Rumors: The Yankees, Omar Vizquel and Milton Bradley Edition

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The latest from FOX’s Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi:

  • If the Yankees decide not to re-sign Johnny Damon, they could look at a centerfield replacement, like Mike Cameron, rather than a leftfield replacement.  This would seem to make some sense in the short term: Melky is OK, but not a transcendent player, and especially not compared to the All-Star at every position approach the Yankees seem intent on taking these days. You’d certainly create a bit of an offensive hole in left field, however, as neither Cabrera nor Brett Gardner’s bats are strong enough to respectably carry the position. Wait, what am I thinking? This is the Yankees. They don’t play “either-or”.  They could sign Cameron and Holliday or Damon.
  • Omar Vizquel doesn’t want to go back to Texas. It’s not a playing time thing, though. He’s happy with his backup role which gave him 195 at bats. He just wants to play for a higher profile team. It’s not often you hear 42 year-old backups making those kinds of demands, but Vizquel is still a useful player and teams could do worse than to have him around in a utility role.
  • The Rays and Cubs are within $2-3 million of making a Milton Bradley for Pat Burrell deal happen.  What on Earth the Cubs would do with Burrell — a guy probably less suited to play defense than even Bradley is anymore — is beyond me, but when it comes to unloading Bradley, the Cubs are definitely in “Great trade! Who’d we get?” territory. I can see the baseball argument for Bradley in Tampa Bay — anyone would improve their DH production after what Burrell pinched off in 2009 — but why a team that usually hums along nicely would want someone like Milton Bradley around is beyond me.
  • Wilson Betemit is expected to sign a minor league contract with the Kansas City Royals.  This, I think, means that Dayton Moore only has to go after Dale Murphy, Phil Niekro and Rico Carty before he can say that he has had every last former Brave under contract in Kansas City.
  • Red Sox analyst Remy struck by monitor as wind causes havoc

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    BOSTON — Red Sox TV analyst Jerry Remy was hit in the head by a falling TV monitor as swirling winds caused havoc during the first inning at Fenway Park.

    Remy was sent home from Boston’s game Saturday night against the Minnesota Twins but is expected back Sunday. Former player Steve Lyons, also an analyst during some games, came in for Remy.

    The strong winds made for an interesting first.

    Minnesota’s Robbie Grossman hit a fly that appeared headed for center, but a gust blew it to right, sending right fielder Michael Martinez twisting as the ball fell for a triple.

    There were a handful of stoppages as dirt and litter swirled around the field. Batters stepped out to wipe their eyes and Red Sox first baseman Hanley Ramirez headed to the dugout to have a trainer help him clear his left eye.

    White Sox ace Chris Sale scratched for ‘clubhouse incident’

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    CHICAGO — Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale was scratched from his start against the Detroit Tigers on Saturday night after he was involved in what the team said was a “non-physical clubhouse incident.”

    Sale, who was to attempt to become the majors’ first 15-game winner, was sent home from the park.

    “The incident, which was non-physical in nature, currently is under further investigation by the club,” general manager Rick Hahn said in a statement. “The White Sox will have no additional comment until the investigation is completed.”

    The White Sox clubhouse was open to reporters for only 20 minutes before it was closed for a team meeting before the game. Manager Robin Ventura did not discuss the incident later in his pregame availability.

    Right-hander Matt Albers started in Sale’s place and the White Sox planned to use multiple relievers. The crowd booed when Albers was announced as the starter as the teams warmed up.

    Sale had been shown as the starter on the scoreboard until about 15 minutes before the scheduled first pitch, which was delayed 10 minutes by rain.

    With the White Sox fading from playoff contention, Sale’s name has been mentioned as a possible trade target for contending teams.

    The left-hander, 14-3 with a 3.18 ERA, has been outspoken in the past.

    Sale was openly critical of team president Ken Williams during spring training when he said the son of teammate Adam LaRoche would no longer be allowed in the clubhouse. LaRoche retired as a result, and Sale hung LaRoche’s jersey in his locker.

    The 27-year-old Sale has said he’d like to stay in Chicago. He was the 13th overall pick out of Florida Gulf Coast in 2010 and has been selected as an All-Star five times. He started for the American League in this month’s All-Star Game.

    Sale, who is 71-43 in his career, entered the day leading the majors with 133 innings pitched and three complete games.

    In his last outing Monday, Sale allowed one hit over eight shutout innings before closer David Robertson gave up four runs in the ninth in Chicago’s loss to Seattle.

    The White Sox, who started 23-10, had dropped eight of nine games before Saturday and sat in fourth place in the AL Central, creating speculation that Sale and fellow lefty Jose Quintana could be dealt.

    Hahn said Thursday the White Sox were “mired in mediocrity” and hinted at possible big roster changes.

    Tigers GM Al Avila said before the game that many teams were looking for starting pitching.

    “Yet there are not as many good starting pitchers available,” Avila said. “And the guys that may come available are going to come at a steep price.