Friday's quick hits: Lilly due for DL stint

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Ted Lilly, who had his first start after the break pushed back with what the Cubs called a sore knee, is slated to land on the DL with a sore shoulder.

Given the Cubs’ history with when it comes to injuries and Lilly’s own
past, I’m just going to assume that it was the shoulder bothering him
all along. Fortunately for the team, Ryan Dempster could be back before
the end of next week. Sean Marshall will almost certainly be left in
the pen.

Mark Kotsay was placed on waivers by the Red Sox to make room for the newly acquired Adam LaRoche.

I assumed the Red Sox would stash either Kotsay or Rocco Baldelli on
the DL, but perhaps neither veteran was willing to go along with the
plan. LaRoche is obviously a big upgrade from Kotsay as the alternative
to Kevin Youkilis at first base, but assuming that the Red Sox do lose
Kotsay — he could accept a minor league assignment if he clears
waivers — they’ll be awfully thin in the outfield. They have Chris
Duncan in Triple-A now, but Baldelli probably can’t play regularly and
Jonathan Van Every is out for the year after knee surgery, leaving the
team without a legitimate backup in center.

Rather than turn back to Travis Buck or Aaron Cunningham, the
A’s have called up Eric Patterson to replace Matt Holliday on the

Patterson was extremely hot in Triple-A, going 17-for-37 with seven
extra-base hits in his last eight games. Overall, Corey’s younger
brother was hitting .326/.392/.523 with 34 steals in 40 attempts. The
A’s did figure to give him a long look at some point, but Buck and
Cunningham were the logical candidates to be installed as the new left
fielder. Patterson still doesn’t have a position, having been used at
second, center, left and third in Triple-A this year. He could get most
of the time in left for now, making him a nice pickup in AL-only

Pirates sign outfielder/first baseman Jake Goebbert

Jake Goebbert
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The best thing about minor Thanksgiving week transactions is that they are almost certainly done by GMs frantically looking for some work to do rather than go pick up their in-laws at the airport. I mean, sure, the player in question could very easily be an important player who fills a key role in the organization, but it’s not like it couldn’t have waited until Monday, right? This is the GM equivalent of you pretending you have to run into the office on Wednesday afternoon and, in reality, driving around in your car, listening to Neil Young and promising that NEXT YEAR you’re just doing a small Thanksgiving dinner with no family and, maybe, might even go on a little trip, just you and the wife.

Or is that just me? OK, maybe that’s just me.

Anyway, that’s how I’m choosing to view the Pirates activity today. First they traded for Allen Webster and now they’re signing minor league free agent first baseman/outfielder Jake Goebbert, according to Adam Berry of

Goebbert, 28, hit .294 with an .844 OPS and 10 homers for Triple-A El Paso last season. He has 115 plate appearances in the bigs, all for San Diego in 2014. Overall he has a line of .282/.386/.465 with 30 homers in 997 Triple-A plate appearances in the Astros, Athletics and Padres organizations.

Not a bad depth move, especially given that the Pirates are looking to trade Pedro Alvarez and otherwise re-jigger their first base situation.

Blue Jays sell Triple-A MVP Matt Hague to Japanese team

Matt Hague Blue Jays
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Matt Hague got a cup of coffee in Toronto this year after winning the International League MVP, but the 30-year-old first baseman/third baseman found a better opportunity in Japan and the Blue Jays have sold him to the Hanshin Tigers.

Hague hit .338 in 136 games at Triple-A this past season and is a career .301 hitter in eight minor-league seasons overall, but his lack of power limits his opportunities in the majors and he’s received a grand total of 91 plate appearances as a big leaguer.

Ben Nicholson-Smith of Toronto Sportnet reports that the sale price for Hague is $300,000, which goes to the Blue Jays. And then Hague will no doubt sign a deal for a lot more than he could have earned at Triple-A and perhaps more than the MLB minimum salary.

Diamondbacks trade Allen Webster to the Pirates

Allen Webster
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The Arizona Diamondbacks just announced that have traded righty Allen Webster to the Pirates for cash considerations.

Webster, who turns 26 in February, was DFA’d by the Dbacks a few days ago. He pitched in nine games, starting five, in 2015, posting a 5.81 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 17/20 (eww) in 31 innings. Before that he pitched 89.1 innings for the Red Sox over two years with numbers not too terribly more impressive than that.

Yankees “have let teams know” Ivan Nova is available

New York Yankees starting pitcher Ivan Nova reacts during second inning where he gave up 6 runs to the Toronto Blue Jays in Game 2 of a doubleheader baseball game at Yankee Stadium, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)
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Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees “have let teams know Ivan Nova is available” in trade.

Nova returned from Tommy John elbow surgery in May to throw 94 innings with a 5.07 ERA and will be a free agent after the 2016 season, so it’s tough to imagine his trade market being particularly robust.

Despite that, Sherman writes that the Yankees “are not selling low” on Nova and might try to package him with other players to bring back a young starting pitcher under team control for multiple seasons. In other words, they’d like to trade Nova for a pitcher who can step into his rotation spot in 2016 and beyond.

Nova has had some good years in New York, but he’s 29 years old with a career 4.33 ERA and just 6.7 strikeouts per nine innings. He’s more middle-of-the-rotation starter than front-line starter and even that might be in question following elbow surgery.