Link-O-Rama: Capps to remain Pirates' closer (probably)

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* Matt Capps has struggled this season, going 4-8 with a 5.91 ERA and .326 opponents’ batting average while blowing five saves in 31 opportunities, but general manager Neal Huntington said yesterday that he’ll remain the Pirates’ closer next year “barring some unforeseen circumstance.” Of course, if they get any decent offers for Capps this offseason my guess is that the Pirates would be happy to trade him.
* Craig noted this morning that the Brewers are thinking about hiring Rick Peterson as their new pitching coach, but it sounds like manager Ken Macha will stick around for 2010 despite a disappointing first year in Milwaukee. Peterson and Macha worked together for quite a few years in Oakland.
* Roger Clemens showed up at Minute Maid Park over the weekend because his son Koby Clemens was among eight players honored as the team MVPs of their respective minor-league affiliates. Koby, who’s a 22-year-old catcher and former eighth-round pick, batted .345 with 22 homers, 45 doubles, and 121 RBIs in 116 games at high Single-A Lancaster of the California League.
* Koby Clemens can look forward to one day being involved in the Astros’ annual hazing ritual, which this year consisted of forcing the rookies to dress up in 1980s workout clothes. In other words, basically a whole bunch of neon, spandex, headbands, and tanktops. Alyson Footer of MLB.com has all the embarrassing details.

Report: Red Sox, Yankees have contacted Marlins about Martin Prado

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With just over a month to go before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, trade rumors are beginning to crop up. According to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports, the Red Sox and Yankees have each reached out to the Marlins about infielder Martin Prado.

The Marlins enter play Wednesday 35-40 and in third place in the NL East. They are expected to continue to sell after trading shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to the Rays. However, as the club itself is in the middle of rumors with a handful of prospective new owners, major pieces like Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich probably won’t be moved until that is settled.

Prado, 33, is hitting .277/.299/.398 with two home runs and nine RBI in 87 plate appearances. He has played in only 21 games due to calf and hamstring injuries. When he’s healthy, though, he is typically productive and he can play all four infield positions as well as the outfield corners. Prado is under contract for the next two seasons as well, at $13.5 million and $15 million.

With either the Red Sox or Yankees, Prado would likely assume third base. The Red Sox have gotten a major league-worst .562 out of its third basemen while the Yankees have gotten a .678 OPS, 24th out of 30 teams.

Carl Edwards, Jr.’s reason for skipping the Cubs’ visit to the White House is… interesting

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The Cubs oddly made an extra visit to the White House on Tuesday. After winning the World Series, the team visited then-President Barack Obama — a Chicago sports fan — in January before he left office. But they went back today for an “informal” visit with President Trump.

The Cubs, however, have ties to the Republican party and to Trump. The Ricketts family are Republican donors and Cubs owner Tom’s brother Todd was Trump’s nominee for deputy secretary of commerce. Manager Joe Maddon is also longtime friends with Lou Barletta, the Republican representative from Hazleton, PA.

Some players chose not to join their Cubs teammates for a trip to the White House. 10 players, to be exact, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. None of those players declining to go offered a political reason, understandably so. But reliever Carl Edwards, Jr.’s excuse made a lot of sense. He said, “I’m trying to go see like the dinosaur museums.” Indeed, Edwards could have spent the afternoon at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.

Other players declining to visit the White House included Jake Arrieta, Hector Rondon, Jason Heyward, Pedro Strop, Justin Grimm, and Addison Russell.