If you're looking for some interesting reading late into this Saturday night, you might try one of these two pieces. Recent Rangers acquisition and all-time great hitter Manny Ramirez may have remade himself over three months in Taiwan, writes Sam Graham-Felsen, or he may have just kept being Manny. Either way, with a strong start to his Triple-A assignment, Ramirez could be close to a fascinating return to the bigs. Just as unlikely, if not moreso, is the path of Blue Jays reliever Steve Delabar from washout to All Star; Harry Pavlidis of the Washington Post has the story. Elsewhere in the American League …
- While the Cubs' Matt Garza currently pitches in the National League, Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com says that he could soon return to the AL. Levine reports that the Rangers and Blue Jays are the "front runners" in acquiring Garza's services for the balance of 2013. Though the Rangers have frequently been mentioned as pursuers of Garza, who figures to be the top starter available, the Jays have generally not been placed atop the list. Nevertheless, Levine says that Toronto has been very active in scouting the righty over his last three starts. As for Texas, Levine says that power-hitting prospect Mike Olt would probably be included in a deal.
- Another American League club, the Orioles, is likely out on Garza, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN.com. After already dealing for one Chicago starter, Scott Feldman, Baltimore apparently believes that Garza will require too large a commitment in prospects and cash to warrant a deal.
- If the Yankees were still hoping to get a contribution this year from fallen star Alex Rodriguez, the odds appear to be on the downturn. Bill Madden and Teri Thompson of the New York Daily News report that, after learning today of the nature of MLB's case against him arising out of the Biogenesis scandal, Rodriguez's representatives could be contemplating an attempt at a "plea deal" that could result in a 150-game suspension. (That a "clearly shaken" A-Rod reportedly went on to engage in yet another dust-up with the club over his rehab situation could be another hurdle to his return.)
- With Rodriguez and possibly other players considering such an arrangement to limit the scope of punishment, and the league reportedly prepared to move aggressively after the All-Star break, it is looking more and more likely that the impact of the scandal will be felt this season. While the potential for a drawn-out process remains, any agreements to bypass the appeals procedure and agree to penalties would presumably result in a more immediate imposition of suspensions.