Storylines: Cliff Lee "likely" lost for season
In this MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @AndrewIBI.
Here are the stories from Friday, August 1.
- Cliff Lee has already been placed on the DL and said he "probably" will miss the rest of the year, as Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. He said that, as indicated on Thursday night, he likely suffered a recurrence of his previous injury.
- The Athletics released embattled former closer Jim Johnson, per a club announcement. Brought in via trade, Johnson failed to deliver on his $10 million salary. The A's will be responsible for the rest of it, less the prorated league minimum rate if Johnson catches on with a new team. There has been speculation that the Orioles will offer their former closer a minor league contract, Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun wrote. Manager Buck Showalter spoke highly of Johnson to reporters yesterday, though he was careful with his words due to uncertainty about whether Johnson was free of any ties to Oakland.
- The Indians designated right-hander Zach McAllister for assignment, as per a team press release. Outfielder Tyler Holt was recalled from Triple-A in a corresponding move. McAllister was only designated off the Tribe's 25-man roster (he's still on the 40-man) as, since McAllister debuted in the majors more than three years ago, he must be put on optional assignment waivers in order to be sent to Triple-A.
- The Indians are expected to make another roster move on Saturday so that left-hander T.J. House (1-2, 4.50 ERA) can return from Columbus to make his scheduled start against the Rangers.
- Tribe left fielder Chris Dickerson, who is day to day with left knee discomfort, was not in the lineup for Friday night's series opener vs. the Rangers. Dickerson was removed from Thursday's game against Seattle after he came up limping while trying to field a Kendrys Morales double off the wall in the second inning. Dickerson finished out the frame but was later replaced by Mike Aviles in left field. Manager Terry Francona said Dickerson's knee initially began bothering him after Wednesday's contest, when he made an impressive diving catch in left field. Francona added that the team believes Dickerson, batting .300 in 19 games since being acquired from the Pirates, could be back in the lineup as soon as Saturday.
- Right-hander Shaun Marcum, who has spent nearly all of the season on the Columbus disabled list while recovering from shoulder surgery, began a rehab assignment with the Arizona League Indians on Friday.
News and Notes:
- ESPN.com's Buster Olney reported that he's spoken to executives around the league who assume that the Red Sox will target James Shields in free agency this offseason.
- John Lackey told reporters (including MLB.com's Jen Langosch) that he will honor his contract and pitch in 2015 despite the fact that he'll only earn a minimum salary. The fact that Lackey was traded to the contending Cardinals played a factor in his decision: "Obviously, it was case by case. It would have been a harder decision other places, for sure, but this is definitely somewhere I wanted to be, and I'm excited about it."
- It surprised many to see Yoenis Cespedes traded on Thursday, but Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that the A's were planning on dealing the outfielder this offseason anyway since the club didn't think they would be able to extend him. Cespedes has a contract option that allows him to become a free agent following the 2015 season. In another piece, Slusser noted that "there never were very extensive talks" between Cespedes and the A's about an extension.
- Susan Sulser also reported that Sam Fuld was the only Major League player being offered by any of the teams interested in Tommy Milone, which is why the A's swung the deal with the Twins to provide immediate outfield help given Coco Crisp and Craig Gentry's injury problems.
- The Brewers and Tigers were the other finalists for Andrew Miller's services before the Red Sox decided to trade the southpaw to the Orioles, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Boston received inquiries from between 10-12 teams about Miller's services. Jon Morosi, Rosenthal's FOX Sports colleague, reported on Thursday that Detroit was close to a deal for Miller about 2.5 hours before the trade with Baltimore was finalized. However, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported that the Dodgers were the runner-up for Andrew Miller.
- Ken Rosenthal also noted that the Athletics decided against pursuing a David Price trade in part because GM Billy Beane was worried that it would be tough to deal the southpaw this winter. Price could earn up to $20 million on his 2015 contract in his last year of arbitration eligibility, so as good as the left-hander is, the salary and only the one year of control would limit Price's trade value.
- Several medical officials have recommend that Matt Cain undergo surgery, and Giants manager Bruce Bochy told reporters (including MLB.com's Chris Haft) that "if you're putting odds on it, odds are going to be that he will not pitch" again in 2014. Cain did some flat-ground throwing from 60 feet yesterday and he'll see how his arm responds to that workout before deciding whether to go under the knife immediately and begin the minimum three-month recovery period.
- Righty Mike Foltynewicz got called up for a relief role with the Astros, Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle reported. The 22-year-old with a big fastball currently ranks 65th on MLB.com's list of the game's top 100 prospects, with Baseball America ranking him 59th coming into the year. With Foltynewicz, the big question is whether he can develop his secondary offerings to the point that he will stick in a rotation, but Houston will plan to use him in relief this season and give him a chance at earning a starting role in the spring (according to a tweet from MLB.com's Brian McTaggart).
- Meanwhile, Anthony Ranaudo got the bump yesterday for the Red Sox after previously scheduled starter John Lackey was dealt away, as Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal reported. Ranking 82nd among the game's prospects per MLB.com, the 24-year-old righty has put up excellent results in each of the last two seasons as he climbed through the minor league ranks. This year, he owns a 2.41 ERA through 119 1/3 innings at Triple-A, with 7.5 K/9 against 3.7 BB/9. MLB.com praised his sinker and sharp curve, though stating that he still was work to do refining his change.
- The Orioles signed veteran left-hander Joe Saunders to a minor league contract, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reported.
- The Red Sox designated outfielder/first baseman Mike Carp for assignment, Alex Speier of WEEI.com reported. The move was made as the team juggleed its roster after Thursday's trades.
- The Braves designated outfielder Jordan Schafer for assignment, according to MLB.com's Mark Bowman. He was expected to be a roster casualty after the team picked up Emilio Bonifacio on Thursday via trade.
- The Orioles designated right-hander Ryan Webb for assignment, the team announced. The newly-acquired Andrew Miller took Webb's spot on the 25-man roster.
- The Rangers designated lefty Ryan Feierabend for assignment, the club announced. Righty Phil Kleintook his spot on the active and 40-man rosters.