Duncan, 32, hit .203/.288/.388 with 11 homers in 264 plate appearances for Cleveland this season. He's a .229/.306/.427 career hitter in 933 big league plate appearances, including a .243/.319/.428 line against left-handers. Duncan has experience in both corner outfield spots as well as first base.
Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster, who MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith profiled as a trade candidate last month, did nothing to hurt his market value by extending his scoreless streak to 27 innings in a 7-0 shutout of the Mets. The streak is the longest by a Cub since Ken Holtzman also tossed 27 scoreless innings in 1971 and is six innings away from tying Holtzman's club record set in 1969. Dempster meanwhile lowered his ERA to 1.99 during his five-inning stint where he struck out four and did not walk a batter.
- Dempster isn't paying attention to all the trade talk telling reporters, including the Chicago Tribune's Paul Sullivan (via Twitter), that the only television he watches is "Swamp People."
- Indians outfielder Shelley Duncan doesn't think the team needs to be active at the trade deadline. "We have the talent," Duncan told reporters including MLB.com's Justin Albers. "A lot of people out there always talk about bringing in new people, getting a bat and all that stuff. But the guys we have on this team, we honestly feel from the bottom of our hearts, we don't need that. We don't need that at all."
- In the same piece, Indians GM Chris Antonetti says finances will not affect his approach at the trade deadline. "I have not limited our focus on potential acquisitions by their contract status." Antonetti added, "There's always a sense of urgency. Every game that passes is a missed opportunity."
- With the Pirates in first place in the NL Central and looking to be buyers at the trade deadline, pitcher Jameson Taillon's name has been mentioned as a possible trade chip. The second overall pick in the 2010 draft told Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he tries to avoid the trade talk but it's unavoidable. "There are some people that will bring it up to you and say, 'Hey did you see this? Did you see that rumor?' To be honest, I love the Pirates. You can’t pay too much attention to it. I’m just really glad to be a Pirate." (Twitter links) Taillon will pitch for the United States during the annual All-Star Futures Game being played today in Kansas City.
Links for Sunday night..
- Shelley Duncan is playing well for the Indians since being promoted from Triple-A, writes Dennis Manoloff of The Plain Dealer. The 30-year-old outfielder signed a minor league deal with the Tribe in January.
- The Dodgers have signed righthander Jon Huber to a minor league deal, according to the MLB Transactions page. Huber, who has been assigned to Double-A Chattanooga, last appeared in the majors in 2007 for the Mariners.
- In his latest mailbag, Joe Frisaro of MLB.com writes that the Marlins are more likely to deal for a relief pitcher than a starter.
- ESPN's Buster Olney (via Twitter) wonders aloud if the Giants might decide to promote Buster Posey after being swept over the weekend by the A's.
Let's round up some assorted Sunday links….
- ESPN.com's Buster Olney tweets that the A's finished second to the Reds in the chase for Aroldis Chapman.
- A major league source tells Alex Speier of WEEI.com that the Red Sox tried hard to sign Chapman earlier in the offseason. They pulled their initial offer after Chapman switched agents and never offered another formal deal.
- Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic finds it hard to imagine Brandon Webb returning to the D'Backs after 2010.
- Jamey Newberg wonders if Vladimir Guerrero will "revive his pinball numbers by playing half his games in his favorite arcade." Vlad has a career 1.175 OPS in Texas, but Jack Moore of FanGraphs suggests this stat is overblown.
- Within his Sunday blog entry, ESPN.com's Buster Olney addresses the persistent rumors about a potential reunion for Johnny Damon and the Yankees. Olney says that a few executives around the league "are absolutely convinced" that Damon will end up in the Bronx, but that it would require Damon significantly lowering his asking price and initiating contact with the Yanks.
- FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi reports that the Dodgers avoided arbitration with Jason Repko, signing him to a one-year deal worth $500K. Repko should compete for the team's fourth outfield spot.
- Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe writes that injuries have slowed the development of Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland, whose name frequently pops up in trade rumors.
- Pittsburgh's 2004 first-round pick, Neil Walker, could be without a position at Triple-A this year, and is a candidate to be traded, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer says the Indians hope that at least one of Austin Kearns and Shelley Duncan makes the 25-man roster, to add a right-handed bat to their lefty-heavy outfield.
Chad Jennings of The Journal News reports that the Cleveland Indians have signed longtime Yankee farmhand Shelley Duncan.
Duncan has hit just .219/.290/.411 in 163 major league plate appearances over three seasons, but had another strong season in Triple-A this past year, posting a batting line of .277/.370/.546 for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Duncan is 30, and could challenge for playing time in left field with the Indians. Keep in mind that if he shows anything with the bat, he's the type of player managers like to keep around, and would likely get the benefit of the doubt. His Triple-A numbers also indicate he could flourish with some regular major league at-bats. Good pickup for Cleveland.
Happy Thanksgiving! Here are some links to check out…
- Darren Rovell of CNBC hears that the Yankees will receive World Series shares or $367K.
- Miguel Cabrera may have to DH by the time he's 30, though he remains one of the ten or so best hitters in the league, according to Keith Law of ESPN.com.
- The Blue Jays looked into Orlando Cabrera before signing Alex Gonzalez, according to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian. O-Cab is using Jack Wilson's two-year $10MM deal as a starting point.
- The Marlins have options with Josh Johnson, even though they're not negotiating with the pitcher now, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. They could trade him after the 2010 season or at the 2011 trade deadline, collect compensation picks for him or re-open extension talks.
- Former MLB catcher Sal Fasano will manage the Blue Jays' Class A Lansing affiliate, according to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com.
- Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News says Shelley Duncan is a hard worker who deserves a shot with an MLB club. The slugger became a free agent yesterday.
- Peter Gammons of ESPN.com wonders (via Twitter) whether it's worth giving up three prospects for Roy Halladay, especially since he'll be in a position to demand close to $20MM per year if he signs an extension.
- Check out the game's best and worst baserunners since 2005 over at ACTA Sports. Bengie Molina and Grady Sizemore figure prominently in John Dewan's rankings.
Shelley Duncan has elected to become a free agent after being outrighted by the New York Yankees, according to MLB.com's Bryan Hoch.
Duncan, 30, was drafted in the second round in 2001 by the Yankees, eventually seeing his first major-league action in 2007. He slugged seven homers in just 83 plate appearances that year, but has struggled in limited playing time since. In the last two seasons combined, Duncan has played in 34 games at OF/1B/DH, hitting .181/.250/.264 in 80 plate appearances.