News briefs: Trial set for Madoff trustee vs. NY Mets executives staff and wire reports

NEW YORK -- A March trial date has been set for a jury to hear a $1 billion claim against the New York Mets' executives by the trustee recovering money for cheated investors of Bernard Madoff.

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff set the March 5 trial date at a Friday hearing.

He heard arguments from both sides on a request by lawyers for the Mets' owner Fred Wilpon and others that he toss out the lawsuit brought by Trustee Irving Picard.

They denied Picard's claim that the executives should have known that $300 million they collected from Madoff represented phony profits.

The trustee wants them to pay a $700 million penalty, too.

Rakoff said he'll rule next month. Full Story

Angels recall Trout from minors

The Angels will recall Mike Trout from Double-A for Friday night's game, his brother said.

"So the bro is finally heading back to Anaheim," Tyler Trout tweeted out Friday morning. "Hopefully he can help get something started again with the Angels."

It's not clear if the Angels are still harboring division hopes and will use Trout as part of the bench, or if the towel has been thrown in and the young phenom will play regularly the rest of the way. Just 20, Trout hit .213/.279/.492 in an earlier stint with the team over 47 plate appearances.

Down on the farm, where Trout was ranked the No. 1 prospect in baseball by entering the season, he hit .326/.414/.544 in 412 plate appearances with 11 home runs and 33 stolen bases.

Astros put pitchers Rodriguez, Myers on waivers

The Astros put Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers on the waiver wire, according to sources, which could make the early days of next week interesting for teams that need starting pitching help.

While Myers is almost certain to clear waivers, because of his large contract and poor performance, the word in baseball last week was that at least one team had interest in claiming Rodriguez. Rodriguez's contract is also big (he is due $36 million from 2012-14), but he has pitched reasonably well this year, with an 8-9 record and 3.50 ERA.

Rodriguez starts for the Astros Friday night against the Giants, giving interested teams another look before they would need to make a decision on a claim.

Players who clear waivers can be traded to any team for the rest of the season.

If one or more teams put in a claim, the Astros would have three options: either work out a trade with the team awarded the claim, or simply allow the claim to go through, or pull the player back off waivers and keep him for the rest of the season.

Yanks place Garcia on DL, claim Laffey from Mariners

MINNEAPOLIS -- The New York Yankees have placed right-hander Freddy Garcia on the disabled list with an injured finger on his pitching hand and claimed left-hander Aaron Laffey off waivers from the Seattle Mariners.

The Yankees announced the moves recently. Laffey went 1-1 with a 4.01 ERA in 42 2/3 innings for the Mariners this season. He will join Boone Logan as the only two lefties in the Yankees bullpen.

Garcia threw a bullpen session on Sunday and said he felt good. But manager Joe Girardi says the move is a precaution because Garcia has not pitched in two weeks. Garcia will pitch for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Monday.

If all goes well, he will return to start one game of the doubleheader against Baltimore on Aug. 27.

Brewers minor leaguer Rogers banned (stimulant use)

NEW YORK -- A minor league pitcher who played for the Milwaukee Brewers last year has been suspended 25 games after a second positive test for a stimulant.

Right-hander Mark Rogers was suspended for a violation of the Major League Baseball drug program.

Rogers was Milwaukee's first-round draft pick in 2004. He made his big league debut last season and had a 1.80 ERA in four games.

Rogers has played at three levels of the minors this year and was a combined 0-5 with a 9.34 ERA. He was at Class A Brevard County and on Milwaukee's 40-man roster when the suspension was announced.

The Brewers issued a statement saying they support MLB's drug policies and their enforcement.

Tigers call up Inge, send Dirks to Toledo

DETROIT -- The Detroit Tigers brought veteran Brandon Inge back from Triple-A Toledo after a win over Cleveland and sent rookie Andy Dirks back to the Mud Hens.

Inge was designated for assignment last month after hitting .177 with one homer in 70 games. The 11-year veteran cleared waivers and agreed to report to Toledo to try to salvage his career. He has hit .287 with seven homers in 29 games for the Mud Hens, including an injury rehab assignment earlier in the season. He will platoon with Wilson Betemit at third base.

Dirks, who is hitting .257 in 61 games, is expected to rejoin the team when rosters are expanded on Sept. 1.

Tigers' Alburquerque out 10 more days

DETROIT -- Tigers reliever Al Alburquerque will be out at least 10 more days because of lingering effects of a concussion sustained last week.

Alburquerque, who was hit in the head by a batting-practice liner on Aug. 12, was eligible to come off the 7-day concussion disabled list, but he won't be on Detroit's seven-game trip to Tampa Bay and Minnesota that starts Monday.

"Al was examined today, and it was determined that he was still mildly symptomatic with activity, so he's going to stay with no activity," Tigers trainer Kevin Rand said Friday. "As far as a timetable, we don't know. We've tested a lot of things that seem to be working."

The rookie right-hander is 5-1 with a 2.19 ERA in 34 relief outings. He has struck out 57 batters in 37 innings.

ChiSox's Humber on DL after being struck in face by ball

CHICAGO -- Chicago White Sox right-hander Phil Humber is going on the 15-day disabled list after getting struck in the face by a line drive.

The 28-year-old was removed in the second inning of Thursday night's 4-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians after Kosuke Fukudome's line drive hit Humber just above his right eye, bruising his face.

Humber is 8-8 with a 3.63 ERA in 23 games -- 21 starts.

Chicago purchased the contract of right-hander Josh Kinney from Triple-A Charlotte to take Humber's roster spot.

Mariners place INF Wilson on DL

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Seattle Mariners have placed infielder Jack Wilson on the 15-day disabled list because of a severely bruised left heel.

Wilson landed awkwardly on first base in the seventh inning of Wednesday's 5-1 loss to Toronto.

Seattle also activated shortstop Brendan Ryan from the 15-day DL before the game at Tampa Bay. Ryan had been out since August 4 with a left shoulder injury.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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