12:04pm: The A’s announced that they have actually designated Johnson for assignment, not released him (though that could obviously be the ultimate outcome of the move). Evan Scribner has been recalled from Triple-A Sacramento to fill his roster spot. 11:55am: The A’s have released right-hander Jim Johnson, a source tells Jane Lee of MLB.com (Twitter link). The 31-year-old Johnson was acquired by the A’s this offseason in a salary dump that sent Jemile Weeks and David Freitas to the Orioles. While many Baltimore fans were shaken by the deal after seeing Johnson lead the league in saves in both the 2012 and 2013 seasons, the move proved to be a wise decision by the O’s, as Johnson has struggled to a 6.92 ERA with 6.3 K/9, 5.1 BB/9 and a 56.8 percent ground-ball rate in 40 1/3 innings this season with Oakland. He lost his ninth-inning role to Sean Doolittle early in the season. Johnson is earning $10MM in 2014 after avoiding arbitration for the final time this past winter. The A’s will eat the remaining $3.66MM on his contract if he is ultimately released
Here’s the latest out of the National League East: For the Mets, trading and replacing starter Bartolo Colon would be a more natural step in the club’s progression than moving second baseman Daniel Murphy, making a trade of the former much more likely, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. As for Colon, the scouts watching the Mets’ game today against the Mariners were probably not there to see him, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com (via Twitter). Of course, word will surely get around of his strong outing; Colon carried a perfect game into the 7th before Robinson Cano broke it up. He ultimately allowed three hits, two earned runs, and a walk while striking out five. The Phillies are still listening to trade interest in outfielder Marlon Byrd, tweets ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick. As yet, however, Philadelphia’s asking price has been too high for a buyer to pull the trigger. Phillies hurler Cliff Lee would clear waivers in August, rival evaluators tell ESPN.com’s Buster Olney (Twitter link). Lee’s first outing back from the DL was not promising.
Here’s the latest out of an AL East division that will be quite intriguing to watch over the coming days: While noting that it is difficult to “transition” the club’s catchers more than one time in a season, Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette told Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com that the addition of another backstop is “something [the club is] taking a look at.” While he is happy with the way that Caleb Joseph and Nick Hundley have handled the staff, Duquette acknowledged that their offensive production was lacking. Nevertheless, upgrading at the catching position is still third on the team’s priority list after a late-inning pen arm and starter, according to Kubatko. The Red Sox have not engaged closer Koji Uehara in extension talks, reports WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. “So far, there have been no talks,” Uehara said through his translator. “I’ll leave it all up to my agent, but right now I haven’t heard anything.” Recent reports have indicated that Boston is disinclined to deal Uehara even if it does go into sell mode, in large part because the team hopes to bring back the 39-year-old pending free agent.
Kyle Lohse allowed just one run in 6 2/3 innings and Mark Reynolds hit a pair of home runs as the Brewers downed the Reds, 5-1, on Wednesday at Miller Park.
The Astros placed outfielder George Springer on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a left quad strain. Marc Krauss has been recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City to take Springer’s spot on the roster.
It’s been 15 years since Nolan Ryan was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame along with George Brett and Robin Yount. Ryan hasn’t been back for an induction ceremony since. He’s headed to Cooperstown, N.Y., this weekend. It is, he said, a trip long overdue.
The Phillies announced that they have designated right-hander Jeff Manship for assignment. The DFA comes as a series of roster moves that will see Carlos Ruiz reinstated from the disabled list, Phillippe Aumont recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley and catcher Cameron Rupp optioned to Triple-A. Manship, 29, posted a 6.65 ERA with 6.3 K/9, 5.5 BB/9 and a 43.1 percent ground-ball rate in 23 innings for the Phillies this season. The former Twins and Rockies hurler has struggled throughout his big league career but owns a much more palatable 4.22 ERA with 6.5 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 358 innings at the Triple-A level.
Now that the speculation about Jeff Samardzija’s fate is over and the hoopla over his move to Oakland (and ensuing All-Star Game awkwardness) has died down, it’s helpful to explore just what all the fuss is about in the first place.
Despite the fact that the Royals recently went through a stretch of 18 losses in 27 games, GM Dayton Moore tells Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star that manager Ned Yost’s job is safe. Perhaps more pertinent to MLBTR faithful is that Moore tells McCullough his 49-50 ball club will not be sellers at this year’s deadline. Moore says that he doesn’t blame the players, coaches or anyone but himself: “I look at myself, and what I can do, and what we can do as a baseball operations department to improve our team. … We’re going to keep pushing until the standings say we’re done.” Here’s more from the AL Central… The Royals scouted the Phillies twice this week already, tweets Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. Salisbury notes that Antonio Bastardo performed well in front of Kansas City evaluators, who are on the lookout for bullpen help.
Outfielder L.J. Hoes, who was hitless in his first four at-bats, launched a solo homer to left field off relief pitcher Fernando Abad with one out in the 12th to send the Astros to their third consecutive win over the A’s, 3-2, at O.co Coliseum.