The Rangers want to bring Colby Lewis back

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Colby Lewis, a former first round draft pick for the Rangers, had an undistinguished stint in the majors.  OK, that’s putting it a bit lightly.  He had a 6.71 ERA, splitting time between starting and relieving over five seasons. He then went on to Japan for a couple of years where he seemed to find himself:  He went 15-8 with a 2.68 ERA and a 183/27 K/BB ratio in 178 innings in 2008 and went 11-9 with a 2.96 ERA and a 186/19 K/BB in 176 1/3
IP last season.

Back in December it was reported that he wanted to come back to the U.S. due to some family health problems.  Now it seems that the Rangers want him back.

Lewis would be a nice pickup for Texas. If his success in Japan came because he finally figured out how to pitch, he could be a valuable addition to a Rangers team that has a legitimate shot in the AL West this season.  If he’s just a fluke of the Central League, no big loss, because it’s not like he’s going to command $7 million or anything.

The Cards dealt Stephen Piscotty to the A’s, in part, so he could be near his ailing mother

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Last night we wrote about the rumored deal between the Cardinals and the Athletics for Stephen Piscotty. The deal is now official, with Piscotty going to Oakland for minor leaguers Yairo Munoz and Max Schrock.

Something else emerged about the deal today: a big reason why St. Louis traded Piscotty to Oakland as opposed to another team was so that he could be near his mother, who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease last May. Piscotty and his family are from Pleasanton, California, about 35 miles from Oakland.

Here’s Cardinals GM John Mozeliak:

This was certainly a baseball trade — Piscotty became expendable for the Cardinals after they acquired Marcell Ozuna yesterday — but it was one which could’ve been made with any team with a couple of red or white chip prospects. That Mozeliak considered Piscotty’s personal situation in making the deal with the A’s is a credit to him and his staff.

The 26-year-old Piscotty hit .235 with nine homers and 39 RBIs in 107 games last season. He has hit .268 with 38 homers and 163 RBIs in 2+ major league seasons. He agreed to a six-year, $33.5 million contract extension last spring.

As for the prospects in return: Munoz, 22, hit .300 with 13 homers and 68 RBIs this year for Double-A Midland and Triple-A Nashville. Schrock, 23, batted .321 with seven homers and 46 RBIs for Midland, and was a Texas League All-Star.