Link-O-Rama: Braves aren't trading Yunel Escobar

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* Yunel Escobar has been linked to Oakland and various other teams in trade rumors recently, but Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that Atlanta “hasn’t made a single attempt to even explore the possibility of moving Escobar.”

* Speaking of the Braves, they’re retiring Greg Maddux’s number tonight.
Maddux had a 2.63 ERA during 11 seasons in Atlanta, going 194-88 for an
incredible .688 winning percentage while capturing both the ERA title
and Cy Young award in three straight years. He also posted a 2.80 ERA
in 27 postseason starts.

* Good news for the Cubs:
Ryan Dempster is hoping to return from his broken foot within two weeks
and Geovany Soto is recovering so well from his oblique injury that the
team is no longer pursuing catching help.

* More evidence that Julio Lugo isn’t long for the Red Sox: He didn’t even accompany the team to Toronto for their first post-break workout.

* A lesson for all aspiring major-league relievers: Growing an awesome mustache will make you successful.

Phillies, Jake Arrieta having a “dialogue”

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No, not like a Socratic dialogue, in which each side, in a mostly cooperative, but intellectually confrontational manner interrogate one another as a means of testing assertions and finding truths, though that would be an AMAZING thing for baseball players and teams to do. Rather, low-level talks about possible interest in Jake Arrieta, baseball free agent.

Arrieta is probably the top free agent still available, now that Yu Darvish, J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer have signed. Philly has money — it’s a big market — and could use a pitcher, but Jon Heyman, who, much like Plato did for Socrates, reported the dialogue, says they’re not looking to go long term with anyone.

It may make sense for Arrieta to take a so-called “pillow contract” and come back on the market in a year, but if he’s willing to accept a one-year deal, there are a lot of teams other than Philly who may offer one, and you’d have to figure Arrieta would prefer to pitch for a team more likely to contend.

Dialogues are cool, though. You should go have one over lunch.