Some links to read for Thursday morning…
- The AP reports (via the Miami Herald) that the Seibu Lions won the rights to negotiate with top Japanese amateur Yusei Kikuchi.
- Another top young pitcher, Stephen Strasburg, hit 100 mph repeatedly in his third AFL start, according to ESPN.com's Jason Grey.
- Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle says fans and media members need to hold Astros owner Drayton McLane accountable, and says it wasn't GM Ed Wade's fault that managerial candidate Manny Acta signed with the Indians.
- Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch hears that the Cardinals still have interest in bringing John Smoltz back next year, perhaps as the team's fourth starter. The club seems likely to find a fifth starter within the organization.
- The Pirates and Reds will swap A ball affiliates next year, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
- Padres GM Jed Hoyer offered contracts to all of the organization's scouts and player development personnel, according to Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
- R.J. Anderson of FanGraphs expects Tim Hudson to be worth the extension he's expected to sign.
- MLB.com's Joe Frisaro lists the Blue Jays, Mariners, Rays and Mets as possible destinations for Jeremy Hermida. The Marlins may trade the outfielder, who should hit free agency after 2011.