Here are some news items from both the NL and AL Central…
- In an interview with Jim Duquette and Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM (audio link), Brewers GM David Stearns discussed that his team’s plan “at this stage [is to] acquire and develop the best young talent we possibly can,” and thus if teams come calling about Milwaukee’s young players, Stearns would want an “exceptionally high” return. Stearns, however, didn’t exactly say that this makes a veteran player like Jonathan Lucroy or Ryan Braun more likely to dealt. In fact, he noted that the possibility of trading Braun hasn’t been something that he’s had to seriously consider in his brief time as Milwaukee’s GM, and “there is no motivation for us to move…an elite-level player.” That said, Stearns did say he’d already talked to both Braun and Lucroy about the trade rumors circling around both men and said he’d keep them appraised of any developments should they arise. Stearns expects “active discussions” leading up to the trade deadline he said the Brewers “are in a situation where we need to be open-minded and we need to be open to any possibility.”
- If the Cubs keep running away with the NL Central, ESPN’s Buster Olney (subscription required) feels the Pirates may focus on deadline acquisitions that can help them in 2017, as reaching the coin flip that is the Wild Card game isn’t worth giving up substantial talent for a short-term rental.
- While the Pirates may have a need at catcher, both Clint Hurdle and Neal Huntington felt John Jaso’s past concussion history ruled him out of consideration for work behind the plate, Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tweets. Chris Stewart and the newly-acquired Erik Kratz look to handle the catching duties while Francisco Cervelli is on the disabled list.
- It doesn’t appear that Sean Burnett will exercise his June 15 opt-out clause even he isn’t on the Twins’ Major League roster, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports (via Twitter). Burnett signed a minor league contract with Minnesota in May, his fourth minors deal with as many clubs since November following prior agreements with the Braves, Dodgers and Nationals. The veteran southpaw has a 2.66 ERA over 20 1/3 relief innings at Triple-A this season as he looks to return to the bigs for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2014.
- Bryan Shaw had another tough outing on Saturday, leading Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer to wonder if the Indians need to look for a more reliable setup man at the deadline. Shaw’s season has been a roller-coaster, going from a terrible April to lights-out in May and thus far shaky in June, all adding up to a 5.18 ERA, 9.25 K/9 and 3.33 BB/9 over 24 1/3 innings. Shaw’s main problem has been the long ball, as his whopping 2.2 HR/9 is more than triple his career average prior to this season.