Posted on: July 17, 2010 8:01 pm

Lowell says Red Sox won't release him

Mike Lowell Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell told ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes that the team may not need him, but they won't released him and let him play for another team.

Lowell returned to Boston on Saturday and is expected to get a cortisone shot in his right hip on Monday and may gone on a rehab assignment after that. After that, Lowell isn't sure what will happen, but he doesn't expect the team to let hims gin elsewhere.

"I don't know if it's specifically because I might beat them, I just don't think they want me to go to another team while they pay my salary," Lowell told Edes. "At this point, they're not going to get anything [in a trade]. You're going to get a subpar prospect at best. There's too much time left in the season, they're not going to get money.

"I don't know to what lengths and what teams have spoken with them. Maybe nobody wants me. Maybe there are four [teams] that want me. I've been hearing a lot of different things. I just don't know."

One team that does reportedly have interest in Lowell is the team in Boston right now, the Texas Rangers. The Angels and Twins have been rumored to be interested in Lowell in the past, as well. Lowell is making $12 million this season and has played in just 31 games this season, hitting .213/.308/.350 with two home runs and 12 RBI.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 15, 2010 7:01 pm

Morneau says he's headed to the DL

Justin Morneau Justin Morneau is likely headed to the disabled list, he told MLB.com's Kelly Thesier .

The All-Star first baseman suffered a concussion on July 7 and said he's doing better, but still felt "fogginess" following a workout and doesn't expect to be ready for this weekend's series with the White Sox.

Minnesota hosts Chicago for four games and is trailing the White Sox by 3 1/2 games in the standings.

"You don't want the guys to play short-handed for too long," Morneau said. "That were we are at today. Who knows if it will be good in three to four days, but playing a big series like this, you don't want to be short-handed when you need that extra guy sometimes."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 11, 2010 12:38 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2010 12:48 pm

Blyleven gives Dutch big baseball edge over Spain

Bert Blyleven Sadly, there are no current major-league players who are natives of either nation competing in the World Cup final on Saturday.

The closest is Dutch-born pitcher Rick VandenHurk, who is currently at Triple-A New Orleans and pitched in two games for the Marlins last month. And give the 25-year-old, who came to the U.S. to play baseball in high school, credit -- he predicted a big finish for the Oranje on this video early in the tournament.

"As a Dutchmen I'm very proud, and can't wait for tommorow (sic)," VandenHurk said Saturday in an email to the Palm Beach Post. "My family is back home and they say it’s crazy with all the preparations for the game. They have big screens all over town (Eindhoven, pop. 212,000) and more than 70,000 people are expected to go watch. Imagine — Amsterdam or Rotterdam, the two biggest cities — that’s gonna be crazy!

"For a country our size it’s amazing what they have accomplished. What a tournament! Can’t wait for tommorow (sic) and of course I wanna see the world cup trophy go to the Netherlands for the first time!"

VandenHurk was part of the national team as the Dutch made a surprising run in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, including beating the Dominican Republic twice.

There have been eight players in major-league history born in the Netherlands and four from Spain (the last being catcher Al Pardo, who played one game for the Phillies in 1989).

By far the most accomplished from either nation was right-hander Bert Blyleven (born Rik Aalbert Blyleven in Zeist, Netherlands). Blyleven (pictured) pitched 22 seasons from 1970-92 and won 287 games. He was a two-time All-Star, threw a no-hitter in 1977 and in 2010 missed election to the Hall of Fame by just five votes.

Here are links to complete details about Dutch and Spanish major leaguers.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Tags: Marlins, Twins
Posted on: July 10, 2010 8:21 pm
Edited on: July 10, 2010 8:27 pm

Girardi has intriguing options to replace Morneau

Kevin Youkilis So now that Justin Morneau is officially out of the All-Star Game with concussion symptoms, it's up to Yankees manager Joe Girardi, skipper of the American League team, to replace him.

The starter almost certainly will be Miguel Cabrera, the only other first baseman on the AL roster and certainly a worthy replacement.

But Girardi will need to put another first baseman on the roster. After narrowly missing the final spot on the roster in the Final Vote election, Boston's Kevin Youkilis would seem to be a natural pick. His numbers -- .294/.408/.584 with 57 RBI and 18 homers -- certainly justify it.

Also worthy is Chicago's Paul Konerko (.299/.380/.559, 20 HR, 62 RBI), even though he didn't even finish in the top five in fan voting at first base. The White Sox only have one representative (pitcher Matt Thornton) at this point.

But here's a thought: Could Girardi throw everyone a curve, and add some fire to the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry, by picking New York's Mark Teixeira?

