The White Sox are on the lookout for a left-handed bat and an addition to the starting rotation, reports Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago/670thescore.com (via Twitter). Per Levine, GM Rick Hahn and his staff have been “very active” to this point. Levine expands on that statement a bit toward the end of his latest column, noting that the Sox figure to look for a replacement for John Danks, who was designated for assignment earlier today, both internally and via trade. The Sox are turning to Erik Johnson to make Danks’ upcoming start, and the club has other internal options in the form of Miguel Gonzalez, Jacob Turner and Chris Beck. As for the search for bats, Levine writes that the Sox are “kicking the tires” on quality left-handed bats. Levine speculates that Carlos Gonzalez, who could be moved by this year’s Aug. 1 trade deadline, would make sense and could fit into the budget after the Sox saved $13MM with Adam LaRoche’s retirement. I’d add that lefties Jay Bruce and Nick Markakis both figure to be available in trades this summer, though neither is as strong a hitter as Gonzalez.
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- Within that column above, Levine has quotes from Hahn about the difficult decision to designate Danks, the White Sox’ longest-tenured player, for assignment. “There is no doubt in my mind that after the shoulder surgery he was not the same guy,” said Hahn of Danks. “That was zero fault of John Danks because he did everything in his power to fight back. Really giving the extent of the surgery, it was impressive how much he was able to contribute.” Levine also spoke to Sox stars Jose Abreu and Chris Sale about the move, with Sale plainly stating that “it stinks” to see a close friend that means so much to the clubhouse dismissed from the team. “He definitely left his mark on me and a lot of guys in here,” said Sale. Levine also tweeted following Danks’ DFA that the Sox offered him a chance to go to the minor leagues, but he declined.
- Twins GM Terry Ryan told reporters, including MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger (Twitter link), that he’s undecided about whether to send a scout to watch Tim Lincecum’s showcase on Friday. The issue, Ryan explained, is that Lincecum wants to start. Minnesota has a number of rotation options in house already, with Ervin Santana slated to return this week to join Phil Hughes, Ricky Nolasco, Jose Berrios and Tyler Duffey. Minnesota also has Kyle Gibson on the DL with a shoulder injury, left-hander Tommy Milone in the bullpen (but capable of starting) and righty Alex Meyer, who got the nod in tonight’s contest (where he struggled).
- While the Tigers aren’t ready to pull the plug on Mike Pelfrey’s rotation spot, GM Al Avila admitted that the club is concerned with the big righty’s early struggles, writes Peter J. Wallner of MLive.com. “Yeah, we are concerned because he has not pitched consistently,” said Avila. “This last outing, he did show some flashes of really, really good stuff, which is some of what scouts saw in him from previous years that we felt he could give us the innings we needed. All we need him to do is be a solid fifth starter and go five, five and two-thirds and every once in a while go six.” The Tigers will indeed be present to watch Lincecum throw, Wallner notes, though Avila chalked it up to due diligence more than a firm indicator that the club will embark on a serious pursuit of the former NL Cy Young winner. As Wallner notes, the Tigers do have internal alternatives to Pelfrey, including Michael Fulmer, Shane Greene (once he is healthy), Daniel Norris and Matt Boyd.