The number of players on the disabled list is actually down overall this season, but you'd have a hard time getting the Red Sox, Phillies, and Yankees to take solace in that, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. One theory on the prolonged absences is that players are waiting to make sure they’re 100 percent before they get back on the field at the advice of agents like Scott Boras. "I’ve heard people say that about Boras clients, but I’ve also seen Boras clients who play through all sorts of pain and come back sooner than they’re supposed to," said Boston GM Ben Cherington. “Jason Varitek and Johnny Damon played through anything." Here's more from Cafardo..
- While Roy Oswalt was eager to work out for the Red Sox after turning them down before the season, he would still rather play for the Rangers or Cardinals, a major league source tells Cafardo. As of last week, the Red Sox have not discussed money with him, even though they liked what they saw.
- It's not yet known if Twins outfielder Josh Willingham will be available but he'll be in demand at the trading deadline or when the Twins feel they’re in a sell-off mode. One GM said of Willingham, "Of all the guys out there, he’s one who can significantly impact your offense immediately."
- The Mariners didn’t release Chone Figgins after Miguel Olivo came off the disabled list, but it doesn’t appear that he will be with the club much longer. At some point, a team with a lot of injuries might be willing to take him on if the M's pick up some of the $15MM remaining on his contract.
- The Cubs are willing to eat most of Alfonso Soriano’s $48MM if they can trade him. Unfortunately, Soriano isn't producing. Epstein approached the Red Sox about Soriano before the season and while they were discussing Marlon Byrd, but not since. Even with their outfield injuries, Boston hasn't come calling for the 36-year-old.
- There’s a feeling that Royals outfielder Alex Gordon could be had in a deal, but it would take an overwhelming package involving a front-line starter.