Teixeira's numbers (.243/.353/.453) aren't in the same league as Youkilis or Konerko. But he's on fire after a slow start, he has been more productive than his averages (17 HR, 59 RBIs) and he's Girardi's guy. And Girardi can fall back on the argument that Morneau was voted by the fans to start, and Teixeira finished second in the voting.

It wouldn't be the right call, but it sure would make some sparks fly.

-- David Andriesen

UPDATE: The Chicago Tribune reports that Konerko says he's going.

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Posted on: July 9, 2010 8:20 pm

Morneau might be out of All-Star Game

Minnesota's Justin Morneau, slated to start at first base for the American League in Tuesday's All-Star Game, is still suffering concussion symptoms and might have to skip playing in the event.

Morneau was out of the lineup Friday for the second straight day after being accidentally kneed in the head on a slide Wednesday. Manager Ron Gardenhire told reporters Morneau is still having headaches.

"I would imagine if he's missed [the whole weekend series against Detroit], it wouldn't make much sense to go to the All-Star Game," Gardenhire said.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 8, 2010 1:14 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2010 2:23 pm

Ranking the suitors for Lee

Cliff Lee Is your team in on the Cliff Lee sweepstakes?

Chances are -- unless you're a Pirates or Orioles fan, the answer is yes.

An anonymous source tells Newsday's Ken Davidoff that "pretty much every team within five games of the playoffs" has called the Mariners about Lee.

So, if you're counting, that's 17 teams, nine National League squads and eight American League clubs.

Besides the whole 15 games under .500 thing, Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik must feel like the prettiest girl in school.

This is far from a final list, and I could be completely wrong -- but here's a listing of the possibilities in some semblance of an order. Feel free to offer your own favorites.

1. Twins -- still a good possibility, they've got the desire, the prospects (Wilson Ramos, Aaron Hicks) and with a new ballpark, they also have an influx of cash and urgency to do something special. With Lee, we could have some postseason snow-outs.

2. Mets -- the other New York team is always out there trying too hard -- like your one friend who gets a little too dressed up and has that extra spray (or four) of cologne when you go out. Sadly, he always seems to strike out.

3. Reds -- never underestimate the desire of an owner to make a splash. Bob Castellini is an emotional owner and believes firmly in his town's desire to see a winner and ultimately support it. If the Mariners want corner prospects, the Reds could dangle Yonder Alonso and Juan Francisco -- blocked by Joey Votto and Scott Rolen's three-year extension, respectively. There's also Todd Frazier, who can play about anywhere, and pitchers Matt Maloney and Travis Wood, who could be added to the rotation right away.

4. Rangers -- they're not as long of a long shot as you might think. Lee's not about money. It's about prospects, and Justin Smoak is a prospect that would fit perfectly. Roy Oswalt would be costly; Lee is only $4 million for the rest of the season. If money's still an issue, they could sweeten the pot with another prospect. MLB -- the organization -- has a vested interest in the Rangers and they'd likely loan the Rangers the money to make it work. A Rangers team in the playoffs is more valuable to a bidder than one that breaks down in August.

5. Yankees -- the team could go get him, but why rent him now and give up prospects when you've still got a good shot at winning and will just buy him in the offseason, anyway. That way you keep the prospects. But with the Yankees, you've always got to have them in the discussion. They're a courtesy top five, due to the fact they're the Yankees.

6. Rays -- pitching depth isn't a problem in this system, but they have a potential impact bat in B.J. Upton, and a serviceable catcher in Dioner Navarro. A Lee-David Price front of the rotation could be lights-out in a short series.

7. Phillies -- yeah, the Phillies could add the former Phillie, but it would likely cost them Domonic Brown -- who GM Ruben Amaro Jr. wouldn't give up for Roy Halladay. The desire is there, but the prospects may not be.

8. White Sox -- the news on Jake Peavy makes them the highest-riser on the list, plus GM Kenny Williams loves to make a splash, and this would certainly qualify.

9. Cardinals -- despite needs to fill out their rotation, the Cardinals are reportedly looking for bats more than arms. Still, it's tempting to think of a playoff rotation of Lee, Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright -- that would make them a favorite based on "the great" Albert Pujols' offense alone.

10. Tigers -- Detroit could use him, that's for sure. GM Dave Dombrowski has never shied away from a big deal, but it's unclear whether Detroit has the juice in either prospects or cash to get it done.

11. Red Sox -- a lot of needs with all their injures, Lee would be a luxury -- not that they haven't indulged in those in the past.

