Rangers looking at Borbon in center, Hamilton in left

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Rangers manager Ron Washington isn’t content with his team just yet, but he said that if the season started now, he’d have Julio Borton starting in center field, with Josh Hamilton shifting to left field.
Taking Hamilton out of center was an obvious move. He was never a real asset there in the first place, and Borbon can run circles around him. The Rangers also have David Murphy as an alternative in left, and using him there frequently in an attempt to keep Hamilton healthy would make tons of sense. However, there is the chance that the Rangers will add a primary DH this winter. Jermaine Dye is high on their list of potential acquisitions, and he could possibly share time between DH and left field with Hamilton.
Washington also indicated that Borbon would likely take over as the leadoff man, leaving the Rangers with a lineup that could look like this:
CF Julio Borbon
2B Ian Kinsler
3B Michael Young
LF/DH Josh Hamilton
RF Nelson Cruz
DH/LF David Murphy
1B Chris Davis
C Jarrod Saltalamacchia/Taylor Teagarden
SS Elvis Andrus
It’d be disappointing news for those hoping Andrus would move to the top of the lineup as a sophomore, but he could always outproduce Borbon and claim the spot later on.

The St. Louis Cardinals announce their first Pride Night

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The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they will hold their first Pride Night on August 25th.

A lot of teams have Pride Nights, but it’s worth noting that the Cardinals are holding one given some bad press — some fair, some unfair — they have received in recent years when it comes to matters of diversity and inclusion.

Earlier this month the club received criticism from the LGBT community due to Lance Berkman’s presence for the team’s annual Christian Day, given his past comments about transgender people and his participation in a Houston political campaign over access to public restrooms. Recently, a former Cardinals minor league player claimed he left baseball after enduring anti-gay comments from his coaches and teammates.

As club president Bill DeWitt III noted in the official announcement however, the Cardinals have hosted LGBT groups in the past. He says that the club is eager to “remind fans that everyone is welcome at Busch Stadium.” He notes that the event will raise money for the PrideSTL Scholarship Fund which, in DeWitt’s words, “help courageous students in our community.”

Nice move, Cardinals.

Johnny Cueto expected to opt-out of his deal after the season

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Johnny Cueto signed a six-year $130 million deal with the Giants prior to the 2016 season. In his first season he went 18-5 with a 2.79 ERA and 198 strikeouts in 219.2 innings, helping lead the Giants to the playoffs. This season has been rocky for Cueto — he’s got a a 4.42 ERA in 15 starts and has battled blisters — but they’ve been far rockier for the Giants overall, as they sit in last place in the NL West and have the second worst record in baseball.

Many suspect that the Giants will either rebuild or, at the very least, restructure some in response to this nightmare year. If so, they’re likely going to be doing it with Cueto, who Jon Heyman reports is going to opt-out of his deal:

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Johnny Cueto is planning to opt out of his contract at the end of the year, but he would listen to any extension offer . . . Cueto has $84 million to go over four years. It would probably take an injury or major slump for Cueto not to opt out. But it makes sense that he will.

Heyman says the Giants are not inclined to give him an extension, so expect to see Cueto on the free agent market three days after the World Series ends, which is the deadline for him to exercise his opt-out rights.