including a national doubleheader day (what’s not to like about that?) and expanding the active rosters beyond 25 players. Here are the latest rumblings from around MLB…
- Though a couple of American League teams made strong proposals for Justin Upton last winter, D’Backs president Derrick Hall says it’s doubtful that Arizona would be in first place without their 23-year-old right fielder. About two dozen teams expressed interest in the former first overall pick last offseason. Put another way, only five teams weren’t interested.
- There are signs that the 26-29 Pirates are going to make a run at .500 instead of trading MLB players for prospects this year. One NL assistant GM says he would shoot for .500 to start changing the perception that the Pirates are perennial losers.
- Though the Indians understand the injury risks for catchers (Carlos Santana missed the end of the 2010 season after a home plate collision), GM Chris Antonetti says his front office appreciates “the potential competitive advantage of getting exceptional production behind the plate.”
- They’ve already signed Kevin Millwood and now Red Sox are “poking around” for another starter to stash at Triple-A, according to Stark.
- The Orioles, who designated Jake Fox for assignment this week, are trying to trade him and at least one scout expects them to find a taker.
The Orioles designated first baseman/catcher/left fielder Jake Fox for assignment to open a spot on the active roster for lefty Brian Matusz, reports Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. Derrek Lee will return from the DL soon, and Fox acknowledged recently his role with the Orioles was unclear. The team told Fox they'll attempt to trade him, tweets Zrebiec.
The Orioles acquired Fox, 28, in June of last year from the Athletics for Ross Wolf. Fox hit .209/.255/.426 in his Orioles career across 157 plate appearances. He did lead MLB with ten Spring Training homers though.
The move drops the Orioles' 40-man roster count to 39.
It's early, but baseball's toughest division doesn't appear to be getting any easier. The Red Sox, Yankees, Rays and Blue Jays are all within two games of the AL East lead. Here are the latest links from the division…
- Jonathan Papelbon told Rob Bradford of WEEI.com that he’d like to stay in Boston after the season and break records and win championships with the Red Sox. The prospective free agent says he’ll do what’s best for his family, though there’s more to that than the bottom line. "It's not about the money, it's about going somewhere day in and day out and wanting to be there."
- Jose Bautista reflects on his ascension from hard-throwing college closer to utility player to MLB home run king with MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince.
- Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca that top prospect Brett Lawrie has made the adjustments the Jays asked him to make and is close to Major League-ready (Twitter link). Earlier today, ESPN.com’s Keith Law ranked Lawrie 11th among MLB prospects.
- Orioles utility player Jake Fox told Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com that his role is unclear and that he has had trouble timing and recognizing pitches without regular at bats.
The Orioles acquired Jake Fox from the A's for minor league pitcher Ross Wolf, according to Jeff Zrebiec and Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. The Orioles could option Chris Tillman to the minors or designate Garrett Atkins for assignment to make room for the utilityman.
Soon after the A's designated Fox for assignment, it became apparent that the O's were interested. The 27-year-old is hitting .214/.264/.327 in 106 major league plate appearances this year. Fox, who can catch and play left, right and third, has 122 homers and a .528 slugging percentage in 2636 minor league plate appearances.
Wolf, a 27-year-old righty, has a 2.11 ERA in 38.1 innings at Triple A this year with 6.1 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9. As Connolly notes (via Twitter), the O's have pulled off the first animal surname for animal surname trade in a while.
SATURDAY, 8:59pm: The Orioles still have interest in Fox according to Zrebiec. Oakland has until Thursday to trade, release or waive him, though the fact that Baltimore has waiver priority may increase the likelihood of a deal.
WEDNESDAY, 4:14pm: Andy MacPhail and the Orioles have at least some interest in acquiring Jake Fox, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. The A's designated Fox for assignment over the weekend and are apparently hoping that he clears waivers.
Fox, 28 next month, has already played left field, third base, DH and catcher in 2010. His .214/.264/.327 batting line doesn't compare with the numbers he has posted in the minors. Fox has 122 homers with a .293/.357/.528 line in his minor league career, so he clearly has some hitting ability.
Zrebiec suggests a Fox acquisition could mean the end of Garrett Atkins' tenure in Baltimore, though it would not be a surprise to see the Atkins era end before long regardless of what happens with Fox.
Ted Lilly doesn't get the no-hitter, but he does get his first win in a while. Some links for tonight..
- A.J. Pierzynski is looking forward to not having to talk about the possibility of being traded, writes Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.
- There have been noticeable changes for the Yanks since their last showdown with the Phillies in the Bronx, writes MLB.com's Tim Britton.
- If asked, the Dodgers aren't likely to grant the Orioles permission to interview third base coach Larry Bowa, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.
- The recently DFA'd Jake Fox told MLB.com's Jane Lee (via Twitter) that he wasn't too surprised by the move.
- The Tigers are unlikely to go through lengthy negotiations with catcher Patrick Leyland, son of manager Jim Leyland, writes Chris Iott of MLive.com. Detroit took Leyland in the 8th round of the draft.
Slusser also tweets that the A's are hoping that he clears waivers, though it might be tough as he has demonstrated the ability to catch. The soon-to-be 28-year-old has started seven games behind the plate this season.
Fox has struggled at the plate in 2010, posting a slash line of .214/.264/.327 in 106 plate appearances. While his offensive performance has been disappointing, Mychael Urban of CSN (via Twitter) believes that this move could be a precursor to something else.