12. Braves -- Atlanta could certainly use Lee -- who couldn't? -- but they don't seem like a fit in either needs or assets. The Braves, more likely will be crossing their fingers that Lee doesn't land in the NL East, which is still up for grabs.

13. Rockies -- they are more likely to fine-tune than to do anything big. GM Dan O'Dowd has prized prospects and is unlikely to mortgage the future for a rent-a-player.

14. Padres -- sure, they're broke and they're pitching well, but there is some reason here. 1. Owner Jeff Moorad has said he'll deal for an arm if he can, and 2. most of the Padres arms are young arms. Mat Latos, Wade LeBlanc and Clayton Richard may not only tire down the stretch, Latos, at least, is on an innings count of 150 to 180 and he's already an out away from 100 innings on the season.

15. Giants -- looking for bats, not arms.

16. Angels -- ditto.

17. Dodgers -- Jamie McCourt is unlikely to give any of her alimony to help Frank out.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 7, 2010 1:09 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2010 5:39 pm

Peavy DL could make White Sox bidders for Lee

Jake Peavy Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune said Wednesday that Jake Peavy appears headed to the disabled list after straining a muscle in his back Tuesday night. Peavy had an MRI exam Wednesday, but the team has not yet released the results.

Even the best-case scenario, a handful of missed starts, is a blow to the White Sox, who have used just five starters this season and had seen Peavy begin to round into form after a brutal start to the season. Peavy has allowed three or fewer earned runs in his past six starts.

The upside is that Chicago appears to have a good option to replace Peavy in the rotation. Daniel Hudson has been lights out for Triple-A Charlotte, 7-2 with a 2.64 ERA in his past 10 starts, with opponents batting .194 against him.

Rogers wonders whether Peavy's injury might push the White Sox into the picture for Seattle left-hander Cliff Lee. As he points out, it would serve the dual purposes of adding a top-shelf pitcher while keeping him from division rival Minnesota, which has been rumored to be the front-runner for Lee.

-- David Andriesen

UPDATE: Peavy was placed on the DL Wednesday afternon after the MRI showed what the team called a "detached" muscle, which doesn't sound too good. They promoed Jeffrey Marquez, though it's not clear who is going to take Peavy's scheduled start on Sunday.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 6, 2010 10:45 pm

Morneau: Twins don't need help

Justin Morneau The Minnesota Twins are currently deadlocked atop the AL Central standings with the Detroit Tigers, and the Chicago White Sox are just a game behind entering play Tuesday.

The Twins were supposed to run away with the Central this season, but instead are just 45-38 -- a strong record to be sure, but one to take seriously in the postseason? No.

Jason Kubel and Michael Cuddyer, two hitters counted on to anchor the middle of the lineup, have had poor seasons. Scott Baker, Nick Blackburn and Kevin Slowey have the three worst ERAs on the team. (No, not even relievers with a cup of coffee have worse ERAs.)

The rotation needs a massive upgrade, which is why the Twins have been named the top contender for Cliff Lee's services, with some reports saying Minnesota offered an outrageous package of Wilson Ramos and Aaron Hicks.

But to hear Justin Morneau tell it to Jim Souhan of the Minnesota Star-Tribune , he doesn't think the team needs to upgrade. Strange words coming from someone who spoke out so strongly earlier in his career to add a player, but that's how he feels :

"What we have is definitely good enough. We have guys who have been there before and have succeeded before. You look at Blackie [Nick Blackburn], he's pitched a lot of big games for us, must-win games for us, and he can get back to that point.

We believe that. You look at a guy like [Kevin] Slowey, it's the same thing. He has the stuff and he's capable of doing well. You just look at Pavano, the way he goes about his business and attacks the strike zone, and Frankie [Liriano] can be lights out.

We're just looking for that consistency from everyone, and we have the players to do that."

Souhan doesn't think Morneau has a good handle on the situation, and he's right. Morneau seems to be overcompensating for having asked for reinforcements in the past, mentioning how it can become a problem in the clubhouse. "For me, I've got caught up in that stuff in the past, and if you're asking for this and that and it doesn't happen, what do you say to the guys who are still here?" asked Morneau. "It's not a good situation."

No, it's not, but the Twins need some help if they hope to fend off the Tigers and White Sox. Chicago is clicking on all cylinders and Detroit is getting there. Plus, what happens if the ChiSox or Tigers import help at the deadline? The Twins are then behind the eight-ball.

It's admirable that Morneau is sticking up for his teammates, but if he hopes to play deep into October, the team has no choice but to either make a big trade or cross their fingers that Cuddyer, Kubel, Baker, Blackburn and Slowey all have strong second halves.

That's a lot to hope for.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com