Eric Gagne trying out for the Phillies today

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Eric Gagne told a French-Canadian radio station that he has a tryout scheduled for today with the Phillies, but general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. was unavailable for comment when Philadelphia Daily News reporter David Murphy tried to get in touch with him about the former Cy Young winner.
Gagne signed a minor-league deal with the Brewers last winter after posting a 5.44 ERA in 46 innings for Milwaukee in 2008, but was released early in spring training when shoulder problems sidelined him. Once healthy he spent last season pitching in an independent Canadian league, where the longtime closer moved back to the rotation and had a 4.65 ERA in 17 starts.
Gagne turned 34 years old this month, hasn’t been effective in the majors since the first half of 2007, and struggled against the low-level competition in the Can-Am League last year, so suffice it to say that his odds of claiming a bullpen spot for the back-to-back NL champs are slim. Perhaps he’ll look decent enough to garner another minor-league deal, but Gagne has likely thrown his last pitch in the majors.

Kyle Schwarber has lost 17-20 pounds

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As is offseason tradition, the first of player-shape reports are trickling in. These usually use some variation of the phrase “best shape of [my/his] life.” This one, though, avoids that at least.

According to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber has lost 17-20 pounds so far this offseason. Schwarber said that he’s “already big and strong,” so “might as well try to get more explosive, faster.”

Though Schwarber knocked out 30 home runs this past season, his numbers were otherwise pedestrian. He hit .211/.315/.467 with 59 RBI and 67 runs scored in 486 plate appearances.

There has been some speculation that the Cubs will try to trade Schwarber to an American League team where he can be a DH. He’s a subpar defender, so making him a full-time DH makes a lot of sense. So far, though, the only team that has been linked to Schwarber this offseason has been the Red Sox.