Link-O-Rama: Chapman, Byrnes, Pena, Pujols, Mauer

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* Cuban left-hander Aroldis Chapman had what agent Edwin Mejia described as “a very good visit” with the Red Sox yesterday at Fenway Park. In addition to the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of the Boston Herald lists the Yankees, Mets, Tigers, Cardinals, and Mariners as having interest in the 21-year-old free agent. Earlier this offseason Boston signed shortstop Jose Iglesias, who was teammates with Chapman in Cuba.
* Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic writes that the Diamondbacks may be ready to part ways with Eric Byrnes two years and $19 million after handing him a misguided contract extension. Byrnes is still owed $11 million in 2010, but has gone from productive fan favorite to oft-injured whipping boy.
* Kansas City is interested in keeping Tony Pena Jr., but only if he’s willing to continue his mid-career switch to pitching. Originally a slick-fielding shortstop who was one of the worst hitters in baseball, Pena posted a 2.33 ERA and 18/6 K/BB ratio in 19 minor-league innings after moving to the mound in July.
* Today the MLB Players Association named Albert Pujols and Joe Mauer as players of the year in their respective leagues. Hopefully the Baseball Writers Association of America will follow suit when the “real” awards are announced next month.

The Indians have expressed an interest in Asdrubal Cabrera

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Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports that the Indians have expressed interest in Asdrubal Cabrera.

Cabrera, who began his career in Cleveland, would be a utility guy. Which is not exactly the Indians’ greatest need — they need a starting pitcher above all else — but improvement is improvement. Not much improvement in Cabrera’s case as he’s hitting .250/.333/.398 with nine homers in 70 games this season, but that’s useful if he’s cool with a strictly utility role. Which he’d have to be given that the Indians are solid at second, third and short.

Cabrera would come pretty cheaply of course. Partially because he’s not major piece, partially because he sort of hilariously demanded a trade last month. In large part because he wants to play shortstop which, now that I think about it, may complicate this whole “Cabrera for a utility role” idea the Indians seem to have.

The Rangers are shopping Yu Darvish

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo reports that the Rangers “have started reaching out to teams potentially interested in acquiring” Yu Darvish.

Texas is only 4.5 games out of the second Wild Card slot, but there are five teams ahead of them and they’ve really never had any traction this year. Such is not the stuff on which a team bases an all-in playoff run. Darvish, meanwhile, is in his walk year, so the Rangers have some incentive to get value for him. Passan says the Astros, Brewers, Yankees, Indians, Rockies and Dodgers could have interest in him, but really, he’d improve any contender.

Darvish is 6-8 with a 3.45 ERA and 131 strikeouts and 42 walks in 125.1 innings.